City Council Minutes - 01/16/2007back
REGULAR MEETING OF THECITY COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF CORONADOCoronado City Hall
1825 Strand Way
Coronado, CA 92118
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Mayor Smisek called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m.
1. ROLL CALL:
Present: Councilmembers Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and
Also Present: City Manager Mark Ochenduszko
City Attorney Morgan Foley
City Clerk Linda Hascup
2. INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. Layperson Ray Sealy, St. Paul's Methodist Church, provided the invocation and Mayor Smisek led the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. MINUTES: Approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 2, 2007.
MSUC (Tanaka/Monroe) moved that the City Council approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 2, 2007, as amended.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
4. CEREMONIAL PRESENTATIONS:
4a. Proclamation: "Neighbors Across the Bridge Week." Mayor Smisek presented the proclamation to Brad Willis, Tyler Wagner, Diane Aviagas, and Carlos Pinera recognizing their participation in a Coronado Rotary neighborhood outreach programs with the youth of Barrio Logan.
5. CONSENT CALENDAR: The City Council approved, adopted and/or accepted as one item of business Consent Agenda Items 5a through 5d.
MSUC (Downey/Ovrom) moved that the City Council approve the Consent Calendar Items 5a through 5d.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
5a. Approval of Reading by Title and Waiver of Reading in Full of Ordinances on this Agenda. The City Council waived the reading of the full text and approved the reading of the title only.
5b. Approval of Warrants. The City Council ratified payment of warrants Nos. 10055600 thru 10055839 audited and approved by the Audit Committee, provided there are sufficient funds on hand. The City Council approved the warrants.
5c. Update on Capital Improvement Program Projects - Informational Item. The City Council accepted the report.
5d. Consideration of Reappointment of One Incumbent to the Parks and Recreation Commission. The City Council re-appointed Nancy McCoy-Blair to a second three-year term to expire on December 31, 2009 and to set the end date for all future Parks and Recreation Commission appointments to December 31.
6. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS:
a. Pete Fagan, 379 F Avenue, addressed the issue of open government and citizens' rights to participate in government. He mentioned an investigative piece done by Channel 10 News recently, in which Coronado came out very poorly in the area of release of public records. Mr. Fagan added that he had requested a copy of a letter from the Fire Chief of National City that is critical of the City's fire services and said in his opinion he was stonewalled. He doesn't feel he was treated very fairly which is how the Public Records Act expects citizens to be treated, nor does he think it is consistent with open government. He feels that the City Council needs to take appropriate action to ensure that public records are, in fact, public records, released to the community, and give the citizens an opportunity to openly participate in the City government. This meeting, for example, was noticed, although legally, after working hours on Friday. There are some very contentious and very difficult issues before the City Council today and the citizens had only 6 ½ working hours to prepare to bring these matters to the Council's attention. He asked that the City Council keep with the letter and the spirit of the Public Records Act and the Brown Act and allow the citizens to fully participate and see what is really going on in the government and allow them access to the records and provide them with proper notice for all the meetings.
b. Nancye Splinter, 1027 G Avenue, spoke about practicing fire safety and the City budget. She commented that she feels there is waste of the City's budget when it is being spent on landscaping and legal bills rather than public safety. The landscaping around the new civic buildings is four times larger and more profuse than it needs to be. She said the legal bills in this City are extraordinary and mentioned the City Council vote to sue Prop J. She feels that, with some prudent belt tightening, the City can afford a ladder truck and two ambulances.
c. Margaret Quackenbush, 440 Pomona Avenue, spoke about the heavy, two-way commuter traffic on Pomona Avenue and how dangerous it is. She said that Pomona Avenue is a residential street with cars parked on both sides, with cross street traffic, and pedestrians crossing, including children returning home from school on bicycles. She suggested that by simply prohibiting left hand turns onto Pomona at the tennis center from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, it would keep the northbound commuter traffic on Glorietta. Her feeling is that allowing the northbound traffic to follow the golf course around and over the bridge will not create a traffic problem for Glorietta and would make Pomona much safer. The commuters choose Pomona as it saves them 20 to 25 seconds of driving but in the process this creates dangerous traffic on Pomona. She asked that the City Council consult with the Traffic Committee and see if this idea could be implemented.
d. Suzanne Ramriez, 449 J Avenue, informed the City Council and the public of what a wonderful job the Fire Department did. Her home suffered a roofing fire on December 6. The insurance adjusters say that her fire department must be really good. From her personal point of view they were also wonderful in the human sense. She didn't want to leave her house and they were very sensitive about that, but also very assertive about being able to do what they needed to do to save her and her property. She mentioned that Councilmember Downey, through the Junior Women's Club, has been very supportive. She and her daughter appreciate that. She also wanted to thank the community at large because of the outpouring of support in general.
e. Councilmember Tanaka announced the COSA 10th Anniversary birthday celebration that will be held on January 20 at 6:30p.m. The public is welcome to attend.
f. Councilmember Monroe announced that he had visited Barrio Logan College Institute, subject of the Rotary project recognized by today's proclamation. He shared that inside the building is an impressive map shows where graduates of the program are attending college.
7. CITY MANAGER:
7a. Update on Council Directed Actions and Citizen Inquiries. No report.
8. PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
9. ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS: None.
10. COMMISSION AND COMMITTEE REPORTS:
10a. Report from the Port Commissioner Concerning Port Activities. No report.
10b. Report from the Historic Resource Commission Regarding the Formulation of a "Demolition Review List" to be Used as the Trigger Mechanism for the Notice of Intent to Demolish Permit Process Rather than the Current 75-Year Age Criteria.
Councilmember Downey recused herself due to the location of her property within 500' of some of the properties on the list. Councilmember Ovrom explained that as he understands the advice of the City Attorney he does not need to disqualify himself from the discussion if he feels his property would not be affected by the outcome of this discussion. Mr. Ovrom said he does not see a conflict for himself. Mayor Smisek agreed that, like Councilmember Ovrom, he also does not see a conflict for himself. There are so many houses on the list it would be very difficult to not be near one.
Director of Community Development Tony Pena provided background information for the agenda item. He wanted to make sure that the pubic is aware that the City Council is not being requested to take final action today. Staff is seeking direction from the City Council at this time.
Mr. Pena explained that, prior to June 2004, the City of Coronado had a very simple demolition permit process. It was ministerial in nature. If a property owner wanted to demolish a single family building the permit could be issued over the counter. The problem with that process is that there were a few potentially historic structures being demolished without much oversight or public review. In June 2004, the City Council established a moratorium to stop that from occurring. This gave time for staff to put together a demolition permit process that was discretionary in nature, based upon a trigger mechanism of a 75-year old home or older. This process requires the applicant to go through the Historic Resource Commission for approval. When that was being done, the City Council made it known that it might be better to establish a list rather than having people come through one at a time. A list would accomplish a couple of things. First, it would clear up for people in the community as to whether or not they would have to go through additional review to obtain a demolition permit. Second, it would also free a lot of property owners from any concern they may have if they weren't on the list. In February 2005, the HRC reported to the City Council that they were preparing of a list but that they felt that the current process of using the 75-year age criteria was working fairly well. The City Council requested that the HRC continue with preparation of the list. In January 2006, after reviewing 1,300 properties, the HRC came up with a draft list of approximately 640. The City Council felt that was too cumbersome a number and requested that the HRC pare it down. Today, the pared down list includes 400 properties. The HRC considered certain criteria to get it down to 400, which is detailed in the staff report. He mentioned that there are some properties on the list whose owners do not wish them to be there. The HRC still maintains that the 75-year criterion is working well and that they would prefer to have the existing process prevail. They think the list is not the way to administer the historic preservation program. The staff recommendation is to keep the list, primarily because that is what was directed by the City Council. Mr. Pena added that, since the original ordinance was adopted, 50 properties have gone through the Notice of Intent to Demolish permit process and three structures were deemed historic. One of those properties is continuing to pursue a demolition permit.
Mayor Smisek asked Mr. Pena if, during a real estate transaction, if someone were to sell a 75-year old property if it would be something that has to be acknowledged to a new buyer. Mr. Pena said he thinks that is something that should be disclosed prior to close of escrow. The City does not get involved with escrows, but if an interested party or an agent comes in asking for information on a property, this would be the kind of thing that would be disclosed.
Councilmember Monroe asked which of the three historic properties is seeking a demolition permit and what the process is they will have to follow. Mr. Pena responded that the property in question is 300 First Street. They are in the Initial Study phase right now. The City Council may be requested to determine whether a Negative Declaration or an EIR will be required. The property owner has not come to a conclusion as to what direction he will eventually take.
Councilmember Tanaka asked if demolition permits are handled differently now since the moratorium was put in place. He asked if the City requires a certain amount of documentation about a home and its age before a demolition permit is issued. Mr. Pena explained that more research is done now. The planners and building inspectors work together. Staff has a pretty good idea from the property records of whether or not a property is close to 75 years of age. Sometimes the property owners will have records. If it is close to 75 years of age, the process goes to the HRC.
Jerry MacCartee, 836 G Avenue, acting chair of the HRC, expressed the fervent hope of the five commissioners who worked on the list for the past 2 ½ years that the City Council will reject it in favor of letting the process continue as currently exists. It has been very successful to date and has not caused bad feelings within the community. The existing process has given the HRC a chance to offer possible alternative ideas or incentives not to demolish. This is especially important for the small cottages and bungalows that form the fabric and character of Coronado but did not make that list. The process, as it now stands, gives architects a chance to put forth ideas for sensitive additions to these smaller homes that might not have been considered if they in an over the counter demo permit process. The HRC has found, since publicizing this list, that there is misunderstanding, anger, and confusion. Whereas before the list everyone was in the same boat and it worked. The HRC is asking the City Council not to rock the boat; to give historic preservation a good name, not a bad, or alienating name, but rather a chance to provide another life for a structure. She said the delay caused by appearing before HRC for an NOI is approximately 2 weeks. For a structure that has contributed to the City's community for a good part of a century that really does not seem a lot to ask. She added that the HRC, as a relatively new commission, has learned a lot. They have learned the art of compromise, of working with people, of giving some, saving some - it has never been perfect all the time. The whole idea is to protect the character of this community.
Nancye Splinter, 1027 G Avenue, owner of the first Mills Act home on the island, wants the City Council to act to preserve the historic homes in Coronado. Historic preservation is a very complex and passionate issue. She said there are only 200 Mills Act eligible homes in Coronado. She would like the City Council to vote for all 640 homes to stay on the list.
Steve Mullen, 427 A Avenue, would prefer that the HRC is abolished today. He doesn't feel his home is historic. It is old. His home was built with one bathroom and now has three. The kitchen has been remodeled twice. The only three rooms in his house that are anywhere near the original condition are the library, living room, and dining room. The plumbing and wiring have been replaced. He doesn't believe these homes are historic or original. Any of them that are in original condition are neither safe nor comfortable and they are all too small. He does not intend to tear down his house. But he feels that the list is discriminatory and inherently unfair. It is just another step and more cost for anyone who wants to rebuild or build. He asked that the City Council consider Santa Barbara's approach to maintaining its historic look. They maintain the historic architectural styles and designs through the design review process that allow the person to build a house that is modern, safe, and up to code for earthquake, plumbing, etc.
Ricardo Johnson, 822 First Street, reiterated his request that his home be removed from the list. He doesn't have any problem with the 75 year old process but he does agree with the previous speaker that this is highly discriminatory. It is precisely discriminatory against the few people who have preserved their homes for so long. Rather than motivate and provide incentives for them to keep those homes, the City is doing exactly the opposite by imposing procedures when attempts are made to remodel those homes either on the inside or outside. Furthermore, why should he have to pay to go through all those hurdles to improve his home when no one else in the City has to do anything? According to the Historic Preservation element of the General Plan, the process should be voluntary. Placing someone on a list and forcing them to undergo all of these hearings and procedures and eventually imposing a designation, can hardly be considered voluntary. He does not want his children to be imposed upon as to what to do with their house - it should be their decision. Neighborhood conditions and location of the home are supposed to be important criteria for designating a house historic or not. First Street conditions can only be comparable to State Highway 282, with the worsening factor of traffic in two directions. There are over 7,000 cars driving through every day. They are still waiting for the City Council to come through with adoption of a resolution they adopted in 1996 to dedesignate the truck route. He hopes that happens when the Third Street Gate opens as it was promised 16 years ago. He asked the Council to please create the right conditions if they wish people to preserve their homes.
Story Vogel, formerly of 350 D Avenue, commented that he received a Master's Degree from the Tulane School of Architecture in historic preservation. The reason he mentions that is because when one takes a formal course in historic architecture and preservation you learn about zoning and the constitution and the laws that allow historic preservation ordinances to exist. People may not realize that the national standard for historic preservation is 50 years. 75 years is fairly conservative. Over the last 50 years, historic preservation really got its start when people wanted to tear down George Washington's home. The Supreme Court has ruled for the last 70 years that historic preservation is the proper purview of state governments, city governments, and governments at all levels. The enacting legislation to do that is through a city ordinance. People may misunderstand this, but the intermediate demolition permit step if a house is 75 years or older, is more than likely to stand up to any constitutional challenge, much more so than a designated list of particular houses. He would actually prefer it to be a 50 year trigger.
Bruce Coons, 51 Aruba Bend, Executive Director, Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), pointed out that using a list that is arbitrarily shortened by the City Council rather than using a 75-year age criteria is not what SOHO would support because it would prohibit saving possible historic structures that are not on the list. This may lead to the loss of historic resources. In SOHO's view, CEQA review would be required to change the ordinance to a shortened list because there is a potential significant environmental impact on the City's historic resources. He reviewed the reasons people are in support of historic preservation.
Cecilia Johnson, First Street, commented as she has done previously that people talk about being sad to lose structures. The people of First Street are sad to lose friends who have had to leave First Street because of the traffic and noise. Something should be done about the traffic first. The City needs to consider the location before putting houses on lists to preserve them. Houses that are 100 years old can't prevail on streets with traffic worse than that on highways.
Susan Keith, 801 Tolita Avenue, former Chair, HRC, explained that the HRC worked very hard to put this list together, but no one on the Commission is qualified to do so. None of them have the experience or education to do so. They have, however, done their best. They also have made mistakes and may have some houses on the list that aren't 75 years old and some may have been left off. The City does not need the contention that came from this in Coronado. She is not sure why the City is trying to fix something that isn't broken. The current method works - the HRC can work with applicants. She wishes that the City Council would table the idea of a list.
Liz Forsythe-Lovell, representing the Forsythe family at 100 & 104 First Street, asked to have their property taken off the list (Surf 'n Suds). She said it is a nonreinforced brick building. They plan to take it down. It is unsafe. She feels that commercial properties should not be on the list. The City should offer incentives to build a reconstructed commercial historical property. The City really needs to review this a bit more in depth. She said that the construction of new buildings that surround her family property have damaged the existing structure and make it more difficult for any kind of retrofit or ability to save the building.
Alana Coons, 51 Aruba Bend, commented that the historic designation process used in Coronado works extremely well across the entire United States. It has been used for a long time even though Coronado is new to it. When she first heard about this, she was at the HRC when they were looking at the 1300 list and getting it down to 640, she could not have been more shocked. For a city to ask that a certain number of historic resources be identified is not how it works. An historic resource either is or it isn't. It is not only wrong but it is irresponsible for city leaders to ask for an historic resources list to be defined by a number and not by the resources. It is detrimental to the economic health of the city. It is harmful to the quality of life for all of the citizens and visitors to the city. Ms. Coons believes there are more than 640 historic structures in Coronado. There are experts and tools available to determine the historicity. The current process whereby a petitioner comes into the HRC at 75 years of age (and 50 is the national standard), is very easy, and fair. Not every city is this lucky. Coronado is graced with so many historic resources. People don't understand how fortunate they are. Requesting this number issue makes a farce and a mockery out of the City's historic resources program. She asked that the City stay with the process that works so well across the United States.
John Harriman, 1010 E Avenue, has some rental units that have been designated on the list as the Herman Home. He said it is not a home, and has never been his home. The problem is that these are old rental units that produce very insignificant income for the property value. It frightened him all along that someone may decide that he might be condemned forever to the low income that those rental units provide when the land value without this is significant. He hopes that there is some other way to not include such a property as this.
Mayor Smisek reminded everyone that the issue before the City Council is to either proceed with a list, using the list that exists as the beginning point, or to change course and direct that the City stay with what was designed to be an interim measure. He commented on reports that the City Council had given the HRC a change in orders. He said the City Council has been very consistent in what it has asked of the HRC. There have been a few commissioners who have been dead set against a list from the beginning and have tried different approaches so that the list would not occur. The City Council throughout this whole process has remained very consistent on wanting to have a list established so that it would take the pressure off of the owners of the homes that did not have any historic value; it was just that their homes are older. Part of the problem is that every year more homes will be added as they hit the 75-year mark. That does not mean those homes necessarily have any historic value. Part of the problem he sees with this issue is that it started out with this being as voluntary as possible. He agrees with the speaker who said that the City is not supposed to be putting a burden on people because they live in and own an older home. The older homes that are of historic value are something to be cherished in the City. The City does not want to put the burden on those who are either living in those homes or in a home that has absolutely no significance at all historically that is just old. That is not the City Council's job. That is where government gets a bad name - when it does that to its own citizens. He thinks that if a total vote of the entire citizenry were taken, they would not appreciate doing something like that. He thinks the idea is to put the onus on the City government to make it easier for people. The building department does a good job of that and is considered one of the best in the county when it comes to getting plans checked on time and to be able to build what people want to build. The City has been very conservative in that private homes do not have to go through the Design Review Commission. He sees this as a tendency to start moving in a direction that he is not comfortable with. He doesn't envision the day when the City is filled with historic buildings and nothing else gets built. That is not the type of thing he would want. Mayor Smisek said he had been to some historic cities back east and in places where there are historic districts and sprinklings of historic homes that are unique in nature that people like to visit. But he doesn't believe that, just because of an age of a home, that should be the trigger mechanism to determine whether or not a home is historic. The question he originally asked about real estate disclosure of something like this is relevant. The only way to get through that and get a home removed would be to go before the HRC and request a designation. He doesn't see why people should have to do that. The City should have to do that work. If it is going to take five years and x number of houses per meeting, then that is what should be done. He doesn't really feel that the City should have this generic list that is going to continue to grow every year as another house comes on as 75 years old. An historic designation has a lot more required than the 75-year age criterion. His preference would be to look at the 75 year old homes, remove those that are not historic that are over 75 and actively search for those that are not 75 years old at this time that are believed to be historic. Those kind of homes should pop out. He feels the City has gone down the right path. He gets frustrated when the City Council is continually told not to do this without any really good justification. Mayor Smisek also feels that the list could then have the option, as was originally discussed, for people who don't believe they should have an historic designation to go before the HRC, and go through a process to see if they can have their homes removed. This would put the City on the spot and then, if necessary, such a decision could be kicked up to the City Council. He thinks that, when this was initially talked about, there were discussions of being in the vicinity of a certain number. That number had to do with people who have lived in Coronado for a very long time and have looked at the various homes. It becomes very tough for him to figure out the historic value of 400 homes in Coronado. He is not skilled with a degree in historic preservation, but he knows what he likes and he knows the history of the people who have lived in Coronado and the kind of homes that they have lived in. He would like to continue to pursue where the City is going with this. He would like to continue to pursue the ability of those who don't want to be on the list to get a hearing as soon as they possibly can and be removed if there is a good reason for them to be removed. If there isn't, the City has established that the list was developed with more voracity than just saying a house is 75 years old.
Councilmember Tanaka feels that the issue before the City Council is which system it wants to pursue regarding the demolition permit part of historic preservation and what the community thinks an historic home is. Initially he supported the list. He thinks that everyone who voted for the list supported it because they thought it would streamline and simplify the issue of what homes are historic and what homes are not. The issue now is to pick a system and go in a direction that makes the most sense and makes the fewest mistakes. At this point he does not believe the list is the better system. One of the reasons the City Council wanted a list is because it didn't know if the system put in place with the 75 year age limit would work. One positive thing that has come out of this is that there have been a couple of years to review the system that was put in place and now to decide where to go from here. It is clear to him that the system the City Council set up actually works and has fewer flaws. He does agree with the HRC that switching to the list isn't the better system. He thinks that a list creates more problems than it solves. First, what does it mean to be on the list? He has heard HRC explain to people over and over that if they are on the list it does not mean their house is historic, but it means that it may be historic. The list doesn't clear up the problems. Second, once the list is compiled, there will be people who will want to challenge their way off the list. He agrees with the Mayor that some group will need to step up to deal with those problems and he agrees that the City Council is that group, but he believes that the system that is in place allows for that to happen. He doesn't believe that sticking with the current system is going to magically make everyone happy. There will definitely be people who will request to demolish their homes and there will be people, from time to time, who are denied the right to demolish their homes. That will come to the City Council and the City Council is the appropriate body to make that final determination of whether or not something meets the City's historic ordinance. This has already happened with 301 First Street. He is inclined to support the HRC recommendation. He does not feel it is that onerous to have a trigger mechanism of 75 years. If someone has a home of 75 years or older, they go before the HRC to ask for a demolition permit. If it creates a disclosure problem, one way around that is go try to pull the demolition permit. If you get one, it is good for 6 months and that could be disclosed. The idea of having a 75 year trigger mechanism is a good one because it creates a living process. The list is a way to get out of the game. There are bound to be mistakes.
Councilmember Ovrom was in support of the City going to the Mills Act. He feels that there should be more incentives for some of the larger properties but he is not sure how to do that. He asked for clarification on the volunteer vs. non-volunteer aspect of historic preservation. Mr. Pena explained that Coronado is both. Any property owner in town can go before the HRC and request that their property be designated. The HRC will then go through the research to either support that designation or not support it. The other way properties are captured in the process is a trigger mechanism such as in today's demolition permit ordinance, which would require someone to go through HRC if they are proposing to pull a demolition permit and the property is 75 years or older. In that case, it is not voluntary, but it is mandatory in the process. Mr. Ovrom referred to the staff report. It says that, for a discretionary permit process, which is the demolition permit process for historic types of dwellings, that it triggers some level of CEQA review. He has been advised that, although there are four levels of CEQA review, if there is any kind of contesting going on, that would probably require a full EIR to demolish someplace. He asked what an owner might be looking at if a full EIR is required. Mr. Pena explained that there is a provision in CEQA that states that the removal of an historic resource is considered to be a significant adverse impact on the environment. When that statement is made, that begs the need for an EIR on a project and that project could be a full EIR or a focused EIR and in most cases it would probably be a focused EIR. The City Council makes the determination, on a case by case basis, as to whether to prepare a Negative Declaration or require that some type of EIR be prepared. The City Council would have all those facts and figures at its disposal when that determination is made. If an individual has property and has gone through the HRC, is designated and then they apply for the demolition permit, there is a high probability that an EIR will be prepared based on the facts he is getting from various agencies and government sources. If that occurs, that means a significant amount of time and funds before even getting to the City Council for a determination as to whether or not it will allow the demolition to occur. $30,000 is probably a minimum figure for a focused EIR on a typical property.
Mr. Ovrom summarized that, if the worst case scenario exists and something is beyond its economical repair, to get to that decision point someone might have to spend $30,000 or more to bring it back to the City Council. He sees merits to both sides of this argument. The problem he is having with this is that, similar to Mayor Smisek's feelings, he thinks about areas like Country Club and while that isn't today's problem it might be tomorrow's. What type of precedent is the City Council setting for itself in getting ready for that particular issue? On the other hand, there are properties that are 75 years or more old that need to be preserved and warrant all of the incentives, etc. He is not sure he has a good answer to this problem yet.
Councilmember Monroe said he always worries when someone he respects calls the City Council irresponsible. He knows the work that the Coons' do and thinks it is terrific for all of San Diego and he appreciates that. He thinks that the number may have come because there were discussions about there being about 120 homes and not more than 200 that could be found in the records. That was the tent that was built that the camel got its nose under. He was personally shocked when 600+ came in. It seemed to him that this had grown way beyond what the City Council had started out to do. That being said, he was also interested in Susan Keith's comments that the Historic Resource Commissioners are not experts. That is true, but if someone comes in for a demolition permit and they are sitting before the HRC, has a new set of experts been developed? If we aren't experts now, how do we get to be experts? Isn't it the same kind of volunteer people with the same backgrounds and the same knowledge? There won't be new experts who show up on the scene. He also referred to Mr. Tanaka's comment that with the list the City is really creating problems. Mr. Monroe feels that, without the list, the City is burying the problems many times over as each individual owner thinks about selling his or her home and they don't know if they are going to be able to scrape it or not scrape it or put it on the market. This is one attempt to bring certainty to the process. Everyone supported historic designation, but didn't like the uncertainty as to whether or not the property owner is being considered or not considered. He has always tended toward wanting to be more certain of the future rather than leave it unanswered. He feels that the list unburies a lot of problems rather than creates a lot of problems. When he supported the historic preservation program he did so because he really wanted to preserve as much as the history of Coronado as possible, but he didn't want to impose it on people. He is really worried about the process when a person really wants to demolish their property and the community comes in and says that they can't do that or that they have to go through a process that will cost upwards of $30,000. In an EIR, if the impact is significant, then there would be mitigation. What kind of mitigation would the Council seek? What would be some of the ways that one might mitigate a significant impact in order to demolish the house that they own?
Mr. Pena agreed that the EIR does require mitigation if there is a significant impact. There are a number of ways of doing it. With a historic preservation sometimes it is as simple as taking photos of the property, taking samples of the materials, putting them in a museum, some kind of monetary mitigation that would go into a historic preserve of some type, the Mills Act being one of them. There is also another procedure contained in an EIR which is a Statement of Overriding Consideration. This would come into play if it is deemed that mitigation is not appropriate on a case by case basis. This would recognize that there is an unmitigated significant impact but because of special circumstances the City Council would certify the EIR and allow the demolition to occur. Mr. Monroe asked for examples of what could trigger such a statement. Mr. Pena explained that the condition of the structure could be a reason.
Mr. Monroe said he thinks that it needs to be discussed as to at what point condition of the building is brought into the discussion. There is so much uncertainty in the process. He wants to preserve the right for a property owner to demolish their building. The City Council said earlier that it would try to do that by public awareness, discussions of options and alternatives. The Cottage Conservancy has done that extremely well. The City Council might decide to relax zoning regulations in order to incentivize. The City Council would also have the Mills Act. He was all for giving time and incentivizing but not ending up at the end of the line with saying that an owner couldn't demolish his property. He his happier with a list than without a list. It takes uncertainty away from a lot of people.
Mayor Smisek thinks that, in a perfect world, the City would go through a very laborious few years to establish a list and then the City would have a trigger mechanism for the future. This would then cause a review and then as new homes would come up, the HRC would review those homes as they hit the 75 year number and make a determination as to whether or not add them to the list. It would be a living list. He likes the certainty this provides. It would also give those owners who are on the list an opportunity to try to plead their case as to why they shouldn't be on the list or to then pursue all the benefits of being historic. He would still like to pursue the idea of a list. It is difficult to do, but he does not agree that the current system is that great because a lot of people believe that the City was working towards this list. The formation of the list is one of the reasons he supported going with the initial 75 year trigger. He had a lot of reservations about that to begin with.
Mr. Monroe brought up the letters requesting removal from the list. Is there an appeal process? That process is needed. He agrees that the neighborhood is also important.
Mayor Smisek summarized that, if the City Council is going to continue to go with a list, those who are against being on the list should make reservations to go before the HRC to determine whether they are going to be on the list or not. He recalls Mr. Monroe suggesting that, once there was a list, going to the people on the list and make sure it is okay with them to be on the list. This would make it voluntary again. Then the list would really become a valid list.
Mr. Ovrom pointed out that there is a list of 400 today and there is a small number who are opposed. The process that the City Council seems to be evolving into is that they could request to be taken off the list. There might be some research required by City staff to determine whether that request should be looked at further because there is some significant historical resource associated with it and there would be some kind of an appeal process that would allow some adjudication between one who feels that it belongs on the list and one who feels that it doesn't. Once it is on the list, then it is on the list. For a few it may be involuntary, but for the vast majority it may be voluntary. Then the following year, when the new batch of homes comes of age, the process would continue. That is an administrative burden on City staff.
Mayor Smisek suggested that the only modification he would have to that would be that if it hit the 75 year mark next year, the 75 year mark is used as the trigger for review, not the criteria for being put on the list.
Mr. Tanaka reiterated the reason he feels that the list is not the superior system. He referred to the HRC minutes where it talks about how the list was put together. A total of 600 properties were identified. The list was reduced by: 1) considering a request from the public; 2) removing structures that were less than 75 years old; and, 3) establishing additional criteria for whether a home should be on the list including age, sensitivity to neighborhood, whether it was substantially altered, and architectural style. He brought this up because one of the points Mr. Monroe made was about the expertise factor. The certainty comes from the City's ordinance as to what qualifies as historic. He is troubled that this list is not adding or subtracting based on the City's ordinance. The ordinance is very clear about what makes a home designated historic. It says that first a home needs to be 75 years or older in addition to two out of five other criteria. The criteria are whether or not it has a specific architectural style that is significant, whether there is a significant builder, some special ties to the City's cultural, military, political history, etc. There are five very specific criteria about whether or not a home becomes historic. Under the current system, if a home is 75 years of age or older, the ordinance is triggered and then the HRC makes a determination about whether or not two of the five criteria are met. That system is in place because that is the way the City should be doing business. The guiding principles should be the ordinance and what qualifies as historic or not. How they have culled the list has very little to do with the City ordinance and very little to do with historic or not. The only part that really speaks to the ordinance is the architectural style. 'Sensitivity to neighborhood' is not in the ordinance. That corrupts the list. Whether or not something has been substantially altered is not necessarily part of whether or not something is historic. Something could have alterations and be considered historic or the HRC could consider that as a factor that negates the historicity of a structure. So, the list that is continually referred to that is supposed to provide certainty is not based off of the ordinance. One of the points he wants to focus on is the expertise. The HRC doubted its own expertise. He argued that the only time expertise is needed is if a list is being put together. They tried to come up with expertise on whether or not it is sensitive to the neighborhood, they tried their hand at figuring out whether or not it is substantially altered, they tried their hand at figuring out the age of homes and they made mistakes on age because they are not experts and they really don't have the expertise to compile the list the City is going to depend on. So, the current system is superior because it is based on what the ordinance says. He doesn't like the list because it doesn't apply the ordinance fairly and the sense of certainty he has heard about is false certainty.
Mayor Smisek argued that the problem with the existing system is that the 75-year trigger is the only trigger. That is what is wrong with the whole idea. The historic ordinance was put together with the idea that there would be a list. To say that the way that this ordinance was put together has solved the problem of the 75 years is not valid on how this was assembled. It was put together with the idea that there would be these different things that would trigger evaluation. The only difference Mayor Smisek sees with Mr. Tanaka's comments is if the City needs to hire a professional consultant to do this, then so be it. He thinks it is contingent upon the City of Coronado to make this as painless as possible for the homeowners. That is why there was such a big push for volunteerism as much as possible. To just arbitrarily use one criteria of 75 years was not the intent of where this started. That was just a stopgap to avoid having things slide through while this was established. The last list, for example, had the home that he is living in right now on it. It was removed from the list in the next evaluation and it should have been. While it is a nice looking house, no one famous lived in it, designed it or built it, and it is not 75 years old. He does feel the City is moving in the right direction. There are things in the ordinance that will protect the City so that all the right places are designated for review for historicity. That is the City's job, not the homeowners. Mayor Smisek has always felt that the HRC was good and valid at being able to evaluate the history of things - that is their job. That is why the City has separate commissions such as this one - to provide expertise. If professional help is necessary, that is fine - the HRC just needs to ask.
Deni Herron, member of the Historic Resource Commission, came to the podium and advised the City Council that she would resign immediately from the Commission.
Mr. Monroe feels that Mr. Tanaka made a very strong point when he talked about the ordinance and that this may not be in accordance with the ordinance because the ordinance requires 2 out of 5 criteria to be met. Maybe the City should go back and look at that ordinance. Perhaps sensitivity to the neighborhood and substantially altered, etc. should be added. There could be a set of Coronado historic criteria. Maybe the bar should be raised from 2 out of 5 to 4 out of 7.
Mayor Smisek thinks that what the HRC needs from the City Council at this point is direction as to whether to proceed with a list or to dispose of the list. He feels that this is the fairest for the community and it is the City Council doing its job properly.
MSC (Smisek/Monroe) moved that the City Council continue to pursue the process of developing a list, to consider the concerns of the HRC, and to have staff come back with further recommendations regarding what the criteria will be for properties to be on the list.
AYES: Monroe, Ovrom, and Smisek
11. CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS:
11a. Council Reports on Inter-Agency Committee and Board Assignments.
This item was continued by consensus to the next meeting.
11b. Status Report on State Route 75/282 Transportation Corridor Project Report and Environmental Document, Approval of Value Analysis Study Recommendations for Refinement of Alternatives and Approval of No-Cost Consultant Change Order, Supplemental Scope and Revised Budget. Director of Engineering and Project Development Jim Benson outlined the report for the City Council and public. The City Council is being asked to receive the Project Status Report. This agenda item is also designed to keep the public aware of what is going on with this project. The City Council is also being asked to approve the Value Analysis Study Alternative which is one of the tasks that Parsons Brinkerhoff has. There are two important recommendations for inclusion in the Project Report and Environmental Document (PR & ED). One is a modification to Alternative 3, the grade separations, which is a design concept change and then to add an Alternative 4B, which is a double deck, four-lane, cut and cover traffic tunnel that came out of the Value Analysis. To do that, the City Council is being asked to approve a no-cost consultant change order as a supplement to the scope and to do some budget adjustments accordingly. He reminded people that this is not a project under the Bay, but rather picks up the traffic as it comes off the Bridge and gets it more efficiently to North Island and back. One of the reasons Mr. Benson mentioned that is because there is the possibility of four aircraft carriers at North Island and the 120+ commands that comprise North Island beyond the carriers that present the City with the traffic dilemma that exists on a day to day and year to year basis. Another reminder he offered is that there is a Purpose and Need that has been refined several times since the project began which is to relieve current and forecasted traffic congestion, restore and maintain the residential character of the community, to improve NASNI accessibilities while maintaining security (a very important refinement that has been made), to directly access the mobility problems related to conflicting travel movements through the heart of the corridor (Third and Fourth Streets), resolve the conflict points between NASNI commuters and local pedestrians, bicycles, motor vehicles, and to reduce excessive traffic and travel speeds on the residential streets. Mr. Benson pointed out that this is very important because the modification to Alternative 3 still does not meet all that Purpose and Need. Alternative 3 is in there based on Federal Highways suggesting this several years ago because they said there needed to be an intermediate level type of project if for some reason the more aggressive, more thorough project cannot be done. This project started in 2003 and the City is now one-third of the way through the overall project to accomplish this. The City is about halfway through the PR & ED process. The environmental process for a project of this scale can take four, five, six years or more. He also pointed out that the Traffic Demand Management and Traffic System Management are often skipped over and people have asked questions about them. Staff continues to work on them. The City has worked on and achieved a 25 mph speed limit along the corridor. There has been design work done on bulb outs that will come back to the City Council this spring. There has been work done on traffic signals on Third and Alameda and Fourth and Alameda in conjunction with the Navy. None of those or the other types of nominal changes to the system will come close to achieving the Purpose and Need of this project. DoD participation has been ongoing from the start. The City knew it was critical to have the Navy's participation for success. On the Safety In Lieu, the federal government was two years behind approving that. Staff learned today that the City probably won't receive the first increment of that $9 million until next fiscal year due to Congress doing a continuing resolution. The City will be reimbursed for expenses it is incurring now. He also noted that, in the TransNet Extension the City did get $25 million that will go towards construction. Mr. Benson reviewed the Project Team members. He introduced Mr. Pearson to review the progress made during 2006, the current tasks the Project Team is working on, the Value Analysis Study, provide some updated cost estimates, the next steps for 2007 and then look for Council direction in accordance with the staff report.
Brian Pearson, Parsons Brinkerhoff, began by reviewing progress made in 2006. One of the most significant accomplishments was in resolving the seismic design issue. An early step in 2005 was to confirm the presence of an active Coronado fault that runs along in the vicinity of A Avenue, underneath 4th Street, right across the tunnel line. So, it was critical to determine not only where that earthquake fault but also some of its key properties. To do so, they constructed an 80' long by 40' long trench along Fifth Street and as a result of that geological and geotechnical fact finding and analysis, they did conclude that they could successfully build a tunnel along Fourth Street, but it would take several very carefully organized design steps in order to deal with the ultimate impacts of that earthquake. In 2006 they completed the geotechnical report. All of that information was taken to the Caltrans Technical Advisory Panel, the first technical advisory panel of independent, outside experts - university professors, retired university professors, seismic experts, etc. They approved the Geotechnical Report. The consultant then prepared a set of Seismic Design Criteria that were based on those Geotechnical Reports. Those went back to a second Caltrans Technical Advisory Panel and, after a few refinements, they too approved the Seismic Design Criteria. That Seismic Design Report is now complete. A second major activity in 2006 was the addition of the Navy's Alternative 5B, which is a restricted access version of the twin bore tunnel. Staff also began looking at what this east portal would look like for both the restricted access version as well as the original twin bore tunnel and cut and cover tunnel. He showed a slide depicting the City's landscape gateway concept. Among the current tasks are a couple of significant activities. One is the refinement of traffic operations and traffic impact analysis. They initially completed those reports and in taking them through the City and Caltrans for review and approval there were a number of issues that were raised, particularly consistency with the City's own City wide traffic reports. They are now in the process of going back and refining those reports. They are also preparing the Draft Advanced Planning Studies. These Planning Studies make up the core of their Caltrans Engineering Project Report. They include the roadway structures, tunnel systems, traffic systems, utility relocations, cost estimates for all of the build alternatives - Alternative 3, the grade separations; Alternative 4, the cut and cover, and; Alternative 5A and 5B, the two versions of the twin bore tunnel. They are also preparing about a dozen environmental technical reports - noise, air quality, dust, construction impacts, community impacts, etc. Those technical reports are being prepared and circulated through Caltrans and all of the involved agencies for review and approval and then eventually they will be compiled into the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report. Another major activity, just recently, was the preparation of the Risk Management Plan. This is a Caltrans requirement for all major projects. They held an all morning workshop on November 8th with all of the involved agencies present and actively involved in the preparation of this document. There were a number of major risks that were identified. He doesn't think any of these would be a surprise to anyone - Navy issues, commitment to the project, construction impacts, the community's willingness to accept those significant construction impacts, funding availability and the Caltrans and regional support to both fund, own and operate the project. Those will be developed and defined and a response to mitigate those risks will be incorporated into this report. A major activity on any project of this size and complexity is the Value Analysis Study. This study looks at ways to refine all of the build alternatives to either make them more effective or reduce their cost. They have put together a panel of outside senior experts from all of the partner firms on this project, conducted a week long technical review from October 16th through 20th and the result of that was approximately 50 different possible refinements, issues, different ways to approach the project that were identified. Those were boiled down into about 10 significant recommendations and out of those 10, they have identified two that are being brought to Council today and request that they modify the range of alternatives to incorporate them. There are a number of other alternatives that they want to pursue, but they will be deferred probably to preliminary engineering and will likely involve more refinement of the design to lessen its cost or make it less expensive to operate. The first of the two VA study recommendations, Alternative 3 grade separation refinement, has a major problem in that it will require the acquisition of about 60 properties, which essentially would make it infeasible. The VA team looked at a way to lengthen the structure, narrow the footprint and reduce the impacted properties to about 10, with only about 4 of those being property takes. The second VA study recommendation that was really significant was to create a stacked cut and cover tunnel so that there could be two dedicated westbound lanes and two dedicated eastbound lanes within the tunnel. This would mean there is no requirement to reverse the lanes. The other major recommendation that will be incorporated into both cut and cover options is to make the roof of the cut and cover tunnel a permanent roadway on Fourth Street.
Councilmember Tanaka recalled that the single bore option was eliminated because the technology wasn't there. Mr. Pearson added that it also would not accommodate bi-directional travel during the day which was considered a significant disadvantage. Clearly one of the biggest issues on the project is project cost. They haven't yet prepared the cost estimate report. They are currently in the final stages of assembling all of the numbers and by March they will have a draft Cost Estimate Report for City/Caltrans review, but there is no cost that the feasibility of this project hangs, to a certain extent, on being able to successfully fund the project that derives directly from the estimated project cost. Cost escalation estimates between '03 and '06 were huge in construction. Before '03 they were typically working with 3 to 5% annual escalation rates. In '03 and '04 construction costs for heavy construction/roadway construction jumped about 15% per year in those two years. Between 2003 and 2006 different agencies looked at escalation differently. SANDAG used about a 7.25% per year and at 22% for the period; the Associated General Contractors which monitors escalation very closely in construction recently issued a construction cost escalation alert and estimated escalation in those three years at 30%; the Caltrans Bridge Cost Index went up 73% in those three years. SANDAG continues to currently use an annual cost escalation rate of 7.25% for their Regional Transportation Plan and for all of the projects that are funded under TransNet. The '03 estimates that were prepared as part of the Major Investment Study were not based on designs but rather on configurations that were established for all of the study alternatives. The '06 estimates that they are preparing are the first design based estimates where they are actually estimating quantities and unit prices and developing cost estimates based on those quantities. The Alternative 3 Grade Separation estimate is based on this revised concept that came out of the Value Analysis study. The numbers are interim and they will be refined as they put the cost estimate studies together. The cost estimates in '06 do reflect inflation since the Major Investment Study as well as they are now using design based numbers instead of a study configuration. It is also important to note that these numbers are a snapshot in '06 and that ultimately the most important number will be the estimate of construction at the point the City goes out and solicits construction bids. That is the number that has to be funded. These increases are significant. They range from about 40 to 45%, but they also do still include a 20% contingency. Of that 40% increase, it is their view that 25 to 30% of that is due to this very rapid escalation over the last three years and about 10 to 15% is due to much better design information on each of the three alternatives. They have yet to study Alternative 4. They have not gotten authorization to begin design on 4B. The next steps are to tie down the project costs, prepare a Finance Strategy Report, and begin putting together the Draft Project Report, which is the Caltrans engineering report and the Environmental Document - the Draft EIS/EIR. They expect to have that draft document ready by July '07, but that would assume time to go back and add in this new stack, cut and cover Alternative 4B as well as the revised Alternative 3. This would not be expected to go out to the public until early '08. It would take six months to get all of the agencies involved to review the documents, provide their comments, refine the documents and go back for final review and then release it for public comment. Today's action is to receive the Status Report, approve the Value Analysis alternative recommendations that involve the refined Alternative 3 and add Alternative 4B and approve a related contract change order.
MSUC (Downey/Ovrom) moved that the City Council:
1) Receive the status report;
2) Approve the Value Analysis Study recommendations for refinement of alternatives (Alternative 3 and Alternative 4B) and recommended by the Coronado Tunnel Commission (CTC) and Project Development Team (PDT); and
3) Approve the no-cost consultant change order, supplemental scope and revised budget.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
11c. Acceptance of the Bulkhead and Berm Study and the Berm Reconstruction Guidelines for the Coronado Cays.
Councilmember Monroe and City Manager Mark Ochenduszko recused themselves as disqualified from participating in the discussion due to the location of their properties in the Coronado Cays. Jim Benson took the City Manager's place at the dais as Acting City Manager.
Ed Walton, Senior Engineer, reviewed the information contained in the staff report, provided some history of the Cays seawalls, some technical information on seawall design and a study on their current condition. The Cays were developed in the early 1970s and through the 1980s and they feature waterside lots. The rear of the properties access the Bay via channels. These channels were constructed via seawall construction bulkheads. In 1986 there was a failure at Green Turtle. This failure occurred because the berm was too low and didn't have enough resistance to resist the forces pushing out on the bottom of the wall. This prompted several studies. There was a study conducted by the Coronado Cays Homeowners Association. They hired Owen Geotechnical. The City did a similar study with Group Delta. Other studies have followed in 2003 and Fred Appl was hired by the CCHOA in 2004 and then there was a joint study completed in 2005. To pull all of these studies together, because each of the studies had their own assumptions and own methodology for doing the analysis and come with different conclusions, the City retained TerraCosta to look at that and provide a guiding document for the City to go by.
Mr. Walton explained that seawalls are built with four basic components. The first is the sheet pile which is a concrete wall that in the Cays is about 10' wide and 8" thick and either 16' or 18 ½' in depth. When the seawalls were installed they were either jetted or pounded to the proper depth and then there was a concrete cap that was poured on top of it to interlock all of the sheet pile segments. There are also dead man anchors on the land side of the seawall that tie the top of the pile to a vertical concrete component about midway in the lot which prevents the top from tipping over. Finally, at the bottom of the seawall there is a soil berm which prevents the tow of the slope from kicking out. When TerraCosta was hired they analyzed all of the components including the length and depth of embedment. The length of the seawall is important because that is the amount that resists the soil behind it and the depth is a critical factor because the deeper the sheet pile is embedded, the stronger and more support it gives. TerraCosta was tasked to determine what is the length of the sheet pile in the Cays because there are various reports. They completed 61 probes and found that, on the northern third of the Cays they were installed with 16' long sheet piles, in the center of the Cays they were installed with 18 ½' sheet piles and in the southern portion they were back to 16' sheet piles. Also in the analysis they looked at the soil berm on the water side of the sheet pile. The higher the berm, the gentler the slope, the more mass behind it makes the berm more stable to prevent kick out. They looked at the soil strength. The stronger the soil, the more resistance to overturning the soil provides. They examined surcharges - anything built above the wall (a house, a pool), anything that would load that wall extra. They looked at water levels both on the land side and the water side. The higher the water level on the land side (the ground water), the greater the pressure that is exerted on the wall. On the water side, the higher the water level, the more resistance to prevent overturning. So, as the tide goes out there is more pressure on that wall. Lower tides mean more pressure, so more resistance has to be built in. They also looked at the anchors. The more anchors and the bigger the anchors, the more support. TerraCosta analyzed all of these factors and calculated a factor of safety. This is an engineering term that describes how it is designed. A factor of safety of 1.0 is precisely designed. Engineers do not normally do that. Generally they strive for a factor of 1.5 for a civil work like this. Anything that would have a factor of safety of less than 1.0, if it was fully loaded, would indicate failure. The factor of safety of 1.5 or greater accounts for variations in soil, materials, flaws in construction, invalid assumptions, and invalid loading assumptions.
The study mainly focused on berm height. That is really the only thing that can be changed. The piles are in; the soil is there. From all the previous bathymetric surveys they determined what the berm height was and then calculated the factor of safety of the wall. Their conclusions were that, for the 16' pile, if the berm height was above a -6 mean sea level, there was a factor of safety of greater than 1.5 and the walls were fine. If it were between -7 and -6 mean sea level, it was cautionary. If it was below the -7 mean sea level it was serious and there are problems with that sea wall and it should be looked at pretty quickly. In their analysis, they found that there were no sea walls below the -7. There were a handful that were in the cautionary zone. Staff is recommending that the City Council direct staff to notify these homeowners of the berm conditions. It is a known quantity and staff feels that it is appropriate to notify the property owners. With that being said, Mr. Walton commented that there has been some controversy as to who is responsible for the maintenance of the berm. The City position is that the berm is an integral part of the seawall, it is a structural member, it is needed for the sea wall, and although it is in the right-of-way, it is not needed to maintain the water channels.
The next question is what to do with this information. Several things are being done currently. One of them is that staff has developed a berm reconstruction guideline that is before the City Council for adoption. This would be an off-the-shelf design that the responsible party could use to reconstruct the berms to an appropriate height to get that 1.5 or greater factor of safety. That is not to say there is not another design that could be used. The City would allow anyone to use their own design and bring it to the City for review. Secondly, staff would like to prohibit people from backing into their docks. The 1986 failure was caused by prop wash which lowered the berm level to an insignificant level. The CCHOA currently discourages this practice and is working with the City to adopt an ordinance that would put teeth into the enforcement of this. There will probably be some issues to work around with this. There are some boats that have sufficient length and that have a stern entry that when they pull bow in, they can't readily access their boats. In those situations there will have to be a way found to work around that and perhaps fortify the berm in some way so that it wouldn't be subject to prop scour. Lastly, staff wants to continue with the bathymetric surveys. Staff has currently engaged TerraCosta and another subconsultant to do another bathymetric survey. The field work is done and those results should be before the City Council in the next few months. One of the interesting things they are doing is they are using a side scan sonar and they will develop a 3-D imaging that will readily show any prop wash or any voids in the sea wall.
Councilmember Downey asked that Mr. Walton explain, for the record, the idea of some of the berm damage having been caused by prop wash.
Mr. Walton responded by saying that there are two ways to dock a boat - drive in with the bow to the seawall or back in with a motor. In the second case the prop spins. That spinning action causes the water around it to move and that water creates a scour effect and washes the soil away.
Councilmember Ovrom added that the same prop wash occurs when the boat pulls out. That, too, can cause damage. He wondered if that affects the next property or two properties away or how far the effects can reach.
Mr. Walton feels that would have to be analyzed. There would be ways to fortify it and that the distance on each side of the dock would come into play.
Vince Sincek, 998 Carroll Canyon Road, San Diego, explained that the CCHOA received a letter from the City with a copy of the report and a copy of the reconstruction plan. The City requested that the CCHOA make comments at today's meeting or send a letter before the meeting. He provided a copy of the response letter to the City Council. The CCHOA also feels as if the owners involved, directly and indirectly, in this should have been advised and provided the information so that they could respond also. The City Council is being asked to approve two items - a study and a plan. The study has two components. The first component is the measurement of the length of the sheet piles that make up the bulkheads at Coronado Cays. Those are physically measured. There is not a problem with that. The other element of the study is the problem. The comment was that this study was undertaken to put together the other studies. That is what the Fugro West report did. The Fugro West report and the Appl report before it shed some light on this topic and made it clearer to understand. It also pointed out four flaws in the previous studies - there were three soil parameters that were not tested in the field and have still not been tested and an accurate bathymetric report that still has not been had. There is also not a safety factor calculated. In the report it said that anything that was not on the cautionary list was 1.5 safety factor or better. He thinks that an examination of the materials will show that it is not. There is an amorphous group between 1.0 and 1.5 and this report gives no values for this.
Dan Harrigan, 97 Port of Spain, yielded his three minutes to Mr. Sincek.
Mr. Sincek continued by saying that this new report by TerraCosta claims to do what the old report by Fugro did but it does not take any additional information into account in predicting the stability of the bulkheads. What it does do is simply confuse the matter. Whether it is the City or the CCHOA, the citizens who own property next to the channels will not be able to make heads or tails out of this. The second thing is the berm reconstruction plan. First, it tends to drop out all of the 18 ½' sheet piles. It also has two locations on two peninsulas which may be reversed. It could be that they have changed so that one is now safe and the other is now dangerous. Or it could be that they are both in error. That should be clarified before anything is done. Also, along the stretch in which several properties are identified as being in danger, that area is smaller than the area that was previously identified in the April 2004 study. That should be clarified. Additionally, since there is a new bathymetric survey being prepared it would be advisable to wait until that bathymetric survey is complete. Along one of the channels, for a substantial portion, it appears that at least a foot of the side of the channel up alongside the bulkhead has eroded during the last 3 ½ years. There is a substantial diminishment there. Instead of having one study that identifies more than a quarter mile of bulkheads, another study that identifies some, and then sometime in the future, another study based upon a survey that is almost ready. Wouldn't it be better to just do a second study and do it right? The plan should explain why it changed its findings from the previous plan. The last item on the plan is that it misleads, it makes it seem as if the adjacent owners have a duty to maintain these waterways. The City owns the waterways. They are public waterways and the specific plan which was worked out before the City sold the property to the developer requires the waterway, which goes from bulkhead to bulkhead, to be maintained by the City, including the areas over which the developer reserved easements and right-of-ways. Those easements and right-of-ways are identified clearly on the subdivision maps.
Councilmember Tanaka said he wanted to make sure he understood what Mr. Sincek is asking the City to do. Staff is recommending that the City notify 10 individual lots for five different locations that the latest TerraCosta study points out. Does Mr. Sincek want the City to notify no one?
Mr. Sincek explained that his request has to do with the two documents before the City Council. The one is objectionable in part.
Mr. Tanaka reiterated his request to get to the heart of the recommendation. Is he recommending that the City not notify the 10 identified?
Mr. Sincek responded that he is not recommending that.
Mr. Tanaka asked if Mr. Sincek believes the Fugro report indicated other areas that the City should be notifying. Is he suggesting that the City is not being thorough enough or that he just wants the City to wait until the next survey comes out before notifying anyone?
Mr. Sincek explained that the Fugro report recommended, back in 2005, to do and complete the bathymetric survey that would be more accurate and more current than those that were available. The Fugro report also recommended that the values for the soil mechanics be identified, both as far as the variability and two specific values. Those have not been done. Until those are done, there cannot be a more accurate estimate than Fugro developed. In a way that is what this report says, but it does so in such a way to obfuscate the issue.
Kathy Pounds, Cays resident and owner of three properties in the Cays, said she has sold many of the homes that have been identified as cautionary properties. She has had two escrows fall out this last month because of the problem with the bulkheads. She is afraid of what is going to happen. Financially, this is a big burden for the people in the Cays. People have had refinances turned down because of what is going on. She requested that this get taken care of very quickly. This is a real problem. She received letters last week from property owners she sold properties to and they have involved their attorneys. Some of the refinance people have involved their attorneys. She wants the City Council to know about this situation.
Mayor Smisek closed public comment and asked if there were any technical questions from the City Council.
Councilmember Downey clarified that the City is going to notify the 10 identified properties and continue this study to get the report that was spoken of which may find more properties later.
Mr. Benson explained that staff agrees that it is time to do another bathymetric survey. The disagreement that exists is what the conclusions were with the prior bathymetric surveys. With this new technology that Mr. Walton spoke of, staff hopes that, in fact, the areas that are low will be shown to be low due to prop scour. The City can then determine, with more accuracy, where those areas are. Then staff can make a suggestion as to what to do. The City offered, over a year ago, to go into a declaratory relief for the CCHOA, recognizing the disagreement that exists and the need to have it resolved once and for all, as to who is responsible for those berms. The City has a very strong position that those berms are, in fact, there only for the purpose of supporting those walls. It is not unusual for people to have structures in the public right-of-way, whether it is a channel or a street, that benefits a private property. In those instances the City can make a strong case that the berm, because it supports that wall which is clearly owned by the adjacent property owner, whether that be private or the CCHOA or on the causeways, the City, that the people who ought to be maintaining those berms are the adjacent owners who benefit from them. The CCHOA filed a law suit against the City on that issue.
Mayor Smisek cautioned Mr. Benson about discussing positions contested in the lawsuit. The only part of this that makes him uncomfortable, from an engineering point of view, is one of the items that was brought up that has to do with it being in a cautionary zone. He would much prefer that, until the City has a completed study and the City delineates all the properties and put all the properties in particular categories, the City could give an informal letter that tells that certain seawalls may be in some jeopardy but further study is being completed to determine the extent of the problems and how to fix them. He would like to have that next survey completed and get a whole package. Mayor Smisek thinks the City does a public service by telling the homeowners that they are at least in an area that is going to be investigating because of the depth of their berm.
Councilmember Ovrom moved on to discuss the adoption of the Cays Berm Reconstruction Guidelines. From an engineering point of view, is there any disagreement on the way that should be done regardless of who is responsible.
Mr. Benson answered that the City has heard no one take issue with those. In fairness to the Cays, they have not had a long time to review those. Staff was not trying to come up with 'the' answer but it was trying to deal with those people who are in a difficult situation that might be selling the property or having problems with the berm by offering them a solution. Performing that reconstruction would then make it so that the City could report them as having a factor of safety in excess of 1.5. He expanded this response as advised by the City Attorney. The same thing goes for the City. If the City has a causeway where the berm is down, the City might use those as well.
Councilmember Tanaka is under the impression that Mayor Smisek supports the staff recommendation with the understanding that the language of the notification isn't too alarming.
Mayor Smisek agrees with #1 and #2. For #3, the only thing he is hesitant about is calling something the cautionary zone and having that mean something of significance. The City could, instead, informally tell them that it is under investigation because there is some kind of unusual erosion that the City is looking into further. He doesn't want to officially notify them because that then goes into a different category. That could be a problem.
Mr. Tanaka's problem is that the City Council is talking about this now. It is knowledge that is out there. He would not feel good about not passing this knowledge on to the 10 affected. The information needs to be passed along.
Councilmember Downey has the same concern. The City knows that there are 10 probables. Something should be sent to the 10 the City thinks may have a berm issue.
Mayor Smisek said he would like to have those specific owners notified to say that further studies are being performed because the initial studies found that there is some kind of a problem but the City is not sure of the severity of it. Items 1 and 2 should be accepted as well.
MSUC (Smisek/Tanaka) moved that the City Council:
1. Accept the "Bulkhead and Berm Study";
2. Adopt the "Coronado Cays Berm Reconstruction Guidelines" as an acceptable design standard for berm maintenance and reconstruction; and
3. Direct staff to notify those property owners that their bulkheads are requiring further study because of some concerns that have arisen during the initial studies.
AYES: Downey, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
11d. Approval to Proceed with Process to Acquire Fire Apparatus to Replace Outgoing 1989 General Triple Combination Pumper and to Implement Fire Department Constant Staffing Level of Nine Personnel. Fire Chief Kim Raddatz provided information regarding the needs of the Fire Department. He explained that the issue before the City Council is one that deals with replacing one of the City's 18 fire apparatus, but it becomes a little bit more complex than that. Anytime there is an apparatus that is up for replacement staff feels that it has an obligation be sure the replacement apparatus being purchased will meet the same needs as the one that was purchased 10 to 15 years ago. Staff started there and looked at the dynamics of the City to see if those have changed along with some other factors. He clarified two things. He will use the term 'fire engine.' He asked that people look at a fire engine as a piece of equipment that simply lays a fire hose from a hydrant to the fire and it is primarily used, as are its personnel, to extinguish that fire. The term 'truck company' means that it is used for forcible entry or entering into a house, the aerial operations, ventilation of smoke and heat along with salvage and overhaul operations along with the ability to put aerial hose lines above the second and third floors to protect any distinguished fires. In looking at what kind of equipment the City might need, staff went back to 2005 and looked at the City's statistics. 289 structure fire responses took place in the City at that time. A structure fire response consists of a single family residence or multi family residential fires that are apartment and condominium fires, commercial fires in high rises. Out of those 289 it was found that 95 structure fires where action actually needed to be taken by at least one Coronado unit. The other significant item that warranted further look into the type of apparatus the City should purchase was the fact that there were 37 fires that took truck company operations for an extended period of time of 45 minutes or more. That, in combination with the structural dynamics of the City that have been changing, along with the increased density, led staff to look at purchasing a type of equipment that could become a little more versatile than just a single combination pumper. The other issue that is important to know is what they send to a structure fire in Coronado. In Coronado, for a single family residence, they send three engine companies, one truck company and a paramedic unit. The City has two fire engines and a paramedic unit. This means that staff needed to figure out how to obtain a truck company and another engine. The way to get the extra engine is through what is commonly referred to as automatic aid. That is an agreement from jurisdiction to jurisdiction to simultaneously dispatch units of like resources. To Coronado this means that the City has a fire engine, so we can get a fire engine from National City simultaneously to the time Coronado's units are going to the fire. With a truck company, the City doesn't have one so that is not an option. Mutual aid is how the City gets its truck company in the City of Coronado. That utilizes both the State and the County Mutual Aid Pact which allows Coronado to request a resource and, providing an agency has one available, then they will send it. The other issue staff looked at is that the surrounding communities face the same issues Coronado does with changing structural dynamics and increased density. The reluctance becomes a little higher for Coronado to be able to obtain a specialty resource like a truck company because they aren't readily available. With those factors taken into account, staff looked at what the alternatives are to meet the City's needs and still be fiscally responsible. Staff considered replacing the fire engine with a fire engine. Is that feasible? To do that would cost about $450,000 to $500,000. There would be no need for additional staffing to make that happen, but the City would have to continue to rely on agreements. So, it does not address the aerial problems that staff identified. The second option is to simply replace a fire engine for a fire engine and contract for truck company services. Is that an option to look at? Can the City contract with San Diego City for their truck or National City for their truck or with both? Perhaps there could be a fee for service or a fee per call or a percentage of calls on that piece of equipment. There are different ways to go about doing something such as that. He made a preliminary contact with both fire chiefs in San Diego City and National City and they were not very receptive to that idea because of the structural dynamics that they have within their cities. Although this was only an informal contact with them, he did learn that the cost to contract would exceed well over $100,000 a year. The third option staff considered was whether it would be feasible to simply replace the aging engine at the Cays with a truck. That would address the aerial capabilities. The cost of a truck is about $750,000 to $800,000 and constant staffing would need to be added to that. The City currently runs 8 people a day with one person to cover vacations, but all nine people would be needed to function with a truck company. The cost of staffing is about $90,000 a year. The problem that would exist is that if this were to be done, the Department would be eliminating an engine company that has the ability to pump water to fire with a piece of equipment. The City would lose that ability. The City could have a fire situation at the Cays with the potential of not having an apparatus on scene that could extinguish a dumpster or vehicle fire. He personally does not feel this is an appropriate action to take, however, if this is an option that the City is going to consider, he thinks the City should look at a little bit more feasibility of what could be put onto a truck to make any differences. The fourth option, the option he feels is the most cost effective, is the replacement of a fire engine which is commonly referred to as a quint truck. A quint truck has a tank of water, it has a pump, it has hose, it has ground ladders that allow some versatility to lay hoses from the ground to upper floors of varying heights and it provides an aerial apparatus or ladder that fire fighters would be able to reach roofs with. It can typically go to heights of 100'. The cost of a quint, although it is the most expensive piece of equipment, is between $850,000 and $950,000, and constant staffing would be needed to put a minimum of four personnel on that piece of equipment. This alternative would meet the aerial capabilities that have been identified as important and it will, at the same time, meet the need of being able to have a pump apparatus and be utilized for other fires that may arise in the City. The other point he made is that it is a very versatile piece of equipment. It can pump water and it has aerial operations but those operations can only be done one at a time, not simultaneously. The final option, the fifth option, is purchasing and replacing the fire engine with a fire engine and in addition to that, purchasing a truck. A truck is a little less expensive than a quint. They are about $750,000 to $800,000, however the Department would have to add staffing to man that truck company. The staffing that would be needed to do that would be three additional personnel per shift. Coronado runs three shifts. That would mean the addition of 9 personnel. Along with constant staffing, that would mean a total of about $1.2 million annually. Although this is the City's optimum answer to staffing, it is also the least cost effective option. Given the financial plan that was presented to the City Council it should be noted that it is staff's opinion that, under the City's current revenue sources, it would be very hard to sustain this for years and years down the road. Also, he strongly recommended that, before the City Council do this, he would like the opportunity to make contact with San Diego City and National City to see if Option #2 could be worked out.
Councilmember Downey asked Chief Raddatz to clarify why Option #5 is optimum. It is not just because there is a truck and an engine. It is also because there is staff on those vehicles to do jobs at the fire site. Chief Raddatz responded by saying that #5 was considered the optimum answer because you have to look at response times, how many units can be put on an incident quickly, personnel and a lot of factors. The addition of personnel is simply one of those factors. Ms. Downey clarified again that it is not just the number of personnel, but also the response time because there would be more vehicles in place in Coronado to respond if the City ends up with both an additional engine and ladder truck. Chief Raddatz summarized that, with a single family dwelling, three engines and one truck are used. If the truck is in the City that puts more units on the scene more quickly which allows more versatility due to simultaneous working.
Councilmember Ovrom asked about the squirt and the comments he heard from the firefighters that it was either beyond economical repair or very difficult to maintain. Is there any such thing as a new squirt? Or can that portion of the apparatus be rebuilt or have a new part purchased for it? Chief Raddatz responded that many departments, over the years, have tried to rebuild what they had already purchased. He doesn't recommend that route. Most rebuilds take place in the penitentiaries. Squirts are still made. Squirts were primarily designed for commercial districts to put elevated streams on large commercial fires usually not to exceed two stories. They have an elevated stream that goes between 50' and 75'. They have a water tank, pump and hose. What separates a squirt and a quint is that it doesn't have the ground ladders and it is primarily used for ventilation purposes because they are not designed to gain access to roofs.
Ms. Downey summarized that the reason the City Council is being asked to move up to a truck (the quint is both a truck and a pumper) is because the height of the ladders on the quint would allow the firefighters to get to places they currently cannot with our own City facilities. Chief Raddatz concurred and added that there would be a 100' aerial on the quint along with a variety of ground ladders that will be taller than what the City currently has. Ms. Downey requested clarification on the number of personnel who respond to a single family dwelling fire now. She understands that there are three people on each engine. The truck company that comes from somewhere else has four to five people and the City ambulance has two people on it. By going to constant staffing, which is the recommendation, where would that increased personnel be placed? Chief Raddatz explained that it is his recommendation that, if the City is going to go to an aerial apparatus, that it not do so with less than 4 personnel. Ms. Downey added that she knows about a report that a group of staff from the Fire Department were working on to bring to the City but that it isn't complete yet. She asked what that report is going to cover, Chief Raddatz explained that it will deal with response times, feasibility, cost, cost-benefit analysis, risk analysis, etc. There will be a wide spectrum covered. Ms. Downey said she appreciates that Chief Raddatz pointed out the most cost effective option and the optimum option, but she is trying to look at all the options in the middle and wondered if she would be able to get a better sense of that if the report was completed before she decided which one she wanted to vote for. Chief Raddatz explained that the reason they recommend Option #4 for the quint is because it is the most cost effective solution for addressing both immediate needs. Ms. Downey understands that, no matter which truck the City decides to purchase, one of the issues is people. Chief Raddatz explained that there is a rule that is controlled by Cal OSHA that is called '2 in, 2 out.' That prohibits the Fire Department from having personnel inside a building before having personnel outside a building to back those individuals out. Ms. Downey asked Chief Raddatz to walk her through a hypothetical fire call. She wanted to know if there is anything the City Council should be thinking of when deciding which apparatus to get that helps the City be able to put people in the building faster. Does the constant staffing help with that? What is it that is changing the response times? Chief Raddatz feels that would have to be analyzed and brought back to the City Council. It is not that black and white an issue. Ms. Downey, in trying to decide what to get, is trying to figure out what the needs are. This item began because the engine needs to be replaced, but she agrees with Chief Raddatz that this is actually bigger than that. She would like to look at what the City is going to need in the future. Is she choosing something that is not going to work for a later plan should the City decide to expand its equipment? If she were to go with the recommended option at this point, the quint, the City would have one extra person because there would be constant staffing, but suppose that later the City decides to buy the ladder truck or another engine. Would it matter that the City has the quint as opposed to choosing a new engine or ladder truck? Does that in any way seem like a waste of money? Chief Raddatz responded that the City will always be able to use the aerial as a truck. More money is being spent for the quint, but $1.2 million per year is being saved in annual employee costs. She asked about mutual aid and whether or not the City would be able to send the quint. Chief Raddatz explained the way the Mutual Aid plan works and the way the Automatic Aid works. Most of the Shores or the high rises far exceed three engine companies and one truck. It would create a constant fluent dispatching with both San Diego City and National City. Having the quint down at the Cays, and looking at something similar to a commercial fire, the City would need multiple truck companies. The City would not just get one from San Diego City - it would have multiple automatic aid agreements with the surrounding jurisdictions. Ms. Downey understands that the reason one might prefer a ladder over a quint to do aerials isn't because the ladder won't be the same height but because of the ability to carry equipment on the truck that won't be able to be carried on the engines or on the quint. Personally, she would like to have a ladder. She would like to hear more about what a ladder truck gives the City that a quint or an engine does not. Chief Raddatz explained that a ladder truck is not as versatile a piece of equipment. Option #2 shows this and he does not feel it is pertinent and he would not support it. He would strongly recommend, before doing that, the City look at contracting truck company operations. What a ladder really does is provide a magnitude of equipment to perform either forcible entry, ventilation operations, rescue operations, etc. It does not have the ability to pump and it does not carry engine pieces of equipment on it. Ms. Downey concluded that the reason Option #5 is preferred is because it is both a truck an additional engine. That is the difference between Option #2 and Option #5. 2 is just a ladder and 5 is both the ladder and another engine. The problem is that the City doesn't want to get a ladder now because an engine is already missing. In reality, if the City didn't have to replace an engine and was just looking at getting one piece of equipment, a ladder would give something that the engine does not. Chief Raddatz agreed, but added that if one considers the versatility, that is why Option #4 is the most cost effective method to the City and it would somewhat cover both of those tasks. Ms. Downey asked about the delay between being able to switch from one function to another. Chief Raddatz pointed out that it depends on what it was being used for. This is where the complexity of fire fighting takes effect. If the quint was brought and being utilized for pumping capabilities first, that is where the personnel are going to be assigned. You can put up the aerial and flow water through it. That can be done at the same time and is considered a pumping operation. What you cannot do is put the aerial up and then start utilizing personnel to ventilate, cut holes, etc. because that would be asking a piece of equipment to do the work of seven people when there are four people on it. Hypothetically it is correct to say that seven people could be put on that piece of equipment and do both tasks.
Councilmember Tanaka asked more about quints. He said he has spoken with various people with fire experience and they have said that one of the drawbacks to a quint is its weight. He heard the Chief allude to that. He wanted to verify that the quint is the heaviest piece of equipment the City could consider purchasing. Chief Raddatz explained that a quint, by its element of having a pump, a tank, a 100' aerial, ground ladders is larger and longer. That is always the concern with any apparatus, but it is a primary concern when looking at quints. You have to be very careful in the design to make sure you don't exceed the gross vehicle weight. Mr. Tanaka went on to say that part of what makes it so heavy is because it is carrying water the same way an engine carries water. Chief Raddatz responded that Mr. Tanaka is correct in that it does carry water although a quint does not carry 500 gallons of water like an engine does. It carries more like 300 gallons because of the weight of water. Mr. Tanaka continued by saying that because a quint tries to do so many different things, he has heard that there are a lot of maintenance issues with the quints. Has Chief Raddatz heard that quints have more maintenance problems and are harder to keep in the line and on service? Chief Raddatz responded that any time you take a basic piece of equipment and start adding multiple functions you increase that risk. He would have to look into exactly what other areas are using as breakdown. That is an assumption and it may or may not be true. Mr. Tanaka added that if at some point in the future the City of Coronado decided it did want to have a truck company, the quint could be converted to a truck company. Chief Raddatz said that it could be and it would be how they would design and spec that piece of equipment out to be sure that it could do that function. That is something that he would work very hard at during the specification phase. That would make sure that not only the versatility of a quint is utilized to its best efficiency here, but the City also has an obligation to look at where its growth is going to be in a few years. Mr. Tanaka asked if the 300 gallon water tank could be removed if it is changed to truck company operations. Chief Raddatz responded that it cannot. Mr. Tanaka summarized that if one ultimately wanted to have a ladder company, a quint is not the way to go. Chief Raddatz again referred to Option #5 as the ideal situation that addressed the engine company that would support truck company operations. At the same time, it is just very important to be very cautious on how the quint is specked. Mr. Tanaka talked about the OSHA 2 in, 2 out rule. If an engine company responds with only three people, that means that those three people cannot enter the structure until the second apparatus arrives. Chief Raddatz explained that, over the years, due to firefighter fatalities, they have been hit more and more by Cal OSHA requirements. If a decision is made to bypass a Cal OSHA rule, the reasons have to be significant and a report has to be completed and submitted to Cal OSHA for review. If Cal OSHA does not support the decision then the City will be fined for that action. Mr. Tanaka asked about a telesquirt. There are possibilities for purchasing a telesquirt with a 50 or a 75' ladder. That could potentially be a solution. Chief Raddatz explained that you could purchase a telesquirt with a 50 or 75' ladder but he explained that the reason he didn't consider it as an alternative is that the Coronado front setbacks are about 50', so the ladder would fall a little bit short. Telesquirts are incredibly expensive. A 75' telesquirt is not a very versatile piece of equipment. He doesn't have anything against telesquirts but you have to consider what they were intended to do and they were not intended to do ventilation operations or rescue operations. They were intended to support aerial operations in the defensive mode to prevent a fire from spreading from building to building. Mr. Tanaka asked if that ladder is narrower than a quint ladder. Chief Raddatz responded that it is.
Councilmember Ovrom asked how many people actually show up to the scene of a fire. Chief Raddatz used the example of a single family dwelling again. Coronado's first responding engine is three people; the next responding engine, typically coming from the Cays, has three personnel; the paramedic unit gives 7 and then everything else comes from outside the City. A truck company would give 4 more. There will always be three engines, a truck company and a paramedic unit at a minimum.
Mayor Smisek asked for public comment.
Mark Price, representing Coronado Firefighters Association, commended the City Council for exploring a more proactive approach towards public safety. Over the years the community has had fire fatalities that may have been prevented with better resources. In addition, the type of houses and businesses being built today require early access to the roof at the same time as home lines are extended into the structure. Considering these facts, they recognize the need to reestablish truck company operations to the Coronado Fire Department. With this they are faced with making critical decisions that will establish the level of protection they provide to the community and ultimately shape the future of the Fire Department. After reading the staff report on replacing apparatus, it appears that the recommendation is based on the most cost effective approach. To this he posed a question. Is the priority to save money when it comes to saving life and property? Some fire service experts define a quint as a jack of all trades and a master of none. A quint is one of the largest fire apparatuses made. It can perform many functions, although along with this is more moving parts that will require additional maintenance that the City's own shops are not set up to perform. A quint needs 7 personnel to operate all functions of fire suppression and considering the proposed minimum staffing of four, this essentially doubles the responsibilities of those firefighters. This is another example of how the Coronado Fire Department is strapped with doing more with less based on the most cost effective approach. He believes that the staff report was put together last minute to accommodate a financial philosophy and does not include all necessary information available. Also, this proposed change in working conditions has not been formally discussed with the firefighters. It is the recommendation of the Coronado Firefighters that the City Council postpone the process to purchase apparatus until everyone has benefited from the facts and considerations necessary for this critical decision.
Ted Given, 815 Third Street, is concerned about the condition of the fire fighting equipment in the City of Coronado. It puts his family and friends who live in multiple family dwellings and condos at risk. It also puts the City and its taxpayers at financial risk if someone should decide to sue the City for bodily harm or perhaps worse, death, and the City were found at fault by not having proper equipment and equipment in proper order. It is his understanding that the telesquirt is not functioning. Not only are the aerial hydraulics out of order, but it cannot even reach a two story home like his. The squirt apparatus is also undependable. The situation is now exasperated by the National City Fire Chief putting Coronado on notice that National City will no longer respond to City calls for assistance. He understands that there are several proposals on the table, one being a quint. He also understands that quint maintenance costs are high because of its multi functions. It is not very maneuverable because of its length. It carries half the water a standard engine would carry and it is very heavy which he thinks would cause damage to pavement and curbs. Even if a decision were made today to procure a quint or a truck or an engine, he is sure it will take six to twelve months before taking delivery, leaving the City exposed for probably another year. It amazes him that the City has left the safety of its citizens to deteriorate to this state. In principal, he is against addressing an issue as serious as this by putting it to committee or initial study because there would be further risk for the City, but he would prefer an unbiased, independent study of the City's fire requirements that takes into consideration not only the history but also future demographics, housing density and the isolation that is created by the Bridge and the Strand. While doing this study he also feels it is important that the City access that it is properly equipped to handle and have a plan in place, an evacuation plan, to handle a major hazardous materials spill or a terrorist attack.
Jim Gallagher, 760 H Avenue, appreciates the input from the City Council members. He agrees with what the previous speaker mentioned about having an independent study. That would prevent the City Manager and Mayor from putting a gag order on the Fire Chief and tell him what he can and cannot say or what he can and cannot put in the report. All this information about quints is really confusing and needs to be brought out from an independent person. There is nothing wrong with quints. If people want to look at a good quint, they should look at the Jack Daniel's facility in Tennessee. They have the largest ladder in the nation that carries about 7 to 8 people on it and it could not be allowed to come over the bridge. Vehicles are made depending on what the exposure is and what is expected to be done with it. The problem in the City of Coronado is that the City is trying to do this with less, putting firefighters at risk, waiting for trucks from San Diego or National City if they are available and traffic is not an issue. Coronado needs a full ladder truck the size of which depends on the results of the study and the City should staff it like it should be staffed as it was in the '70s and '80s. Coronado needs to start having a Fire Department that is optimum. The Coronado citizens deserve nothing less than an optimum Fire Department, not a secondary Fire Department relying on San Diego and National City to put its fires out. Being a firefighter for the City of San Diego and a truck firefighter, he can attest to the fact that personnel is critical. Coronado is asking its firefighters to go into buildings with no one out there to back them up or they are in route over the bridge and to hold onto their 15 minute air supply. Truck 1 takes 18 minutes to get to Coronado. Structural collapse of a building starts in 20 minutes. So when the San Diego chiefs get to Coronado they will tell the Coronado chiefs that they are pulling their people out of the buildings because the building will potentially collapse.
Pete Fagan, 379 F Avenue, pointed out that in the '70s the City of Coronado had two engines, one truck and two ambulances. What has changed since that time? There are taller buildings, taller houses, the houses are closer together, the Shores have been built out, the City has not become less unique or less isolated or less vulnerable. The letter from the fire chief of National City that was suppressed by City staff talks about their average time being 15 to 20 minutes. If the Bridge is backed up or if the Bridge is closed, Coronado cannot be self sufficient if has to rely so much on all of the community neighbors. Coronado really needs to answer more questions. He agrees that the City needs to staff this a little bit better. Mr. Monroe had a great recommendation several weeks ago that there should be a study group on this. He couldn't be more right. He agrees with that 100%. He has more questions than answers. He thinks it would be instructive to find out if there are other cheaper staffing alternatives than what is in that report. The report does not address the second ambulance. It doesn't address salary issues. It doesn't address whether this apparatus fits within the confines of the fire houses that currently exist. It doesn't address whether or not a quint can maneuver through the narrow streets of the Cays. It doesn't address apparently the talk that is going on of Imperial Beach wanting to contract out their fire function and perhaps are looking toward Coronado for that. It certainly does not address what the fire chief of National City says in his second to last paragraph that talks about him wanting to talk about a plan to work together and "a critical part of that direction should be Coronado's future plans as it relates to establishing a truck company." That is what an outside expert wants to do. He thinks that this has been jammed through at the last minute. The notice came out late. It appears that staff didn't want the letter from National City to come out. This should be done right. The public should be allowed to participate in this process. There need to be informed, outside experts to make some recommendations. There should be an informed, thoughtful, deliberate, unbiased, uncensored, unsanitized, working group recommendation that comes before the City Council.
Steve Mullen, 427 A Avenue, wrote a letter to the City Council. He referred to the data sheet from "Fire Engineering Magazine" about quints. He provided that as a two page addendum that is attached to the letter they received. He hopes the City never buys a quint for any reason to do anything in the City. He is in favor of the City buying an elevated stream apparatus for the City of Coronado. His first choice would be a squirt, but he likes ladder trucks as well. His opposition is to a quint as the solution to the problem the City is addressing. He is not opposed to aerial apparatus or increased firefighters or constant manning. He is in favor of all of those things but he just does not like quints. The reasons for his dislike of quints have already been stated. They are too big, too slow, too complex for every day operation, impossible to maintain, expensive to staff. The questions the City needs to ask are of the 37 fires a truck was on for an extended period of time in Coronado, were they necessary for the unique capabilities (elevated stream, ground ladders over 24', aerial ladder operations for rescue and ventilation) and if so, did these operations have a positive effect on the outcome that would not have been realized without a truck. His guess is that not very many of them would have been. Then the City should do a cost benefit analysis. The City Council has already heard Suzanne Ramirez talk to the effectiveness of the Coronado Fire Department with the current equipment they have. The Fire Department, in his judgment, is superbly equipped. It doesn't have a ladder that works right now and for some reason the City doesn't want to maintain Engine 236S, but it is superbly equipped and staffed. The second question that the City should ask is, if a quint is the solution for every small department's aerial ladder capabilities, why isn't Coronado surrounded by them? No one has one. Anyone that has had one never buys another one. San Diego City had five of them and retired all of them early and they have never bought another one. He would like the City Council to revisit the options listed in the analysis section with the addition of the squirt and it should include the active participation of the Firefighters' Association and interested members of the public. He spoke directly to Mayor Smisek as a pilot. He read from "Aerospace Engineering" and General Mosely's comments on mission creep. "Mission creep is the addition of more and more systems to an air frame. They all add weight which diminishes performance, leading to bigger engines, more fuel, additional crew until there is an airplane that is too expensive to buy, too heavy to fly and too complex to maintain." He feels that is a quint.
Ledyard Hakes, 321 Pomona Avenue, said he was before the City Council to give support to the Fire Department's need to the public. Using the City's guiding principle, "Safety - we maintain safety standards reflective of safety being their most basic and important service we provide." To these aims he asked each of the Council members if they are following this principle. Does each member have an understanding of the needs of the Fire Department? Can each member define the planning for the Department when it comes to equipment and manpower for the next few years? It is his belief that the City Council cannot do so. There is no such thing. The City currently has two out of three pieces of fire equipment in such bad repair that the City firefighters have no guarantee that these vehicles will operate properly if needed. He hears no plans for the next purchase. Is the quint a short term solution or the long term one? The City Council has heard and will continue to hear the issues with this truck. It is just possible that the City needs to stop, begin a process that will get the City to a point where most present and outside the chambers will feel a sense of security when it comes to the City's Fire Department, that all involved will have the opportunity to be a part of the process so that they can be reasonably assured that they are being adequately protected. It is also his belief that a workshop or similar type of venue is necessary to alleviate these fears. This would allow all a candid forum to air those issues and solutions. Bringing people together should be the message of government. By allowing public participation the City Council would be able to dissipate many of the concerns aired today as well as empower their fellow citizens. If the City Council acts in haste, it could lose a great deal of money but worse than that, it could lose the respect of the people it serves. He has spent a great deal of time educating himself on equipment and its use during the past election. He knows that there is not enough information in this report to make a qualified decision to purchase this or any other piece of equipment. He asked the City Council to be fair to itself and give the people the opportunity to aid it in its decision.
Wayne Strickland, 854 A Avenue, provided a little history of the Coronado Fire Department. He was on the Department from 1967 to 1999. Although he didn't gain the position of a chief officer, he believes he is very well qualified to talk about fire engines, fire trucks, staffing because he has been there and done that. The City had a fire engine and a staffed fire truck, a ladder truck, an ambulance and an engine and an ambulance at the Cays. The City had all this equipment in the '70s and '80s. What happened was the City was on a two division system. When the City switched from two divisions to three divisions the City cut out four firefighters from the headquarters station and cut out the truck. Now there was a 56 hour work week instead of a 72 hour work week. The trouble is not staffing that and not having those aerials replaced as time went on has led the City to borrow equipment until the City's neighbors no longer want Coronado to borrow it. He is in favor of getting this equipment as soon as possible, but as the Fire Chief reported, the best option is Option #5 - a fully staffed aerial ladder truck. The City needs to hire the people and get the truck. He understands that is a tough decision, but it is the best option and he also wants to see another ambulance at the Cays as previously existed. The City had better staffing and better equipment. The number of chiefs has been doubled and the number of secretaries has been tripled. As far as the firefighters, four were taken away from the headquarters station as well as their equipment. If the City Council is not going to buy the right equipment and does not want to staff an aerial ladder truck, he suggests buying a 75' telesquirt that has a ladder. There is a 50' telesquirt at the Cays, but the City has chosen not to fix it. He believes stuff should be fixed when it is broken. A 75' telesquirt would kind of do the job, but the premium thing is more firefighters and a staffed aerial truck.
John Traylor, 877 Island Avenue, San Diego, former Coronado Fire Chief, commented that although he has retired, his interest and compassion for the needs of the City has not been reduced. He continuously monitors the activities of the City and talks to the Fire Chief constantly. One of the things he noticed when sitting back and listening is that no one mentioned built in fire protection. That is another issue that hasn't been resolved. The City has a Fire Chief who has put a lot of effort into looking at all of the alternatives, understanding the political reality, the fiscal reality of long term fire protection. There needs to be a balance here. There needs to be a balance of what public fire protection is all about and taking risk of property owners and reducing that risk through mitigation. He suggested that the City listen to its Fire Chief. He has given some informed information based on fiscal and political reality. He heard a lot of talk about quints. A quint is a very viable piece of apparatus. San Diego City has many of them. He just returned from a meeting with the City of San Diego Fire Chief talking about truck company operations in North County. This is an issue that small cities are dealing with in this county. Not all small cities can afford to run a truck company. If a city doesn't have a truck company, how can a city expect to get that truck company service from another community? To be a player in mutual aid and automatic aid, a city needs to be an even player. If Coronado is going to want truck company service in this city, Coronado has to provide a like source to share with neighboring communities. He thinks that what the Fire Chief has proposed here meets the immediate needs of the community. He knows that Mr. Monroe is very big on data. Data in the future will determine other needs in this community. The quint, from a lay person's perspective, is an aerial ladder truck with an added pump and water to it. This would provide a piece of equipment that is more universally usable than just a standard truck company. For a small city, he doesn't think any small city can have a stand alone truck company and be cost effective. He has read the report. He has listened to the presentation. He has listened to the input from the citizens. He understands the nature of fire service delivery in the region. He continues to work on that issue even in retirement. Small cities cannot afford to go it alone. They need to be equal players in the regional fire service delivery system. What the Fire Chief has recommended to the City Council goes a long way to providing that for the City of Coronado.
Councilmember Ovrom asked Mr. Traylor for his opinion on the quint versus telesquirt discussion. Mr. Traylor responded that he prefers a quint because there are multiple opportunities to deploy that piece of equipment. It is the versatility that is of value. With respect to weight, the biggest weight increase of that piece of equipment is the pump itself. The water certainly has weight, but there is a trade-off of equipment.
Councilmember Downey referred to Mr. Traylor's comment that most small communities can't or don't fund their own ladder truck. Is that because they are geographically closer to the people providing trucks? Coronado is not getting the trucks and the response time that the NFBA expects. Do the other small communities achieve those figures because they are not as geographically separated? Mr. Traylor responded that Ms. Downey is correct and pointed out that Coronado is an island.
Mayor Smisek addressed the airline analogy. He learned a long time ago that, in this job, you have to listen to the experts. He is versed the best he can be in fire fighting. He has listened to both sides of the equation. But he feels that he hired Chief Raddatz to make these kinds of professional decisions. He has done this in many different cities and looked at the gamut of regional firefighting, local firefighting, different kinds of equipment, has a chief that he has put the confidence in and that the City has put the confidence in who is recommending this solution. For him to second guess that is inappropriate. If the City does not believe in the staff that it has hired as its professionals who have been hired to give direction and alternatives, then the City needs to change those people. Mayor Smisek also pointed out that the term 'cost effective' does not mean cheapest. Cost effective means that you get the most bang for your buck. In some cases, cost effective is very expensive and could even be the most expensive. As Mr. Mullen said, the City has good equipment. The City has good firefighters. The City has a great record. He noticed that no one could quote an actual incident or problems. It is all about what ifs. He thinks that, historically, the City has always looked out for its people and has always looked out for safety as a top priority. But as Mr. Monroe has commented before, there is safety but there is no such thing as 100% safe. There is some risk. To be cost effective, in this City, he feels that the City is generous enough with its funds and that it has done a good job and there is a good track record to prove that. That is the overlying information. The City is staffed very well. The Automatic Aid system is a terrific advancement that has grown through time that didn't exist years ago. The Mutual Aid system, which has been in place for quite a while, is the other added benefit to have the two of them together. He believes that the City Council should proceed on with the recommendation to purchase the quint and go to the constant staffing level of nine firefighter personnel.
Councilmember Tanaka feels that Mayor Smisek has a very enviable record of accomplishment in the City. One of the greatest legacies Mayor Smisek will leave the City is the incredibly sound financial footing that the City is on. Chief Traylor said that small cities can't afford this and usually that is correct. He is not going to say flat out that Coronado can/should do it. He has his own opinions about a truck company, but he does have the opinion that of all the small cities that could afford to do so, Coronado is certainly one that could choose to do so. He really thinks that the citizenry would support the City Council if it stewarded the Fire Department and public safety in that direction. He does think that it is just common sense that from time to time city councils need to reflect about what direction their city is going in, what their priorities are. On this issue he disagrees with Mayor Smisek but wants to be sure that the public knows that Mr. Tanaka has great respect for Mayor Smisek. He disagrees for a number of reasons. One of the first ones is the most obvious. Mark Ochenduszko is the best city manager in the county, but his name has never been on a ballot. He wasn't elected. It is the City Council's job to pick people to run the City. It is the City Council's job to do the oversight. It is the City Council's job to stick its neck out and say to the citizenry that it is doing the best it can. It is his job to make decisions as best he can with the other four people on City Council. It is his job to at least help the City to come up with some priorities. He doesn't think he would meet too many people in Coronado who wouldn't put public safety as the number one priority. If he did, he wouldn't really respect their priority list a whole lot. He has struggled with this issue for a few years. His way of coping with the issue is gathering more information and more data. One reason he has struggled with this issue is, to him, if you look at the type of equipment the City has, it has the lowest level of equipment and the City is handling this in the most basic way and he doesn't think that is the end of the world, but as a private citizen he is not comfortable with that philosophy with public safety and he is not comfortable with that philosophy in terms of vision for the Fire Department. It is very important to him to share with people five things that he thinks guide his decision making about fire and public safety, but fire in particular. There are four things that determine whether or not the citizenry is safe in fire situations. Number one is the quality of the people sent to the fires. He believes that the entire City Council believes that the City has top quality fire personnel, that it is very proud of the work they do and that it is very proud of their competency. The City has had that going for itself for a long time. It is the City Council's job to take care of that. Again, you cannot underestimate that as the number one issue. That is what came out of the talk about the fire on D. These people figured out a way to get it out, did their job masterfully. Number two in the fire fighting industry is response times. Fires double with a certain frequency. The chief from National City mentioned that the jump from four minutes to eight is a significant one. He heard another person mention that at the 20 minute mark the house is structurally compromised. Obviously time is of the essence. Obviously the quality of the people fighting the fires and getting them there as quickly as possible are two key elements. The discussion today is about equipment. The third key issue is what type of equipment do you send to fight a fire. That is where he has his problems. He has a problem with not having a ladder that goes over 24'. He has a problem in general with not having a ladder company. To him, you want to get an aerial unit along with a pumper working in tandem, ideally, and when you settle for less than that, you have to ask yourself why you are settling and if you are comfortable with settling. He is not. That puts number four on the table. This is the hardest and took him the longest to grasp. You care about the people; you care about response times; equipment is very important. The fourth one is how many people you throw on that fire. If you have a fire or some sort of a disaster like that, you want to get as many people on that fire as possible. There are continuing discussions about isolation. In isolation, the response times from across the Bridge or down the Strand are 10 minute minimums, probably more like 15 or 20. He thinks that, unfortunately, Coronado has a heavier burden in terms of providing people and throwing them on a fire. He doesn't think that we live in a City where you can throw the excuse out that it is too expensive. Coronado is one of the cities that can afford it. He cannot look people in the eye and say that he doesn't think the City can afford that. He thinks the City can and that it should make that a priority because safety is a priority with everyone. The fifth point is that the City Council is a risk manager. All it can do is try to minimize risk to the citizenry. The City cannot prevent all fires. The City cannot guarantee that it will save your house. The City cannot guarantee anything. All it can do is put the best policy in place that is possible that provides the most protection. To him this is really simple. Under the current structure the City has two engines and that is just not enough safety or risk management for his liking. With a truck company and two engines the City can do a lot more and provide a lot more service and he can look people in the eye and say that the City is doing the right thing with the money we have. If Coronado was National City he could see cutting the ladder. The City needs to be able to afford it and needs to provide that service. He thinks the City can do it within the current budget. If not, he is in favor of doing other things to get that money because it is worth it. Mr. Tanaka referred to page 172 where in Option #5 there is talk about buying another engine and then making a decision about a ladder truck. The most obvious reason not to do #5 is the staffing cost of $1.2 million per year. That is a very large sum of money and a very large fraction of the budget. That is the real stumbling block as far as he is concerned. $1.2 million is a huge stumbling block and the City needs to think about it. The City needs to commit to it and find a way to make it work. Second of all, there are contracting opportunities. Because this is so expensive, San Diego would probably be willing to contract with the City to some extent. If San Diego can only afford to have one ladder truck in downtown and they have a lot more to protect than Coronado does and if they are reluctant to contract with Coronado to provide ladder service, he finds it hard to believe that they would be reluctant to get involved in some sort of a better Automatic Aid deal. That is one way to defray $1.2 million in costs. Imperial Beach is another one. There are lots of options. The bottom line is what level of safety you are comfortable with and what options you are willing to pursue. Chief Raddatz can tell you that there are some grants available to fund the first year or two of staffing to bring some of that start up cost down. There are a number of avenues that can be explored, but it has to be a commitment. If the City is not committed to finding a way to do it and swallowing the bitter pill of $1.2 million, then the City should go with the quint. That is not the way he wants to go. He has heard people talking about putting a committee together. He is all for talking about it. He doesn't think there is anything wrong with a committee, but he is pretty adamant that the buck stops here. This is the most important type of policy decision a city council makes. He does think it would be irresponsible to farm it out and talk more because it isn't going to make the decision any easier and the decision comes down to money and comfort level. He thinks the City Council needs to make that tough decision or work on that decision and then, once it has reached an idea of what three or more of the Council members want to do, then there can be more public discussion brought in.
Councilmember Downey agreed with Mr. Tanaka. She would prefer Option #5 because she believes the City can afford it and that Coronado is different than the other communities that don't have a truck company. Coronado has the second highest number of buildings that exceed 40' in San Diego County. The City has over 30 buildings within Coronado and then if you add North Island buildings there are over 45. North Island no longer has a ladder truck either. She didn't want to start a new committee because she understood that there was a committee looking at this already within the Fire Department staff. She struggled through this. She also agrees there might be ways that the City could afford Option #5 that haven't been seen yet. Staff reports all depend on the question asked. This isn't the question she wanted to ask. She didn't want to ask how to replace the engine that is broken. She wanted to ask what the fire services that Coronado wants to have. That question could be better answered by the group that is working at the Fire Department now. She has done as much homework as she could and she appreciates the time that Chief Raddatz and the firefighters and the City Manager have spent educating her. The information she has says to her that she wants more of a plan. She doesn't want just a one for one. If the City needs, because of short term ordering, and she realizes that it takes a year to get one of these facilities, to buy the quint, does that preclude anything from a later plan? She has no problem with having a quint if that does not preclude a plan that later says that the City needs the full ladder truck and then can use the quint as an engine. She is still not sure if that is okay to do and if it is a wise cost issue. She personally wants a ladder truck in Coronado. The staffing issue is one she would like looked at. She understands that there are grants available and knows that there are some issues with maybe working with Imperial Beach. It will take a while to explore these options. Her question is what is the City Council trying to do today. She doesn't mind voting to replace an engine as long as the City Council agrees that it is going to ask staff to come back with a full plan on how to deal with fire protection in Coronado in future years, including a proposal for how to pay for it. She wants a ladder truck. The response times in Coronado do not meet what they are supposed to.
Councilmember Ovrom recalled that during the campaign there was a question about whether you support your firefighters and your police. He has yet to find someone who doesn't, including him. There are a few issues that come up with regard to this. One of them is that, as Chief Traylor pointed out, no where in this discussion has there been any taking into account of the fact that multi-use buildings have sprinklers in them. They mitigate some hazards. The Hotel Del has them. The Point and The Landing have them. As time goes by more and more sprinklers are involved and he hears no discussion on them. There was a mention made that more people are more effective on a fire. He is not sure that is necessarily the answer. It depends on the fire. It depends on the nature. Simply having a lot of people out there doesn't mean better service. Thirdly, he took the time to talk to the insurance people because he thought they might provide a little guidance from an outside point of view. One of the things he learned is that Coronado rates are equivalent to the rest in the County. The simple question of an additional apparatus or additional people wouldn't save him any money. He found that interesting. Even though there may be a call to really look at what Coronado wants to do in the future and how it wants to do that, it seems to him that the issue that is in front of him is the same one that was pointed out during the campaign - Coronado has a piece of equipment that needs to be replaced. The question is whether to replace that piece of equipment with two pieces of equipment, one called a pumper and one called a ladder truck, or does the City replace it with one dual purpose piece of equipment, whether it happens to be a squirt or a quint depends on to whom you are listening. For him personally, he would always go with a dual purpose piece of equipment simply because, even though it takes some more people to do that, it offers the opportunity for the City to do reciprocals with the people in San Diego and other places. It would appear to him that something like an aerial piece of equipment will, in fact, meet Coronado's needs even though there are some people out there who would say that there is more protection from a ladder truck. How much protection does one need versus what is out there? Historically he has not heard anything yet to change his mind with regards to the need for an apparatus called a ladder truck which in fact comes along with a pumper and adds significantly to the resources the City has. The City Manager's job is to come back to the City Council with cost effective solutions. That is his job. He takes input from the City Council, from the public, from the professionals and puts them into a cost effective solution because he has a budget that he has to manage. Mr. Ovrom feels that Mr. Ochenduszko does a very good job of that and the City staff supports him in doing that. Mr. Ovrom feels that some type of aerial apparatus or dual purpose fits what he thinks the City needs right now. Somewhere in that discussion he thought he heard someone say that the City might need another engine pumper. If that is a need, it is time for the Department to come back through the Manager and tell the City Council that it needs this aerial capability as well as a new pumper. Again if that is what is needed, that is what is needed. Does the City need a fourth one or does it need something else besides that? He doesn't know the answer to that. He doesn't need that kind of justification to replace a particular piece of equipment that doesn't work properly. If it is not cost effective to try to repair it, replace it and do so as soon as possible.
Councilmember Monroe commented on the number of times the term 'risk management' has been used at this meeting. One perspective he has is that on this agenda item the Council chambers are filled with people who are focused on one item. The City has money. There are groups besides this one who feel that their issue deserves more City money. He personally feels that the City is at impasse with three unions. He doesn't like that. He thinks that the City needs to consider that, in the year ahead, the City is going to try to solve that situation. That is going to take money, too. To sit back and say that the City can afford it causes some difficulty for him. He sees some big requirements of other special interest groups plus those three groups that the City needs to negotiate with this year. Specifically, he agrees with Mayor Smisek that he goes with the experts. He has no knowledge better than the experts. When the current Fire Chief and the former fire chief give the City Council recommendations, those hold a lot of weight with him. He also likes versatility. Whenever you can get more versatile, you are better off. The quint provides the City with the answer. He likes the fact that it allows the City, in Mutual Aid, to go to the other communities, too. Everyone talks about how the City has added bigger buildings. Yes, there are bigger buildings, but there are different requirements when buildings are built today, too. There have to be fire sprinklers in every room. There are different kinds of materials. Buildings are built today not to burn down. Some of these newer buildings that are being built have that fire protection that was given. That is an important consideration. Finally, he thinks that the City needs to commit to maintenance. He doesn't know how the City gets regular reports. He also doesn't know if it is true when he hears people say that two of the three trucks cannot reliably respond to a fire today. He doesn't like hearing that. Somehow he would even like it to get to City Council level - the maintenance condition of the City's trucks on a regular basis. If the City gets a quint, the City must commit to maintenance.
MSC (Monroe/Smisek) moved that the City Council:
1. Direct staff to proceed with the process to purchase a 100-foot aerial apparatus commonly referred to as a Quint/Truck; and
2. Direct staff to include an allocation in the 2007-08 Two-Year Financial Plan for a constant staffing level of nine persons on duty in the Fire Department on all shifts to operate the Quint/Truck and other fire apparatus.
Councilmember Ovrom requested that the word 'Quint' be struck out. To him it doesn't make any difference. The staff is going to go forward with this. The City Council is not authorizing them to buy it, but rather to proceed with the study. He is not sure that the City Council really needs to direct, at this time, Quint or whether quint/telesquirt would be fine.
Mr. Monroe understands that there is a lot of variations in quints. It is sort of important to say which way the City Council wants to go. The Chief did say that it could be converted later to a ladder truck and that could be included in the specifications, but he thinks the City Council is directing staff towards a solution.
City Manager Mark Ochenduszko commented that it is staff's recommendation, if the City is going to be looking at a multi-purpose aerial piece of equipment, that it be a quint as opposed to something else. The reason for that is that if the City is going to replace an existing engine, staff does not feel that the City should replace an existing engine with a ladder truck that does not have pumping capability. Therefore, the options would be a telesquirt or a quint and it is the Chief's recommendation that the most versatile piece of equipment that can serve a variety of needs for the City of Coronado would be a quint. If the City Council does approve the staff recommendation it would be to approve a process to proceed with specking out a quint and working with the staff and Fire Department staff that the Chief assembles to identify what those specifications are and then move forward with authorizing the money at a later time and actually making the purchase. About the staffing level, it would be staff's recommendation to authorize staff to, as the two-year financial plan is developed for FY '07-08 and '08-09, authorize staff to build in a staffing level that would allow constant staffing level of nine so that the Department can man this aerial apparatus with four people. The staff recommendation related to the staffing level would be to budget it at a time when it thinks that piece of equipment will come on line.
Mr. Monroe commented that there is a need to meet and confer. Would that be during the next negotiations also or should that be done here or is there a requirement to do that before this vote.
Mr. Ochenduszko thinks it was a question that was raised. There was an assertion made by the Fire Association that this is a meet and confer item. That is something staff would need to review. He is not sure the City would necessarily agree with that, but that will be reviewed and if that is something that needs to be done appropriately, then that process would be entered into also.
AYES: Monroe, Ovrom and Smisek
NAYS: Downey and Tanaka
12. CITY ATTORNEY: No report.
13. COMMUNICATIONS - WRITTEN: None.
The City Council recessed to Closed Session at 7:33 p.m.
14. CLOSED SESSION:
a. CLOSED SESSION: PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
AUTHORITY: Gov. Code §54957
TITLE: City Manager
City Manager Mark Ochenduszko and Councilmember Monroe recused themselves from Item 14b and left the closed session at 8:00 p.m.
b. CLOSED SESSION: CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL
AUTHORITY: Gov. Code §54956.9(a)
NAME OF CASE: Coronado Cays Homeowners Association v. City of Coronado
Case No. GIC 872917
The Regular Meeting resumed at 8:07 p.m. City Attorney Morgan Foley advised that there was no reportable action on Item 14a, and that direction was given to legal counsel on Item 14b.
15. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.
Approved: February 6, 2007
Tom Smisek, Mayor
City of Coronado
Linda K. Hascup
MINUTES OF THE
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCYCITY OF CORONADO City Hall Council Chambers Coronado, CA 92118
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The Community Development Agency regular meeting was called to order at 7:33 p.m.
1. ROLL CALL:
Present: Members Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
Also Present: Executive Director Mark Ochenduszko
Agency Attorney Morgan Foley
Agency Secretary Linda Hascup
2. MINUTES: The minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 2, 2007, copies having been delivered to each member of the Community Development Agency prior to the meeting, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived, were approved as amended.
3. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS: None.
a. Executive Director: No written report.
b. Agency Secretary: No written report.
c. Agency Treasurer: Approval of Warrants - The Agency approved Warrants No. 90003142 through 90003155 as audited and approved by the Audit Committee, provided there are sufficient funds on hand.
d. Agency Attorney: No written report.
5. AGENCY BUSINESS: None
6. ADJOURNMENT: The Agency adjourned its meeting at 7:34 p.m.
Approved: February 6, 2007
Tom Smisek, Chair
Linda K. Hascup, Agency Secretary