City sets procedures for buying property

The Pleasanton City Council voted 6-1 on June 4 to direct City Manager Pearson on steps to be followed before the city considers the purchase of property. Voting against was Councilman Abraham Saenz (Dist. 2).

Councilwoman Jeanne B. Israel (Dist. 6) said this item came up when there was consideration that the city may be looking at future purchases of property. Israel said she started thinking about what kind of procedures may be in place to help the city make decisions about cost benefits and purchasing properties.

Pearson drew up a guideline of steps to follow. Israel asked for input from City Attorney Bobby Maldonado on anything that might need to be added.

“Obviously there are going to be different assumptions and different things we need to do, based on what type of property we are buying,” said Pearson. “Under the inspections part, before council would consider buying a property, and we are assuming the property would have some sort of structure on it, we would need to look at the environmental, especially if we had issued any debt, such as with the community center and library project.”

The city would also need to do a structural inspection, fire protection inspection, plumbing inspection and code compliance. A certified real estate appraisal that includes all findings, along with cost estimates were also mentioned by Pearson.

It has also been suggested that the seller pay for the inspections and the upgrades to be code compliant, said Pearson. Pearson said they can only ask the seller to be code compliant to what the gender of the building is as he or she sells it, not the gender of what the city is going to change it to.

Maldonado said they discussed, first and foremost, whether any respect to the purchase of property has been budgeted. Has it been part of the planning process and has council determined that it is in the public’s interest, asked Maldonado.

Councilman J.R. Gallegos (Dist. 4) said he would like to see the word survey also included in the recommendation.

Israel then made the motion to approve Option #1, to direct Pearson to facilitate any inspections, appraisals, review studies or cost estimates, necessary to provide the city council with the necessary information for consideration before purchasing property. Her motion also stated to include the survey and information on whether it has been budgeted. Gallegos seconded this motion.

City Councilman Abraham Saenz (Dist. 2) said he thought it was a good idea to check all this information and reports beforehand. City Councilwoman Kathy Coronado (Dist. 3) said that Maldonado had stressed over the years that any purchase by the city, especially if bought by taxpayer’s money, can only be done if there is a public benefit to purchasing that piece of property.

Coronado made an amendment to include discussion of whether the purchase is good for the benefit of the public in the motion. Council voted 6-1 on including the amendment, with Saenz voting against.

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