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This Week at City Hall: June 13-15

An action-packed week at City Hall, with a full council schedule plus committee meetings on issues including warehouses and distribution centers, drought-related water use, homeless encampments in the Santa Ana Riverbottom and the search for a new city manager.

A photo of the entrance to Riverside City Hall.
City Hall in Downtown Riverside
The Raincross Gazette

Monday, June 13

Land Use, Sustainability and Resilience Committee – 3:30 p.m.

Item 2 – Warehouse development regulations

On Monday, staff will give a presentation to committee members on “current development regulations and best practices” for warehouse and distribution centers throughout the city. Issues discussed will include minimizing air quality impacts, reducing noise, and designing facilities to blend in with the neighborhoods where they’re situated.

Item 3 – Outdoor dining program

In another presentation, committee members will get an update on the temporary outdoor dining program for restaurants during the pandemic. Though the city has not received any new applications for outdoor dining permits, the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is recommending that the city create a permanent outdoor dining program, with adjustments and revisions to make outdoor dining facilities attractive and practical.

Board of Library Trustees – 5:00 p.m.

Item 4 – Donation from Friends of the Library

The board recommends that City Council approve $15,000 in donated funds from The Friends of the Library.

Item 5 – Library incident report

The board will be presented with a report on various incidents and security issues that have taken place at city library branches in February, March, April and May.

Board of Public Utilities – 6:30 p.m.

Item 9 – Recycled water project costs

The board will vote whether to approve a request for proposals with Carollo Engineers, Inc., for $239,212, not to exceed $300,000, to implement a plan for non-potable and recycled water.  

Item 10 – State emergency drought regulations

Staff will present a report and recommend that the city follow emergency drought regulations from the State Water Resources Control Board.

Tuesday, June 14

City Council – 1:00 p.m.

Item 7a – Sunshine Ordinance waiver

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Conder recommends the council approve waiving the Sunshine Ordinance in order to enter into an agreement with an executive search firm to recruit a new city manager. Without the waiver, the consultant agreement would need to be rescheduled, which could delay recruitment and filling the position.

Item 7b – Executive search for city manager

Mayor Pro Tem Conder also recommends the council approve the hiring of Ralph Andersen & Associates at a cost of $44,750 for City Manager recruitment services through December 31, 2022, or until the position is filled.

Item 8 – Changes to utility bill appeals

The board will decide whether to approve proposed changes to the process for customers to appeal disputed electric and water bills.

Item 18 – Drought response

The council will hear a report on drought response efforts proposed by Western Municipal Water District and Riverside Public Utilities: 1) take actions to accomplish a Level 2 (10-20%) reduction in water usage, and 2) prohibit using potable water to irrigate ornamental turf in the “commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors.”

Item 22 – Smoking in multi-unit residences

In a matter continued from the May 10 council meeting, the council will vote on amendments to the municipal code regarding regulations on smoking in multi-unit residences. The council received several letters supporting the ordinance from private citizens, the UC Riverside Medical School, and the American Cancer Society, among others.

Item 25 – Public safety vehicles

The council will consider whether to approve the purchase of a hazardous materials support unit from Rosenbauer South Dakota, LLC., and a multi-purpose vehicle/squad ambulance from Braun Northwest, Inc. for a combined cost of $797,903. The vehicles will be paid for with Measure Z funds.

Item 26 – Lease of search and rescue van

Staff recommends that the council award a bid to lease a fire/urban search and rescue van from Diversified Leasing Services, Alhambra, for $104,501.19.

Item 28 – Gift card donations

The council vote to approve the donation of gift cards from 24 local businesses, including Barnes & Noble, California Pizza Kitchen, Wendy’s, Jimmy John’s, GameStop and others, valued at $84,000, which will be distributed as prizes for participants in the 2022 Summer Reading Program at Riverside Public Library city-wide.

Wednesday, June 15

Safety Wellness & Youth Committee – 1:00 p.m.

Item 2 – Homeless encampments in the riverbottom

The committee will consider proposed changes to the city’s municipal code regarding the regulation of encampments of unhoused people living in the riverbottom. A 45-minute presentation by staff including the assistant city attorney, the deputy fire chief and the homeless solutions officer will update committee members on the reasoning, safety issues and legal basis for these regulations, citing judicial decisions by the Ninth District Court, the danger of human-caused fires spreading through the riverbottom and threatening nearby neighborhoods, and the safety of fire and police personnel when engaging with the residents of the encampments.