Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

October 18, 2005 > Union City

Union City

City Council Meeting for October 11, 2005

by Jeremy Inman

Vice Mayor Dutra-Vernaci was not present at Tuesday's meeting except for a brief video conference from Puerto Vallarta in order to vote on an Urgency Ordinance - an item of unfinished business carried over from the city council meeting on September 27. The emergency ordinance establishes a moratorium, or suspension, on the approval of permits for recycling facilities pending the completion of an update to the municipal code. Because of the current zoning of recycling facilities, neighbors of the facilities have no opportunity to express their concerns, even though past problems with the management of these facilities have caused environmental impacts to these neighbors.

As a solution, the city staff plans to prepare a study analyzing the problems and to change the zoning text to list the facilities as Conditionally Permitted Use, as opposed to the current Permitted Use, in areas where neighbors are being affected. The amendment would require a noted public hearing with the planning commission and city council, and the entire process will take approximately 90 days. The council adopted the emergency ordinance, subsequently prohibiting the granting of permits for recycling facilities while the city staff prepares the study and the text amendment to address the concerns.

A number of proclamations were made, among them a proclamation honoring Union City firefighter Sam LoBese as Firefighter/Paramedic of the year, a proclamation proclaiming October 9-15 Fire Prevention Week, a proclamation recognizing Tommie Lindsey as the Hayward South Alameda County Branch of the NAACP and 2005 NAACP Community Service Award Recipient, and a proclamation recognizing the 60th anniversary of the United Nations.

A report was made on TMG Partners' proposed land use plan for the Union City Intermodal Station. To remind readers, this is the 30-acre former PG&E site on Decoto Road in Union City which is to become the new stop for Capitol Corridor going from San Jose to Sacramento, currently expected to begin construction in spring 2006. The Redevelopment Agency and TMG Partners entered into an exclusive negotiation agreement; if the proposed land use is acceptable to the Agency Board, then the city staff and TMG will negotiate business terms for a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA).

The current land use proposal includes a mix of residential, owner-occupied housing, office space, retail outlets, and a substantial parking structure. Staff recommended that the council support the land use permit and authorize staff to proceed with the DDA negotiations, but Mayor Green and the council instead proposed a special meeting to take place at the council chambers on October 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss what Green described as minor changes to the land use plan. No motion was taken on this item, but it is intended to be addressed in full at the council meeting on October 25.

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