Paso Robles City Council Meeting Highlights Special Meeting of the City Council for Wednesday, July 15, 2020
In compliance with social distancing, the City Council, staff, and the public participated via conference call. The public was given the opportunity to view a livestream of the meeting at www.prcity.com/youtube, invited to call into the meeting at 805-865-PASO (7276), and to email public comment to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the meeting.
Highlights from the Special City Council meeting, held on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 to address time critical items, are as follows. The City Council took the following actions:
Took Several Actions to Address Risks in the Salinas Riverbed. Fire activity in the Salinas Riverbed corridor is a safety threat. The riverbed corridor encompasses over 478 acres, much of it heavily forested. Public safety personnel have responded to over 50 fires in the Salinas riverbed during the first six months of 2020, and over 400 fires in the last few years. Many are associated with homeless encampments in the riverbed. The City Council approved an updated Policy Regarding Removal of Garbage in the Salinas Riverbed; Clean-Up of Temporary Shelters; and Code Enforcement Abatement Procedures. This will allow the City to work in partnership with ECHO, the County, and other social service providers to develop a comprehensive approach to relocate the homeless and help them access needed social services, locate suitable areas to live, retain ownership of their private property, and observe measures appropriate to reduce risks from the coronavirus. The rubbish heaps and sharps will also be removed, further reducing fire risks and risks to the regional water supply, by removing trash, bacteria and other pathogens, and drugs and other chemicals. Council authorized the City Manager to proceed with contracts and accessory equipment purchases to mitigate hazardous fuels in approximately 181 acres of the riverbed. Council appropriated $278,000 in General Fund reserves for these collective purposes and directed staff to and return to Council for additional direction and funding, as necessary. Council also directed staff to return on July 21 with additional information regarding potential sites to utilize for temporary relocation of the homeless. In order to make the greatest feasible progress, staff—working with ECHO, the County, and other stakeholders—will continue its efforts and will provide an update on progress achieved to the Council and public at the July 21 Council meeting.
Revisited Temporary Street Closures. Governor Newsom ordered the closure of a number of indoor activities statewide on July 13, 2020, including dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and cardrooms. In addition, bars and breweries must close both indoor and outdoor activities. To address the significant impacts that the public health orders are having on local businesses, Council directed staff to continue working with Downtown businesses and other stakeholders to implement immediately a pilot program of Downtown street closures in an effort to help local businesses survive the recent State order to close indoor dining and tasting room services. Council directed staff to pursue half-street or one-way street closures with safety barriers; to defer cost-recovery permit fees (collecting only after the local emergency has ended); to keep the street closures in effect until 30 days after state-required business closures are lifted; and to make a sidewalk dining permit program available as soon as possible so that all businesses with sidewalk dining can come into compliance.
The agenda can be found at https://www.prcity.com/agendacenter and the livestream from the meeting can be found at www.prcity.com/youtube. The minutes will be available as part of the packet for the City Council’s next regular meeting.
The next regular City Council meeting takes place on Tuesday, July 21st at 6:30 pm via livestream at www.prcity.com/youtube. Public comment can be made during the meeting by 805-865-PASO (7276) or provided prior to the meeting by emailing email@example.com.