Ventura City Council Meeting
June 20, 2011
Ventura City Hall - 501 Poli Street
Quasi-Judicial Procedure and Public Hearing – Permit Application for a senior living facility located at 4010 Telegraph Road and 4001 Ivy Street. Deputy Mayor Tracy noted that after a review of the preceding meeting on this issue, the council decided to attempt limiting the project to the Telegraph Road impact. At the time, Council Member Brennan stated that the variances for the lot line adjustments and setbacks including the height would be left on the table allowing Mr. Petit and clients to work a deal more acceptable to the neighborhood and the council. In retrospect, however, Mr. Tracy thought that something was being made to happen on two properties that cannot really be done while forwarding a motion to approve the appeal and deny the project.
Second Unit Amnesty Ordinance w/Code Enforcement Lien and User Fees Resolutions ~ Andrew Stuffler, Chief Building Official, was invited forward for the staff report, introducing Sue Taylor, Code Enforcement Supervisor, and Jeff Lambert, Community Development Director, returning to City Council upon request from the May 9 meeting. The resolution for the amnesty fees, however, was not up for formal action by the council. This will come back on July 11 if that were to be the direction delivered by council members.
To View a listing of the agenda items for this council meeting, go to www.cityofventura.net/meeting/city-council-meeting-59.
Mayor Fulton brought the meeting to order with a call of the roll – all present. It was then asked of all those assembled to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Special Presentations and Announcements – Saturday, June 25 will be the 25th anniversary of the Ventura Certified Farmers Market. The city presented a certificate of recognition to the recipient. The city was thanked as it was mentioned that the market was part of the redevelopment agency.
Closed Session Report – discussing three pending lawsuits Else and Frost versus the city, M. GE underground versus the city, Ron Wilson versus the city and the Pierpont sand case – Council took no reportable action.
Council Member Monahan spoke on the very nice American flags that have been placed along Main Street. It was noticed that a few of these flags are in distress; it is possible to notify the city and have those flags replaced, was the question.
Council Member Morehouse said that the Johnny cash Festival was enjoyable. Ross Emery and Jim Rice and Cindy Cash were thanked. The publisher of the Reporter was present and bantered with the councilman. Food Share was mentioned with a plea for donating money. The Coalition for Ending Family Violence was also mentioned. Another point mentioned was the redistricting efforts that are going on around the state.
The mayor said that Saturday was “quite a day.” It be interesting that nearly everyone wore black. The mayor said that the graduation of our three high schools went through graduation this weekend and all were congratulated.
Regional Boards, Commissions and Committees – Council Member Morehouse apologized for not making the joint meeting last Thursday at the library, but had been serving at the state’s League of California Cities Policy Steering Committee meeting in an opening that discussed the redevelopment agency situation. The league decided to get rid of redevelopment agencies. The councilman said that the money was critical and that it will be “your tax dollars against your tax dollars.” The discussion and debriefing by one of the staff members said that the governor was going to have a press conference, explaining that the state budget negated the agency’s budget. Two bills offered up were land use related and micromanaging on behalf of local governments.
The Ventura County Animal Services Commission met with Mr. Monahan saying that on the 16th the meeting was well attended. A mandatory spay and neuter and ordinance was specifically mentioned and with Pit Bulls in particular. The enactment of the Guardians has already resulted in a 25% drop in the breed being brought into the shelter. These may be brought before the Ventura Council soon as to whether they will lend support to the motion.
City Manager's Report – Anita and Mario were asked to introduce the presentation – The High School Leadership program. Mario Robinson, the Youth Coordinator for the city, asked that the students introduce themselves. George, followed by Julia followed by Anna spoke on their backgrounds and their various high schools. Mario continued, saying that in partnership with the school district students would be given the opportunity to gain leadership skills. New students came up with a model.
Mission Statement, showing: (1) Engage students from each high school in productive activities: provide students opportunities for community involvement and the betterment of their school, neighborhood and city.
Goals, showing: (1) Develop leadership and team skills – (2) Build positive relationships between high schools – Build positive relationships between high school students and community members – (3) Pursue enhancement programs and activities on campus and in the community – (4) Two meetings monthly to plan projects, school and team activities
High Schools Served, showing: (1) Buena – (2) El Camino – (3) Foothill – (4) Pacific – (5) Ventura
Student Names, showing: 26 students were in Teen Voice
Benefits of Being in Teen Voice, showing (1) Internships, four students – (2) Employment, 11 students – (3) College application references – (4) Meet community members – (5) Community service hours – (6) program planning retreat
Leadership Development Summit, showing: (1) Helps students develop leadership skills – (2) How to Stand out in the crowd – (3) Teambuilding motivation – (4) Improve decision-making – (5) Having a voice in the community school – (6) College prep – (7) Boys and girls session
2011 Teens Summit, showing: Photographs of high school students in a social setting as a mixer in which the participants got to know each other
Thanksgiving Baskets, showing: (1) 100 full dinners were donated to families – (2) This project was accomplished with 100% donations – (3) To date this project has fed over 900 families
Thanksgiving Baskets Family Quotes, showing: (1) “A young child told us that without this meal they wouldn’t have anything to eat on Thanksgiving” – (2) “Of family expressed their thanks and always hopes that the principal puts them on the list for a dinner”
Thanksgiving Helping Families, showing: Photographs of teens getting together helping to prepare family dinners
Teens for Jeans, Homeless Project, showing: (1) Goal is to provide warm clothing to homeless adults and families – (2) 1450 pairs of jeans have been donated – (3) Students delivered jeans to three homeless shelters
Teens for Jeans, Student Quotes, showing: (1) “It was hard for me to see students my own age living at the homeless shelter and can only imagine how hard that is for them” – (2) “I can definitely see the need for our project and how thankful everyone is when we show up with jeans” – (3) “I wish we could do more but I know every little bit helps”
Teens for Jeans, showing: Photographs of students at Catholic Charities delivering Jeans
Homeless Essential Needs Project, showing: (1) Goal is to provide everyday essential needs for homeless families and adults – (2) Students collected 14 items that made up an essential bag – (3) Delivery of these items were on the last day of the shelter – (4) Students raised over $800 at a recent carwash
Homeless Essential Needs Quotes, showing: (1) “I really need these items but can’t afford them” – (2) “I just ran out of certain things and can really use this” – (3) “Teen Voice students were touched by a young child who was so happy to receive a gift”
One of the students said that many people cannot afford these simple items such as simple toiletries bought at Target. Another student said that Thanksgiving baskets and with the people being grateful made the effort well worth it.
Further pictures of the students receiving items at the winter warming shelter were shown. The slide presentation ended showing Teen Voice and the pride they show in their service to the community.
50 students signed up for this years teen Voice. Students plan their projects by holding an overnight retreat at West Park were projects are planned and students meet to discuss the agenda.
City Manager Cole spoke to help the audience and the council understand the procedures and how the program began. In 2007 the city was not facing budget cutbacks, but also did not have enormous new resources. Each department was asked to focus on the outcomes and areas of low priority where funds could be redirected to areas where their budgets and/or goals were not meeting changing needs. Community Services had ideas for sports and other areas that were self supporting. Younger children and families are often identified for facilities. Teenage programs have lacked, however, according to Mr. Cole. Dollars were freed up from these lower priority programs to create a program like Teen Voice. The city works with schools, police and community service organizations, with the city manager saying that even in times of severe cutbacks programs such as these work. This is a low-cost program that reaches a large number of young people.
CONSENT ITEMS – (8) The minutes from May 17 – Oak St., Beach Water Quality – Engineering approval for Saticoy Well No. 3 – Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Gasoline and Diesel Fueling Services – Acceptance of Fiscal year 2010-2011 Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Funding – Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Financial Policies Administrative Policy and Procedure – Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Annual Statement of Investment Policy (combined Redevelopment Agency Agenda Item No. 7) – Urban Water Management Plan (public hearing Agenda Item No. 8).
Agenda Item No. 8 – Public Hearing on Water Management. With no public speakers, the hearing for the water management plan was closed by the mayor, who then asked for a motion
Council Member Morehouse moved items 1 through 8 with a second obtained – the roll was called with all members voting yes.
Verification of Compliance with Noticing – All noticing and communications were declared to be on file with the city clerk's office. Council members were asked if they have engaged in ex-parte communications – Messrs Andrews and Monahan said email communications with the Freenys had taken place, in addition to Mr. Monahan saying that telephone conversations took place, with no other communications on the council having been reported.
Jeff Lambert and Ian Holt were on hand to bring forward proposals from September 27, 2010 reflecting City Council considerations. Council referred the issue back to the Design Review Committee at that time. A 42,000 ft.² facility was shown in photographs.
Neighborhood Appeal Request, showing: (1) Revoke planning commission decision – (2) No development on 4001 Ivy St. property – (3) Direct development onto 4010 Telegraph Rd – (4) Or another suitable location
City Council Direction, showing: (1) Maximum 45% lot coverage – (2) No aboveground structures on 4001 Ivy St. – (3) Three dimensional drawings depicting building and context – (4) DRC review and recommendation to Council
Background, showing: (1) February 23, 2011, neighborhood meeting review and input on revised plans – (2) March 9, 2011, DRC review of Council directed design and directed alternative
City Council Directed Design, showing: (1) Use Permit for Group Care/Senior Apartment Living – (1.1) 42 unit, 38,107 ft.² – (1.2) 4 stories, 3 over 1 below grade – (1.3) 18 parking spaces in garage – (2) Administrative Variances – (2.1) Front yard setback reduction from 26 feet to 9 feet [Telegraph Road] – (2.2) Increase in maximum lot coverage from 35% to 45% -- (2.3) Increase in maximum number of stories from 2.5 to 4 stories
City Council Directed Design (Cont’d) showing: A building profile was shown with a site plan presented to DRC with on the right the Ivy Street lot was designed as a terraced courtyard
City Council Directed Design (Cont’d) showing: The area in red showed living units on the Ivy Street lot and a second color used to highlight the units facing Telegraph, given to help understand the floor plan design as presented.
City Council Directed Design (Cont’d) showing: A photo simulation looking North toward the Armstrong area with the courtyard as part of the project
City Council Directed Design (Cont’d) showing: A 3-D drawing of the building in relation to the corner with the profiles up against Armstrong. Prior DRC design did not show the profile pulled back and away from homes in the area.
Design Review Committee, showing: (1) April 27, 2011, DRC reviewed response designed and provided further direction – (2) May 11, 2011, DRC recommended the alternative design for Council consideration
DRC Recommended Design, showing: (1) Use Permit for Group Care/Senior Apartment Living – (1.1) 39 units, 46,676 ft.² -- (1.2) 4 stories [3 over one below grade] – (1.3) 18 parking spaces in garage – (2) Administrative Variances – (2.1) Front yard setback reduction of 25 feet and 9 feet [Telegraph Road] – (2.2) Increase in maximum lot coverage from 35% to 54.5 % -- (2.3) Increase in maximum number of stories from 2.5 to 4 stories
Basis for DRC Recommended Design, showing: (1) Distribution of building on-site; and – (2) Maintaining stepped building profile
DRC Recommended Design, showing: A ground-level diagram of the setbacks was shown on both Ivy and Armstrong. All lines in color were single-story units which make up an Ivy Street lot and Armstrong lot with two-story elements stepping up to a third-story element
DRC Recommended Design, showing: Photo simulation shown with lower levels at the Armstrong side making them equal in height to the local residents buildings.
DRC Recommended Design, showing: Photo simulation with lower levels at the Ivy Street side with the stepped level design along with connectivity
DRC Recommended Design, showing: Photo simulation with lower levels related to the corner, increasing the outdoor livability and connectivity features
DRC Recommended Design, showing: Photo simulation with lower levels southeast view related to the Telegraph side
DRC Recommended Design, showing: Photo simulation with lower levels northeast view related to the Telegraph side
Alternative Actions,: showing (1) Deny the appeal and approve the project based on September 27, 2011 City Council Direction – (2) Approve the appeal and deny the entire project. The 45% lot coverage was to comply with Council direction – the appeal could be approved and deny the project. The applicant could go back through the process (without prejudice).
Recommended Action, showing: (1) Deny the appellant's appeal – (2) Approve an alternative project design based on the DRC's recommendation and – (3) Supersede planning commission resolution number 8469 and number 8470. Staff wished to work with the neighborhood and the applicants in sharing this information.
The mayor asked for questions from members of the council – Council Member Monahan asked if the project conformed to the form-based code. It was said that we don't have form-based code that applies to this site. Some sections may be considered compliant it was said. It depends on how the relation to Telegraph impacts the code, but with courtyards this building meets a “stacked-flat” type of technology. It could be interpreted to meet somewhat of a form-based code according to Staff. It was also stated that we could be looking at something a lot smaller.
The councilman asked if there is any city owned property that is adjacent to the project. The Telegraph road frontage – the 4010 Telegraph lot – had an area of 20 feet and easement given to the city for public access. Part of Telegraph Road is not included as part of the project area for lot coverage. It was said that it was already used for sidewalk and passageway uses in response to Mr. Monahan's question.
Council Member Weir asked for a rendering showing vehicle access from all different sides. It was meant to see where delivery trucks would come in and where families could pick up relatives – fire engines, etc. Staff said that all vehicular delivery services are off of Telegraph with a new driveway and by adjusting an existing driveway. It was then asked whether the driveway leads underground. The councilwoman said that senior living makes use of delivery in rather large numbers. A loading zone was shown as part of a parking garage. Gates would be provided to prevent pedestrian cut through traffic, according to Staff. As far as emergency services however, they will come in from Telegraph at the front entrance. In case of fire there would need to be access from Ivy and Armstrong as well.
The councilwoman asked about pickup and drop-off of patients. There'll be parking on Telegraph; there are also 3 or 4 on-street parking spaces.
Council Member Andrews asked DRC Member Scott to come to the podium. The design review thinking seemed to be the exterior images in the arrangement of the building, according to the councilman. It was wondered what was accomplished by cropping out two units (perhaps even three) and what was the thinking behind it. The speaker said those units had limited setback with limited side yard. These needed to be reoriented so as not to have doorways face the neighborhood property. In the design they came up with the units were dropped rather than attempting to reorient the units. The councilman verified his satisfaction with the answer.
Public Communications – 10 minutes to the appellant – Marissa Murphy along with 34 co-appellants were asked to present their case. A neighbor, Robert Schulken, joined the speaker. In September the appellants made contact with Mr. Pettit. It was not expected that the council would say no and kill their dreams for the business, as stated by Ms. Murphy. But in working with consultants over the last several months and going through the DRC, everything was put onto the Telegraph lot with no visible structures on Ivy. This seemed like a good solution, but the building was still too large. The DRC seemed to prefer the original option with the speaker saying, however, that neither drawing is suitable. It was also thought that if worked with a bit further there could be a win-win situation. If limited to the Telegraph lot such as shown in the drawing and would adhere to 45% lot coverage and no structures on Ivy the bulk of the mass of the building reduced a bit further, it would help maintain the character of the neighborhood. According to the speaker this would be their ultimate goal. One of the drawings if followed but on a much smaller scale would be acceptable to the neighborhood. It was the mass and the bulk being simply too large which was stated as the overall objective.
The parking was extremely limited on Telegraph, and according to the speaker, the slope of the land along with the difficulty getting in and out of the building will cause traffic issues and parking issues. Bob Schulken said that this is a residential project that has gone on for five years and that was ill-conceived to begin with. It was still stated that this is an R-1 neighborhood, not R-2 or apartment and that it doesn't fit. The speaker's goal as an engineer was to work with the developer to come up with something suitable. The speaker stated that he can't talk to Mr. Petit and direct the project. The property was zoned for 2-1/2 stories and not three. The corridor is intended to deal with commercial buildings and not residential. Follow-on projects may attempt to replicate this example which will be detrimental to the neighborhood. It was asked that Council disapprov without prejudice and let another developer begin again.
The applicants, Mr. and Mrs. Freeny, along with Mark Pettit were asked to present their side – Mr. Pettit started off with Lauterbach and Associates, architects, saying that in 2007 they came to the city staff three times. There was encouragement and it was recommended that he submit a formal plan which was done in 2007. Design Review Committee meetings followed with approvals from the planning commission along with the meeting with neighbors, bringing the project up to date. Facts – project was encouraged and approved by Staff. The speaker went to neighbors door to door. Noticing was done per requirements. The project has been downsized significantly each time the reviews went forward. The building is under 30 feet tall and is 2-1/2 half story as measured from Telegraph. The site slopes 10 feet from front to back. As for coverage this was 54% and similar to adjacent property. The project has percentage landscape at greater levels than in residential properties. The building is set back farther than code requirements.
Because of the urban context the building was pulled forward towards Telegraph Road. There is no access from Ivy or Armstrong with many improvements on those streets including curbs, gutters and parkways. The amount of disrepair that exists is actually on city-owned property as part of the right-of-way. It was claimed that the design is appropriate for the area and will improve the neighborhood property values. 19 parking spaces exist on the plan which complies with code as a senior project. The project has proximity to medical facilities and the center the city. Amenities include dining with outside areas and porches and gardens with full amenities inside the residence. Two plans are presented with open design being notable, according to the speaker. The speaker also volunteered the fact that in neighborhood meetings there were three frequent attendees who seemed to target the plan as regular critics of the process.
Mr. and Mrs. Freeny were present, with Mr. Freeny stepping forward. The applicant also stated that they've been at this for five years. The speaker also reiterated the fact that various meeting this have been held with officials and neighbors – all in good faith. It was thought that the project would generate revenues in the form of fees, and that the tax base would increase for the neighborhood. Senior members often sell upscale homes, each helping the city generate additional tax revenue, according to the speaker. Mr. Freeny thought there were positive attributes to the project. The speaker preferred the original DRC plan, while noting that Council’s directed plan is not as well designed architecturally.
Public Communications – Rhonda Holden said that as a citizen for over 39 years approved of the project and hoped the project would be approved by Council. The speaker said that the city needs revenue and said also that Bob and Linda have worked to make the changes that are recommended. The speaker is on the Steering Committee of Peer Into the Future.
Nick Visser felt that the property was too large for the area. This was to take a 45% lot coverage which he thought was huge. The size, mass and bulk of the project does not make sense to be put into a small piece of property, being neither infill nor smart growth.
Pat Antonowicz said that the 3-D and aerial drawings appear out of proportion, with the residence on the right being only 1400 ft.² and yet appearing disproportionately large. The speaker said that in working with seniors as she has many seniors do not give up driving. It was noted that handicap parking will be especially necessary in the facilities such as this. Veteran handicap is also required in some areas, it was noted. It was wondered how a fire truck would get in with all the trees in the area. It was also thought that Spanish Hills would be a better venue.
Paula Griggs said that the height of this building is not compatible with their tracts. The unit count went from 44 to 39, but that density and height factors are still there on this small property, according to the speaker. To the west of this there are 2-story apartments, with their local tracts being all single-story. The project is not compatible with either the West Walnut or the East tract according to the speaker. It was claimed that the residents make the better judge of what is compatible.
Carolyn Berg noted that when they moved into the neighborhood there were still fields across Telegraph Road. It was thought that the house on Telegraph might be torn down being that it was across the street, but that the building next door was never thought to be the one torn down. The speaker thought that the city never met with neighbors before 2009 or had communications with the developers. The Freenys bought this house 30 years ago but have never divulged to the neighborhood their plans. The speaker thought the parking arrangement was the major issue. It was wondered where people would be dropped off. A large issue would be the cars coming off of Telegraph including catering, bread trucks, dairy vehicles, medical supplies, paramedics and other traffic which affects all neighboring citizens. As far as tax revenue the speaker wondered if this is the way of the future for raising taxes.
Mary Schulken said that subterranean has a different meaning from person to person. “This is a circular project,” said the speaker. A senior use permit was used to build the building, but that the mass bulk was based on the use. Then over objections it's called an operational use and does not need to comply according to the speaker. In attending the first DRC meeting it was realized what was missed, according to the speaker. The public was not contacted in a timely fashion early enough in the planning process. The Freenys have known from day one that Staff was concerned about the size. The speaker said that this is a residential lot with a conditional use permit, but that it makes no sense with this being merely operational.
Jeff Berg said that on behalf of his father-in-law, John Baker, who resides on Ivy Street just next to the monstrosity under discussion, John wished to have his statement read saying he intended to be present but has been called out of state. Council should consider not accepting either plan. In the course of the DRC process all neighbors complained about the size, and not the use. In attempting to downsize the project, all that has been done is buildings have been shuffled around and not downsized. The two properties have long been in disrepair at this location, with promises that they would make the area more appealing. It was said that this is placed on the backs of the neighborhood in a profiteering way only, speaking of the applicants. The plan should be denied. Signed, John Baker – Ivy Street.
Patricia Heller said some sort of code must have been met, but consideration for a high-density building in a residential neighborhood would be such that the neighborhood is not against senior housing if it were the same size as similar apartment buildings nearby. The objection continues over the bulk of the building and compatibility with the neighborhood. 44,000 ft.² was originally recommended now down to 36,000 ft.², with the number of units having been reduced from 44 to 39. It was wondered where all the other square footage went. It meant eliminating all of the common areas, reducing all of the efficiencies to a minimum of 378 ft.². The speaker claimed considerable experience in looking at senior living facilities, stating that over the number of plans looked at, her family members would not be satisfied with these kinds of square footage restrictions. It was again mentioned that active seniors are adamant about not giving up their cars.
Karen Delaney, a friend of the Freenys, said that the traffic division has no problem with the plan. All of the speaker’s acquaintances feel that this is a necessary development project for the city of Ventura. It was said that seniors’ families want to come and visit them. The speaker said that change is difficult for people but it's also inevitable. The Freenys have invested time and money in attempts to comply with the neighborhood request and city code. The speaker said that it's a great looking project.
Carolyn Reedy said that people her age do not want to spend their final years living with family. She thought the building looked great and that she would enjoy living in a facility with this profile.
Steve Cummings, representing comments from the College Area Community Council – brought up during the previous judicial hearing – noted that there was no community council at the time. The Dudley House has had the same problem in the college area meaning that this is nothing new. This project along with the July 14 meeting over the Wright Library's Strategic plan will be discussed on Wednesday the fourth Wednesday of the month with the community Council meeting going forward as the public was invited to participate.
James DeVine said that when this country was formed it wasn't formed as a pure democracy but rather a representative republic. The ability to resolve disputes comes through city councils. Working for them is a planning commission and a staff. It is their job as professionals to listen to recommendations. The process has been done but by responding to every NIMBY-ist is to ensure that nothing will get done. Let me move my mother-in-law out of my house and approve this project.
Walter Ortiz stated that on the governor's website under its Community Care and Licensing division searching for residential facilities for the elderly. There are only 21 facilities in Ventura. Of those only nine have more than six units or six beds. Of those nine, according to another website, there are only seven licensed for Alzheimer's. It was said that the project under consideration will have Alzheimer's facilities. It was said that the project will create jobs. It was also said that a larger tax base will be created. His degree is in city planning from Cal-Poly, as it was stated. It was his view that the neighborhood favors not a smaller project, but no project at all. The senior housing types that they want would be of the more affluent type. It was the speaker’s point that Spanish Hills could be brought to Ventura, euphemistically speaking.
Bob Valez wished to speak saying that it’s not simply a matter of being opposed to change. The improper notifications meant that there will be no next time. The speaker said that this is reality for us. Claiming not to be in opposition to seniors, but mass, bulk and size along with the carbon footprint associated with cars trash and EMS calls raises the carbon footprint. It was mentioned that holidays and weekends will be drawing additional traffic to the facilities. The speaker did not think that there would be more revenue through the resale of properties in the area at higher prices. It was stated that Prop 13 will mean passing on the property from generation to generation with no tax revenue benefit to the city.
Wilson Miller stated his support for the project and support for approval. It was the speaker’s feeling that it was well designed. Sending the project back and back again is tantamount to not making a decision.
Jeff Crum said that as a contractor and developer who developed commercial mixed-use property at 11 Lincoln Dr. in 2003, there has been similar mass opposition to projects of his own. Projects were also approved, then reapproved, and that projects to date are looked upon favorably. It was the applicant's intention to work with the city in determining the best use for the property. The speaker approved of the original design, along with the current design being nice as well. It was his claim to be in favor of the Council Directed design in its screening of the neighborhood. The DRC design, according to the speaker, appeared to be architecturally pleasing as well.
Cherie Clark said that she supports the project strongly. The DRC design was one preference with the city council design seeming a drastic reduction. The speaker believed that this qualified as an infill project. As far as growth we need to grow within the city, according to the speaker. It was the speaker’s contention that for those who do not drive, the project would seem to be perfect.
Nick St. Nicholas said that it doesn't appear to be exactly the Staples Center, and it didn't appear to be Jack-in-the-Box going 24 hours a day. The Council Directed design did not look large enough to be problem and the building on the left by the DRC – not that much different either. Traveling on Telegraph the speaker said that behind the other buildings – Downing Street being offered as an example – there are homes. The speaker’s experience with the Sears Building going on in his neighborhood meant that right now the Freeny project seemed beautiful compared to what he has seen in the neighborhood. It was his desire to see approval.
Angel Guerrero spoke. Living on Armstrong, he claimed to be opposed to the project. His preference would be the lower profile selection approved by the council.
Fred Evans spoke thinking that several of the ideas were appropriate, including the idea that it is often necessary to change with the times. The city said we needed this and the designers have done their job, so go forward.
Rebuttals with Marissa speaking said that anyone could add a second story. But by adding a second story would be like adding 32 second story structures on their street. Of the seven facilities that housed Alzheimer's would mean a considerable difference between this type of resident and an active senior, which active seniors being the expected occupant. The expected resident will comply with the requirement of 55 years or older, agreeing to live in a dorm-like setting without a kitchen while giving up their vehicles. The speaker thought there was not the marketability for this project. It was said that the project might add to the city and cleanup the area but that adding that much size and structure would mean yet another revision would be appropriate. It was also stated that the neighborhood felt grateful that it is not a tattoo parlor. The speaker seemed to favor the council-approved design with a lower profile.
Council Member Morehouse had a question – how will you know when you have “hit it.” How would you know when you have unanimity was the question. Three people were selected to meet with the applicant along with an engineer and adjacent resident Baker – people who understand drawings and development.
The applicant was given five minutes to respond to the rebuttal – it was stated that landscaping will be added to the taller building – the DRC design – according to Mr. Pettit. The project is not medical and that there are residents who may have Alzheimer's, as was explained. Linda Freeny spoke answering some of the comments, saying that she personally went door-to-door. It was her statement that she had doors slammed in her face and was also chased down the street in one instance. The appellant said that they have done everything they've been asked to do, making changes at great expense. Comments heard such as, “Let's start over,” or “let's have another meeting” and similar comments were disturbing, according to the speaker.
Council Member Morehouse stated that Mr. Crum had conversations with you five years ago and that representatives of planning staff suggested that this was the best use for the lot. Where did this conclusion come from was the question. The applicant said that the property needed a new design and some care and it simply seemed that it would be a beneficial plan for the city and the neighborhood. The speaker claimed that as a 72-year-old herself she may need this type of facility in the future. The councilman asked of Mr. Pettit if he was economically bound by a rate of return and if scaled down further, could they arrive at an economically viable project. The speaker said that construction costs were high and that some scaling back was necessary but that as an architect, he knew that income and construction costs have a tendency to meet and they are already at that point.
The mayor closed the public hearing and asked Council to liberate. It was asked of Ian to explain whether it was possible to turn left out of that parking structure. The speaker said that depending on the speed of oncoming traffic there is a left and center lane, meaning that most residents use it to turn into their own driveways. Entering into westbound traffic means entering a center lane first. Another question concerned the trash and trash collection. It was asked whether the trash vehicle has curbside pickup of trash and apparently there was none. This would be something to coordinate with EJ Harrison.
Council Communications – Council Member Brennan wished lot coverage to be clarified at 55% and then again at 45%. What is the total lot coverage was the question, or is it the 54.5% design based on DRC's recommendation. The alternative is the attachment “B” for the Council Approved direction would be the 45% lot coverage.
Council Member Weir wished to see the slide showing the setbacks from the front on Telegraph. The resolution tonight contains findings. The finding on page 6 of the resolution page 32 of staff report showed the variances, “by allowing the building to encroach upon the 25 foot front yard setback would create a setback in keeping with the form code for commercial buildings.” But we see that on Telegraph it’s residential, seeming that the new building does not conform to the 25 foot setback. Furthermore, with form-based code not being followed, there would be an inconsistency then in the code. Mr. Cole said that there is a wall at the back of the property with no setback requirement being that there's no sidewalk. Ms. Weir said the building starts at the back yard setback, meaning that this does not conform to form-based code.
To the west, most homes are frontage properties, according to Ian. They would be looking at closer to 25 feet setbacks. A 10 foot setback for part of the building façade exists in the new project, and there are variances to the code. Staff owned up to the fact that Telegraph Road is currently “in transition” as regards the form-based code. Ms. Weir offered a hypothetical – if there were consistencies with 25 foot setback would this not create space for vehicles to pull in giving better entrance access at the front for vehicles?
Jeff said that the city has a goal of form but based code, also agreeing that the area is “in transition” but at the same time that given the “impetus” for designs along Telegraph, they've made a determination that the setback variance was okay. Jeff said that it's up to Council to decide whether they agree with this type of variance. Given all the transitions perhaps the project is not as easily up to conforming to the council’s expectations as Staff may have assumed.
A lot of the findings were compatibility based according to the councilwoman. The Conditional Use Permit was mentioned regarding vehicular use access. Was the finding compatible with the character of the general surrounding area, was the question, and the finding that asks about parking which finds that parking is sufficient to meet the needs? “Findings” also states consistency with development in the area. The councilwoman said that she cannot make those findings. There do appear to be inconsistencies in these findings, and that the councilwoman would be in favor of approving the appeal.
Council Member Tracy spoke noting that after a review of the preceding meeting on this issue, [ ventura-council-meeting-9-27-2010 ] the council decided to attempt limiting the project to the Telegraph Road impact. At the time, Mr. Brennan stated that the variances for the lot line adjustments and setbacks including the height would be left on the table allowing Mr. Pettit and clients to work a deal more acceptable to the neighborhood and the council. It didn't appear that there would be a guarantee back then that lot line coverage of 45% and not doing anything to the Ivy property that all would be happy. The expectation for a revisitation, however, was for a greater degree of improvement. In retrospect, then, and after reviewing the previous go-around and the staff report, Mr. Tracy thought that something was being made to happen on two properties that cannot really be done. Mr. Tracy acknowledged that the applicants have every right to try to maximize their property and the economic potential. It was his belief that the residents are not opposed to any change but in fact willing to look at a project while maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood. On the resolutions – there were several that the deputy mayor along with Ms. Weir, could not support either – Nos 2, 3, 7 and 8 plus 11, 12, 13 and 14 being issues that were brought up. The deputy mayor then forwarded a motion to approve Staff’s second alternative on page 6 of the admin report which was to approve the appeal without prejudice, and to deny the project.
Moved and seconded and with the city attorney asking that if the city were to proceed later with a draft of future findings that the council needs to be specific and show exactly where those findings run afoul of the plans. Taking issue with the variances by virtue of the reduced setback on Telegraph, for example, Council needs to give the best detail possible. There is a substantial investment involved on both sides by both parties, and courts would wish the council to invest in serious consideration on the methodologies for modification of their position.
Before Council acts on the motion, according to the city attorney in response to a question by the mayor, the council should give Staff a brief sense of direction on any resolution discrepancies it sees. It was not possible for the city attorney to look closely at the enumerated issues from the deputy mayor, but used Council Member Weir’s articulated reduced setback issue as the example for his comment.
Council Member Morehouse had a question of the staff with a motion on the floor but the question was put relation to 3-D modeling. On the DRC version it was wondered whether landscaping could be done as a softening effect. It was said that as a rule of thumb, rendered models do not show landscaping. Staff said that the area has almost the same degree of landscaping possible as a screening device. The councilman mentioned zoning of the R-1 (6) and R-1 (7) 2 ½ stories, requesting Staff confirmation that there is project compatibility with this code. Receiving an affirmative answer, the councilman then wished to address the motion saying he was also troubled by certain aspects of the project. It's difficult to “cut this baby in half” noting that his father had experience with living facilities of this type before passing on. The councilman said also that “The key to failure is in trying to please everybody.” As much as we preached infill and smart growth we have said that scale and massing are important to acceptability. It was not his belief either that the neighborhood wished no change. The findings also had difficulty for the councilman – Nos. 2, 3, 7, 12 and 13 in particular. It was his declared intent to support the motion.
Council Member Andrews asked Staff to respond with respect to everything other than the setback which is a variance that Council actually encouraged, according to the councilman. Everything else within code and it was asked whether this is correct. Staff said that what is also in front of you is a lot coverage which is also a variant – even addressing the 45% lot coverage because R-1 is 35% only. City Manager Cole said the lot line merger amounts to a rezoning of the R-1 ordinance in order to match the neighbors – not being handled legislatively this evening but as though it were a quasi-judicial issue. The mayor asked if as a quasi-judicial whether a second or secondary ordinance needs to be handled concurrently.
The administrative variance goes to the front yard setback, lot coverage, building height and number of stories as reiterated by the city attorney.
Mayor Fulton asked the city attorney with regard to the findings whether to go without prejudice to move forward with another presentation which would free up the Freeneys to have conversations with neighbors. It appeared that it was not a NIMBY situation because they do prefer something to absolutely nothing. Finding number two validates Council Member Weir in noting the off-street activities that would be essentially not compatible with the building of that size. Other findings are pretty much saying the same thing in different ways. Although the second edition is a bit better than the original it still may be too large for the neighborhood. The single-story design in the DRC was a “nice try,” according to the mayor.
City manager Cole said that it appeared that the majority of the council has approved the motion on the table. It was his feeling that the Freeneys will be discouraged from reapplying. A proportional reduction in fees may or may not be part of the motion. City Attorney Calonne said that code in allowing the council to deny without prejudice also requires the payment of full fees upon reapplication, with the mayor then in rejoinder saying that it needs to be considered whether or not reduced fees can be included as part of the motion. The motion was amended to direct Staff to consider the possibility of a code amendment.
Council Member Weir said that on clarification for the motion, the issues are: finding number 2 (will not create traffic hazards) – finding number 6 (adequate vehicle access) – finding number 7 (structures compatible with massing) – finding number 8 (also compatibility) – finding number 11 (sufficient parking spaces) – finding number 12 (setback) – finding number 13 (character and scale). In summing congratulatory remarks to the architect's using the western side with a buffer space, there were some very nice renderings of landscape, according to the councilwoman, who thought these a great addition to any neighborhood, and who also claimed to have wide experience in looking for assisted living facilities.
Council Member Morehouse said that the intention was to merge the two lots, but there was no application to rezone – resulting in two discrete R-1 (6) and R-1 (7). The question for motion purposes was would it be necessary to apply for rezoning. Split zoning was problematic.
Staff said this raises an issue somewhat on the minimum lot sizes. Building height, lot coverage et al remain the same. Undaunted, this creates either a huge R-1 (7) or something altogether different as Council Member Morehouse rejoined.
Mr. Cole said that even with form-based code there is a fundamental difference between lots that face a residential street or one that is an arterial, further noting that one goes one way and one goes the other and that it was the city's attempt to work with the applicants in working with the difficult situation. Council Member Morehouse wished to see something that wouldn’t be forced to address the split zoning issue.
Council Member Andrews claimed to be frustrated with the procedure to this point, saying that the process and behavior of the council in dealing with this issue has been “schizoid” at best. Apparently the council seems prone to “changing our mind.” The councilman described this as being a “morass of indecisiveness.” The councilman claimed that he cannot support the motion based on the process being “a travesty.”
Council Member Monahan had hoped for resolution to this point in the evening, but claimed that he will be voting with Mr. Andrews this evening. It was the councilman's claim that the neighbors would never like anything. The councilman went on to describe a tall building with a frontage directly on the sidewalk, referring to the Soho Project, apparently, which he claimed is next to his own property.
Council Member Brennan said that the last time around it was decided to leave all the variances in place and see how much we could soften the impact on the neighborhood. The councilman said that it' has been softened up at but not enough. It was deemed necessary by Mr. Brennan to take terse exception to the comments by Mr. Andrews. Mr. Brennan came to the defense of Soho, saying in direction to Mr. Monahan that some people came to support that project on the Avenue.
Deputy Mayor Tracy said he wished to echo Mr. Brennan's comments. The mayor reviewed briefly the motion on the floor to include new direction involving approval of the appeal and the overturning of the planning commission action without prejudice, with the city attorney to investigate code amendment that would involve fee waiver less than full payment of fee on refiling.
The roll was taken all members voted yes with the exception of Mr. Andrews and Mr. Monahan.
The mayor announced a short 10 minute recess.
Andrew Stuffler was invited forward for the staff report, with the city attorney advising Deputy Mayor Tracy that the councilman needed to be recused for the first part of the administrative report, in that he owns property at address 1800 Sunset Dr. in Ventura.
According to the city attorney, on the Second Unit Amnesty and Legalization Ordinance Mr. Tracy needed to be recused but on the code enforcement section, the lien process as well as the building records ordinance, the deputy mayor would be allowed to participate.
Andrew introduced Sue Taylor, Code Enforcement Supervisor, and Jeff Lambert. Returning to City Council upon request from the May 9, 2011, meeting with the Second Unit Amnesty Ordinance and proposed fees. The resolution for the amnesty fees are not up for formal action by City Council. This will come back on July 11 if that is the direction delivered by Council.
Item 11, Code Enforcement, showing: (1) Second Unit Amnesty Ordinance – (2) Review Proposed Amnesty Fees – (3) Building Records Disclosure Ordnance – (4) Delinquent Civil Penalties to Assessor
Prior City Council Direction, showing: (1) Prepare second unit ordinance – (2) Increase funding for improved public education/outreach/awareness – (3) Review and adjust code enforcement persona – (4) Establish a self inspection program – (5) Establish a realtor supported resale report – (6) Fund and implement a volunteer program – (7) Improve administrative transparency – (8) Appointments Committee to review Local Appeals Board composition – (9) Director to inform and seek input from community
Second Unit Amnesty Ordinance, showing: (1) Introduction and first reading – (2) Cookbook style six-step process – (3) Set second reading and adoption for July 11, 2011
Prior Second Dwelling Unit Amnesty Ordinance Discussion Points, showing: (1) Scope – (1.1) Only second dwelling units – (1.2) Pre-and post-1987 State Real Estate Disclosure law – (1.2) Only parcels with zoning allowing dwellings (1.3) Not retroactive, unit or fees – (2) Appeals – (2.1) Decisions of violation, local appeals board – (2.2) Director decisions of zoning modifications, appeals process added – (3) In-service documentation – (3.1) Owner-signed affidavit plus 1 other supporting item
Proposed Amnesty Program Fees, showing: (1) Assumptions = 480 ft.² converted garage in Ventura Avenue area, one bedroom, one bath, one kitchen, existing three-quarter inch water service, two hours of staff investigation and plan check time. The chart showed in-service dates from August, 1975 to February, 2011.
Building Records Disclosure Ordnance, showing: (1) Introduction and first reading – (2) Process – (2.1) Apply for building records disclosure – (2.2) Receive records disclosure from city – (2.3) Seller and buyer sign records disclosure document – (2.4) Return signed document to city for retention – (3) Adoption and second reading on July 11, 2011
Delinquent Civil Penalties, showing: (1) Law established in 1990s – (2) Since 2007 this process has recovered more than $200,000 of unpaid tickets – (3) No homes have been taken by the city – (4) Staff outreach has removed 7 of 12 items and $6, 219 of fines from Exhibits A and B.
Second Unit Amnesty Ordinance Recommended Actions, showing: (1) Conduct a public hearing, introduce and waive the first reading of an ordinance 2011 Second Unit Amnesty and legalization ( Attachment A) and set the second reading and adoption for July 11 – (2) Review and direct Staff to return the draft resolution amending the city’s user fees for amnesty permits (Attachment D) for public hearing and adoption on July 11, 2011
Building Records Disclosure Ordinance Recommended Actions, showing: Conduct a public hearing; introduce and waive the first reading of an ordinance Building Records Disclosure (Attachment B) and set the second reading and adoption for July 11, 2011
Delinquent Civil Penalties Recommended Actions, showing: (1) Conduct a public hearing and adopt a resolution ASSESSMENT TO BE LEVIED AGAINST PROPERTIES THAT ARE THE SUBJECT OF DELINQUENT CIVIL PENALTIES allowing a lien assessment for delinquent civil penalties (Attachment C) – (2) Authorize the Finance and Technology Department to make the necessary adjustments to the fiscal year 2012 budget to reflect these changes
Council member Morehouse asked for a breakdown regarding the water connection feed or size with the answer being a three-quarter inch meter being the typical family residence. Second question – from whence (sic) do these fees bubble up? Is there a school district “thing” was questioned, with Staff saying that's school district fees were not included and not subject to any type of rollback. Again the speaker said can you tell us from whence (sic) these taxes bubble up. Jeff said that infrastructure capacity is involved along with a fee for road improvements that may want to go forward based on a per unit calculation, with Park District fees being arrived at as a desire for improving parks in the neighborhood. The single family home has a certain amount of demand on park space with the fees being created to accommodate better road circulation, sewer and water and parks and other issues. Land-use fees may be impacted by the anticipation of the community for capital improvements, as articulated by the councilman in questioning staff as well.
City Manager Cole stated that there are issues on both sides and yet a question could be raised in addressing the next logical piece. Are the fees appropriate for the situation, was the question. These fees were designed for any new unit from scratch having a new impact on the community. Anyone who added a second unit legally over the past 20 years has paid those fees at the rates charged at the time. From a standpoint of strict equity, Council has asked for imposition of these fees as might have been applicable legally at the time through the building permit process. Secondarily, however, we have already absorbed impacts in the past and that the taxpayers are currently bearing that cost. The city manager said it was a Hobson's choice with the problem of being “Solomon up on the dais,” if you will, and that if we are going to be expecting widespread compliance with the grandfathering initiative, then the higher the costs are the less likely they will be successful. There still must be equity, the city manager said, between those who follow the rules and pay the fees as against someone who did not pay. These were the original directions going forward with the idea of charging the fees but at the lower rate applicable to the lower rates at the time the unit was built. Putting an exact date on the construction could be difficult but would still bring rather substantial impacts on the fees.
The mayor said that school impact fees are not involved in this consideration which are normally imposed by state law to collect those fees, and that waiving of those fees are beyond the jurisdiction of the city.
Council Member Andrews asked about the new fees being proposed. There are four; the Second Unit Amnesty Legalization Permit fee of $580, being a “permit to seek amnesty.” With this being the question, Andrew answered that this is a fee designed to cover four hours of Staff time to ensure that the unit is safe. This is in fact the amount that is shown as the $580. The next proposal, as articulated by Mr. Andrews, addressed the modification fee of $1200. It was desired to know what that means. Staff said that if we maintain the 1987 date differential with having to comply with the current second unit dwelling zoning requirements, someone may have a second unit with in-service date of 1988, they would need to comply with the current second unit dwelling zoning ordinance that is in service currently. In the event of difficulties such as setbacks, Andrew said that the modification fee would then apply. Jeff Lambert stated that we have requested a reduced fee because it is a “focused evaluation” as a way of encouraging people to take advantage of the program. In response to the question, “How much reduced is it,” Andrew answered that the 100% cost recovery is $2093,89, and so the recovery would be approximately $800.
Mr. Andrews continued saying that an Appeal permit is shown ostensibly in case of an appeals process, and Building Requisition Disclosure fee which the Councilman said he understands.
The mayor sought the city attorney’s advice on the prospect of waiving the current impact fees including sewer connection, going back to fees in effect at the time and any possible legal issues to consider. With this being the question, the city attorney said Council is not in a position to decide who needs to pay and who does not without some legislative development to evaluate the criteria. It would be necessary to come up with an ordinance that justifies the fee waiver. In establishing impact fees, the law says that the dollar amount be based on the costs of improvements that it takes just to meet the requirements. Sewer Deficiency fees are to be based on the cost of building a section of sewer line which is allocated across the population that will be using that system. Fee waivers are more comprehensive than just by fiat because we would simply want to. The process is not a trivial matter requiring Planning Staff time to determine these types of fee waivers, according to the city attorney.
The mayor said that when we raise water, sewer and connection fees, a Prop 218 (Public’s Right to Vote on Taxes Initiative) process is involved, and it was wondered whether a lowering of these would also be subject to Prop 218 issues. The city attorney agreed that this situation would be subject to some analysis, but that he was not prepared to say there would be issues. But the 1996 law passed by the voters greatly broadened the scope of fees that now are subject to voter approval. The city attorney said only that he would want to analyze further.
Public Communications – James Devine wished to state that “for people not named Lambert or Stuffler,” the budget needs to be reallocated to give staff members more time, stating further that the proposed ordinance would do nothing to address the additional workload arising as a consequence. But speaking as a bankruptcy attorney, Mr. Devine warned of more people losing their homes. The speaker said that he wished Council would pass the measure, citing the expectation of more work in his area. While praising Ariel on his excellence in drafting ordinances, a further warning went out that there are constitutional deficiencies that will be adjudicated on the fourth floor of 800 S. Victoria Avenue as the proposal opens the city to lawsuits and burdensome litigation over constitutional issues. Personally the speaker thought the ordinance should be sent back to the drawing board.
Council Member Andrews thought that the constitutional issues being raised should be enumerated. The speaker said that aspects and individual sections of the city will be carved out creating a selective enforcement issue. The in-service date of 1987 brings us into the arena of a quasi-criminal issue, according to the speaker, with nuances including abatement and that under the Fifth Amendment such “takings” will drive additional scrutiny. There are issues with people both pre-and-post 1987 who have maintained lawful status, creating an unfair impact on those people.
Sherry Cash was told by city staff to tear out a kitchenette due to no plans. The copies were eventually located, and as a member of the now defunct Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative (VSHC), the speaker expressed disappointment at the outcomes that have been created. The 1987 and prior clause eliminates equal opportunity to qualify for code approval. The speaker heard supportive comments at the previous hearing, and it was thought that there was an equitable solution on the horizon. The speaker said that on Council’s night of final vote, the appearance was given that a script had been rehearsed, something that may have been in violation of the Brown act. There should have been the appearance of some compromise on the part of the council, according to the speaker.
Laura Swenson spoke as the owner of a Westside second unit that will be affected, noting that the 1987 date was brought forward by just one member of the VSHC. There was the thought that the date should be moved to 2003 as Marin has done. Focusing on the potential for bringing a second unit on her property into compliance without excessive fees was not a comprehensive plan for a safe Ventura, whether relating to dwellings or commercial buildings. All buildings can be brought into compliance and not just second units. The final compliance date of 2013 seemed like plenty of time, and yet even this will not be finalized until next month. Community buy-in will not be enhanced. Public education will require time. Compliance with the six requirements will require time. Three more months will slip by before people will be informed of financial arrangements. Six months should be added to the final completion date. There were those who were cited during the pilot code enforcement program of 2009 were given until March 13, 2012 to completely resolve all issues, 15 months shorter than June 30, 2013. Remove or adjust the 1987 date, move the final compliance date out and align the date for those already cited with the date set for others.
Steve Schlader said that he was in complete support of the amnesty ordinance. His neighbors on the Westside do not have the money to fight the city. Putting in apartments and condominiums should be where the money should be going so that the return can be brought back into the community. Small people often are not great voters along with the constitutionality of some issues and yet with taxpayer money being used it’s a win-win for the city. His neighborhood has old people second is able and Mexicans we should all be gotten out of their. We did this to Helen Yunker we put the screws to her by hiring attorneys. There is big money on the Westside and city should go get these people. The speaker likes the 1987 loophole.
Bob Casey – It was the speakers estimation that there are thousands of dollars in costs with those estimates that should be included in the ordinance showing real consequences of new enforcement policy. How many second units are there in the city? Second unit homeowners could be made to pay as much as $25 million collectively. The second units are owned by financially strapped people and this kind of money coming from this level of society and that by imposing fees and costs at this level, owners will be headed for foreclosure and homelessness. A reckless exercise in social engineering is being pursued by approval of this ordinance.
Laura Gullafson said that this issue has been ongoing for at least two years. Ten of the 13 members have signed the document asserting that there is disagreement with the 1987 restriction. Something is wrong with these numbers according to the speaker. Making people sign affidavits when second units began rental is problematic due to the fact that the city does not keep good records on its citizens activities. When Wright Library was donated to the city and it was asked how many signatures the foothill area had gathered the city did not have the records.
John Whitman said it is unfair to propose an unconstitutional law on the past means going retro in assessing guilt or innocence. There is no change to land-use (group residents are currently allowed) when another person holds leases or ownership, not necessarily creating a second unit. People will be further entrenched into the underclass, according to the speaker.
Helen Yunker said she was a supporter of everything good. The city council has lost the roadmap for liberty and justice for all. It's making efforts to overturn efforts by the VCHC. There was a complete betrayal of citizen trust and respect for human rights and needs. In 1912 the unsinkable Titanic sank. Passengers boarded the vessel with trust. The Ventura ship of state is embarking on a sea of uncertainty. The retired, living on social security along with other low income individuals, have trusted the city to steer the ship away from the iceberg of fear, according to the speaker. Today the city is seeing only the tip of the iceberg as the speaker continued with the allegory. It was questioned as to what the city will do with the legions of people who will be thrown into the street and become homeless.
Patti Thomas said that she would speak for two minutes. What started out as a document for performance records on short-term vacation rentals turned into safe rental housing enforcement. Rental housing and rental housing registration does not a second unit ordinance make, according to the speaker. The bureaucratic process made Staff focus more on penalties than on safety. Amnesty means the waiving of all fees as you would a library.
John Stewart said that having gone to a planning commission meeting he was taken aback. One issue was that AB 1866, the state controlling document which, according to the speaker is mentioned nowhere in this proposed ordinance, shows how the planning director for the city of LA handles in 12 steps second using unit housing. If they meet all conditions they pass and they are on their way. Mr. Calonne had said in that one planning commission meeting that we expanded on 1866 but AB 1866 says that if the city involved exceeds the intent of 1866, then that along with everything the city has put together is null and void. This should be the governing rule as issued by the state. An attorney by the name of Robert McNamara from the Institute of Justice wrote a letter to the planning commission, which Mr. Calonne was in possession of at the time, and that without specifically mentioning the letter in that meeting other than to opine on the problems with the constitutionality of the amnesty matters, simply went on to witness the commission’s vote of approval. At least one member of the Housing and Community development Department in Sacramento is also of the opinion, after having cited Mayor Fulton's address on the Internet, that there was one or more problems with the constitutionality of Ventura’s proposed ordinance.
Camille Harris, with time ceded by others, gave the speaker nine minutes. The speaker said that the only solution was being presented by her this evening. When saying there will be amnesty if you can comply with the 2004 ordinance, the amnesty means nothing according to the speaker. 90% of the conversions are garage conversions making it impossible to comply. Trust was the main issue according to the speaker. The speaker acknowledged the amount of work put in by staff members, while noting that lack of management, mismanagement and lack of budget has created an adversarial situation.
Problem Summary, showng: (1) The city has an ineffective code enforcement safe housing program due to – (1.1) Lack of trust in the motive behind code enforcement – (1.2) Lack of knowledge by key stakeholders [citizens] as to need or requirement – (1.3) A process that is neither fast, cheap nor easy – (1.4) A poorly implemented program management system – (1.5) Fear, anger, despair over the possible losing of ones most cherished asset
Backroom Deals to Limit Grandfathering, showing: (1) Betrays the public trust – (2) Create homelessness – (3) Causes lawsuits – (4) Causes foreclosures – (5) Causes desperation sales – (6) Creates fear – (7) Discourages compliance – (8) Reduces affordable housing – (9) Reduces property values [Betrayal of public trust begets more distrust] The speaker said that backroom dealing included a search for loopholes by which the ordinance could be weakened.
Losing Permit Records Creates Distrust, showing: (1) What happened to our permit records? – (2) Numerous public admissions that permit records have been lost – (3) How many and whose? [Is it right to prosecute the public for missing records lost by the city?] The Mayor was asked to query Mr. Monahan, one of our elder statesmen, on some of the problems.
It Can Happen to Anyone, showing: e-mail March 6, 2007, 3:00 p.m. FROM: Andrew Stuffler, “FYI … Council Member Weir contacted me today to confirm that her detached studio was legal. I found a 1993 final inspection approval for a 396 square foot attached studio and advised her accordingly.” -- Signed, Andrew Stuffer, Chief Building Official
But Agreement Is Not Certain; Who Decides and Does Influence Help, showing: e-mail dated March 6, 2011 at 3:11 p.m. TO: Andrew Stuffer, Forwarded from Inspector Bruce Lorenzano BY Veronica Ledesma – “Andrew, I has (sic) also informed her about the same permit however there is a kitchen in the structure and it was not approved as a second unit.” [Could this attempt violate the Fourteenth Amendment requiring equal treatment under the Constitution?]
Constitutional Rights Must Be Respected, showing: The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech without retaliation by government
After Pointing Out to the Public, showing: Budgeting For Outcomes Documents Suggested by Code Employees – (1) “Amnesty” then “Be Nasty” [Three months for responsible parties to obtain permits, then offer rewards for citizens to turn in violators] – (2) “No morning callback with inspection times” [You call and get inspection that day. No “windows” of time – it’s a waste of inspectors and clerical time]
How Would Grandfathering Affect These Actions (cont’d from above) showing: (3) “Utilize the city’s Code Enforcement Division to enforce and find illegal garage conversions throughout the city [a large number of conversions exist in the Avenue area]” Additional comment “creates city revenue” – (4) “Restructure citation policy to allow for immediate issuance of citations for obvious and known violations.” [CE says it is legal to use satellite imagery] – (5) “Establish community-based (example: VIP, community councils) code enforcement by engaging neighbors in identifying and documenting violations.” (‘Impacts’) “Increase citations resulting in additional revenues.”
Fears of Retaliation, showing: In an e-mail dated April 17, 2009 – Mayor Fulton to Camille Harris, “Andrew Stuffler told me that he had heard that I had once rented an illegal second unit from you. I explained I had lived in a second unit next door (which is illegal as it turned out) and that I had been in your house several times, and that as far as I could tell you had no second unit, legal or illegal. At that point he dropped the case.” With there having been no case, no complaint and with good neighbor relations all around, the speaker felt that this is the kind of incident that can easily generate fears of retaliation.
Council member Morehouse asked of the speaker that of several potential cutoff dates, which one would be acceptable … should it be 2011 2012 or 2004? The speaker cited the VSHC, which said anything 30 years or older should be grandfathered. Other cities are using 2003 as the date of the original state mandate since going back an unreasonable length of time would be a violation of the Latches Law. The Council member then wished to know how many people created an illegal second unit from 2003 going forward without the city knowing which are legal and which are not. “When looking at equity,” said the speaker, and that when people cannot comply because the laws are tortuous, it's obvious that the city is trying to do as little grandfathering as possible. 2003 was the answer.
Tom Stanley with time ceded by others spoke saying that it was about safety and there is a path to amnesty for all, but there were two separate and unequal paths. All second units should receive grandfathering subject to a safety inspection. The proposed ordinance does not achieve equality. Amnesty seems obtainable for those who purchased the property before 1987. The proposed ordinance, Section 5, Step Five, Paragraph E,2 has highlighted relevant parts -- #2, for second dwelling units with and in-service date of 1987 and later the zoning development standard checklist will be used to establish compliance in Ventura code section 240.430.020. This code is part of the code before you tonight which clearly says – properties after 1987 for which documentation is not available will be coded by this particular municipal code: written in 2004 retroactive for anyone purchasing a property after 1987 and cannot prove in service. An owner purchasing a property after 1987 must prove occupancy in order for this code to be applied. It could be property that was built anywhere from 1920s forward and that the approval to make 2004 retroactive to 40 or 80 years or older is illegal and it's called Latches Law. Furthermore, the party must act in a reasonable time to avoid losing that right to act at a later time, this being related to the statute of limitations. 2004 would be the last date the city could enforce the code according to the speaker.
Municipal code 240.430.020 specific was mentioned saying that the proposed ordinance refers to the ordinance before Council this evening. Applying this code to properties 50, 60 or 70 years older or more, should raise questions on how many units will be grandfathered. Qualifying are lots of 5500 ft.². Heights, setbacks and square footage of 6000 feet or more have been holding properties and second units for dozens of years. Who are you going to evict, was the speakers question? Will it be this sick, the dying and the elderly? They have been testifying before you for 18 months. The Jesse Unruh Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination against these classes, meaning that Council could make all these potential problems go away by striking the 1987 restriction. With 2004 as the cutoff date, Staff should be able to legally enforce the code, according to the speaker.
Mayor Fulton asked to interface with the speaker in asking why he thought Council would be applying code to those units. In looking at the handout that he'd given Council, the first one highlighted is the ordinance being looked at tonight, which stipulates second dwelling units with an in-service date of 1987 or later – not earlier. From this it appeared that the mayor did not understand the point by applying many decades earlier. The speaker said this comes into play by saying that property sold after 1987 may have been built at any time, even before records were being kept. The mayor continued by saying that this was the speaker’s “interpretation” of the proposed ordinance only. Being satisfied with an affirmative answer, the mayor felt that no further discussion was necessary and thanked the speaker for his comments.
Ken Luper spoke on his experience with program performance, asking whether we understand the direct costs the indirect costs general expenses and cost transfers – whether or not some of this is clearly understood. Cost recovery starts to smell like a tax program rather than safety. Strong oversight of the program to show what the goals and objectives are should be studied more carefully.
Council Member Monahan asked whether the speaker had attended the VCHC meetings with the speaker saying he had attended all of them. The councilman wished to know how the collaborative members discussed the fees that would be charged, with the speaker saying that most of the public that interfaced began to speak of fees and funding in terms that very few average people would understand.
Mayor Fulton began a round of communication based on issues raised during public speaking. It was asked of the city attorney to address a class of constitutional issues, including one raised by Mr. Divine, who mentioned selective enforcement as a constitutional issue and the evidence that can be used to determine the in-service date.
City Attorney Calonne was given some time respecting the people raising this and many other issues all of which deserve attention. Selective enforcement was with reference to the exclusion of the Pierpont from this ordinance. There need only be a rational basis for the ordinance, such as the 1987 cut off date vs. 2004. The core of the basis in difference of opinion is that this ordinance does not make anything illegal. It does not convert someone's second unit into an illegal second unit – due process would be required. If the city were to prosecute someone with or without the ordinance it needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and is not changing the due process protection. The burden of proof lies on the city's back to prove illegality. This is the other side of that coin giving the citizen an opportunity to legalize the unit by not creating a situation of illegality. Constitutional standards would be sharper if this ordinance were trying to declare illegal a great number of second units that are out there. People may avail of themselves the opportunity to legalize the unit. This ordinance cannot take rights away from anyone, according to the city attorney. The worst you can say about the ordinance is that there will be a number of people who will not advantage themselves of the opportunity, leaving the case of enforcement up to the city as it would under normal circumstances. The line drawing process from 1987 to 2004 is within the jurisdiction of the Council to decide. It's not as though the city does not believe there is no legal basis for 1987 and yet it does because this is the time that disclosure was introduced through the real estate industry for disclosure to be conducted.
Mr. Calonne then addressed the Institute of Justice issue, reading from a letter from Justice with two concerns – the use of owner declarations to prove in-service dates, but the draft in front of the planning commission at the time did not include Council’s statements amending the draft ordinance. Second of concern was the 1987 date being arbitrary, meaning having no legal basis – no rational basis. Arbitrary means having no reason which the city attorney claimed as the inverse of the rationale just given. Two reasons for the 1987 date had been given and both would constitute a rational basis for cutting off the exemption from development standards put in place after 1987. For pre-1987 units the code relaxes the second units standard. Mr. Stewart's contention was that we are bound by AB 1866, the law that motivated the city's 2004 ordinance, allowing second units more easily than we are now including in the amnesty ordinance. Amnesty relaxes the rules for second units even further than what the state mandated in 2004. It makes it easier to have second unit at least for units put into service before 1987. For units after 1987 the rules are precisely what 1866 required. A zoning modification has been allowed in the ordinance before Council this evening, offering another method for post-87 units that don't quite make all of the 2004 rules. Nothing in this ordinance makes the determination that someone has an illegal second unit. In the Institute for Justice letter if there are missing records it calls upon the city to prove that the units are illegal.
The mayor said that pre-2002 (pre-AB 1866) many cities in the state including Ventura adopted regulations made it extremely hard to get a second unit approved, and the purpose of AB 1866 was to undo much of the city’s red tape. The city passed a law pursuant to that in 2004. Nondiscretionary allowance was the purpose of 1866 – to block the CUP process being used by cities to block second units. The mayor went on to volunteer, however, that the use of 2004 was actually better for the property owner than “whatever was in place” between 1987 and 2004.
If looking at another of Mr. Stanley’s assertions, i.e., if a property changed hands 1987 or after, then the post-1987 rules still apply. The mayor asked Staff to respond to this, with Mr. Stuffler stating (reiterating) that 1987 represents the in-service date (without affirming or denying the spirit of the question, which was directed toward the purchase date of the property).
Laura Swenson's question was a good one according to Staff, noting that omitted from the report was the intention to coordinate the abatement date deadline to reset the compliance date to June 30 of 2013 so it matches the closing of the amnesty program.
What is the city's involvement with the property inspection report was another question asked by the mayor. Andrew said that the VSHC heard from the city resident that the property owner was not aware of the property being illegal. Staff looked at means for bringing the buyers and sellers knowledge together, and in consulting with realtors it was determined that they used the Oxnard program for its ease of implementation.
The mayor wished to know more about records that could be missing and the Institute for Justice letter, as though the city had lost all records prior to 2000 which was stated in the letter. The city claimed to have microfiche records dating back to the early 1900s. There is no indication that the city has gaps in its records according to Staff. Once or twice a year it may occur that there is a missing entry for the records. Staff said the city has more than 1 million records on file.
Council Communications – the mayor asked whether to continue the meeting and conclude this item plus the remainder. City Manager Cole said that the Union Pacific is a substantive matter and that conclusion will take a while. It is not a matter of urgency for one evening, but as a matter on future agendas may be pushing it. It was finally decided to suspend the Union Pacific item.
Mr. Cole said that when the council voted in February, fees should be applied that were in effect at the time. This represents 100% disclosure fees for parks water and everything except school district these because we don't control that aspect of the schedule. The question remained about the total costs for someone with a unit post-1987 . . . the kind of costs for modifications that would reduce footprint and other compliance factors. These fees disclosed all that can be shown as regards participation in the amnesty program. This does not include individual costs because contractors will charge an individual customer. Case studies could be done and estimates could be made for these costs. According to Mr. Cole, the disclosure is that which will satisfy the city in complying with code but has not the same relationship to the total costs incurred by the given property owner. Staff said that a detailed checklist would be available, with Mr. Morehouse countering that through this people could still feel “over exposed” as potential out of compliance individuals inducing fear. No personal information would be required for a checklist if the checklist could be obtained off the web which it is according to Staff. Last week Council approved contract extensions to the Housing Authority, which could be rounded out in scope to apply to this, thereby making financing available to help with compliance.
Council Member Morehouse asked about Mr. Stanley's concerns involving Latches Law with the councilman saying he was not familiar with Latches Law. Mr. Calonne said that Latches Law involves one of two concepts in equity which seeks equitable relief, wherein the applicant must show that they have reacted with a reasonable specific amount of time – governed generally in the absence of a formal statute of limitations. It forces the individual to act quickly rather than sit on their rights. The law does not come up often, because there are specific statutes of limitations when trying to do code enforcement. The city attorney would like to further investigate the possibility that there is a Latches defense when applying the 2004 ordinance for units put in service after 1987. It didn't strike the city attorney is being a substantial argument, noting however that it is creative.
Mr. Cole said that if we couldn't enforce this ordinance based on statute of limitations, then we couldn't enforce any ordinance grandfathered by a statute of limitations, “yet to be identified.” Mr. Calonne replied that “the statement you (city manager) just made is logical, but probably not correct.” On these kinds of violations the statute of limitations rejuvenates itself every day because every day consists of a violation according to the city attorney. It was the city attorney’s feeling that there may be no substance to the Latches argument, but that it may warrant further investigation.
Council Member Morehouse asked about Mr. Whitman's statement again asking whether or not the interpretation related to the past going back to 80 years. Mr. Calonne said again that this ordinance does not make anyone's second unit illegal. Mr. Morehouse wanted to finish up by saying that there will not be proactive enforcement and that reactive was the standard and would continue to be so, with the answer being affirmative. In further questioning – in terms of begging for some time, is this so time sensitive that we couldn't get more information on costs and to perhaps talk about constitutional issues? Mr. Calonne said that given a thorough briefing on the questions tonight – that if that would serve to reinforce the public's confidence, the city attorney would be pleased to comply. There is no urgency in his shop to have this done. We would be looking at something in the fall, however, according to the city attorney.
Council member Andrews had comments addressing the questions by Bob Chinese, saying that those questions were unanswerable. But knowing the fees we will charge, these will end up being lower than any other way that this might be done. This is a fair fee because that's what everyone else paid at the time, according to the councilman. It was not his feeling that there is any particular reason for 1987 differentiation, and that if the 1987 stipulation were to be removed and by treating every property with the same standard beginning now – today – that this would be the one change in the ordinance that the councilman would make. It was not the councilman's feeling that we should “fiddle around with this” as has been done for more than two years. The councilman's first analysis of this predated 2009, and it was his belief that the process should be moved forward. It was the councilman's position that in the previous hearing on the subject it was he and Council Member Monahan who voted against the 1987 provision. [ Now check out the truth. ]
Council Member Weir wanted to ask about the note earlier, bringing up the question of inconsistency with state law. The city may be in danger of being too generous with our amnesty. Council Member Weir also said that the issue is the date built and not the date sold. Ms. Weir still wished to know the difference constitutionally speaking, that separates the dates 2004 versus 1987. Jeff said that the basic premise is to assume a rationale for the date. The rationale for 2004 was when the city adopted the most recent policy on tying in the second units in response to the state law. The rationale could be built around that if the council should be inclined to do so.
Mr. Calonne said that in 2004 we wouldn't be applying the law retroactively. A political fairness issue versus a constitutional issue was mentioned by the city attorney. Mr. Calonne said that 2004 would take away the claim that we were trying to apply an ordinance retroactively. There is more flexibility than is cited in the Institute for Justice letter according to Mr. Calonne, using the example of a Connecticut town using second units only seasonally, saying you have no right to use those second units unless you can prove that they are also capable of being used year-round. The court said you can't make those units seasonal only without due process. Mr. Calonne said we're not trying to change the character of an existing second unit but that if you want to legalize it here is a path you can follow.
Council Member Weir asked of Mr. Andrews whether he would be willing to use the 2004 date, with the councilman saying that it's better than 1987.
Mr. Cole said that in the previous go around the issue in 2004 was on the covered parking issue and setbacks, but that there are waivers to the modification process which in turn would constitute the most sensitive issue for adjacent neighbors. Setbacks would be the biggest issue here for the city. So whether you choose 2011, 2004 or 1987 we would be waiving the parking, the setback and the lot coverage entirely. Mr. Cole said that there are different ways in which this can be sliced. The last go around meant lot size coverage and parking. The council has the prerogative to narrow to just three issues rather than the entire 2004 package and can also move the date from 1987 to some other date forward. Consequences are, for those who wish to see more units legalized, the way to do this is to narrow the scope and move up the date. On the negative side, for units in operation currently there will be fewer of them subject to parking, coverage and setback requirements.
The mayor wished to at once ask and answer Mr. Andrews, saying that he is not in favor of creating an easy path to legalization (referencing 2/27/2011). The rationale for the 2004 ordinance affecting units built between 1987 and 2004 means that the ordinance in place prior to 2004 would be more difficult for the owner. 1987 up to 2004 prior to passage of 2004 requirements were sufficiently onerous (the mayor believed that they were) this discouraged the attempt to create legal second units. It would be fair, then, to grandfather those in waiving the setback, asking if the motion were passed changing the 1987 date to 2004 would Mr. Andrews vote favor. Mr. Andrews lied again, saying that he’d previously voted against Staff’s recommendation to use the earlier date, (he did not) while knowing he was in the majority (which he was) and at the same time, “on my way to changing it. Certainly if it had been 2004,” said Mr. Andrews, “I’d have voted in favor of it.” [Check the link again a few paragraphs up. The vote on the table on 5/9/2011 (forget 2/27) was to use the year 1987, and you, Mr. Councilman, voted Staff’s recommendations.]
Council Member Monahan said that in 2004 the state came out with a new form on that date saying that there was nothing magic about that date. The mayor said that additional disclosure requirement was added on some [if not most] real estate transactions. The notification of the lack of permits on second units became a requirement at that time, according to the mayor.
Council Member Andrews wished to make the motion which would waive the first reading changing the differential date to 2004. Mr. Calonne said that it would be up to Staff to change the ordinance to 2004 and bring it back to Council for first reading. With the motion brought to the floor using 2004 as the cutoff date, the mayor asked for a call of the roll. Brennan, yes; Weir, yes; Morehouse, no; Andrews, yes; Monahan, yes; Fulton, yes. The motion passed 5 to 1.
The mayor asked for a motion on Recommendations B, C, D and E with Deputy Mayor Tracy resuming his position. With the call of the roll being forwarded, all members voted yes.
Item number 12 was postponed.
Housing Trust Fund, (Staff Recommendation) showing: (1) Allocate $200,000 over 5 years, $40,000 per year – (2) Utilize a portion of previously allocated Housing Preservation funds – (3) Authorize F/T to appropriate funds
Housing Trust Fund (Background Information) showing: (10-year Strategy Recommendation No. 3 – (2) Formation of Ventura County Housing Trust Fund, VCHTF – (3) Board Chair [Dawn Dyer] and CEO [Linda Braunschweiger] have approached each city and the county for support – (4) Prop 1C, matching funding from state Housing Community Development, HCD – (5) VSSTF “support” [Explanation for the quotation marks went as follows: “All things ’10-year-strategy’ are pretty much supported by the Ventura Social Services Task Force, and it’s ‘our assumption’ that they would enthusiastically support this, although we didn’t actually get their actual support in terms of a vote.”]
Housing Trust Fund (Council Subcommittee Action) showing: (1) May 23rd 2011 meeting – [said to be the 2nd time brought to Council’s subcommittee] – (2) 2-to-1 split vote in favor of support [It was said that the split vote occurred with Council Member Weir dissenting over concerns of allocating funds from the Housing Preservation Fund, also said to be another “important” fund.]
Housing Trust Fund (Program Specifics) showing: (1) Development of affordable housing – (2) Affordable rental housing – (3) Home ownership assistance programs – (4) Permanent housing for homeless – (5) Predevelopment assistance for developers
Housing Trust Fund (Funding Specifics) showing: (1) Reduce city Housing Preservation Fund by $200,000 over five years – (2) Over 5 years from $417,738* to $217,738 – (3*) Accounts for committed loans that are still pending [“We are talking about dollars that would otherwise be used for existing funding.”]
Housing Trust Fund (Support) showing: (1) County of Ventura $200,000 – (2) City of Camarillo, $100,000 – (3) Community support, $65,000 – (4) City of Thousand Oaks, $50,000 – (5) Pending, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Santa Paula – (6) Declined, Simi Valley, Port Hueneme, Fillmore
Housing Trust Fund (Alternative Recommendations) showing: (1) Fund at lower level – (2) Utilize alternative funding – (3) Decline to participate
Housing Trust Fund (Staff Recommendation) showing: (1) Allocate $200,000 over 5 years, $40,000 per year – (2) Utilize a portion of previously allocated Housing Preservation funds – (3) Authorize F/T to appropriate funds
The mayor asked whether the city would obtain a board seat. Staff said that a monetary offer or “pledge” from the Housing Trust Fund staff would mean that the city's participation would come with a board seat. The mayor said that by putting money in we would get additional “points” (for future projects) along with a board member. This allows the Housing Trust Fund to leverage with a state match dollar for dollar, first requiring that the participants ante up a $500,000 minimum.
Council member Andrews noted on the “Support” slide credits the county as having committed $200,000, but the staff report quotes VCHTF as having received a $500,000 credit from the county. Staff then verified the latter figure as correct, leaving it to be concluded that the slide is in error. The councilman also wished to clarify the board member issue, saying that the subcommittee report makes clear the board member stipulation, suggesting that another error has found its way into the Staff presentation this evening.
Public Communications – Dawn Dyer, VCHTF Chair, said the goal should be to ‘leverage” public and private philanthropic dollars (“meaning corporate,” according to the speaker), also saying that housing trust funds (nationally) achieve “a very high leverage of 10 to 1.” This initial match is a 1 to 1 from the state from bonds that have already been sold through Prop 1(c) with new money for housing startup along with major financial institutions who were said to be “very interested in getting involved at a much larger level” [like at a 10-to-1 level, assumedly, thereby raising their influence 10 times over ours as taxpayers] which, according to the speaker, allows them to deploy Community Reinvestment Act money into a county-wide effort rather than individual cities.
[Comment] The take-away point here is that high-powered, philanthropically-minded major financial institutions are more than just mildly interested in helping to eliminate the ignominy of homelessness in America. And while the public through its support of bond issues is able to participate at the 1-to-1 matching level, corporations are just itching to get right to the heart of the problem . . . a problem they helped create, by the way, all through the early-to-mid 2000’s, and now all they really care about is creating more infrastructure.
Government first needs to get the policy right before deciding it’s time to let everyone begin cashing in using the public's dime, and yet if prior lessons learned from the infrastructure solution – i.e., the SHORE component of the WAV and the Kingdom Center projects – are at all typical, the public here is simply being taken for a ride down another 40 miles of bad road.
To say that “the goal should be to merge philanthropic dollars along with city dollars” is to suggest a weakening of government influence over public policy in a way that is sure to please no one more than it does the Koch Brothers. So the question must be asked, “Why exactly, are major financial institutions so interested in the homeless all of a sudden?” Next question -- if it has become so financially attractive to deal with issues surrounding homelessness, where’s the incentive to end it?
No. This is not getting the policy right. This is asking the homeless themselves to take a seat at the back of the bus, and please – if you don’t mind – stop bothering the driver. [Ed.]
John Jones spoke saying that leverage was a key issue as well as collaboration for the homeless meaning that collaborative efforts deserve our support.
Council member Morehouse moved staffs recommendation including the seat on the housing task force.
Council member Weir on the subcommittee voted against the issue, but because of limited city budget it seemed that we may be shifting the money which is to support housing preservation and existing stock, meaning that we are losing money to an area where we do not have the control in the trust fund.
Council member Morehouse wished to clarify – at the league meeting one of the presenters was the current acting Director of Housing Community Development Kathy Creswell, who said that there are housing trust funds available, meaning that that could be a source we could tap into for the second dwelling units.
Deputy Mayor Tracy said that he supports statements raised by Council Member Weir meaning that he would not support.
Council member Andrews following up Mr. Morehouse's comments felt that an investment of $40,000 a year leverages a significant opportunity with the state, putting us in a strong position to avail ourselves the same funds for the city. The Housing Trust Fund is included in the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness which has received the unanimous support of the VSSTF and the council.
The mayor interjected with a comment saying that he thought it was only Democrats who would characterize a spending program as an investment.
[Comment] The mayor does so open himself up at times. It's only Republicans, Mr. Mayor, who spend on themselves and then call it an investment program. Democrats, at least, are known for spending on others which is also, by the way, the Christian thing to do. [Ed.]
The mayor asked for roll call vote on Agenda Item No. 13: Brennan, yes; Weir, no; Morehouse, yes; Andrews, yes; Monahan, yes; Tracy, no; Mayor Fulton, yes. The motion passed 5 to 2.
Public Communications – Patti Thomas spoke saying that on April 4 the council was asked to approve a professional agreement 2011-021 and recommendation to eliminate a June interim report with Library Services to be added at the end of the process. Completion of the draft service plan was due on May 16 with another $8000 being paid to the consultants. Was that paymemt made, was the question, and the answer was no. Completion of the outreach phase noting that the Santiago group has not been completed as part of the deliverable. An update should be included so that the final reflects final changes to the service agreement, according to the speaker.
The mayor said that the Santiago report would be finished in September then go to the steering committee also in September and then Library Services in October.
Council Member Morehouse mentioned that he was in a contest benefiting Turning Point Foundation where you will find on the web a vote-for-Carl link.
The mayor adjourned in the memory of Earnest Boldinado, Betty Jew and David Beurey.