City of Emeryville October 2018 Highlights: Davenport Kids Park moving forward; E-Scooter & Dockless Bikeshare Regulations; Single-Use Plastics Ban

Published On November 30, 2018 | By Rob Arias | Local Government, News & Commentary

The City of Emeryville provides a monthly progress report outlining significant developments and milestones that occurred throughout the period. Among the highlights for the three council meetings conducted during the month of October include approval of funding for a new kids park, proposed regulations on e-scooters/dockless bikes and another two hour discussion of the city’s contentious Parking Management Plan.

Funding for Community Initiated Davenport Park Approved

$150K in funding for Davenport Park was approved at the October 16th meeting for a kids play structure and fencing. Davenport Park is a little used and maintained space along Powell Street just west of the Watergate complex. Patricia Weber, a Watergate resident, mom, and founder of a local parents group, spearheaded the project and rallied members to write in behalf of and turn out in support of the project.

While the park is a ways away from breaking ground, it has moved forward with impressive efficiency. Weber was able to bring the item to the Parks and Recreation Committee agenda earlier this year and the city held a well attended community meeting at the Clipper Club back in March.

A lot has changed at Watergate over the past decade and they are currently experiencing what might be considered a “baby boom”. Surprisingly, the entire Marina area of our city is without a kids play structure and neighbors are effectively cut-off from pedestrian access the rest of the city and its amenities by the dangerous Powell intersection.

Discussion of E-Scooter Regulations and Dockless Bike-Share Bicycles (Action Item)

One item not listed among the highlights was a discussion regarding the regulation of e-scooter and dockless bikes at the October 16th meeting [1:47:51]. Dockless bikes and e-scooters have become more omnipresent in the past few months and there has been an outcry by some to clamp down on their use in public spaces including our sidewalks.

Significant challenges exist for enforcement of any regulations and will require a multi-jurisdictional effort and coordination. Megan Colford, a representative with Lime was on hand and reaffirmed her company’s willingness to provide their insights and guidance in drafting these regulations from working with other cities.

Next steps for the regulations are for City staff to present a proposal to the Public Works/Transportation Committee and bring a draft ordinance to council as early as this month.

Food Service Waste Reduction (Special Study Session)

A special study session was held at the October 30th meeting to discuss the ban of single-use plastics [1:37]. Similar legislation is rapidly moving forward in neighboring cities including a ban on plastic straws and Emeryville is looking to do the same. Council ultimately seemed reluctant to take the lead on this and wanted to study and learn from the mistakes of others.

“This is a heavy lift” noted Councilmember Dianne Martinez referencing a difficult roll-out of the plastic bag ban. “If there are cities that are doing the heavy lifting on this, I would rather take the benefit of their wake and see what the blowback is in their communities …”

It was also determined that the businesses community was not given sufficient time to weigh in and their feedback was important. Staff will incorporate feedback from council and solicit the business community prior to returning to council with amendments to the proposal.

The agenda for this item can be downloaded on Emeryville.org.

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


October Highlights of The Month

On October 16, the City Council approved the purchase the sculpture Silhouette by Sara Paloma for the Annual Purchase Award from the 32nd Annual Emeryville Celebration of the Arts Exhibition, and heard a presentation on options for the design of improvements at the 40th/San Pablo Bus Hub, giving direction that it include a two-way cycle track for the entire length of 40th Street and bus-only lanes in both directions.

On October 30, the Council approved amendments to the General Plan and Planning Regulations to increase the development potential on the east side of San Pablo Avenue between 40th and 45th Streets, set initial cannabis business tax rates in anticipation of the passage of Measure S at the November 6 General Election, and again considered adoption of the Parking Management Plan. The Council decided not to adopt the Plan at this time, and directed staff to develop a framework for future Council consideration.

The developers of the Public Market have withdrawn their building permit for a retail and parking structure on Parcel B, and have submitted plans for a revised project to include 150,000 square feet of office/lab space, 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and 565 parking spaces.

Onni Group has submitted plans for a residential tower and an office tower on the former “Gateway” site at 5801-5861 Christie Avenue.

Following two devastating fires, the developer of the 105-unit Intersection project has now submitted a building permit application to rebuild using modular construction.

Staff and the Mayor participated in several Manufacturing Day events, including Emery High School student tours of Symbio Robotics and Jered’s Pottery.

Staff continues to meet with the owners and potential buyers of the “Nady Site” at 6701 Shellmound Street in efforts to abate the blighted condition of the property.

Staff attended several conferences and training programs in October, including the NACTO Designing Cities Conference in Los Angeles, the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers (CACEO) conference in Monterey, the American Planning Association State Conference in San Diego, and two committee meetings of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.

View the entire progress report on Emeryville.org →


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October 2nd Council Meeting

Committee Appointments

The City Council appointed new members to various community advisory committees, including the following committees that are staffed by the Community Development Department:

  • Economic Development Advisory Committee. The Council appointed Rob Fong as Business Representative to serve for a term commencing immediately and ending June 30, 2020.
  • Housing Committee. The Council appointed Whitney Rubin as Community Member to serve for a term commencing immediately and ending June 30, 2019.
  • Public Art Committee. The Council appointed Bryce Gaspard as Business Representative or Resident for a term commencing immediately and ending June 30, 2019, and Vickie Jo Sowell as Business Representative or Resident for a term commencing immediately and ending June 30, 2020.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [02:00].

New City Manager (Special Orders of the Day)

The new City Manager, Christine Daniel, was introduced.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [1:03:32].`

Trader Vic’s Cabaret Permit (Public Hearing)

The Council approved an annual cabaret license for Trader Vic’s restaurant for calendar year 2019.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [1:36:02].

Marketplace Parcel B Temporary Parking Lot (Department Head Reports)

Following the Planning Director’s report on actions taken by the Planning Commission at their last meeting on September 27, the Council voted to call for review the Commission’s approval of the Marketplace Parcel B Temporary Parking Lot.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [2:05:40].

Download the October 2nd Council Meeting Agenda →


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October 16th Council Meeting

Celebration of Kids and Shelter Dogs (Special Meeting)

At a special meeting prior to the regular City Council meeting, the Council held a Celebration of Kids and Shelter Dogs, including proclamations and presentations on youth confidence and adoption of shelter dogs.

The presentation for this item can be viewed here.

Marketplace Parcel B Temporary Parking Lot (Consent Item)

The Council set a public hearing date of November 13, 2018 for review of the Planning Commission’s September 27, 2018 approval of a Major Conditional Use Permit for a temporary surface parking lot on Marketplace Parcel B at 6000 Shellmound Street. [The application was subsequently withdrawn, and the November 13, 2018 public hearing was cancelled.]

Sherwin Williams (Consent Item)

The Council approved the form of the Affordable Housing Agreement and an Operations and Maintenance Agreement for the Sherwin Williams project. The form Affordable Housing Agreement is a “boilerplate” document that staff will now use to finalize the affordable housing requirements for each of the four new buildings. It provides for a total of 85 affordable units, including 35 units for moderate income households, 30 units for low income households, and 20 units for very low income households, to be dispersed among the 500 units to be developed in the project.

Annual Purchase Award (Action Item)

The City Council approved the purchase of a sculpture entitled Silhouette by Emeryville artist Sara Paloma from the 32nd Annual Emeryville Celebration of the Arts Exhibition. This purchase marked the twelfth year the City has supported the Celebration of the Arts through a purchase of an artwork for display in City buildings.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [13:00].

Davenport Park (Action Item)

The Council approved funding for a new playground and other improvements at Davenport Park, the small City park on Powell Street immediately west of Trader Vic’s restaurant.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [17:05].

40th and San Pablo Bus Hub (Action Item)

The Council held a discussion of design concepts for redesigning 40th Street and part of San Pablo Avenue to improve conditions for bus riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians, while accommodating drivers. The Council directed that on-street parking should be removed, there should be bus-only lanes in both directions, a two-way bicycle facility on the north side of 40th Street all the way from Adeline Street to IKEA, and that the bicycle facility should be at roadway level with a raised curb separating it from the adjacent bus lane. Staff is now working with the consultants to finalize the concept design based on this Council direction.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [32:56].

Download the October 16th Council Meeting Agenda →


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October 30th Council Meeting


State and Federal Legislative Agenda (Special Study Session)

The Council heard a presentation from Townsend Public Affairs and gave direction on the 2018 State and Federal legislative agenda and proposed 2019 State and Federal legislative and funding agenda. The report, amended to incorporate the Council’s direction, will come back to the Council for adoption at a future meeting.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [48:29].

City Manager Contract (Action Item)

The Council approved an amendment to Christine Daniel’s contract as City Manager to extend the term for a three-year period from November 1, 2018 to October 31, 2021.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [4:30:36].

Annual Development Impact Fee Report (Consent Item)

The Council received an informational report on the development impact fees for fiscal year 2017-2018. The State Mitigation Fee Act requires the report to be available to the public for at least 15 days prior to City Council action. The report will be brought back to the Council for approval on November 13.

Bus Shelter Temporary Public Art Phase V (Consent Item)

The City Council affirmed the Public Art Committee’s recommendation to authorize contracts with artists Priscilla Birge, Rosa Cruglez, Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Ann Holsberry, Packard Jennings and Yuzo Nakano, and alternate artists Stephen Skaar and Claudia Tennyson, for the fifth phase of the Bus Shelter Temporary Public Art Program. This program was initiated in 2009 and provides for the work of six artists to be displayed in the City’s bus shelters on a rotating basis. The Phase V artists’ work will be on display from January 2019 to December 2020.

San Pablo Avenue General Plan and Planning Regulations Amendment (Public Hearing)

The Council unanimously approved a General Plan Amendment and Planning Regulations Amendment to increase the maximum development potential that could occur within an area of approximately 2.5 acres fronting the east side of San Pablo Avenue from 40th Street to approximately 170 feet south of 45th Street by increasing the allowable floor area ratio (FAR), building height, and residential density. The second reading of the Ordinance to amend the Planning Regulations is scheduled for the November 13 City Council meeting.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [1:41:38].

Initial Cannabis Business Tax Rates (Action Item)

The City Council adopted a resolution establishing tax rates for cannabis businesses, contingent on voter approval of Measure S at the November 6, 2018 General Election. The initial rates are applicable to total gross receipts of cannabis businesses and have been established as 1% for testing or distribution, 2% for manufacturing, and 3% for storefront retail and delivery. The tax applicable to testing companies is subject to rebate for receipts from testing of Emeryville produced or distributed products. The City Council expressed its intent that the tax rates be held at these levels for a period of three years.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [1:53:48].

Parking Management Plan (Action Item)

The City Council held a second review of the Draft Final Parking Management Plan, modified in response to Council comments made at the July 24 meeting. The Council heard public testimony from approximately ten speakers, and then decided not to adopt the Plan, but instead directed staff to develop a parking management framework for future Council consideration.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [2:17:27].

Shelter Crisis Declaration (Action Item)

The City Council approved a resolution formally declaring a Shelter Crisis pursuant to Senate Bill 850. The Shelter Crisis Declaration is required for the City to be eligible for Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funds from the state. This program is a $500 million block grant designed to provide direct assistance to cities and counties to address the homelessness crisis in California.

The presentation for this item can be viewed above at [4:28:45].

Download the October 30th Council Meeting Agenda →

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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