JANUARY 23, 2006



JANUARY 23, 2006

The Livingston City Council and Planning Commission met in Joint Workshops on January 23, 2006, in the City Hall Conference Room.

Inclusionary Housing Workshop

The workshop commenced at 6:04 p.m.


Mayor Brandon Friesen

Mayor Pro-Tem Vierra

Council Member William Ingram

Council Member Roy Soria

Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

Commissioner Ramon Avila

Commissioner David Blevins

Commissioner Diann Benafield

Commissioner Marge McFadden

Commissioner Maricela Alvear

Barbara Kautz, representing the firm of Goldfarb & Lipman LLP, presented a draft policy on Inclusionary Housing. Ms. Kautz shared statistics on the requirements, income levels, terms of restrictions, means to maintain affordability, etc. Ms. Kautz explained the draft policy was only a guideline and that there were many options available to the community.

Community Development Director Kenney reported that she currently sits on a Merced County Department of Workforce Investment task force. She noted the taskforce is currently looking at non-profit groups or assistance from county staff in maintaining the programs for workforce housing.

Commissioner Benafield expressed the desire to explore other options to Inclusionary Housing to accommodate the need. There was discussion about who absorbs the cost difference. Ms. Kautz noted that most often this cost difference is made up by the developer; however, there are often density bonuses offered by a community to help offset the costs.

Council Member Ingram spoke about developments in Orange Cove, California. He noted the program enabled them to build entire tracts of affordable homes. Council Member Ingram noted that he personally visited the community and was highly impressed with the project. He asked that City staff do further research within this community and gather additional information.

Mr. Frank Borges, California Building Industry (CBI) – Affordable Housing, discussed how the market rate is determined. In addition, Mr. Borges reported CBI is working with data from the Sacramento and San Diego areas. Mr. Borges noted the preference is not to have Inclusionary Housing, but to convert apartments to ownership by design. Mr. Borges noted this is a problem that is widespread throughout the State and CBI is working with the League of California Cities.

It was noted there is concern that the cities can get into a position with Inclusionary Housing that may possibly create more issues. The preference would be condominium conversion and collaboration with the League. There are ways to create incentives, regulate, use ordinances, etc. to create a successful program.

Mr. Borges noted that CBI will be publishing a report that will be available February 15. He will send the report to Ms. Kenney to share with City Council and Planning Commission. Mr. Borges recommended to the Council and Planning Commission that the project description is written to increase density in order to accommodate affordable housing.

Mr. Mike Torres noted that affordable housing can be successful if there are control mechanisms in place (regulations on upkeep, auto sprinklers, etc).

Interim City Manager Lewis noted there is a 20% RDA set aside for low/moderate low income housing that can be used as incentives, etc.

Mr. Larry Greer, ATAB International, noted that cities will need to set a conceptual plan and then involve developers, include the restrictions, etc. and work from there. In addition, Mr. Greer noted the importance of working with reputable a title company.

The workshop ended at 7:14 p.m.

Tattoo Parlor Workshop

The workshop began at 7:17 p.m.


Mayor Brandon Friesen

Mayor Pro Tem Vierra

Bill Ingram

Roy Soria

Rod Espinoza

Ramon Avila

David Blevins

Diann Benafield

Marge McFadden

Maricela Alvear

Community Development Director Kenney noted the purpose of the workshop is that a potential business owner wishes to open a tattoo establishment and currently there is no ordinance in place in the City for such a business. Ms. Kenney reported that she and her staff have been researching existing ordinances from Texas and Massachusetts. While, Ms. Kenney noted, inquiring with neighboring cities, there is currently no such ordinance in place, however, there are places like Las Vegas that have a simple ordinance relying on the county for enforcement. Merced County is currently revising their regulations to include tattoo establishments that the City will likely adopt as well. Ms Kenney questioned how the City of Livingston would like to set the ordinance. Currently the Merced County Environmental Health is driving regulations.

Commissioner Benafield noted that currently the City has an establishment that offers permanent make-up and asked the question about how this business differs and what ordinances or regulations govern it. Ms. Kenney noted the City is unaware of such a business and noted she would follow up on the issue.

There were many concerns about the regulations on disposal of hazardous waste, limiting the number of tattoo establishments, hours of operations, zoning, gang and racial tattoos, limiting sales of paraphernalia, age restrictions, conditional use permits, etc. It was noted that all of these concerns would be addressed in an ordinance that either piggy-backed the County regulations or one that was developed for the City.

Mr. Cabrera, the applicant for the tattoo establishment, addressed the concerns noted by the Council, Planning Commission and various citizens. Mr. Cabrera noted that all material is stored and sealed to prevent any danger. In addition, Mr. Cabrera noted that his establishment will be operating under universal precautions and accountability procedures used by the medical profession.

Ms. Kenney was directed by Council to take the information/direction from the evening, incorporate same with the County policy and develop an ordinance.

The question was still raised about how to accommodate the business owner in getting a business license in order to open the establishment. Ms. Kenney noted that her understanding would be since there is no ordinance in place the soonest this would happen is at least two months. Ms. Kenney will follow up with the City Attorney to confirm the timeframe and get answers about how this business relates to establishments that offer permanent make-up.

Ms. Kenney will develop a draft ordinance, after she receives direction from the City Attorney and provide a draft to the City Council and Planning Commission. At that time it will be determined if it is necessary to set up additional workshops to proceed with the ordinance.

The meeting ended at 8:49 p.m.

Variance Workshop

The workshop began at 8:54 p.m.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss the process for issuance of variances.

Recently there was a variance approved by the Planning Commission against the advisement of staff. The reason staff advised against the approval of the variance was that the variance was in direct conflict of the current municipal code.

Interim City Manager Lewis, noted that a variance must meet the criteria as outline in the municipal code. If it is the desire of the Council or Planning Commission to change such code an amendment must be prepared and codified.

There was discussion on the process of a variance. It was noted that the municipal code had been revised granting the Planning Commission authority to approve variances so long as they meet the criteria of the municipal code for variances.

It was suggested that there be a language chance in the ordinance to include any variance approved or denied by the Planning against the advisement of staff be submitted in writing to the City Council for review. A copy of this report will be distributed to both the City Council and Planning Commission.

The City Council directed staff to schedule a joint workshop with the Planning Commission sometime in February to address the changes in the ordinance and review

of current codes.

The workshop ended at 10:05 p.m.


The meeting (all workshops) was adjourned at 10:06 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: February 7, 2006


Mayor or Mayor ProTempore


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