Paso Robles City Council Meeting Highlights for Tuesday, December 1, 2020
In compliance with social distancing, the City Council, staff, and the public participated via conference call. The public was invited to view a livestream of the meeting at www.prcity.com/youtube, to call into the meeting at 805-865-PASO (7276), and to email public comment to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the meeting.
Highlights from the Regular City Council meeting, held on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, are as follows. The City Council took the following actions:
Gave a Proclamation to Outgoing City Treasurer Mike Compton. Mr. Compton was first elected as City Treasurer in 1988. He has served for over 33 years as City Treasurer and served as the Director of Administrative Services from 1987-2007. He has had over 45 years of public service overall.
Certified the Election Results and Administered Oaths of Office to Newly Elected Officials. City Clerk Melissa Martin reported on the election results, as certified by the County, and administered oaths of office for Councilmember Strong, Councilmember Gregory, and City Treasurer Ryan Cornell, swearing them in for their new terms in office.
Received an Update on COVID-19. Council received an update on the COVID-19 situation at the state, county, and local levels; updated info is available online. SLO County, along with most of the state, is in the purple, or “widespread” tier in the State’s regulatory system. The City’s COVID-19 response and communication efforts continue. Free testing is now available Tuesday through Saturday from 7am to 7pm at the Event Center, and there will be a free pop-up testing event at the Study Center at 36th St. and Oak St. on December 2nd from 2-5pm.
Approved the Housing Element Update. Housing Elements are an element of cities’ General Plans. They are the only element that requires frequent updating as well as state review and approval. Paso’s Housing Element for 2020-2028 is required to be updated by December 31, 2020. The Housing Element outlines how the City will produce the amount of housing specified by its Regional Housing Needs Allocation during the next 8 years, at all income levels. The Element also details the results of a housing needs assessment, identifies constraints to housing production and how the City and alleviate those needs, identifies potential sites for housing development, and reports on progress toward implementing the prior Housing Element. Paso Robles exceeded its requirements during the prior cycle overall and anticipates being able to meet its requirements during the coming period. The City is applying for grant funds to implement some of the policy changes that will facilitate compliance. The Housing Element Update, which has undergone review and approval by the state, is available online.
Discussed the 2021 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the Draft Annual Action Plan. Council directed that the following applications be listed in the Draft One Year Action Plan as being recommended to the County for CDBG funding: a) Black Oak Drive infill ramp project and drive approaches $ 158,695; b) RISE roof repair $ 35,000*; c) CASA for foster child intervention to avert homelessness $ 2,500; d) People’s Self-Help Housing for supportive housing program $ 3,707; e) 5CHC for rental assistance $ 3,500; f) ECHO for homeless shelter and meal program $ 12,515; g) CAPSLO for adult day center $ 14,400; and h) administration $ 48,829, for a total of $ 244,146, which is the anticipated funding amount. Council also set March 2, 2021 as the date for the public hearing for finalizing the 2020 CDBG allocations, as this hearing was for the draft annual action plan.
Held Second Reading and Adopted an Ordinance Updating Sewer Use Provisions of the Municipal Code. Now that the City’s sewage treatment plant is producing tertiary-treated water able to be used for irrigation, updates to the City’s municipal code were appropriate. Among other changes, the ordinance recognizes the treatment plant’s greater ability to process certain metals and other elements often found in industrial waste flows. As a result, the Council raised the allowable limits for these elements, thereby easing restrictions on local industries, as it is now more cost-effective for the City to pull these elements out of the waste stream, rather than requiring each applicable business to do so.
Introduced an Ordinance to Amend the Municipal Code Regarding Camping. On October 6, Council adopted an urgency ordinance adding new camping regulations to the Municipal Code. The new camping regulations address risks that camping activities pose in high fire-risk areas and water quality-risk areas, prescribe procedures for the removal and storage of personal property, and codify the City’s current compliance with Martin v. City of Boise, which held that “the Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of criminal penalties for sitting, sleeping, or lying outside on public property for homeless individuals who cannot obtain shelter”. Given that the camping regulations concerned public health and safety, the new provisions were placed in Title 7 of the Municipal Code, Health and Sanitation. Title 21, Zoning, includes existing camping rules in Section 21.20.232, which prohibits camping in certain areas. The proposed ordinance would repeal section 21.20.232 given the new camping regulations in Title 7. After repeal, camping does not become a permitted use in Title 21, since a use not expressly allowed is generally prohibited.
The next regular City Council meeting takes place on Tuesday, December 15th at 6:30 pm, via livestream at www.prcity.com/youtube. Public comment can be made during the meeting by 805-865-PASO (7276) or provided prior to the meeting by emailing email@example.com.