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Council meeting diary

We’re going to work in reverse tonight. The council is talking about how to get Fremont to use fewer greenhouse gases. A city staff member is admirably doing the lord’s work trying to make this simple, but there are a lot of charts, graphs, equations and acronyms.

I’m left wondering  how many calories I would have needed to consume today to have any chance of digesting this. If only I had a burrito.

One idea: Better asphalt could help improve gas mileage.

Another idea: Stricter codes for lighting in buildings and parking lots.

Third idea: No more single-serving bottled water for city folk.

Fact: City operations only account for 0.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Question: Do other cities penalize residents for sprinkling during the hottest times of day.
Answer: No

Quetion: How much does city save if it banned gas-powered lawn mowers. It would save a lot, right?
Answer: No, It wouldn’t. So it doesn’t matter.

Quiz: What  does MTCO2e stand for?

Fact: The council still has to have community meetings and won’t pass anything to do with this until next year.

So let’s got back in time an hour to when the council was talking about the Patterson Ranch project. That’s the big subdivision near Coyote Hills Regional Park, that has slowly shrunk from about 1,500 units to about 500 units — all east of Ardenwood Boulevard and bounded by Ardenwood, Paseo Padre, Alameda Creek and some railroad tracks.

Environmentalists are happy that the project has been scaled back so dramatically and that all the residential development would be east of Ardenwood, which is farther from the park.

But the school district is still concerned that the new plan doesn’t include a new Elementary School FUSD’s Steve Betando said that the two nearby elementary schools are way overcrowded and if there’s no school at Patterson Ranch, all the parents are going to have to drive their kids to school.

That could pose some traffic issues since the plans only show two entrance and egress points for the subdivision.

A couple of council members brought up the idea of allowing the school district to build on city parks adjacent to the two Ardenwood District elementary schools, with the city replacing the parkland, probably on the Patterson site.

This project has always had an amen corner with local pastors because it proposes up to two churches west of Ardenwood Boulevard. Only one pastor spoke in favor of that this time around. Josh Wroten of Morningstar Church said churches are needed in Ardenwood. He said there are no churches in the district, which makes sense because I don’t think there’s a big Christian population there.

The planner overseeing this project for the Patterson Family is Richard Frisbie, a former Fremont staffer. He’s got a sharp wit. When asked about cooperating with the school district, he said that the district has had five superintendents since he’s been working on the project and they all keep retiring. But he noted, the district had just hired a new superintendent. “He’s only 51 years old, so maybe he won’t retire,” Frisbie said.

The council generally likes the new proposal. Anu Natarajan wishes it was more innovative, but it seems like most of the council is happy that many environmentalists appear ameliorated and they’re not going to stop a project that looks like everything else in Ardenwood. The big issue seem to be the schools. Also there’s the question about whether those two churches will get built.

The council just talked about Patterson Ranch tonight; no votes or anything like that. The environmental impact report still hasn’t been completed. It’ll be interesting to see if the council takes this up again this year with the election season fast approaching. This project isn’t supposed to be finished until 2025.

City people estimate Patterson won’t come back to council until January, 2011. I’ll remember to eat a big dinner before that one.

Matt Artz