City Council – Sept. 7 Meeting News Briefs

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News briefs from the Sept. 7 City Council meeting.

Staff shifts
As part of the Consent Calendar, Administrative Services Director Shelly Gunby was appointed as interim City Clerk to assist with Council
meetings during the recruitment process. The previous previous City Clerk Ashley Bussart separated from city employment on Aug. 26.

During the interim, the duties of the City Clerk will be divided between the Administrative Services Director, Human Resources Manager, and City Manager until a new City Clerk is hired. The recruitment process typically takes three to four months.

City Manager Kathleen Salguera Trepa introduced the city’s new contract Chief Building Official (CBO) Tom Davis, former CBO for Yolo County. Davis, who works for Bureau Veritas, has been working with the city for the past couple of months.

Building and Fire Codes
The City Council waived the first reading of Ordinance 2021-03. The ordinance repeals and recasts the Winters Municipal Code for Buildings and Construction (Title 15) and adopts by reference the 2019 California Building Standards and the 2019 Fire Code, (Title 24).

Davis recommended updating the code and said the task is traditionally done every three years and will need to be updated again in 2022. Davis said Winters “was a little late getting caught up with 2019” and the benefit of doing this is will give the city the authority to enforce new codes and issue violations of the building and municipal codes.

Fire Chief Brad L. Lopez said the city should also update the fire codes every three years but that this was last done in 2007. The department is looking to update to the 2019 fire code. Lopez said, “the importance is building a resilient community making sure homes are safe with adequate fire and alarm systems to ensure a safe community.”

Assistant City Attorney Joanna Gin clarified “what is happening here is our building official and our fire chief have reviewed the 2019 building codes and the fire codes and need express findings to make local amendments to those state codes.”

A motion was made to accept Ordinance 2021-03 and hold a public hearing on Oct. 5. The motion passed unanimously.

Grading Moratorium Extended
A public hearing was conducted on Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-03 to extend the 45-day moratorium approved in August for six months while city staff drafts a comprehensive grading ordinance. No members of the public commented.

Biasi asked Gin to confirm that the city may still issue grading permits if previously approved criteria is met. Gin affirmed and the motion passed unanimously.

Natural Resources Commission
The Council unanimously adopted Resolution No. 2021-55 establishing the Natural Resources Commission and appointing Kurt Balasek, Carol Scianna, Kate Laddish, Eric Larsen, Eric Jepson and Dennis Kilkenny to the Commission. This commission was reinstituted from the Putah Creek Commission which completed its mandate earlier this year.

The Winters Putah Creek Committee (WPCC) was created in 2006 to oversee the restoration and public use of Putah Creek and the public lands adjacent to Dry Creek; as well as the development of the Putah Creek Master Plan and a Vegetation Master Plan for the creek area, which are all complete.

The new commission will serve as an advisory role related to expanded environmental matters, including topics related to geology, hydrology, hydrogeology, soils, ecology, the atmosphere and biology associated with aquatic life, vegetation, bird life and animals.

Other business
Trepa thanked Dan McGuire, former Winters Housing Manager, for coming out of retirement during the past few months to help the city while the Housing Element was being prepared. Trepa said it was McGuire’s last City Council meeting before departing to his new home in Italy.

Mayor Wade Cowan and Mayor Pro-Tem Bill Biasi reported meeting with a representative of Grocery Outlet regarding a possible store at the southeast corner of East Main Street and Grant Avenue. More information is in the works as the development efforts continue in the area.

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