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Friday Update on May 10 2019

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Friday Update on May 10 2019


A couple items:

  • The Stone’s Throw Housing Development will be holding a ribbon cutting and open house on Saturday, May 11 from 11:00 to 1:00. Take Neimann west, past SRIS, through the roundabout to Wyatt Street and look for the balloons. Tours of the models and food!
  • Saturday is the Winters Garage Sale. This year’s theme is “Only Really Good Stuff”. Expect sales throughout the core area of town and I am told there will be excellent prices and nothing but absolute treasures!
  • City Staff met with property owners on Grant Ave to discuss zoning and exchange contact information.
  • Mark your calendars for May 23 from 4:00 to 5:30 for the next “Ask the City Manager” segment. I ran into some folks at Berryessa Brewing and they told me they would bring tougher questions next time. Bring it!
  • June 4 starting at 4:00 will be a joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission will be held at City Hall to review the Economic Development Advisory Committee’s Report and Recommendations. HERE is a copy of the report and HERE is a website with the background information from the report and information about the Committee.
  • Today, I attended the groundbreaking for the new campus for the Center for Land Based Learning who has called “The Farm” on Putah Creek its home for the past 25 years. With very mixed emotions, I watched as they unveiled a $4.5 million plan for new classrooms, farm fields an event center and partnerships in Woodland as they work to move their headquarters out of Winters and toward a very bright future. Their project will be amazing in advancing farming education for farmers, students and the world through their Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) Program, FARMS Leadership and Watershed Programs. The Center is a visionary and they will continue as a  world leader in farming education and stewardship. Their new location looks amazing! Kudos to the entire Center for Land Based Learning organization, their Board and leadership.

Finally, a word used quite a bit today at the Center for Land Based Learning event was “Vision”. The idea of picturing the future in your mind and steering yourself to making it a reality. Without question, they are doing that with their project in Woodland to lead their organization for the next 25 years!

With our City Staff, we talk about setting goals and I often paint the concept of “giving a diamond ring to the love of your life on the second deck of the Eiffel Tower at sunset of Valentine’s Day”. Some view it as a “Disney Dream”, but I would argue that it is something anyone can do if you just plan to do it.

Vision requires a very soulful introspection of where you want to get to and your overall commitment to seriously making something happen. It’s the idea of setting big goals and then establishing then executing a plan. It takes discipline, commitment and the ability to maintain focus and hope in even the most challenging circumstances. It means collaboration, partnerships and establishing relationships which generate the force multiplier that carry the vision to the heights that no one person could attain. In the end, I have learned that everything is a “team” sport and the greatest satisfaction is celebrating hitting key milestones surrounded by those who all made it happen.

Great vision is the ability to seek extra ordinary results and outcomes. I am convinced that any vision is possible and the difference is the amount of desire and commitment to reach the achievement. To have vision requires courage and the ability to transcend the cynicism and skepticism you will encounter. Its easy to be against something and hard to be a champion for something some may think is unimaginable or may seem inconvenient.

Life is a series of events and ultimately moving yourself forward. Reality will tell you that if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. A vision forward brings an opportunity for adventure and achievement, while sitting still means you are going nowhere and will ultimately get bed sores. Vision establishes the “future” for more people than just yourself and in many ways is a part of your “stewardship” for the possibilities and opportunities which will exist for others. When I talk to City Council Members about “leadership”, I often stress that the decisions we make or fail to make today will determine what will be or not be tomorrow. Vision is important because it really does determine tomorrow!

In Winters, we have many visionary people like Julie and Craig McNamara, Mary Kimball and the Center for Land Based Learning folks. Of late, people like Moyra Barsotti and Emarie VanGalio and the entire Project Playground Team who gave us all a lifetime opportunity to build the greatest playground of our time!

In a city, vision involves looking forward towards the interests of the entire population, both current and future. Where will people live, work and how will the community sustain a quality of life? What happens when you don’t execute the plan or it is left half done? How will we make great things happen which will positively affect people’s lives?

Vision is a collaboration of unique, diverse and talented people coming together to make something that some people feel is a “dream” a reality! Not easy.

Have a nice weekend!


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05/07/19 City Council Meeting

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Big Day of Giving is Important to Winters! May 2, 2019


May 2 is the Big Day of Giving and the opportunity to support some of those organization who make Winters a special place to live. Here are some of the organizations serving our community who are participating.

  • The Winters Friends of the Library (WFoL) is a preeminent organization for Winters. Through the years, they have funded many tens of thousands of dollars toward expanded library hours, programming, furniture, speakers forums and were the leaders in getting the Winters Community Library to where it is today!
  • Putah Creek Council is the organization which has led the way to the ecological restoration of the creek. They were the ones who led the fight for water flows in the early 1990’s and continue the efforts today with incredible restoration work, enhancement of fish habitat and educational programming.
  • Winters Education Foundation supports Winters teachers and students through grants and programming which gets right into the classroom. WEF helps bring opportunity and quality programs in support of the WJUSD.
  • Center for Land Based Learning is one of those organizations which has put Winters on the world food map. From farm based educational programs for urban youth to community farming initiatives, the Center for Land Based Learning is setting an incredible standard in educating people about food and farming.
  • Winters Farm to School helps provide fresh food and nutrition education to students in Winters schools. They bring the bounty of our area to our children through a farmers market, education and the idea of building good life long eating habits from an early age.
  • Winters Museum, founded in 2018 is committed to the preservation and display of the heritage of the Winters Community. Photo’s, artifacts and themed displays make it the go to place in Downtown.
  • Winters Community Theatre not only entertains us, but they give back through renovations at the Community Center and enhanced opportunities for people of all ages.
  • The New Hope Community Development Corporation (CDC) Yolo County Housing is the non-profit arm for Yolo Housing. This incredible organization has brought a renaissance to public housing in Yolo/Solano Counties and continues to seek new and innovative solutions to many of the issues facing people in need of affordable and available housing.

Get out there and support our town!


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Friday Update on April 26 2019


First, a HUGE shout out to Project Playground. They are paying for Josh Coulter Painting to re-stain the City Park Playground. It looks beyond amazing and (in my opinion) better than new. We have some talented contractors in our town (Josh’s crew) and the folks from Project Playground are the gift that keeps on giving. Well Done and people can see the work this weekend!

Yesterday was the inaugural of my “Ask the City Manager” program which will be held the fourth Thursday of each month in the City Council Chamber and can be viewed on the City’s Youtube Channel. For those wanting a replay, you can go HERE to view it.

Here is the written/Cliff’s Notes Version of my initial briefing of some hot topics this week:

  1. Fire on Edwards Street– Contained to a shed on the property. No injuries.
  2. Blue Mountain Terrace Apartments: this is a 63 unit senior affordable project with income restrictions for people living there. The project will be a combination of 1 and 2 bedroom units, not assisted living, but the second units can accommodate a caregiver if needed. The project is in the process of closing the many funding sources during the month of April, and we expect that the 18 month construction period will commence during the summer. They will have an application process for those wanting apartments there and when that arises, we will do our best to get the word out.
  3. Subdivisions: Stones Throw and  Heartland are under construction for their first phases. Heartland is expected to have final inspections on up to five (5) of their units this week. Stones Throw are about still weeks out on the finals for their first units. The projects are starting to take shape and will look nice.
    1. Summary of Units per year: A big question is how many units have been built in Winters in the past few years and how fast are we growing. If you measure growth by how many single family units receive their certificates of occupancy, in 2016 38 units, 2017 34 units and 2018 2 units. We expect that construction will pick up in the coming years with between 65 and 75 units a year for all subdivisions. The total units for Stone’s Throw is 395 and Heartland is 107. Our assumption is that each unit will bring 2.71 people.
  4. Improvement s to look for this summer:
    1. Moody Slough- Construction of the roadway from Rd 88 along the north boundary of the development area.
    2. Stones Throw Phase II- This will include additional grading and utilities for the second phase. Basically the north west corner of the project.
    3. Road 88 Paving- The road will be repaired from last years construction of the force main with a well needed reconstruction of the roadway.
    4. Influent Screen Project- WWTF- An $800,000 capital project to add a filtering screen in the aeration ponds.
  5. Public Safety-
    1. Downtown Parking Enforcement- Starting May 1, the chalk stick will be out and we will begin parking enforcement in the Downtown. Look for some warnings at the start, then citations to follow.
    2. Grant Ave Speed Zones- It’s time to slow down on Grant Ave as we dust off the radar devices and begin speed enforcement. Caltrans has certified the “speed zones” allowing for the radar enforcement.
    3. Car Thefts- 6 stolen cars in the past few weeks. Mostly from people leaving their cars unlocked with the keys in them. The tip of the week is to lock your car and pocket your keys to better improve not getting your car taken.
    4. Domestic violence cases- three felony domestic violence case in the past weeks. We can tell if it’s the weather or what but this trend needs to end.
    5. Molestation conviction- Winters Police brought a molestation case which has been in trial for the past couple weeks. The person was convicted of multiple molestations to multiple vicitims over a ten year period. Kudo’s and excellent work done by Winters PD on piecing the case together and their efforts in working with the Yolo DA.
  6. Fire Staffing- Summer 2019– Fire Season is now year round! Get ready for a hot summer and hopefully we will break out string of annual fires along the Berryessa Ridge.
  7. Planning Topics:
  8. General Plan Refresh- This is a FY 2019-20 Project for the City. We will begin working on an outline as other key projects take shape including the upcoming Regional Housing Needs Allocation Process takes shape, we prepare for the update of the City’s Housing Element and we have a clear view on our overall work load for the upcoming years.
  9. Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)- The Sacramento Region in conjunction with the State Department of Housing/Community Development develops an economic forecasting method which allocates housing growth through a process known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation. Each city is then required to develop their General Plan Housing Element to attain those units within its planning period. In our case, our certified housing element is for 8 years. This is a very controversial process and is sure to bring all the no/slow growth folks out to City Council Meetings. Governor Gavin Newsom has established a goal to build 3.5 million new housing units in the coming years. A perspective is that the current annual rate has been in the 200,000’s each year. I see pitchforks, torches and ropes in our future! Like they say, don’t blame the messenger and go to the source.
  10. Climate Action Strategy/Climate Action Plan– Through the Yolo Climate Compact, the City received a grant to update our carbon numbers and review key impacts the Winters Community has on climate. Staff has been working with Ascent Environmental on running numbers and they will be presenting an overall strategy which can be incorporated into our draft Climate Action Plan which will then be adopted. Look for these things to come forward something in the late summer.
  11. Civic Spark Fellowship– The City has received a grant to hire a fellow to help with implementation of key elements of our Climate Action Plan and Strategy.
  12. Preparation for the 2021 Housing Element Update– With the anticipated RHNA numbers coming out this summer, we will then begin formulating a strategy on the development of an updated Housing Element. This will be a 2020 project which will begin taking shape with the RHNA numbers.

North Area Planning- Nothing new to report on this topic. Still no application. The only recent discussions was a call to Bellevue North to get their permission to release some draft planning comments.

This weekend is Youth Day which is the reunion weekend for our community. Start it off with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast, the parade begins at 10 then time at the park. For those feeling they need to take their best shot at the City Manager, I will be sitting in the dunk tank at 2:00 at City Park.

Have a nice weekend!


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04/23/19 Planning Commission Meeting

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Friday Update on April 12 2019


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.


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04/16/19 City Council Meeting

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Friday Update on April 5 2019


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.


  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!


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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


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.


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04/02/19 City Council Meeting

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Friday Update on March 22 2019


  • 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.



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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.


Department Links:

-City Clerk

-City Council

-City Council Agendas

-City Manager

-City Manager's Update

-Economic Advisory Committee*

-Future Leaders*

-Hispanic Advisory Committee*


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-Putah Creek Committee

-Administrative Forms and Reports

-Website Posting Requirements

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