Below is the timeline of public documents and meetings regarding the topic of converting private roads into public roads or providing public funding for the maintenance of these roads. Also included are public discussions, conducted on NextDoor.com, of the issues surrounding the issue of public funding of Orinda's 30 miles of privately maintained streets. To date, these are the only discussions of the issues where the public has had a seat at the table and have not been cut out by staff and officials.
On a separate page there is a brief description of each meeting.August 28, 1990City Council sets policy on dedication of private roads: Resolution 56-90 October 18, 2011City Council sets policy on use of funds for Residential Street maintenance. March, 2017Residents of the private section of Mira Loma Road ask Public Works Director Larry Theis for public street status. He directs them to the CIOC. April 12, 2017Mira Loma addresses the CIOC in the public comment period of their meeting. The Commission says they will put the item on next month’s agenda. May 10, 2017Mira Loma presents a 13 page petition to the CIOC responding to the City Policy provided by Theis. The CIOC passes a motion requesting the City Council consider the matter of adding private roads into the publicly-maintained roads network and to determine whether to move forward with an analysis and development of an updated policy for accepting private roads. May 16, 2017Mira Loma addresses the City Council from the floor during the public comment period, asking them to review their petition. City Council passes a motion directing Staff and CIOC to return to the Council with a recommendation on a new City policy for adding private roads in Orinda to the public roads network, which would apply to new roads and existing roads. (This is not acted on until September 2018.) June 14, 2017CIOC meeting. Agenda item - Policy for Private Road Acceptance. “Director Theis stated that Councilmember Gee had requested that staff draft a policy regarding the acceptance of private roads and to have the draft reviewed by the CIOC.” (Note. A revised policy was not created until September 2018 and staff did NOT permit the CIOC to review before submitting to the Council for approval.) Minutes of the discussion and comments by the public cover 3 pages. Meeting ended with the note “item was continued to a future CIOC meeting”. However, this did not happen until January 2018 and only after the City Council put the item on its own agenda (after not hearing back from Staff or the CIOC for 7 months after passing a motion in May). June 22, 2017Staff finds existing actual City Policy and Criteria for the Acceptance of Existing Private Streets for Public Maintenance. (Resolution 56-90) December 19, 2017City Council Meeting. Council Member Gee requests that the City Council put the issue of maintenance of private roads on the agenda. Update of the Road and Drainage Repair Plan not approved partially due to lack of mention of private roads in Orinda. January 10, 2018CIOC meeting. Agenda item - DISCUSSION – ROAD AND DRAINAGE REPAIRS PLAN. Most of the 4 pages of minutes were devoted to public statements regarding public infrastructure on private roads. February 6, 2018City Council Meeting. Update of the Road and Drainage Repair Plan still not approved, again partially due to lack of sufficient comment on private roads in Orinda. February 14, 2018CIOC meeting. Agenda item – Consider Formation of a Task Force to Investigate Private Roads, Private Drains, and Substandard Fire Hydrants. Minutes of the discussion cover 6 pages. March 14, 2018CIOC meeting. Update on City Staff Report for Private Road Acceptance and Maintenance on the agenda. Public Works Director Larry Theis did not attend the meeting. His assistant, Khorashadi, advised the Commission that Theis and City Manager Steve Salomon were “preparing the staff report” for the April 10 City Council meeting but nothing was presented to the Commission. The minutes state: “City Manager Salomon confirmed that the City Council has not given direction to the Commission to discuss private roads or the formation of a Task Force.” Unclear if Salomon was at the meeting or if this was reported by Khorashadi. Commissioner Fay “commented that at least one Councilmember had informed him that there is disagreement with that statement.” Staff appears to be trying to cut the Commission out of the process. CIOC still discussed the issue. Passed a motion to recommend a Task Force to the council. April 10, 2018 (12 months after Mira Loma went to the CIOC)Topic of maintenance of private roads is on the City Council agenda.Council directs Staff to return to the Council with a recommendation as to the composition of the task force, what the general scope of the task force should be and what format outreach and coordination should be made in a more informal session where there could be open dialogue. April 11, 2018CIOC meeting. City Council Action on Private Road Acceptance and Maintenance and Formation of a Task Force only item on the agenda. CIOC unanimously recommends the City form a nine-member task force. May 9, 2018CIOC meeting. Commissioners requested that a review of the draft staff report regarding the recommendation on formation of a Task Force to consider private road acceptance and maintenance be placed on the next agenda. June 27, 2018CIOC reviews first draft of Staff report to City Council (which was a non-report; verbal only)CIOC drafts its own guidelines. Theis asked if he would support the CIOC’s recommendation, he does not say yes or no. Ultimately he recommends against the Task force using inflated cost figures as the reason. July 10, 2018Staff presents report to City CouncilPasses forward the CIOC recommendation.Counteracts the CIOC recommendation with inflated worst-case cost scenarios, implying the costs would fall on the Orinda General Fund when City Policy states otherwise.Council, too scared to create a task force, directs staff (again), to review policy with input from CIOC. July 11, 2018CIOC meeting. City Council action on Private roads only item on Agenda. Theis reports back to commission on the Council’s action (inaction). Reports that the Council asked Staff to provide a revised Private Road Policy. Commission does not discuss this. September 2, 2018NextDoor.com discussion September 4, 2018Staff presents revised policy to the City Council (Resolution 59-18). Staff created revision without input from CIOC. Revisions minor; more restrictive than previous policy; excludes 200 of 204 private streets from consideration of becoming public. September 4, 2018NextDoor.com discussion (1) September 4, 2018NextDoor.com discussion (2) September 12, 2018CIOC meeting. Commissioners voice displeasure about not being included in the revision of the policy (Resolution 59-18). Put the topic on the agenda for the next meeting. October 10, 2018CIOC meeting. Discuss the fact that the Private Road Policy (Resolution 59-18) was created by Staff without seeking input from the commission. Theis claims this was the direction from the Council. Council minutes (July 10, 2018) indicate this is not true. Commission drafts letter to Council voicing displeasure that the Council excluded the Commission from the process. October 19 2018NextDoor.com discussion October 25, 2018NextDoor.com discussion November 6, 2018City Council election. Dean Orr (who voted against forming a task force) leaves as does Eve Phillips (who recused herself as a resident of a private street). Dennis Fay (who drafted the formation of a task force for the CIOC, and who lives on a private street) and Nick Kosla voted in. November 20, 2018
CIOC meeting. Discuss letter to Council re. the exclusion of the CIOC from the process of revising the private road policy. Letter ultimately not sent to full Council, only to Council Member Gee, when it became apparent that the Council did not direct staff to exclude the Commission. (So why did Theis say the opposite at the October 10 CIOC meeting?) The CIOC dropped the issue.January 22, 2019The City Council, in the discussion of extending the half cent sales tax past 2022, re-opened the idea of a task force to discuss the maintenance of private roads with Council Members Gee, Fay and Kosla supporting the idea. No motion on the issue was made but three Council Members (Gee, Fay, Kosla) commented that the topic needs to be discussed. February 19, 2019The topic of public maintenance of private roads came up in the City Council's discussion of City Priorities. Mayor Miller concluded the discussion by giving direction to staff to return with a process and formation of a task force for the half-cent sales tax and, as part of the task force's charges, to look at ways of providing funding to those (private) roads that are legally mapped. February 19, 2019NextDoor.com discussion March 19, 2019City Manager presents a staff report to the City Council proposing a four hour public workshop to discuss the private roads issue. Council Member Fay submits his own white paper. Council directs staff to schedule the workshop and work with Fay regarding his proposal. City Priorities also discussed with Final Priority List approved. All items regarding pavement management and storm drains SPECIFICALLY refer to Public roads, implying an exclusion of any inclusion of private streets or storm water that is diverted through private property. May 21, 2019City Council approves a four hour, facilitated workshop on August 27, 2019 discussing private roads.