The Turlock City Council will consider two big issues at Tuesday's post holiday meeting - the City's road tax initiative and electoral district boundaries.
After a year of discussion and six public forums, the City Council is expected on Tuesday to vote on a plan to define the boundaries for establishing electoral districts. Three different electoral district maps were created and presented to the public, each dividing the city up into four quadrants with populations of approximately 17,000 persons, where district residents will vote for one council member to represent their district.
Attendance at the public forums was light, according to City staff, but those who did attend the meetings were given the chance to vote on their preferred district map plan. Plan A received the most votes (55), followed by Plan C (39) and then Plan B (18).
The cost of placing a district election question on the Nov. 4 ballot is estimated to be $30,000, which would come from the General Fund.
After making history with Turlock's first electoral districts, the Council will move on to that bumpiest of City issues - roads.
At their May 13 meeting, the City Council voted 4-1 to prepare an official resolution for the proposed half-cent sales tax measure for road repairs. Whether the road tax ballot initiative will include funding for public transit or not will be put before the Council on Tuesday.
According to City staff, the sales tax initiative is estimated to generate approximately $5.6 million per year, or $39.2 million over its seven year lifespan. To guarantee that the initiative's generated funds are being spent only on Turlock roadways, the proposed seven-year half-cent sales tax measure would include an annual financial audit in addition to establishing a five-member Citizen Oversight Committee appointed by the Council to ensure the proper use of funds. Each year, an Annual Report will be prepared by City staff, reviewed by the committee and presented to the City Council, reviewing on expenditures and activities during the past fiscal year.
On Tuesday, the Council is also expected to:
• Determine whether a change in the 200 bed cap on emergency shelter beds is required.
The enactment of Senate Bill 2 in 2007 required the City of Turlock to amend its Zoning Ordinance to provide nondiscretionary permitting to allow year-round emergency homeless shelters in a zoning district. In response, the City adopted an overlay zoning district for emergency homeless shelters, with a cap on the number of beds that would be allowed. The State Housing and Community Development Department requires the city to annually review the cap through a formal public hearing.
Currently, 98 emergency shelter beds have been permitted under the SB2 emergency shelter permits. Of those permitted, 49 beds are operating in the overlay zone. There have been discussions of adding 37 more beds at some time in the future for a total of 135 beds.
• Amend the Turlock Municipal Code to adopt changes to the California State Building Standards Code.
• Find the request to expand R.A.M. Farms ice rink consistent with the City of Turlock General Plan and request that the County of Stanislaus include the following conditions of approval for Use Permit: 1. Before beginning operations each year, applicant must schedule an acoustic analysis to make sure operations won't violate the City's Noise Ordinance; 2. At the close of each season, applicant must contact County Planning Department to schedule a final inspection; 3. Applicant must continually work with the County to prepare a parking management plan; and 4. Before beginning operations each year, primary parking and overflow parking areas must be improved for use, as directed by County.
• Receive Fiscal Year 2014-15 Non-General Fund Budget information and provide staff with direction in preparing for final budget adoption at the June 10 meeting.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway Ave.