14 Resolution Extending Resolution 2012-13 Declaring Intent Not to Enforce Certain Provisions of Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-5 to Protect Vacant Legal Nonconforming Residential Units in the Downtown Commercial (DTC) Zoning District for a Period of Two (2) Years from Its Expiration Date of February 7, 2014.

Meeting Date: December 02, 2014

Agenda Item #14. Resolution Extending Resolution 2012-13 Declaring Intent Not to Enforce Certain Provisions of Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-5 to Protect Vacant Legal Nonconforming Residential Units in the Downtown Commercial (DTC) Zoning District for a Period of Two (2) Years from Its Expiration Date of February 7, 2014.

Note from TheGardeningSnail: Parts of this page were prepared by running a PDF Image Document through a program which converts image to text. My apologies for any Textual Gremlins that may have slipped in. I’ve also broken up some of the larger passages, for ease of reading.

STAFF REPORT

AGENDA ITEM: Resolution Extending Resolution 2012-13 Declaring Intent Not to Enforce Certain Provisions of Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-5 to Protect Vacant Legal Nonconforming Residential Units in the Downtown Commercial (DTC) Zoning District for a Period of Two (2) Years from Its Expiration Date of February 7, 2014.

MEETING DATE: December 2, 2014

PREPARED BY: Holly R. Owen, Planning Director

REVIEWED BY: Jose Antonio Ramirez, City Manager

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RECOMMENDATION:

Council adopt a Resolution extending Resolution 2012-13 declaring intent not to enforce certain provisions of Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-5 to protect vacant legal nonconforming residential units in the Downtown Commercial (DTC) Zoning District for a period of two (2) years from its expiration date of February 7, 2014.

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:

Council last heard this item and approved Resolution 2012-13 at their regular meeting of February 7, 2012.

The following information was provided to the City Council in the staff report:

The City of Livingston has been negatively impacted by the foreclosure crisis and economic downturn currently plaguing California. The foreclosure crisis and economic downturn has created a ripple effect across the community, causing the decline of neighborhoods, reduced tax revenues, diminished home equity, high unemployment rates and other crises for families losing their homes and jobs.

There are many legal nonconforming residential units in the Downtown Commercial Zoning District (DTC) that are vacant due to foreclosures. A significant portion of these units represent the City’s older downtown housing stock that is affordable to people of lower income households.

Livingston Municipal Code ("LMC") Sections 5-6-5(C)(3) and 5-6-5(E)(5) requires legal nonconforming uses of land and nonconforming uses of structures to conform to the regulations of the district in which they are located if the land or structure is vacant for more than six (6) months, or if the use ceases for a period of six (6) consecutive months or for eighteen (18) months during any three (3) year period. LMC Sections 5-6-5 (F) and (G) provide that nonconforming structures that become physically unsafe or unlawful due to a lack of repairs and maintenance may not be altered or restored except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which they are located.

It is in the interest of the City of Livingston, the owners and residents of residential units in the DTC, and of the community as a whole that the Council take action to protect housing within the DTC that is affordable to people of lower income households, and to allow action to repair those structures if they become physically unsafe or unlawful.

Accordingly, a Resolution passed by Council on January 20, 2009, did so by allowing that housing to remain nonconforming for an extended period of time, and despite repair and maintenance, in light of economic conditions. During the two (2) year period that this Resolution remained in effect (January 20, 2009-2011), nonconforming residential units within the DTC were not required to convert to a commercial use if vacant for longer than six (6) months pursuant to LMC 5-6-5 (CJ 3 and (E) 5 (Exhibit A).

In addition, legal nonconforming residential units in the DTC that became physically unsafe or unlawful due to lack of repair and maintenance were allowed to be restored or repaired, regardless of the cost of such repairs or maintenance, without being required to convert to a commercial use pursuant to LMC Sections 5-6-5 (F) and (G).

At Council’s request, staff has brought up the extension of resolution 2012-13 for Council’s consideration and approval. The economic conditions that prevailed at the time of the original resolution still pertain to much of the City, and affordable housing within easy walking distance to schools, religious institutions and services is still a strong need for the residents of Livingston.

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS:

This resolution is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") pursuant to State CEQA guidelines Section 15061 (b) 3 in that it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that this resolution or its implementation would have a significant effect on the environment. A Notice of Exemption in accordance with CEQA will be filed with the Merced County Clerk.

FISCAL IMPACT:

Fiscal Impact is minimal. This Resolution may result in slowing the conversion of residential structures to commercial structures in the DTC, thus delaying the future collection of business license fees, construction permit fees for building remodels, sales tax, and other local benefits related to having new businesses in the community.

ATTACHMENTS:

1. Resolution 2014-

2. Resolution 2012-13 adopted February 7, 2012 Exhibit A (LMC Section 5-6-5)

RESOLUTION NO. 2014-

RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LIVINGSTON EXTENDING RESOLUTION 2012-13 DECLARING INTENT NOT TO ENFORCE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF LIVINGSTON MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 5-6-5 TO PROTECT VACANT LEGAL NONCONFORMING RESIDENTIAL UNITS IN THE DOWNTOWN COMMERCIAL (DTC) ZONING DISTRICT FOR A PERIOD OF TWO (2) YEARS

WHEREAS, the City of Livingston has been negatively impacted by the foreclosure crisis and economic downturn currently plaguing California; and

WHEREAS, the foreclosure crisis and economic downturn has created a ripple effect across the community, causing the decline of neighborhoods, reduced tax revenues, diminished home equity, high unemployment rates and other crises for Livingston families losing their homes and jobs; and

WHEREAS, there are some legal nonconforming residential units in the Downtown Commercial Zoning District (DTC) that are vacant due to foreclosures; and

WHEREAS, for the purposes of extending Resolution 2012-13, "legal nonconforming residential units in the DTC" means existing residential uses of land and structures in the DTC which were lawful before being rezoned as Downtown Commercial; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Livingston Municipal Code ("LMC") Sections 5-6-5(C)(3) and 5-6-5(E)(5), legal nonconforming uses of land and legal nonconforming structures must conform to the regulations of the district in which they are located if the land or structure is vacant for more than six (6) months, or the use ceases for a period of six (6) consecutive months or for eighteen (18) months during any three (3) year period, and pursuant to LMC Section 5-6-5(F) and (G) nonconforming structures that become physically unsafe or unlawful due to a lack of repairs and maintenance may not be altered or restored except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which they are located; and

WHEREAS, a significant portion of the residential units in the DTC that are vacant due to foreclosures is affordable to people of lower income households; and

WHEREAS, protecting and maintaining housing within the DTC that is affordable to people of lower income households is in the interest of the City of Livingston, the owners and residents of housing units in the DTC, and the community as a whole; and

WHEREAS, by choosing to not enforce LMC Sections 5-6-5(C)(3), 5-6-5(E)(5), 5-6-5 (F) and (G) for a period of two (2) years against legal nonconforming residential units in the DTC while the economic downturn and foreclosure crisis continues, the City may be able to prevent the permanent loss of residential units in the DTC and, therefore, protect the City’s residents and affordable housing stock until an upturn in the economy; and

WHEREAS, during the period this Resolution remains in effect, legal nonconforming residential units in the DTC that are vacant for longer than six (6) months are not required to convert to a commercial use pursuant to LMC Sections 5-6-5(C)(3) and 5-6-5(E)(5) (Exhibit A); and

WHEREAS, during the period this Resolution remains in effect, legal nonconforming residential units in the DTC that become physically unsafe or unlawful due to lack of repair and maintenance may be restored or repaired, regardless of the cost of such repairs or maintenance without being required to convert to a commercial use, pursuant to LMC Sections 5-6-S(F) or (G).

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that:

1. As long as this Resolution remains in effect, the City shall not enforce Sections 5-6-5(C)(3) and 5-6-S(E)(S) of the Livingston Municipal Code against vacant legal nonconforming residential units in the DTC.

2. As long as this Resolution remains in effect, the City shall allow legal nonconforming residential units in the DTC that have become physically unsafe or unlawful due to lack of repair and maintenance to be restored or repaired, regardless of the cost of such repairs or maintenance, without requiring those structures to convert to a commercial use pursuant to LMC Sections 5-6-S(F) or (G).

3. This Resolution shall remain in effect for a period of two (2) years from the expiration date of Resolution 2012-13 (February 7, 2014), unless a later enacted resolution or ordinance terminates, shortens or extends that period.Passed and adopted this 2nd day of December, 2014 by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAIN:

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Rodrigo Espinoza, Mayor of the City of Livingston

ATTEST:

I, hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was regularly introduced, passed and adopted at a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Livingston this ih day of December, 2014.

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Antonio Silva, City Clerk of the City of Livingston

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