February 07, 2012 Draft Minutes

City Council Meeting Date: March 06, 2012

Agenda Item #5. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 7, 2012.

 

 

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MEETING MINUTES

 

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

FEBRUARY 7, 2012

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on February 7, 2012, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSIONCALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 5:33 p.m.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to Closed Session at 5:34 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

3. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(b)(1)]

Number of Cases: 3

4. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

OPEN SESSION

The Council came out of Closed Session to begin the Regular Meeting.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

No announcements were made.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

None.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation by Kanat Tibet, Local Policy Specialist, Heal Cities Campaign, CA Center for Public Health Advocacy.

Mr. Tibet gave a presentation that focused on statistics of overweight children and a program that is fully funded by Kaiser Permanente dealing with obesity. He asked the City Council to adopt a resolution in support of the item.

2. Proclamation – DMV/Donate Life California Month.

Mayor Espinoza read the Proclamation declaring April as DMV/Donate Life California Month in the City.GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTSSan Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Public Benefit Grant Program New Alternative Fuel Vehicle Purchase grant award.

City Manager Jose Ramirez announced that the City has been awarded $60,000 in grant funds from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Public Benefit Grant Program for the purchase of three police vehicles.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo thanked the Council for allowing him to hold his town hall meeting in the Council Chambers last week. He noted that meeting attendance was low, but those that attended had the opportunity to get to know those that represent Merced County. Supervisor Pedrozo also gave an update on the County truck routes.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Interim Police Chief Chris Soria gave an update on an incident that took place on February 5th when officers responded to a shooting that involved two victims. One victim has been released from the hospital and the other is deceased. He asked if anyone had information regarding the shooting to please call the Livingston Police Department and ask for Detective Robert Silva.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney announced that the plans for the new Taco Bell are being reviewed by the Building Department. She noted that during the last few weeks a parcel map for the Rancho San Miguel project was approved by the Minor Subdivision Committee and the project is moving forward. Director Kenney reported that the Planning Commission, at their February 14th meeting, will consider the design review of a 49 unit apartment complex and possible second story rear yard setbacks.

City Manager Ramirez asked if there were any Planning Commission appeals.

Director Kenney noted that the 444 Main Street Conditional Use Permit has been appealed to the City Council and at their next meeting, the Planning Commission will review a short report and minutes on the project which will then be presented to the City Council for the appeal process.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit announced that baseball registration begins on February 18th from 9:00 to 12:00 p.m. The department is still in need of coaches. Superintendent Benoit noted the Recreation Department is continuing swimming registrations and will be conducting interviews for a swim coach shortly. She further noted that Hip Hop classes are being held on Mondays and the MuiTi Kick Boxing program starts in March and will be held on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Department is always looking for instructors and is currently looking for a Folkloric dance instructor. Superintendent Benoit also issued a reminder that recreation staff is taking applications for the open night market which will start in April. She also announced that there is now a room at the Walnut Child Development Center available to rent for parties of 50 or less.

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar commented that it is nice to hear that there are a lot of activities going on in the City. She asked how Superintendent Benoit goes about looking for instructors.

Superintendent Benoit responded that when recreation staff sends out fliers that information is included.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar asked if there was an application that needed to be completed.

Superintendent Benoit explained that there was no application; interested persons can come in and talk with staff.

City Engineer Nanda Gottiparthy reported on the Utility Stakeholders Committee which was also attended by Council Member Samra and Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar. The Committee met and discussed the five consultant proposals that were received. Two finalists were invited to come back and make presentations. After the presentations, there was a question and answer session and after further discussion, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants was selected by the Committee and they recommended that their selection be presented to the City Council for their approval.

Mayor Espinoza commented that with the selection of the consultant, the Committee will be looking at the water rate structure and possibly raising water rates.

City Engineer Gottiparthy gave an update on the sports complex picnic shelter project.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Ramirez announced that we are educating the community as it relates to animal control issues. He stated that residents have probably already received a flyer in the mail that emphasizes the importance of having dogs on a leash. City Manager Ramirez commented that he met with New Alternatives, a nonprofit solar organization currently working with PG&E. The company offers a free program for customers who participate in the PG&E CARE Program to put solar panels on homes which will save customers 75% of their current bill in energy costs. He commented that staff is also working with MID on a groundwater incentive program aimed at using surface water to irrigate the parks. City Manager Ramirez announced the City has first-time homebuyers assistance program monies available and the City needs to spend these funds by May 2012. He noted that housing rehabilitation monies are available as well.

City Manager Ramirez (in Spanish) stated, “I wanted to let everyone know about the first-time homebuyers program currently available for those people interested in buying their first home. We have $311,000 available. The City also has funds available to rehabilitate homes. He encouraged everyone to call or stop by City Hall for more information.”

Mayor Espinoza (in Spanish) stated, “This money has to be used up by May 2012, so anyone interested in buying their first home, please submit your application at City Hall and if you qualify, you will get assistance with the down payment to purchase your first home.”

Council Member Samra (in Punjabi) stated, “He, the City Manager announced the City has $311,000 to assist low-income families in purchasing a home. For more information please contact City Hall. Secondly, the low-income families who participate in the PG&E CARE program can contact PG&E and the City to get solar panels installed at no cost to you which will lower the monthly electricity costs.”t

City Attorney Sanchez commented that as the Council can see, the second reading of the ordinance, the prezoning of property owned by Mr. Gallo and the mitigated negative declaration associated with the annexation are not on the agenda. He stated that the comment letters that were received are very important to the City and we are taking more time to look at all the comments and making sure that the process is followed correctly.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Vierra asked a question of the fire department. Last week they had an inspection at the high school and the teachers were saying that the air fresheners they plug into the wall are illegal. He said if this is so, the community needs to be educated.

Armando Rios, Merced County Fire Department Battalion Chief responded that he would need to look at the fire code as there are different codes for schools and residences.

Council Member Vierra commented that some people from the community are saying that when viewing City Council meetings they need to turn their TV’s up high because they cannot hear anything.

City Manager Ramirez said he believed this problem had been addressed.

Council Member Vierra noted that the young man who was killed on February 5th was a student and soccer player at the high school and he was just talking about attending college and preparing for his future. He wanted to let the community know that the high school is planning some fundraisers for the family if anyone would like to help.

Council Member Land reported that she attended a bunko fundraiser for the Court Theater on February 4th and had a good time. She noted that Recreation Superintendent Benoit and her staff were there. Also on Saturday, she attended a Daughters of the American Revolution awards event in Merced where several local area high school students were being honored for good citizenship. Council Member Land noted that Amarjot Kaur from Livingston High School was honored. She said Ms. Kaur is a wonderful person and when the City was contacted for representation at the event, she eagerly volunteered. Ms. Kaur won an essay contest as well. Thursday night she will be attending a ceremony and Holocaust exhibit at the Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto.

Council Member Samra asked if City staff posts meetings for the Utility Rate Stakeholder’s Committee as he would like the community to participate and give their input. He urged the citizens to attend meetings. Council Member Samra asked the City Manager if information regarding the solar panels could be included in the utility bills in three languages.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar announced that the 4th of July Committee meeting is coming up on Monday, February 13th and meetings are held at City Hall. She attended the last Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. There were a few concerns from the Commissioners that the City Manager has not been attending meetings. She noted that the City Manager does have a lot going on, but he will be present at the next scheduled meeting on February 23rd. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented that the City Manager has an open door policy so please go in and see him. She also mentioned a concern regarding the Lil Guys and Gals park project that is moving forward and noted the Commission is coming up with great ideas.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Community Development Director Kenney for the update on Taco Bell and Rancho San Miguel. He announced that the Mexican Consulate will be at Livingston High School tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.

Mayor Espinoza (in Spanish) said the Mexican Consulate will be at the Livingston High School on February 8, 2012, starting at 8:00 a.m. This is for people that need to renew their Mexican identifications, passports, or any other legal documents.

Mayor Espinoza gave his condolences to the family of the young man who was shot to death just down the street from his house. He said the day he was killed, he was turning 18 years old and that is very sad.

Mayor Espinoza (in Spanish) gave his condolences to the family of the young man who was shot to death just down the street from his house. It was his 18th birthday that very same day.

Mayor Espinoza also gave his condolences to City Manager Ramirez who lost his step-father the day before this meeting. He thanked him for attending the Council meeting as he knows these are hard times for his mother and the rest of the family.

Mayor Espinoza (in Spanish) gave his condolences to City Manager Ramirez who lost his step-father on February 6th after an automobile accident. He said it is very difficult that this just happened yesterday and he already came back to work today and he thanked him for that.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. 2012 CDBG Program Application.

City Manager Ramirez presented the agenda item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing at 7:01 p.m. for public comments.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 commented that scoring was mentioned; therefore each project would be scored. She asked for a guess as to what kinds of projects could be submitted for our community given the state of our infrastructure, the nature of the things that might need repair or future projects in our community and the demographics of our community. Which projects would score best when compared to projects from other communities who are competing for the same stack of cash?

City Manager Ramirez responded that one thing that grants look at is TIA, Targeted Income Areas. Those are the areas that have the greatest needs. For example, a health and safety project would tend to score higher than just changing the size of a water line. He would say most of the projects that are identified would score high because if it’s affecting a large portion of the community, especially if it’s in a targeted income area, we are going to get higher points. They are lumping everything together so it is a large super NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability).

Irfran Choodhry, 938 Chestnut stated he had a concern and it is also a concern of the community that we need two medical centers. He noted that Livingston Medical Group and Horizons Health Care facilities were limited. Plus the ratio between doctors and patients is drastically imbalanced. Mr. Choodhry stated that there are no doctors, just nurses and physicians assistants; also they call patients for unnecessary appointments. In addition, there is nowhere to sit, there are always too many patients waiting. He asked if the City has funds to have its own medical facility and to have good doctors and a better ratio for doctor to patient.

City Manger Ramirez replied that there is free enterprise in this country, whether it be a fast food restaurant or a dollar store and we cannot control how many come and go. He added that we do not get involved in the businesses and their operations.

Community Development Director Kenney added that staff has been approached by another clinic wanting to come to town.

Mayor Espinoza added that he knew that this is why a lot of people go to Turlock or the county because they have to wait too long.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 8:11 p.m. as there were no further public comments.

Council Member Vierra added that he was in support of the Winton Parkway extension because of the large number of students that go to the junior high and for their health and safety. That is a big issue because it would change the rotation of traffic and make it a lot safer for students.

Council Member Land agreed.

Mayor Espinoza added that we are constantly trying to get more grants and hopefully we can get Winton Parkway finished.

Council Member Vierra commented on the leaky pipes project that was noted. He said that we found out when they were doing the road by the high school that there was asbestos in those pipes and he was sure our downtown had some leaky pipes in the older sections.

Council Member Samra suggested that staff be directed to move forward and apply for the grant.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that City staff and the City Manager made great points that we need to cover and she agreed with Council Members Vierra and Land.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 stated that he supported the gentlemen’s concerns about the clinic; they have made a couple of mistakes with his family members.

City Manager Ramirez responded that we can provide help, but it depends on the issues.

Mr. Valadez commented that he attended the town hall meeting and that attendance was low. He said there were a lot of resources there from the county; however, he didn’t see any of our own officials at the meeting except for Council Member Samra and one off-duty police officer. He noted that the young man that was killed turned 18 that day, it was his birthday and that he was not a gang member; his daughter knew him. Everyone is trying to help the family and he has also helped. He said if anyone would like to make a donation to the family they can go to any Wells Fargo Bank and the account number is 7347876224.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 commended Mr. Valadez for the amount of energy that he has put into this community; he has a big heart of gold for the kids. She asked that Mr. Valadez be placed on the next agenda regarding the Kite Festival.

Gurpal Gill, 852 Chandon Court expressed concerns in regards to Community Facility District taxes that are levied on homes that were constructed after 2005. The main concern is that the CPI used is for Northern California and of the cities that are written into the CFD’s such as San Francisco, Monterey, etc., a lot of the larger cities. He was aware that City Manager Ramirez had gone to a meeting where they discussed this issue and he wanted to know what was said, maybe a CPI for the central valley area which would be a more accurate representation of the City. Mr. Gill felt that a lot of the monies collected from CFD’s are used for parks, the fire department and maintenance staff. He felt taxes should be equal amongst all citizens. Mr. Gill noted that residents of the Monte Cristo Subdivision use Gallo park a lot and they don’t pay any taxes to use that park. He would like the Council to review this matter and possibly for the next meeting propose something that would alleviate some of the stress on the people that are buying new homes. He said it makes it difficult for us to sell our homes and then the buyers look at the Mello-Roose and they are immediately turned off.

City Manager Ramirez thanked those who had come to City Hall to meet with him. He said that in terms of the CPI index, he did propose this issue to the League of California Cities and what they directed him to do is come back to the City Council and pass a resolution and then they would assign specific staff at the League to try and work towards looking for funding and helping do a survey for the central valley. City Manager Ramirez also mentioned that we have the same issue when it comes to prevailing wages. He is working on this and looking to bring it to the City Council soon. Regarding the CFD’s, he said they are for public safety primarily and the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure of many of the facilities. He did talk about some options like a City-wide tax if that is something the community wants to bring forward for Council consideration. There are different varieties of taxes available and we need to identify what best fits the community. We must keep in mind that some of these special taxes require a 2/3 majority or simple majority vote.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar thanked Mr. Gill for coming forward. She said that when she came on board as a Council Member a few years ago and prior to that as a resident she came forward and talked to City management. She also had concerns as to the CPI and the amount of money going to certain departments. She too believed it was one sided as most of those monies go to the police department and their staff. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that just to make it clear, Fire is very limited and if personnel is added, we could see it in the budget. When she brought this forward it was supposed to be revisited by the present Council, but it was overlooked so she is glad that it has come forward again. She pointed out that if the tax is brought forward it has to go to the vote of the people.

Council Member Vierra noted that back in 2002 when he got on the Council the tax did go on the ballot and was defeated by 68%. He reiterated that we tried it once and it did not work; the people do not want it.

Council Member Samra commented that he understood, but just because it didn’t work once doesn’t mean it won’t work again. In order to have a good valid discussion we need to put this item on the agenda.

Mayor Espinoza added that every time during tax time we receive letters and we should put this matter on the agenda and then we will get more people all over town to talk about it.

Council Member Samra added that maybe we should have translators as well, Spanish and Punjabi.

Council Member Samra (in Punjabi) said the Mayor requested that anyone who wishes to speak about anything else you have 3 minutes and please state your name.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Aguilar (in Spanish) asked if anybody had any comments or concerns on the issue just discussed regarding the taxes being charged in the new home area, or any other issue they want to comment on they each have three minutes. She said they can get up and speak about anything that is not on the agenda.

Mayor Espinoza (in Spanish) added that people can make comments or voice concerns in Spanish if they prefer.

Theresa Perez, 851 Chandon Court (in Spanish) said she would like someone to translate into Spanish the information just discussed regarding the taxes.

City Attorney Sanchez (in Spanish) asked what you are asking about is the comments that were made about the Community Facilities Districts (the taxes), correct?

Ms. Perez replied yes.

City Attorney Sanchez (in Spanish) said the City Manager has done various things to try to reduce this tax, but they have to see what they can do about charging this tax City-wide or if that amount can be reduced. They are going to put it on the agenda for discussion at the upcoming Council meetings. They will also have translators available so that everyone is informed about what is being done and what they are planning on doing.

Ms. Perez said okay, thank you.

Mayor Espinoza requested that item 9 be moved and discussed next.

9. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving the Employment Agreement Between the City of Livingston and Ruben Chavez for the Position of Chief of Police.

City Manager Ramirez presented the agenda item.

Council Member Samra (in Punjabi) said that the current item is to discuss the Chief of Police position. He stated the previous Chief of Police retired and since then Chief Soria had been filling in. The City Council is about to vote on possibly selecting Ruben Chavez as the new Chief of Police. The two most important positions in the City are the City Manager and the Chief of Police who have the largest impact. Council Member Samra asked Ruben Chavez to stand up so that people can see who he is.

City Manager Ramirez (in Spanish) said he explained that there were two committees formed to conduct interviews. One was composed of chiefs of police from the area and the other one was composed of local representatives. From those candidates interviewed, three were recommended. He interviewed all three candidates and chose the two he felt were most qualified and Mr. Chavez was selected from the two candidates. He is being offered a 3-year contract with a salary of $113,208 a year along with the same benefits as the rest of the City employees have. Right now we are negotiating the contract, so we have presented it a little bit in advance, but if anyone has any comments on this issue, please come to the podium.

Council Member Samra said this is one of the most rigid processes they have gone through. That process has helped the Council make a decision. Also he wanted to point out to the community to look at their representation at City Hall.

City Manager Ramirez (in Spanish) said Council Member Samra made a comment that he is very comfortable with the process and he feels this has been one of the most rigorous processes that have taken place and that he sees the great representation we have at City Hall.

Council Member Land thanked Interim Chief Soria for filling in and doing a great job. She noted that he was going to be handing the torch over to a great person who is going to do a great job. She thanked Chris Soria again and welcomed Ruben Chavez.

Mayor Espinoza also thanked Interim Chief Soria as well. He added that he and Council Member Land were able to sit on both panels and both panels did a great job. The city manager interviewed the top two candidates and then made his decision. He thanked Ruben Chavez for attending tonight’s meeting.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 2012-10, Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving the Employment Agreement Between the City of Livingston and Ruben Chavez for the Position of Chief of Police. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Aguilar, Vierra and Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Ruben Chavez thanked the City Manager, Mayor and Council and said he looks forward to serving the community. He gave a brief overview of his background.

CONSENT CALENDAR

4. Resolution for the Acceptance of the State-Legislated Safe Routes to Schools Sidewalk Installation Cycle 8 SRTSL – 5256 (010) Project, Authorizing the City Clerk to Record a Notice of Completion with Merced County and Authorizing the City Manager to Release Performance and Material Bonds and to Make Final Payment of Retention Monies to Teichert Construction Company.

5. Resolution No. 2012-11 of the City Council of the City of Livingston Promoting Healthy Eating/Healthy Living.

6. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on January 3, 2012.

7. Approval of Warrant Register Dated February 1, 2012.

Mayor Espinoza noted that item 4 will be continued to the next meeting.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to approve consent agenda items 5, 6, and 7. The motion carried

5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Aguilar, Samra and Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

8. Adopt Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Lease with the Livingston Chamber of Commerce for 641 Main Street (APN 024-145-011).

City Manager Ramirez wanted to thank the business community for coming forward and establishing the Chamber. He said we want to work towards doing a number of things such as tax credits, micro loans and business planning and by working together we can make this community better.

Community Development Director Kenney presented the agenda item.

Alex McCabe, Chamber of Commerce President, thanked the Council and staff for bringing this item forward so quickly and said the Chamber looked forward to working with them.

Council Member Vierra asked if there was a clause in the contract if for any reason the City would need this building.

City Attorney Sanchez noted that he did not work on the lease.

Council Member Vierra explained that he was not saying it is a problem, but we should have something within the lease.

Director Kenney added that the bottom of page 10 discusses lease termination at 5 years.

Council Member Vierra reiterated that there should be something included within the lease that says at least a 90 day clause just in case the City needed to have that building before the five years are up.

Mayor Espinoza asked if we could add that.

City Attorney Sanchez expressed that this was a good point, but he thought they locked in the five years because they were going to invest money into the building. If you are going to invest money, you are going to want to use it for the entire lease time.

Council Member Vierra added that if there is no provision, he can see us getting into trouble.

City Attorney Sanchez recommended continuing the item and he could work with the Chamber on the policy.

Alex McCabe responded that they would like the five-year lease and would like to promote this community as quickly as possible, therefore, would like to get approval tonight. He noted that if they were going to put about $40,000 into this facility, they need to have a strong relationship with the City.

Mayor Espinoza added that the building is just losing money sitting there.

Council Member Land commented that she wanted to start a relationship on a good note, and if they are willing to devote their time and money, then give them the five years without the 90 day clause. She is comfortable with it.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Land to adopt Resolution No. 2012-12, authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Lease with the Livingston Chamber of Commerce for 641 Main Street (APN 024-145-011). The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Aguilar, Vierra and Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

10. Resolution Declaring Intent Not to Enforce Certain Provisions of Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-5 Against Vacant Legal Nonconforming Residential Units in the Downtown Commercial Zoning District for Two (2) Years from Effective Date of Resolution.

Mayor Espinoza had a conflict with this item and recused himself at 9:08 p.m.

Community Development Director Kenney presented the agenda item.

City Attorney Sanchez commented it allows people who own downtown commercially zoned homes to do major repairs without having to comply with the nonconforming section of the code. He said it adds flexibility to repair existing homes as he knew that one of the concerns was about property being rented and not being maintained.

Director Kenney provided more background information on this item.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar opened the item for public comment.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 asked what area does this cover.

Director Kenney commented the downtown commercial zone: Highway 99 to Seventh Street to F Street to Prusso Street, a total of about 22 blocks.

City Attorney Sanchez discussed that this would not apply to the people who have a vacant piece of property in the DTC and now want to build a house.

Council Member Vierra responded with that it always seems one person complains about a rule and it gets on the agenda and goes to the attorney and then costs us money. Isn’t there anything in our system so that if someone wishes to go before the Planning Commission themselves and ask for a waiver of that rule, we don’t have to make this blanket across the board.

Director Kenney stated that a homeowner can go to the Planning Commission and apply for a conditional use permit to raise the 25% limit allowed to be spent on the home yearly.

Council Member Vierra asked, so then an individual can move forward? What bothers him is that when a person has a problem with the code, we all have to spend time and money reviewing and then extending or changing whatever. He knows this property that we have tried to help already and they still have not done anything with the property. So if we have a process where they can go before the Planning Commission or Council and ask for a waiver, then why is everyone going through this?

Council Member Samra noted that Mr. Vierra is correct, it has come up many times since he has been on the Council and he has to ask the Council to consider shrinking the downtown area. He noted that most people don’t have the knowledge and the understanding to go before the Planning Commission. Council Member Samra stated that either we shrink the downtown area and do something more realistic or at least give people a chance if they want to upgrade their home. We need to try and make every citizen understand the conditional use permit process; we need to move this forward since he has been approached by more than one person. People just want to make their homes look better.

Council Member Vierra agreed with Council Member Samra in re-reviewing the area and shrinking it, but he would rather not do the extension on the whole area.

Council Member Samra added what’s the use of buying a home if you can’t improve it.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented that they cannot build homes on those empty lots, this is just for the homes on the property at this time. She added that with the economy the way it is we need to more forward and then consider what Councilmember Vierra said about future items concerning the downtown commercial area.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to approve Resolution No. 2012-13. Declaring Intent Not to Enforce Certain Provisions of Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-5 Against Vacant Legal Nonconforming Residential Units in the Downtown Commercial Zoning District for Two (2) Years from Effective Date of Resolution. The motion carried 3-1 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Land, Aguilar, and Samra

NOES: Council Members: Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ABSTAIN: Council Members: Espinoza

Mayor Espinoza returned to the meeting at 9:18 pm.

11. Provide Staff Direction Concerning Amendments to the Livingston Municipal Code.

Community Development Director Kenney presented the agenda item. She noted the City can save staff time and money by processing several ordinance amendments together or as part of a comprehensive zoning code update planned for after the revised 2025 General Plan Update is adopted. When staff is directed to work on amending a code, there is no application or fees.

City Manager Ramirez made a recommendation to have a workshop and then we could bring up those items of concern and do a blanket municipal code update at one time.

Director Kenney added staff could provide materials a month or two ahead of the workshop so that Council could go through the code sections and make their notes.

City Manager Ramirez (in Spanish) said for any of you that are interested, we are reviewing our City Code for the possibilities of making some changes to it, so if anyone has concerns or feels there should be any changes to a certain section of the Code, we are planning an informational workshop to take input. We will give a one or two month advanced notice of the workshop. If you would like to look through our City Code, please stop by City Hall.

Director Kenney noted there is a citizen here tonight who has an issue similar to the resolution Council just passed for the DTC. This concerns the non-conforming houses in a Highway Commercial (C-3) zone. She described the locations of the C-3 zones including one just north of City Hall on the other side of Highway 99. That area is Highway Commercial which is a little odd since it no longer has a highway interchange.

Genaro Pulido stated that he purchased a home at 2351 F Street and it has a big building and a small house. He said one of his tenants called the health department because he used the wrong stove and then when the health department came they noticed that he did not have heaters in the units. He then had to shut down the rental units because the economy was so bad and he could not pay for the repairs. He asked the Council to approve an amendment so he could move forward with repairs.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar responded that she heard the comments, but Mr. Pulido will have to go to a Planning Commission meeting and be placed on an agenda.

Council Member Samra added that we need a workshop to discuss these issues, therefore everyone should start writing down their concerns.ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:32 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: March 6, 2012

______________________________

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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