I have been privileged to serve on the Planning Commissioner for the past seven years, and am a former Chair of the Planning Commission. Planning Commission meetings are webcast and from 2010 to the present, remain available on the City of Fremont's website for public viewing.
During my seven years on the Fremont Planning Commission (PC) I have had a direct impact on changing and shaping City policy by obtaining support for my fellow Planning Commissioners with these recommendations then followed and adopted by the Fremont City Council. I have hyperlinked to webcasts of some of these key Planning Commission meetings.
Public Art Ordinance: Recently on July 1, 2014, in recommending approval of the Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan, I strengthened the public art ordinance to ensure that larger commercial developers keep their promise to pay their fair share for public art that benefits all Fremont residents.
Sign Ordinance: On November 14, 2013, Planning Commission recommended approval of an updated and more streamlined Citywide sign ordinance. The City in conjunction with the Fremont Chamber had been considering revisions to the sign ordinance for nearly a decade and the City hired an outside consultant to draft the new sign ordinance. I received the proposed ordinance the Friday before the November 14, 2013 meeting. I made our sign ordinance more consumer-friendly and protective of free speech rights. I took issue with some of the policy directions underlying the proposed ordinance and identified some serious flaws in drafted language. For example, the way the ordinance was proposed, it would have prevented residents from putting "Car for Sale" signs on their cars! And it would have automatically required small business owners and others with signs to pay for the cost of sign removal due to public safety, even where the sign had already received City approval.
Climate Action Plan: The City Council adopted an ambitious Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Fremont. I am passionate about Fremont’s CAP and have provided leadership. I proposed modifications to the CAP initially recommended by staff that were then adopted by the Fremont City Council to make it more Fremont-focused and consumer friendly, including: (1) replacing a photo of an electric vehicle in the CAP with a vehicle manufactured by Tesla; (2) replacing a photograph of an out-of-town EV charging stations with EV charging stations located in Fremont; (3) implementing the PACE program with sensitivity to incentive and tax credits for maximizing consumer benefits; (4) examining options and incentives for installing EV parking in Transit Oriented Districts; and (5) a modification advanced by the Fremont Chamber and other commissioners, I trumpeted the leveraging of Fremont's industry partners including EV manufacturing and clean-tech, to showcase Fremont's local industries as well as elicit their expert input in ways to improve the CAP's implementation measures. These modifications were approved by the Council when it adopted the CAP.
Adoption of General Plan 2030: My tenure on the Planning Commission has coincided with the review and update of our General Plan, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide a long-range vision for our community. The previous General Plan had been adopted in 1991 and the next General Plan will not be completely updated until 2030.
Modifications to Affordable Housing Zoning Text Amendment: I obtained PC support for modification to staff recommendations which were later adopted by the City Council, including: (1) the Affordable Housing Zoning Text Amendment in: (a) equalizing units for Off-Site Construction (AOff-Sites@) and the purchase of Existing Market Rate Homes (AEMRH@) with project affordability requirements; and (b) extending the radius from rail transit for Off-Sites or purchase of EMRH from one half mile to one mile.
Fremont Successor Agency Oversight Board
I also serve as Fremont's representative on the Oversight Board, charged with overseeing the winding down of Fremont's former redevelopment agency. Several years ago, the State dissolved all redevelopment agencies. The Fremont Successor Agency Oversight Board is a regional board with seven (7) members representing affected public agency taxing entities, including Supervisor Scott Haggerty representing the County of Alameda, a representative from the Fremont Unified School District, a representative from Ohlone College and a representative from AC Transit. I was appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Fremont City Council to represent Fremont and keep Fremont's fair share of former redevelopment money in Fremont. These representatives elected me their Chair. I have gained an understanding of public finance and the importance of replacing lost redevelopment revenue. And I am proud to report that, unlike most other redevelopment agencies, Fremont's former redevelopment agency ended in the black with $64 million to return to the City of Fremont and other local agencies, and will be among one of the first to complete its wind down when State approval is anticipated to be given early next year.