The Winters City Council unanimously approved what an organized and determined group of neighboring citizens hoped to postpone or reshape: a housing development at the end of Walnut Lane.
At their July 7 meeting, council approved the project’s so-called Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Walnut-10 project, dashing the neighborhood effort’s hopes at helping to sculpt the housing development plan for the abandoned 10-acre almond orchard nearby.
HCD’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), which sets the state’s housing production quotas, was adopted last November by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), a regional governance body, and peg the town’s required new housing units to 552 by 2025, with over half of those new units mandated to sell at a below-market rate.
The new Walnut-10 project had two below-market units approved, with “in lieu” fees in place to offset a handful of additional, required, below-market housing units.
At the meeting, the council listened to the public voice their concerns anew, concerns with a focus on flooding and emergency vehicle access to the proposed development. The council felt satisfied, however, that the developer had addressed possible flooding issues and emergency vehicle access to the future 54-lot sub-division.
The council discussed a season for land grading to avoid the kind of rainfall and surface flooding issues seen in a recent housing project last year at the former Valadez property. It also stipulated that the would-be builder maintain a drainage ditch designed to move water away from the entire Walnut Lane area and notify neighbors when some black walnut trees will be removed in order for horse owners to keep their animals out of the area. Black walnut trees are toxic to horses.
Yolo County Registrar of Voters Jesse Salinas shared some news with the council—the city will get its own Voting Assistance Center (VAC) this November.
The VAC, a more COVID compliant space, will replace all the polling centers in Winters.
“The VACs will be open Saturday, Oct. 31; Sunday, Nov. 1; and Monday, Nov. 2 for eight hours,” Salinas said. “On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3 the Center will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.”
Citizens can drop off ballots, and even have a ballot printed at the VAC, Salinas said.
While Salinas’ visit to the council was to inform, he also asked the council for a member to take charge of finding a space for the Winters VAC and organizing the volunteers to work the one-stop voting office. Council member Jesse Loren volunteered to lead the Winters VAC organization.