Here’s what you need to know:
- At its October 6, 2022, meeting, the Madera City Council approved the city’s project list for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program Grant application. Proposed improvements ranged from wider sidewalks to street benches.
- The council approved the annexations and maps for new residential subdivisions. The Pecan Square subdivision will include single-family homes at Pecan Avenue and Highway 145 developed by D.R. Horton. The Crown Tozer subdivision will include 63 single-family homes at Clinton and Tozer Avenues developed by Joseph Crown.
- The council received a report regarding a developer’s request to add a rolled curb instead of a traditional six-inch curb to the 2005 City of Madera standard plans and specifications. After hearing the pros and cons of rolled curbs, the council voted to hold a workshop to discuss further at a future meeting.
- The city is recruiting a hearing officer and an attorney to represent the city during the cannabis permit appeal process. City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez stated that the city hopes to avoid litigation in the appeal hearings and emphasized that transferring a cannabis license is an “involved process.”
- How will the annexations of subdivisions affect the tax revenue for the city?
- When can residents expect improvements from the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program Grant?
- Will hiring a hearing officer and an attorney delay the cannabis permit process?
According to its website, the Madera City Council, a board of seven, is the elected legislative body of the City of Madera. The district elects members of the city council and the mayor at large. Members of the city council, including the mayor, serve four-year terms.
The meeting was in-person on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 6 p.m., yet accessible via YouTube.
- Mayor Santos Garcia
- Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans, District 4
- Council member Cece Gallegos, District 1
- Council member Jose Rodriguez, District 2
- Council member Steve Montes, District 3
- Council member Elsa Mejia, District 5
- Council member Artemio Villegas, District 6
- City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez
- City Clerk Alicia Gonzales
- City Attorney Hilda Cantu Montoy
- Senior Planner Robert Smith
- Mike Pistoresi
Liliana Camacho was introduced as the new administrative assistant in the Grants Department.
First, the council (7-0) unanimously approved B-1 to B-15 of the consent agenda.
B-1 The council approved the city council minutes of May 18, 2022, and June 1, 2022
B-2 Informational report on the register of audited demands for September 10, 2022, to September 23, 2022
B-3 The council waived the fees to cover the costs of police and public works related to the Madera High School Homecoming Parade for $2,124.
B-5 The council appointed Dennis Smith to the Civil Service Commission.
B-6 The council approved a covenant agreement to allow a limited encroachment into a public utility easement (PUE) at property owners’ risk in 1389 Taylor Lane (APN 006-580-006).
B-8 Consideration of a request by Nadeem Ahmad and Shahzada Farooq for connection to the City’s water system.
The council approved an agreement for outside city limits water connection for 16255 North D Street.
The public hearings focused on the following:
C-1 Public hearing for Annexation No. 11 (Tract 20-S-02 Pecan Square Subdivision) into Community Facilities District No. 2005-1 (Public Services). (presented by Senior Planner Robert Smith)
1) The council (7-0) authorized the Annexation (Annexation No. 11) of territory to Community Facilities District (CFD) No. 2005-1 and levy of special tax and submission of the levy of a tax to the qualified electors
2) The council (7-0) called for a special election and submission to the voters of Annexation No. 11 of CFD 2005-1 the proposition regarding the annual levy of special taxes within Annexation No. 11 to finance police protection services, fire protection, and suppression services, park maintenance, and storm drainage system operation and maintenance within the district
3) The council conducted a special election of the qualified electors of Annexation No. 11 of the City’s CFD 2005-1 and declaration and certification of the results.
4) The council (7-0) made certain findings, certified the results of an election, and added the territory identified as Annexation No. 11 to CFD 2005-1.
Citywide CFD 2005-1 funds the gap between the revenue generated by new development and the cost of delivering services.
The initial annual assessment was $311 for a single-family home, growing to $524.41 in 2022/23 per year.
Tax is deposited into the General Fund since impacts are specific to the General Fund. Utilization of the tax is purposefully broad.
There have been 13 annexations into the CFD.
994 homes contributed approximately $477,000 to the CDF last fiscal year.
The map was approved for 112 single-family homes, which would generate $58,733.92 (at $524.41 per home/per year).
C-2 Public hearing regarding Annexation No. 12 (Tract 21-S-01 Crown Tozer Subdivision) into Community Facilities District No. 2005-1 (Public Services) and related actions (presented by Senior Planner Robert Smith)
1) The council (7-0) authorized the annexation of territory (Annexation No.12) to Community Facilities District (CFD) No. 2005-1. It authorized the levy of special tax and submission of the levy of a tax to the qualified electors.
2) The council (7-0) called for a special election and submission to the voters of Annexation No. 12 of the City’s CFD 2005-1 proposition regarding the annual levy of special taxes within Annexation No. 12 to finance police protection services, fire protection, and suppression services, park maintenance, and storm drainage system operation and maintenance within the district.
3) The council conducted a special election of the qualified electors of Annexation No. 12 of the City’s CFD 2005-1 and declared and certified the results.
4) The council (7-0) made certain findings, certified the results of an election, and added the territory identified as Annexation No. 12 to CFD 2005-1.
The map was approved for 63 single-family homes, generating $33,037.83 ($524.41 per home/year).
Administrative reports centered on:
E-1 Identify improvements for inclusion in the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program Grant for use on the Caltrans Downtown Madera CAPM (Capital Preventive Maintenance) and council direction on the possible use of alternate sources of funds (presented by Chief Engineer Keith Helmuth)
The council (7-0) approved the city’s project list for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program Grant application and provided direction on the possible use of an alternate funding source.
On August 17, Council approved retaining Mark Thomas and Company to prepare a grant application for Reconnecting Communities grant application and as many as two others.
Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant application is in the process; being due on October 13.
Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant is a federal program dedicated to reconnecting communities previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure.
Proposed Improvements are as follows:
- Wider sidewalks – from E to B and A to High
- Rectangular flashing beacons at A and B Streets
- Decorative street lighting
- Landscape and irrigation – including shade trees on certain sidewalks and medians
- Improved drainage to accommodate wider sidewalks
- High-visibility crosswalks with stamped concrete at intersections
- Hardscape improvements
- Street furniture, including benches, trash receptacles, and potentially banner stands
The wider sidewalk allows for enhanced pedestrian amenities while providing the same road capacity and requires relocating the curb into the existing roadway.
Caltrans has indicated their desire to work this into the project though they cited several risks with this enhancement, which requires additional design, and survey work.
If the award is not announced on time, there may not be enough time in the project schedule to complete the additional design work.
At the time of the grant award, Caltrans will determine if the environment covers additional studies or re-validation.
Additional work may impact the ability to complete the project on schedule.
Additional right-of-way acquisition time requirements may impact the ability to complete the project on schedule.
The grant has very specific requirements. Mark Thomas has provided insight and recommendations on meeting said requirements.
Match requirements must be state, local, or private but include some allowances.
Current state funding for the Caltrans CAPM project is $2.6 million (80/20 Federal/State ratio for planned $13.4 million project)
The grant required state or local funds with an identified enhancement of $3.6 million.
Caltrans has committed to $3.6 million of state funds if the grant is successful.
This grant application was performed on an accelerated time frame.
Caltrans confirmed its intent to seek increased funding for design through the County Transportation Commission (CTC).
The grant could not assist in this portion of the project.
Staff feels reasonably comfortable that funding has been addressed though it still has outstanding questions of Mark Thomas on some aspects.
Local transportation funds (LFT), Measure T, and General Funds are possible sources.
A preliminary recommendation states that $4.1 million in unprogrammed LFT funds are currently available.
E-2 Report regarding developer request to add a rolled curb standard to the 2005 City of Madera standard plans and specifications
Today, the city has a traditional 6-inch curb found throughout the community.
The city does not currently have a rolled or wedge curb standard.
Rolled or wedge curbs may have several advantages and disadvantages based on input from developers and neighboring communities.
The advantages of wedged curbs are as follows:
- Less expensive to install – long stretches of curb can be installed without manually forming separate driveways.
- Easier to accommodate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility behind driveways.
- Ability to complete curb installation without risk and associated cost to move previously constructed driveways if they somehow do not align with future driveway.
The disadvantages of wedged curbs are as follows:
- Where the sidewalk is contiguous to the curb, the sidewalk is easily parked on, representing possible future repair costs to the city or homeowner
- Mounting curbs/sidewalks can result in sidewalks being obstructed by pedestrian passage.
- Damage to street furniture
- It may allow for driving into landscape areas.
- Vertical barrier curbs are generally recognized as a deterrent to leaving the travel way. Rolled or wedge curbs, by their design, represent less of a deterrent.
- Rolled or wedge curbs are shorter than their standard curb counterparts. Shorter curb heights result in less stormwater runoff volume retained in the street.
Madera residents about the wedge curbs expressed no concerns.
Each of the following may mitigate certain concerns but, by cost, detract from the attractiveness of using rolled curbs.
- Allow wedge curb rather than the rolled curb.
- Require base rock where the sidewalk is contiguous to curb
- Require meter boxes to be traffic rated
- Protect street furniture using vertical curb (existing standard)
Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans said that she was skeptical about the safety of having rolled or wedged curbs.
Councilmember Steve Montes asked Mike Pistoresi how illegal parking would be resolved.
Developer Mike Pistoresi clarified that those in violation could not be ticketed in an area without a homeowners’ association.
Councilmember Elsa Mejia stressed residents’ difficulty with parked cars and preferred the vertical curb.
Councilmember Rodriguez expressed support for wedge curbs with additional mitigation for all developments.
The motion to return E-2 as a workshop had four yes and three no votes.
E-3 Update on the citywide cannabis process
City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez explained the three-step permit process.
In Phase I:
- The city received 26 standards and two social equity applications
- After a 5-day cure period, all applications were deemed complete
In Phase II:
- HDL scored applications
- All but one application scored above 90 percent
- Both Social Equity permits scored above 90 percent
- A minimum of 10 permits will advance to Phase IlI
In Phase III:
- Staff is recruiting a hearing officer to consider appeals
- Staff is recruiting an attorney to represent the City during the appeal process
- An appeal fee must first be established before informing the applicants that they will not be invited to continue onto Phase Ill.
City Attorney Hilda Cantu Montoy said that appeal hearings take about six hours.
City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez stated that the city hopes to avoid litigation in the appeal hearings and emphasized that transferring a cannabis license is an “involved process.”
The closed session consists of the following:
G-1 Conference with labor negotiators under Government Code §54957.6
Agency designated representatives: Arnoldo Rodriguez, Wendy Silva, and Che Johnson
Employee groups: General Bargaining Unit, Madera Police Officers’ Association, Mid- Management Employee Group, Law Enforcement Mid-Management Group
G-2 Conference with labor negotiators under Government Code §54957.6
Agency designated representatives: Arnoldo Rodriguez and Che Johnson
Unrepresented employees: Police Chief, City Engineer, Director of Human Resources, Public Works Operations Director, Director of Parks & Community Services, Information Services Manager, Planning Manager, Chief Building Official, Director of Community Development, Director of Financial Services, and City Clerk
The meeting ended at 8:28 p.m. The next regular meeting will be on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at 6 p.m.
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