Planning commission notes

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Olive Grove subdivision on higher grounds[/caption] [caption id="attachment_743403" align="alignnone" width="300"] 800 Hemenway approved for additional 983 square foot home to be built[/caption] On Tuesday, June 26th the City of Winters Planning Commission gathered and approved three plan and design reviews, as well as opened discussion regarding food trucks and AirBnB regulations. First approved was the addition of a 983 square foot single family dwelling to the property at 800 Hemmingway Street proposed by Bobby Rodriguez.  Despite opposition presented by neighbors regarding safety, the start of a new trend in the neighborhood and parking, it passed unanimously. Second approved was an addition of a 933 square foot second story to the existing house located at 508 Abbey Street proposed by Nick Girimonte. There were no oppositions from the public on this addition and it was passed unanimously. Third approved was the design of 5 model homes to be located at Hemenway Street as part of the Olive Grove subdivision (phase I) proposed by Mr. Chris Williams.  Several oppositions to the plan were expressed in regards to finances from the developer, the elevation of the grounds to be constructed on, parking as well as appropriate drainage of the landscape. Mr. Vincent Valdez, “heir” to his grandfather’s property in which the construction is to take place, voiced his financial concerns with the developer. Mr. Valdez stated that his family had not received any money from the developer for the land and expressed concerns that the city may have complications with obtaining their money in relation to the build. More concerns from the public were voiced regarding the fill dirt brought in that seemingly raised the ground level approximately  four feet higher than the neighboring houses. Concerns included the “looks” of the houses sitting higher up than the rest of the neighboring houses, the functionality of appropriate water drainage from existing home landscapes as well as the slope and size of the driveways. One community member voiced that the small size and the sloped driveways would push the parking of RV’s and boats on the street. City Manager John Donlevy assured the public and planning commission that the elevation was to insure proper water drainage and he would address all concerns in the future. The plan passed unanimously with this assurance from Donlevy. Finally, discussion began on laws and regulations for food trucks and AirBnBs (or temporary rentals of private property).  Summer intern Sam Donlevy lead the conversation of food trucks and intern Aaron Ryan lead the discussion on AirBnB rentals. Sam Donlevy conveyed the need for “modernization” and expansion of current ordinances in place.  Ryan voiced the fact that the city currently has no rules or regulations for temporary rentals of private property, which is a growing industry. The interns expect their research will be complete by July 25 Discussion was opened to the public. One AirBnb host present informed the commission that she had a single bedroom, private bedroom and some shared living spaces as accommodations for one to two guests. She stated that she promoted commerce in Winters, respected neighbors and provided a safe environment for her AirBnB guests. She prompted the city to evaluate their current ordinances and zoning regulations as well as the enforcement of these ordinances for all Winters residents and not just pinpoint AirBnb hosts, since most of those that serve as an AirBnB host abide by these rules. The next city planning commission meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24 at City Hall.  ]]>

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