, 84 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
Activating #local twitter tonight. I'll be live-tweeting the #livermore city council meeting, top agenda item is the development agreement for the controversial #downtownlivermore hotel. Watch this thread for updates.
Mayor reordering the meeting agenda to provide extra time for main items.
Having some fun with the Livermore intermediate baseball team, who are getting ready to defend their US title at the Little League Intermediate World Series in Livermore, starting this Sunday.
Citizens forum kicking off. I'm not going to tweet everything, but will note the notable.
Leader of Unify Livermore (pro-City Council approved plan) is criticizing the "Better Livermore" group (anti-Council approved plan) for blocking and deleting comments on their social media posts that he claims were reasonable.
Speaker refers to the initiative seeking to change the downtown plan as a "collection of musings" that has no financing plan. Says the council has a mandate to build downtown resulting from the last election.
Mayor firmly asserting his authority in maintaining decorum as crowd members attempt to shout down speaker who went over time.
Former president of Stockmen's Association speaking now. They were a critical component of the compromise deal to add open space to initial downtown plan. Says the Association does not support the "Central Park" plan, and they will not negotiate with anyone other the city.
Current speaker lamenting the high cost of parking and the relative lack of spending on non-auto transportation options.
Our regular homeless advocate is covering a lot of ground tonight, including Nazism, insecticides, minority home ownership, and Maya Angelou.
Another transit advocate making a plea for more non-auto transportation options. Says he lives without a car in Livermore, and he would like to see bike share as an option.
Another Stockmen Association rep says the signature gatherers have been lying saying the Stockmen support the "Better Livermore" plan. He says they do not, and never have.
Chamber of Commerce CEO opposes the "Better Livermore" plan, references unethical behavior on the part of the initiative sponsors. She says land use planning by initiative is a "poor and lazy" way to plan a community.
Meeting regular Karl Wente feeling philosophical tonight, but also came "to pick a fight" with people he says are telling lies. Now reading the lyrics of Fleetwood Mac's Tell Me Lies. Santana makes a cameo. Finished with a "Namaste" mic drop. Whoa.
Current speaker states she has video proof of signature gatherers lying to her about the "Better Livermore" plan. Offering to show the video to anyone who wants to see it.
At least one attendee isn't here for the hotel. She's thanking the council for taking a stand against youth vaping.
We have our first pro-"Better Livermore" speaker claiming the dishonesty is on the pro-approved plan side. He's referencing a number of statements about whether any developer wanted to build a hotel on the west side of Livermore Ave and other steering committe issues.
Citizens' forum wrapped up. Mayor now criticizing The Independent newspaper for editorial bias. The Independent is owned by one of the principal sponsors of the "Better Livermore" initiative.
Mayor just read a pretty significant misquote by the paper as well as his actual comment from the meeting transcript. The misquote substantively changed the meaning of his statement.
The current agenda item includes "the abatement of hazardous vegetation", so I'll sit this one out.
Item on city fees draws a comment from a resident that Conditional Use Permit fees are too high and hurt small businesses. The CUP application fee is about $10,000. CM Woerner asks for staff to bring back info on that fee.
The big show is up next: Development Agreement (DA) with Presidio Companies to build the downtown hotel.
Beginning with a recap of the years-long public engagement process, dating back to Feb 2017. 19 member steering committee established in March 2017 met nine time between April-July.
Website yourlivermore.org was established to collect feedback, along with community workshops, neighborhood meetings, downtown tours, pop-up events, and presentations to schools and community orgs.
Issue prioritization ranking sheet was provided to participants, and respondents identified parking as no 1 concern, with hotel and hotel location ranked 5th and 7th respectively out of 10.
Additional background: Sep 2018 council approved the hotel on the east side of Livermore Ave. There was a referendum (that would require another tweet storm) which the council accepted, requiring the hotel be redesigned to three stories instead of four.
Staff is currently working with Presidio to complete the redesign, and the recommendation is to approve the DA tonight.
There are 62 comment cards. Strap in folks.
First speaker says council attempt to move forward after initiative signatures have qualified is an attack on their rights. Says "Better Livermore" will file a referendum if the council moves with their "illegal" act.
Next speaker is advocating for six council districts plus one mayor instead of four districts. Also says council should "honor a community referendum not subvert it."
Winegrowers Assoc. exec says in the last election the community overwhelmingly supported this council, which overwhelmingly supported the approved plan. Thanks the hotel developer for hanging in through this long process.
Downtown resident advocating for moving forward quickly with the approved plan. Says he hopes he can still be friends with those who oppose it.
Unify Livermore leader says Livermore has a developer today who has hung with the city, and there is a risk of ending up with no project if there is continued delay.
Chairman of the "Better Livermore" group says the council is trying to work around the initiative process. Again says they will referend any action taken to approve the DA.
Interesting that the a number of the proponents of the "Better Livermore" plan keep referencing the fact that they pay taxes.
Current speaker notes that it is ridiculous to use the word "rush" when talking about the downtown hotel. Lots of laughs. He references 25 year old South Livermore Specific Plan and its identification of the need for a wine country hotel. Says it's time to bring it to fruition.
Next speaker says the west side of Livermore Ave is a "better option" for a hotel because it has more room. He grew up in Brooklyn, and says it's "incongruent" the have housing in a vibrant downtown.
Speaker says Stockmen Park is included in the "Better Livermore" plan and would "hold up fine." That's murky at best.
Current speaker (wife of "Better Livermore" chair) says Livermore needs a central park so people can get away from the "hustle and bustle." References New York and Golden Colorado.
Speakers continue to reference the initiative as a "legally binding document" and the act of entering into DA as "illegal."
Now the attorney for Friends of Livermore and Citizens for a Central Park Plan is saying the council is legally prohibited from entering into any agreement that "annuls" the "people's" ability to legislate by putting a hotel where the "Better Livermore" prohibits one.
The FOL/Citizens attorney cited caselaw, which Livermore City attorney says is "patently false" and a misreading of the caselaw. City Attorney refers FOL attorney to specific pages of the decision. Back and forth ensues.
More speakers threatening to referend.
Current speaker is retired planning commissioner and police officer. Now owns a winery. Says east side hotel was approved when he was on planning commission in the 90s. Wants to get it done.
Referendum threat.
Current speaker says the "Better Livermore" plan is not a plan, "it is sabotage" meant to ensure the development is not completed.
Livermore Downtown Assoc says Downtown is much larger than just the 8 acres and is "sensitive ecosystem." Says the business need to be remembered, and that they need certainty and customers.
Next speaker is a downtown business owner speaking for several others, and she is reminding the Council that business owners have made investments based on planned development, and that needs to happen
Another tax paying property owner
Newish 28 year old resident first timer to council is fired up about what he sees as misrepresentation by the "Better Livermore" group. Wants to see the hotel move forward on the east side.
Current speaker doesn't live in town but lives near a green space where she lives, and she comes to these meetings to represent her friends' views who don't come to these meetings. 🤔
Forceful condemnation of "wealthy individuals" who want to "run this town." Speaker says he supports the current downtown plan and that "we are in a battle" for the future of Livermore.
Well known realtor, former police officer and philanthropist, who notably had qualms with some details of the original plan, is speaking in favor of it now. Says enough is enough. Derides lying to get signatures, asks how much would the "Better Livermore" plan cost.
Current speaker and winery owner is pointing out that tens of thousands of voters cast votes for the current council members with downtown as the main campaign issue. Says we have voted on this already.
Livermore Shakespeare (blackbox theater partner) head stating that businesses have made investments based on plans that they expect to come to fruition. Also says Stockmen Park is not "in tact" in the "Better Livermore" plan.
Head of @InnovTriValley speaking of the need for sound planning for economic future of the region. Encourages the Council to move forward with all the development agreements to "bring the community's vision to life."
@InnovTriValley Speaker says if the council doesn't want any delays, they should just adopt the Central Park Plan initiative ("Better Livermore" plan) language.
@InnovTriValley Karl Wente is back and keeping it fresh
@InnovTriValley Next speaker says if the council just decided to move the hotel to the west side, everyone would agree. Resounding "no!" from the audience.
@InnovTriValley Speaker says thousands of people signed the petition, and probably less than a thousand were lied to, so it's still several thousand people who want to vote on it. 🤷‍♂️
@InnovTriValley Downtown business owner says hotel is needed to bring new visitors to town. Says community already voted these council members in when downtown was main agenda item.
@InnovTriValley Speaker citing lost revenue for the city from weddings and other tourism that doesn't come to Livermore because of lack of adequate hotel facilities.
@InnovTriValley Speaker says the initiative is not "an intrusion into the . democratic process, it is the democratic process."
Next speaker is dolling out thank yous to all the people who have made the current downtown plan possible. Encourages the council to move forward.
@InnovTriValley Speaker who was on downtown steering committee trying to make a historical case against the judgement of the council. References previous election which voted out Lennar project supporters.
@InnovTriValley Public comment closed. Council's turn now.
@InnovTriValley VM Carling asks if references to DA approval being "illegal" are accurate. City Attorney says they are not. Nothing about the DA approval preempts voting on the initiative.
@InnovTriValley CM Coomber says it's "obscene" that we still haven't broken ground because of continuous delays that "keep us talking about the same thing year after year."
@InnovTriValley CM Coomber says if there are hotel developers eager to build on the west side of Livermore Ave, where were they when the RFP was out on the street.
@InnovTriValley CM Munro is on fire. Calls out the fact that property ownership is a terrible measure of legitimacy, especially in a community that doesn't provide enough affordable housing.
Also references Measure U from the last election, which lost 80%-20% as evidence that "getting something on the ballot means nothing, because signature gatherers lie."
CM Woerner asks if staff have been in contact with the hotelier the "Better Livermore" group says wants to build the west side hotel.
Innovation and Economic Development director Adam Van de Water stated he spoke to the developer and after providing clarifying details, the developer declined to pursue the project.
Presidio principal makes very surprising statement that lies have been told to Marriot, their franchise partner, claiming Presidio was no longer able to complete the project. This is alarming if true.
CM Woerner and Joan Seppala engage in brief direct confrontation after CM Woerner claims Ms. Seppala told him this was a "battle to the death."
VM Carling taking great exception to the initiative language that the the approved project is "foreign to the public process" and friendly to "seven self-interested groups." Says the "Better Livermore" had no public process at all.
VM Carling says "seven self-interested groups? As opposed to what, one?" He is now extolling the virtues of each the seven groups he thinks the language is referencing. Stockmen, Science and Society Center, Livermore Shakes, Winegrowers, maybe some business groups.
VM Carling says the "Better Livermore" plan is a "bunch of cartoons" that have no technical details. He is asking how do we make this a better place for the next generation. Identifies the seven + groups as the "diverse modern community" we want.
Mayor Marchand calling out the double standard of claims by the "Better Livermore" group that a 133 room hotel would gridlock traffic but a 500 space parking garage is fine.
Mayor Marchand says the Chic Fil A on Livermore Ave will generate three times the traffic as the hotel, so by the logic of the "Better Livermore" group, it should go on the ballot too.
Mayor points out the initiative language calls for housing densities as high as 150 units per acre, and the "multi-family housing" can't be used to describe 400 square foot microunits.
Mayor is tired of waiting, says council is empowered by the voters to get things done.
CM Munro moves to introduce the ordinance to approve the development agreement. Seconded by VM Carling. Motion carries unanimously.
@threadreaderapp unroll please
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to brandon cardwell
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!