Paso Robles City Council Meeting Highlights
Highlights from the City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 are as follows. The City Council took the following actions:
Introduced the Paso Robles Homeless Services Director. Recently, Council approved funding to contract with ECHO to hire a Homeless Services Director to oversee the City’s homeless services and, when it opens in April 2020, operate the Homeless Navigation Center. ECHO hired Jeff Al-Mashat, who has 25 years of experience working in non-profit organizations including homeless services organizations. Mr. Al-Mashat welcomes community input on the work of addressing homelessness in Paso Robles and can currently be reached at ECHO’s Atascadero offices. His office will soon be moving to Paso Robles City Hall.
Received a State Legislative Update Regarding Transportation. Gus Khouri, the City’s contracted legislative advocate for transportation-related funding, provided an update on transportation-related policy and priorities at the state level. The Governor’s transportation policy is focused on delivering multi-modal options and greenhouse gas reductions. There are new staff and commissioners in key transportation-related positions. Competitive grant programs using SB 1 funding are prioritizing bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Recently, Mr. Khouri has worked to ensure that some remaining Interregional Transportation Improvements Program funds have been preserved for work on Highway 46, and to ensure the state legislation regarding transportation funding does not penalize small cities.
Heard Announcements about Community Holiday Events. The Paso Robles Friends of the Library 8th Annual Holiday Extravaganza will be held in the City Council Chambers (1000 Spring St.) on December 12th from 10:00-6:00, December 13th from 10:00-7:00, and December 14th form 10:00-4:00. The 58th Annual Christmas Light Parade will be held on Saturday December 7th at 7:00pm Downtown. The Holiday Movie Night will be held on December 8th at Park Cinemas at 7:00pm.
Adopted an Ordinance to Extend a Temporary Housing Element Moratorium on the Conversion of Multi-Family Residential Housing Properties with Five or More Units to Non-Residential Uses. The Ordinance applies to the R-3, R-4, R-5, TC-1, TC-2, T-3, and T-4 Zoning Districts. The City is now beginning the process of updating its Housing Element for the 2019-2028 reporting period, which must be reviewed and certified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) by December 2020. The City will face a challenge in meeting housing production requirements from the state for the next Housing Element Cycle, and existing constraints on housing supply as evidenced by very low vacancy rates in the rental market, for example. Losing existing housing stock during the Housing Element update is a risk that was mitigated by the adoption of the temporary moratorium. It has been in effect for 45 days, and was extended by the Council until October 28, 2020.
Adopted Updated Community Facilities District Goals and Policies. The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 permits cities to establish a Community Facilities District (CFD), which allows for financing the construction of public infrastructure and certain services. The CFD imposes a special tax on future property owners within the CFD boundary through an annual special tax levy collected on the property tax bill. The goal of a CFD is to ensure that new development fully funds the costs it imposes on the City, and that it funds improvements in a timely fashion to accommodate the expected growth. Prior to the City establishing any CFD financing districts, a “Local Goals and Policy” document must be approved to establishes special tax parameters for any new CFD. The CFD Local Goals and Policies establishes a set of guidelines for the formation and administration of CFD’s. The underlying principles behind the proposed policies include public interest and benefit, fairness to current and future property owners, avoidance of future failure of the project, protection of the City’s financial position, and reimbursement to the City of its incurred expenses. The Council adopted updated local goals and policies to govern any and all CFDs created in the City for future development.
Established a New Noise Ordinance. Council adopted an ordinance adding chapter 21.60 to the Paso Robles Municipal Code regarding noise. The City last updated the Noise Element as part of a comprehensive General Plan Update in 2003. Complaints from noise sources have increased in recent years, and the City’s General Plan and regulations do not provide adequate means to characterize noise impacts or enforce noise regulations. Bollard Acoustical Consultants, Inc. (BAC) was retained to assist the City with updating the Noise Element and in preparing a new Noise Ordinance. BAC completed a Community Noise Inventory during the summer of 2018 that measured noise and vibration in and around the City from multiple existing sources. The Planning Commission received public comments at three public workshops and a final hearing on 8/27/19 where it unanimously recommended that the City Council approve both the Noise Element Update and the new Noise Ordinance. The Ordinance will go into effect on January 3, 2020.
Considered Norma’s Alley Arch Public Art Installation. Council accepted the Parks and Recreation Committee’s recommendation for the installation of the Norma’s Alley Arch and approved use of the public art encroachment permit process to govern the remainder of the public input and installation process.
Appointed Members to the Housing Constraints and Opportunities Committee. Council appointed 12 members to the HCOC to serve as a steering committee for the review and preparation of the 2020 Housing Element.
This represents just a subset of the total actions by the Council. The full agenda can be found at https://www.prcity.com/agendacenter and the audio from the meeting can be found at https://www.prcity.com/AgendaCenter/City-Council-2. The minutes will be available as part of the packet for the City Council’s next regular meeting.
The next City Council meeting takes place on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 6:30 pm in the Library Conference Center/Council Chamber at 1000 Spring Street.