Saturday, November 06, 2010

'MINUTES' for Four Noteworthy 2 November 2010 City Council Agenda Items

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Archived Video Streaming

City Hall
East side of Monte Verde Street between Ocean and Seventh Avenues

V. Announcements from Closed Session, from City Council Members and the City Administrator

C. Announcements from City Administrator.

3. Receive City’s Year-End and First Quarter 2010-2011 financial reports.

City Administrator Rich Guillen announced this agenda item continued due to the inability of Interim Finance Manager Laura Dadiw to attend the City Council meeting.

VIII. Public Hearings
If you challenge the nature of the proposed action in Court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City Council at, or prior to, the public hearing.

B. Consideration of an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the Carmel Sands Redevelopment Project and to adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration. The Carmel Sands Lodge is located on the northeast corner of San Carlos Street and Fifth Avenue. The appellant is Barbara Livingston.

Sean Conroy, Planning & Building Services Manager, presented the staff report. Conroy reviewed the Options for the Council to consider regarding the appeal, as follows:

Option 1: Deny the appeal in full
This option would uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project and adopt a MND.

Option 2: Grant the appeal in full

This option would void the Planning Commission’s approval of the project and would require the preparation of an EIR before taking further action on the project.

Option 3: Grant the appeal in part
If the Council determines that an EIR is not required, but would like to see changes in the project design and/or additional information in the MND prior to final approval, this option could be selected. The Council could remand the project back to the Planning Commission with instructions.

Option 4: Continue Consideration of the Appeal to a Future Date
This option would allow the City Council to request additional information prior to making a final decision on the appeal.

Sean Conroy, Planning & Building Services Manager, addressed questions from City Council Members Paula Hazdovac, Jason Burnett and Mayor Sue McCloud regarding setbacks.

The appellant, Barbara Livingston, addressed the public, Council and staff and Dick Stiles read Livingston’s statement citing CEQA low threshold requirements for EIRs and Planning Commissioners Bill Strid and Jan Reimers expressed advocacy for an EIR for the Carmel Sands project. Livingston also requested a three dimensional model to better visualize the project.

Mayor McCloud opened the meeting to public comment.

Catherine Compagno, owner of Village Court on Mission Street, spoke in favor of a boutique hotel and an EIR.

Resident Jim Wright expressed concerns about Carmel Sands project compatibility with the zoning code.

Monta Potter, CEO Carmel Chamber of Commerce, read from two letters from property owners included in Agenda Packet in support of the Carmel Sands project.

Mike Brown, resident and business owner, expressed concerns about the precedence established for such a large project and urged an EIR.

A former business owner on Mission Street expressed support for an EIR and concerns about traffic.

Thompson Lange, owner of Homescapes and Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee for the Chamber of Commerce, expressed support for the Carmel Sands project.

Tom Glidden, General Manager, La Playa Hotel, expressed support for the Carmel Sands project as a high-end project. Glidden also expressed the idea of Carmel lodgings not being competitive with other tourist destinations lodgings.

Jordan Daniels, Green Building Committee Member and consultant, expressed support for the Carmel Sands project as a “sustainable” project.

Lucia Dahlstrand expressed her husband architect Olof Dahlstand’s support for an EIR in order to produce “the best possible result.”

Amanda LeVett, owner of four Carmel inns, expressed property management and hospitality views in support of the Carmel Sands project.

A resident expressed concerns about the appellant’s appeal and support of not requiring an EIR due to the staff and consultant determining no cumulative impacts anticipated and support of the Carmel Sands project.

Carrie Thies, resident, hotel owner, President Carmel Innkeepers Association, requested the Council deny the appeal. Thies stated that the Carmel Sands project as a high end hotel is “great for hospitality, it’s great for the City.”

Linda Anderson, resident, clarified that the appeal is not meant to stop a first class hotel from being built.

Monte Miller, resident, expressed concerns about the proposed conference rooms and restaurant and advocated for a redesign.

Matthew Little, Sr. expressed not “living the dream” of remodeling the Carmel Sands when he was owner of the hotel and expressed support of the Carmel Sands project.

Matthew Little, Jr. expressed right of the property owner to rebuild the property.

David Howe, managing partner of Carmel Sands Partners (“a handful of investors),” expressed their intention to upgrade the property in “a meaningful way.” Rowe cited the 14 July 2010 approval of Carmel Sands project by the Planning Commission, environmental review performed by independent consultant concluding upgrade would not result in long-term environmental impacts and recommended a MND. Howe also cited the project’s “benefit to the community,” fee income to the City and TOT anticipated to be five times the current transient occupancy tax revenue amount.

Art Coon, Miller, Starr & Regalia, attorney for Carmel Sands Lodge Partners, LLC, stated that the Carmel Sands is a redevelopment and smart growth project. Coon stated his support for the MND and cited legal cases supporting denial of the appeal.

Carmel Sands project architect Eric Miller highlighted working with the Planning Commission and general public for over two years, significant and major changes to the project during the planning phase in response to concerns by neighbors and the Planning Commission and the fact that the project is consistent with all design guidelines.

Carolyn Hardy, resident, requested the City Attorney address requirements for an EIR.

Mayor McCloud closed the meeting to public comment.

Barbara Livingston, appellant, expressed the Council’s role to protect Carmel’s character, concerns about mass, bulk and density, and cited General Plan Policies 1-27, 1-72 and 1-74.

City Attorney Don Freeman cited “substantial evidence” for an EIR in the record as a “whole.” “Substantial evidence” defined as “may have a significant environmental impact” which means enough relevant information that “a fair argument can be made to support a conclusion.”

Sean Conroy, Planning & Building Services Manager, addressed questions from Mayor Sue McCloud regarding construction truck impacts and traffic and public safety impacts, from City Council Member Ken Talmage regarding setbacks and design guidelines concerning monolithic, uniform appearance and from City Council Member Karen Sharp regarding exterior finish colors. City Council Member Jason Burnett stated his concern regarding a systematic approach for considering appellant’s appeal on issues of traffic and parking, noise, canyon effect, views, greenhouse gases and other emissions, mass and scale, additional rooms and construction truck impacts. The Mayor and Council Members decided by consensus that there was no evidence in the record of significant environmental impacts which cannot be mitigated for the aforementioned issues.

Council Member HAZDOVAC moved to deny the appeal, uphold the Planning Commission’s decision and adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration, seconded by Council Member BURNETT and carried by the following roll call vote:


Council Member Ken Talmage spoke to the 5’ setback on San Carlos Street and the exterior finish which is contrary to the design guidelines. Planning & Building Services Manager Sean Conroy explained the Planning Commission’s decision regarding exterior finish and color was based on the design being more authentic than contrived or artificial.

Council Member BURNETT moved to approve the Carmel Sands Redevelopment Project with the modification of the 5’ setback and deny the appeal, subject to modifications of the Planning Commission regarding exterior finish issues, seconded by Council Member TALMAGE and carried by the following roll call vote:


XI. Orders of Council

B. Revised Harassment Prevention Policy for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea

Jon Giffen, Kennedy, Archer & Harray shareholder and attorney, stated his firm was hired to draft a harassment prevention policy for the City which revises the existing policy. The objectives include “prohibit all unlawful workplace harassment,” provide for several reporting persons, prevent retaliation, promise confidentiality, and require an immediate investigation of claims. Changes include encouraging employees to communicate with the offending person immediately and the addition of the vice mayor as a reporting person. The twelve-page policy consists of a definitions section, complaint procedure section including employee, supervisor and investigator responsibilities, and penalties section.

To Council Member Jason Burnett’s question about the policy, Jon Giffen stated that this is a revised policy of the “revised policy” which contains minor modifications, except for the timing of written reports by investigators which now states reports completed “at the conclusion of the investigation.”

Mayor McCloud asked about obligations to report harassment to which Jon Giffen responded that all instances of harassment should be reported.

Council Member Karen Sharp asked about 40 years and older to which Jon Giffen responded it is required by law, based on age.

Mayor McCloud opened the meeting to public comment.

James Emery, resident, cited needed corrections including a compromise between confidentiality and transparency, include emails and the need for an unbiased investigator. Emery concluded that in the Jane Miller case the council violated the policy.

Adam Moniz, resident, asked what currently happens to a person who violates the City’s existing policy. Since four of five council members have had commentaries published in The Monterey County Herald, Moniz asked the mayor and council members to please state their respective positions “on what you think should be done in the Miller-Guillen matter.

Carolyn Hardy, resident, voiced concerns about the elimination of the Personnel Committee. Hardy advocated for input from employees on the revised policy and the Council selecting Personnel Committee members. She expressed concern about the burden of the duty to complain by the person being harassed. She cited the inclusion in the policy of victims of harassments also including observers of harassment. She advocated for administrative leave for the alleged harasser until at least the investigation was completed.

Mike Brown, resident and business owner, asked how much the revised policy costs.

Mayor McCloud closed the meeting to public comment.

City Attorney Don Freeman addressed city employees’ “bundle of rights.” The cost is “not to exceed $5000.” The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem are only reporting people and their duty and obligation is to call a council meeting to inform the council of the complaint. Administrative leave would be paid and could be included. Freeman expressed his desire to circulate revised policy to employees, on the City website, et cetera, for input and establish a timeline for adoption. He expressed supervisor prohibition of relationship with subordinate could also be included in the policy.

Council Member Ken Talmage expressed opposition to circulating the revised draft until a second draft is completed and then circulate the second draft. City Attorney Don Freeman agreed. Jon Giffen stated that is will take a “couple of days” to complete the second draft. Council Member Ken Talmage expressed his concern about making the victim’s reporting of harassment to the supervisor mandatory to which Council Member Jason Burnett offered the use of discretionary, not mandatory, verbiage. Council Member Karen Sharp expressed her concern about including false accusations “because that does happen as well.” Council Member Jason Burnett expressed concern about including mandatory sexual harassment training.

F. Receive report and provide policy direction on circulating a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the management and operation of the Children’s Experimental Theater

City Administrator Rich Guillen presented the staff report. The alternatives included either the staff preparation of a RFP and subsequent council review of proposals or negotiation for an amended lease with PacRep for the management and operation of the Children’s Experimental Theater.

Council Member Ken Talmage stated that there are no legal contracts in effect.

Mayor McCloud opened the meeting to the public.

Stephen Moorer acknowledged that PacRep does not currently have a lease for the Indoor Forest Theater. Moorer expressed his desire to have the SODA program at the Indoor Forest Theater. He clarified that he and Marsha Hovick have discussed the consolidation of programs once her legacy was at an end. He also stated that PacRep has been financially supporting CET by paying monthly rent to the City.

Alex Heid, representing the Board of CET, stated that “we have a proved winner with PacRep,” a legacy with the Hovicks which we would like to continue, such as melding the two organizations together. He stated that he doubted the Forest Theater Guild had the capacity to manage and operate the Indoor Forest Theater. He stated that an RFP “could delay the process of what Steven wants to do.”

Mayor McCloud closed the meeting to public comment.

Council Member Ken Talmage stated the need to have language in the lease about carrying liability insurance and responsibility for upkeep and maintenance of the Indoor Forest Theater facility. The lease has been a three-year lease. Council Member Burnett expressed his disappointment about the Forest Theater Guild not being there to represent their view.

Council Member HAZDOVAC moved the City negotiate a lease for the CET facility with PacRep with consideration of a revised rental fee structure, seconded by Council Member TALMAGE, and carried by the following roll call vote:



Anonymous said...

It is obvious that the proposed revised harassment policy pointedly addresses all of Guillen's violations of the current policy that was brought out in the Miller case. The document has definitely been crafted with Guillen in mind.

You cannot see on the video stream Guillen's reactions to the discussion of the policy. But, if you had been present at the meeting, you would have seen him rolling his eyes at the council's discussion of it. He certainly seemed somewhat miffed at the subject. Apparently he doesn't think he did anything wrong.

The revised harassment policy is definitely going to crimp Guillen's management style if he is going to abide by it.

VillageinForest said...

A cynic would say if the revised, revised harassment prevention policy was specifically “crafted with Guillen in mind,” then the first revised version placing more power with the mayor was inexplicable.

It is a ethical bridge too far to believe the revised, revised harassment prevention policy “is definitely going to crimp Guillen’s management style” when there is a ten-year record of Guillen being aided and abetted by Mayor Sue McCloud and all council members during that period circling the wagons around the mayor and her man.

Anonymous said...

What was meant by "crimping Guillen's style" is it will be impossible for Rich to abide by any harassment policy. It is so ingrained in him to ignore the rules. Remember, Jane Miller said everyone took part in sexual harassment training except Guillen.

He sees himself as above it all. And the city council expects this perpetrator to uphold the harassment policy and be the person employees report to? Come on!!

Anonymous said...

Former mayoral candidate Adam Moniz queried the council "what currently happens to a person who violates the City’s existing policy." No response.

Adam also asked council members to tell the audience members what their positions are relative to the Miller-Guillen matter. No responses.

Adam gets it. Not even Jason acknowledged Adam's questions. This council does not get it. Even Jason seems to use the coping mechanisms of disassociation and compartmentalization. The problem is these coping mechanisms are inappropriate for dealing with the Jane Miller-Rich Guillen matter. Everyone on this council comes across as so detached and just not wanting to be bothered by it. As if it were all just one inconvenience. Maybe they will become inconvenient next time they are on the ballot and they are all voted out of office for the good of Carmel.

Anonymous said...

It was disturbing to listen to City Attorney Don Freeman talk about the possibility of adding adminsitrative leave for the city administrator to the anti- harassment policy when he is accused of wrongdoing. His first reaction was to say we want to be careful because it is "paid" administrative leave when the allegations have not been proven. Welcome to the 21st century, Don. Working for the city, you are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to the alleged victim. Administrative leave is called for in order to make certain an impartial, fair and complete investigation can be conducted. After listening to Don, I am pretty convinced if faced with a similar situation in the future, the city attorney and mayor would not do anything different that they did in the Jane Miller case which means pretty much not responding and ignoring it.

Anonymous said...

Also at this meeting was a unanimous decision about median "holiday" lighting. Symbolic, but nonetheless important, is the signal the council is sending with the change in median “holiday” lighting to Thanksgiving through mid-March. The median holiday lighting is supposed to be for the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas and for the residents, not primarily to promote shopping in the business district. Now the mayor and the council have unanimously gone along with the chamber of commerce to violate the essence of what Carmel is supposed to be, primarily a residential village where businesses are subordinate to residential concerns. By the way, these lights contribute to the kitschy reputation of Carmel, in my opinion.