Answers to Reichel Reports Questionnaire

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the questionnaire.  I am a City Councilmember of the City of San Bruno. These are my own opinions and they may not represent those of the San Bruno City Council as a whole.  

SUBJECT #1 – Downtown

QUESTION – HOW will you support small businesses in the downtown core?

I am proud to be one of the leading advocates for improving our Downtown.  I regularly shop Downtown numerous times each week getting a coffee, groceries, a meal, a snack, and much more.  I regularly promote the various hard-working businesses on social media and I speak to the owners and staff at numerous locations each week.

I initiated the creation of the Downtown Improvement Committee with the following council-approved objectives:

● Improve communication with our business community 

● Build relationships and Develop trust 

● Obtain input via surveys and community meetings: parking, street closures, events, etc…

● Assist businesses with grant applications.

● Promote businesses (visitor guide) via social media.

● Provide recommendations to the council for action.

I serve with Councilmember Tom Hamilton on this committee.  We have met with merchants, residents, the Chamber of Commerce, the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center, Shop Local personnel, and city staff, to obtain ideas on how to improve our downtown.  We share our business owners’ experiences with staff to look for ways that we can improve our services.

We don’t have the funds to implement the San Mateo Avenue Streetscape Plan, but we can do our best to improve what we can afford.  Last year the council authorized the installation of new garbage cans and increased the sidewalk power-washing to a monthly schedule. All of the downtown’s trash cans were replaced with a combination of traditional and new self-compacting Big Belly cans.  We also approved a new electric-powered street sweeper to continue working on keeping our streets clean.

Tom and I are proud to have assisted in developing the redesigned Centennial Plaza. This project will be the largest investment in beautifying and reactivating a space with potential. It was approved by the city council contingent on funding… stay tuned!

Parking continues to be problematic.  Staff is working on the installation of parking meters for this fiscal year.  Additionally, I will continue to support staff’s efforts to:

● continue creating  “drop off/loading zones” to allow drivers to safely drop off customers and food delivery companies to quickly access restaurants at high volume locations,

● continue expanding the creation of short term (24 minuteparking) parking zones to encourage shopper turnover.

The council conducted a Downtown parking study that identified the need for a parking garage, however we do not have the funds to build it.  I will continue to examine partnerships to build a parking garage.

The best way to support our Downtown’s small businesses and those businesses across San Bruno is to “SHOP LOCAL”.   Please encourage your family and friends to keep our dollars circulating within our community.  

SUBJECT #2 – HOUSING

QUESTION – HOW will you address the housing crisis and affordability for City staff?

Over the past year, the City of San Bruno, its residents, and stakeholders from across the region have participated in outreach and engagement efforts for the 2023-2031 Housing Element.  The final Housing Element is scheduled to be reviewed by the city council by the end of the year.

In each Housing Element cycle, the city is allocated a regional housing needs target (RHNA target) that is a share of the Bay Area region’s projected housing needs for all income groups for the next 8 years. For San Bruno, the proposed RHNA is 3,165 units, a significant increase from the previous cycle which proposed 1,155 units. San Bruno has added a 15% buffer to its allocation, which brings the total RHNA up to 3,640 dwelling units.

The city council has identified the housing development locations however it is up to developers to build them.  We also need to expand our partnerships with affordable housing developers.  We are building our affordable housing funding with city council approved Development impact Fees (YouTube’s recent expansion contribution for Phase 1 and 2 is over $10 million).  We will have better control over the housing quality, the quantity, and the locations with the least amount of impact to our existing neighborhoods.  Additionally the city council has a 15% affordable housing requirement.  

There are numerous housing development projects planned for San Bruno.  Following is a list of housing projects in San Bruno.

PROJECTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

40 units at Skyline College (single family homes)

30 units at Skyline College (multifamily)

ENTITLED PROJECTS

427 units at Mills Park (Multifamily)

29 units at Glenview Terrace (Single Family Homes)

9 units at 500 Sylvan (9 Multifamily)

23 units at 271 El Camino Real – formerly Lee’s Buffet (condos)

488 subtotal

IN PLANNING PHASE

156 units at 300 Piedmont formerly Crestmoor High (single family homes)

118 units at 2101 Sneath Lane – formerly Engval (single family homes)

64 units at 170 San Bruno Avenue West (condos)

46 units at 111 San Bruno Avenue West, formerly First National Bank (multifamily)

445 units at 840 San Bruno Avenue, formerly AT&T building (multifamily)

126 units at 732-740 El Camino Real, formerly Melody Toyota (multifamily)

1000 units at Tanforan (multifamily)

1955 subtotal

POTENTIAL ZONING 

573 units at 851 Cherry BayHill Specific Plan (multifamily)

3086 TOTAL

In addition to these housing projects, the city was successful in permitting 121 ADUs over the course of the last Housing Element cycle. Based on this record, and anticipation of continued demand for ADUs in a difficult housing market and economy, the city anticipates the desire for ADUs to be near 2020 and 2021 numbers as a result of the streamlined process. Projecting forward, staff estimates the city will permit 345 ADUs over the 8-year planning period, an average rate of 43 units per year during this housing cycle.

Stay tuned more to come…

SUBJECT #3 – PARKS

QUESTION – HOW would you support buying the Rollingwood School property and making a park and playing fields there?

The first step in buying the Rollingwood School property is for the property owner, the San Bruno Park School District (SBPSD), to decide they want to sell it.  Rollingwood School is closing after this school year and the school has been declared surplus, however the board has not discussed what they intend on doing with the property.  They can lease it, develop it, try to sell it, or do nothing.  On September 28, 2022, at a public Zoom meeting for school boundaries, SBPSD Superintendent, Mathew Duffy, stated the board was not considering selling Rollinwood at the present time. 

The district must offer to sell or lease the property to certain types of entities, including agencies interested in sponsoring low-income housing, local parks and recreation districts, and city and county governments. In most cases, the school district may sell or lease the property to these entities at current market value. The sales offer is typically provided in a letter.  Upon receipt of the district’s letter the San Bruno City Council would hold a closed session to determine whether to make an offer with specific conditions.

Having additional park land and playing fields would be wonderful, however it is important to determine how we would pay for:  the purchase of the property, the needed improvements, and the yearly maintenance.  Council would ask staff to provide the analysis to determine the feasibility of making the purchase.   Furthermore, the district would probably want to maximize their sales price and the city would be competing with housing developers.    

SUBJECT #4 – POLLUTION

QUESTION – HOW will you work with County, State, and National agencies to address air quality?

Although the City is not the lead agency to address air quality, San Bruno is doing our part to improve air quality.  The San Bruno City Council recently adopted Reach Codes which require future developments to change from natural gas to electricity powered devices.  

San Bruno can do our part to have cleaner air by ramping up the installation of solar panels and storage batteries to create cleaner sources of energy.  I have served on the Board of Directors for Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) since 2017.  I am proud that over 96% of San Mateo County residents are receiving cleaner and less expensive electricity than PG&E.  I also advocated for the installation of the solar panels for the new Recreation and Aquatics Center. 

SUBJECT #5 – PRIORITIES

Good 😌 good 😌 QUESTION – WHAT do you see as being the top 3 priorities that should be addressed and in which order?

1. Fiscal Sustainability.  Continue building upon our Comprehensive Fiscal Sustainability Project so we can have the resources to do the things we need and want to do: Maintain our infrastructure, upgrade our downtown, and create safer neighborhoods.

2. Quality of Life Issues.  Our streets are overdue for repair.  Parking continues to be a problem.  Reckless drivers endanger our residents.  I will lead the effort to fix these issues with identified funding, a clear plan, and an implementation schedule.

3. Affordable Housing.  We need to expand our partnerships with affordable housing developers.  The city council approved Development impact Fees (YouTube’s recent expansion is over $10 million) and we now have approximately $14 million to contribute to a partnership.  We need to identify affordable housing projects so we can access San Mateo County’s Measure K funding.  We have not received our share.  When we have housing development partnerships we will have better control over the housing quality, the quantity, and the locations with the least amount of impact to our existing neighborhoods.

SUBJECT #6 – REDEVELOPMENT

QUESTION – WHY is redevelopment so slow in San Bruno?

City councils approve projects, developers build them.  Unfortunately some developments take a long time to complete for various reasons: lack of capital funding, economic uncertainty, inflation, and the fear of a recession.  Additionallywe have just moved through two years of Covid-19.  There are also some developers that list their property for sale soon after receiving entitlement. This is true for the hotel development project at 160 El Camino Real and a couple of smaller housing projects.

The council recently approved the Mills Park Developer’s two-year extension due to a number of factors: uncertainty in the market, covid, and escalating construction costs.  The answer to the housing question above lists a total of 488 entitled units.  The developers have not submitted their building permits.  

Development may have been slow however there are projects in full construction mode and others that are getting ready to start.  YouTube is moving ahead with their expansion plans.  The public will get a first look at Tanforan’s redevelopment plans in October. 

SUBJECT #7 – SCHOOLS

QUESTION – WHAT will you do to increase pedestrian safety around schools?

I am in favor of the “Safe Routes to School” program, a comprehensive program to make school communities safer by combining engineering tools with education about safety and activities to enable and encourage students to walk and bike to school.  The city’s consultant has launched a number of surveys and studies to determine what can be done to improve safety around our schools.

After this study is completed the council will need to identify the funding to make the recommended improvements.  I will be an advocate for finding the way to pay for improving our students’ and communities’ safety.

SUBJECT #8 – SKYLINE COLLEGE

QUESTION – HOW will you leverage Skyline College to benefit San Bruno?

Skyline College is overseen by the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD).  Similar to San Bruno’s public schools, the city council does not have the authority to dictate policy to Skyline College.  The operations of the SMCCCD is run by a Chancellor, similar to how our city manager is in charge of operations for San Bruno’s operations.

However, that does not mean that we cannot work together to benefit each other.   

I have had a number of meetings with the new director of Skyline College’s Bay Area Entrepreneur Center.  We are looking into ways to bring Skyline students into the center in Downtown to collaborate with our businesses.  I also look forward to providing internships and fellowships to Skyline’s students so they can contribute to our city’s workforce and obtain work experience to assist them in the future.  

SUBJECT #9 – STREETS

QUESTION 1 – HOW will you get large building project developers to repair ruined streets?

Project developers are required to pay Development Impact Fees (approved by the city council in February 2019) for their project’s impact to our community.  The fees will be imposed upon the developer of each development project in the city as a requirement that must be met prior to building permit issuance.When a large project is going through the entitlement and permitting process, there are also permit conditions in approved hauling routes and/or development agreements that specify roads damaged during construction will be repaired to their previous condition or better.  The roads, curb/gutter, and sidewalks are inspected and photographed/video prior to construction.  The roads are rated on an engineering Pavement Condition Index (PCI).  After construction is completed the streets, curb/gutter, and sidewalks are re-inspected and photographed/videoed.  Damaged curb/gutter and sidewalk are replaced and ruined streets are repaved.

I support staff in recovering the damages caused by the development and expect staff to hold the developer accountable.  

QUESTION 2 – WHAT will you do to get sidewalks cleaned up from weeds?

I have personally removed sidewalk weeds during monthly neighborhood cleanups in the downtown and in neighborhoods with other volunteers.  I encourage our residents to help outwhen they can.  Property owners are responsible to maintain their property and sidewalks.  San Bruno Code Enforcement Officers are empowered to inspect, provide notices of violations, and citations to property owners that do not maintain their property.   If a property has weeds (typically greater than six inches in height) there is a potential violation and the Code Enforcement Department can be contacted.  If you would like to report a potential weed violation, you can use the app, San Bruno Responds, or you can call the Code Enforcement Department at (650) 616-7040. 

After the CEO inspects the property and confirms the weeds, a “Notice of Violation” is provided to the property owner or tenant.  The property owner is typically provided ten days to abate the nuisance.  Failing to comply may result in a $100 citation.

Following are excerpts from the San Bruno Municipal Code. 

5.04.050 Public nuisance—Premises.

    “It is a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of real property in the city to maintain or permit to be maintained such property in such a manner that any of the following conditions which constitute a hazard to the public health, safety or welfare exist thereon:

K.    Trees, weeds or other vegetation, which by reason of being overgrown, dead, decayed or diseased are:

    1.     Likely to harbor rats, vermin and other nuisances; or

    2.     A clear and present risk of physical injury to inhabitants or occupants of the premises or to the public.

QUESTION 3 – WHEN will the street in front of my house be re-paved? 

Streets are currently re-paved based on their condition and the amount of money is available in the street repair budget.  For many years the street repair budget was not sufficient to maintain our streets.  Fortunately the voters approved Measure G in 2019 which provides an additional one-half percent sales tax.  Even with this increase of three to four million dollars at least six to eight million would be necessary to create a substantial improvement.  This fiscal year there is a six million dollar project to re-pave and slurry streets.

To provide an estimated year for re-paving streets in San Bruno, staff would need to conduct an engineering analysis to determine the forecasted budget, estimated repairs costs (based on the street’s condition), and expected street deterioration.   This would only be an estimate however it would at least provide an estimated year of construction.  It could list what streets would be paved in each year.  

As sewer and water replacement projects are completed each of these streets are being completely repaved.  This was not the case in the past when only a “tee-trench” was paved around the edges of installed water or sewer lines.

Following is a link to the San Bruno street database; every street and its condition is listed.   https://www.sanbrunocable.com/DocumentCenter/View/1118/City-of-San-Bruno—Street-PCI-PDF

QUESTION 4 – WILL you vote to bill LARGE San Bruno Corporations for street repair?

For new projects the developer must pay Development Impact Fees and the streets’ condition are assessed prior to construction and after construction.  As for a new way to “bill LARGE San Bruno Corporations”, the council would need to consult with the City Attorney on the proposed method.  It’s also important to make sure we don’t make it too expensive for businesses to operate here.

QUESTION 5 – HOW will you prioritize City Beautification and maintenance within the budget?

Each year the city receives a proposed budget from the City Manager.  Unfortunately the city council has historically been limited in expanding resources to address city beautification and maintenance.  However, in the past few months the street medians have been cleared up and I look forward to increasing the beautification and maintenance from additional funding obtained from Development Impact Fees.  Additionally the city council has negotiated a new revenue source from Short Term Rental Companies such as AirBnB.  

END OF QUESTIONNAIRE

For more information please visit my website martymedina4sanbruno.com

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions.

Sincerely,

Marty Medina

San Bruno City Councilmember

(650) 580-3445

sanbrunotruth@gmail.com

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