Last night's meeting discussed a number of significant items. The order changed around a bit as we discussed the Oakhurst Geological Hazard Abatement District (GHAD) first.
- We approved a GHAD real property assessment increase consistent with Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase of 3.8% for affected parcels. The type of the parcel determines the amount of the assessment. CPI increases were contemplated with the inception of the GHAD and approved by voters. The GHAD does not receive sufficient funds to do significant repair or improvements. It's function is primarily to cover the cost of monitoring soil movement, some minor repairs, and over time has the potential to accumulate funds for some larger restoration work. Typically these would require aggregation of multiple years worth of funding.
- Last night was the last meeting for our Finance Director and I wish him the best of luck. We appointed a new Interim Finance Director while we search for a permanent replacement.
- We adopted a series of increases on levies and property tax assessments in other areas that allow for annual increases related to CPI.
- We approved the list of streets slated for repaving as part of our periodic Neighborhood Streets Pavement Preservation Project. Each year funds accumulate from various specified sources, however we tend repave every other year as we do not have enough funds in a single year to be efficient. At that time, certain streets are selected for repaving based on their Pavement Condition Index (PCI). Streets are chosen based on available funds, and their current conditions, with lower PCI streets being prioritized. The street program was supposed to happen in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID. Currently the plan is to perform the work that was originally slated last year in 2022. At that time, and again last night, the streets selected for repaving next summer are:
- We approved the FY22 budget (city government fiscal years end on June 30). I'm glad to see the inclusion in the budget of a few items that I've been advocating for over the past few years. The first is the additional crossing guard in front of Mt. Diablo Elementary. When kids are back at school in the fall, the additional crossing guard will improve pedestrian and vehicle safety around our youngest students. This was originally requested by the then Parent Faculty Club (PFC) president and in working with the PFC the city secured a donation to cover the cost for the first year. We have now added it to our budget and it will be a great improvement to the quality of life in our city.
The second item was maintenance of the dog park. There is a dog park to the west of Diablo View Middle School that has been maintained by a combination of the City and volunteers through the Clayton K-9 Association. This non-profit group was formed to perform various maintenance activities for the dog park. In order to shift towards a sustainable maintenance model, the city will assume the maintenance of the facility which is appropriate as this is a city owned property.
There is also allocated funds to install interactive traffic signals on Marsh Creek Rd. near the middle school which will enhance pedestrian and traffic safety near the middle school. This requires coordination with the County so will take a bit of time to come to fruition.
- The Council approved the Oak Creek Canyon Project, a 6 unit single family development at the eastern part of town. As one of the conditions of approval, the developer has agreed to extend a mixed use walking/biking path from the length of the development connecting to the entrance of the Community Park at Regency Parkway.
- The Council also agreed to appeal our current draft Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation. Every eight years the city is allocated a certain number of housing units that we need to zone for. In the previous cycle, that number was 141. In the upcoming cycle, the amount of housing units needing to be zoned for is 570, an increase of approximately 300%. There are a number of factors that support our appeal, including a lack of jobs and available transportation in Clayton, the fact that Clayton is not a predicted growth area, the geological hazards related to the GHAD, and lack of water distribution availability. And while these reasons for appeal appear compelling, the likelihood of success of our appeal is very low. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) controls the allocation and they are ultimately an unelected body (made up of elected officials) dominated by larger cities in the Bay Area that can impose these mandates without any available recourse.
- We also adopted an updated salary schedule for city staff.