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File #: 2020-8263   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 9/15/2020
Title: Recommendation to Authorize the City Manager to Execute a First Amendment to Service Provider Agreement with Douglas Herring & Associates to Increase Compensation by $109,800, for a Total Aggregate Compensation Not to Exceed $180,000, to Complete the Environmental Impact Report for the General Plan 2040 Update. (Planning, Building and Transportation 209)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Original Agreement, 2. Exhibit 2 - 1st Amendment

Title

 

Recommendation to Authorize the City Manager to Execute a First Amendment to Service Provider Agreement with Douglas Herring & Associates to Increase Compensation by $109,800, for a Total Aggregate Compensation Not to Exceed $180,000, to Complete the Environmental Impact Report for the General Plan 2040 Update.   (Planning, Building and Transportation 209)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

In 2019, the City Council approved the 2019 Biannual Budget and 2019 Annual Report on the Status of the General Plan, which identified the need the need for a comprehensive update of the 1991 General Plan.  In 2019, staff initiated work on the update and began initial work on the environmental review of the draft General Plan.   The environmental work was initiated with the assistance of Douglas Herring & Associates. 

 

Staff is requesting City Council approval to increase the amount of the contract with Douglas Herring & Associates by $109,800 for a total amount not to exceed $180,000 to provide sufficient funds to complete the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  Per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the EIR must be completed and reviewed for adequacy by the City Council, before the City Council can approve the General Plan update.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The General Plan must be an “integrated, internally consistent and compatible statement of policies for the adopting agency.” (Government Code section 65300.5.)   The General Plan establishes the local development and conservation policies necessary to guide physical development and protect the general health, safety and welfare of the community and the environment.   The last comprehensive update of the current General Plan occurred almost 30 years ago in 1991.  As described in the introduction of the General Plan, the 1991 Plan was designed to serve the City of Alameda (City) for 20 years or until 2010.  

 

In August, the staff/consultant team completed all chapters for a complete draft General Plan 2040 for public review, launched the project website to allow the public to review and comment on the entire draft General Plan, and mailed a postcard to all Alameda households informing them of the update process.  Access to the draft General Plan and information about the forums and opportunities to comment on the work completed to date are available at <https://www.alameda2040.org/>.   As described on the website, a series of Planning Board public forums are planned over the next 4 months.

 

DISCUSSION

 

A General Plan update is subject to environmental review under CEQA.   Staff has determined that an EIR is required to enable the community, the Planning Board and the City Council to consider the potential environmental impacts of the draft Plan.  From an environmental review perspective, the new draft General Plan is specifically designed to support and implement the City’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan and the Regional Sustainable Communities Strategy, both of which are designed to protect and preserve the local, regional and global environment.  

 

Douglas Herring & Associates is a qualified environmental consulting firm with a long history of work in the Bay Area and for the City over the last 20 years.   The firm that specializes in environmental review and has successfully assisted the City with a wide range of projects from Alameda Point to the Blanding Shopping Center.  Douglas Herring & Associates is on the City’s on-call list of pre-qualified environmental consultants.   

 

With the amendment, Douglas Herring & Associates will be able to complete the Draft EIR, which will include a complete analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the Draft General Plan on environmental factors including: 

 

• Air Quality

• Greenhouse Gas Emissions

• Biological Resources

• Cultural Resources

• Transportation

• Noise

• Geology and Soils

• Hydrology and Water Quality

• Hazards and Hazardous Materials

• Land Use and Planning

• Population and Housing

• Public Services

• Recreation

• Energy

• Tribal Cultural Resources

• Utilities and Service Systems  

• Aesthetics

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

The City Council may:

 

                     Approve the contract amendment as recommended; 

                     Approve the contract amendment with revisions determined necessary by the City Council; or

                     Deny the contract amendment and direct staff to solicit a different proposal from a different environmental consulting firm.   

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The necessary funds are available and budgeted for this use in the Planning & Building Department’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21 Budget.  In addition, in 2020, the City received a $310,000 State Grant to partially fund the General Plan update and project EIR.  These grant funds are designed to supplement the Community Planning Funds collected over the past 10 years to fund General Plan and Zoning Ordinance updates:

 

 Contract

Approval Date

Authorized Amount

Expended to Date

Original Contract

April 16, 2020

$70,200

$55,800

Total

 

$70,200

$55,800

 

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The General Plan update will result in an updated long-range planning document that guides physical development, and will include the City’s overarching goals, policies, and implementation actions regarding future development. 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

A decision to amend a contract for environmental review and the preparation of a study or EIR is not a project subject to review under CEQA.

 

CLIMATE IMPACTS

 

The General Plan update implements and establishes a policy foundation for future actions to implement the City’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan.    The General Plan update and EIR are being completed as an almost “paperless” update, with an emphasis on use of electronic media instead of printed copies of the various drafts of the document.  The EIR will include a full analysis of the impacts of the General Plan on the climate, air quality and the environment. 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Authorize the City Manager to execute a First Amendment with Douglas Herring & Associates to increase compensation by $109,800, for a total aggregate compensation not to exceed $180,000, to complete the Environmental Impact Report for the General Plan 2040 update.

 

CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION

 

The City Manager recommends approval of authorization to execute a First Amendment with Douglas Herring & Associates.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Thomas, Planning, Building and Transportation Director

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Nancy Bronstein, Interim Finance Director

 

Exhibits: 

1.                     Original Agreement

2.                     1st Amendment

 

cc:                     Eric Levitt, City Manager