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File #: 2022-1571   
Type: Council Referral
Body: City Council
On agenda: 1/4/2022
Title: Consider Directing Staff to Immediately Agendize an Urgency Hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 9. (Councilmember Herrera Spencer) [Not heard on December 21, 2021]
Attachments: 1. Emails, 2. Correspondence



Consider Directing Staff to Immediately Agendize an Urgency Hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 9.  (Councilmember Herrera Spencer) [Not heard on December 21, 2021]






The Council can take any of the following actions:

1) Take no action.

2) Refer the matter to staff to schedule as a future City Council agenda item.  Concurrence that staff time will be devoted to the item does not signify approval.

3) Take dispositive action only on time sensitive legislative matters if sufficiently noticed such that the public and Council have been provided sufficient information by the published agenda, and no formal published notice of a public hearing is required.


Name of Councilmember(s) requesting referral: Councilmember Herrera Spencer


Date of submission to City Clerk (must be submitted before 5:00 p.m. on the Monday two weeks before the Council meeting requested): December 6, 2021


Council Meeting date: December 21, 2021


Brief description of the subject to be printed on the agenda, sufficient to inform the City Council and public of the nature of the referral:


Request that Staff immediately agendize an urgency hearing on SB-9, which becomes effective January 1, 2022, to allow City Council to decide whether it wants to make an urgency ordinance effective on or before that date, or at least sooner than staff's current plan of waiting until the end of February or early March to schedule it for hearing by City Council. See Planning Board December 13, 2021 Agenda items and resolutions 7-A: <>

and 7-B: <>


Per Staff's emails, "pb hearing in December. Council hearings in Jan. Second reading in end of Jan of early feb, and effective late feb or early March." Thus, under Staff's proposed timeline, SB-9 is effective January 1, 2022, but Alameda’s response thereto won't be effective until the end of February or early March, thus creating a gap. 

Director Thomas's email responds: "...[t]here has been no indication that the city is going to receive a flood of Sb 9 applications in January.   In fact we have no indication at we will get any applications in Jan and if we do, staff will process them consistent with state law and our existing adopted objective design standards."


While I appreciate that there may not be a "flood" of applications, no one knows how many will be submitted, but we all know that SB-9 is effective January 1. Other cities have brought this issue to their City Council prior to the January 1, 2022 date. Those Councils have made the decision of how to address the issue in a timely manner.


Here, Alameda City Staff’s timeline creates a gap during which Staff is in effect deciding how to address the issue, as opposed to City Council. Additionally, any application received during that gap will be subject to different standards than what will ultimately be decided by Council, which is unfortunate if can be avoided.


As the article below shares, Los Altos has adopted an urgency ordinance. Other cities completed the process earlier. My preference is for Staff to allow Council to make this decision in a timely manner such that it's effective on or before January 1, 2022 (i.e., an urgency ordinance). 


If Staff does not agendize the issue so that can occur, then I believe, at the latest, Staff should include it in the December 21 City Council agenda, which meeting will be after the Planning Board meeting so Staff could share their comments at that time.


I've attached some emails regarding this issue below, however, it's my understanding there are earlier emails between Staff and community members that go back to at least October 23, 2021.


For your consideration. Thank you.

The City Council, at its July 25, 2020 Priority Setting Workshop, established the following 5 priorities for 2021:

1.                     Preparing Alameda for the future

2.                     Encouraging economic development across the Island

3.                     Supporting enhanced livability and quality of life, including addressing the housing crisis and homelessness

4.                     Protecting core services

5.                     Ensuring effective and efficient operations


Briefly describe which Council priority the subject falls under and how it relates:


These priorities were for the former Council, not the current Council.  Priority 3.