San Ramon City Council members and the public are set to provide comments on a proposed new ordinance aimed at reducing the number of police calls for false alarms from security systems in the next regular council meeting Tuesday night.
The staff report, prepared by assistant city attorney Alicia Poon, cites an unnecessary strain on police services resulting from false alarms, as well as outdated language in the existing ordinance, adopted in 1985, as grounds for introducing an updated ordinance.
Changes under the new ordinance, previously recommended for review by the council by its Policy Commission on Nov. 17, includes language specifying and clarifying the policy on annual alarm permits, as well as penalties for false alarms and the appeal process for such penalties.
Under the new ordinance, penalties would not be issued for the first instance of a false alarm at a property, although a written warning would be given. The second false alarm, and any future instances, could result in civil and/or administrative action from the city.
The staff report also discusses community outreach and education efforts from the police department, aimed at preventing violations of the new ordinance before they occur, saying that "consistent with current practice, SRPD will not be 'heavy handed' in issuing the fines."
Adopting the updated ordinance could result in costs to the city, or financial gain, depending on whether the cost of contractor services aimed at identifying repeat offenders and unregistered permits outweigh the profits from fees generated under the update.
If the council recommends changes to the proposed ordinance, it is set to be reintroduced at the Dec. 14 meeting. If no changes are recommended, it would be set for final adoption at the Dec. 14 meeting.
Council members are set to meet Tuesday (Nov. 23) at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The meeting agenda is available here.
In other business
* Council members are set to consider electing a vice mayor for 2021-2022, a process that is set for November of odd years under the city's municipal code.
* City staff are set to seek direction from the council on filling a vacant seat on the Parks and Community Services Commission.