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2017 State of the City Address

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Mayor Lori Liu provided the City's 2017 State of the City Address on Wednesday, October 4th at the DoubleTree Hotel in Brisbane. Take a look at project highlights from the past year by watching the recording below, or it will also be played back on Ch. 27 through the first part of 2018. Thank you to the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce for hosting this annual event!

Click here to view the presentation.

Each year, the Chamber of Commerce hosts the State of the City Address and it is attended by residents as well as members of the business community. Mayor Liu started off with talking about her family moving to Brisbane in 2004 and attending an Earth Day cleanup event at the water tower off Kings Road. She fell in love with the mountain and the character of Brisbane. Residents live in close proximity to a major metropolitan area but have unique access to open space on San Bruno Mountain. They care deeply about their neighbors and appreciate the arts and outdoor recreation. The community is quirky and has its own unique traditions, such as decorating Stars and painting fire hydrants. All of this defines Brisbane and will be important in mapping out the future.

The City Council is in the process of considering the Final EIR and making a decision regarding certification of the Final EIR prior to taking any action on the Brisbane Baylands Development. The Council’s Baylands review process officially started in September of 2016, with the bulk of 2017 comprised of numerous public hearings, which systematically covered all the chapters of the EIR. Its anticipated public hearings and Council deliberations will continue through the end of 2017, as Council analyzes any potential impacts of the housing legislation recently passed by the State Legislature.

The City is working on adopting its first ever Precise Plan for Parkside at Brisbane Village, which includes approximately 230 units of housing. The City’s consultant, MIG, released the Draft Parkside Precise Plan in June 2017 where it was studied by the Planning Commission over several meetings before they recommended approval of the plan with modifications in August. The goal of the Parkside Plan is to ensure that the community defines its vision and establishes the implementing regulations and standards BEFORE new residential development is proposed. The Parkside Precise Plan will be both the vehicle to establish the community’s vision and the tool to ensure that this vision is implemented through individual projects over time. Property owners and future developers also benefit, in that through the precise plan, they understand the community’s vision and know what will be expected of them in future development. The City Council began their review of the draft plan with a Public Hearing this past month on October 16th.

The construction of the City’s new Brisbane Library is set to break ground next year. The library will include a Maker’s Space to spark the creativity of the next generation of learners, and also will have dedicated spaces for children, teens, a quiet study area, an outdoor garden, and a new Community Center so that everyone has the space they need. The new Brisbane Library will also include the first Public Arts project triggered by the Public Arts Ordinance, thanks to the leadership of Kevin Fryer. The installation will be a beautiful glass display in the library, which will be integrated into the design and reflect the special attributes of our community. To support the build of the new Library, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize a one-time $300K grant for design purposes earlier this year, and the Friends of the Brisbane Library are setting out to raise $100,000.
Another major project was that the City received grant funding for renovation of the Crocker Park Trail, which will make it more usable for bikes, strollers, and joggers. With these improvements, this trail will provide a safe connection between the residential development at the Ridge and Lipman Middle School, where a low percentage of students currently walk or bike. In addition, it will provide easier access to recreation for residents as well employees in Crocker Park. The trail is expected to be a newly-surfaced sometime next summer, once the grant funding process is completed.

An example of a community project that shows our collaborative effort is the new Brisbane Skatepark, which opened with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony on June 13th, 2016. The skatepark was constructed and designed by Spohn Ranch Skateparks with community input from Brisbane youth and residents. The renovation of the Brisbane Skatepark to a fully updated, entirely concrete surfaced skatepark was a true community effort. Youth leaders, families, individuals, contractors and businesses helped to make this renovation project possible through their fundraising and advocacy efforts, which offset the total Skatepark construction costs by nearly 20%, making it a truly collaborative and community effort.

Mayor Liu also touched on the City’s commitment to the environment and delivering measurable and significant results when it comes to curbing global warming. In addition, the City of Brisbane was recognized for its environmental leadership and best practices by receiving the Platinum level Spotlight Award from the Institute for Local Government. ILG recognized that Brisbane is making inroads in energy savings, natural gas savings, and greenhouse gas reductions. The City is also part of Peninsula Clean Energy which provides more renewable and cheaper electricity to residents and businesses. And the City has opted up its municipal accounts to ECO100, the 100% renewable energy option, for all municipal electric accounts.

Community events were very successful this year from Live at Mission Blue, Concerts in the Park and Day in the Park. The City also held two new events – Star City Music Festival and the Brisbane Marina Kite Festival. Special thanks also went out to two new volunteer groups in Brisbane: Brisbane Village Helping Hands, who are committed to helping Brisbane residents “age in place”; and G3, or the Guerilla Garden Gangstas, a grassroots group who set out to beautify downtown Brisbane.

In considering the City’s financial state, City Manager Clay Holstine explained that more money has been brought in than what has been spent. The extra money is placed into reserves and increase annually due to the City’s adoption of a Fund Balance Policy. The general reserve fund is currently at $10M, which is set aside for unexpected large events, recession, unanticipated one-time events, and excess reserves. The City’s General Fund Expenditures are typical of most other cities. The City’s General Fund Revenues are well balanced to handle the ups and downs of the economy. The City is caught up on deferred maintenance at the Pool, Storm Drain Systems, trails and paths. The City is also setting aside reserves for long-term liabilities and an upcoming long-term capital improvement project (CIP).