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04/18/19 Planning Commission Meeting

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04/18/19 Planning Commission Meeting


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Friday Update on April 12 2019

All,

The City Council on April 16 will include the following:

April 16, 2019

  • Presentation by Yolo County Office of Emergency Services – Winters Evacuation Plan and Community Outreach Meetings in May
  • Planning Commission Vacancies- Three positions terms are up for renewal.
  • Reduction in City Impact Fees and Housing Trust Fund Loan Authority for Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments Project
  • SB1 Road Rehabilitation Presentation – Fiscal Years 2019/2020
  • Downtown Merchants Trash Enclosure Proposal
  • Purchase of Recycled Content Patio Furniture for Library Garden Project
  • Amplified Sound Permit Application – Liliana Bermudez
  • Climate Action Plan and Resiliency Update

A busy week on a number of key projects:

  • The City engineering project team met with representatives from the Stone’s Throw subdivision to discuss a number of infrastructure issues including the Rancho Arroyo Detention Pond, the linear park and the West Main Wastewater Pump Station. The developer has also prepared plans for the public improvements on “Phase II” of the project which will facilitate the need for construction of a number of improvements including the completion of the Moody Slough roadway, two phases of the linear park and mediation for storm drainage issues.
  • Phase 1A of the Stones Throw development will include a smaller lot/home product to be built by KHonanian Homes. They were at the Planning Commission in February and should begin construction in June. Once we have information of their sales, we will let people know.
  • Electricity has been pulled and is operational in both the Stone’s Throw and Heartland subdivisions.
  • The City and Yolo County will have a “2X2 meeting” on Tuesday, April 16 starting at 4:00 in the City Hall Downstairs Conference Room. The 2X2 is an information sharing meeting with 2 City Council Members and 2 members of the Board of Supervisors on issues of mutual interest. The agenda will include discussion of the I-505 Overcrossing Pedestrian Improvements, Mattress Recycling, County Annexation Procedures and the Fires at Hay Kingdom.
  • Staff is working on scheduling the presentation of the Economic Development Advisory Committee’s Report and Recommendations for late April. Look for an announcement next week.

Specific Plan Overview:

From last week’s update, I have received a number of questions about “what is a specific plan”, how does it play a role in relation to the City’s General Plan, annexation and eventual development. Here is an overview.

The purpose of a Specific Plan is to provide a vehicle for implementing the City’s General Plan on an area-specific basis. A Specific Plan is both a policy and regulatory document. It must be consistent with the City’s General Plan.

The most important aspects of a specific planning process includes:

  • public outreach/engagement and participation in the development of the plan
  • scoping to ensure conformance with existing plans
  • environmental review
  • economic and fiscal review analysis and consistency with community goals and visions.

The following framework is a draft guide the City Staff has developed with the goal of creating effective, efficient, and statutorily complete documents that share a common outline countywide. The content of a Specific Plan must meet the requirements of California Government Code Section 65451.

Here are some of the key components of a specific plan document:

  • Introduction and Summary: This would include a summary of the plan, key features, the background and history of its generation, the community involvement program, legal authority references, any related documents- specifically the relationships between the General Plan, Master plans, zoning, development standards, environmental documents, financial analysis and design standards. The plan must show consistency with the General Plan.
  • Project Visioning and Setting: The plan must outline a vision for the area including the purposes for the plan, desired outcomes and key principles to be implemented. The Plan must establish the setting for consistency with the region, site characteristics, surrounding land uses, the boundary and acreage and any off-site components (if any).
  • Land Use and Community Character: The plan outlines the overall goals and defines the land use through maps, descriptions and tables. This section also coordinates with other City land use documents like the form based codes, master plans and design standards. The plan outlines things like parks, open space, public facilities and schools.
  • Circulation: The plan defines and establishes circulation and traffic goals and design standards for the planned area along with key amenities such as the street cross sections, bike and pedestrian models, trails and walking areas, traffic calming and bus service.
  • Public Utilities: The plan includes updates to key master plans to outline the utility requirements for key areas such as water, sewer, storm drainage, energy, broadband and flood control. The plan also updates and forecasts for financing and funding mechanisms for the implementation of utility plans.
  • Public  Services: The plan identifies the key goals and implementation for the development of parks, schools, public safety and other key government services. It sets benchmarks along with funding concepts for accomplishing the goals.
  • Jobs and Housing: A key element is coordinating how jobs will accompany the housing which is proposed. The Plan merges with Economic Development and Affordable Housing Strategies. The plan expands on how to target key industries, local versus regional businesses, incentives for attraction and a focused plan and strategy. The affordable housing component includes an overall implementation plan, inclusionary housing and income eligibility.
  • Environmental Resources and Open Space: The establishment of goals and policies regarding Environmental Resources, Climate Change, Biotic Conservation, Agricultural Land Mitigation/HCP Coordination and general standards for insuring maximum environmental compliance.
  • Sustainability: Insuring that the building and construction will maximize benefits to the environment including water conservation, energy efficiency, green building, VMT Reduction, recycling, food miles, GHG reduction and other.
  • Implementation and Financing: The Specific Plan will include a plan for phasing and sequencing the overall development, market absorption, fiscal impacts and facility financing and an overall capital improvement program.
  • Administration: The plan will include an overall implementation program to include administration, compliance with the overall plan along with benchmarks and key milestones.

Thanks and have a nice weekend.

John


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04/16/19 City Council Meeting


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Friday Update on April 5 2019

All,

A very busy and active week.

  • Congratulations to Winters Fire Chief Brad Lopez on his official appointment and swearing in. Winters Fire has probably the strongest team in its history led by Chief Lopez now coordinating Administration and Operations, Captain Art Mendoza who oversees prevention and is the Fire Marshall and Captain Matt Schechla who oversees Facilities, Training and Medical Operations. Their leadership is amazing and our public safety has never been stronger.
  • The street lights in the roundabout are taking a beating! We lost the second one from someone missing a turn and driving up onto the sidewalk. The jinx on the situation is that we had on that very day received the replacement for the other light taken out about a month ago.
  • Staff met with Yolo County representatives to discuss fire issues at Hay Kingdom. The fires over the past few weeks have created issues which need to be remedied. I think I speak for a lot of folks who agree that the City routinely smelling like a bad ashtray.
  • Staff has been working with the Downtown Property Owners and businesses on a project to consolidate their trash operations into a single location to beautify the Newt’s Expressway Alley and begin the Alley Activation Master Plan.  The merchants have brought a request to locate the trash enclosure on the new parking lot location on First Street and the alley (which would take out a couple parking spaces) This will come before the City Council on April 16 2019 for a decision on the location of the enclosure.

We had a very busy City Council Meeting with public input regarding concerns on development, planning and annexation which are related to a possible request for a Specific Planning Process for the most northerly properties in the City. Lots of issues and questions came up, so I thought it might be beneficial to clarify some things and answer some of the questions directly.

Questions:

  1. What proposals have been received by the City from the property owners and what is their request from the City?

The representatives from Bellvue North who owns the majority of the property in the north part of the City’s planning area have not submitted any plans or official requests to the City as of today. Staff has been in  discussions with them  regarding the potential for a long range Specific Plan for their property. Discussions have predominantly focused on the area where the planning would occur, the process and scope of the work which would be undertaken, reimbursement of costs incurred by the City to be paid by the applicant and the need for extensive public engagement, environmental review and planning.

Staff has specifically told Bellvue North that any specific plan must include a planning process which includes all land both inside the City Limits and within the current planning area which are outside the limits which would need to be annexed. We put it on Bellvue North to work with the remaining property owners (there are three others) to participate in the planning effort, which they have said they have done. The reason for including the remaining properties if so the final plan will have complete continuity for the entire area.

  1. What land are we talking about, how much is in the current City limits, how much is in the planning area, how much land would be annexed?

A simple geographic reference and roughly speaking it is for the properties located just north of Niemann Street and Moody Slough (not including those properties on Niemann). Bellvue North owns 183 acres which are currently within the City limits, 210 acres which are within the City’s planning area but not in the City limits (the acreage which would need to be annexed) for a total of 393 acres. There are approximately 130 acres owned by other property owners which are in the planning area but not in the limits which are owned by others (and would need to be annexed at a later time). In conversations with Bellvue North, they have discussed the idea of possibly expanding the City’s planning area by approximately 270 acres on additional land they own north of the City’s General Plan area. They have also suggested they are interested in establishing a 480 acre agricultural mitigation area just north of the City.

The numbers included here are directly from the Bellvue North. In meetings, they have shown maps and photo’s but not submitted or given anything for the City to keep. I would venture to guess that over the years, we have seen no fewer than 6 versions, all different with very little specificity on ultimate land uses.

  1. Has the City Staff and City Council been meeting with the north area property owners and what has been the context of those conversations?

Yes. Over the years, we have met with representatives of Bellvue North, their owner Greg Hostetler, their engineers and environmental consultants on numerous occasions regarding multiple topics including flood control and drainage, Moody Slough, the prospect of creating public access for bike and walking trails, water, wastewater re-use, environmental projects, economic development opportunities and planning. In total (both in and out of the City) they own literally thousands of acres and are a major land concern so without question, Staff talks with them.

As Staff discussions with Bellvue North moved toward  the potential for a request coming to the City, their representative, Jeff Roberts requested  to meet with the City Council Members in February for an opportunity to introduce himself, talk about the prospects of a specific planning process and the overall process for public engagement, plan development and environmental review. The Council Members met individually(so as to avoid a violation of the Brown Act) with Mr. Roberts, he brought in some large photo’s of the properties and talked about the concept of the specific plan, possible expansion of the planning area and agricultural mitigation area. Staff (me) sat in on each meeting to assure continuity of information delivered to the Council and to answer any questions or provide clarification on issues which might arise, especially on process. One City Council Member met with Mr. Roberts on a second occasion and Staff participated in that meeting also.

In the past, Mr Roberts has inquired about the prospect of submitting a subdivision map for the 183 acres already in the City limits for development (which they can do at any time). Staff has suggested that a more comprehensive planning effort, such as a specific plan would be more beneficial to the City. The logic behind this position is that a broader planning area gives greater opportunities for a cohesive long term outcomes which would benefit the City.

As part of the Economic Development Advisory Committee Meetings (EDAC in 2018), Jeff Roberts representing the property owner came in as a guest speaker to answer questions regarding potential economic development opportunities on their property. The EDAC has included extensive recommendations on land use and flood control in their report. Because many recommendations were specific to Bellvue North land, Staff provided drafts of the report to Mr. Roberts so their group would not be surprised or unaware of the discussions. As Mr. Roberts was considering submitting a planning request, Staff repeatedly suggested that they wait to allow public discussions to occur (through the Strategic Planning Workshops) so they could hear public input outside of their request before submitting and starting another process.

As an aside, Staff meets constantly with property owners, businesses and prospective property owners about land use. At the City of Winters, we work to maintain optimum transparency and customer service for people who own property, businesses or are looking to invest in the City. Its simply what we do both big and small! The biggest complaint about government is people’s inability to “get answers” so we work to keep an open door and be accessible.

  1. Has a request for proposal (RFP) been released for planning firms to assist the property owners in the development of a specific plan?

The City Staff is unaware of any RFP by Bellvue North for planning services. We have told them and they have acknowledged that they want to bring a quality planning organization as part of any application to work with the City on such a project, so it would not be out of the ordinary for them to look to hire someone. This is no different than a property owner who hires an architect to help them design a home. In this case, Bellvue North will have a large group of planners, engineers, environmental consultants, etc within their team and doing an RFP is how you get proposals.

  1. Has the City entered into a reimbursement agreement with the developer to cover costs to pay the City for services associated with working with the developer?

Before considering or working on any submittal by Bellvue North (or any applicant), the City has provided our standard form “reimbursement agreement” which provides for the applicant to cover all City costs in the consideration of their application. In this case, we requested a $20,000 deposit and they have executed and sent the agreement it back.  We do this for all projects to insure that the City costs are covered.

As a perspective, the City hires and pays all consultants associated with processing an application by any developer. This includes the project manager, environmental consultants, engineers, traffic engineers, financial consultants, etc as well as City Staff. The City team works independently of the applicant, reporting only to the City and not the applicant. This is done to avoid any conflicts. It is through the reimbursement agreement that the City receives the funds to pay the consultants.

  1. Has the City been in contact with the Yolo Local Agency Formation Commission regarding annexation information?

Yes. LAFCO is the agency responsible for all annexations and it is logical to contact them on process and law. Our discussions are also a courtesy to keep them in the loop that something might be on the horizon. We have been talking with them about annexation issues for probably the past 5 years!

  1. When will the City be moving forward on an update of its General Plan, doing a General Plan “Refresh” or additional  planning work?

General Plans are extremely expensive and the City still owes almost $400,0000 from the 1992 plan. Timing on this depends on whether a planning application is submitted by Bellvue North which would essentially do a comprehensive update on all of our planning documents and in essence, an updated General Plan. The City has received a $100,000 grant towards a “refresh” of our documents to make them more user friendly and in line with State goals for how planning documents look. A refresh would most likely occur in our 2019-20 Fiscal Year.

Tuesday night was an active discussion with lots of issues.

Have a nice weekend!

John


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04/02/19 City Council Meeting – LIVE

City Council Meeting Live at 6:30pm


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Friday Update on March 29 2019

All,

A couple items this week:

  • The Planning Commission Meeting included an overview and consideration of an ordinance regulating temporary rentals better known as the “AirBnB Ordinance”. The Commission had a very in depth discussion of the various aspects of the ordinance which would allow a combination of streamlining, public input/review and the ability of the City to condition various aspects of this part of the new economy. Frankly, it was one of the best discussions the Commission has had in many years. The Commisioners were absolutely exceptional in their review of the materials. Perspective on concerns for those wanting the permits as well as neighbors. Look for the final recommendation on an ordinance to be before the Planning Commission either late April or early May. Kudos on a job done well by the PC!
  • The City Council Meeting will have the Second Reading of the PD Overlay for the property on Second Street, Senior Advisory, Acceptance of the radar/speed zone survey along Grant Ave and an overview of the Land Use Element of the City’s General Plan.
  • Staff will be meeting with the folks from the Stone’s Throw Subdivision to discuss a number of issues, including construction of the Three Oaks Linear Park, Moody Slough Improvements, Storm Drainage and Phase II of their project.
  • The Economic Development Advisory Committee will release its final report which will be posted on Monday morning .  Key recommendations include expanding light industrial zoning, planning for the north area of the City, addressing flood zone issues and collaboration with neighboring regions and with the local business community.
  • Staff is tracking two key legislative and regulatory issues. One includes a statewide tax on water services and the return of Hexavalent Chromium 6 with the SWRCB Division of Drinking Water. Not like we don’t have better things to work on!

Today, I attended the Sacramento Valley City Manager’s Group at the City of Davis Police Department. To begin the meeting, we heard from Chief Darren Pytel who gave us an overview of dealing with the murder of Police Officer Natalie Corona. To say it was riveting would be an understatement as the Chief gave a summary of the incident along with the ramifications it has had on the Davis Police Department. Simply unfathomable and much respect to the men and women of the Davis Police Department for their professionalism and humanity in dealing with the situation then and now moving forward.

One of my biggest takeaways from the event was the Chief describing how fast social media took the situation. He described the need to provide notification to the family of Officer Corona’s passing and how social media beat him to getting back into the Police Station to get a phone number before the family and friends were alerted to the situation from media and the social media system. Imagine the idea of being alerted of the death of a loved one on Facebook?

Without question, technology has expedited things but at some point, we need to question the veracity of spreading this type of information outside the human interaction and dignity which notification of such an issue deserves. People post information without even questioning or considering the impacts on the sensitivity on those with the greatest impact, such as family members. Just a takeaway.

Finally, Chief Pytel shared a quiet tribute paid to Officer Corona. In the early morning of January 11th  following her passing, the body of Natalie Corona was transferred from the UC Davis Medical Center to the Yolo County Morgue. He described a procession which left the Medical Center at 3:30 am with literally hundreds of police officers and family in tow behind the hearse. On virtually every overpass between the Medical Center and Woodland there were fire trucks and ordinary folks with lights and candles paying honor to the fallen officer. The community coming together in those moments was the start of the healing for the family, Davis PD and the greater public from a very tragic and heart wrenching event.

Chief Pytel and his entire team are outstanding representatives of what is really important about leadership in law enforcement, especially when they are forced into critical incidents like the murder of a fellow officer. Humanity, professionalism, the rule of law, compassion and dignity were all in play on the evening of January 10 and Davis PD made the law enforcement community and Officer Natalie Corona proud.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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04/02/19 City Council Meeting


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Friday Update on March 22 2019

All,

  • For those interested in getting a reservation or making plans for the Hotel Winters, go to hotelwinters.com to make those big plans.
  • The swearing in ceremony for new Fire Chief Brad Lopez will be at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday April 4 at the Fire Station. All are invited and it will be a very important day for Winters Fire.
  • The property owners for the most northern properties in the City’s planning area are expected to be submitting a proposal for the development of a specific plan to cover the future land uses. Staff has been working with representatives on an overall outline of the planning process, a work plan, a reimbursement of costs agreement and an overall strategy for the public process. The meetings have been extremely positive and will be a significant effort for the City which will help cast the future build out of  Winters. So far, so good!
  • Staff is working with the Winters Chamber on a new event for the community called the “Hispanic Music Festival”. Lots of details to work through and we will be holding a meeting on this next week.
  • The Economic Development Advisory Committee’s Report is now in the formatting stage for final publication. Overall, the report is an impressive, insightful set a of recommendation beyond the scope of many of the past reports. Look for the report to come out within the next two weeks!
  • Storm and Pond Update: New containment levy’s have been installed near the Highland Canal to capture some of the water which was inundating the Rancho Arroyo Detention Pond and causing the January overflow. The pumps in the detention pond have been tested and are operational with auxiliary power. PG&E has begun pulling the final power into the new subdivisions and when people see the street lights go on to the north, the detention pond pumps will be fully operational and we should be back to normal.
  • The Marriot Fairfield Inn is still working through final financing. Staff is working with more banking people than we should legally be required to talk to. The permit on this project has already been issued, so hopefully construction will start during the summer!

Finally, I had an opportunity to participate in the Youth Empowerment Seminar which was hosted by Yolo Auditor-Controller-Elections Officer Jesse Salinas. The program is designed to educate high school students on local government and allow them to discuss issues important to them. It was an amazing program!

The first thing you realize is the local government is just not taught in our schools in really any form. It was surprising what some clearly well informed students simply did not know about how their communities operate in relation to local services, including their own education through the school districts.

The most important thing you realize is what a promising future we have with these students. The students were extremely sharp and passionate on a variety of the top issues of today from health care, food, water and housing. I will share that when it comes to housing and development, the students understand the crisis in housing costs and availability probably better than most adults. Sustainability to them falls into where they live in proximity to jobs, entertainment and amenities. It was refreshing to hear them taking a much longer view on the future than I expected.

The “ah ha” moment for me was sitting with two students from Winters High, one of which I have known literally her entire life (she is my neighbor) and the other is the cadet sergeant with our Police Department Cadet Program. The poise and confidence of these young women was impressive. Articulate, sharp and very capable of taking on the assignments being given by the YES coordinator. They took on a couple pretty complex issues and just knocked them out of the park! I was proud to be from Winters as they showed leadership at the table with students from other schools.

One thing I have learned about students from Winters High (both of my kids are Winters High grads) is that small town school avails a very quiet confidence because there are few places for them to hide. The engagement they get compared to students in the larger high schools is evident. We are blessed with some really good teachers throughout the WJUSD and it shows. Our students represented well at the YES conference!

Have a nice weekend.

John

 


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03/26/19 Planning Commission Meeting


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Yolo County Recycles Survey

Click to be redirected to Yolo County Recycling Survey

Yolo County Recycling Survey. California Product Stewardship Council


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03/19/19 City Council Meeting


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Lifeguards Needed


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Lap Swim 2019

Pool manager Sam Petersen (pictured) and the pool staff kicked off the start of adult lap swim for the year on March 1. The spring lap swim hours are 6-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9-11 a.m. weekends. Passes are $50/month or $5/day and may be purchased at City Hall or at the pool. The Bobbie Greenwood Community Swim Center is located between the library and the high school gym (708 Railroad Ave.). For more information, email contact Tracy Jensen at 794-6702 or tracy.jensen@cityofwinters.org, and see facebook.com/WintersPool.


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Friday Update on March 1 2019

All,

Just a couple announcements:

  • Rain or shine, the Winters Friends of the Library Fruit Tree Sale is tomorrow (March 2) on Railroad Ave. Trees are $10 and the sale is from 9 a.m. until noon (or they run out of trees). WFoL is one of Winters best organizations, providing support to the Community Library with hours, programming and many other community benefits. I have 10 fruit trees in my yard, all from this sale and I totally recommend!
  • Tickets for the Friday March 8, 2019 Winters Fire Fish Fry are now on sale. Click Here to go to their link where you can purchase tickets.

A quick storm update:

  • Winter storms continue to bring an incredible amount of rain and water into our area, creating significant runoff from already saturated hillsides, fields and farm lands.
  • The issues with the detention pond seem to have been solved with the pumping schedule and the closure of the canal breach making things manageable. For all intents and purposes, the pond has been almost empty even with 3-4 inches of rain over two day periods. The permanent pumps with temporary power are scheduled to  be put into operation on March 7.
  • Those affected by the January 16/17 storm are working with insurance companies to resolve claims and get repairs completed.

On social media a main question has been “why did the City not know the canal was breached”. In 2018, we had significant rains and not a single issue with the detention pond. In 2019, The most significant rains occurred during evenings which created runoff and frankly, the water just begins to rush, similar to a flash flood. The rains on the week of February 18 gave us an opportunity to track the water in the daylight which led us to the canal  breach. Once found, we were able to close the breach and get things back to normal. When water which is supposed to flow into different drainage systems flows in a different direction it can cause issues. The fact that the pond was not drained sufficiently and external water rushing into the system is what caused the overflow. We are confident we have resolved the issues and the fact that we have had 2 100 year events in the past 3 weeks with no additional flooding is testament that things are under control.

Finally, Winters lost a very important member of our community with the passing of Don Frisbee on Wednesday evening at home. The Frisbee Family is a long time business in town and they ran “Frisbee Motors” on Railroad Ave for many years as one of our City’s main car dealerships in the 1940, 50’s and 60’s.. Don was a Winters High School Graduate, went on to Stanford University then into the United States Air Force where he retired at the rank of Lt. Coronel and worked in the Intellegence Section during the Vietnam War. He later become an aerospace executive, working for Northrup Gruman and the development of the B-2 Bomber. He was a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Winters and a really great guy. He is survived by his wife Betty and a wonderful family. He will be missed.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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City Council Meeting 03/05/19


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Friday Update on February 22, 2019

All,

A couple items this week:

  • Interviews for Winters Fire Chief were held this week. Final interviews will be held over the next week and a decision will occur in the next 10 days. The three (3) internal candidates who interviewed did an amazing job and frankly any of they would be an amazing Chief for the Department. The best news is we get to have all three in our organization to move Winters Fire forward. It was one of the proudest and most satisfying weeks of my professional career. The City is blessed with some extraordinary people serving our community and this week it shined even brighter.
  • Planning Commission this week includes Design and Site Plan Review for 100 homes, a lot split on Second Street and an Expansion of the Berryessa Gap Tasting Room.
  • Staff took a financial group which is considering investment opportunities and financing for the Freeway Hotel Project on a tour of the PG&E Gas Operations Academy on Tuesday. It was an amazing tour to see the quality of the facility and the various classes being offered to the Gas Operations Employees. The City is really fortunate to have PG&E in our town and see their commitment to providing some of the best vocational training for utility employees in the world. The facility is first class and the tour by Saul Martinez from the Academy was very well done. Many thanks to Andrea Coker, the Academy Manager for helping set the tour up on short notice.
  • The Economic Development Advisory Committee has finalized its draft recommendations and will be setting a date to present it in a workshop with the City Council. A really good group and a very far reaching report. Good Stuff!
  • Last week, I had some Questions and Answers regarding the overage and contamination charges being assessed by Waste Management. In some responses on social media and in the press, a key issue maybe could have been emphasized a little better (on my part) regarding some background:

The residential waste management program from the City has six main components involving trash, recycling, containerized green waste and organics, street collection of green waste, household hazardous waste and bulky item pick-up.  For commercial and industrial accounts, there is a wider spectrum of services which includes mostly containerized waste, recycling, organics and a variety of other services.

Contamination is a significant issue, because it can literally spoil 3-5 tons of material which increases costs, change an entire days schedule for pick-up and nullify key diversion programs meant to help the environmental side of our waste programs. Not all contamination is done on purpose, but some is pretty obvious. Green/Organics containers with trash hidden in the bottom is a good example. A “contaminated load” cannot be delivered to the green waste facility and is thus diverted to the landfill instead. The cost of higher dumping fees, fuel and employee time, along with lost diversion is expensive and adds up.

The contamination of recycling can nullify the efforts of a hundred houses when people put paint, household hazardous waste or food products into the recycling container. The best purposeful example is someone hiding paint or motor oil in the container. The spillage instantly ruins the load which is then put into the landfill. If the driver misses the contamination and delivers the load to the recycling facility and dumps the load only to find the contamination then, the hauler is then cited by the facility, the truck must be reloaded (at a  cost) then diverted to the landfill. Some residents come home wondering why their container was missed and these are some of the reasons why.

Overages are another issue. If someone is generating excessive refuse at their property, there are many alternatives to simply overloading the container. The residential program has 3 different size refuse containers. If someone has a lot of refuse, that also means lots of opportunity for recycling and additional recycling containers can be obtained at no additional cost. The same for green waste with the availability of additional containers. For commercial accounts, Waste Management has an audit service for a customer service representative to come to the business and help find solutions to reducing waste.

The reason for discussing the technology is just to highlight how some issues are discovered. A common response to someone receiving an additional charge is “how do you know it was my home or business that contaminated the load”. This is the 21st century and the use of cameras, GPS and computers are in our pockets daily and aid in the investigation.

The idea that assessing “fault” on this was not meant in the slightest in the Q&A. In most cases it means a need for education or assistance from our waste management personnel so the person can avoid a penalty (which is 9 out of 10 people) in the future. Are there some which are done on purpose? Without casting judgment, some are pretty obvious.

Waste management requires a lot of time for the City because the demands of regulations, new programs mandated by the State and our attempts to meet diversion goals are ever increasing. A little education can go a long way is resolving these issues.

Have a nice weekend

John


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02/26/19 Planning Commission Meeting


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Friday Update on February 15 2019

This weeks update in the rain and trash edition!

First, the saga of the rain and the detention pond:

  • Over about a 36 hour period, we experienced almost 3.5 inches of rain.
  • Fun Fact- A hundred year storm in one which brings 5” of rain in a 24 hour period! So, we have basically been pretty close and on January 16/17 we received almost 3 inches in 3 hours.
  • We have brought in four (4) additional pumps and were successful in keeping the pond at a manageable level, even with periods of heavy flow overnight. The pond is now drained and we have turned all of the pumps off and have placed a huge 8” pump next to the cemetery if we ever need to really move some water. We will monitor the pond through the weekend and we can immediately turn the pumps back on when needed.
  • City Staff worked 36 hours straight moving water, sandbagging and operating equipment around to prevent issues in the area with this weeks storm.
  • “The good news” of Wednesdays rain is that we were able to see the flows in the daylight and found a breach in a canal which is supposed to flow into Dry Creek but was literally flooding into the detention pond at a rate of thousands of gallons a minute. With the assist of an excavator and sandbagging, we have been able to close the canal breach which enabled us to draw the pond down to a point where we can stop/limit pumping operations. We have also found an additional external source (not supposed to go into the pond) sending approximately 1,000 gallons per minute into the pond but do not have a solution for that area. A major frustration was the fact that we could not seem to catch up with all the pumping. Hopefully fixing the breach will allow us to catch up.

The discovery of the canal breach answers a lot of questions for us. Knowing that an external source was pouring thousands of gallons into the pond which are not supposed to go into the pond is a big piece of information. The breach, combined with the non-operation of the facility are at the root of the issues we are dealing with.

  • We were notified today about an additional delay in getting the pond pumping system online. Our engineering staff is working to find a solution. I will keep people in the loop in the developments regarding this.
  • We have tried to avoid pumping into the streets, but bringing in the additional pumps has facilitated a need to do so. You can only put so many pumps on to one pipe!
  • Kudos to the Public Works Crew led by Eric Lucero and the entire Winters Fire Team who have been working tirelessly to protect everyone’s homes.
  • Thank you for the understanding of the neighbors and folks on Foxglove, Main and Ivy Loop. Lot’s of understandable frustration by a lot of people.

Trash, overages and penalties:

Question 1- Why am I now being billed by Waste Management for over filling my trash container.

Waste Management has been notifying residents about overages (trash spilling beyond the capacity of the containers and contamination on the trash system. Warnings and additional fees are now being assessed which is allowed for under their contract agreement.

We have had a number of commercial and residential customers call City Hall regarding getting bills for overages from WM. Essentially folks are mad that they have been doing this for a while and are now getting charged.  In regard to this (and overloading the containers), there is a common sense component which needs to be applied. A lot like rolling stop signs and driving 70 mph on CR 31 to DAVIS, you know you are supposed to stop and drive slower, then getting pulled over and being upset for the ticket. Not much we can say about that.

Question 2- I am mad at WM for the additional charge and want to hire another trash company to pick up my trash. Why does the City give them the exclusive business for the entire City?

The exclusive franchise for waste pickup brings an enormous benefit of economy of scale, convenience and a lack of a chaotic enterprise to a community. The waste industry is a little more complicated than it seems and is highly regulated. Imagine having 3-4 different haulers picking up on different days of the week, with different equipment and different methods (imagine having trash containers on the streets every day). Also, imagine not being able to get a pickup, especially in the County areas which are essentially a loser financially for the franchised hauler for those areas. The waste management of refuse in a community is a big deal which requires uniformity and consistency in its operation. Similar to having one water and sewer system.

Question 3- How are they determining that it was me that contaminated the load or I exceeded the capacity of my trash container and am charged for an overage?

Smart technology and computers on each trash truck is now allowing the drivers to explain and document issues on their routes. There are now multiple cameras on the trucks allowing the driver to identify contamination, overages and other issues. Contamination is a huge issue because one stop can determine the difference between a load going to the recycling facility versus the landfill which has significantly higher costs and lost opportunity for diversion. Recycling and green waste/organic programs save resources, capacity in our landfills and ultimately reduce costs to the consumer (the economic component is a huge consideration).

Have a nice weekend!

John


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