Despite concerns from property owners and businesses, the Turlock City Council on Tuesday will consider adopting a zone near downtown Turlock where homeless shelters can be constructed without discretional permits.
The draft area is generally bounded by Lander Avenue on the West, A Street on the northwest, S. Center Street on the northeast, and F Street on the southeast. A peninsula stretches south along Lander Avenue to Linwood, and another peninsula travels southeast five blocks between Golden State Boulevard and First Street.
That location doesn’t sit well with downtown businesses, who feel problem-causing shelters could be sited too close to their storefronts, or with nearby residents, some concerned for their safety. At a June 2 Planning Commission meeting where the draft area was preliminarily approved, many asked for the A Street boundary to be pushed back to C Street or D Street.
Though some disagree with the site, such a zoning area has to exist somewhere in Turlock.
Per 2007’s State Senate Bill 2, all cities must create an area where shelters are allowed. Turlock does not currently comply, as shelters are either defined as non-permitted or require a Conditional Use Permit in each zone.
Shrinking the zone to meet residents’ requests could violate state law, which requires the area have sufficient capacity to construct shelters to meet Turlock’s demand.
Should Turlock not comply with SB2, the state could withhold housing grants and transportation funding.
City to impose police labor agreement
The Turlock City Council is expected to finalize employment agreements with all of its labor unions on Tuesday – including a unilaterally imposed agreement with the Turlock Associated Police Officers.
The one-sided agreement comes as the city and TAPO reached an impasse in negotiations at their June 23 meeting. That was the two groups’ fifth meeting, according to the staff report.
“At the conclusion of that meet and confer session, both city representatives and TAPO representatives mutually agreed that they had met and conferred in good faith,” the staff report reads. “All representatives further agreed that they were at impasse and unable to reach agreement, and determined that further discussions would not result in a determination on wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.”
As both sides failed to reach an agreement, and neither side submitted the matter to mediation, the city may request that the council impose an agreement unilaterally. TAPO was notified of the hearing on June 27.
The City of Turlock’s last, best, and final offer requires employees to pay a 9 percent retirement contribution, up from 5 percent a year ago. The offer also prevents employees from cashing out or selling back vacation time, sick time, holiday time and management leave.
Nonessential employees will receive 56 hours of in lieu time off, to be taken Nov. 21-13, and Dec. 26-30. Essential employees will receive 24 hours on Nov. 20 and 32 hours on Dec. 19, all of which must be taken before Dec. 31.
The council is also expected to adopt employment agreements with managerial employees, city employees, firefighters and confidential employees on Tuesday. Those agreements were approved by both the unions and the city.
Last minute changes to the agreements may be discussed in a special, 6 p.m. Tuesday closed session council meeting to conference with labor unions. The performance of City Manager Roy Wasden and City Attorney Phaedra Norton will also be evaluated during that closed session meeting.
On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council is also expected to:
· Receive a status report on water fund revenue since the implementation of meter-based billing on a citywide basis in January.
The report projects the change will lead to a $1.2 million decline in revenues from 2010 to 2011. While a decline had been projected, the fall would exceed those projections by $235,000.
The decreased revenues could force either increased reserve spending or higher water rates.
· Approve insurance contracts for employee bonds, excess property and casualty programs, workers’ compensation insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and long term disability coverage for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
· Appropriate $2.77 million to repay the Turlock Irrigation District for work performed relative to the proposed Surface Water Treatment Plant. Council agreed to the repayment at their June 28 meeting; this is a housekeeping item to actually move the funding.
· Receive staff updates on the installation of a new play structure at Bristol Park, and on National Night Out, scheduled for Aug. 2.
· Approve a $50,000 annual retainer agreement with Omni-Means, Ltd. of Roseville and a further $50,000 annual retainer agreement with LPAS Inc. of Sacramento to serve as landscape architects. While the city previously would sub-contract for landscape architect services as needed, changes in law are requiring more involvement by landscape architects, leading to staff’s request for the two retainer agreements.
· Approve a $6,988 agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric to provide gas service for the Public Safety Facility. The fee was not included in the original bid price, as the cost was not known at the time.
· Approve exchanging two MonoSpace elevators for EcoSpace elevators in the planned Public Safety Facility, saving $16,622.
· Authorize the city to pay all costs associated with background screening for prospective Recreation employees and volunteers, as the state is no longer offering reimbursement.
· Finalize a Turlock Municipal Code change to allow the city to issue administrative citations for code violations, rather than rely on infractions which end up in courts. Turlock was one of only two cities in Stanislaus County without an administrative citation program.
The change will see administrative citations incur a $100 charge for the first violation in a 12 month period, a $200 charge for the second, and a $500 charge for the third. Building and housing code violations will incur $100, $500, and $1,000 fees for the first, second, and third violations in a 12 month period.
The code amendment was introduced at council’s June 28 meeting.
· Finalize a change to the Avena Bella low-income housing project, planned for 500 W. Linwood Ave., which would allow the project to be developed in two phases.
The project had already passed environmental review, but required reexamination as the project will now be phased. Initially, the entire project was to be developed at once.
The code amendment was introduced at council’s June 28 meeting.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. That meeting will be preceded by a special, closed session meeting at 6 p.m.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.