At the City Council Meeting on December 4, 2012 the council considered an appeal of the plannng commission on the approval of a pedestrian “path” included in the City General Plan. The responsibility to put in the path became part of the approval fer the bilingual school which was approved at 4550 San Pablo Ave.
John and Kairee Tan shown in the video below
John and Kairee Tann own the land behind the EBI property, and the path would run between their property and the school property. Kairee was recenelty appointed to serve on he planning Commission.
They appealed the project for several reasons. Kairee did an excellent job of making her points to the City Council. The first complaint was Safety. The idea the path would be open 24 hours a day right next to their home. the path has a 90 degree bend making it difficult for the police to see who may using it late at night. On the west side of the path is a solid cinder block wall built when Berkeley Farms owned the property. The wall makes it very difficult to see who would be there. Kariee pointed out any bright lights would shine into their windows.
Another issue was noise. When Berkeley Farms owned the property, the also owned the home now occupied by the Tann’s. They recognized the noise would be a problem for the immediate neighbor just as she pointed out in the meeting. But since the source of the noise is children, the has not been any sensitivity to that concern. The shrill of children playing and screaming can be very noisy. That issue is not resolved.
At the end or the presentation, Council Member Davis began to recognize this path is more of a liability than an asset. Kariee also provided evidence the cinder block wall would collapse if there was an earthquake. Point out this danger to the public could result in an action for gross negligence. Public entities are generally immune, unless the hazard is brought to the attention of the city.
The real need for the path is being called into question. The Staff created path is now in jeopardy. The new general plan forces the council to change the general plan to eliminate it. The planning Regulation could provide the power to eliminate it, The is where the new plan unreasonably limits the Council’s authority to make changes. It appears the matter must be on hold until the process to change the plan can be completed.
The Path may have had some merit. Increased connectivity is always a benefit. This was a very limited benefit. Even a quick look at the parcel map would show the path was not a good idea and like the rest of the plan, was adopted without the input of affected property owners.
One of the neighbors asked some good questions which have not been answered. see copy of neighbor’s letter below.