At Dec. 6 meeting, the its Winters City Councilmembers continued and concluded their discussion held at the Nov. 15 meeting regarding an extension to the Neighborworks Tentative Subdivision Map that plans to subdivide a two-acre parcel at Moody Slough Road and Taylor Street into 24 single-family lots for affordable housing.
Beginning on Nov. 15, the council discussed the Neighborworks Tentative Subdivision Map that was first adopted on Aug. 18, 2020, and which would expire on Aug. 18 unless a time extension was approved. Neighborworks requested an extension, asking for an additional 24 months before the deadline, and the City Council then were to decide if they would grant the extension.
Senior City Planner Kirk Skierski presented the proposed extension to the council, saying, “it is staff’s understanding that the improvement plans and final map are close to being completed and will require council approval before the final subdivision map is recorded. A time extension request would allow the applicant to secure funding for the development of affordable units completion and council approval of the final subdivision map.”
Mayor Wade Cowan said he wanted to keep “some pressure” on the construction to ensure it is completed, asking if an extension could be granted for a shorter time like 12 months. Skierski answered that the council has the authority to extend tentative maps up to a 5-year maximum and that any amount of time shorter than that works as well.
“Staff does not necessarily have a concern with approving a reduced amount of time…in that, if things go awry, the applicant could apply for an additional time extension at that time,” Skierski said.
Councilmember Pierre Neu asked Skierski about the impact of an extension on the project, saying, “I know the idea is to have it there so they can go through it, but is this the best thing for us to do, to have a 12-month or 24-month extension, do we lose anything by having 12-month extension?”
“No, I do not think there would be any losses if a 12-month time extension was approved,” Skierski said before clarifying that city staff was going to meet with Neighborworks the day after that meeting to give the city a better understanding of Neighborworks’ time tables and funding operations. Skierski further noted that though there was some doubt at Neighborworks about the finality of this project, he has since spoken with new representatives of the organization who assure him this is a project they want to see through.
Neu concluded that he didn’t want to disrupt construction but still wanted to see it finished as soon as possible.
“This has been going on for a long time, and I want to see this done, but I don’t want to inhibit the process in any way,” Neu said.
Following some points that required more clarification, Mayor Pro Tempore Bill Biasi suggested waiting to vote until after city staff’s meeting with Neighborworks to ensure the city has all the information necessary to vote. Cowan agreed, while also reiterating his desire to provide a truncated time extension when the council voted on the matter.
Skierski updated the council on the work done by city staff and Neighborworks on the Tentative Subdivision Map. He provided a summary of the approval process, which starts with Neighborworks and city staff working out the construction details before sending it to the City Council for approval.
The process for this approval has already begun on the city staff end, with Skierski stating that staff was waiting for some additional technical information regarding drainage and other components of the plan, which he estimates will be in a few weeks. Once this documentation is received, staff will take a few weeks to look them over before sending them back to Neighborworks for final corrections, and once those corrections have been implemented, the council can approve it.
The entire process, Skierski estimated, should be finished and ready for council approval “come spring of 2023, so approximately four to 12 weeks.”
Skierski also spoke about the timeline for the overall project. “What remains is getting Neighborworks’ financing for the project through their grant funding in place,” a process, Skierski says, is underway.
Skierski concluded by saying it is, “(city) staff’s opinion that the time extension can be supported,” but reiterated that, “the council may consider a reduced time extension,” of less than 24 months.
Cowan restated his position that, in addition to the information provided by Skierski on Neighborwork’s timeline, 12 months is an appropriate time extension, in order to, “keep the pressure on, because we want to see this thing move forward.”
Councilmembers Neu and Biasi agreed, noting that if anything unforeseeable should come up Neighborworks can request another extension to the 12-month one. The council unanimously approved the extension on a 12-month basis.