Davis Waste Removal personnel remove yard waste from 14th Street in Dec. 2009. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

Local News

Many issues loom over City Council meeting

By From page A1 | February 25, 2014

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Who: Davis City Council

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Community Chambers, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

Watch it: Live on Comcast Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99; streamed at www.cityofdavis.org

Tuesday’s City Council meeting is set to tackle a barrage of city issues that have built up during the last year, culminating in this year’s most ambitious agenda by far.

A total of nine city issues await City Council approval or direction. Five more have the possibility of being pulled from the normally fast-approved consent calendar and added to the mix.

Here’s a rundown of the six most newsworthy items from the agenda:

  • Item No. 1: Enhancing the law enforcement safety zone for picnic day.

The zone sets up a territory on Picnic Day where certain infractions have authorization for higher-priced tickets, such as open containers or public urination. It was started in 2011 and police released figures for last year in a staff report issued Friday night.

The zone covers much of downtown and an area north of UC Davis. While Police Chief Landy Black, author of the report, advised the zone is necessary to combat a “Mardi Gras mentality,” he cautions the council against expanding the area beyond what the local police presence can patrol in force.

“Maintaining a highly visible and active police presence in the (zone) is more likely to decrease the number of actual problems in the targeted area,” Black writes.

  • Item No. 2: Containers for yard waste.

This is the second time this issue has come back to the council. Last time, the council wanted containers for yard waste, but needed more information on periods where customers could put out more than what fits in their container. Would there be a season they could do it? A few times per year? Would individuals barter with their neighbors for space in their containers?

The council will review five options, including keeping the status quo, as part of an informational session that hopes to get the council majority to agree on option to have Davis Waste Removal implement. If there is a change it will take several months or longer to implement.

  • Item No. 3: A proposal to lease parking spaces for private dining in the downtown.

There’s an idea afoot at Burgers and Brew, 403 Third St., to turn two parking spaces into leased spots for outdoor dining. It’s envisioned to be similar to the parklet  in front of The Lofts building on E Street, “but would be restricted to use by the adjacent restaurant.”

Bike racks would be relocated east and the space would get tables and chairs  and other amenities. Burgers and Brew would pay the tab for everything. It would a pilot program that could, one day, be repeated by other eateries.

Potential controversies surround the use of parking spaces for outdoor dining at a time when parking is recognized as such a problem downtown that the city is considering putting in parking meters to help manage it.

  • Item No. 4: Beyond Platinum Bicycle Action Plan.

About 18 months in the making, this extensive plan, if implemented by the City Council, would provide more connectivity for bicycle routes, encourage more bicycling by making the roads a more equitable place for pedal pushers, and cement Davis’ place as the best small city for bicycles.

No money is being requested at this time, though $120,000 per year would be needed over seven years to fully implement the plan. Why? City transportation staff write that “external opportunities” will provide much of the needed money, such as grants.

  • Item No. 5: More information about the potential for public power.

The City Council already opened the door for an inquiry into public power, spending $4o0,000 and authorizing another $600,000 to be spent in the future. This item is little more than an informational session, with staff asking for feedback on providing a work plan for going forward with the investigation.

What is new is a timeline provided in the staff report that shows it could take three years and three months before the public power plan is implemented. It also outlines no new costs to add on during that time to the $600,000 authorized by the council.

  • Item No. 6: Update on affordable housing.

In a staff report on an overarching work plan to revamp affordable housing in the absence of money from a redevelopment agency, a group of affordable single-family units called GAMAT presents an issue to the City Council.

“Staff continues to recommend city ownership as a means for stable and ongoing affordable  housing revenue,” which wouldn’t do as well if the properties were sold off to a nonprofit, a staff report says. Instead, city staff recommends the city keep using a property manager.

— Reach Dave Ryan at 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Dave Ryan

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