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Danville council to discuss North Hartz improvements, parking

Plus: New FCC regulations on cell facilities, district-based council elections

The Danville Town Council is scheduled to talk about its efforts to redevelop the North Hartz Avenue area in downtown, as well as analyze the potential parking impacts associated with rezoning the area, during a study session Tuesday morning.

At a meeting in August, the council reviewed the North Hartz Avenue Real Estate Development Feasibility Assessment for the revitalization of the downtown area located north of Linda Mesa Avenue and south of San Ramon Valley High School.

The assessment identified a number of development opportunities in the area but acknowledged that any changes to land-use may bring up potential issues with a lack of available parking.

Currently 278 parking spaces exist in the area, 104 of which are public spaces and 174 are privately owned. Should the town need more spaces, two primary options area available: more surface parking or a parking structure.

The more affordable of the two options would be to create additional surface parking. For around $65,300 a space the town could add 300 new spots, but would require 100,500 square feet or 2.3 acres of land to do so. The cost would cover land acquisition, demolition and construction of the spot itself.

A parking structure would provide a more condensed alternative, but at $78,333 a space is a more expensive option. Annual maintenance costs for the structure would also be much higher than surface parking spaces.

The Danville Town Council is set to meet to discuss parking and other issues at its study session Tuesday 9 a.m., at the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.

In other business

* The council will also meet to hold an informational discussion on potential changes to its wireless communications ordinance in order to comply with new Federal Communications Commission regulations.

Shortly after the town adopted its new wireless communications ordinance in September, the FCC issued a new order promoting the rapid development of small cell wireless facilities, with the new rules set to become effective Jan. 24.

According to a staff report by city attorney Robert Ewing, the new rules “dramatically shortens the timeline to review applications” for cell facilities.

The review period has been shortened by the FCC from 150 days to 60 days for facilities requesting to be installed on existing poles and 90 days for those proposed on new poles.

Ewing further stated that under current procedures it is impossible for most applications to be approved within the new 60-day timeline.

* The council will convene in closed session afterward to discuss the town’s potential transition to district-based voting for future elections, as opposed to the current practice of at-large voting for Town Council positions.

Transitioning to district voting would mean residents only vote for the council member in their designated geographic district, as opposed to all residents choosing to vote from all council candidates at-large.

The Danville council has not revealed a final decision about whether to switch to district elections after being presented with a petition requesting the town make the change. By shifting to district elections the hope from proponents is that the council will more accurately represent their residents demographics, and ensure that the voices of protected classes and minority groups are more easily heard during elections.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story cited incorrect estimates for the cost per-space of the two North Hartz Avenue parking project alternatives. The correct price estimates are now included. DanvilleSanRamon.com regrets the error.

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