>Controversial San Leandro zoning change and housing project

SAN LEANDRO Regular council meeting, Monday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: (Tues.) Feb. 12.
–1388 BANCROFT AVE APTS–  The proposed 43-unit market rate apartment building at the corner of Bancroft and Estudillo Avenues has raised passions in the city’s leafy neighborhoods near the 580 freeway. The project backed by San Leandro developer Tom Silva comes to the City Council Monday night for approval. The issue is pitting government accountability versus perceptions of NIMBYism during an extreme housing crisis.  The project initially included 73-units but after a campaign led by former San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy and Estudillo Estates residents, Silva lowered the number of units and eliminated its height from four stories to three. Neighbors say traffic will be severely impacted, but Cassidy and others are focused on the fact the area is not currently zoned for the type of density featured in the project and changing the zoning requirement amounts to city officials turning their backs on residents.

–COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS- A number of council committee assignments and appointments to various regional and intra-governmental bodies will be approved Monday night. The City Council Finance Committee includes Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter, Councilmembers Ed Hernandez and Benny Lee; Rules Committee includes Cutter, Councilmembers Victor Aguilar, Jr. and Pete Ballew. Cutter will represent San Leandro on the Alameda County Transportation Commission, and Aguilar will serve on Association of Bay Area Governments general assembly.

>Fremont’s rent review ordinance gets reviewed

FREMONT — Regular board meeting, Tuesday, Feb 5, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Feb. 19.

-RENT REVIEW ORDINANCE- Fremont enacted a new rent review ordinance last year that allows renters to contest annual rent increases of five percent and above. The ordinance is also extremely weak. Tuesday night the council takes a look at results from the first year of the ordinance. “The Rent Review office has received a total of seventy-one requests for rent review related services and forty-seven of them qualified as rent review cases. 45% of the rent review cases were resolved with a lowered rent increase. The average rent increase for these cases prior to the rent review process was 11.5%, and decreased to 8.7% after the process, according to a staff report. There have been “challenges” with the ordinance, according to the report. Fear of retaliation from landlords is apparent. The report recommends the city add tenant relocation benefits for renters to dissuade any potential retaliation by landlords.

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>Alameda County billboard ordinance fight continues

ALAMEDA COUNTY — Regular planning board meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 1 p.m.
–BILLBOARD APPEAL–  A nearly five-year legal fight between the county and the owners of four billboards in East Alameda County continues Tuesday afternoon. The county found the billboards constituted a nuisance in 2014, but the owners sued the county arguing the ordinance was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause under the Constitution, and were successful. So the county amended the ordinance. Another round in the courts followed last year after the county ordered the owner to again remove the billboards. But they remain even after a local board found the billboards violate the county zoning ordinance. An appeal of the decision comes Tuesday, which the county is recommending against.

>>Regular board meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 9:30 a.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Feb. 26.

>Hayward recycling bill may increase $2.20/mo

HAYWARDRegular council meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Feb. 19.
-RECYCLING RATE INCREASE- “Until recently, the majority of recyclables collected in the Unites States were sold to China. Policy changes enacted by China in 2017, and intensified in 2018, have severely negatively impacted the U.S. recyclables export market, especially for mixed-plastics and mixed-paper. For example, when markets were strong, processors could receive more than $200 per ton for mixed paper, according to a staff report. To remedy the change, Tri-CED, a subcontractor for the city’s garbage and recycling provider, Waste Management, is asking the council for a 2.611 percent rate increase, effective Mar. 1. The increase represents a $2.20 a month average increase for Hayward residents. Tri-CED’s founder and CEO is Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle, who represents Hayward.

>New city manager?

ALAMEDA — Special/regular council meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 5 p.m. (Regular mtg at 7 p.m.)
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Feb. 18.
-HARBOR BAY HOTEL APPEAL- Not one, but two appeals were filed against the Planning Board’s approval of a 172-room hotel slated for Harbor Bay Parkway at Bay Farm Island. The hotel proposal has met strong opposition in Bay Farm over the hotel’s aesthetics. Another hotel is being proposed for Park Street.

–CITY MANAGER HIRE– The Alameda City Council met in a special closed session for the second straight day early Friday evening, presumably ending its search for a new city manager. Alameda City Hall has been without a permanent city manager since Jill Keimach and the council agreed to a $900,000 employment settlement last May. FWIW, the city manager hiring item is also scheduled for closed session on the council’s Feb. 5 regular meeting agenda.

CASTRO VALLEYRegular board meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 6 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Status of Old CV Library