April 2019 City of Emeryville Highlights: 2019/20 Fiscal Budget, Onni High-Rise Scoping Session, Sherwin Project Parking & Construction License

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The City of Emeryville held two council meeting during the month of April. Among the highlights that emerged from these meetings were our city’s 2019-2020 Fiscal Budget and projected revenue forecast for the coming years. The city also held a separate scoping session meeting for the proposed Onni Mixed-use high-rise project. In addition, a parking and construction license for the Sherwin Williams project was approved signaling that groundbreaking for the project was one step closer.

Presentation of Fiscal Years 2019-20 and 2020-21 General Fund Baseline Budget and Five-Year Preliminary Forecast

A presentation of the city’s current budget and financial projections was provided by city Finance Director & Treasurer Susan Hsieh [35:14 of the April 2nd meeting].

The City’s General Fund revenues grew in the 2017-19 budget cycle due to new revenue sources and one-time revenues. Fiscal Year 2017-18 revenues totaled $44.6 million compared to $40.8 million in Fiscal Year 2016-17. Revenues for 2018-19 are projected as the same amount as 2017-18.

New revenue sources included the Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel tax) from Hyatt Place which opened in November 2016 as well as the recently approved Measure S Cannabis Tax which is expected to net about $137,000.

Transfer Tax revenue totaled $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2017-18 largely in part from the sale of a few multifamily residential properties. Other revenues increased largely in part due to the rental revenue resulting from the full occupancy of the ECCL and one-time grant revenue from the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

The 2019 General Fund Revenue Projections.

General Fund Revenues are projected to grow to $45.1 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22, $45.7 million in Fiscal Year 2022-23 and $46.7 million in Fiscal Year 2023-24. Revenue for Fiscal Years 2019-21 is expected to be slightly lower than 2018-2019 primarily due to the reduced projection for license and permit revenues.

Revenue projections factor in conservative estimates developed using historical data, economic forecasts, consultants and other local variables. Recession factors are not built into these projection and despite “healthy” key economic indicators, it is noted in the report that growth is anticipated to eventually slow down based on economic cycles and could impact these revenues and subsequent projections.

Future Years: General Fund Revenue Projection.

Onni Christie Mixed-Use Project Public Scoping Session

The city also hosted a scoping session for the proposed Onni Group 54-story Tower on April 4th. The mandatory meeting provides an opportunity for agencies and the public to weigh in on what should be included and studied in the required Environmental Impact Report (EIR).


Eight members of the public, mostly seniors from Watergate, provided their public comment which ranged from concerns over liquefaction, increased rents and displacement, the impact on global warming from increased traffic, shadows from the building and, of course, parking.

Please note that the summaries provided below are taken directly from the text of these reports.



April 2019 Highlights of The Month

As directed by the City Council, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on reconsideration of the Marketplace Parcel B office/laboratory building on April 25 and then continued the matter to May 14.

The Planning Commission approved the modification of an existing single unit building at 1291 55th Street into two units.

A “scoping session” for the Environmental Impact Report for the Onni Christie Avenue Mixed Use Project, which includes a 54-story residential tower and 15-story office tower, was held on April 4 and was attended by approximately 14 members of the public.

Staff attended a community meeting on the MacArthur Maze Vertical Clearance Project at the Emeryville Center of Community Life on April 10, at which Caltrans staff announced that the project has been put on “pause” to allow for further environmental evaluation.

Pursuant to a recent FCC Ruling, the Community Development Director has adopted aesthetic standards for wireless telecommunications facilities, effective April 15.


A certificate of occupancy was issued on April 30 for the EmeryStation West/Transit Center development, finally bringing this decades-long project to the “finish line”.

Staff attended the grand opening ceremony for Decathlon Sports’ first full-scale store in the United States, in the East BayBridge shopping center, on April 9.

Alameda County Transportation Commission staff held an open house on the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Study on April 24 at ECCL and presented three options for design of the corridor.

Planning Commissioners and staff attended the American Planning Association National Planning Conference in San Francisco on April 13-16. Staff led three “mobile workshops”, including tours of Emeryville, a modular housing factory in Vallejo, and cannabis manufacturers in Emeryville, Oakland, and Berkeley.

View the entire progress report on Emeryville.org →



April 2nd City Council Meeting

Proclamation Honoring Catherine Firpo (Special Order of the Day)

The Mayor presented Housing Coordinator Catherine Firpo with a proclamation upon her retirement, honoring her eight years of continuous and outstanding service to the City of Emeryville. Catherine administered all of the City’s affordable housing programs as well as the City’s homelessness strategy. Her first day of retirement was April 2, 2019 and she will be missed.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [4:28].

Emery Go-Round (Consent Item)

The Council approved a letter of support to the Oakland City Planning Commission for the Emery Go-Round’s application for a shuttle yard under the MacArthur Maze along Mandela Parkway. [The Oakland City Planning Commission unanimously approved the conditional use permit on April 3.

Download the April 2nd Council Meeting Agenda →



April 16th City Council Special Meeting

1400 65th Street Noise Waiver (Public Hearing)

The City Council approved a request for a noise waiver at the EmeryTech building on 65th Street for a Saturday crane lift to replace 18 air conditioning units on the roof on any single Saturday from April 27 to May 18. The Council had previously considered this request on March 19, but continued the item because the applicant advised that the requested date for the noise waiver had changed.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [12:09].

Development Impact Fees (Public Hearing)

The Council approved the annual increase in the Development Impact Fees, which includes the Transportation Facility Impact Fee, the Parks and Recreation Facility Impact Fee, and the Affordable Housing Impact Fee. The increase is based on the annual increase in the Construction Cost Index for San Francisco as published by Engineering News Record. This year’s increase was only 0.28%. It will take effect on July 1, and will be effective for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which runs through June 30, 2020.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [13:27].

Sherwin Williams Project (Action Item)

The Council approved a Parking and Construction License for the Sherwin Williams Mixed Use Project. This will allow the Sherwin Williams developer to use the adjacent City owned parcel for construction worker parking and other construction activities.


The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [1:00:06].

Download the April 16th Council Meeting Agenda →

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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