JANUARY 20, 2009

REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

JANUARY 20, 2009

 

 

 

A Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on January 20, 2009, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Varela presiding.

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Mayor Varela called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  He spoke about today being a historical day due to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

 

ROLL CALL

 

   Mayor Daniel Varela, Sr.

   Mayor Pro-Tem Rodrigo Espinoza

   Council Member Frank Vierra

   Council Member Margarita Aguilar

   Council Member Martha Nateras

 

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

There was no Closed Session held.

 

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

 

 

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

 

1.     Special Recognition – Livingston High School Key Club.

 

Mayor Varela presented a Certificate of Recognition to the Livingston High School Key Club.

 

Council Member Vierra, Key Club advisor, introduced Key Club members present:

 

Dallin Warne – Lt. Governor D-46 (Merced and Stanislaus Counties).

Harpreet Chohan – President.

Ramanveer Virk – Secretary.            ..

Ricky Sahoto – Candidate for D-46 Lt. Governor (Merced and Stanislaus Counties).

          Navneetr Singh – Treasurer and Winter Homecoming Junior Attendant.

 

          Mayor Varela recognized Council Member Vierra for all he has done with the Key Club.

          Council Member Vierra said the kids keep you going and make you feel young.

 

2.     Special Recognition – Dan Folkner – 25 Year Service Award.

 

Mayor Varela presented a pin to Dan Folkner for his 25 years of service with the City’s Public Works Department.

 

3.     Housing Element Update Presentation.

 

City Manager Warne introduced the item.  Community Development Director Kenney introduced Mark Niskinen and John Anderson of JB Anderson and Associates.  Mr. Niskinen gave a presentation on the Housing Element and a survey being distributed to City residents.

 

Council Member Vierra asked if the survey is being distributed through the City utility bills.  He noted that residents living in apartment units will not receive the survey since they do not receive a utility bill.

 

Mr. Niskinen asked if the survey could be placed on the City website.  Council Member Vierra noted that apartment residents may not have a computer because they do not make enough money to purchase one.

 

City Manager Warne suggested a door hanger be used for apartments to ensure that everyone will get a survey.     

 

4.  Status Report on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Grant.

 

         City Manager Warne introduced the item.

 

The status report on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Grant was presented by Self-Help Enterprises representatives Patrick Isherwood and Susan Atkins.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

 

     Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

 

     Administrative Assistant Juan Corona gave the following reports:

 

     ●  Merced County may be a possible location for a High Speed Rail maintenance hub at Castle Commerce Center.  The County will be sending out letters to see if they want to participate.

     ●  Livingston Town Hall meeting went well.  He thanked the City for allowing them to use

the Council Chambers for this meeting.  He also thanked Assistant City Manager Lewis for her help.

     ●  Supervisor Pedrozo was not present because he was attending the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.

 

     City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

 

     Mayor Pro-Tem Espinoza

 

     ●  Commented on the status of the City’s budget in this economy.  He noted that Water and Sanitation Funds are on negative side.  Revising ordinances is good, but a lot of monies are being spent on attorney’s fees.  We need to watch the General Fund and with warrants of a half million dollars going out each month we need to watch that too.

 

     Council Member Aguilar

 

     ●  Attended a Red Ribbon Committee meeting.  She commented we are trying to get the City Council, the schools and the media involved.  She noted that as a community and the Council, we are on board and would like to ask for participation.  She thanked John Mucci and Police Chief Eldridge for inviting her to attend.  She was glad to be there and hopes to see good things come out of this.

 

     Council Member Nateras

 

     ●  Wished everyone a happy new year.  She attended a meeting of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee and was excited.  Code Enforcement is in the works.  She announced a meeting on January 28 for Relay for Life and invited everyone to come together and get involved.

 

Council Member Vierra

 

     ●  Commented we have a young man from Livingston Middle School attending the inauguration.  The student called him while he was in Washington, D.C. and he can hardly wait for him to return to give us an update.      

 

 

 

 

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

 

     Mayor Varela

 

     ●  He said that Council Member Aguilar’s red ribbon presentation was very important.

     ●  The Relay for Life kick-off rally is scheduled for January 28 at Livingston Middle School and everyone is invited.

     ●  He commented on how to get young people involved in caring for their community.  He said it’s not just a job, but because we care and want the outcome to be good.  It is a process.  If we consider having some of the high school students get involved with the Citizens’ Advisory Committee they can take ownership of their community.

     ●  Commented that although the budget was tight he wanted to commend staff for doing a fantastic job with City money.  He said that some of our surrounding communities are taking hard hits and losing employees and here we are not losing anyone.  He added that we don’t have everything that we want, but have everything we need.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

5.     Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the City of Livingston and the County of Merced Authorizing the County to Submit an Application for Funding on Behalf of the City under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Allocation of the State Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

 

City Manager Warne introduced the agenda item.  John Isherwood from Self-Help Enterprises gave the presentation.

 

Mayor Varela opened the Public Hearing at 7:43 p.m.

 

Gerri Martin, 16981 W Vinewood Avenue, asked if it is a requirement to live here.   

Susan Atkins, Self-Help Enterprises, said yes and that grant money would be used for down payments on foreclosed homes.

 

Kaye Greely, 1571 Monte Cristo Way, said she first heard that there is $400,000 left over.

Ms. Atkins replied that $400,000 was spent and these are additional grant funds.  Ms. Greeley asked if we are looking at approximately $600,000.

 

City Manager Warne explained we are actually spending about one million in housing grant monies in the City this fiscal year.

 

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive asked if the information will be in multiple languages.  Ms. Atkins commented there is information at City Hall in multiple languages and there was also a public notice in the newspaper in three different languages.

 

 

Colette Alvernaz, PO Box 255, Livingston, noted there are a lot of people who do not read the newspaper and suggested placing information on the community access channel.

 

Mayor Varela said he believes it is very important that this information get out there.  He commented that Supervisor Pedrozo will be present at the Community Center on March 27 and will bring lenders to help restructure home loans for our residents to save their homes. He added that we are always looking at different ways to get information to the public.

 

Jasmin Bains, Senior Accountant, commented on existing home loans and noted there is an interest list at the front counter of City Hall.  She said we use the interest list and are making every effort to get the word out.

 

Council Member Nateras asked how many people are on the list.  Ms. Bains said there are currently around 70 to 80 people.

 

City Manager Warne commented that the March 27 event that is open to the public.  He noted the meeting should help people facing foreclosure of their homes.  Ms. Atkins commented that Self-Help also offers free counseling for those facing foreclosure.  Council Member Aguilar said another avenue we could use is the schools.

 

Mayor Varela closed the Public Hearing at 7:54 p.m. as there were no further comments from the public.

 

Motion:  M/S Vierra/Nateras to adopt Resolution No. 2009-1, Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the City of Livingston and the County of Merced Authorizing the County to Submit an Application for Funding on Behalf of the City under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Allocation of the State Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).  The motion carried 5-0 by the following vote:

AYES:                  Council Members:          Aguilar, Espinoza, Nateras, Varela, Vierra

NOES:                  Council Members:          None

ABSENT:   Council Members:          None

ABSTAIN: Council Members:          None

 

CITIZEN COMMENTS

 

Harlan Gate, foreperson for the Merced County Grand Jury, delivered a postscript to 2007-2008 Livingston City report showing several concerns expressed by the current Grand Jury of last year’s report.  The City has 60 days to respond to the concerns.

 

Colette Alvernaz commented that her daughter Nicole’s name was misspelled in the minutes of the last meeting.  She would like the minutes changed to reflect that she handed in a copy of what she read at the December 16, 2008, City Council meeting.  She said that Item No. 7, the Grading Ordinance is too restrictive to agriculture.  The ultimate goal of the 2025 General Plan is to expand the City limits on land that is under permanent farmland trust easements and the Williamson Act provisions need to be made to Ordinance No. 578 to allow standard agriculture practices.  Mrs. Alvernaz referred to Warrant Registers in the agenda packet and wants to view a copy of the reports relating to the following invoices and an explanation of each invoice:

Invoice #55730 Condor Earth, WWTF groundwater monitor date 11/28/08

Far West lab tests 1/5/09

Invoice 27530 PMC Livingston DWWTP EIR 12/2008

PMC Master Plan is MND, what does MND mean.

Why isn’t there room for over 25% City growth with two ponds still bone dry?

 

Mayor Varela suggested that Mrs. Alvernaz make an appointment to meet with the City Manager and himself to get answers to her questions.

 

Mrs. Alvernaz commented that she met with the City Manager on one occasion and feels it was a negative meeting.  She declined to meet with the Mayor and City Manager.  She wants the answers in writing, so she can respond in writing.

 

Mayor Varela advised Mrs. Alvernaz that if we set an appointment and look at her questions then we could sit down and go over her responses.  He encouraged Mrs. Alvernaz to submit her questions.

 

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, PO 163, Livingston, said she just came back from Orlando, Florida and after listening to the comments she was reminded of a TV commercial, “You can pay me now or pay me later (Midas commercial).”  She commented she was heartened when she looked at agenda item #15.  Her understanding is that if a home was vacant for six months that it would revert to commercial, but in this economy how can you use it as a business.  She asked if six months is fair because the ordinance does not match the economy.  Mrs. Schell Rodriguez added that at least someone is looking at the market and looking at the ordinance and deciding that something needs to be done. She added that as for revising ordinances as a whole, the City gets into trouble if they are not revised.  Some of ordinances do not meet the needs of 2009/10 for the citizens.  She is sure that if we pay the lawyers later, it will only be more.

 

Luis Flores referred to the first item in Closed Session and the statement from the grand jury foreperson and said that maybe that item will be made public soon.

 

CONSENT CALENDAR

 

The following items were presented to City Council for consideration under the Consent Calendar:

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Espinoza asked that Items 6 and 7 be voted on separately and Item 8 be pulled for discussion.

 

6.     Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 577, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Codifying Civil Code Section 2929.3 Relating to Failure to Maintain Vacant Residential Real Properties in Foreclosure.

 

Motion:  M/S Vierra/Nateras to Waive the First Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 577, Codifying Civil Code Section 2929.3 Relating to Failure to Maintain Vacant Residential Real Properties in Foreclosure.  The motion carried 4-1 by the following vote:

AYES:                  Council Members:          Aguilar, Nateras, Varela, Vierra

NOES:                  Council Members:          Espinoza

ABSENT:   Council Members:          None

ABSTAIN: Council Members:          None

 

7.     Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 578, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Policies, Rules and Regulations Governing Grading, Erosion and Sedimentation Control and Adding Chapter 6 to Title 4 of the Livingston Municipal Code.

 

Motion:  M/S Vierra/Varela to Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 578,  Establishing Policies, Rules and Regulations Governing Grading, Erosion and Sedimentation Control and Adding Chapter 6 to Title 4 of the Livingston Municipal Code.  The motion carried 4-1 by the following vote:

AYES:                  Council Members:          Aguilar, Nateras, Varela, Vierra

NOES:                  Council Members:          Espinoza

ABSENT:   Council Members:          None

ABSTAIN: Council Members:          None

 

8.     Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into an Agreement with Phil Martin & Associates, Inc. for the Environmental Assessment of the Blueberry Crossing Project Site.

 

For the public’s information, Mayor Pro-Tem Espinoza said he wants to make sure they know the Council is awarding the Wal-Mart project to Phil Martin and Associates, Inc.

City Manager Warne confirmed that Blueberry Crossing is the Wal-Mart project and Community Development Director Kenney is prepared to answer questions.

 

Motion:  M/S Varela/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2009-2, Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into an Agreement with Phil Martin & Associates, Inc. for the Environmental Assessment of the Blueberry Crossing Project Site.  The motion carried

5-0 by the following vote:

AYES:                  Council Members:          Aguilar, Espinoza, Nateras, Varela, Vierra

NOES:                  Council Members:          None

ABSENT:   Council Members:          None

ABSTAIN: Council Members:          None

 

9.  Resolution Approving and Adopting an Amended Conflict of Interest Code Pursuant to the Political Reform Act of 1974.  (Resolution No. 2009-3).

 

10.                        Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on December 16, 2008.

 

11.                        Approval of Warrant Register Dated December 30, 2008.

 

12.                        Approval of Warrant Register Dated January 15, 2009.

 

Motion:  M/S Vierra/Nateras to approve consent calendar items 9-12.  The motion carried 5-0.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEM

    

13.                        Consideration of Merced Union High School District’s Request to Close Peach Avenue, Designate which Street Alternative the City Council is Interested in Pursuing and Provide Guidance to City Staff and the Merced Union High School District.

 

Council Members Nateras and Vierra declared a Conflict of Interest and left the Council Chambers during discussion of this item.  Both Council Members are employed by the Merced Union High School District. 

 

City Manager Warne presented the agenda item.  Community Development Director Kenney gave a power point presentation on the alternatives.

 

City Attorney Donnelly stated the closure of Peach is probably not a legal option. To

close it, the Council would have to make the finding that the street is no longer necessary

and this is highly unlikely.

 

Police Chief Eldridge said he was asked by the City Manager for his opinion.  He stated

he is taking a firm stand and opposes any closure of Peach Avenue.  He noted that Park

Street and Hammatt Avenue cannot take on any more traffic flow.  He urged the Council

not to close Peach Avenue and added that the Fire Department would be greatly affected

and opposed. 

 

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated he is in total agreement with Chief Eldridge and what

he has explained of the problems of closing Peach Avenue.  He reiterated Chief

Eldridge’s concerns.  City Engineer Gottiparthy commented that the traffic model that

was prepared indicates that current volumes are now approximately 260 daily trips and

he projects 9,985 trips in the 20 year forecast.  Based on these facts he recommends that

Peach not be closed.

 

City Manager Warne stated the City would have to amend their General Plan and Traffic

Circulation Master Plan.  He explained what would need to be done and that the City

would be heavily involved in right-of-way acquisition with Option 2 (rerouting Peach

Avenue).  Option 3 (raising Peach Avenue) would require environmental review.  Option

4 (pedestrian overpass) would require environmental review, but not an amendment to

the General Plan and Traffic Circulation Master Plan.

 

The item was opened to the public at 8:33 p.m.

 

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, commented that the City had talked about an overhead

pedestrian bridge and an enclosed fence, but  the school district didn’t even talk about it.

They are using this everyday in Los Banos and Ceres.  It would be on the south side of

the canal.  Seventh Street cannot take any more traffic and there will be more homes built

and more children.  He realizes the school wants it their way, but the City has to do it

their way.  He said let’s keep the community safe with a pedestrian tunnel or bridge. 

Let’s take our time and give them guidance.

 

          Bill Ingram, 656 F Street, concurs with Mr. Torres.  He said when Council discussed it when he was a Council member, the school kept trying to say that they wanted to keep a consolidated campus.  What about the property owners?  We have to protect them.  The overpass, they are safe and handicap accessible.  The school and the Council need to take a very hard look at that.  In Turlock the street at Turlock High School is blocked off for the safety of the children.  Think about it.  There are options out there that should be considered before rerouting Peach Avenue.

 

          City Attorney Donnelly informed the public to keep their comments to three minutes.

 

          Gerri Martin asked the Council to address the thinking between the pedestrian overpass and the tunnel. She said she didn’t know who would want their kids in a tunnel.  You would need security there. 

 

          Livingston High School Principal Ralph Calderon stated he does not want to be a bad neighbor.  The purpose of his last presentation to the Council was to report the upgrade of the facility.  He said a high profile crosswalk is another option on the other side of Peach.

 

          Colette Alvernaz questioned what happened to developer Del Valle Homes and fees for a pedestrian overpass. Where is that money?  Were other developers assessed a fee for the pedestrian overpass?  When fees are assessed for a pedestrian overpass at the high school, people conclude there will be a pedestrian overpass.  Why the change now?

          What will the pick up and drop off traffic be like on Main Street if Peach is shut or rerouted?  Currently, there is a promenade all around Livingston.  Peach Avenue is vital to the flow of traffic.  Closing Peach will disrupt the flow of traffic.  How will emergency vehicles get through?  How will it affect emergency vehicles response time?  Has the Merced Union High School District contacted the people whose properties are involved in rerouting the traffic?  The land belongs to them.  Do they want to sell or does the Merced Union High School District assume it will just take the property?  People are fed up with eminent domain.  Rerouting of Peach does not need to occur West of Main and Lincoln Blvd.  She questioned why so far to the west?  An additional option needs to be considered.  Reroute the road using all of the school district property.  What about a possible land swap?  The City gives Peach and the school district gives the land it owns on the south for a new Peach Avenue.  Under Option 1 (closing Peach Avenue) if Peach Avenue is closed where will the traffic go?  There is farm traffic on Magnolia Avenue.  There are several sweet potato sheds with semi trucks picking up loads.  At the high school students are running late and driving to school.  With this kind of traffic it could be dangerous and a hazard.  How would Park Street be affected?  Have all the people that will be affected been contacted? 

 

          City Manager Warne commented that Del Valle Homes agreed with Livingston High School to help pay to raise the street over a pedestrian tunnel.  He does not think Del Valle Homes paid their fees to the school district.

 

          Kaye Greeley commented that if you did the pedestrian overpass then the street would not be raised.

 

         

          City Manager Warne gave an explanation of Option 4 (pedestrian overpass) and Option 3 (raising Peach Avenue).  Option 3 would require partly sinking the pedestrian tunnel into the ground.            

 

          Katherine Schell Rodriquez stated the issue about Peach Avenue is a grand example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand needs.  She said this is not the first time this has come to the Council for consideration.  She recalled that the school district representative said it was his understanding that the school district would pay all road costs.  At the time the school district was asked to go back to their writing table and come back with a solution the Council would consider.  She added the bid process of moving the canal on Peach was not discussed with the City and she questioned how can the school district put this out to bid before we even know where the canal is going to be located.

 

          Further discussion followed.

 

          The public comment period was closed at 8:54 p.m.

 

          Council Member Espinoza stated that Option 1 (closing Peach Avenue) is clearly out of the question and rerouting Peach Avenue is not affordable at this time.  Regarding the raising of Peach, he said it’s a tunnel, but maybe it could be more than a tunnel and more open for the safety of the children.  He addressed Option 4 (pedestrian overpass) and requested more information on Options 3 and 4 before making a decision.  He said that Mr. Calderon may come up with another option, but students will be crossing Peach at all times of the day. 

 

          Council Member Aguilar thanked all the citizens who commented on the closure of Peach.  She said the impact is on the students and citizens; safety is my first concern.  She asked about having another discussion regarding the options.

City Manager Warne suggested a motion to eliminate Option 1 (closing Peach Avenue) and continue this matter to the next meeting where more public comments could be made.  He said the City would mail out a meeting notice prior to the next meeting.

 

          Motion:  M/S Varela/Espinoza to eliminate Option 1 (closing Peach Avenue) and continue this item to the next meeting.  The motion carried 3-0 by the following vote:

          AYES:        Council Members:          Aguilar, Varela, Vierra

          NOES:                  Council Members:          None

          ABSENT:   Council Members:          None

          ABSTAIN: Council Members:          Nateras, Vierra

 

          Council Members Nateras and Vierra returned to the Council Chambers at 9:02 p.m. to resume participation in the remainder of the meeting.

 

14.                        Introduce and Waive the First Reading of an Ordinance of the Livingston City Council Amending Sections 2-1-2, 2-2-3, 2-3-3, 2-4-3 of the Livingston Municipal Code to Require the Automatic Vacancy of Members of City Boards, Commissions, Committees and Other Bodies Created by the City Council for Failing to Attend Meetings.

     Mayor Varela introduced the item.  City Manager Warne presented the item and

explained the purpose of the ordinance.

 

Mike Torres asked for clarification on the automatic vacancy of missing meetings.  He

wants to know if it is three excused or unexcused absences.

 

City Manager Warne replied neither.  It was three excused or unexcused absences.

 

Mr. Torres commented that before for the Planning Commission it was three missed

meetings; however, if it was an excused absence, then it did not count as a missed

meeting.

 

Mayor Varela explained the ordinance came about because of past occurrences when

there was not a quorum for a meeting.  If there is a family emergency we could

consider that.

 

Mr. Torres stated that when he was on the Planning Commission members knew the rule

of three unexcused absences, but now with the change who decides?  He added that in the

past there was a removal procedure and now removal will be automatic under the

ordinance amendment.

 

City Manager Warne commented that removal is automatic under the new proposed

ordinance whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

 

Lengthy discussion followed regarding the excused and unexcused absences and removal

and automatic removal of a committee or commission member.

 

Council Member Vierra stated that a local business owner waited 60 days for the

Planning Commission to make a decision on his request because they didn’t have a

quorum.  He said what do you say to people who have to wait for business to get done. 

 

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street, agrees with Mr. Torres.  If sickness or a job calls

you back then it would be an excused absence if you notify the planner or city hall staff

that you are going to be late.  He didn’t feel the ordinance should be changed.

 

Council Member Nateras commented that if there is currently a problem with a

planning commissioner shouldn’t something be said to that person?

 

City Manager explained that the ordinance would not only apply to the Planning

Commission, but all City commissions and committees.

 

     Colette Alvernaz commented that it is disappointing to serve on a committee and then

     someone does not show up.  She suggested having an alternate list so that if someone

     does not show up someone could take their place?

 

     Council Member Aguilar agreed with calling the attention to one individual that has an

     attendance problem and present this to the Council and let them make the decision.  She

     explained that a Council liaison could take the place of someone who misses a meeting.

     City Manager Warne gave an explanation of the purpose of having a City Council liaison.

     City Council liaisons are not committee members under the ordinance.

 

     Mayor Varela commented that he was on the Citizens’ Advisory Committee for a year

     and he missed one meeting and felt guilty.  He stated we all take this responsibility

     seriously, emergencies do happen, but we will not have that happening throughout the

     year.  You always reward those that drag themselves to a meeting.  This has been

     brought to our attention and this is a fair solution.

 

     Council Member Vierra asked if this is in effect starting with the next meeting.

 

     City Manager Warne explained that the ordinance would be in effect 30 days after

     approval and adoption at the second reading.

 

     Council Member Aguilar said to keep in mind that things do happen and they

     are not getting paid.  The Council is getting paid and we are accountable.  She noted that

     if this ordinance passes one has to have common sense.

 

     Council Member Vierra asked if we could add death or illness as an excused absence.

     City Attorney Donnelly recommended that language be added and the ordinance be

     returned for consideration at the next meeting.

 

     Further discussion followed.

 

     City Attorney Donnelly noted that hospitalization and death or a family emergency could

     be added.  She added that after three absences the Council could have a review and then

     consider vacating the seat.

 

     City Manager Warne commented that having a public review in an open meeting could

     disclose things that are private.

    

     Motion:  M/S Varela/Vierra to continue this item to the next regular meeting.  The

     motion carried 5-0.

 

     15.         Resolution Delaying Enforcement of Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-6-5 Concerning Vacant Nonconforming Residential Units in the Downtown Commercial Zoning District (DTC) for Two (2) Years.

 

          Mayor Pro-Tem Espinoza left the Council Chambers during discussion and voting on this item due to a conflict of interest.

 

          Mayor Varela introduced the item and Community Development Director Kenney presented the item.

 

          Mike Torres stated that when we first started this about the nonconforming houses, they had talked about just improving the homes.  He asked if this will be reviewed in another two years.  Director Kenney replied yes and then the Council could extend it for an additional year.  She explained that they couldn’t add on, just improve the home. In reply to Mr. Torres’ question, Director Kenney gave an explanation of changing a residential use to a commercial use which is a slow process.

 

Council Member Vierra asked if we change this to read every year instead of two years.

 

City Manager Warne commented there has been some question regarding the two year moratorium, but the City Attorney feels we cannot go longer than two years and he would recommend a review every two years.  The City Attorney concurred.

 

Council Member Vierra asked if the Department of Housing and Urban Development rehabilitation grant funds that were mentioned twice earlier in the meeting could be used for Downtown Commercial.

 

City Manager Warne explained that grant funds cannot be used for nonconforming structures.

 

Council Member Vierra said he would like to see that funds be used for families that are going to stay residential.

 

City Attorney Donnelly stated we don’t recommend a period longer than two years because of the economy.

 

Motion:  M/S Varela/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 2008-4, Delaying Enforcement of Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-6-5 Concerning Vacant Nonconforming Residential Units in the Downtown Commercial Zoning District (DTC) for Two (2) Years.  The motion carried 4-1 by the following vote:

          AYES:                  Council Members:          Aguilar, Nateras, Varela, Vierra

          NOES:                  Council Members:          None

          ABSENT:   Council Members:          None

          ABSTAIN: Council Members:          Espinoza

 

          Mayor Pro-Tem Espinoza returned to the Council Chambers at 9:42 p.m.

 

16.                        City Manager Announcements and Reports. 

 

 None.

    

ADJOURNMENT   

 

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:42 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                   _________________________________

                                                                    City Clerk of the City of Livingston

 

 

 

APPROVED:  February 3, 2009

 

 

 

______________________________

 Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

 

 

 

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the City Council. They do not necessarily reflect all of the comments or dialogue leading up to the action. All meetings are digitally recorded and are an official record of the meeting’s proceedings. Digitally recorded verbatim minutes are available, upon request, and may be obtained at Livingston City Hall.

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One thought on “JANUARY 20, 2009

  1. Pingback: A Brief History of Time (Spent on “Fixing” Water, Waste Water, and Garbage Rates-and other related issues) Part 4— October,2008 through June 2009 « Thegardeningsnail’s Weblog

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