May 16, 2023 — Tulare County Board of Supervisors
Documented by Dani Huerta
Here’s what you need to know
- The 2022 Tulare County Employee of the Year nominees were presented, with Anthony Benitez being the award winner. Benitez works at the District Attorney’s Office.
- The accessory dwelling unit/junior accessory dwelling unit ordinance and the density bonus ordinance were amended to comply with the state’s ordinances. Some amendments to the ordinance are that units can be rented, but not sold, separately from the primary residence and units created according to the ordinance must be rented for more than 30 days. Some amendments to the density bonus ordinance are that the density bonus amount is set on a sliding scale based on percentage of affordable housing units at each income level and affordable rental units must be restricted by an agreement that sets the maximum income and rent for those units.
- The county declared that an emergency exists due to damage to county infrastructure. The estimated amount of damage is $46 million, with most damage being done to roads and bridges.The county is hopeful that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse some of the repair costs.
Follow up Questions
- How much will FEMA reimburse for repairs?
- Larry Micari – vice chair, District One
- Pete Vander Poel III, District Two
- Amy Shuklian, District Three
- Eddie Valero, District Four
- Dennis Townsend – chair, District Five
- Jason T. Britt, county administrative officer
- Jennifer M. Flores, county counsel
- Melinda Benton, chief clerk
The Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting was held simultaneously both in-person and streamed via YouTube at 9 a.m. on May 16. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation led by Pastor Michelle Magee.
- Board of Supervisors matters
- Vander Poel
- Last week was a Kings Tulare Area Agency on Aging meeting and Senior Day at the park.
- Upcoming is an audit committee meeting, Allensworth flood resource fair follow-up event, Tulare hospital foundation jubilee and St. Rita’s Church opening.
- Last week was the Eagle Mountain Casino grand opening, The Source center remodeling, Kaweah Starlight awards and the CASA event.
- Upcoming is a county Homeless Task Force meeting, an Air Resources Board meeting, Armenian food festival, Rawhide game, Happy Trails fundraiser, the Visalia car show and the ImagineU exhibit unveiling.
- Last week was the Woodlake Lions Club Rodeo and Parade, Kiwanis breakfast, Kings Tulare Area Agency on Aging meeting, a Tulare County Association of Governments workshop and a Tulare County Regional Transportation Agency meeting.
- Upcoming is an employee appreciation luncheon, National Association of Counties Western Interstate regional conference and the National Latino Caucus of California Counties Board retreat.
- Last week was a Visalia cemetery district meeting, Rural Counties Representatives of California conference, Golden State Finance Authority, Golden State Connect meeting, toured Oroville Dam, CASA event, Kings Tulare Area Agency on Aging meeting and a Tulare County Association of Governments workshop.
- Last week he testified regarding the Save Our Sequoias Act and visited its cosponsors in Washington, D.C.
- Upcoming is an AG Advisory Committee meeting and the Porterville Fair.
- Vander Poel
- Presented a proclamation recognizing May 6-12 as National Nurses’ Week in Tulare County.
- Townsend presented the proclamation. Stacy Chastine, deputy director of the health branch of the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), accepted the proclamation. An appreciation luncheon was held for nurses and they were offered training.
- Recognition of Tulare County employees who have been selected by their respective departments to be honored in the Employee Recognition Program. Announced and selected the 2022 Tulare County Employee of the Year.
- Lupe Garza gave the presentation.
- Nominees were Anthony Benitez (District Attorney’s Office), Allison K. Pierce (County Counsel), Kenneth Page (Sheriff’s Office), David Rodriguez (Health and Human Services Agency), Jessica Moncada (Probation Department), Clarissa Alvarez (Probation Department), and Anita Spaulding (Human resources and Development).
- 2022 Employee of the Year is Anthony Benitez.
- (Approved) Consent Calendar (Items 7-28)
- Shuklian commented on item 8
- Item 8: Authorize the Tulare County Tax Collector to promote the EasySmartPay Program, a third-party service that provides property owners with the option to pay secured property taxes in monthly installments.
- Shuklian thanked the Auditor’s Office for promoting the EasySmartPay Program.
- Some of the approved items included the approval of the promotion of the EasySmartPay Program (item 8), acceptance of the Probation Youth Facility Remodel Project as a completed project (item 11), and an agreement with the California Department of Education for the Summer Food Service Program (item 17).
- Shuklian commented on item 8
- (Approved) Public hearing: Request from the Resource Management Agency (RMA) to adopt an ordinance amending the Tulare County Zoning Ordinance to change the zone district from the AE-20 (Exclusive Agricultural – 20 Acre Minimum) Zone to the C-2-MU (General Commercial with a Mixed-Use Overlay) Zone for Assessor’s Parcel Number (“APN”): 126-390-018. Adopted the findings of approval, as set forth in the Planning Commission resolution and approved the zone change. The board found that the amendment is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the state CEQA guidelines as an existing facility. The board directed the clerk of the board to publish the full text of the adopted ordinance and amended zoning map. Supervisors also found that this ordinance by statute can only be passed after notice and a public hearing, so it is exempt from the usual requirements that an ordinance be read in full and adopted over two regular meetings.
- Aaron Bock, assistant director for the county Resource Management Agency (RMA), said there are no greater plans for the property other than changing it to a C-2-MU zone.
- (Approved) Public hearing: Request from the RMA to adopt two ordinances amending the Tulare County Zoning Ordinance pertaining to zoning for accessory and junior dwelling units. The board found that the adoption of these two ordinances is exempt from review under CEQA and the State CEQA guidelines as a feasibility or planning study. It adopted the findings of approval set forth in the Planning Commission resolution and found that these ordinances by statute can only be passed after notice and public hearings, so they are exempt from the usual requirements that ordinances be read in full and adopted over two regular meetings. It directed the clerk of the board to publish a summary of the ordinance and post a full copy of the ordinance after adoption.
- Aaron Bock explained the item. Tulare County’s zoning ordinance must be amended to comply with the state’s density bonus ordinance.
- Accessory dwelling unit/junior accessory dwelling unit ordinance changes
- Update the second unit ordinance to read as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and add junior accessory dwelling units (JADU)
- Allow ADUs and JADUs to be ministerially permitted in the R-A, R-O, R-1, R-2, R-3, MR and propdosed PD-F-M zones
- Allows the accessory dwelling unit to be rented, but not sold, separately from the primary residence.
- Any accessory dwelling unit created according to the ordinance must be rented for more than 30 days
- Limits the number of JADUs to one per residential lot
- Allows JADUs to include separate sanitation facilities or may share within the existing structure.
- Requires the residence where the JADU is permitted to be owner occupied.
- Limit the size of the JADU to be no more than 500 square feet and be entirely continued within the residence
- Density Bonus Ordinance changes
- Addition of density bonuses for housing developments for foster youth, disabled veterans, homeless persons and college students.
- Density bonus amount is set on a sliding scale based on percentage of affordable housing units at each income level
- The county will provide one or more incentives to each project that qualifies for the density bonus expert market rate senior citizen projects with no affordable units and land donated for very low income housing, Number of incentives is based on percentage of affordable units in the project.
- Affordable rental units must be restricted by an agreement that sets the maximum income and rent for those units. The restrictions must remain in place for 55 years for very low or low-income units.
- Valero asked if floor plans will be made available for the public. Bock said they would be.
- (Approved) Request from the RMA to declare the existence of an emergency due to the damage to various county roads, bridges,and related infrastructure from the March 2023 storm events. Declared that the emergency will not permit a delay in designing, constructing and installing necessary repairs to the damaged roads, bridges and related infrastructure resulting from preparing complete plans, specifications or working details for the repair projects or from soliciting formal competitive bids for construction and installation of the necessary repairs, and that this action is necessary to respond to the emergency. Approve and ratify the emergency repair contracts. Approve Contract Change Order No. 1 for PA13450, in the amount of $320,000. Find that retroactive approval of the emergency findings and the emergency repair contracts executed as of March 17, 2023, is necessary because of the extensive damage caused by the March 2023 storms, the need for immediate repairs to restore public access for affected home and business owners and the time and resources needed to bring this matter to the board, making it impractical for the board to take action on this matter prior to this date. Authorize and direct the RMA director to enter into informal bid contracts with qualified contractors to design, build and install necessary repairs to other damaged roads, bridges and related infrastructure in response to said emergency, in amounts not to exceed $2,000 per repair contract.
- Authorize the RMA director to approve contract change orders to said contracts so long as the total of the contract and change order(s) amounts does not exceed $2 million. The bound found that the emergency repair projects are statutorily exempt from CEQA and directed the county’s chief environmental planner to file appropriate notices of exemption. Direct staff to agendize review of this emergency declaration at the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting and every 14 days thereafter until the action is terminated.
- Reed Schenke, RMA director, estimated that there is currently $46 million in damage, mostly to roads and bridges. The agency administration is hopeful that repairs will be reimbursed through FEMA.
- Micari asked if FEMA can reimburse for future damages. Schenke said they can in some ways but it depends on the project.
- Vander Poel wants updates on the projects to be made more available to the public.
- There were no board matter requests
- An email public comment was given to the board but was not read aloud. There was no other public comment.
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