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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

City Council Revokes Noise Ordinance Waiver for Public Marketplace Developement

Council Majority Takes Unprecedented Move in Revocation

Dissenting Mayor Donahue Feels Developer's Pain; "They've Been Punished Enough"

Market Place Developer Tim Bacon
"Embarrassed" to be asking for a
third chance to honor his agreement. 
The developer of the Market Place project on Christie Avenue, by twice violating the terms of a waiver of the Noise Ordinance he received, drew a revocation of the waiver by the City Council at the regularly scheduled September 19th Council meeting.  After the City’s Planning Director issued Tim Bacon, Senior Vice President of Public Market LP an unprecedented stop work order on August 29th for job site violations to the waiver agreement, the City Council heard testimony from Mr Bacon who said he was sure the agreement would be followed if the Council would give him a third chance. Unimpressed, the Council voted 4-1 (Mayor Donahue dissenting) to revoke the waiver, a first for the City of Emeryville.

At issue was a 10:00 AM Saturday start up time for the construction as agreed upon as part of a waiver to the Noise Ordinance that precludes weekend construction.  During negotiations with the City Council, Mr Bacon had requested a 9:00AM start up time for his crew but was rebuffed, the Council citing letters of complaint from neighbors to the massive 13 acre 462 rental unit mixed use project.  After agreeing to the 10:00 starting time, workers on the site ignored the order and began starting work early anyway said Council member Christian Patz who documented the violations on two subsequent Saturday mornings.  The developer received a warning from the City after the first Saturday violation.  
Mayor Scott Donahue
The developer has been
"punished enough".

Before the vote on the 19th, a contrite Tim Bacon expressed dismay at his subcontractors whom he said had been violating the agreement and he told the Council he felt “embarrassed” to be even asking for a third chance. He added, “Frankly I was close to asking this be pulled from the agenda tonight because it didn’t seem fair to reconsider it because we didn’t hold up our end of the bargain”.  Mayor Donahue, breaking with his colleagues, said the developer had been “punished enough”.
Weekend work will now not be allowed for the duration of the construction project.

Not once has any developer been taken to task by the City Council for violating the Noise Ordinance or even for violating a waiver.  Since 2009 when the Noise Ordinance was enacted, waivers have been routinely given to developers and numerous violations have been brought to the City’s attention (the Tattler has highlighted several) but the City Council has never taken corrective action until now. 
The City of Emeryville has gotten a reputation over the years for not representing the resident’s interests and taking the developer’s side with regards to the Noise Ordinance and as such, both the stop work order and the subsequent revocation of the Saturday work waiver represents a new direction for the City.
Historic Document for Emeryville
A stop work order has never (before August 29th) been issued to any developer
for a Noise Ordinance violation despite the fact that nearly every developer
has violated the ordinance in our town since 2009.


  1. You should give your Nora Davis smiling down award to Mayor Donahue for this. Her heart would be warmed by Scott's vote.