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File #: 2022-1806   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 6/7/2022
Title: Adoption of Resolution Approving the City of Alameda Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan as the City's Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Including Incorporation Into the City of Alameda General Plan Safety Element by References and Adopting a General Plan Amendment Amending the Health and Safety Element and Conservation and Climate Action Element of the Alameda General Plan 2040 to Align with the Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan, 2022. (City Manager 10021032)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - FEMA letter, 2. Resolution

Title

 

Adoption of Resolution Approving the City of Alameda Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan as the City’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Including Incorporation Into the City of Alameda General Plan Safety Element by References and Adopting a General Plan Amendment Amending the Health and Safety Element and Conservation and Climate Action Element of the Alameda General Plan 2040 to Align with the Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan, 2022. (City Manager 10021032)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires all local governments have an adopted Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) to be eligible for participation in and receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster mitigation grant funding. In 2021, the City of Alameda (City) convened an interdepartmental planning team and worked with the community to develop the City’s Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan (Mitigation Plan), which will serve as the City’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and 5-year update to the 2016 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Plan was determined to be “approvable pending adoption” by FEMA on May 1, 2022 (Exhibit 1). Adoption of the LHMP by June 13, 2022 is required for Alameda to access FEMA funds earmarked for Veterans Court sea level rise adaptation.

 

In parallel to developing the Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan, staff has developed companion General Plan amendments to related policies in the Health and Safety and Conservation and Climate Action Elements so that the information is aligned and consistent with the Mitigation Plan strategies. The Planning Board unanimously recommended the amendments at its May 9, 2022 meeting with some minor clarifying adjustments to Health and Safety Element Policy HS-22.  The Board’s revisions are reflected in the recommended resolution of approval. At this time, staff is recommending that City Council adopt the 2022 Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan and associated General Plan amendments.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires all local governments to have an adopted LHMP to be eligible for participation in and receive pre-disaster mitigation grant funding from the FEMA. Local governments with a FEMA approved LHMP may be eligible for the following benefits:

                     A more disaster-resistant and resilient community and region;

                     Eligibility for hazard mitigation assistance programs, including Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation, Flood Mitigation Assistance and Severe Repetitive Loss grant programs;

                     Eligibility for points under the National Flood Insurance Programs Community Rating System (CRS) to provide a 10% discount on flood insurance premiums to homeowners in the floodplain; and

                     Eligibility for waiver of the 6.25% local match for Public Assistance money after a disaster.

Adoption of the LHMP by June 13, 2022 is required for Alameda to access FEMA funds earmarked for Veterans Court sea level rise adaptation.

The purpose of a LHMP is to identify the local natural hazards, review and assess past disaster occurrences, estimate the probability of future occurrences, and set goals to mitigate potential risks, in order to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards. Per DMA 2000, LHMPs must be updated every five years. The City’s previous LHMP was adopted November 2016.

 

DISCUSSION

 

In 2021, the City convened an interdepartmental planning team tasked with defining the process and approach to working with the community to develop the City’s Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will serve as the City’s LHMP and 5-year update to the 2016 LHMP. The Plan also incorporates and aligns with the adaptation chapter of Alameda’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP). The Plan can be reviewed online at: www.alamedaca.gov/hazardmitigationplan <http://www.alamedaca.gov/hazardmitigationplan>.

 

An open public involvement process was determined essential to the development of an effective plan.  As such, staff established a page on the City’s website dedicated to hazard mitigation education and opportunities for input during the planning process at www.alamedaca.gov/hazardmitigationplan <http://www.alamedaca.gov/hazardmitigationplan>. Community members were provided multiple opportunities for public comment on the plan during the drafting stage and prior to plan approval. In addition, the City also engaged neighboring communities and jurisdictions on the plan development.

                     The City conducted a public opinion survey to identify their natural hazards of concern and actions that they have taken to prepare for natural hazards.

                     Three virtual open houses were conducted for the community to provide input on the draft plan.

                     Postcards with a link to the survey and information about the virtual open houses were also printed and distributed to each of the branch libraries and in city hall (finance office, passport office and permit desk) to make them available to members of the public. CASA members placed flyers on doorsteps in the neighborhood around Woodstock Park.

                     Staff tabled at the Alameda Farmers’ Market and provided handouts in English, Chinese and Spanish describing how residents could prepare their homes and families for natural disasters.

                     Staff published a newspaper article in the Alameda Journal providing an overview of the draft plan.

                     Emails were sent to survey respondents and registrants of the City’s “Environment, Sustainability and Climate Action” email listserv and information was posted on the City’s social media accounts.

                     Emails were sent to key partners and neighboring jurisdictions to comment on the draft plan during the public review period.

                     City staff presented at the September 27 Planning Board, October 13 Commission on Persons with Disabilities, October 25 Public Utility Board, October 28 Social Service and Human Relations Board, October 28 Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and their Families and November 4 Historical Advisory Board meetings.

 

As Alameda aims to be a resilient community that can be prepared for future hazards by having reduced exposure and reduced short and long-term loss due to hazards, the goals of Alameda Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation are as follows:

 

                     Reduce exposure to hazards, where possible.

                     Protect the health, safety, and welfare of Alameda residents, workers, and visitors.

                     Minimize damage of public and private property.

                     Minimize damage of the natural environment.

                     Minimize disruption of essential services, facilities, and infrastructure.

                     Ensure timely and complete recovery.

                     Increase understanding and awareness of hazards and hazard mitigation by City employees and the public.

                     Participate in mitigation and resiliency by all stakeholders, as appropriate.

                     Protect the city’s physical and social character and diversity.

 

The Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation plan was submitted to the CalOES for review and was determined to meet the planning requirements on February 17, 2022. The plan was forwarded to the FEMA Region IX Mitigation Division by CalOES. FEMA determined the plan to be “approvable pending adoption” on May 1, 2022 following requested minor revisions to the risk assessment for heat, smoky air and drought.

 

Staff made updates to the Health and Safety and Conservation and Climate Action elements of the General Plan that was adopted January 2021 coincident with this Plan update so that the information is aligned and consistent between the two documents. The strategies in the Hazard Mitigation Plan align with General Plan policies.

Following Planning Board’s approval of the proposed General Plan amendments at its May 9, 2022 meeting and FEMA’s determination that the Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan is “approvable pending adoption” on May 1, 2022 staff is recommending City Council adoption of the Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan and General Plan amendment.

 

The Plan will be adopted as an appendix to the General Plan Safety Element in compliance with AB 2140 (2006), which allows local governments to be considered for additional post-disaster funding for certain recovery activities if the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and General Plan Safety Elements are aligned. AB 2140 requires at a minimum that the Mitigation Plan be adopted as an appendix to the General Plan Safety Element, however more comprehensive alignment is also encouraged and staff determined that it would be beneficial for Alameda. Adoption of this Plan also continues the City’s eligibility for points under the Community Rating System and federal mitigation grant funding.

 

The Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan is a living document that must be regularly reviewed and updated. An annual report on the progress of the adaptation and mitigation strategies will be provided to the public, relevant boards and commissions, and to the City Council at a public meeting in conjunction with the CARP annual report.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

Alternatives include requesting staff to make edits to the Plan and/or General Plan amendment or adopting the Plan and General Plan amendment as is.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

There is no financial impact from the adoption of the Mitigation Plan and General Plan Amendments. If the City does not adopt a LHMP, however, it will be ineligible for future FEMA funding for natural disaster pre-mitigation projects or post-disaster projects to mitigate reoccurrences. 

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

This action is consistent with the Alameda Municipal Code and is consistent with the General Plan. The Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan is being incorporated into the General Plan as an appendix to the Safety Element.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

Adoption of the Plan is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because general policy and procedure making of this nature does not constitute a “project” that is subject to environmental review (CEQA Guidelines Section 15378(b)(2)).

 

CLIMATE IMPACT

 

There are no identifiable climate impacts from the adoption of the Plan; however, the Plan will help Alameda prepare for and adapt to the local impacts of climate change and disasters.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Adopt a resolution approving the City of Alameda Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan 2022 as the City’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, amending the Health and Safety Element and Conservation and Climate Action Elements of the Alameda General Plan 2040 to align with the Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan, and incorporating the Climate Adaption and Hazard Mitigation Plan by reference into the Alameda General Plan Safety Element.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Thomas, Planning, Building and Transportation Director

 

By,

Danielle Mieler, Sustainability and Resilience Manager

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Margaret O'Brien, Finance Director

 

Exhibit: 

1.                     FEMA Letter

 

cc:                     Dirk Brazil, Interim City Manager