Just a few items this week:
- The passage of the short term rental ordinance (Air bnb) means a couple really simple things. ADU’s are allowed to be rented, purveyors must get a business license, there are over the counter permits for the hosted units (with neighbor notification) and non-hosted will require a conditional use permit. The limit of occupants for any short term rental is 10 persons unless approved by the Planning Commission.
- Staff is working on a $160k SB 2 Grant application which will include projects for the advancement of a Climate Action Plan and a thorough status review of the City’s General Plan. Both these are on the City’s “planning project list” and will be significant projects. We will be meeting with consultants helping the State’s Housing and Community Development Department on our application next week and a resolution will be before the City Council on November 19. The deadline for grant submittals in November 30.
- The topic of housing is a major issue nationally and California is being called out as the worst offender in the housing crisis. Here is an interesting article from NYC media giant Bloomberg on their take on where things stand in our State. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2019-california-housing-crisis/?utm_source=pocket-newtab
- Staff is working on a community outreach strategy for the many 2020 planning projects. While community meetings are nice, they are not very well attended by the younger generations who are essentially under represented on many issues involving housing and economic development. If anyone has ideas on surveys or means for community engagement outside of public meetings, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email!
Finally, today is the one year anniversary of the Camp Fire which essentially wiped out the communities of Paradise and Magalia in the Butte County hills. A day and occurrence which changed and shaped the lives of many.
What I remember most about the entire incident was that our Winters Fire Staff was on the fire less than 5 hours after it started. Their reports back were almost unbelievable as they were assigned directly into the middle of the Town of Paradise as the reported back that the “entire town was on fire”. As the night time came, I began getting calls from residents here in town who had family and friends who lived in Paradise and were curious as to whether their homes were standing. In all, I took 6 calls and asked our team to drive by the addresses. In each instance, they send back photo’s of fire places and chimney’s standing alone. It absolutely broke my heart for those folks.
During the next couple days Winters Police was deployed to the area for security as was our Police Champlain Robert Duvall and K9-Kepi. Without hesitation, our officers went to those communities to provide aid. Robert worked on some of the most heart wrenching assignments and notification.
I couldn’t have been prouder to say I was from Winters in the coming weeks as reports of the efforts of our staff came in. In total, our deployment was almost 14 days.
The next weekend, we held a fundraiser at Berryessa Brewing which raised almost $15,000 for fire victims which is pretty good for a community our size.
I have worked with the folks in Paradise on their recovery.