City council meeting highlights: updates to city code, groundwater sustainability plan
Highlights from the Paso Robles City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, as submitted by the City of Paso Robles, are as follows:
Reviewed and provided comments on Chapters 9-12 of the draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan. Since the State of California has declared the Paso Robles Basin to be in severe overcharge, the city and all other entities that rely on water from the basin are working together to develop a long-term plan to stabilize the basin. These four chapters are the last four, and include a set of projects that the entities can agree on to reverse the decline in the basin.
Approved the city’s lease of 1345 Park Street, and a sublease with The Sandbox, to develop a business success center in the downtown. The business success center will provide co-working spaces, as well as access to resources and business development events. The entire effort is a public-private partnership, with the City pulling the necessary elements together, and the private sector providing the ongoing energy and expertise.
Updated Title 3, Revenue and Finance, and Title 5, Business Licenses, of the City’s Municipal Code. The council approved updates to reflect changes in State law and case law, clarify certain provisions, and delete provisions that are no longer necessary. The current code, for example, assumes the city should be regulating fortune tellers and cable television.
Confirmed the appointment of Sarah Johnson-Rios as Assistant City Manager. Johnson-Rios has worked in increasingly responsible positions for the cities of Chula Vista and Santa Monica California, as well as in Raleigh, North Carolina. She will bring a diverse array of local government experience in community and economic development, budget and financial administration, public works, and community relations. She received her Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Johnson-Rios will start with the City on about Aug. 1.
Introduced an ordinance to amend Title 14, Water and Sewers, of the City’s Municipal Code, to improve the city’s billing process for water and sewer bills. Under the current system, each month’s bills are issued before the due date of the prior bill, which can lead to confusion.
Directed staff to develop an ordinance amending the city’s zoning code to regulate short-term rentals in all zoning districts throughout the city, bringing the draft back for first reading on July 16, 2019. After 30 public meetings over 4+ years, called by the Short-term Rental Task Force, the Paso Robles Planning Commission, and the City Council itself, the council decided not to adopt the version of the ordinance for which it held first reading on June 5. The new version is based on the proposal developed by the short-term rental task force, with some of the amendments developed by the planning commission. It would grandfather all existing non-hosted accommodations in the R-1, and seek to reach a maximum of 75 in the next three years. It requires the council to review the status of the industry in one year and two years from now, and specifies that the ordinance will expire if not modified or replaced in three years.
The minutes will be available as part of the packet for the City Council’s next regular meeting on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.