Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on July 9, 2013. The Board approved design recommendations on April 11, 2017. For updates, visit the North Fair Oaks Forward website.
To: Honorable Board of Supervisors
From: John Maltbie, County Manager
Subject: North Fair Oaks - Measure A Funding Request
A. Direct staff to budget $3,403,500 in Measure A funds in FY 2013-14 budget and $3,080,000 in the FY 2014-15 budget to:
1) Redesign and make safety improvements to Middlefield Road, at a cost of approximately $12.5 million over 4 years.
2) Construct North Fair Oaks entry signage at four locations, Middlefield Road at the crossing of MacArthur Avenue, 5th Avenue just south of Spring Street, Middlefield Road near Encina Avenue, and 5th Avenue at El Camino Real, at a total estimated cost of $12,000.
3) Install eight anti-dumping/illegal dumping reporting signs along the Dumbarton/Southern Pacific rail corridor, at a total cost of $4,000.
4) Fund community outreach and engagement activities related to implementation of the North Fair Oaks Community Plan for three years, in the amount of $80,000/year.
5) Fund site preparation for a bike-share pod at Fair Oaks Community Center/North Fair Oaks Library, in the amount of $7,500.
B. Direct the County Manager to include a construction schedule and financing plan for the Measure A projects as part of the FY 2013-15 Recommended Budget.
The Board of Supervisors adopted the North Fair Oaks Community Plan in 2011. The Plan establishes goals and policies to improve land use, transportation, health and wellness, and other conditions in the North Fair Oaks Community. The adopted Plan is now in the implementation stage, and the Planning and Building Department, in conjunction with Public Works, Housing, Health, and other partners, is working on measures to achieve the goals of the Plan.
The North Fair Oaks Community Plan contains more than 300 policies, most of which require some form of implementation. Implementation measures vary in type and in timeline: in the medium term, they include the drafting and adoption of new implement- ing regulations; in the longer term, some measures require further study and analysis of issues identified in the Plan; and a number of direct improvements to infrastructure and other physical changes can be undertaken in the short term, given sufficient resources. Some implementation steps are ongoing and open-ended.
The most significant short- to medium-term implementation measures include the following:
Zoning Amendments. The North Fair Oaks Community Plan incorporates a set of land use changes, adopted by the Board of Supervisors, that modify the allowed intensities and mix of uses in various parts of the community, establish new design guidelines, and define the nature and extent of development in North Fair Oaks. However, these land use changes only establish the broad, outside parameters of allowed uses; a complete, detailed set of new zoning regulations is required to fully implement these changes. There are many possible variants of new zoning regulations, new zoning tools, and precise land use requirements that could be adopted to implement the broader land use categories incorporated in the Plan, while still remaining consistent with the Plan’s goals and policies.
Zoning amendments are the single most important immediate implementation com- ponent of the Community Plan. The amendments are required to directly implement a number of the policies in the Plan, and also to facilitate subsequent implementation efforts. Zoning amendments require significant time, effort, and community involvement in the process. The Planning Department is currently working on the zoning amend- ments, in conjunction with a Zoning Work Group made up of community members and local stakeholders. The amendments are targeted for completion in approximately 1 to 1.5 years (June – October 2014).
Parking Study and Parking Strategies. The Planning and Building Department is working with a consultant team on a study of parking issues in North Fair Oaks, and identification of appropriate new strategies to address the area’s existing and antici- pated parking problems. The study will be completed in July 2013, at which point the Planning Department will begin the process of reviewing the recommendations of the study with the community, identifying which policies are appropriate and feasible, determining appropriate methods to implement them, and moving forward with Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors review of the recommended strategies. After completion of the study, the review and adoption process will take between 6 months and 1 year (December 2013 – July 2014).
Parks Analysis, Creation, and Maintenance. By any measure, North Fair Oaks suffers from a shortage of park and recreational space, and the Community Plan commits to addressing this shortfall. The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a locally-based national non-profit with significant expertise and demonstrated success in creating public urban parks, has committed to work with the North Fair Oaks community for at least 6 months, and possibly for a longer term, to help advance ongoing park creation efforts, identify additional park and recreation space, help identify and obtain funding for park creation and maintenance, and provide technical assistance in all aspects of park development. The initial 6-month phase of work with TPL begins in June 2013, and may be extended in 6-month or 1-year increments after that time; the full extent of the work is to be determined, depending on findings of the initial phase.
Longer-term implementation efforts that will require additional time and resources, and have no immediate deadline, include:
Community-Wide Greening and Low-Impact Development Improvements. Compared to adjacent communities, portions of North Fair Oaks, particularly the northern and western portions, have very little tree canopy, and very little green space of any kind. The Community Plan prioritizes creation of an urban greening strategy, to include tree planting, additional vegetation, and other greening measures. In addition, in conjunction with sewer and storm drain improvements, installation of various natural groundwater capture systems, including bioswales, filtration catchment basins, permeable pavers, and other measures, particularly in publicly controlled areas, could significantly improve groundwater infiltration and reduce flooding in North Fair Oaks, as well as helping filter contaminants from groundwater before it enters local streams or the bay. This measure requires a comprehensive study, strategy, and funding source prior to implementation. The Planning Department is monitoring grant opportunities that could support this work.
Community-Wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements. The Community Plan identifies a number of routes in North Fair Oaks that are appropriate for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, particularly improvements to bicycle routes that connect to routes identified in the County bicycle plan, and routes that provide alternatives to Middlefield Road. Some routes, such as improvements to Semicircular Road, funded by an OBAG grant obtained by the Planning and Public Works Departments, are underway; others, such as improvements to Middlefield Road, may be funded in conjunction with other work. However, improvements to other streets will require identification of funding that is not currently available, as well as prioritization of improvements in conjunction with Public Works.
Large-Scale Improvements to Stormwater Systems in North Fair Oaks. Portions of North Fair Oaks experience significant flooding during heavy rains, and changes to the existing stormwater system are required to address this issue. However, improvements require coordination between multiple jurisdictions, and upgrades to portions of the system that are outside of the County’s control. Hence, these improvements will require a long-term, multijurisdictional effort.
Each of the above items could be prioritized and addressed more rapidly than currently anticipated, should the Board of Supervisors choose to prioritize and fund any specific measure.
Projects Proposed for Measure A Funding
The projects proposed for Measure A funding will advance the implementation of the North Fair Oaks Community Plan, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2011. The Community Plan includes a number of policies and programs intended to achieve the goals incorporated in the Plan, including policies focused on comprehensive bicycle, pedestrian, and circulation improvements, community cohesiveness and identity, neighborhood cleanup, and community outreach and participation. The five projects total an estimated $12,563,500 to be incurred over 2 to 4 years.
1) Middlefield Road Redesign and Improvements Fund - $12,300,000
Middlefield Road is the “main street” of North Fair Oaks, a principle shopping and service destination, the primary north-south route through the community, and a crucial component of community identity. Currently, portions of Middlefield Road have narrow, impeded, and/or damaged sidewalks, few street amenities, and no bike lanes. The streetscape is unattractive, the street is difficult to traverse for bicyclists, pedestrians, and persons with mobility challenges, and Middlefield Road is the single most dangerous stretch of road in the unincorporated County for bicy- clists and pedestrians. The Community Plan identifies a number of improvements to Middlefield Road, consistent with the County’s recently adopted Complete Streets policy and related General Plan amendments. Potential changes to Middlefield Road include improved sidewalks, installation of street trees, bicycle lanes, traffic-calming bulb-outs, improved pedestrian crossings, and potential reconstruction of a portion of Middlefield Road as a three-lane roadway with one middle turn lane and one through lane in either direction, freeing up significant space on either side for pedestrian and bicycle amenities and streetscape improvements.
This Measure A proposal is for creation of a Middlefield Road fund, to be funded in four annual installments of $3.3 million in the first year and $3 million in each successive year, for a total of $12.3 million to support analysis, design, public outreach, and ultimate installation of the selected improvements, as well as funding immediately needed safety improvements to the entrance to the new South County Health Clinic. The fund would support the following components:
Middlefield Road Comprehensive Improvements: Analysis, Design, and Public Outreach. While the Community Plan describes a number of improvements to Middlefield Road, the final configuration of these improvements could take many forms. Determination of the ultimate improvements will require engineering analysis, presentation of options to the community for review and input through a transparent, extensive public outreach process, design of the ultimately selected improvements, and subsequent phased installation. The analysis, public outreach, and design phase of the improvements would be funded from the first installment of the Middlefield Road Fund, at an estimated cost of $500,000.
South County Health Clinic Entrance and Intersection Improvements. Regardless of the ultimate configuration of improvements to Middlefield Road, immediate safety improvements are needed at the entrance to the new South County Health Clinic, at Redwood Junction on Middlefield Road. The new clinic, which will be completed in 2013, is a landmark project in North Fair Oaks, serving a significant number of North Fair Oaks residents, as well as clientele from other parts of the County. Currently, the entrance to the clinic, approximately at Middlefield and Northside Avenue, is entirely unsignalized, with pedestrian, bicyclists and auto- mobiles entering and leaving Middlefield Road from the clinic entrance, Northside Avenue, and Pacific Avenue, and traveling unimpeded in both directions on Middlefield Road, a mix of multimodal interaction which is difficult and dangerous for all users. The pavement and sidewalk crossing the Dumbarton Rail tracks at the clinic entrance are also in poor condition and difficult for clinic clientele, who often arrive by bicycle or on foot, and may be handicapped or otherwise mobility- challenged, as well as transporting children in strollers. The proposed improve- ments will fund installation of new traffic signals and installation of pavement treatments across the rail tracks, resulting in an immediately safer and more accessible intersection and entrance for all users, at an estimated cost of $1.3 million, to be funded from the first installment of the Middlefield Road Fund.
Installation of Comprehensive Improvements to Middlefield Road. After analysis, community process, and design, the Department of Public Works will begin phased installation of the selected improvements, using the remaining approximately $10 million of the Middlefield Road fund, beginning in years 3 and 4 of the process.
2) NORTH FAIR OAKS ENTRY SIGNAGE, FOUR LOCATIONS - $12,000
One goal of the North Fair Oaks Community Plan, consistent with the expressed goals of the community, is to strengthen North Fair Oaks’ identity as a community, by enhancing the awareness and visibility of North Fair Oaks as a distinct, cohesive place. Placement of welcome signs at key entry locations in North Fair Oaks, an explicit implementation component of the Plan, would further this goal. Four signs, each stating “Welcome to the North Fair Oaks Community,” would be located at: Middlefield Road at the crossing of MacArthur Avenue; 5th Avenue, just south of Spring Street; Middlefield Road near Encina Avenue, and; 5th Avenue at El Camino Real. The cost of the signs would vary from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on location, for a total cost of approximately $12,000.
3) Installation of Anti-Illegal Dumping Signage on Dumbarton Spur Line - $4,000
The North Fair Oaks community has consistently expressed a desire to address ongoing illegal dumping of materials, including construction waste, used household items, and other trash on the Dumbarton Spur/Southern Pacific rail right-of-way extending through North Fair Oaks from approximately Charter Street to Marsh Road. One solution supported by the community is installation of signs at locations frequently used for dumping. These signs would not only warn against illegal dumping, but, importantly, would provide information on how to report dumping either in process, or already having taken place. Eight signs are proposed, on the intersection of the Dumbarton Rail line and the following streets: Stanford, Warrington, Oakside, 2nd (two signs, one on each side of the crossing), 7th, 8th, and 9th. Each sign would cost approximately $500, for a total cost of $4,000.
4) COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATION AND MATERIALS - $240,000
Communications Coordination funding will support community liaison work, ensuring that the community has a consistent and comprehensible way to receive outreach and to participate in the Plan and implementation. This work will also include coordinating work by different implementation groups and planning and overseeing activities all communications events. This work will begin with the development of a comprehensive communications strategy and include maintenance of contact databases, preparation of outreach materials, contact with appropriate departments or agencies and identifying participants for workgroups. The overall goal of this work, which will be done by a combination of contract and County staff, is to ensure that information is shared with the community in a timely and transparent manner and there is communitywide input throughout the implementation process. The estimated cost of this work is $60,000 a year for staff and $20,000 a year for materials to a total of $240,000.
5) SITE PREPARATION FOR BIKE-SHARE POD AT FAIR OAKS COMMUNITY CENTER/NORTH FAIR OAKS LIBRARY - $7,500
As part of the broader Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Bay Area Bike- Share program, Alta Bike Share, the project contractor, has proposed potential locations for bike-share “pods,” which are locations for shared bicycle storage and rental, in unincorporated County territory, including one pod at County Center. Another potential site is at the North Fair Oaks Community Center/North Fair Oaks Library/HSA Building site on Middlefield Road. This site may be included in Phase I of the rollout of bike-share pods; if not, it will be part of Phase II. In order to make the location feasible, the County will need to remove a portion of existing concrete median, and repave the space of the former median with asphalt, at an approximate cost of $7,500.
If Measure A funds are authorized to construct these five projects, staff will bring construction and financing schedules, and/or more detailed budgets, as appropriate, to the Board for consideration with the Recommended budget.
The North Fair Oaks Community Council considered the proposed planning and implementation projects proposed for Measure A funding at a public meeting on Thursday, June 27, 2013 and voted 3-1-1 to recommend that the Board of Supervisors authorize Measure A funding to support the projects indicated above.
This North Fair Oaks – Measure A Funding request contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of a Collaborative Community by improving land use, transportation, health, and wellness in the community through collaborative efforts from Planning and Building, Public Works, Housing, Health and Community partners to achieve the goals of the North Fair Oaks Community Plan for a healthier, safer, and more livable community.
% of Signage Projects Completed on
time and within budget
% of Middlefield Road Projects Completed on time and within budget
It is recommended that $3,403,500 in Measure A funds be appropriated for the FY 2013-14 budget and $3,080,000 in Measure A funds be appropriated for the FY 2014-15 budget to fund implementation of the five projects described in this document for a total Measure A request of $12,563,500. The County Manager will
bring back a construction and financing schedule for the five projects to the Board for consideration during the FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15 Recommended Budget Hearings.
MEASURE A FUNDS RECOMMENDED IN THIS REPORT:
North Fair Oaks General Plan Implementation
Important note: This is a copy of the official report -- item 3C on the Board's agenda.