City Council Meetings

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The Eureka City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The open session meeting begins at 6:00 pm, after the 5:00 pm closed session meeting. Agendas are posted at City Hall and online, and emailed via the City’s agenda newsletter the week before each meeting. Recordings of previous meetings, agendas and approved minutes are available at the City archive.

How to use this resource:

Summaries of Council meetings appear in the News Feature section of the City Council Meetings Talk Eureka project. Submit questions about Council meetings, City administration

The Eureka City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The open session meeting begins at 6:00 pm, after the 5:00 pm closed session meeting. Agendas are posted at City Hall and online, and emailed via the City’s agenda newsletter the week before each meeting. Recordings of previous meetings, agendas and approved minutes are available at the City archive.

How to use this resource:

Summaries of Council meetings appear in the News Feature section of the City Council Meetings Talk Eureka project. Submit questions about Council meetings, City administration and more in the Questions section. Important information and documents are located in the sidebar. Please note, mobile users may need to scroll to the bottom of the page.

Please be respectful. All derogatory and off-topic items or comments will be removed by the auto-moderator. Review the Talk Eureka website Terms and Conditions and Etiquette and Moderation Policy. These policies are always linked at the bottom of each Talk Eureka webpage.

  • Latest From the Council

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    The News Feature hosts updates after each Council meeting. Follow City Council Meetings to stay informed and receive updates.

    Please be respectful. All derogatory and off-topic items or comments will be removed by the auto-moderator. Review the Talk Eureka website Terms and Conditions and Etiquette and Moderation Policy. These policies are always linked at the bottom of each Talk Eureka webpage.

  • Regular City Council Meeting - Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Roll Call - Watch

    Councilmember Castellano presiding as Mayor Pro Tem; Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Fernandez, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers. Absent: Mayor Bergel.

    Report Out of Closed Session - Watch

    No report, there was no closed session due to the special meeting.

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    A.1. Proclamation: Letter Carriers Food Drive - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach, received by David Reed, Development Director of Food for People and John Hufancia, Vice President of the local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers. The Letter Carriers Food Drive is held in partnership with the letter carriers, who will pick up blue bags that have been delivered and bring the donations to the food bank on Saturday, May 11. This is one of the largest food drives of the year. Food For People asks to please do not put glass containers in to be donated, and please no expired food items.

    A.2. Proclamation: Bike Month Humboldt - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Moulton,received by Molly Martian, volunteer with Bike Month Humboldt, Bike Party Humboldt, and the Bike Kitchen, in recognition of Bike Month. Molly shared appreciation for the bike-friendly community, and thanked the dedicated City employees, public servants, and volunteers for their work.

    A.3. Proclamation: Older Americans Month - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Fernandez, in recognition of Older Americans Month. Received by Maggie Kraft, Executive Director of the Area 1 Agency on Aging (A1AA). A1AA relies on community volunteers for their programs that work to keep older adults connected and supported in the community.

    B. Presentations - Watch

    B.1. Area One Agency on Aging - Volunteer Driver and Northcoast Homeshare - Watch

    Presented by Area 1 Agency on Aging Executive Director Kraft

    A1AA Volunteer Driver Program has 756 active clients in the community, 47% of which are Eureka residents. The average client age is 75, and about 37% have disabilities, and about 42% are low-income clients. The driver program has 20 active volunteer drivers, while there have been challenges in getting volunteer levels to what it was before COVID, the volunteers donated over 900 hours in 2023, drove more than 16,000 miles, and completed 890 roundtrip rides. The average volunteer age is 62.

    The A1AA Northcoast Homeshare Program began in February of 2020. The program made 15 matches in 2023, and have made 58 matches since the program began. The longest match is 3 years as of May first, and the average match is approximately 11.5 months. The program matches seniors who have extra space in their homes with people seeking housing in a shared home. After A1AA completes background check and interviews, hosts and guests are matched for a trial period to see if it is a good fit for guest and host. The average host is 75 years old, and the average guest is 60 years old, with the youngest client being 31 and the oldest client being 92. 66% of clients are female and 34% are male, and 55% are Eureka residents. The average rent in the program is $436 per month, and the average annual income of guests is $18,000. Rent for guests in this program is lower that it would be in the rental market.

    A1AA will be hosting a Meet & Greet for people interested in participating in the program at the Humboldt County Library at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15 and will be available to answer questions about the program and process.

    Council Questions & Comments

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano noted that the program is a good opportunity for people who have homes that are too big for them to make better use of them, and is faster that building housing developments.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked about more information about the Homeshare Program and how people can get involved. Answer: Executive Director Kraft said that people who are interested in participating reach out to A1AA and connect with the program manager. Applicants complete an application and go through a background check, and talk with the program manager who will work to match guests with hosts. Guests and hosts are introduced and decide if they would like to move forward with a living arrangement. A1AA also helps people understand what should be in a rental agreement, and encourages people to work together and communicate with each other. If the matches do not work out, A1AA also provides support. The Meet & Greet will be in the meeting room at the Humboldt County Library.

    B.2. Cal Poly Humboldt Student Presentation of Senior Capstone Project - Watch

    See the complete report

    Presented by Development Services Director Kenyon

    The City of Eureka was a client for the senior capstone project for students in Professor Laurie Ridgeman’s Environmental Science and Management department Planning and Policy Class. The class began in January, and the City was paired with four students. The project the students completed is serving as background research for the Local Coastal Program update, specifically on how the City regulates ground-floor uses in Old Town, and how best to update zoning and use policies in the Old Town area to maintain the visitor-serving destination.

    Cal Poly Humboldt students Hannah Wohl Sanchez, Izamar Herrera, Nicholas DeAngelis, and Sarah Lorenzini presented their project and findings to Council.

    The project inventoried businesses, uses, and vacancy rates in Old Town, and explored whether or not the City should adopt visitor-serving core regulations, as well as the existing zoning and developed recommendations for the Local Coastal Program update. Students reviewed if the businesses were visitor-serving or not, and reviewed planning strategies from other communities to determine what could be practices to adopt in Eureka.

    The key findings are that there is a strong desire from businesses to have an Old Town location, and that there is a retail vacancy rate of 8.6%, which is lower than the national average of 10.3%. Office space, retail space, and food and beverage establishments are the largest use categories.

    The recommendations from the students are that there is not a need for a designated visitor-serving core, as that is a solution for areas with high vacancy rates. They recommend updating the zoning code to reduce barriers to opening a business in Old Town, implementing design standards for ground-floor, street-facing windows to maintain an engaging pedestrian environment, and to prioritize pedestrian-friendly development to encourage visitors to explore all of Old Town.

    The students also identified next steps the City can take to support the findings from this project. They suggest the City conduct specific community outreach for detailed input from the community, conduct an upper floor inventory, and complete an in-depth use type analysis and review the number of principally permitted entities as compared to the number of conditionally permitted entities under the current Local Coastal Program and the proposed regulatory changes.

    Council Questions & Comments

    Councilmember Fernandez referenced landscape elements that were mentioned in the report, asked if there were landscape elements the students would recommend. Answer: Student Izamar Herrera noted that the report includes a lengthy list of suggested elements, said that the elements can include anything that would beautify the area to make it more attractive to pedestrians. Mentioned street furniture, outdoor dining patios, can be combination of the City working with businesses. Can be a combination of spaces where people can spend time, like parklets in front of coffee shops, and adding more areas where people can stay for longer periods of time.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if the impacts on vehicle traffic had been taken into consideration. Answer: Student Izamar Herrera recommended that be something that is considered when planning a pedestrian-oriented area, and that there is a happy medium to find between serving the needs of pedestrians and vehicles.

    Councilmember Fernadez asked if students could elaborate on specific community engagements mentioned in the presentation. Answer: Student Sarah Lorenzini reported that the students reviewed the community of Half Moon Bay and the development of the heritage downtown area. They held a number of community workshops at a variety of locations and times to gather opinions from the community. The students recommend determining community values around the regulatory changes, rather than how people feel more broadly about Eureka or Old Town, and present the potential changes and gathering specific thoughts and opinions about that.

    Councilmember Moulton asked about specific strategies for avoiding gentrification, baseline principles of development to incorporate to avoid displacing working-class residents. Answer: Student Hannah Wohl Sanchez responded that the first principle that comes to mind is to ensure that affordable housing is a part of revitalization efforts, making sure that communities who are low-income have that place to stay. Having more involvement in the community, keeping in the values of the community, and having more discussions is important.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach shared appreciation for the work, admired the report, and thanked the students for the report.

    Director Kenyon commented that one of the recommendations in the report has been used since it was completed, the recommendation to keep interesting displays in street-facing windows will be included in a business application going before the Planning Commission.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked about recommendations for community-based agreements as referenced in the report. Answer: Student Hannah Wohl Sanchez noted that many general plans had some sort of community-based element, such as workshops. Would recommend accessibility as part of the community-based agreements.

    Eureka Kite Festival - Watch

    Presented by Mark Aherns with Humboldt Kiters

    The third annual Redwood Coast Kite Festival and Artisan Fair will be held May 18 and 18 at Halvorsen Park. Humboldt Kiters is an Ink People Dreammaker project. The Redwood Coast Kite Festival came about after the Southern Oregon Kite Festival cancelled due to COVID and did not return.

    This year there will be free kites for children, with professional assistance available at the free public event, along with food trucks and an Artisan Fair. Humboldt Kiters will host internationally known professional kite flyers.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Moulton commented that the growth of the festival is impressive, and appreciation of the effort of what goes into developing events like this.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach shared appreciation for the event, attended last year’s event and had a good time.

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Three people shared public comment. One person shared a reading from a religious text and shared their thoughts on faith and health care. One person thanked council for bringing a ceasefire resolution to a future agenda. One person responded to another commenter about the views they expressed.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of April 16, 2024 Council meeting

    April 16, 2024 Minutes

    F.2. Fiber Optic Installation Project 2023 Bid No. 2023-16 - Acceptance

    Agenda Summary - Fiber Optic Project Acceptance

    F.3. Systemwide Sewer Evaluation Project 2024 - Award

    Agenda Summary System Wide Sewer Evalution 2024 - Award

    F.4. Da' Yas park PIP Playground Surfacing Purchase

    Agenda Summary Da' Yas Park PIP Purchase Award

    F.5. 2019 Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA)

    Agenda Summary PLHA

    PLHA Resolution

    F.6. Sequoia Park Zoo Position

    Agenda Summary - Sequoia Park Zoo Position Change

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approved the consent calendar as written by unanimous Yes vote.

    G. Legislative Action Correspondence - Watch

    No items for legislative action correspondence.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    Councilmember Moulton asked Council for consensus to receive a report requested of the independent police auditor, reviewing the actions that Eureka Police Department took when responding to an aid request at Cal Poly Humboldt on April 22. Councilmember Moulton watched a livestream of the incident, and requested that the City Manager engage the auditor, and the auditor will investigate the incident and present a report to the Community Oversight on Police Practices board in July. Response: Council reached consensus.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked for Council for consensus for City staff to coordinate with Humboldt Transit Authority for the upcoming Dump the Pump day. Response: Council reached consensus.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano asked for consensus to write a letter of support for the CalFresh Market Match program, which provides additional funding for people receiving CalFresh benefits to use at local Farmer’s Markets. The statewide program is at risk of losing funding. Response: Council reached consensus.

    K. City Manager Reports - Watch

    K.1. Humboldt Bay Fire Explorer Program - Watch

    Presented by Humboldt Bay Fire Engineers Esola and Powell

    The Junior Firefighter program was recently established with the goals of communicating with young people about fire service and what the requirements for becoming a firefighter are. Interested people who go through the Junior Firefighter program could then use that learning to go through the Fire Cadet program. People who successfully go through the cadet program can gain the required training and hours to be hired on as firefighters with Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF).

    The Junior Firefighter program is aimed to people ages 16-18, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. If there is an interested person who doesn’t currently meet the GPA requirements, there can be case-by-case consideration of an applicant, especially one who is interested in making improvements. The program is tailored to the needs of each applicant, especially with scheduling needs.

    The Cadet program was developed out of the volunteer training program, for people 18 and older. The volunteer program has a goal of training people to serve as volunteer firefighters and the Cadet program is being modified to provided the required training and certifications necessary for employment as a firefighter, at a more self-led pace.

    A typical firefighter academy program is four months long, eight hours a day, five days a week, and the closest accredited fire academy is in Redding. That distance and time requirement has shown to be a barrier to locals getting the training required to become a firefighter.

    People who would like to take part in the program are encouraged to contact HBF and schedule a ride-along, to get an understanding of what is entailed in the job. From there, people are encouraged to apply for the program. Applications are reviewed and interviews are held once a year. Selected applicants will then go though background investigations and are required to pass physical tests. After passing those, cadets are issued personal protection equipment and begin training with the HBF crews. The goal of completing the Cadet program is to become a firefighter with HBF, and the program pays for the required trainings and certifications that are required for employment.

    The program is an alternate route for community members to become firefighters with HBF.

    Council Questions & Comments

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach Answer:

    Councilmember commented that she is excited about the program. Was able to go on a ride-along recently, and was surprised to learn that a number of the firefighters had started as volunteers, and hopes that this program can help with building the ranks back up. Engineer Powell noted that he would not have been able to become a firefighter if there was not the volunteer program available. When he was training, would not have been able to take the time off to go out of the area to attend an academy. Bringing this in-house also brings in a new pool of people who can get that training.

    Councilmember Bauer asked if there was a set amount of hours of training to complete to become a firefighter. Answer: Engineer Powell other than the requirements from the state, there’s not a set amount of hours to reach to become a firefighter with HBF, it’s a set amount of hours to reach on an ongoing basis. Someone would need 24 hours of riding with HBF monthly, attend four of six quarterly drills, as well as other skills and testing that needs to be accomplished in a timeframe. All those are done on the cadet’s own schedule.

    Councilmember Bauer asked what people should do if they want to prepare to be a cadet. Answer: Engineer Powell said that physical fitness preparation is great, but the best bet is to come in and talk to folks at HBF and going on a ride-along is the best bet, potential applicants can get in-depth understanding of what is expected of applicants. Being a firefighter takes a lot of hard work and time, and having people what that entails as a part of the application process is a good way of understanding that from the beginning.

    Councilmember Fernandez commented that he likes apprenticeships, and asked how much outreach HBF is currently conducting. Answer: Engineer Powell HBF conducts interviews for the program annually, and just completed the 2024 interviews, so there is not active outreach. Will do more in the winter and spring, will start sending notification.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if someone completed the Junior Firefighter program, would they be able to start as a firefighter after completing that program. Answer: Engineer Esola noted that the Junior Firefighter program is new and it is the first time having minors in ride-alongs. HBF is reaching out to sports teams and the Boys and Girls club to find applicants, but don’t want to overwhelm the program with too many people in the program. As far as if someone would be able to hired when they are 18, the aim of the program is not to hold someone’s hand through the process but to foster individual drive. If there is someone who has a goal of being hired at 18, will help to make that happen, but want to foster the self-starting initiative, and it can be whatever rate and pace that works for that individual.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked what high schools HBF is working with, and how that is working. Answer: Engineer Esola noted that it is a pilot program and they are only starting with a couple of people in the Junior Cadet program to see how well it works with the current staffing levels and needs before expanding the outreach. City Manager Slattery said that HBF did reach out to staff to solicit interest in the program as well.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach will be travelling to attend an offshore winds conference in Sacramento, went on an all-day ride-along with HBF, attended the Rhododendron Parade, attended Humboldt Community Organizations in Disaster, went to CalCities Redwood Empire Division meeting in Rio Dell, went to part of Mayor Bergel’s Embracing Humanity Town Hall, and attended and event for the National Day of Prayer.

    Councilmember Moulton attended 2x2 with Eureka City Schools, still waiting to find out about the status of the Jacobs campus, spoke how City and Eureka City Schools can share facilities to better serve the community. Attended the Humboldt Asian and Pacific Islanders festival, looking forward to Forest Moon Festival and Bike Month.

    Councilmember Bauer participated in tour of St Joseph Hospital with Supervisor Arroyo and Sheriff Honsal, discussed issues of seismic retrofit and mental health services, attended CalCities Redwood Empire Division meeting in Rio Dell, attended Humboldt Community Organizations in Disaster meeting, attended fire Joint Powers Authority meeting, Redwood Coast Energy Authority meeting, attended Redwood Region Economic Development Corporation meeting as the alternate, noted that California Conservation Corps will be in Cooper Gulch doing non-native species removal. Traveled to Sacramento for the CalCities leadership conference, spoke at the board meeting a couple of bills, around PG&E fixed rate, AB 1999 and discussed having a different way for cities to invest in CalPERS without fossil fuel components.

    Councilmember Fernandez attended CalCities leadership conference in Sacramento, attended 2x2 with Eureka City Schools, they held discussion about extension of the Jacobs property escrow through July.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano attended events for Mayor Bergel, judged Rhododendron Parade, attended Take Your Child to Work Day for City employees, attended CalCities Redwood Empire Division meeting in Rio Dell, attended Redwood Region Rise meeting in Loleta, went to Sacramento and met with legislators for Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month not Council business, attended Humboldt Transit Authority meeting, attended Humboldt Community Organizations in Disaster, attended Eureka Main Street meeting, and Arts Alive, visited with students at Cal Poly Humboldt during protests, was on the periphery talking with students and other community members, listening to concerns.

    Adjournment - Watch

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  • Special City Council Meeting - May 7, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Roll Call

    Councilmember Castellano presiding as Mayor Pro Tem; Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Fernandez, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers. Absent: Mayor Bergel.

    I. Reports & Action Items - Watch

    A.1. Sunset Heights Update - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Scheme 1 Site Plan Concept

    Attachment 2 - Scheme 2 Site Plan Concept

    Attachment 3 - Survey Results Summary

    Presented by Assistant Planner Smith

    The Sunset Heights property is located on a bluff overlooking Broadway, between West Henderson and West Harris streets. The site is 4.13 acres across four contiguous parcels. The site is identified in the Housing Element as needing to provide 80 deed-restricted dwelling affordable dwelling units, 20 of which need to be for low income households and 60 units for very-low-income households.

    A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation (RCHDC) in September of 2023 for development of Sunset Heights. Since that time, staff conducted an online survey with 298 respondents in October of 2023. The first of three required public meetings were held on November 15, 2023, and staff is before Council at this meeting to present preliminary designs concepts for feedback. Staff anticipates designs being finalized summer of 2024, planning permits would be processed in the fall of 2024. Between now and when construction begins funding will be secured by the developer, and it is anticipated that construction could begin in 2028.

    Director of Multifamily Development at RCHDC Beth Matsumoto spoke about the current funding climate. RCHDC is a nonprofit housing developer and property manager headquartered in Ukiah, and Director Matsumoto is based locally. Director Matsumoto noted that tax credit funding is the largest source of funding available for affordable housing. To be successful in the competitive application process to win a tax credit reservation, projects needed to have state and local funding for about 30% of the total development cost. Now, when competing with other rural projects, need about to have closer to 50% of local development costs in local and state funding to be able to win the tax credit reservation. This means that funding sources such as the Permanent Local Housing Allocation and housing trust funds are more critical to achieve the City’s new housing production goal, and encourages Council to consider that as priorities are set for local housing allocations.

    Architect Robert Hayes, principal in charge of Robert W. Hayes and Associates, reviewed the preliminary site plans for Sunset Heights, presenting two schemes for the footprint of the development. The firm was established in 1999, 80% of their work is for affordable housing developments, and they have projects across northern California.

    The Sunset Heights property has constraints on how it can be developed. There is a slope setback that reduces the area of development to approximately 1.9 acres in a long, skinny shape. The elevation drops across the property as well, from about 65 feet elevation at the neighbors across the alley from the site to 50 feet elevation at the lowest point of the developable area. The site also has opportunities with the proximity to Humboldt Bay and the interesting topography of the site.

    The concepts have a goal of minimizing the impact on the neighborhood and maximizing the number of units in the development. The two schemes have some differences in the footprint of the proposed buildings, and in Scheme 1, the units are narrower and longer than in Scheme 2.

    The first scheme begins with a basement level at the lowest part of the property, on the north end of the site across two of the four buildings. This level is a story below the neighboring houses. Utilizing the long, narrow unit configuration with an open plaza allows for seeing through the site to Humboldt Bay. The first floor level begins at 60’ elevation, and has units across all of the four buildings situated on the site. The two middle buildings are shorter, the north building stopping after the first floor, and the south building stopping after the second floor. The two end buildings are three floors tall, and the basement level of the northmost building makes it four stories in total. The buildings have open plazas or open space between them to maintain as much of the view of Humboldt Bay as possible. Architect Hayes explained the thought with this scheme is to keep the tallest buildings on the ends of the site, to balance the need to housing and the impact to the neighborhood. Scheme 1 has 43 units in the north portion of the site, and the tallest structure is about 45 feet to 50 feet tall, and 44 units in the south portion of the site there are 44 units, and the tallest structure is about 40 feet high, with a total unit count of 87 units.

    The second concept, Scheme 2, is very similar to the first one. The units in Scheme 2 are wider and shorter than Scheme 1, but it does not have the same plaza area providing an aperture through to Humboldt Bay. Scheme 2 does have some open space, but because the units are wider, there is less space between each building. The north portion of Scheme 2 has 46 units and the south portion has 44, with a total number of units of 90 for Scheme 2.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Bauer appreciates the thoughtful design and consideration of the neighbors and neighborhood. Asked if the site could be engineered to increase the buildable acreage available. Answer: Architect Hayes explained that the site has a 30-foot setback from the bluff drop-off is determined by the soil engineer, and that while there may be ways of engineering the site to gain more buildable acreage, as the architect, he is not comfortable not staying within the constraints from the soils engineer.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked about the undeveloped portion of the site, and what access for pedestrians and vehicles would look like at the site, noting that Highway 101 on Broadway has a number of accidents. Councilmember Fernandez also noted that a pedestrian access bridge across Broadway could be beneficial. Answer: Architect Hayes shared that there are thoughts about how the rest of the site could be utilized, but is not able to commit at this point in the concept. Some space could be used for people. Vehicle access onto the site is being developed for one-way access, with preliminary design entering the site from Harris Street and exiting the site onto Henderson Street. The best pedestrian routes have not been developed yet. The vehicle paths are similar from Scheme 1 to Scheme 2, and the entrances and exits will be designed to standards. City Manager Slattery added that the northern most parcel, which was previously a City-owned right-of-way, is an ideal location for stormwater treatment and runoff. The location could also be used for public access in addition to the stormwater use.

    Councilmember Moulton asked for the required number of low-income and very low-income units on the site. Answer: Architect Hayes 20 units for low-income households and 60 units for very-low-income households.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked why it would take three years to secure the funding. Answer: City Manager Slattery noted that this is a conservative timetable. The next round of tax credit applications are open in June, and it will be competitive locally among different projects just here in the City. Referring to a recently completed project, that project required three extensions to be able to secure the funding, and that took three years. The intent with this project is to look for other state funding, to get to the 50% funded from local and state funds which will help with competitiveness for the tax credits. Sometimes different rounds will make a certain type of housing more competitive like senior housing or multifamily housing. Three years is a conservative timeline, but doesn’t mean couldn’t happen before then.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano asked if Redwood Coast Regional Center was still involved with this project. Answer: Director Matsumoto confirmed that they are involved, and are interested in contributing a portion of the funding.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano noted that a lot of the concerns that were shared from the public about housing being developed on the site are being met through the designs presented here. Noted that the discussion is not getting into traffic mitigation in this meeting, and asked if there were other efforts in the plans to address the neighborhood concerns in particular. Answer: Assistant Planner Smith noted that the primary concerns from the survey respondents were traffic and safety, slope stability, neighborhood safety, and maintaining the viewsheds to Humboldt Bay. These preliminary design concepts are addressing at least three of those four, and at this early stage, that is pretty good.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano asked if there will be laundry facilities on-site. Answer: Architect Hayes confirmed that there will be facilities on-site.

    Councilmember Fernandez ask for more information about the relationship between Redwood Coast Regional Center and this project. Answer: Director Matsumoto explained that RCHDC has partnered with Redwood Coast Regional Center on a few projects previously. They support people who are developmentally disabled, and RCHDC sets aside a certain number of units for people who are their target population. Mayor Pro Tem Castellano noted that they were at one of the early meetings for this project and spoke in favor of the project.

    Public comment for this item

    No public comment made for this item.

    Council Questions & Comments

    Councilmember Bauer commented that he was surprised that this site had not been developed already, and is hopeful that Council can support the completion of the process and get people into housing as soon as possible. Councilmember Bauer supports Scheme 1, to maintain the view for the neighborhood.

    Councilmember Moulton is supportive of Scheme 1 with the view sheds, and believes that maintaining the viewsheds is worth losing three units from the design, noting that one of the major concerns from the neighborhood is mitigated through this design. Appreciates the ideas of integrating pedestrian access, as that area has a lot of pedestrian traffic.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach is in favor of Scheme 1 for all the reasons that other Councilmembers have mentioned.

    Councilmember Fernandez commented that he is in favor of either scheme, and will support Scheme 1 to meet the concerns from the neighbors.

    Councilmember Moulton asked about the proposed vehicle direction, asked if the only way to exit the complex would be onto Henderson Street and then to Broadway. Answer: City Manager Slattery confirmed that is the direction of travel.

    Councilmember Contreras DeLoach remarked that the vehicle entrance and exit direction is the only item of concern for her, noting that it is a large loop for anyone travelling from one side of town, and that people will want to use the easiest path of travel, and would like to see that incorporated in further designs. Assistant Planner Smith shared that there have been discussions with Public Works, and that this project would be required to pave that alleyway. Architect Hayes confirmed that the alley will be paved, and will be 20 feet wide, and that there can be further discussion about the ingress and egress on Henderson and Harris Streets, and that the project would want to promote one-way traffic. The Henderson Street access point may be wide enough to have an entrance and exit, but would require more study and engineering as moving the project forward.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano supports Scheme 1 and appreciates the design of the outdoor plaza spaces as an amenity for the residents. Asked about the mix of size of the units, if were one- to three-bedroom units. Answer: Architect Hayes responded that they are a mix of units from single occupancy rooms (SRO) to three-bedroom units. There aren’t many SROs in the design, and the majority of the units are one- and two-bedroom units.

    Council reached consensus on Scheme 1 of the preliminary design concepts, Architect Hayes will develop that concept further.

    Adjournment - Watch

  • Regular City Council Meeting - April 16, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Roll Call - Watch

    Mayor Bergel presiding; Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Fernandez, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers. Councilmember Castellano attended remotely.

    Report Out of Closed Session - Watch

    Councilmember Castellano announced that she was traveling out of the area for work, which is an allowed attendance through teleconference. Council voted to allow remote participation and the motion passed.

    No other reports out of closed session.

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    A.1. Proclamation: Volunteer Appreciation Month - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Moulton, in recognition of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Presented to Eureka Police Department Volunteer Patrol. Volunteer patrol is 29 years old, and was reorganized after Covid. The volunteer patrol helps with traffic control for events like parades, and incidents such as fires or crime scenes. The volunteer patrol is always looking for more volunteers. More information is available at

    A.2. Proclamation: National Public Safety Telecommunications Week - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Bauer, in recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Presented to Dispatch Supervisor Brittany Wilson, shared appreciation for the recognition and for the dedication and hard work of the dispatch department.

    Police Chief Stephens shared remarks, he is very proud of volunteers and dispatch, and proud of all employees. Also noted that this week is Animal Control Officers appreciation week.

    Mayor’s Report

    Mayor Bergel attended community schools Town Hall from true north, discussing solutions for disadvantaged children, including transportation contracts and belonging circles. One presenter noted that one needs love to learn.

    Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods will host a memorial event for Child Abuse Memorial Day on April 28.

    Upcoming Town Hall, Embracing Humanity, will include Keynote Speaker Skid Row CEO Joe Roberts, a panel of professionals and a lived experience panel. May 4 in City Hall Council Chambers and available on Zoom as well.

    Mayor Bergel will be out for surgery beginning April 25, and will be available by phone while recovering.

    B. Presentations - Watch

    B.1. Homeless Action Plan - Watch

    Presented by Project Manager Davis

    Presented an update of the eight goals of Uplift Eureka. Full update is available online at

    Goal 1. Increase Affordable Housing: Partnerships with private developers have led to the creation of affordable housing units, such as the Laurel Canyon project, with plans to exceed 300 units by 2028. Efforts to secure funding for hotel/motel conversions are ongoing.

    Goal 2. Engagement with Homeless Individuals: Surveys and collaborations with CSET, Uplift, and CARE staff provide data for outreach and programs. Infrastructure improvements for the Uplift Eureka Resource Center are underway, aiming for an early July opening.

    Goal 3. Community Education and Resource Awareness: Presentations at various clubs and organizations, media engagement, and social media presence are ongoing. De-escalation trainings and town hall series contribute to community education.

    Goal 4. Rapid Rehousing Program Expansion: Over 200 individuals have been housed since 2019, with 56 individuals housed recently. Supportive services are emphasized, with efforts to reach out to landlords and secure grant funding.

    Goal 5. Homeless Prevention Program Implementation: Funding has been secured to launch a homeless prevention program, providing financial assistance to those at risk of homelessness by June.

    Goal 6. Partnerships and Collaborations: Active involvement in committees and partnerships with local service providers, emphasizing outreach and coordination for effective service delivery.

    Goal 7. Addressing Environmental and Public Health Issues: Collaboration with EPD, Eureka Rescue Mission, and Harbor Operations Technician to address environmental impacts and safety issues.

    Goal 8. Data Utilization for Service Improvement: Ongoing analysis of data to identify trends and improve service delivery, with upcoming programs like Pathway to Payday for job placement.

    Council Questions & Comments

    Councilmember Bauer asked how long the waiting list for services is. Answer: Project Manager Davis explained that they don’t refer to it as waiting list. The Coordinated Entry System is a priority system based on VI-SPDAT scores, and currently has over 900 eligible individuals. This is a county-wide priority list, not just based in Eureka. The same list is also for rapid rehousing programs, permanent supportive housing programs. The intent with the prevention money is to reduce the amount of people who are entering homelessness, and continue work in assisting folks with rapid rehousing opportunities.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked about low or no barrier entry for individuals facing addiction or substance use issues. Answer: Project Manager Davis noted upcoming transitional housing project at the Crowley site is designed with low barriers, following the Housing First model, and emphasizing the need for continued efforts to secure funding for shelter beds. City Manager Slattery said that while the City got pretty far along the process for the last Homekey grant, it was not successful. Hopeful for the upcoming Homekey 4 grant process, aims to fund low and no barrier housing for people with animals and couples. Have insight on why was not funded, and will be able to respond if next round of grant funding is opened.

    Councilmember Fernandez is grateful for everything that the Betty Kwan Chinn Center does in the community, and noted that it does have barriers to entry. Answer: City Manager Slattery noted that there are not many shelters that have kennels, noted that the Navigation Center contract is being finalized and believes that the shelter run by DHHS will have no-barrier beds available.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked about the surveys conducted. Answer: Project Manager Davis noted there were two surveys, the Point in Time count occurred in late January over one morning, from 6:00 a.m. until noon. As many teams as possible go out and conduct a count. The second survey occurred over 4 weeks between March and April, City staff went out and conducted own count. That just ended and the data is being analyzed.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked which other organizations are participants in the Continuum of Care (COC). Answer: Project Manager Davis noted that there are several organizations within the COC; Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA), Nation’s Finest, Arcata House, and Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA). There are organizations that sit on the Executive Committee, and more that participate in the general meetings.

    Councilmember Castellano asked if the priority list is the same list that the Housing Authority of Eureka and Humboldt uses for placement in their program. Answer: Project Manager Davis noted that they are separate. He believes that one does not need to be experiencing homelessness to get on that list, and there are separate lists for the different sizes of housing available. Lists for vouchers and lists for their own housing. This is a separate list from their internal lists. City Manager Slattery also noted that the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness is used to determine homelessness, which does not mean unsheltered. It does include people living in hotels, on couches, and other non-permanent living situations.

    Councilmember Castellano asked about sanctioned camping sites that were discussed previously, and if there were successes in bringing forward or what the obstacles were. Also asked about legislation passed that would allow churches to use their parking lots for sanctioned camping. Answer: City Manager Slattery noted that as a part of the last Participatory Budgeting, held workshop to discuss the process of how to authorize an encampment. Had preliminary discussions with AHHA, and then with employee of St. Vincent de Paul dining facilities; have not heard back. Have had discussions with other representatives of AHHA, but haven’t had any follow-up yet. As far as the sanctioned camping on church property, City Manager Slattery is not familiar with state laws, but notes that the municipal emergency ordinance would allow for that, as long as the location is not in the Coastal zone; basically every zoning designation outside of the Coastal zone allows for that, including churches.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach commented that she had not had a clear idea of how much work the City does around homelessness, and now that has a clear understanding, noted that it is more than what is required, and as county seat a lot of challenges land here.

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Ten people shared public comment. Commenters shared some frustration with using new permitting systems, shared about their personal mental illness journeys, shared suggestions for adding exercise stations to public paved trails, shared appreciation for update on Homeless Action Plan and suggestions for partnering for waste disposal resources and the importance for shower and bathroom resources, and asked for Council to consider a ceasefire resolution.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of April 2, 2024 Council meeting and City Council special minutes of April 3, 2024 as submitted.

    April 2, 2024 Regular Minutes

    April 3, 2024 Special Minutes

    F.2. Da' Yas Park Multi-Sport Kit Purchase

    Agenda Summary - Multi-Sport Kit Purchase

    F.3. Award Bid No. 2024-10 Da' Yas Park Improvement Project

    Agenda Summary Bid No. 2024-10 Award

    Bid Summary - Da' Yas Park

    F.4. Water Improvements 2024 Project - Award

    Agenda Summary - Water Improvements 2024 Project - Award

    CEQA Exemption - Filed

    F.5. Fisherman's Terminal Pilings Replacement Project - Award

    Agenda Summary - Fisherman's Terminal Project Award

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the consent calendar as written; unanimous Yes vote, the motion carries.

    G. Legislative Action Correspondence - Watch

    Councilmember Bauer would like to write letters of support for four bills: AB 2081, AB 2121, AB 2574, and SB 913, all aimed at increasing transparency and community involvement in the operation of substance use disorder treatment facilities. These bills are supported by CalCities.

    AB 2081 requires operators to disclose any legal disciplinary actions on their websites, enhancing transparency for nearby residents. SB 913 allows cities to request approval for site visits to investigate complaints, providing more oversight.

    During the discussion, concerns were raised about the definition of treatment facilities and the potential impact on neighborhoods. Council members expressed varying opinions on the bills, highlighting the need for accountability and safeguards for residents, and voicing concerns about over-concentration and potential exploitation. Councilmember Contreras De-Loach does not want these to be another tool that would be used to prevent facilities opening in neighborhoods.

    Ultimately, the council reached a consensus to support AB 2081, AB 2574, and SB 913, while further discussion was suggested for AB 2121. Council members acknowledged the complexities of the issue and the importance of balancing community needs with support for individuals seeking treatment.

    Councilmember Bauer noted that the City does not weigh in on a lot of legislation, and is happy to support the three of the four bills.

    H. Ordinances & Resolutions - Watch

    H.1. H and I Street - 1st to 2nd Street - Lane removal, buffered bike lane, and diagonal parking - Watch

    Agenda Summary - H and I Streets 1st to 2nd Street

    Resolution - H and I Streets 1st to 2nd Streets

    Presented by City Engineer Willor

    Proposed modifications to one-way couplet on H and I Streets only between First and Second streets.

    These modifications conform to the Complete and Green Streets Policy adopted by Council. Over the years, Council has advocated for increases in dedicated pedestrian and bicycle facilities to enhance safety and promote active transportation.

    Quoting the Complete and Green Streets Policy, “the City shall … [create] a comprehensive, integrated transportation network that is safe, accessible, comfortable, accommodating, and welcoming to all users.” This is a big part of why these kinds of projects are conducted.

    The H & I corridor project creates a multimodal corridor connecting Old Town and Downtown to neighborhoods in south Eureka. The project is in the final phase, are currently installing lane lines, buffered bike lane striping, and traffic signal improvements. To complete this corridor, the sections of H &: I Streets between First Street and Sixth Street, and need to address the section between First and Second Street first.

    The proposed changes would decrease the traffic lanes to one lane for both H and I Streets, and add a bike lane with a buffer of four feet between the lane of traffic and the bike lane. I Street will have an additional two feet between the parallel curb parking and the bike lane, and both H and I Streets will have parallel parking next to the bike lanes. I Street will have parallel and diagonal parking on the curb opposite the bike lane, and H Street will have diagonal parking on the curb opposite the bike lane.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Moulton asked if bike lane is on the same side of street above and below Sixth Street. Answer: City Engineer Willor said they were not on the same side of the road and will need to coordinate with CalTrans about the Fourth Street and Fifth Street intersections. It will be a jog, and plan to use bike box markings at the intersection, which is a standard way of moving a bike lane.

    Councilmember Moulton asked the reason why and where the bike lane crossing will be located. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that it would be one crossing between Third and Second Streets. Those intersections are not as busy, have a much lower volume of traffic. The bike lanes are confined by hardscaping and current parking configuration. It would require configuring a large majority of parking in the area to avoid the moving of the bike lane.

    Councilmember Bauer asked if this added parking spaces. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that this is adding about four parking spaces.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if there are plans to add more diagonal parking like this configuration. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that there are no plans to add diagonal parking on H and I Streets south of Fourth and Fifth Streets, and doing so would require a complete reconfiguration of the lanes.

    Public comment for this item

    Four people shared public comment. One commenter noted that people use H and I Streets to take boats to boat launch facilities, and would like that need to be kept in mind. One commenter is looking forward to the green bike boxes. One commenter noted that this is just a single block, it is an important connection with the Waterfront Trail, and that it would be good to reconsider the use of the hardscaping. One commenter asked to have protected bike lanes and not just buffered bike lanes, and noted that when they bike on streets and obey the traffic laws, get yelled at by drivers when there aren’t dedicated spaces for bikes.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano noted questions from commenters and asked if there were plans to move the hardscaping, and if there were options to keep the bike lane on one side of the street. Answer: City Engineer Willor noted that there are always opportunities, and that the standpoint now is to complete the project within the budget. Hardscaping removal or moving is much more intensive, and much more challenging. The current project of just restriping is much more approachable, and can be incorporated within the larger project. If were to remove the hardscaping, would probably want to review the entire section from First to Fourth Streets, and that would be a much bigger project. It would be a different looking project at that point.

    Councilmember Castellano asked if this project moves forward today, if that would prevent the City from considering the configuration of the hardscaping in the future. Noted that the striping plan is the most affordable way of moving forward today, but would it be an extensive sunk-cost in terms of removing the hardscaping. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that there are always pluses and minuses to acting as opposed to waiting. The process of the creation of this corridor has gone across so many facilities, and the goal is to create the corridor. This does not preclude any further changes; this project is just striping and signage and easy to change in future.

    Councilmember Castellano asked if hardscaping could be included in long term bike planning projects. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that it could be included.

    Councilmember Moulton asked if there would be signage explaining bike boxes and how to use them. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that there will be bike boxes on the H and I Streets corridors and signage showing bikes and vehicles how to use the lanes, green boxes at many intersections and signals.

    Councilmember Moulton suggested coordinating with community organizations on public outreach campaigns.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the changes; four Yes votes, Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach dissenting, motion carries.

    H.2. Eureka Housing Trust Fund - Watch

    Agenda Summary - Eureka Housing Trust Fund

    Resolution - Eureka Housing Trust Fund

    Eureka Housing Trust Fund Guidelines

    Presented by Finance Director Millar

    The Eureka Housing Trust Fund (EHTF) is a new special revenue or grant fund, City uses about 44 funds, would be in addition to existing funds. These are used to track budgets that have restricted uses.

    The EHTF will be funded through $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and then through a commitment of an annual investment of $100,000 from vacation dwelling unit (VDU) transient occupancy taxes (TOTs).

    Funds from the EHTF may be used for housing-related projects, with priority given to lower income levels.

    Nest steps if the EHTF is approved, staff will prepare application for Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) grant funding window, believe this will be in May. This could add an additional $500,000 to the EHTF. Then staff will create a local NOFA to incorporate the ADU program Eureka Builds It! which is in development.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Bauer asked how much would spend per year, asked if there was a ceiling in place. Answer: Finance Director Millar said that if the entire fund was used, that would mean that there’s that much more affordable housing, however would want to isolate funds for specific programs. Large projects could easily absorb the entire fund, would be in the City’s best interest to set aside perhaps half of the funding for the ADU program, and the other half for development of affordable housing. The guidelines require staff to come to Council prior to issuing a NOFA, and Council will have opportunity to decide how much of the trust fund to dedicate to those programs.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked what percent the $100,000 represents of the total TOTs collected. Answer: Finance Director Millar said that last fiscal year grossed $3.2 million in TOT overall, this is a small percentage of the total. This amount is substantial for the EHTF but a small percentage of the TOT, and there’s nothing stopping Council from deciding to contribute more than $100,000, that is the minimum that the state requires to maintain a trust fund.

    City Manager Slattery noted that the amount of $100,000 is what the City expects to receive in TOTs from just short-term vacation rental TOTs.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked if this is the part of the process to make sure that staff would be prohibited from using the program. Answer: City Manager Slattery believes that it is assumed that staff and Council would be disallowed from the program for conflict of interest. Deputy City Attorney Black noted that the boundary between permissible and impermissible access to grant funding would need to be considered, it may not be that every city employee should be excluded, if they are at lower levels of influence and income. City Clerk Powell noted that if someone in the program enters into an agreement with the City, the City Charter would prevent any employee from entering that contract.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked if there are other groups or organizations that the City works with that should be excluded from participating in this program as well. Answer: City Manager Slattery believes that it would be on a case by case basis. Depending on the nonprofit or organization, and unless there’s an unusual circumstance, if they qualify for the income levels and don’t work for the City, does not see there being a conflict of interest.

    Public comment for this item

    Three people shared public comment. One person noted that an apartment that was advertised as affordable wasn’t actually affordable. One person spoke in support of the EHTF and suggested taxes for under-utilized properties. One person spoke in favor of this and agreed with another commenter, and cautioned that affordable housing units need to be actually affordable, and noted that there are a large number of properties that aren’t maintained well.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Bauer commented that this is a great move, and noted that he didn’t ask about mechanisms of the trust fund but is confident that staff can figure out the process as it is developed; anything to increase housing in our community is a good thing.

    Councilmember Castellano is excited for this to come forward. Imagines that there could be needs for gap funding for affordable housing projects. Noted that there is potential for collaboration with the regional housing trust fund, conversation in the works about developing a regional trust fund. Hopeful that could be used for greater regional housing. Also noted that a vacancy tax discussion will be coming to Council soon.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the EHTF, the annual funding, and the guidelines; unanimous Yes vote, the motion carries.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    Councilmember Bauer would like to have a report about a recent Mill Valley reusable foodware ordinance that allowed the use of reusable foodware to be used for takeout dining. Council consensus reached.

    Councilmember Castellano asked to bring forward a ceasefire resolution along the lines of the resolution that passed by the City of Arcata. Council consensus reached.

    K. City Manager Reports - Watch

    K.1. SB 43 Update - Watch

    Presented by Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen

    Requested by Council at a previous meeting to give an update on State Senate Bill 43. This bill brings changes to mental health law, particularly regarding the definition of "gravely disabled”. This originates from the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of 1967, aiming to end inappropriate indefinite involuntary commitment. This affects involuntary hospitalization criteria and conservatorship criteria.

    Core criteria for involuntary hospitalization (5150) include danger to self, danger to others, and grave disability. SB 43 proposes changes to broaden the definition of “gravely disabled” to include severe substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

    Challenges and concerns around this change to the definition are dominated by the lack of current infrastructure for substance use treatment and the inability for facilities to bill if the primary cause for the involuntary hold is substance use disorder. The efficacy of involuntary substance use treatment is in question, and does not work for everyone. The expansion of the definition also expands the population requiring services, and will continue to overburden the system.

    This change also expands the sources of evidence for conservatorship petitions, increases reporting requirements, adds steps in conservatorship investigations process, and allows for treatment at lower levels of care.

    This bill also changes how resources provided to an individual are treated, so families no longer need to abandon loved ones to show that they meet criteria for either involuntary hold or conservatorship.

    Legal forms from the State have not been adjusted, and need more guidance on new criteria and new facility licensing categories, monitoring agencies, and possible Medi-Cal changes. The County still needs to fund and construct a new facility. If funding is available, it will still be three to four years before a facility can be built and opened.

    Most counties, including Humboldt County, have opted to delay implementation. This will go into effect January 1, 2026. That will give some time to address these issues.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Councilmember Castellano attended a Humboldt Transit Authority meeting, attended Humboldt Waste Management Authority board meeting and reviewed the budget, board requested expand financial support for abandoned waste, like the dumpster program and other services, local composting will be delayed until 2026.

    Councilmember Moulton attended post-incident analysis with fire department, reviewed response to incident, appreciated review of process. Noted that the fire department will do walk-throughs of businesses, especially those without sprinklers or in older buildings, to prepare in the case of a need to respond. Fire department will be organizing Bark in the Park again. Attended Chamber of Commerce 2x2 meeting. Looking forward to Forest Moon Festival at the end of May, recommending to local businesses to get involved and to be a part of this tourist event.

    Councilmember Fernandez met with Community Schools Director for Safety and Transportation with City Manager about potential for transit passes for students, met with constituents with concerns about bike plan, attended workshop on Humboldt’s priorities for statewide housing climate policy regarding how statewide legislation affects rural communities, attended student club multicultural night at Eureka High School, thanked Councilmember Bauer for standing in at the upcoming Redwood Region Economic Development Commission meeting.

    Councilmember Bauer attended the JPA meeting, attended Humboldt Bay Symposium, saw CalTrans plans for the Safety Corridor there, met with neighbors about invasive species removal from their properties and how that effects privacy, Cal Poly Humboldt Athletics fundraiser, will be traveling to CalCities board meeting.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach went to Housing and Community Development for California, attended Chamber of Commerce 2x2 meeting, had a short call with State Senator McGuire regarding allowing the naming of Safely Surrendered Children, went to Court Appointed Special Advocate fundraising gala.

    Mayor Bergel noted that the flowers in Chambers are provided by the Eureka High School Floral Department.

    Adjournment - Watch

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  • Regular City Council Meeting - April 2, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Report Out of Closed Session - Watch

    No report out of closed session.

    Roll Call - Watch

    Mayor Bergel presiding; Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Fernandez, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers. Absent: Councilmember Castellano was absent until 7:00 p.m. and joined the meeting in person at that time.

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    A.1. Proclamation: Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Moulton, in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Presented to North Coast Rape Crisis Team.

    Executive Director Amanda LeBlanc remarked that North Coast Rape Crisis Team is in danger of funding cuts next year that affect any organization that assists victims of crime. Calling on community to help fund to keep the services available, will have fundraising information on the website, is committed to maintaining 24-hour services. One of the first times that this funding is at risk of being cut, is relying on community for support.

    Mayor's Reports

    Mayor Bergel attended the Town Hall hosted by State Senator McGuire, spoke with Supervisor Arroyo.

    Highlighted some benefits for the City from the voter-enacted Measure H. These include funding the EPOA contract, catching up on deferred infrastructure maintenance, more road funds which makes the Pothole Blitz possible, expanding Economic Development, incorporating Uplift, CAPE and CARE into the General Fund, increased Community Services staffing, improvements to parks, playgrounds, and trails. Finance Advisory Committee has always been the oversight body, and they report annually and those meetings are noticed and open to the public. Updates on projects for housing on City-owned lots: LINC project is waiting on tax credits and then will be fully funded. Met with people from Wiyot Tribe and those projects are moving forward. The Earth Center project, working with HTA and a third project and will come before Council in the coming months, and Rural Communities will be hosting a public meeting in the summer to discuss the Sunset Heights property.

    Went to wind energy meeting, and attended Sons of Italy dinner and meet centenarian Evo Fanucchi, who will be the Grand Marshal of the Rhododendron Parade and was in the 1944 film The Fighting Seabees starring John Wayne.

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Seven people shared public comment. One commenter spoke about being glad for street repairs, asked for repairs to sidewalks in Old Town and around the zoo, one commenter spoke about their beliefs about Measure H, commenters spoke about concerns about motorized bikes and scooters being safe in the community, commenters asked for ceasefire resolution from Council, and commenter appreciated the recent Q&A session for business groups about mental health and homelessness.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of March 19, 2024 Council meeting

    March 19, 2024 Minutes

    F.2. Fee Waiver for 2024 Humboldt Math Festival

    Agenda Summary - Fee Waiver - 2024 Humboldt Math Festival

    F.3. Systemwide Sewer Evaluation Project 2024 - Award

    Agenda Summary System Wide Sewer Evaluation

    F.4. First Slough Fish Passage Project - Award

    Agenda Summary First Slough Construction Award

    F.5. FY2024-25 CIP Budget Appropriations

    Agenda Summary - FY2024-25 CIP Budget Appropriations

    FY2024-25 CIP Project Budget Allocations Detail with Prior-year Budget Rollovers

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the consent calendar; one absent, four yes votes, motion carries.

    H. Ordinances & Resolutions - Watch

    H.1. Tirsbeck Local Coastal Program Amendment - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Bill No. 1034-C.S. for IP

    Attachment 2 - Resolution to transmit

    Presented by Senior Planner Castellano.

    This are the final components to the Tirsbeck Local Coastal Program amendment. Previous actions on this matter occurred when Council adopted three resolutions at the public hearing held at the last Council meeting, on March 19. Council adopted the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the entire project, approving the surplus property and alley easement vacation for the Notch within 2000 Broadway, and approving the Land Use Map amendment to change the land use designation from industrial to commercial on 936 W Hawthorne. Council also introduced Bill No. 1017-C.S. to amend the Implementation Plan map to change the zoning designation from industrial to commercial on 936 W Hawthorne.

    The entire project resolves a clouded title issue with 2000 Broadway, and allows 936 W Hawthorne to have consistent land use and zoning designations as 2000 Broadway to allow both parcels under the same ownership to be redeveloped together with commercial uses.

    Recommendation to Council to adopt Bill No. 1034-C.S, an ordinance amending the Implementation Plan map of the Local Coastal Program to change the zoning designation at 936 W Hawthorne St and adopt a resolution of City Council directing staff to transmit an application to the Coastal Commission to change the Land Use Plan and Implementation Plan map designations at 936 W Hawthorne.

    Council Questions

    No questions from Council.

    Public comment for this item

    No public comment for this item.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to adopt the bill and adopt the resolution; motion carries with one absent and four Yes votes.

    H.2. Bill No. 1035 Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Commission - Watch

    Agenda Summary OSPR

    Bill No. 1035-C.S. OSPR

    Presented by City Clerk Powell

    This is the second reading and adoption of Bill No. 1035, the amendment to the Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Commission, this changes the commission from a nine-member board to a five- to seven-member board. Currently the commission will be held at a seven-member board.

    Council Questions

    No questions from Council.

    Public comment for this item

    No public comment for this item.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to adopt the bill; motion carries with one absent and four Yes votes.

    I. Reports & Action Items - Watch

    I.1. Eureka Cultural Arts District Memorandum of Understanding - Watch

    Agenda Summary - ECAD - MOU


    Presented by Economic Development Project Manager Asbury and City Attorney Luna

    Began in 2015 when AB 189 authorized the California Arts Council (CAC) to establish state-designated cultural districts. Then-Executive Director of The Ink People presented the idea to the Art & Culture Commission, advocated for partnership between City and The Ink People to apply for designation. Agreed and began the process of cultural asset mapping. Began city-wide, and use the state definition of a cultural district, a high concentration of cultural facilities, creative enterprises, or arts venues that serve as a main anchor of attraction. This was brought before the Art & Culture Commission several times to refine the boundary. When the map was finalized by the Commission and then approved by City Council in 2017, submitted the application to the CAC with The Ink People as the lead agency and the City of Eureka and Eureka Main Street as partners.

    Eureka was one of 22 semi-finalists. Briefly combined with the Creamery District in Arcata, but uncouple at the direction of the CAC. Eureka was awarded the designation, and Arcata will probably be awarded designation with this next round.

    Eureka is one of 14 designated cultural districts. When designation was awarded, it came with a small amount of funding, $5,000. That funded banners along 4th and 5th Streets, and built a website. In 2023 the CAC recertified the 14 cultural districts. The recertification is for another five years of the designation, and an award of $671,000 to be disbursed over three years.

    This led to the desire to create a more formal structure for how to administrate the cultural district and the awarded funds.

    This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) adds the Wiyot Tribe as a partner. The MOU also creates a leadership council that will oversee the district and the administration of the projects, and also participating in state-wide efforts, coordinating with other cultural districts, and partnering with the CAC.

    After the MOU is signed, the priorities will be marketing the district, expanding cultural and creative activities through funding and support, and funding and supporting long-lasting signifiers, such as murals and monuments.

    City Attorney Luna shared that this is a somewhat unique situation where there are four organizations all pulling together to give life to a cultural district that wouldn’t otherwise exist. This MOU is the scaffolding for the cultural arts district, it does not have a home of its own without cooperation. These four organizations who are committed to the same thing can ensure that the money that was given by the State can be then distributed back into the community equitably, and hopes that this MOU reflects that. It has been vetted by all of the member organizations. Two of the four member agencies have already approved this, and the Wiyot Tribe will be taking this to their first April meeting.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Fernandez appreciates how the MOU is laid out and the discussion of how the leadership board will work, asked what is role of the City in this. Answer: City Attorney Luna believes that in the beginning of the process there was a requirement of the state that a local agency be involved in the application process, along with a business group and an arts group. The state was looking for those configurations.

    Councilmember Fernandez confirmed that applicants for funds do not need to be part of the partner groups. Answer: City Attorney Luna confirmed that, the idea is not to restrict funds to the members of the MOU.

    Public comment for this item

    Two people shared public comment. One commenter asked about potential conflicts of interest with The Ink People and the members of Council present, one commenter spoke about the funders for The Ink People, and one commenter shared appreciation for The Ink People and support for this MOU.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Moulton commented, was employed by The Ink People when then-Executive Director Libby Maynard started this project, and noted that she had felt as though The Ink People should be Eureka’s official arts organization and that there are over 150 different projects that run through the organization, and they are the backbone of so may great things. Delighted to see her vision come to fruition, and the Wiyot Tribe being a part of this is a large part of what she wanted to see, very glad to see this partnership come together, it will do a lot of good in the community.

    Councilmember Fernandez spoke about a comment regarding his ties to The Ink People, had volunteered as an organizer with Grassroots Humboldt and written some pieces for them as well. Asked City Attorney Luna to discuss the conflicts of interest policy and whether in violation of the policy. Answer: City Attorney Luna explained that this is not a funding agreement, the monies have been given to the cultural arts district from the state, and this is not a decision to give City funds to the district. The financial concerns raised in public comment do not apply here. City Attorney Luna also pointed out that the leadership council that is created by this MOU will be making their decisions openly and publicly, and this MOU is a model for transparency. Councilmember Fernandez noted that item 6.B. declares the leadership council as a Brown Act body, and the MOU also defines what standards they will be held to.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach commented that she is excited about the cooperation with the Wiyot Tribe, appreciative of staff and everyone who has put this together, and it is very exciting to now have access to these funds to benefit the community, and excited to see what will come out of this.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the MOU; motion carries with one absent and four Yes votes.

    Note: Councilmember Castellano joined the meeting after this item concluded.

    I.2. Mixed Neighborhood Overlay Development - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Presented by Development Services Director Kenyon

    As requested by Council, staff has provided additional information on the potential development of a Mixed Neighborhood Overlay. If developed, and adopted by Council, the overlay could then be applied by Council to a site or sites within the City to add objective design or form-based standards that would apply in addition to a site’s base zoning district. The purpose of the additional standards would be to help ensure additional residential density and neighborhood-serving commercial uses within or adjacent to predominately single-family neighborhoods are designed to be compatible with those neighborhoods.

    The older neighborhoods of Eureka have some good examples of different housing types intermixed with single-family homes, like duplexes and townhomes. The different housing options blended with single family homes get to density thresholds to support transit and corner stores, but it doesn’t feel dense in the same way that a large, internally focused apartment complex.

    This overlay would be exploring how to gently blend density into or adjacent to single family neighborhoods. The neighborhood around the Jacobs campus would be one of a selection of neighborhoods explored when designing the overlay.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Fernandez asked what an overlay does, in a broad sense. Answer: Director Kenyon explained that it adds additional standards or additional allowances on top of the existing base standards. Every property in the City has a zoning district, such as service commercial or residential-low, and this would be adding some design standards on top of that. Councilmember Fernandez confirmed that the overlay doesn’t re-zone, it doesn’t up-zone, it doesn’t change the zoning, and that it helps set standards around what the designs might be, within that particular overlay area or that particular zone. Director Kenyon confirmed, the base zones are focused on what uses are allowed, and give a broad brush of what is allowed, such as 22 dwelling units per acre. 22 dwelling units per acre and look and feel very different depending on how it’s oriented to the street, how big the parcels are, how big the buildings are. This overlay would be dealing with those design-related items.

    Councilmember Fernandez noted that the Jacobs site was mentioned in the agenda summary, and that it would be used as a model. Answer: Director Kenyon said staff would direct the consultant hired for this to look at a number of neighborhoods, and the Jacobs neighborhood would be one of them. Councilmember Fernandez asked what would be the other neighborhoods reviewed. Answer: Director Kenyon will be looking at other areas where there is existing neighborhood commercial zoning next to single family, looking at the areas where transitioning from commercial to low-density residential, other single-family neighborhoods. Councilmember Fernandez asked if that would be Henderson Center area. Answer: Director Kenyon confirmed yes, and expanding out from there.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if Director Kenyon could speak more to why staff would be utilizing a consultant and not going in-house.Answer: Director Kenyon said that it is partly to save staff time and consultants would have expertise in areas that staff would be relying on, such as graphic design skills. Form-based code needs to incorporate graphics, and would want to create mock-up visuals as communication tools. The consultants also have CEQA lawyers to help advise staff, and assist with community outreach, similar to the Waterfront Eureka plan. Having a consultant on that was helpful specifically for the outreach and graphics. Will also be relying on subject matter expertise with writing the code, that process is difficult and time-consuming work.

    Councilmember Fernandez clarified that this overlay sets the guidelines for how the buildings might be developed, and this just creates the policy and does not place the overlay on any locations. Answer: Director Kenyon confirmed that this first step is to develop the overlay, and then it would be brought to Council to adopt into the zoning code. It would not yet apply anywhere. Separately, Council could act to apply it in the future, as saw fit. Councilmember Fernandez asked if the City would be soliciting public input in that process with the consultant. Answer: Director Kenyon confirmed that.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if the City has used overlays in any other capacity. Answer: Director Kenyon explained that the current zoning code does not allow for neighborhood markets, but there are some neighborhood markets that existed before that code went into effect in those residential areas. The City created a Neighborhood Market overlay that would allow for a market at a site, but comes with standards to ensure that a market is compatible in a neighborhood, such as limiting to certain types of markets, and sets performance standards. The City applied that overlay to the existing markets to legalize them, and it could be applied elsewhere if Council desired or if a property owner wanted to apply it in the future. The City also as a Qualified overlay that does not have set standards the way the Mixed Neighborhood overlay would; standards specific to a site are adopted when the Qualified overlay is adopted. Council used this most recently for the Crowley site to set specific standards when up-zoning it to service commercial, but the site has wetlands and is vulnerable. The Qualified overlay was used to impose additional regulations and limits on what could be developed there.

    Councilmember Moulton noted the mentioned pressure on staff and that hiring a consultant would relieve some of that, and asked if there are any concerns about adding this process, noted that in previous discussion of this item, Director Kenyon had said that adding this will push other items, and asked if hiring the consultant would mitigate that. Answer: City Manager Slattery clarified that Council provides direction to staff, and any items or tasks Council adds will make staff re-prioritize. Staff won’t be able to say specifically what this would delay, but adding this would be additional workload for staff. There have been items coming up that have taken priority; things pop up all the time. Emergencies happen and priorities get changed. It is up to Council to determine the direction that staff goes. City Manager Slattery is personally concerned about the Local Coastal Program (LCP), it is of vital importance to City. Because of a number of items that have come up, it has been pushed back.

    Councilmember Bauer appreciates Councilmember Moulton bringing up the matter of staff workload capacity. Noted that City Manager Slattery brought up his concerns about the LCP and how it has been put off for a long time. Councilmember Bauer raised concerns about not only staff’s focus, but the focus of Council as well. Adding another thing that might delay other tasks is a struggle, and leads to the question of if this is the time to take this on

    Councilmember Castellano noted that she was traveling from Sacramento and apologized for being late. Asked if staff could speak if this or what was putting a delay on the LCP. Answer: City Manager Slattery said that LCP is a huge priority for the City and it has been for a long time. It is somewhat out of our control. The City has tried to work with the Coastal Commission and follow their guidance and provide them the information they want. That has delayed that process significantly, and the delays are not just due to items that have come up. Clearly because of the Housing Element and associated lawsuits related to that, that has caused problems and other items being raised to a higher priority. Cannot say specifically that this would delay the LCP update, but it is additional work that was not planned previously. Having a consultant on board will help significantly. Sees this as similar to the work that went into securing a grant of $50 million. It is beneficial, and also was a lot of work behind the scenes. Council has to weigh, is the benefit worth that. Director Kenyon also noted that having many different projects is a very exiting part of the job, but also the department only has five full-time planners, and staff is constantly moving from item to item to meet needs and priorities. Councilmember Castellano asked if there was a way of lightening the overlay development. Answer: Director Kenyon said that staff can balance, and fit the size of the outreach to meet what is within the department’s capacity. City Manager Slattery also said that it is important to note that this is a tool that would like to use throughout the city, and would need to get input from throughout the city and not one geographic area

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach noted that this is in response specifically to the Jacobs site, noted that the agenda summary discusses that this overlay could be applied to the Jacobs site regardless of the outcome of the initiative, asked if this is a response to the anxiety of the upheaval of that site and the uncertainty around who the purchaser is. Noted that the property has not changed hands yet, and is still under the ownership and control of the school district, asked if that was the motivation for this overlay. Answer: Councilmember Moulton said that when Council received the staff report after the town hall, the short answer was that there was no consensus of what people wanted to see as far as uses, but there was a consistent response for the desire of public participation and transparency. Of the options that staff brought back, this was option that best answered that desire. If the City were to re-zone the site, that work could go out the window in the case that the initiative passed. The initial reason to bring this up was to capture the energy from that town hall, and to turn it into something actionable. Clearly something will happen with the Jacobs campus, but this option is useful throughout the city. It may not be urgent.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach noted that the concerns around Jacobs site may not be something that the City can address entirely, because that property is still under the ownership of Eureka City Schools. Believes that the concerns about transparency were a perceived lack of transparency on their part. Asked how does the overlay interact if the initiative were to pass. Answer: Director Kenyon explained that the initiative is focused on what uses are allowed at the Jacobs site. The initiative says that if the initiative passes, in addition to the public facilities uses that are allowed, all of these other uses have to be allowed, and that 40% of the site needs to be reserved for high-density residential housing. That is looking at what uses are allowed, and does not talk at all about the form that any development takes. This overlay is focused on form and not use. Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked if this overlay would prevent what the initiative is trying to do, or does it direct it, or would it still allow the zoning in the initiative. Answer: Director Kenyon explained that it would still allow all same uses, but discusses what building looks, and the building could be occupied by those uses. Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked to clarify some of the allowed uses. Answer: Director Kenyon noted that there are a great many uses that could be allowed under this initiative; retail could be allowed, a bar could be allowed, a four-story apartment complex could be allowed.

    Public comment for this item

    Six people shared public comment for this item. One commenter spoke about the City no longer owning the parking lot next to City Hall and that they believe that the lot is owned by Security National, and noted that the lot is barricaded and not usable. One commenter asked specific questions that had not been answered in the Council discussion, the Mayor asked them to email their questions so staff can follow up. One commenter spoke in opposition to the overlay and believes that would not be allowed with the initiative. One commenter spoke about another person and their process of trying to get a lot line adjustment, and being frustrated by the requirements. [Note: for more information about lot line adjustments and the process that is required to change lot lines, please email the Planning department with questions or to schedule a meeting.] One commenter likes the idea of an overlay, and cautioned Council to not potentially chill the potential to add housing through infill. One commenter noted that they don’t know the intentions of the entity who is purchasing the property, but does want to keep the ball fields.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano thinks that the public would like more opportunity talk about these things, and that this is a great way to do it. Does have concerns about staff time, but will trust that staff can prioritize needs; doesn’t believe that this should take priority over what is staff is already doing. Is supportive of the overlay moving forward; sees confusion in the community about this. Sees opportunities for different kinds of developments and new ways of thinking about neighborhoods, and this could be a way of thinking about how to use form-based code in a neighborhood setting to give different innovative opportunities for place-making. Encourages approaching this in a way that is manageable for staff, in parts as needed.

    Councilmember Moulton noted that the property exchange has not closed, was brought up in the recent 2x2 meeting with the school board members. Is also curious about who is buying the property and what they will do with it. Ultimately what they do with the property needs to fit in the neighborhood, and that is what hearing most from constituents. Creating an overlay will create a set of rules of how things can fit it without limiting uses. Agrees with Councilmember Castellano and while would like to see this move forward, will trust staff to prioritize their time. In favor of moving forward without putting a fire under it. It needs to be done, it is a tool will be useful all over the City, it would answer the need for public participation, it would answer the need for people to be able to say what they want to have in their neighborhoods, not just at Jacobs but all over the City. It does not need to come in front of other more pressing things.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach commented, initially did not like the reaction to the sale of a property of changing the zoning or applying an overlay, is not comfortable setting that kind of precedent. Noted that the property has not changed hands yet, and the intentions of the new owner aren’t known yet. Sees the years of issues with the property as broken trust on the school district’s part. Doesn’t know if this is the appropriate response from the City right now. Would like to push for education about what the public would be voting on. Would like to be aware of the impacts this would have on a separate governmental entity. Does appreciate the ability to use this tool across the City.

    City Attorney Luna requested the opportunity to comment, to make sure that that the record is clear that what is being asked is for directed to move forward with development of an overlay that would have to come back to Council later to be added to the zoning code. City Attorney Luna wanted to make sure that it is clear to the public that zoning codes are not being changed tonight, and that staff is asking Council to authorize some money and additional staff time on a project that was not before staff prior to now. No decisions or changes to the zoning code are being made tonight.

    Councilmember Fernandez agrees with Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach that there are concerns and that Council may not be able to address the anxiety about the unknowns for these neighborhoods. Does believe that this could address some concerns of neighbors. Noted that this only approves the development of the overlay and that it may be a number of months before this process is finished. The time that the development will take will buy time to determine if this is in the best interest of the Jacobs site. If it does not work for Jacobs it would still behoove the City to have this overlay. Discussed this in the recent 2x2 meeting with school board members and the superintendent, there were concerns but no requests to not move forward. Noted that the City could have had these discussions much earlier if were allowed to be included in the process and if the prior superintendent had been responsive to the requests from the City. At a minimum this would afford more opportunity for public discussion and provide the city a tool for defining future development.

    Councilmember Moulton asked to clarify that this overlay and any zoning that the City imposes on the Jacobs lot would not affect Eureka City Schools. Answer: City Attorney Luna said that the overlay would not conflict with the initiative, the school district does not have to comply with zoning codes as long as what is built there is related to schools. If they wanted to build a non-school related project, that would have to comply with zoning codes. State agencies do not need to comply with City zoning codes. Councilmember Moulton also responded to a point from Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach, this was brought up in response to community concerns, but would not say that this is in response to the ballot initiative or even the sale, but a response to the fact that something is going to change, and residents are concerned that their wants and desires that have been disregarded for many decades are going to go unheard. This is in response to folks wanting to makes sure that their voices are heard.

    Councilmember Castellano commented that they think of an overlay as a specialty tool that the City doesn’t have, and would like to have that available.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach sees that this is an overlay that will be applied to Jacobs and does not agree with that end, and will vote no.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to direct staff to develop an overlay zone at their best timing; one No vote and four Yes votes, motion carries.

    I.3. Capital Improvement Program 2024 - Watch

    Agenda Summary - CIP 2024

    Capital Improvement Program Report 2024

    Presented by City Engineer Willor

    City Engineer Willor thanked key staff members. Engineering Technician Savannah Andrews has been working on make the document more usable, Administrative Technician Latisse Devlin put the documents together, and Assistant Engineer Albert Figueroa assisted in the project.

    A Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a short-term plan that identifies capital projects and provides a planning schedule and options to finance the plan. This is the playbook for how the City will move forward with implementing projects. The CIP provides orderly implementation of the goals of the General Plan and Strategic Visioning documents, allows staff to make sure the goals and standards are being brought into the projects of the City. The CIP provides orderly and timely basis for sound budget decisions to plan and finance future needs. Staff is not looking the immediate, but also five years down the line and beyond that to anticipate needs, to be in a better position to be able to fund items as they come up. Also allows for the maintenance and replacement of the City’s infrastructure.

    Eureka is a historic city, first incorporated in 1856. This is a large driver for a lot of the projects that are contemplated in the CIP. As a historic city, Eureka has a lot of aging infrastructure; aging roads, utilities, and facilities all across the City. That is a major driver for what is included in the CIP.

    The infrastructure is in constant need of maintenance and upkeep, and previous years’ funding allocations were insufficient to meet those needs, which has led to deferred maintenance. This is an issue for municipalities across the country and across the world.

    Sat down with Public Works Director Gerving and listed out the projects in the Completed and In-Progress projects, these is $110 million of projects. That gives an indication of how much work is happening in the City at this time.

    View the presentation of completed and in-progress projects:

    Council Questions

    Mayor Bergel asked how the new 14th Street culvert, if there will be impacts the road that was just paved there. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that a lot of the new pavement on 14th Street does not go all the way to the curbs, it will be repaved from curb to curb. The entire crossing will need to be dug out to replace that culvert. The sidewalks on the north side of the street will also be replaced, the existing sidewalk is in bad shape.

    Mayor Bergel asked about how sidewalks are prioritized, noting that there was previous public comment about the condition of sidewalks in Old Town. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that it is a challenge; the City has a small amount of money for a large project. The most effective way is hire contractor that has adequate grinding equipment that can do the work of the entire budget in a couple of days. The City focuses on the sidewalks that are under the City’s responsibility first, and use consultant who can do the work quickly, and can deal with the dust effectively.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked how the priority of street reconstruction is determined. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that the department first focuses on the streets that have the most impact for most users, those will be the principal arterial streets. When planning the projects, will try to then fit projects close together depending on construction methods, then try to add in overlays in residential areas to maintain pavement before it gets too bad and then requires a more expensive treatment in order to repair.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked how to determine the prioritization of pothole repairs. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that it is a challenge with the number of potholes across the entire city, and have already over average annual rainfall for the year which makes it more challenging. The department takes calls, and gets crews allocated to make the repairs. The weather preventing the use of hot mix patches means that to make a repair in the wet weather it has to be a cold patch, which will not last long. Going into a dryer period means that the crews are out repairing as much as possible while the weather supports it.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked how storm drain repairs are prioritized. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that storm drain repairs are a bit different. Funding is minimal, try to go after larger projects that will also address these, utilizing grant funds as able, then repairing on a case by basis. Maintenance of storm drains will happen as soon as crews are available, but repairs must wait on weather. The best way to get the repairs done is to try to align with maintenance projects for better use of funds.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked about the grant funding for the repair of drains, asked if there are matching mechanisms for that grant funding. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that there are not a lot of grants available to only fix a culvert, but if a multi-benefit project can meet a granting agency’s need, often will have to fit into funding group. Can be challenging, but try to do that the best we can.

    Councilmember Bauer thanked staff for the report, and noted that $110 million worth of work is a lot Noted that being an old city costs a lot of money and is glad that we are able to take care of stuff now. Asked about the solar installation at the water treatment plant and the zoo, how many megawatts it would produce, and if it could power the facilities. Answer: City Engineer Willor doesn’t know the wattage. The solar installation is designed to take on full capacity of both the zoo and water treatment facilities.

    Councilmember Moulton asked who the electric vehicle charging stations are for. Answer: City Engineer Willor explained that they are public facilities for public use in the public right of ways. The City worked with Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) to put projects together. RCEA operates the completed facility and will be responsible for most of the maintenance after complete. Councilmember Moulton asked if the revenue from the meters would offset cost of station. Answer: City Engineer Willor said that there is a there is a meter and that RCEA is the account holder, and that it is a public service that is provided. City Manager Slattery noted that the construction was grant funded.

    Councilmember Castellano asked if there are any plans to include Tesla charging stations at the electric vehicle charging stations. Answer: City Engineer Willor is not sure, just had first kickoff meeting with funding agency. It is a very new grant, and just getting started with it. City Manager Slattery believes that currently have level two stations, asked if grant includes level three charging station with fast charging. City Engineer Willor doesn’t have that information, it is a new thing, and can present the grant to council.

    Public comment for this item

    One person shared public comment, noted that uneven sidewalks, or large cracks or bumps in sidewalks can be dangerous for people, specifically people using wheelchairs or strollers, asked if funding could be diverted for sidewalk repair. Asked that Complete Streets policy included in street maintenance plans.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano encouraged access for Tesla vehicles at electric vehicle charging stations, noted that many tourists who visit drive Teslas and would like to encourage visiting Old Town or Henderson Center while charging vehicles. Noted that there will be a budgeting discussion for the Capital Improvement Program as well, and invites the public to come back for that part of the process.

    Councilmember Bauer noted that to fully electrify all vehicles, personal and City included, 9,000 stations are needed in Humboldt County, and that we have a long way to go. Would like Counil and the City to think about how to capture State gas tax funds. The City receives a small portion of those funds and noted that the real engines of commerce are cities, and city roads deserve more attention and care than they get.

    Mayor Bergel shared her appreciation and excitement for the Capital Improvement Program.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to receive the report and adopt the program; unanimous Yes votes, motion carries.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    Councilmember Bauer would like for City to explore purchasing different power sources, and would like to explore if the City could feasibly pay for Repower Plus, a fully renewable power source. Noted that it would cost more money, but would like to be able to drive change in the community. Response: Council reached consensus.

    K. City Manager Reports - Watch

    City Manager Slattery shared that there is a Special Council Meeting to discuss Strategic Visioning Update tomorrow.

    Nick Bown-Crawford, Executive Director of Humboldt Made presented to Council about Friday Night Markets. The markets will kick off on Friday, May 31, with the Forest Moon Festival. The Markets had one hundred thousand cumulative attendees throughout the summer of 2023, with 60 local bands and hundreds of local vendors. Many of the vendors do not have brick and mortar stores and rely on markets like these. Humboldt Made partnered with The Ink People, dedicated the Romano Gabriel stage area to the Dream Maker program participants last year, will be doing again this year and adding two more stages. Will be continuing partnership with Eureka Mission, volunteers from Eureka Mission help to run the whole market. Will be continuing partnership with the City of Eureka through Public Works and the bollards in Old Town and EPD for public safety, and partnership with Eureka Main Street and the Economic Development department. Vendor applications are open now for the markets, and more information about the markets is at and more information about the Forest Moon Festival is located at

    Council Questions & Comments

    Councilmember Moulton noted that at their business in Old Town, sees a spike in foot traffic right before the markets begin, and notes that it’s an event that seems to draw a lot of locals, and that it’s lovely to see.

    Executive Director Bown-Crawford noted that they can see some tracking, and last year had about 1.6 million digital impressions on social media posts about the markets. Also started doing attendee surveys, and see lots of people traveling from Redding and Crescent City to attend the markets. Just about every town in Humboldt attend the markets.

    Councilmember Fernandez wants to encourage cosplaying [dressing up in costume] for the Forest Moon Festival.

    Executive Director Bown-Crawford noted that when cosplaying, to please do so within the intellectual property regulations of Lucasfilm, and that can be found on

    Councilmember Castellano noted that Eureka Main Street is working on incentive programs to help support people who are visiting outdoor events to come in to local businesses, exploring ideas of how to accomplish, and is excited to explore this idea more with Humboldt Made.

    Executive Director Bown-Crawford says that is a great program to run though Friday Night Markets with the number of attendees.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Mayor Bergel noted that May is Mental Health Month, will host event, Embracing Humanity. There will be two panels, a professional panel and lived-experience panel, and keynote speaker Joe Roberts. Hosted at City Hall in Council Chambers on May 4, from 10:00a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and more information will be published soon. Please note that the venue has changed, is now at City Hall. Zoom will be available.

    Councilmember Castellano traveled to Burbank for the CalCities Housing, Community, and Economic Development Policy Committee meeting, reporting back on two items that the committee decided on; the committee voted affirmatively to support expedited permitting for health clinics in cities where there are none or too few, and the committee voted negatively on permitting thrift stores, the committee wanted cities to retain implementation deciding power. Also attended community safety meeting hosted by Eureka Main Street, attend Senator McGuire’s Town Hall, Eureka Main Street meeting, and went to Sacramento, not on City-related business, to support actions that Redwood Coast Regional Center is supporting at the state level. Is hosting Town Hall in Council Chambers on Tuesday April 30 at 5:30 p.m. and will focus on strategies for neighborhoods to build connectivity.

    Councilmember Moulton attended Eureka City Schools two-by-two meeting with two members of the school board and the superintendent, appreciate their attempts to create well-rounded student and they will be working on portrait of an educator. Arts Alive is this weekend in Old Town. Attended Joint Powers Authority and Chamber of Commerce meetings, will participate in the Forest Moon Festival as a business and encourages people to join in.

    Councilmember Fernandez attended CalCities conference in Burbank, the Government Transparency and Labor Relations Committee, discussed many topics, the main piece of legislation regarding divestments did not make it out of committee. Was disheartened to hear about vandalism at Carson Park and is glad that it is being investigated. Redwood Region Economic Development Committee meeting was cancelled, also attended Eureka City Schools two-by-two meeting and discussed the Jacobs property and what an overlay means, noted that Eureka High students are performing Spamelot this weekend and next weekend at 7:30, attended two-by-two with Wiyot tribe representatives, discussed project plans for housing development at 5th and D Streets and potential for elder tribes dinner next year, and also attended Town Hall with Senator McGuire.

    Councilmember Bauer also traveled to CalCities in Burbank for Environmental Quality Committee meeting, they spent two hours debating SB 1999 which failed. This was an item from the power companies wanting to bill a flat rate to their customers, and they want that amount to be a large amount, SB 1999 would make rate much lower, worth checking out to see if that is something the City should support. Also attended Senator McGuire’s Town Hall. Attended Redwood Coast Energy Authority board meeting, attended Cooper Gulch clean-up day. It was a successful clean up, and did not find much trash. Removed invasive species, and will try to do another one in May. Will probably try to host a Bay to Zoo Trail community forum in the next couple of months to talk about the plans, information about that will come soon.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach was not able to go to Burbank but did receive the materials for the meetings. Noted that the Legislative Analyst’s office is now projecting a $73 billion budget deficit for the state budget. This will be addressed by delays, deferrals, program reductions, and fund shifts, meaning some payouts will take longer, some programs will be cut back, some funds shifted from one to another or delayed for however long. At this time there are no discussions of if this will affect funds already promised. This will mainly effect Health and Human Services and education. Attended the wind energy conference, attended dinner with City Manager Slattery, and attended conference the next day. Encourage watching the presentation from Rob Homlund, attended Measure Z meeting, went on a ride-along with EPD Officer Couch, went to community safety meeting with CSET and CARE hosted by Eureka Main Street, attended Senator McGuire Town Hall, and got to speak with Senator McGuire about how Humboldt County is one of a handful of counties that do not name Safely Surrendered children when they are surrendered. Got to meet US Congressmember Huffman and State Assemblymember Gipson, will be attending Chamber of Commerce two-by-two meeting.

    Adjournment - Watch

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  • Regular City Council Meeting - March 19, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Roll Call - Watch

    Mayor Bergel presiding; Councilmember Castellano, Councilmember Moulton, and Councilmember Bauer, present in chambers. Councilmember Fernandez attending via teleconference. Absent: Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach

    Report Out of Closed Session - Watch

    Report out of closed session presented by Assistant City Manager Powell. Councilmember Fernandez requested to attend via teleconference, and provided reason in closed session. Councilmember Fernandez is caring for family, and the reason provided was sufficient to allow for attending via teleconference. On a motion moved by Councilmember Castellano and seconded by Councilmember Bauer, the motion passed with three yes votes to allow Councilmember Fernandez to participate.

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    Change to agenda: Item I.3. will be removed and discussed at the next Council meeting.

    Old Town Rotary invited to speak about the Rhododendron Parade. This will be the 57th annual parade, on Saturday April 27, at 10:00 a.m. and the theme will be the Roaring Twenties. The Grand Marshal will be Evo Fanucchi. There is no entry fee, and there will be prizes and awards for bands and floats, including a Sweepstakes Trophy, a Grand Marshal's Trophy, and a Mayor's Trophy. More information is available from the Old Town Rotary website at

    Redwood Discovery Museum invited to speak about the recent Perilous Plunge fundraiser. Redwood Discovery Museum thanked the City and Mayor for support provided for the 23rd Annual Perilous Plunge fundraiser, from staff assisting with permit approvals, waterfront staff, ladder from Humboldt Bay Fire, and more. Presented special recognition award to City of Eureka for support, trophy was made by co-founder Ken Pinkerton.

    A.1. Proclamation: Two-Spirit Day of Appreciation and Celebration - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Fernandez, in recognition of Two-Spirit Day of Appreciation and Celebration. Presented to Wiyot Tribal Chair Hernandez and Wiyot Tribal Administrator Vassel.

    Tribal Administrator Vassel and Tribal Chair Hernandez shared remarks: The Wiyot people welcome everyone into our community to engage in cultural activities, rediscover Wiyot culture, investigate, participate, support, and encourage each other to be welcomed into our community with opened mind and heart. We recognize that each of us has a role to play in advancing the tribe's mission, culture, and language revitalization, and the effects of colonialism of Native American communities resulted in both marginalization on the basis of race and ethnic identity, as well as gender and sexuality. Watch the full presentation and acceptance remarks.

    Mayor's announcements continued: Mayor Bergel has been out with an injury, is glad to be back. There is a work day to spread wood chips and clean up at Ross Park on Saturday, March 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thanked Councilmember Castellano and City Manager Slattery for filling in while out. The flowers in the Council Chambers are from the Eureka High School floral program, and they will be providing flowers for the remainder of the school year.

    B. Presentations - Watch

    B.1. Bike Plan Update - Watch

    Presented by City Engineer Willor.

    City Engineer Willor noted that the Bike Plan process is nearly complete. The Bike Plan is driven by the desire from Council in the Complete and Green Streets Policy, a policy of implementing streets that provide a comprehensive connected multi-modal transportation network where feasible. Multi-modal here encompasses bicycles, pedestrians, and all means of rolling.

    Engineer Willor reviewed the reasons why the City should have a plan. Having a plan allows the City to focus on the bike element of the transportation network, dedicating staff time and resources on the big picture, assessing what is already available and envisioning what the future of the network can look like, and like a Capital Improvement Plan, a Bike Plan allows the City to prioritize and implement network enhancements rather than one-off projects.

    Grant funding to develop a plan allowed for staff to partner with consultants to aid in the community engagement side of determining the community need. Consultants helped create and implement the community engagement element to inform and gather feedback. Having a plan in place also puts the City in a position to go after grant funding for the projects and improvements identified in the plan.

    The process so far; the project kicked off internally almost a year ago, when a consultant was selected in April of 2023. Developed a project task force, members are groups of local experts or groups who are interested in a bike network, and be local agencies as well, and have helped guide the process. Summer into fall of 2023, held task force meetings and conducted community surveys. Fall and winter, conducted walking audits, held in-person engagement events, and conducted community meetings, and most recently had an open-house in-person engagement event.

    The Bike Plan process will continue with task force meetings, and then will draft a report to present to the task force. After discussion and refinement with the task force, a report will be presented to the Transportation Safety Commission. Then will present a final report the community and to Council.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Moulton thanked staff for the report, noted was hoping to see a map of ways to get around by bike, and asked if this was a suitable topic for a Talk Eureka page. Answer: City Manager Slattery believes that can be accomplished.

    Councilmember Castellano attended the recent public meeting, appreciates the work that went into that meeting. Noted that one of the questions that came up in the public meetings, that when people hear "Bike Plan," will ask about a plan for the streets. Asked staff to speak about how this plan is simultaneous with other work being done in the City. Answer: City Engineer Willor noted that when there is guidance from Council [like in the Complete and Green Streets Policy], that pushed staff to go after grant funding from the State through CalTrans specifically for projects like the Bike Plan. Described getting grant funding like this is like "cream" on top of the regular "coffee", with the "coffee" being the systematic plan for street repair utilizing transportation and roadway dollars. For instance, the paving on H and I Streets currently is part of that plan, and the department is getting ready to work on additional streets this coming summer, and following seasons after that, with a list of priority streets. This isn't taking place of anything, this in addition to ongoing work. Also noted that while we have a robust roadway network, we don't have a robust bicycle network and this plan is an effort to develop this as funding becomes available. City Manager Slattery also noted that the Capital Improvement Plan would be the coffee, and the Bike Plan would be the cream.

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Eight people shared public comment. One commenter spoke about the impacts of substance abuse on their family, a commenter spoke about Measure H funds, with questions about how it was being utilized. Four people spoke about the Bike Plan, three people were supportive and noted that some people bike out of necessity rather than choice, and also they would like to have more separated bike lanes over sharrows, and that safer bike routes could have an impact of lessening the parking congestion near Eureka High School. One person didn't understand how some of the decisions were made, and another commenter didn't like how the meetings were conducted. and asked for more opportunities for question and answer sessions. One person spoke about Arcata City Council adopting a ceasefire resolution in regard to Gaza and asks Eureka City Council to consider that again.

    E. Public Hearings - Watch

    E.1. Tirsbeck Surplus Property and Right-of-Way Vacation and Local Coastal Program Amendment - Watch

    View Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Resolution for ISMND and MMRP

    Attachment 2 - Resolution for SP and SV

    Attachment 3 - Resolution Exhibits A and B

    Attachment 4 - Resolution for LUP

    Attachment 5 - Bill No. 1034-C.S. for IP

    Attachment 5 - Planning Commission Report

    Presented by Senior Planner Castellano

    Applicant Alan Tirsbeck is requesting that the City surplus and vacate a City-owned 20 foot by 300 foot parcel to the adjoining property owner. The two parcels together are known as "the Notch", and were created in the distant past for a 20-foot-wide, 130-foot-long public alley that the City never developed. These two parcels are located within the parcel located at 2000 Broadway. The applicant is also requesting that the zoning for another parcel he owns, 936 West Hawthorne, which is directly west of 2000 Broadway, be changed to have the same zoning as 2000 Broadway, General Service Commercial/Service Commercial (CS), through a Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment.

    Applicant Alan Tirsbeck is requesting that the City surplus and vacate a City-owned 20 foot by 300 foot parcel to the adjoining property owner. The two parcels together are known as "the Notch", and were created in the distant past for a 20-foot-wide, 130-foot-long public alley that the City never developed. These two parcels are located within the parcel located at 2000 Broadway. The applicant is also requesting that the zoning for another parcel he owns, 936 West Hawthorne, which is directly west of 2000 Broadway, be changed to have the same zoning as 2000 Broadway, General Service Commercial/Service Commercial (CS), through a Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment.

    The first component of the project is the proposed surplus property and vacation of the property. The applicant is requesting the City surplus and convey the small 600 square foot parcel to the adjoining property owner, and vacate the alley easement over the Notch. The public alley that the Notch was created for was never developed. Future development and use of the Notch will be combined with the surrounding property, 2000 Broadway.

    The second component is the requested LCP amendment for 936 West Hawthorne to change the zoning to be the same as 2000 Broadway so that both parcels may be developed together, from General Industrial (GI) to Service Commercial. No projects at this time, but the intent is to develop the entire property with new retail and service commercial uses that may complement the new hotel and revitalized Broadway aesthetically. CS zoning allows for retail stores, offices, service establishments, amusement establishments, wholesale businesses, and residences. GI zoning allows limited or big-box retail, offices, and industrial uses; no residences are allowed in GI. The two zones have similar development standards, but the maximum height in CS is 55 feet and GI is 35 feet.

    The LCP amendment requirements are that the Land Use Plan, or the map amendment that changes the land use designation, must conform with the Coastal Act, the Implementation Plan map amendment, or the change to the zoning designation, much be consistent with and adequate to carry out requirements and policies from the City's Land Use Plan, the Implementation Plan, and other requirements when changing to a commercial district. Required findings for approval of the entire project are included in Planning Commission Report, Attachment 5, pages 7-17.

    All of this will resolve issues with the title over 2000 Broadway, and allow the owner to redevelop or sell the parcels, and the LCP amendment would allow 2000 Broadway and 936 West Hawthorne to be redeveloped together with new commercial uses. An Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) was prepared for the entire project, and only considers the impacts of future redevelopment to the extent possible. Environmental review will be required for project-specific impacts not contemplated by this document. Redevelopment of the entire property will require a Coastal Development Permit, which will trigger an environmental review. There will be future opportunity to address project-specific impacts.

    This is the first of two City Council meetings where this will be discussed. This meeting Council will decide about adopting the IS/MND, decide about declaring the surplus property and vacate the alley easement, decide about adopting the land Use Plan map amendment, and have the first reading of the Implementation Plan map amendment ordinance. If all of that is decided, the Implementation Plan amendment ordinance will come before council to be adopted, and direct staff to submit to the Coastal Commission for certification. Staff will also submit the LCP amendment application to the Coastal Commission. The Coastal Commission can not respond and the property will be disposed to the adjoining property holder, or staff will return to Council with negotiation results.

    Council Questions

    No questions from Council.

    Public hearing public comment

    One commenter from the public shared hearing from other people in the community about excitement about the hotel being built, noted the need for housing and supports the zoning that allows for residential components.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Moulton commended Senior Planner Castellano on synthesizing the hundreds of pages into a concise and informative report. Noted that the situation itself is ridiculous, and happily supports what needs to be done to correct it.

    Councilmember Castellano appreciates the time staff has spent on this item and the ongoing commitment to support the development of cohesive plans around properties, looks forward to seeing what happens next.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to adopt the resolutions and introduce the ordinance; motion carries with four yes votes and Councilmember Contreras-Deloach absent.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of March 5, 2024 Council meeting

    March 5, 2024 Minutes

    F.2. Eureka Rhododendron Parade Sponsorship

    Agenda Summary - Rhododendron Parade

    F.3. Senate Bill 1119 Letter of Support

    Agenda Summary - SB 1119

    Letter of Support - SB1119

    F.4. Coast Guard Building Improvements - Acceptance

    Agenda Summary - Acceptance

    F.5. Crowley Property Electrical Installation Project - Award

    Agenda Summary - Award Crowley Electrical Bid

    F.6. Crowley Property Electrical Equipment Purchase - Award

    Agenda Summary - Award Crowley Electrical Equipment Purchase

    F.7. Amend Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program (PLHA) Plan

    Agenda Summary - PLHA

    Application Resolution

    PLHA Budget Revision

    F.8. Salary Schedule Update - April 2024

    Agenda Summary - Salary Schedule April 2024

    Resolution - Salary Schedule April 2024

    Salary Schedule April 2024

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the consent calendar; motion carries with four yes votes, Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach absent.

    H. Ordinances & Resolutions - Watch

    H.1. Memorandum of Understanding - Eureka Police Officer's Association/City of Eureka - Watch

    Agenda Summary - EPOA MOU 2024-2027

    Summary of Revisions

    Resolution - EPOA MOU 2024-2027

    EPOA MOU 2024-2027

    Presented by Human Resources Director Will Folger.

    The is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was reached between the City of Eureka and the Eureka Police Officers Association (EPOA). The resolution authorizes the Mayor to execute the MOU effect July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2027. This MOU includes increases to base salaries, longevity and retention base salary increase, change in the retirement plan, increase to professional certification compensation, increases to uniform allowances, and incorporates previously agreed-upon side letters. This three-year agreement represents a significant investment to the City's dedicated professional law enforcement and public safety personnel. This also represents another example of the strong partnership that does exist between the City and EPOA. This was an example of good-faith bargaining; we were able to resolve this rather quickly, amicably, and really appreciate the partnership we have with that unit. Important to point out that this rather significant contract provides a lot of stability moving forward for the next three years, includes much-needed cost-of-living adjustments and other benefits for our public safety union that they can look forward to over that time, and all of that is made possible by Measure H. [The City's] ability to respond to the needs of that unit rests firmly in the tax revenues that are generated by Measure H and are dedicated to those public safety personnel.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Bauer thanked Director Folger and EPOA, noted that he believes it is a fair contract and will be good for the competitiveness for the City in this tight labor market. Director Folger thanked Council and the members who aided in the process.

    Councilmember Fernandez noted a broad question, asked how this compares to other municipalities in the region. Answer: Director Folger noted that [the City] views this as a very competitive package in terms of wages and benefit adjustments that make [the City] on par with and very competitive within our local labor market. This is a significant investment, and this is a broad question. This was what was discussed going into the discussions, and this agreement addresses the needs brought forward by the EPOA, based on the requests they had and the prioritization of their needs, and doing the best to address them in a meaningful way to resolve the challenges in staffing, recruitment, and retention. These issues are occurring everywhere across all industries, and particularly in law enforcement. Broadly sees this as a significant step in the right direction in addressing challenges that we have. Director Folger doesn't think that the parties would agree to this agreement unless they felt that it was acceptable. Councilmember Fernandez agreed with Director Folger that this agreement won't solve all of the issues around recruitment and retention but it does help mitigate those. Councilmember Fernandez noted there was public comment that stated that Measure H funds have not been used for public safety, asked if the City was using Measure H funds for this agreement.Answer: Director Folger said that the answer to that was absolutely. [Measure H] was largely enacted as a general tax, intended to support public safety. That encompasses many things, and at the core of that is the EPOA, the Police department and the services they provide that are vital to public safety in our community. Without Measure H, the sustainability that has been seen over the last three year term contract and the contract that will replace it will not have been possible without the funds generated by Measure H. The funds are being applied directly not only to these agreed-to MOUs but other services that are infused into those department that provide the vital services. These are a large part, but only a part of the Measure H funding. City Manager Slattery noted, to the point that the public commenter was speaking about, the commenter referenced a slide detailing where funds beyond the previously sunset half-cent sales tax Measure Q and describing what that portion of Measure H was going to. There had always been money going to those items, both quality of life items which would include the Bay to Zoo trail as well as public safety, roads, streets infrastructure and non-streets infrastructure; all of that is a part of Measure H.

    Public comment for this item

    One person shared public comment, spoke about not using cameras and using those funds for public safety.

    Council Comments

    Mayor Bergel commented that she shared the appreciation for Director Folger and the EPOA, noted that this was a successful negotiation, appreciative of the process.


    Motion to Council

    Council voted to adopt the resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute the MOU; motion carries with four yes votes and one absent.

    H.2. Bill No. 1035 Open Space, Parks and Recreation Commission - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Bill No. 1035-C.S. OSPR

    Presented by Assistant City Manager Powell.

    This ordinance is a change to the configuration of the Open Space, Parks and Recreation Commission from the current configuration of nine members to a requested number of seven members. The language is modified to be the same as the majority of the other boards and commissions, which gives Council the ability to have five or seven members, depending on interest and the actions that the boards need to take. This commission had nine members, and until recently had four members who had served nearly 40 years on the commission. Two members had retired and have been replaced, and two more members retired at the end of 2023. Community Services staff would like to make the board a little more manageable at seven members, which is the same configuration as the Transportation Safety Commission, and not replace the vacated board positions. This is an introduction of the ordinance.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Moulton asked to clarify if making this change would make the meetings of the commission more manageable, if scheduling so that a body of nine members will be able to all attend is difficult. Answer: Assistant City Manager Powell noted that was exactly it, there have been many instances of needing to cancel meetings due to a lack of quorum; have not been able to get a quorum for this commission in the last two months. Councilmember Moulton noted that this is a great opportunity to invite people to serve on Boards and Commissions, noted that it is a time commitment of a few days a year, and are the people who make decisions in the City. [To learn more or apply for appointment view the Boards and Commissions page. Board vacancies will be listed on the Board & Commissions page and announced at Council meetings. For further information, please contact Assistant City Clerk Shannon Fazio.]

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if it would be simpler to just have a five member body. Answer: Assistant City Manager Powell noted that at this point there are seven serving members of the board, and would not want to ask two people to leave. If staff does find that it becomes difficult to replace members as terms expire, the language in the proposed ordinance would allow Council the ability to appoint five or seven members with a request from staff.

    Public comment for this item

    One person commented, asked that the title of the commission to include the Oxford comma in the name of the name of the commission.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if the comment could be added.Assistant City Manager Powell said that the comma could be added, will appear when the ordinance appears before Council for adoption.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to introduce the ordinance; motion carried with four yes votes and one absent.

    I. Reports & Action Items - Watch

    I.1. Planning Commission Vacation Rental Report - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Planning Commission Report and Public Comments Received

    Presented by Development Services Director Kenyon and Planning Commissioner Kraft and Planning Commissioner Lazar.

    The Planning Commission formed a subcommittee for two commissioners to gather information and form policy recommendations on the regulation of vacation rentals within the City to present to City Council, and this is that presentation. Director Kenyon expressed thanks for the work that the Planning Commission does on behalf of the City.

    The Planning Commission dives into technical items in the Planning code, such as the Notch that had come before Council previously. Vacations Rentals have been the subject of heated debate, when coming before the Planning Commission, and the Commission believes that this is an important point to bring to Council, as it is a cause of disharmony in Eureka neighborhoods.

    The primary issues are housing affordability, neighborhood harmony, and overall percentage of vacation rentals as a part of the rental properties, and density. Vacation rentals [also called short term rentals or STRs] in a community can provide choice for visitors, they provide Transient Occupancy Taxes, but they also affect housing affordability and have other downsides that should be managed.

    Information from Rentor, a property management firm that has about five percent of the rental units in Humboldt County. They are concentrated in the Humboldt Bay area, and Commissioner Kraft believes that this is a decent snapshot of what is available in Eureka. The median rental cost for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Eureka is about $2,200 per month, while a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home or apartment would be about $1,325 per month. As of December, there was a 99% occupancy rate, which is a very tight market. Traditional measure of affordability is that housing costs including utilities should be a third or less of total income. Median household income in Eureka is $51,971 annually. The annual income for a family to consider the two-bed, one-bath unit would be $47,000, and the annual income for a family to consider the three-bed, two-bath affordable would be $79,200.

    The current density of STRs show that two and a half percent of available rental units are used as vacation rentals; however the long term rentals are only about thirty percent of what is being advertised, which leads to a feeling of STRs taking over the rental market.

    The Planning Commission would like to see a change to a how permits are issued, would like to see them as renewable licenses rather than permits that run with the property. Academic research shows that as density of SRTs increase, rental rates increase. Planning Commission implements policy passed by the Council, and the Commission would like more concrete guidance from Council. The Planning Commission provides recommendations of directions Council can provide staff if Council agrees, to direct staff to complete the STR compliance drive, to direct City Planning staff to research and report to the Planning Commission on potential regulatory changes, to direct the Planning Commission to provide recommendations to Council, and for Council to then update codes, with potential implementation for 2025.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Moulton asked what was the large item on the map of compliant and non-compliant STRs. Answer: Commissioner Kraft was directed by City Attorney Luna to not directly identify properties, and Director Kenyon was able to clarify that the large yellow square is the Eureka Inn, and that the Host Compliance report will pull all properties listed on short term rental sites, including hotels that may advertise there. The map is not completely accurate, but the point of it is to get the impression, and to see the general distribution of STRs throughout the City. Commissioner Kraft noted that some of the visuals may not be statistically factual, but they illustrate facts. Commissioner Lazar noted that there are about 100 parcels on the map, and that the map is highlighting the footprint of parcels, and the data is from July of 2023.

    Councilmember Castellano asked if the number of out of town owners is known or included in this report. Answer: Commissioner Kraft did not review that information, noted that there is a requirement for an emergency contact within 50 miles. Councilmember Castellano asked if that could be included in future reports. Director Kenyon will be able to do so. Councilmember Castellano asked if STRs pay the same TOT rate as hotels. Councilmember Castellano asked what the fees for a STR are. Director Kenyon noted that there are many factors that go into what fees could be, can come back to Council with that information.

    Councilmember Castellano asked about the public comment that cited different numbers of STRs, could Director Kenyon speak to the source of the numbers of STRs. Director Kenyon guessed that the source of the commenters information could be looking at the greater Eureka area, not just within City limits, and there were just two categories, whole unit and renting a room. When staff and Commissioners reviewed properties and how they are being used, it seems like a lot of the units are rooms with a door to the outside that have been converted to a hotel suite. Those are being called separate units, but are still part of the house.

    Councilmember Bauer asked if there were indications in the data that show that the numbers of STRs are increasing and becoming a bigger issue, noted that there news items about private equity buying up rentals and taking over the rental market, asked if there were trends or other indications to consider if Council sets limits on STRs. Answer: Commissioner Kraft answered for himself, did not see indications of a rush, but noted that if he were designing a cap and agrees that there should be a cap, he would set the cap higher that the current amount to not cause a rush. Sees an opportunity to manage before it becomes a problem, and doesn't believe that there are issues yet. City Manager Slattery added that he believes Commissioner Kraft's personal opinion is accurate, does not see the numbers as reported by Directory Millar that the numbers have fluctuated, but do not see a distinct trend of increasing or decreasing.

    Councilmember Fernandez referenced request outlined in the report of creating an easier permitting path for someone residing at the property as opposed to an out of area operator, how that could be achieved without raising civil rights or equity issues. Answer: Commission Kraft doesn't have the specifics, has seen enough examples to know that it has been done before. Commissioner Lazar noted that the STR regulations by the County differentiate between home-share and full home rentals, not without precedent and is doable, and also shows how the conversation about STRs is more nuanced now. Noted that the City was one of the earliest jurisdictions to regulate STRs and provide a permitting pathway, and now believes it's time to determine if should differentiate between different types and set different caps and considerations, given the consequences of the different types of rentals.

    Councilmember Fernandez noted that the City code allows for caps, asked if the City current has a cap in place. Answer: Director Kenyon said there are not caps currently. City Manager Slattery noted that what is being recommended by the Planning Commission is what the intent of, seems to be consistent with the direction that Council has given us, which is basically we have regulations in place for these properties to be permitted, we're getting a hold of what the numbers are, sending out letters to those who are non-compliant and getting them into compliance, and then when we get to that point where we have people in compliance and we have a hold of the numbers, then come back and discuss regulations.

    Public comment for this item

    No public comment for this item.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano tends to agree with the recommendations from the Planning Commission, would like to know how many are out of town owners. Is familiar with other communities who have restrictions in place regarding operators who live onsite, and could be something to consider further. Would like to see a "menu" of options. Noted that something that was striking was that what the income from vacation rental can be, and also considering the social cost of people not having access to housing. Within the City, are investing funds to help people with rent and other assistance, is the City losing resources through essentially subsidizing the housing that is lost to STRs, would like to see further assessment of that. Would like to see fees higher to recognize the impact they have on the community. Would like to look at the density of rentals in a community, and considering different thresholds for on-site and off-site operators.

    Councilmember Bauer commented that Councilmember Castellano laid out the issues very well, noted that perhaps not higher permit fees, but rather permit fees that match staff time, do not want to subsidize the permitting process. Appreciates the report and the recommended steps timeline. Hopes that people in the community are coming into compliance, the intent is to make it a legal structure, legitimatize and make something to contribute to the community.

    Mayor Bergel also shared appreciation for the Commissioners and staff for the work that is done during the Planning Commission meetings and outside of the meetings.

    I.2. Jacobs Campus Town Hall Debrief and Next Steps - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Presented by Assistant Planner Ponce and Development Services Director Kenyon

    The Jacobs site is a former middle school, built in 1956 and closed in 1982. The facilities were used until 2009, and the District demolished the unused buildings in 2021 and began negotiations to sell the property at about that same time, including with the City of Eureka. The school board made the decision to enter into an exchange agreement with AMG Communities - Jacobs LLC in December of 2023. The southern portion of 8.3 acres of the site are being sold to a developer, and funds from the sale will be used for the District's capital facility needs, and the District will retain the upper 5.8 acres and continue to use them as ball fields. The developer and the District remain under contract for the land exchange, but the closing date has not been set, and the developer has not informed the City about future development plans. This site is of great interest as the City is largely built out, and few sites of this size are realistically available for new development.

    Councilmember Moulton held a Town Hall meeting on January 23 in response to questions from the community about the District's decision to sell the property to the developer, which provided a forum for the community to pose questions and gave staff input about what the community would like to see at that site.

    Over 100 community members attended the meeting, in person and on Zoom. A majority of the attendees lived next door or within the neighborhood, and most people people reported that they came to the meeting because they are concerned about what will happen to the site and how it will affect them.

    After presentations to the group by staff and a neighborhood group, attendees were asked three questions or prompts, and the answers were tallied and the most common responses were gathered.

    Question 1. What do you love about the neighborhood around the Jacobs site (what's working)? Most common responses: affordable, good neighbors, walkability, safe, young families, diversity, ocean view.

    Question 2. What are your biggest concerns (what could be better)? Most common responses: Traffic, speeding vehicles, better public transit, ADA accessibility and sidewalks, trash, safety, crime, over population, gentrification.

    Question 3. Knowing the lower 8.3 acres are being sold to a private developer, what is your dream or vision for the Jacobs site? Most common responses: community space, community recreation, publicly accessible communal amenities such as swimming pool, bike paths, and dog parks.

    There is consensus among the community in concern about the site, the desire for transparency, and public involvement in the planning and development of the site. There was no clear consensus on the best use of the site going forward. Some community members were disappointed that negotiations with California Highway Patrol were unsuccessful. There was discussion about what private development may be appropriate for this site, and there were differing opinions. A desire for solely community amenities aren't feasible, and there were various concerns reported around what kinds of housing could be built, concerns around high-density, building height, traffic and parking, safety, and property values. People also wished to see low-density, affordable, mixed income and owner-occupied housing. Community members also would like to see mixed use such as small shops, medical offices, neighborhood markets, and restaurants.

    Director Kenyon reiterated that the City and the School District are separate entities, and the Jacobs site is not owned by the City and do not have site control. The City does have influence over the future use of the site through zoning power. The site is currently zoned designated Public Facilities, which limits the site to public and civic uses. Any private development would require Zoning and General Plan Map amendments to rezone the site. Rezoning can be initiated by the property owner, City Council, or by ballot initiative and there is a ballot initiative that qualified for the City's next general election that if passed would in part require the City to rezone the Jacobs site.

    State law requires the City to approve a rezone of unused school sites to at least the same as adjacent properties, and the zoning adjacent to the site is Residential Low (R1). The City could also rezone to Residential Medium (R2) or Residential High (R3), or to a mixed use Neighborhood Commercial (NC), which would allow limited-scale neighborhood-serving commercial uses and residential uses. These are base zones, and the City also has overlay zones that can be applied to a base zone to add restrictions or additional allowances, such as a Neighborhood Market Overlay to allow limited neighborhood-serving uses in a residential zone. There are also Special Considerations Overlay that are site-specific standards that can be adopted through ordinance.

    Staff has identified three different potential next steps for City Council. Council could initiate General Plan and Zoning Map amendments for the lower portion of the Jacobs site. Staff does recommend doing optional additional background work to determine how to rezone this site. Staff would recommend additional public outreach, hiring and expert to perform an economic feasibility analysis to determined what could be supported in this market, and hiring a graphic designer to explore different site layout configurations, test site capacity, and use the visuals to communicate options. Based on this research and outreach, the City would propose new land use designation and base zoning district, and an optional development of a Special Consideration Overlay ordinance tailored to the Jacobs site. Staff does anticipate the rezoning of the Jacobs site will require CEQA environmental analysis, likely a Mitigated Negative Declaration, and the amendment would require noticed public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council. The estimated cost for this option is around $75,000, approximately $35,000 of which would be for the CEQA environmental review. Rezoning would not affect the use of the site by state agencies; they do not have to follow local zoning. Rezoning could be completed by the end of the year if begin the process right away, but if the initiative passes, could be required to rezone again. At that point, additional CEQA environmental review would not be required if rezoning is required by voters.

    The City could instead develop and adopt a new 'Mixed Neighborhood" Overlay Zone that could be applied to the Jacobs site and other sites around the City. This would be similar to the Neighborhood Market overlay and would have per-determined standards for integrating higher-density residential and mixed uses into predominately single-family neighborhoods. The standards would be focused on form, design, and layout of buildings and sites to ensure compatibility in scale with surrounding single-family homes. The overlay would include diagrams or other visuals to help communicate the communities vision for appropriate form and scale of development. The same density can look very different depending on what form that development takes. The older neighborhoods of Eureka have great examples of blending of higher-density residences in predominately single-family neighborhoods, sometimes from conversions of existing large housing into smaller units. This overlay would be an attempt to recreate these gentle density using overlay regulations. The steps for this option would be similar to the rezoning option by starting with public outreach, visual communications of different options, overlay development and public hearings before the Planning Commission and Council. As this overlay would add to an existing base zone, staff anticipates being able to use a common sense CEQA exemption, which means the estimated cost would be cheaper, at about $40,000. This could also be completed by the end of the year, and could be applied to the Jacobs site in the future regardless of whether the initiative passes, and could be applied elsewhere in the City.

    Alternately, the City could do neither of these and take no action at this time, but wait for greater certainty about the site ownership and the results of the ballot initiative, or wait for the School District or future owners to request the land use or zoning map amendments. If the property owner initiates the rezoning, they pay for the process.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Moulton appreciates the synthesis of the Town Hall and all of the differing opinions, asked about the rezoning process, if the City did the rezoning, and the ballot initiative passed and the City would need to rezone again, would would the second rezoning cost. Answer: Director Kenyon said that if the City was rezoning as a result of the ballot initiative, there would be no point in doing any public outreach or background analysis, the City would not be able to change anything about what the initiative would require, would be paying the cost of going to the Planning Commission and City Council twice with newspaper and mailed notices, which is about $5,000. Councilmember Moulton: if the City did nothing and the ballot initiative passed and the City were to rezone then, is that about what it would cost? Director Kenyon: yes.

    Councilmember Moulton asked what the $40,000 cost in the mixed overlay option include. Answer: Director Kenyon explained that is the cost of the outreach that the City would conduct, and the graphic design to create visuals to communicate what forms would be appropriate in a single-family neighborhood, to show single-family scaled would allow for multiple units or commercial, and then developing that ordinance to those design standards, and would include diagrams or other visuals incorporated into that ordinance, and then going before Planning Commission and Council. Graphic design is a large portion of the cost, would have to hire someone to do that, do not have graphic designer on staff.

    Councilmember Moulton noted that if the City were to rezone and the ballot initiative passed, that would undo the rezoning, asked what would happen if the overlay were to be implemented at the Jacobs site and then the ballot initiative were to pass, what that would do to the overlay. Answer: Director Kenyon said that ballot initiative focuses on what uses are allowed, and it requires that 40% of the site to be reserved for high density residential. The City would have to make sure that the overlay is written in a way to not impede any of that, if it was focused only on design and form, do not anticipate it conflicting with the initiative.Councilmember Moulton: the overlay would be more of what it could look like, not necessarily what can happen there. Director Kenyon: correct, it wouldn't be controlling uses, it would be controlling form.

    Councilmember Castellano thanked staff and Councilmember Moulton for holding the public meeting, it continues to be informative. Prefaced by saying that overlays and form-based code is cool, asked if an overlay were developed and if the Jacobs site remained zoned public, would the site eventually need to be rezoned or could an overlay be incongruent. Answer: Director Kenyon said that the focus of the overlay would be on housing and commercial, and would not apply to a public base zone. Councilmember Castellano asked if the overlay were to be developed, would it be applied to other sites in Eureka, a useful tool in general. Answer: Director Kenyon said that is the thought process behind this option, that it would be a useful tool to help understand what the density requirements mean, to help communicate what different density levels can look like, and also looking forward, if are looking to up-zone a transitional area and are concerned about nearby neighborhoods and how that could affect their character, could apply this overlay in those situations. That is part of the cost of the general overlay, would be looking at a number of neighborhoods in the City to develop that overlay, to make sure it is more broadly appropriate. If were just focused on the Jacobs site, would only be looking at that site. Councilmember Castellano noted that the public process in both the zoning change and overlay option would be equally as robust. Director Kenyon: correct, if developing a general overlay, would not be so focused on just the Jacobs site, would be thinking about single-family neighborhoods in general.

    Councilmember Fernandez confirmed that Council is giving direction and not voting on this item, asked if the City has made the attempt to reach out to the developer. Asked if the City has done anything like this in the past, where a parcel was in escrow or newly purchased, and the City has changed the land use designation or approved a new overlay. Answer City Manager Slattery: confirmed that Council is providing direction and not voting, and that the City has attempted to reach out to the developer many times and not gotten any response. Director Kenyon clarified that the School District is still the owner of the site, they are in escrow, and there is not a known end of escrow date. City Manager Slattery is not aware of the City initiating a change in zoning or overlay application when a property has changed hands before. Director Kenyon noted that there were a number of properties that were rezoned with the Comprehensive Inland Zoning Code update, there were a number of properties that were rezoned, and that was a City initiative amendment. City Manager Slattery agreed, that as a part of the General Plan and zoning code updates, that has occurred before. Director Kenyon noted that they are in the process of updating zoning codes for the Local Coastal Program for the Coastal Zone. Councilmember Fernandez asked if this was something novel, or has the City done something similar in the past. City Manager Slattery: if reviewed properties where rezoning has occurred, it is possible that some were in escrow when rezoning had been implemented before. Director Kenyon noted that the rezoning process is usually initiated by the property owner. Councilmember Fernandez asked if the cost of the other two options would change if the City were to wait to see what happens. City Manager Slattery said that the cost would remain the same, if the City chose to do this two years from now, barring inflation, would be spending the same amount of money to implement an overlay. If the City did a CEQA on a rezone, it would be the same process. The processes outline by Director Kenyon would be the same. Councilmember Fernandez asked if the City went with the first two options, would the City be hosting a second town hall to get more input from residents. Answer: Director Kenyon confirmed, foresees the process as starting to really drill down into what people would feel is appropriate and get into details, if site-specific, if it were the overlay, look at typologies of building and surveying to see how people feel about different building types and items like that.

    Councilmember Bauer would like to get a broader sense of community development, have talked about a lot of housing projects. Asked how many large-scale projects are occurring in the city right now. Answer: Director Kenyon said there are a lot. There are five projects that are on City property that the City is actively helping with, helping with community meetings on for affordable housing, and then there are other private developments happening, like the ACGC two mixed-use developments in Old Town that are large developments. Councilmember Bauer asked if staff was consumed by these projects as far as time goes. Answer: Director Kenyon said that the department is busy. Did reach out to a consultant to see what the costs would be, can expand the capacity by tapping consultants to do planning work.Councilmember Bauer wanted to get a sense of what this would entail for staff to undertake another large project that the City may not have much say over in the end. Answer: Director Kenyon agreed that staff does have a lot of balls in the air, and adding more items would mean that some things could take longer, noted that there is always that opportunity cost.

    Public comment for this item

    Seven people shared public comment. One commenter spoke about other large high density locations in the region and is concerned about parking. One speaker commented about the structure of the town hall and would like for the bike plan project to do something similar. One speaker spoke about language and use of the term project and the connotations of that word in relation to housing. One commenter has been a resident of the neighborhood and asks Council to wait to take action to see what the new owner will do. One commenter is a homeowner and is excited to see development happen at the site. One commenter noted that the property doesn't belong to the City and why have any discussion. One commenter spoke about housing rental vacancy rates being low, and the market pricing people out of homes, would like Council to keep more ways to have homes to be built in mind.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano noted that the City has no control over the sale of the Jacobs site, and invites the public to reach out to the School District to share comments with them. Regarding the matter at hand, have seen that the public is activated about this site, and does not think that the conversation has to be dictated by the election cycle, and think it would be worthwhile to continue to nourish the public's interest in discussing land use, overlays, and similar items. Believes that an overlay would be a useful tool for potentially this site and for many other sites in the City. Would like to explore that and support public conversation in land use and what serves neighborhood interests, whether it is the Jacobs site or other sites in general.

    Councilmember Moulton commented why had asked staff to come back with options regarding the Jacobs site, and it is about the engagement of the public. People are fired up about this now. The second ward has the most young families with children, it is the poorest and most diverse neighborhood in town, and would guess that are also the people with the least amount of time available to go out in the evening and engage in politics. The fact that 100 people showed up in Chambers and on Zoom to discuss this, not just to complain but to also bring ideas about what they wanted. Wants to capture that, and that the people of the second ward deserve to have their voices heard, and should catch this now and not let it dissolve and become a footnote and let the Jacobs campus be a pawn in the broader scheme of everything that is happening in Eureka. Does not like the idea of spending money on something that could potentially end up just going out of the window. Councilmember Moulton does like the idea of creating a zoning code overlay that would address the concerns of the folks in the neighborhood and have multiple purposes going down the road; spend money creating something that would not just be useful on the Jacobs campus, and satisfy the concerns of the second ward, but also be of use to the City going forward. The the cost of not doing anything is not nothing. The cost of not doing anything is the input, the goodwill, the happiness of the people in the second ward, who live where the Jacobs site is.

    Councilmember Fernandez was was elected to the School Board in 2018 after Jacobs had been closed, and it took about a year to get the site moving to the point of being razed. Understands the anxiety around the site. Inclined to wait as the property hasn't changed hands yet. Is in favor of an overlay, believe would serve to hold another town hall to see what that means. Not inclined to approve another $40,000 until have a clearer picture.

    Councilmember Bauer agrees with the rest of Council, agrees that an overlay would be good, and also agree most strongly with Councilmember Fernandez about waiting, do not want to spend money on a hypothetical. There are a lot of developments that are in the works and trying to keep momentum going. Until the ballot initiative is decided, would rather focus efforts on what we already know we can do and what staff is already doing. Leaning toward waiting it out to see what happens.

    Councilmember Castellano appreciates the concerns for staff time, appreciates the perspective from Councilmember Moulton as the representative for the people who live at the Jacobs site. Asked if there could be a space to compromise by looking at cost savings with the overlay options, and keep the conversation happening, but without sidelining the other projects that staff is already working on, if there is consensus from Council in terms of moving forward. Director Kenyon noted that could start off with public meetings, and not commit to the whole process right away.

    Councilmember Moulton noted that if the City does something it might get changed, and noted that if there is development at the Jacobs campus it will not likely be a school again, and will change to something. Believes that the starting point should be what the people in the public want. If the City were to create a mixed neighborhood overlay, would that be an efficiency in other developments, if that were already ready to go with that public input process, would that make it easier and faster to integrate higher density housing into single-family neighborhoods. Director Kenyon: yes, foresees it being helpful in the future. Councilmember Moulton: it could be a short-term expenditure of staff time but a long-term savings. Director Kenyon: yes. City Manager Slattery added to clarify, based on comments made about the overlay, and how it would change; an overlay would not change with the ballot measure, if the overlay went through, the ballot measure would have no effect on that. Councilmember Moulton added that it would remain useful and be useful in other parts of the City doing work that would need to be done ahead of time.

    Councilmember Fernandez has concerns about the public not having understanding of what an overlay is, is not inclined to say yes to that until people have a better understanding of what it is.

    Councilmember Moulton understands that part of the process and expense in the overlay option would be the public education and communication and logistics aspects of teaching the public and gathering the input based on the specific education about how things would look and how things would lay out. Director Kenyon confirmed this. Councilmember Moulton commented that this items is asking if we do the rezoning, if we do the zoning overlay, which in order to move forward would have this expense but would be useful in a variety of ways in the city, or do we do nothing. Director Kenyon: or move forward with public meetings to talk more about overlays and options and things like that. Councilmember Moulton: potentially a town hall that is purely educational about zoning overlays? Director Kenyon: I guess. Councilmember Moulton: somehow I don't see that as being as enthusiastically participated in as the town hall we have already hosted and gotten a lot of feedback from, and spent a lot of time analyzing the feedback from.

    Councilmember Castellano noted that it doesn't have to be an abstract overlay town hall, it makes sense to have context, and it makes sense to have the context be the Jacobs site as a case use example of what it might look like, is a useful study, is very much in the intention, and could get people participating and thinking and also learning about overlays.

    Director Kenyon asked if Council would like staff to bring an item back to the next Council meeting with a recommended motion. Mayor Bergel noted that there is not consensus, so that may be the way to move forward. City Attorney Luna suggested that Council narrow down and dispose of items that do not want to consider on an up or down motion. Noted hearing some consensus of not being in favor of a rezone at this stage.

    Councilmember Moulton would be satisfied with further conversation, as it sounds like most of Council are not in favor of outright rezoning with the cost and potential waste of effort and money there. Want more information about the potential for a mixed neighborhood zoning overlay and how that would look. Council is in consensus. Director Kenyon will provide more information about the mixed neighborhood overlay option and a potential recommended motion moving forward.

    I.4. Housing Element Annual Progress Report - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Housing Element Annual Progress Report

    Presented by Development Services Director Kenyon

    Housing Element annual progress report (APR) for calendar year 2023, is required by the State; State Housing Law requires every county and city in California to plan for a share of the states total expected housing need in their Housing Element, which is part of their General Plans. This is on an eight year cycle, and the current cycle runs through 2027. The State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) determines how much housing at the different affordability levels is needed for each region, the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). The state allocated Humboldt County 3,390 dwelling units for the 2019 to 2027 cycle, and that is the goal of building that many net new units in that cycle. Those are divided into income levels.

    The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) allocates the RHNA numbers across the jurisdictions within the region. HCAOG allocated 952 units to Eureka, or 28% of the total number of units. The share is based on the percent of the regional population and workforce, averaging those two percentages. The RHNA allocations are divided into four income sub-categories, and for a housing unit to be affordable to that income category, the housing costs including utilities need to be about 30% or less of monthly income. State law requires the City to provide adequate land with adequate development standards to accommodate the RHNA numbers, and the City must report on the progress to meeting the RHNA each year.

    The City reports four different metrics in a document provided by HCD, complete permit applications for new housing units, building permits approved but not yet issued, building permits issued and fees paid, and when Certificate of Occupancy has been granted, or the permit is 'finaled.' HCD tracks progress toward RHNA numbers when permits are issued, not when the Certificates of Occupancy are granted. The APR is only reporting on new units, which are separate living quarters and includes accessory dwelling units (ADU), Homekey conversions, and single-room occupancy units. Does not include shared living quarters like dorms or assisted living facilities with group living arrangements, or quarters in institutions or general hospitals, student housing, or quarters in transient occupancy hotels. The APR also only includes applications in 2023, not ongoing projects.

    The 2023 Housing Element APR includes 30 separate new housing applications totaling 47 units, and the vast majority of the projects were ADUs. Four projects required discretionary approvals. 27 separate building permits were issued, totaling 29 units and 21 of those units were ADUs. 21 Certificates of Occupancy were issued, totaling 70 units, 49 of those units were in the Providence Supportive Housing project on 4th Street, where a motel was converted into 48 very-low income units and one manager's unit.

    The reporting table generated by document provided by HCD shows the City has only met 16% of the required housing units with 152 new units to date, but Director Kenyon believes that the table is not correct and that the City is farther along. It appears that two Homekey projects were not reported, and another projects was reported in the incorrect income category. These corrections increase the total number of units to date to 218, or 23% of the RHNA numbers.

    There were 37 distinct ADUs where a building permits was approved, issued, or finaled in 2023. They averaged to be about 600 square feet in size. 15 units were new construction and 22 were conversion or legalization of an existing space. A lot of the conversions were converting garages, and the average and median costs were between $45,000 and $46,000. The of the new construction permits for only ADUs, they were much more expensive than the conversions, including installation of per-fabricated ADUs on new foundations.

    ADUs mostly only require a building permit and are allowed on any parcel in any district in conjunction with a single- or multi-family dwelling. Sewer and water impact fees are waived. No new parking spaces are required for an ADU, and if existing covered parking is eliminated to create the ADU, replacement parking is not required. ADUs do not count toward maximum density, floor area ratio, or site coverage standards, it is a bonus unit above site standards.

    Motion to Extend Meeting

    Council voted to continue the meeting until 10:00 p.m.; motion carried with four yes votes and one absent.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Castellano asked if the Providence site is now full, and noted that senior home repairs were mentioned in the housing element and the general plan report and would like to hear more about that program and the implementation. Answer: City Manager Slattery said that the Mother Bernard site operated by Providence is now full and has a waiting list, and the Housing Manager in the Finance Department can provide information about the senior home repair program.

    Public comment for this item

    Two people provided public comment. One commenter noted that the RHNA numbers should be a floor and not a ceiling, would encourage the City to increase housing beyond the numbers mandated by the state. Another commenter noted they were not aware of the senior home improvement program.

    I.5. 2040 General Plan Annual Progress Report - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    2040 General Plan Progress Report 2023

    Review the 2040 General Plan - Learn more information about the 2040 General Plan and review previous progress reports

    Presented by Senior Planner Castellano

    The California Government Code section 65400 requires the City to submit an annual progress report (APR) on the implementation of its General Plan to the City Council and to the State by April 1 each year. The General Plan APR highlights key accomplishments in implementing the City's 2040 General Plan during calendar year 2023. The accomplishments are organized by their respective goals. This year's APR is not a complete list, anticipate this being more comprehensive next year.

    A General Plan works as a blueprint for a local government and how that jurisdiction will develop, and is a requirement from the State of California. Has a long-term planning horizon of 20 to 25 years. The City's 2040 General Plan lays out the future of the City's development in general terms through a series of policy statements and maps, and is the supreme document from which all local land use decisions must derive.

    All General Plans in California must include seven mandatory elements: Land Use, Housing, Open Space, Conservation, Safety, Circulation, and Noise. It can include additional optional elements that speak to other topics of local interest. The 2040 General Plan's

    The 2040 General Plan's required and optional elements are presented in the following five sections:

    • Section 3.1 Our Community: Land Use, Housing (under separate cover), Economy, and Historic and Cultural Preservation
    • Section 3.2 Our Environment: Natural Resources and Open Space, Agriculture and Timberlands, and Air Quality and Climate Change
    • Section 3.3 Our Civic Resources: Arts and Culture, Parks and Recreation, and Community Services
    • Section 3.4 Our Infrastructure: Mobility and Utilities
    • Section 3.5 Our Well-Being: Health and Safety, and Noise

    The City began the process of updating the General Plan in 2013, the previous general plan had been updated in 1997. The update process spanned five years and included outreach and deliberation through stakeholder interviews, community workshops, web-based virtual town halls, focus groups, landowner requests, City Council and Planning Commission check-in sessions, environmental impact review scoping meeting, dedicated website, community flyers, media releases and public hears. The City adopted the 2040 General Plan in October of 2018, and began the Housing Element update in April of 2019. Council adopted the 2019 to 2027 housing element in December of 2019. The Housing element is a component of the General Plan, but is on an 8 year cycle.

    Council will receive the report tonight, and if there are changes recommended, those changes do not need to go through a process. Staff will then submit the report to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) by the April 1 deadline.

    Council Questions

    No questions for this item.

    Public comment for this item

    One commenter asked how to access the General Plan.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano would like to encourage the public to review the general plan, since so much of what the City does comes from this document.

    Mayor Bergel added that the document is easy to read, also encourages the public to review the document.

    Councilmember Bauer noted that has heard from the public with questions about why the City may be embarking on a project, and that a lot of those projects are ones that have been listed in the General Plan for a number of years.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    Councilmember Castellano noted a reference to the Homeless Strategy and Master Plan in another document, would like to ask staff to provide an update, in a time-frame that works well for staff. Response: consensus from Council.

    Councilmember Fernandez would like an update on the street pavement and rehabilitation. Response: City Manager Slattery said that the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) report will be coming before Council at a meeting in April; this satisfies the request.

    Councilmember Bauer would like to explore what the County is doing regarding nitrous oxide, and explore if the City would like to take their same approach. Response: consensus from Council.

    K. City Manager Reports - Watch

    City Manager Slattery thanked Development Services staff on being able to adapt to the needs of the room and still provide efficient reports and reach all of the pertinent issues.

    Introduced Assistant Planner Ponce, bringing a report of the neighborhood naming project, which is a part of the Strategic Visioning process.

    K.1. Update on Neighborhood Naming Effort - Watch

    Presented by Assistant Planner Ponce

    Brief update on the project. Have collected over 144 names from various forms of outreach. Planning staff started outreach for the project at the Friday Night Markets in June of 2023, have also tabled at College of the Redwoods and CalPoly Humboldt, and hopes to do more tabling now that the weather is getting warmer. If organization, event leader, or business owner is interested in hosting tables, please contact Assistant Planner Ponce via email. There are laminated maps in the lobby of City Hall and outside of Council Chambers for people to submit ideas, and have posted flyers. Have media coverage by local news organizations and a high school newspaper. Presented at committee meetings, and published a Talk Eureka webpage, where community members can submit, comment, and vote on ideas and suggestions. Since the page was published, have had about 500 views, and 38 people have contributed to the site. The platform may be difficult to use the mapping tools on phones. Have started working with a local high school student who will be working on this project as a part of their AP Government class project. Will be doing more targeted outreach to areas that have not had as many name submissions. Would love suggestions for outreach.

    Once enough broad input is received, the next step will be to analyze and present all of the feedback. The neighborhood naming effort is also a neighborhood mapping project, and anticipate the most difficult part will be to determine boundaries within the neighborhoods. Anticipate putting a survey together to have the community vote on different name and map options. After the results from that, will present to Council for review. If Council decides to adopt an official neighborhood map, would like to establish a process for the community to change names and boundaries in the future. When there is a final map, will be collaborate with other departments about how to incorporate those names into the neighborhoods. Could be through placards on street signs, or sidewalk art, or murals, banners, or items like that.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Councilmember Castellano traveled to Willits for the Redwood Empire CalCities meetings, will be traveling to Burbank for the CalCities policy meeting, will be participating in the Housing, Community, and Economic Development Policy committee . Attended Eureka Main Street meeting, as well as the Eureka Main Street Economic Vitality meeting. Attended the Bike Plan meeting, and will be hosting a Town Hall on Tuesday, April 30. The topic is open, if people in the First Ward would like to submit ideas, interested in focusing on neighborhood connection and community.

    Councilmember Moulton Attended a Joint Powers Authority meeting, attended the recent healing ceremony for Nex Benedict, was glad to acknowledge Two Spirit Day. Noted that the Sisters hosted a very moving and healing moment for folks who are feeling the hurt deeply and afraid for themselves or their loved ones. Honored to be there, and grateful for the folks in the community to take the time to put together what people need. Noted that the General Plan is available on the City website, look for the 2040 General Plan if using the website search bar.

    Councilmember Bauer also attended the CalCities meeting in Willits, attended Keep Eureka Beautiful Tree Planting and invited public to take part in a tree planting; will be traveling to CalCities Environmental Quality meeting. March 30 will being hosting a cleanup and invasive species removal with PacOut Green Team in Cooper Gulch. Historical Society will be showing Times-Standard newspapers from the past 20 years on display, at the Timber Heritage Association in Samoa, invites public to view.

    Councilmember Fernandez thanked staff for translating the Participatory Budget information into Spanish. Attended Pacific Well Policy Makers conference in Yosemite, will be following up with people from Truckee about deed-restricted housing for low-income buyers, would encourage staff to attend the California Climate and Energy Forum. Will be attending CalCities conference in Burbank for Government Transparency and Labor Relations Committee. Participated in ride-along with EPD, also attended the healing ceremony, and noted that Wiyot Two Feathers Family Services is a resource available in the community.

    Mayor Bergel May 4th is Mental Health Month, and will have a kickoff event, partnering with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and some other folks. Will be hosting a speaker from Canada, and will have two panels, one of professionals and one of people with lived experience.

    Adjournment - Watch

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  • Regular City Council Meeting - March 5, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Roll Call - Watch

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano presiding; Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Fernandez, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers. Absent: Mayor Bergel

    Report Out of Closed Session - Watch

    No report out of closed session.

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    Proclamation: Sons and Daughters of Italy 100th Anniversary

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Moulton, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Sons and Daughters of Italy.

    Proclamation: Brain Injury Awareness Month

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Fernandez, in recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month.

    Mayor’s Announcements, continued

    Nearly all of Council participated in Bowl for Kids Sake, fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Councilmember Moulton won trophy for best costume for the City of Eureka bowling team.

    B. Presentations - Watch

    B.1. CARE - Mental Health Update - Watch

    Presented by Managing Mental Health Clinician Jacob Rosen

    Crisis Alternative Response of Eureka (CARE) began in January of last year, and have first year of data, have just completed first big expansion.

    Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen joined staff in August of 2022, and staff Tyler and Shamieka began in January of 2023. Shamieka has since left to go back to school to become a clinician, and the CARE team is supportive of that. have hired three other staff in January of 2024.

    In 2023 had 784 total client contacts. 145 individual clients, 192 crisis contacts and 570 case management contacts, accomplished this with approximately 2.25 staff, as Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen's ability to be out in the field is limited as he is working on the development of the program. The bulk of the work was performed by Tyler and Shamieka.

    The number of client encounters rose with each quarter until Shamieka left the program in October, but the number of clients seen in the last quarter of 2023 were greater than the number of clients seen in the beginning of the year.

    About a quarter of the client contacts were crisis-related, which means that CARE either got the information dispatched from EPD and are co-responding with law enforcement, or have identified someone in crisis from a community member or another agency. The other 75% of contacts were case management contacts, which is either follow-up or crisis prevention; it isn't a crisis in that moment and CARE staff are working to engage the client to prevent a crisis from happening.

    In 2023, CARE diverted 76% of individuals being contacted for a crisis from being placed on a 5150 hold. ["5150" references the California law allowing a person to be placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold of up to 72 hours if a doctor or a police officer determines that the person is a danger to themselves or to others.] About 13% of people are placed on a 5150, and when that happens, the CARE team is able to walk the client through the system. The CARE team provides a warm hand-off to the emergency room and the Mobile Response Team with the County; aiming to streamline the process and minimize trauma as much as possible. [A "warm hand-off" here means that staff makes contact with another treatment provider or agency with the client present, as opposed to a "cold referral" where staff would give the client a brochure or phone number and let the client initiate contact.] The remaining 11% of client outcomes were people who were arrested for a crime.

    Anosognosia—or the symptomatic lack of insight—rates are an important indicator, can predict how many clients will return. When people have a severe mental illness and lose the ability to recognize that they are sick, that will often mean that there will be treatment resistance, and that will mean that CARE will have to engage in longer-term contacts to build more rapport to be able to get that person into treatment when they are ready for it. About 35% of the clients that CARE contacts exhibit that symptom, and has held steady from quarter to quarter.

    About 65% of clients are homeless or do not have permanent housing of some sort. About 35% are housed in some sort of supportive living or permanent residence.

    Client contacts broken down by what type of call from 2023, 182 of the calls were for someone who is danger to themself, 103 were for someone who is a danger to others, and 206 were related to a grave disability. Grave disability means that they were not able to provide food, shelter, or clothing due to a psychiatric condition. The number that was the most surprising was the 289 calls had a medical condition was either the primary reason that the crisis occurred or was exacerbating their mental status.

    About 37% of the calls that CARE went to in 2023 had a medical component as the primary stressor or an exacerbating factor. This information assists in how the program is developed and help determine what sort of staffing needs are needed when hiring in the future.

    CARE obtained a grant from CARESTAR Foundation at the end of 2023, for $625,000 over three years, which lead to the most recent expansion of services. CARE hired three new staff, Shayne, Sam and Mac, who all started in January of 2024, and have been orienting and getting trained since that time. This allows for a more robust presence in the community, with CARE staff available Monday through Friday. Staff is currently available at 7:30 a.m. each weekday morning, and until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 6:00 p.m. Fridays. CARE has moved into new building, and is looking forward to CSET moving in with them very soon.

    CARE has fully integrated with police radios. Each staff member has go through radio training with EPD's Communications department. This will allow more rapid communication with EPD and dispatch as the team is out on calls. This will also be a key factor in being able to realize the Alternative Response component. Staff has been participating in trainings from the State, counties have been mandated to implement mobile crisis teams statewide. Part of this is standardizing trainings, and making trainings available. Staff has completed about 80 hours of this training so far. Have been steadily integrating the team with Uplift and EPD. Program leaders have been meeting monthly with City Manager Slattery, and a monthly staff meeting with all staff from all three programs to work together.

    CARE has been involved with other programs in the City. CARE has been a component of the Emergency Weather Overnight Centers (EWOC), which most recently had been in use the previous weekend. This resource was accessed by 22 people over 2 nights. Part of that has been assisting in screening people and referring them to the centers, and coordinating with EPD and Uplift to get rides back to Free Meal the following morning. CARE also played a role in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training. The City played a large role in that through Commander Lafrance and Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen serving on the steering committee, and CARE and Uplift staff provided transportation for site visits. Attended by 45 people from various agencies.

    The next steps for CARE are to implement a true alternative response, and move to 7 days per week coverage. Have been working up to that, and now are working to have enough staff for two-person response teams 7 days per week.

    CARE will be creating triage protocols. CARE will not be primary response when there has been a crime, or if weapons are present or if there is violence. If there is a call that does not have those factors, that is likely a call that CARE can respond to directly. CARE would send a two-person response team in place of an officer, and would have the ability to radio for assistance or backup if needed. Hoping to roll this component out soon. Will be developing the protocols in the next month, and then will go from there.

    CARE will be working on hiring staff to realized the 7 day coverage, including holidays. 7 day coverage requires one clinician and two case managers on duty each day, working four 10-hour shifts with a day of overlap. Working on obtaining the funding to fill the last two positions to get to that staffing level, one more case manager and one more clinician needed. Seeking funding through various grants and some other funding opportunities coming up.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Moulton commented that this kind of model will be very helpful for folks who just need help and don't need to be in trouble. Asked what a diversion from 5150 looks like in practice. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen explained that one of the main things that CARE does is to provide deescalation, try to turn the "heat" down in a crisis. After CARE has provided deescalation, CARE works with therapeutic problem solving to see what resources someone needs, to see what the problem is and if it's something that can be remedied, can CARE provide skills or tools to be able to cope better over the next couple of days, to avoid that escalation back into that state where they may end up on that 5150. A lot of it is resource gathering or warm hand-offs—maybe that person already has a treatment team, and that would look like contacting that team to make that connection so that the treatment team can take over. For a lot of folks it is getting resources that they don't have or know how to access. Maybe they are new to the area and don't know about Free Meal. In that case, CARE would bring them to Free Meal. It can be assisting someone in getting their driver's license or ID or Social Security benefits reinstated, jumping through whatever hoops they can to deescalate that crisis and get their basic needs met and avoid having to go to a hospital.

    Councilmember Moulton asked about the calls that turned out to be medical issues, what medical issues could lead to someone being in a mental health crisis. Answer: Managing Mental Health Care Clinician Rosen explained that medical issues can lead to people entering a crisis, one that is seen often is older people with urinary tract infection (UTI), which if untreated, can present like psychosis or delirium. Someone may be hallucinating or talking to unseen others, may be disoriented and disorganized. In those situations there may be mental health call and when CARE responds may find out that they don't have a history of mental health issues, this has never happened before, and they are 65 years old. In those situations it is oftentimes a UTI. The thyroid can play a role in mental health issues, if levels are too high or too low can influence mania or depression. There are a lot of people stressed by circumstances; may have just received a terminal illness diagnosis, or have hurt themselves in some fashion and that is limiting their ability to care for themselves, and as a result have entered into crisis based on situational stress. In that situation, the medical issue isn't necessarily directly causing it, but it is the exacerbating factor that's entering them into crisis. The hope is to eventually seek funding through the CARESTAR Foundation in their next grant cycle to hire EMT case managers, so that we can provide more medical assessment capacity in the field, to accommodate this; it's a third of the calls to CARE where there is a chronic or acute medical component.

    Councilmember Moulton asked who is providing the medical assessment now, if it is the clinicians. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen explained that the team has some basic training in being able to rule out when it's not mental health, and in those situations will call in medical or delegate to law enforcement or to an EMT.

    Councilmember Fernandez noted that how UTI can affect people is widely known, thanked for explaining that. Asked if could help explain the relationship between the three distinct programs CARE and CSET and EPD, noted that one is housed within EPD and one is housed within the City. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen explained is as the programs being on a continuum of care. On one end there is Uplift Eureka, which provides social services and housing element, provide a lot of street outreach. The street outreach workers do provide a lot of mental health case management as well, engaging in deescalation and providing connection to services. CARE falls into acute mental health, substance use, crisis related arena. CSET touches on the mental health, substance use, crisis related arena but also then has an accountability component. There's a different effect on some folks when a uniformed officer is present, especially if its in collaboration with someone from CARE, and can have a dual approach. CSET is very important, as oftentimes that is who will have first contact with somebody who is having a mental health crisis. Having officers within EPD who are trained to go out and field mental health calls, especially as CARE is still building out the availability, is critically important. CSET are not officers who are on patrol and going from call to call, which allows for CARE to have a thorough co-response. If there is a client who is known to be in crisis, if they are dangerous and aggressive, CARE can respond with CSET and spend an hour or an hour and a half with that client with CSET present. That is not something that patrol would have the capacity to do because calls would be stacking up. City Manager Slattery made an organizational point, EPD is a department of the City. City Manager Slattery took over as city manager, moved social services programing under Economic Development, which falls under the City Manager's Office. When added CARE, included in with the Social Services programming, felt that providing community members with jobs and better quality of life, all of those things fell under Economic Development. Organizationally it falls under Economic Development which is overseen by the City Manager right now. Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen brought up that when there is a crime, a weapon, or violence, that if there is a mental health component co-responding with CSET or patrol and CARE staff or Uplift staff.

    Councilmember Fernadenz asked when CARE is diverting from 5150, is that through a recommendation to law enforcement, how is that determination made. Answer: Managing Mental health Clinician Rosen said that over the last year, it's been mutual and there has been a lot of consultation. Has appreciated EPD's willingness to work with CARE and discuss openly what the best avenue would be for a client. Oftentimes before any decision is made will step back, situation allowing, and will consult what the best option will be, if a crime has been committed and in that case performing the mental health evaluation for the jail, or if something that can be diverted to a lower level of care and jail and hospital are not necessary, in which case CARE can take over and dismiss patrol back into the community, and CARE will continue to work. That's what is being seen in 76% of the time, CARE taking over the call, getting someone what they need without law enforcement needing to be further involved. It is a collaborative approach, especially becuase clinicians within the County must be employed by County Behavioral Health in order to write a 5150. Currently Rosen cannot write that 5150 hold, but that is in process to be changed in the future.

    Councilmember Fernandez very glad to see the EWOCs available now; asked if there have been any behavioral or safety issues that have been brought up since these have been instituted in the last year. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen said that there haven't been issues at the centers themselves. There had been some issues in transporting people back, but then staff will dive in and do case-management work, and learn that other issues are arising, and at that point that is CARE staff fielding that. As far as the staff and community partners hosting those sites, there haven't been any issues.

    Councilmember Fernadenz asked if someone is intoxicated in some way, if they are still able to access the EWOC. Noted that these were implemented with the aim of having as few barriers as possible, and there haven't been any issues. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen agreed that there haven't been issues. When conducting the screening process, looking for lowest barriers possible, so unless someone is actively intoxicated to the degree where their behavior is going to become a problem or they're a medical risk due to the degree of intoxication, then letting people in to the EWOC. As far as behavioral or psychiatric issues, as long as people are able to maintain in a group setting, they can come in. The EWOCs also are equipped with kennels, had two dogs the first night and one dog the second night. Those people were people who otherwise would not have been able to access other shelters becuase the EWOCs do allow dogs and other pets. Have worked hard to keep the barriers to access low; as long as someone is not actively dying from a medical condition or actively acting out due to mental health or intoxication, we are getting folks in.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked for clarification on moving to a 7 day per week response. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen clarified that they are working toward the Alternative Response component over the next couple of months, will be implementing those protocols. Will also be seeking funding from grants and other potential funding sources to go to the 7 day per week model, but will need funding to fill those last two positions. Councilmember Fernandez asked if it would be a 24 hour program. Answer:To go to a 24 hour model, would need 3 more clinicians and 3 more case managers at minimum. Councilmember Fernandez asked how staffing times were determined. Answer: Staffing times are determined by analyzing 911 data from EPD, able to determine when peak number of mental health service requests are coming through, and able to stagger staffing times to meet those peaks. Currently, peak begins at about 10:00 a.m., and begin to decrease at 8:00 p.m. and hit the low for the night at 10:00 p.m.

    Councilmember Bauer noted the impact that the program has had in a short period of time. Noted that it is a difficult job, and affects things like the emergency room. Noted that hears a lot from the public about people yelling in the streets. Asked if that is a problem that is unique to Eureka. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen said that this is not a problem that is unique to Eureka, and seeing mental health service needs and demands rising across the country, finding that the rate that the mental health workforce is growing is not enough to meet the need. This gap leads to measures and initiatives being pushed to try to solve some issues legislatively. There have been a slew of studies, one from the Rand corporation, one from San Diego Workforce Partnership identifying that they will be approximately 18,000 workers short in the next 10 years. There's a lot of data that shows that we are coming up short and that we need more.

    Councilmember Bauer asked where people are coming from, are they part of the community that fall out of services, and when making contact, is staff asking that question. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen certainly follow up with that; one of the evidence-based practices for working with folks in crisis, especially once they are deescalated in that moment, is trying to return them to natural supports. What has worked in the past to deescalate and stabilize them, and how do we get that. Part of that is asking if they have family or friends or a social network that has supported them in the past and what has helped to enable their stability. Absolutely exploring that with the clients that are willing to work with and talk with the CARE team.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach noted that all the questions she would have asked have already been asked, shared appreciation for the program and all of the work that staff is doing across the different organizations and programs.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano noted for viewers that the slide that discussed the new location for the CARE offices showed a photo of the Pink Lady Mansion, but the offices are not in the Pink Lady. Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen clarified that the new offices are in what they are calling the Waterfront Annex, located at the former Englund Marine location, at the foot of Commercial Street.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano noted that there is coming legislation in California related to people with disabilites, and that Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen has a unique insight into this area. Asked if he was able to provide information or suggestions to the people implementing legislation or the people thinking about future work around people with disabilities. Answer: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen said that he does his best to advocate as much as he can; haven't had the direct ability to advocate. Clarified that Mayor Pro Tem Castallano was referring to the recent Senate Bill (SB) 43 expansion of the gravely disabled definition. Have not had a direct chance to speak about that, but would be happy to provide more information to Council about that.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano said that any time that the City of Eureka can help inform legislators about rural northern California and the creative solutions as well as the struggles; that is an important perspective to share. Would be excited for staff to participate in those conversations whenever possible. Response: Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen said that with regards to SB 43, he and Commander LaFrance, in collaboration with Redwood Coast Regional Center and County Behavioral Health are providing trainings on 5150 writing, autism spectrum disorder, and SB 43, and invited Councilmembers to attend the trainings to learn more if interested. County Behavioral Health Deputy Director Paul Bugnacki will be presenting on SB 43 and the County's approach, could see if that is something that could be presented to Council at a later date.

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Three people shared public comment. One commenter spoke about the land acknowledgement. One commenter spoke about PTSD and war in Gaza, asking for a ceasefire. One commenter spoke about detectable warning plates at intersections and crosswalks near Sequoia Park becoming tripping hazards.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of February 20, 2024

    February 20, 2024 Minutes

    F.2. Elk River WWTP Cogeneration System Upgrade - Acceptance

    Agenda Summary - Acceptance

    F.3. DOJ & FBI Background Check Authorization

    Agenda Summary - Background Check Authorization

    Resolution - Background Check Authorization

    F.4. Prohousing Incentive Program Funds Resolution

    Agenda Summary - Prohousing Incentive Program Funds

    Resolution - Prohousing Incentive Program Funds

    Motion to Council

    No items requested to be pulled from the Consent Calendar. Council voted to pass the entirety of the calendar; motion passed unanimously.

    G. Legislative Action Correspondence - Watch

    Councilmember Bauer would like staff to review SB [1119], dealing with hospitals and seismic retrofitting. Would like more information about whether the hospital operations would be affected, and would like to have a letter to bring back to the next Council meeting to support the hospital to give them more time.

    I. Reports & Action Items - Watch

    I.1. 2024 Participatory Budget Program - Watch

    Agenda Summary - 2024 Participatory Budget Program

    Presented by Finance Director Millar.

    Participatory Budgets are where community members decide how to spend part of the City's budget. It requires public participation with the help of City staff and Council. The guidelines are that projects must be a "public good", within City limits and reflect the vision and values of the City of Eureka. Participatory Budgets are also a great tool for educating the public about the realities of budgeting and project management, is a great way to encourage civic engagement, and the potential to identify future City leadership through this program.

    The process for the City of Eureka starts with budget allocation. Staff reviewed the last year's budget and determined that there was enough of a surplus to set aside $75,000 for this program. Planning to allocate a budget of $15,000 to each ward. Council approved that step already, and the program is ready for the next step.

    The second step is to assign community leaders. Would like to identify two community members from each ward to serve as a Budget Delegate and an Alternate, determined by the Councilmember for that ward.

    The third step hosting an introductory meeting with ward delegates to review the program guidelines and to begin the planning process. Staff will work with delegates to decide where to have the meetings, if they will be in-person or video conference, how to initiate outreach, and deciding how to select projects. When that is complete, staff will work with the delegates to help with outreach, staff will help with communications and selecting applicants to participate in each of these meetings.

    Step four is to hold meetings with the public to identify potential projects. Staff from different departments will be available during the meetings to help determine feasibility and cost estimates. The participants will select the project or projects for each ward.

    Once the project or projects are determined, the fifth step is staff working with the delegates to present the proposed projects at a City Council meeting for final approval.

    Last year, funded five different projects, including Rental Assistance program, Utility Assistance program, hosting a tiny home/authorized encampment workshop, installed pedestrian safety devices at the intersection of California and Wabash, and funded an intersection mural at Summer and West 14th Street. The mural project is not yet completed, but hope to have that completed this summer.

    Addressing the Rental Assistance and Utility Assistance programs from the last round, they were very successful and the funds were completely exhausted. The City has recently identified nearly $300,00 in funding available for the Housing Assistance program, in funding from the Homeless Housing Assistance & Prevention Program, will hopefully have these funds available around April. The CAPE program secured these funds, and are earmarking them for Housing Assistance. The Utility Assistance side isn't as successful, but staff does have leads on funding and will report back to Council. Utility Assistance isn't as easy to fund now, staff will continue to pursue that.

    Council Questions

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano asked if there will be opportunities for "cross-pollination" between wards if there are similar projects or potentials for collaboration. Finance Director Millar: the plan is to compile lists of the project ideas collected from the meetings, and share those with each group. If the groups see projects that they may want to copy or piggy-back on, they will have that opportunity.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if there was a stipend available for people who serve as delegates or alternates. Answer: Finance Director Millar confirmed that.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked if the projects could be ward by ward, or if it could be something City-wide. Answer: Finance Director Millar confirmed that.

    Public comment for this item

    No public comment for this item.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Fernandez commented that he is very enthused by this initiative and what has come out of it so far. Sees it as an opportunity to engage those not otherwise engaged around the periphery of City engagement. Wishes the budget amount were a little more, but understands the constraints. The opportunity for people to collaborate on this project is very exciting.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano appreciates the Housing Assistance funding being brought forward to assist people with housing, and to also use the Participatory Budget funds for other projects this year.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the 2024 Participatory Budget Program; motion passed unanimously.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    No items requested.

    K. City Manager Reports - Watch

    City Manager Slattery adding to the presentation from Managing Mental Health Clinician Rosen about CARE's increase in staffed hours coverage. In discussions with a local entity to make that happen. The overall intent is first to get to 7 day coverage during peak call hours, and the ultimate intent is to have 24/7 coverage. At that point, plan on combining that overall social services programming into a department of its own. Feel that there is a high likelihood of doing that, trying to reach that goal by the end of either the fiscal year end in June or by the end of the calendar year in December.

    Additionally, Commander Lafrance is working with EPD, CSET, CAPE and CARE to conduct the City's bi-annual survey of community members experiencing homelessness. That will be starting up this week, and there is an incentive of a steak dinner with the City Manager for the person who conducts the most interviews, and invites Council to participate if they choose. The survey has been invaluable, and speaks to some of the points that Councilmember Bauer was asking about, where people are from, how they got here, and those types of things. Provides information that is used to shape the programs to better fit the needs of the people in the community.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach attended the Human Rights Commission discussion on free speech, was particularly moved by what Betty Chinn shared. There was a good turnout from people from the City and County. Participated in Bowl for Kids Sake, and will be traveling to the CalCities Redwood Empire Division meeting in Willits.

    Councilmember Moulton attended 2x2 meeting with Eureka City Schools where they presented the synthesis of their Portrait of a Graduate survey, a sort of strategic visioning of what the community wants to see a graduate of Eureka City Schools look like, the results of the survey is aiming for a well-rounded person who can be productive in the modern world, not just rolling along with things as they have always been, but moving forward with a useful education. Raised funds for Bowl for Kids Sake, attended dinner at Humboldt Bay Fire Station One and ate dinner with firefighters.

    Councilmember Bauer attended mother's 80th birthday, went to Keep Eureka Beautiful meeting ahead of street tree planting on March 16th, went to Bowl for Kids Sake, will be hosting an invasive species removal and clean up of Cooper Gulch on March 30th, invites the public to attend. Will also be attending the CalCities Redwood Empire Division meeting in Willits.

    Councilmember Fernandez also attended Eureka City Schools 2x2 meeting, able to attend Bowl for Kids Sake, will be attending the Civic Well Policy Conference, topics for discussion include energy, infrastructure, transportation and disaster preparedness. Will be participating in a ride-along with EPD, and will be at the Gazebo in Old Town this Saturday, March 9th at 5:30 p.m. attending event co-hosted by Queer Humboldt and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in remembrance of Oklahoma teen Nex Benedict.

    Mayor Pro Tem Castellano will also be traveling to the CalCities Redwood Empire Division meeting in Willits.

    Adjournment - Watch

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  • Regular City Council Meeting - February 20, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Report Out of Closed Session

    No report out of closed session.

    Roll Call

    Mayor Bergel presiding; Councilmember Castellano, Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Fernandez, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers.

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    Presentation from Florence Parks of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast (BBBS)

    BBBS is a mentoring organization, pairing youth with mentors in the community. Youth from the ages of 6-16 are eligible to enroll in the program to be matched with a mentor. BBBS has about 25 youth on the wait list, waiting to be paired with a mentor. BBBS is looking for people to serve as mentors, in a variety of ways. Has seen an increase in children enrolled in the program over the years, with a lot of the children coming from single-parent households. BBBS offers support networks for mentors, to aid in providing support for the youth they are matched with, and monthly support for the families of the youth in their first year, and quarterly after that first year. Bowl for Kids Sake is the largest fundraising event of the year, where BBBS raises most of their funding. Bowl for Kids Sake will be on Saturday, March 2 at Harbor Lanes, and people can support by sponsoring teams or donating funds, volunteering as mentors, donating items for silent auctions, serving on a board or committee.

    Councilmember Bauer commented that it was a testament to Big Brothers Big Sisters to congratulate them on their 120th anniversary

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Five people shared public comment. One speaker spoke in support of the housing initiative that will appear on the November ballot. One speaker shared that they are arranging listening sessions at Jefferson Community Center on March 16 and March 21 to help engage the public and elected leadership, and invited Council to attend. One speaker shared an article about homelessness in Sacramento. One speaker shared about difficulty using a wheelchair in Old Town, and being unable to navigate in some places. The speaker noted the difficulty for people using mobility aids, and asked for the City to address the issues. A speaker shared about issues with police recruitment, and asked for funds from Measure H to be used for police recruitment.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of February 6, 2024 meeting as submitted

    February 6, 2024 Minutes

    F.2. Request for Fee Waiver for 2024 County of Humboldt Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Workshop

    Agenda Summary

    F.3. Humboldt Transit Authority Letter of Support

    Agenda Summary

    Humboldt Transit Authority Letter of Support

    F.4. Destruction of Records

    Agenda Summary

    Resolution Approving the Destruction of Certain Records

    2012 Cases being purged

    2016 Cases being purged

    F.5. Solar Renewable Energy Improvements – Award

    Agenda Summary

    Bid Summary - Council Award

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to approve the Consent Calendar as written, motion passed unanimously.

    H. Ordinances & Resolutions - Watch

    H.1. FY2023-24 Mid-Year Budget Review - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Resolution - Mid-year Budget Adjustments

    Attachment A - Mid-Year Adjustments - Line-Item Detail

    Attachment A.1 - Mid-Year Adjustments - Line-Item Notes

    Attachment B - Mid-Year Adjustments - Totals by Fund

    Attachment C - Mid Year Adjustments - Position Changes

    Presented by Finance Director Millar.

    Typically, just after the midway point of the fiscal year, departments come together and review their budgets, with the Finance department taking the lead. This is an opportunity for departments to add or take away from their budgets, and for the Finance department to review the City's largest expense, salaries and benefits, and to update those line items in the budget.

    Reviewing the General Fund; the budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year was adopted June 20, 2023. At that time it was estimated to be a balanced budget, with a small surplus. A note about the presentation, revenues are expressed as negative numbers in parentheses, when there is a net negative, that is a good thing.

    The budget was adjusted earlier in the fiscal year, at the November 21, 2023 meeting where Council approved appropriation of necessary funds from the General Fund to acquire the land for the new City Corporation Yard. Approximately $1.4 million was appropriated to purchase land adjacent to Oceanview Cemetary. When that is added to the budget, it creates a large deficit. It is unusual for the General Fund to purchase land. This is a fairly large project and this is just the beginning, and it is possible that when the corp yard is financed, the City may reimburse the General Fund for the purchase.

    Reviewing the revenues, taxes make up the largest category of revenue. Estimating that revenue from taxes will go down by approximately $161k. Foreseeing a downward adjustment in sales tax collected onsite, as projected by consulting firm HdL Companies. Revenues from use taxes applied in store and when purchasing online projected to increase. These revenues also included revenues from expired taxes, from sales tax being paid late and should not be relied upon in future years. Receive another tax as a part of the property taxes remitted from the County of Humboldt, is adjusted by the state based on sales tax revenues, and HdL also projected this to drop in the current fiscal year. TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) included in this is a specific type of TOT remittance, this is specific to vacation rentals that are not permitted, this is part of a project started over the past year to bring these rentals into compliance and collect back taxes.

    Sales tax trends are important to understand when reviewing the General Fund. Sales taxes are about 65% of the total General Fund revenue and make up a significant portion of the revenue. Saw a peak in revenues in 2021-2022, saw a decrease of approximately $600k. When the 2023-2024 budget was adopted, expected the sales tax revenue to be about $340k less than the peak in 2021-2022. At this time, expecting those revenues to be approximately $600k less than two years ago. Sales tax does fluctuate, is correlated with the overall economy. The economy is doing well at the national level, but the City's revenues aren't keeping up. Expect it to increase slightly in the next fiscal year, but overall it's been relatively low, and seeing some decreases sometimes.

    Licenses, permits and franchises are expected to increase revenue over what was determined in the budget, and this is coming from the three franchises that pay fees to the City. The franchises are gas and electric from PG&E, seeing an increase in that due to their increase in rates, seeing a reduction in revenues from cable television due to fewer cable subscribers, and an increase in garbage franchise fees, also due to their increase in rates.

    Intergovernmental revenues will see an increase, due in part to a change in what revenue that comes from the County, and the remainder of this line item is from grants. Most grants that the City receives are reimbursable grants, where the City spends the money and then bills the state or the federal government for reimbursement. The increase here is for receiving some of those reimbursement checks. In the current year, have received a combined $240k for Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) and Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) that are part of the Community Access Project for Eureka (CAPE) program, and reimbursement from the SB2 (California Senate Bill 2, 2017) grant for the Waterfront Specific Plan.

    Revenue from City charges for services expects to increase by approximately $200k. This includes revenue from Zoo admissions and Engineering reviews. Zoo admissions exceeded $1.5 million last fiscal year, and based on that are increasing the current year estimate. Last year was the first year where the City received 100% of the Zoo membership revenues, so was hard to base this year's numbers off of last year's numbers; expected $300k in revenues. Engineering reviews are fees paid to the Engineering division, based on current year trends, expect those fees to come in at half of what was predicted, at approximately $25k.

    The bottom line shows about a 1.3% increase or approximately $500k increase over the original 2023-2024 budget.

    In General Fund expenditures, the largest expense is Personnel, or salaries and benefits. Showing a minimal increase in expenditures, which is from a decrease in expense in salaries and benefits not including worker's compensation, and an increase in worker's compensation costs and department requested overtime and temporary worker salaries. In the fiscal year through January, have seen salary savings of about $240k, and expect to see some savings in the remainder of the year, but unable to predict what positions will be filled versus unfilled. Worker's compensation is technically a benefit, but due to an overage in the last year and for the purposes of building a contingency for it in the City's risk management fund, these line items have been increased by about $127k in General Fund costs. There have been more department requests for overtime and temp salaries. When the cost savings and the increased costs are added together, get a very low increase in cost.

    Material and Supplies and Outside Services are line items that are managed by the departments themselves, and during the mid-year review requests changes to their budgets, with a total of roughly $600k from all of the departments. Based on Director Millar's analysis, do not think that the entirety of the requested increases will actually be used. Did not see significant increases in one item, just saw a lot of increases across the board.

    Cost Allocation is calculated by the Finance department. Departments don't typically control these costs, they typically follow metrics like number of employees and square footage. This makes up three line items changes, liability insurance, general government and general administration. Liability insurance, like worker's comp, has continued to increase over the years. Had an overage due to deductibles in the last fiscal year, and are building out a contingency to build a reserve in that fund. General government and general administration; that's the City Manager's office, Finance, Human Resources, the City Attorney's office; projected to go over budget in that fund, and is mainly the result of adding an additional employee and increasing the line items to cover the projected overages.

    Capital Outlay increase is a project that utilizes funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies, the City has a contract with a local theater group who will put on live events, and the $62.5k reflects that contact. Those funds will be reimbursed from the ARPA funds.

    Debt servicing increased after needing to make the first lease payment on a new fire apparatus, a ladder truck, that the City does not yet have possession of, and was not expecting to make that lease payment until the ladder truck had been delivered. This increase is to accommodate that payment. There is a reserve account with the Joint Powers Authority (JPA), and are currently waiting on financials to see if that payment can be taken from that JPA reserve fund instead of the general fund.

    The total increase is approximately $1.1m in expenditures, but Director Millar does expect the actual expenditures to be a lot less when the fiscal year closes in June.

    Started the fiscal year with a balanced budget. Without the land purchase, and with the adjustments, there is a $500k deficit, but that is expected to be much lower if not balanced at the close of the fiscal year. The budget with the land purchase shows a deficit of approximately $2m in the General Fund.

    There were other funds that were adjusted as well. The Water fund was adjusted, the bulk of the adjustment was for new water meters, of approximately $1.9m. The process of acquiring the water meters has been difficult, and the first few batches were late, and now trying to speed up the process, causing all of the costs to converge on the current fiscal year. That increase was expected. The Wastewater fund saw a small increase, but still has a small surplus. Approximately $50k of that adjustment was for parts and equipment, and $50k was for increased cost allocation. Equipment Operations fund saw an increase, but should still end their year on a surplus. The increased costs are for repair parts at $85k, outside services for $60k, but also salary savings of $37k. Information Technology fund saw an increase of about $57k, $30k of which were cell phone charges, and cost allocation was $13k. General Government and Administration fund saw an increase in expenditures of $95k, $77k for personnel and $15k for cost allocation, but projected to have a surplus. Facility Maintenance fund saw an increase of $51k, $25k for building repairs and cleaning supplies and $15k for personnel and cost allocation.

    Concluding with changes to personnel, to the Full Time Equivalent (FTE, expressed as decimal). There was an error on the agenda item, the position listed as Assistant/Associate Engineer should be Associate Civil Engineer. The proposed changes add 0.7 FTEs to the budgets.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Castellano asked about the additional $30k in cell phone charges from the Information Technology fund. Answer: Director Millar said that this was a department request, so is harder to explain. Cell phones can be difficult to estimate, don't know from year to year who will have cell phones or how many new ones will be issued, and tend to look backwards when building the budget, and believes tend to underestimate in that category, assumption is that there was an underestimation in the number of cell phones or underestimated the cost of the bills for that line item. City Clerk Powell also added that this was the first full year of outfitting Police Department with their own cell phone, and did underestimate their monthly charges. During Covid, and had more people taking calls from home and working from home, did have a large number of cell phones deployed at that time, and believes that this is a cost that is catching up, along with the officer cell phones.

    Councilmember Bauer clarified that the water meters are in an enterprise fund, that is separate from the General Fund, wanted to make that clear. Answer: Director Millar confirmed, and said that when going through the presentation, reviewed many of the City's funds but not all, just the adjustment proposed. Water revenues can only be spent on water activities, and the funds being spent on the water meters come from the water bills.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked for an explanation of Measure Q. Answer: Director Millar explained that Measure Q was replaced by Measure H, and Measure Q was a half-cent sales tax with a five-year sunset. Prior to Measure Q was Measure O, and Measure O was the first of that third sales tax revenue. Every city collects Bradley-Burns revenues, that is given to every local agency. Agencies can then add district taxes. The City has had Measure D, a quarter-cent sales tax, for decades and that does not expire. The City added Measure O, that had a five-year sunset, and then the City had Measure Q, and as Measure Q was expiring, that was replaced with Measure H, and that does not have a sunset, and that is a 1.25% tax, versus 0.5%.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked about the prediction that there would be a smaller deficit at the close of the fiscal year. Answer: Director Millar expanded on that, does expect some more salary savings, and typically departments like to ensure that don't go over budget by adding more cushion than what they might use. Tends to review what has been spent to date, and use that as a pro-rata figure. Expects 75-50% of what was requested to be spent. Based on those factors, would expect the deficit to be much less than $500k.

    Councilmember Fernandez asked how this might impact negotiations going forward. Answer: Director Millar does not think that the 2023-2024 results have an impact on those negotiations, and cannot predict what those contracts will look like. There is room to be more disciplined when it comes to the budget, but not at the point where looking to save money or pull back, and if the City was faced with the concern that the City would be running deficit after deficit, that would change gears. Until sees actual results, does not feel the need to turn the ship.

    Councilmember Castellano referred back to discussion to bring forward utility assistance programs at a Council meeting, asked if that would be able to be brought forward in the future, and when doing so, asked that it be contextualized in reference to where the City is at with the budget. Answer: Director Millar can do that, and expects that to come in the month of March. City Manager Slattery also said that he will discuss utility and rental assistance programs in his City Manager's report.

    Public comment for this item

    One commenter had questions about when the fiscal year for the City is, and questions about the spending on the Ocean View property, as they did not see that reflected in budget here. Mayor Bergel invited the commenter to send their questions in via email or phone, so that staff may provide answers. [Note: contact information for the Mayor and City Council may be found online here.]

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach noted that there are indicators that there may be a decline in the economy, and that City is subject to volitile conditions, and asks that this be kept in mind as may need to make decisions about what to prioritize in the future.

    Councilmember Fernandez responding briefly to Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach, it is sobering to see high costs, and is important to treat workers well to help stem that loss.

    Councilmember Castellano responded to one question the commenter had; the City of Eureka fiscal year is July through June.

    Motion to Council

    Council voted to receive the report and adopt the resolution to amend the 2023-2024 Adopted Budget; motion passed unanimously.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    No future agenda items requested.

    K. City Manager Reports - Watch

    City Manager Slattery reported that at the next meeting in March, there will be a presentation by staff about the Participatory Budgeting process, staff is developing a game plan and will be presenting for discussion at that time. As Councilmember Castellano had mentioned about utility and rent assistance programs; reviewed to see if there were any funds remaining, but all previous funding had been used for rent or utility assistance. The portion that was set aside for rent assistance was not as popular as the utility assistance, so those funds were used to supplement the utility assistance funds. The CAPE program was successful in securing $40k of HHAP funds from County DHHS, and those funds will be made available through the CAPE program, and community members at 30% of the median income will be eligible for those funds, for very low income folks. Also reallocating some Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) funding, funding is non-competitive and based on the size of the City, will be reallocating for homeless prevention programming. Those funds will add to the funds available for utility assistance, and will have a higher income qualification, at 60% of the median income. HHAP funding will only be available for utility assistance, and hoping to be able to offer rent assistance with the PLHA funding. The funding in the participatory budgeting process can be used for utility and rent assistance as well.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Councilmember Moulton attended regular and emergency meeting of JPA, went on Access Humboldt to discuss the Jacobs Campus, attended Public Safety Town Hall via Zoom, attended informational session from I Like Eureka Housing.

    Councilmember Castellano attended three Humboldt Transit Authority meetings, partly because of the hydrogen fueling station moving forward, attended Eureka Main Street meeting, attended Humboldt Waste Management Authority meeting, hosting weekly housing meeting, attended informational I Like Eureka Housing meeting, attended Live Well Humboldt meeting, attended Northern California Non-Profits meeting, and attended Workforce Development Board meeting.

    Councilmember Fernandez attended State Senator Mike McGuire's swearing in as Senate Pro Tempore, attended JPA meeting as an alternate, attended Operating Engineers Local 3 Crab Feed, attended I Like Eureka Housing informational meeting, met with Eureka Police Officers Association members to discuss work conditions, and is scheduling a ride-along in the near future.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach attended Yurok Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Conference online, attended Board of Supervisors 2x2 meeting with Supervisors Bohn and Arroyo, met with Eureka Police Officers Association, held Public Safety Town Hall (meeting is available online to view), helpful to hear from citizens and other law enforcement professionals.

    Councilmember Bauer attended JPA meetings, attended multiple RCEA meetings, thanked EPD, City, and HBF staff for their response to an incident at his workplace, and helped to control pollutants from going into the bay, and will be hosting a cleanup in Cooper Gulch in late March, and a reminder to vote in the upcoming election.

    Mayor Bergel attended the Town Hall, appreciate having an opportunity for dialog, attended Cal Poly President's Board meeting, attended HCAOG meeting. Mayor Bergel took a moment to say that words are powerful, appreciates the passion that people bring, and says that demonizing people for their behavior or calling them names; understand the frustration, but name calling isn't helpful in mitigating the situations, hope that people are mindful here and in the community.

    Adjournment - Watch

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  • Regular City Council Meeting - February 6, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Report Out of Closed Session - Watch

    No report out of closed session.

    Roll Call - Watch

    Mayor Bergel presiding; Councilmember Castellano, Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers. Absent: Councilmember Fernandez

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    A.1. Grant School - Great Kindness Challenge - Watch

    Grant Elementary School Principal Rachel Brakeman and Community Schools Liaison Jessica Maushardt presented about the Eureka City Schools Community Schools program and Kindness Week. The Community Schools program works to support students in the community with community partners, utilizing a restorative practices model, provide additional curriculum to students to help build social-emotional skills, as well as a Wellness Center for students with a social worker available.

    Grant Elementary School participated in the Great Kindness Challenge for the second year. Student leadership helped to direct the school events, and community partners joined in the school events, including Mayor Bergel, Sheriff Deputies, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

    Also thanked Councilmember Castellano for joining the students for the 100th day of school celebration.

    A.2. Little Samplings 5 Year Anniversary - Watch

    Presented by Director Nancy Danel, Supervisor Shannon Fazio, with comments from Mayor Susan Seaman

    Little Saplings will celebrate its 5-year anniversary in March of 2024. Little Saplings Preschool operates in the John Ryan Youth Center facility, which was an afterschool program, summer camp, and community class venue. The facility was repurposed, the process of obtaining a State License began in March of 2018, and the preschool opened to families in March of 2019. The preschool began with four families, and as of now, has served 94 families in the community. Little Saplings enrollment is open to all community members, and full-time City employees receive free enrollment as part of their employment benefits.

    Little Saplings serves 24 students daily, ranging in age from two and a half to five years old. The program at Little Saplings is a play-based, hands-on curriculum to support the students learning through play. The program fosters independence, kindness and empathy, and strives to meet children where they are. Have two classes after starting with one class.

    Little Saplings will mark the 5-year anniversary with a celebration in March, and is inviting the Mayor and Council to join the celebration.

    Little Saplings Preschool is continuing to enroll new families, and is working to get to full enrollment. Will be installing new playground equipment, offering more family events, and continuing to serve the families of Eureka and the families of the employees of the City of Eureka.

    Former Mayor Seaman shared appreciation for the work that staff has put in to get the program off the ground, and appreciation for City Manager Slattery for recognizing the need and supporting staff. Believes that Eureka is the only city in the region that operates a child care facility, but that may be changing in the future. Little Saplings also has received and is eligible for more funds from a program administered by AEDC (Arcata Economic Development Corporation) and funded with $4.8 million from the County of Humboldt to support the child care industry through hiring bonuses, retention bonuses, facility loans for improvements that may be forgiven when the improvements are completed, and will be looking into education and parent stipends programs. The majority of the fund is still available, and Mayor Seaman provided Council with the latest AEDC annual report.

    City Manager Slattery added his gratitude for the work from Director Danel, and the resource has been service not only to the community but to the City for recruitment and retention of employees. City Manager Slattery shared that his own move to Humboldt was spurred by childcare issues, and the free childcare for employees has been a great tool for recruiting new employees and retaining current employees.

    Councilmember Moulton commented that as a parent who was able to enroll a child at Little Saplings, appreciated the hard work and patience of the staff, and noted the value of the resource as a working mom, and hopes to be able to continue to do this for the working families.

    B. Presentations - Watch

    Mayor Bergel moved the presentation by Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Robertson up from City Managers Reports to allow Chief Robertson to be at an unexpected commitment.

    K. 1. Humboldt Bay Fire Update - Watch

    Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Robertson presented 2023 review, this was presented to the JPA (Joint Powers Authority) board at their January 19 meeting, and will be presented to Humboldt Fire Protection District No. 1 at their regular meeting in March.

    Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF) saw an increase in calls in 2023 at approximately 7,400 calls in 2023. Sixty-three percent of the total calls were for Rescue/Emergency Medical Service, and the remaining 37% of the calls were for Good Intent Calls, Service Calls, Fire Alarm and False Alarm Calls, HazMat, Fires, and then 3 calls for Ruptures/Explosions, and 1 call for a Special Incident.

    HBF uses National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) classification codes for reporting to the national database, collected at the National Fire Academy in Maryland. All fire departments report information the same way for consistency. Besides responding to fire calls, HBF also responds for calls for rescue/EMS, which are extractions, water rescue, and all medical-related calls; hazardous conditions, which can be fuel leaks and electrical issues; service calls, public service assistance, agency assists, burn complaints, and cover assignments; good intent calls, which include cancelled calls, wrong location or no call, reports that turn out to be steam or controlled burns; and special calls

    Fire calls made up 3.34% of the calls in 2023. There was a decrease in structure fires from 40 in 2022 to 20 in 2023. Other fires were consistent, with vegetation and garbage fires making up the bulk of the other fire responses.

    Rescue and EMS calls made up the bulk of the calls in 2023, 62.62% of the calls. Most of the calls were for motor vehicle accidents and extractions. The predominate calls the medical calls, at over 3,800 for the year.

    Station 1 at 6th & C Streets processed the highest volume of calls in 2023, followed by Station 3 on Ocean Avenue at Henderson, then Station 4 on Myrtle & West Avenues, and Station 2 on Herrick Avenue. Within all the stations, Quarter 1 and Quarter 4 of 2023 were the highest call times. The winter months tend to lead to more calls from more people using heating devices, and seasonal sickness trends. Overall have seen increases in the call volume as the area population increases.

    HBF is facing staffing issues with 13 people leaving HBF for other agencies over the last two years, with an average of 11 years of service. Has created a gap in promoted positions that require more training, and did lead to temporary station closures. Adapted recruitment practices and now have open recruitment every rank. Modified the training programs to get more people qualified earlier in their career, moving to a development model. Currently 2 permanent and 1 temporary position vacant, and expect that to increase but working to mitigate that. HBF is developing a partnership with College of the Redwoods to create an accredited Firefighter Academy, where some HBF personnel are also instructors. The Academy started to serve CalFire with wild fire training, and has now expanded to include structure fire training. The labor pool across the state is shrinking, as a very large number of fire departments are looking for firefighters. Most people who do interview have very little experience, and require more training after their initial onboarding. HBF was fortunate to fill a vacant Battalion Chief position by hiring an employee who had retired from a Captain position.

    Current HBF employees have continued to train for new positions within HBF. This is possible through the support of all staff filling in when folks are out for training to continue to provide service to the community.

    HBF held department awards in June, awarding Firefighter of the Year to Yolla Montalbin, the Service Award to Executive Secretary Jenna Harris, the Medal of Honor to Tyler Gillespie, and the Citizen Award to Natalie Dy of Happy Donuts.

    The HBF Firefighters union adopted a new uniform shirt for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with a portion of the funds from all shirts purchased donated to a local breast cancer support group, and raised just over $2,000. HBF introduced a new cadet program to aid in training for EMT and Firefighter 1 certification. Had a successful toy drive over the holiday season. Had a huge year of training, staff completed 2,000 more hours of training than the year before, totaling more than 10,500 hours of training, culminating in a live fire training exercise.

    Upcoming projects for HBF include a new tiller truck and engine, remodels for Stations 1, 2 and 3, starting a Junior Firefighter program in conjunction with the Cadet program, will be beginning with a soft-launch for families of both HBF and City of Eureka employees to participate, and beginning the Rural Address and Water Tank Identification program.

    B.1. Human Rights Commission Presentation

    Presented by Jim Glover from the Human Rights Commission

    The Humboldt County Human Rights Commission will be teaming up with The League of Women Voters of Humboldt to host a forum on recognizing hate speech and how to respond to it, with representative panelists. The forum is free to attend, and will be at the Sequoia Conference Center at 901 Myrtle Ave. on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 4-6 p.m. The forum will be rebroadcast afterwards on Access Humboldt, and there may be future forums to build on the work accomplished here. The public is invited and all Councilmembers are encouraged to attend.

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Three people spoke at public comment. One person shared about an accident they had crossing a street and asked if the City had received any complaints about that intersection. [Please note: any member of the public may request public information from the City. More information may be found at the City Attorney's website, and Public Record Requests can be submitted online, and PDF forms are available online and at the Front Desk of City Hall at 531 K St. in Eureka.] Another commenter complained about receiving a Code Enforcement letter, and asked for another dumpster from the City's Dumpster Grant program. The last commenter shared an article about legal action taken against the City of Sacramento.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    Item F.2. was requested to be pulled from the Consent Calendar for further discussion.

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of January 16, 2024

    January 16, 2024 Minutes

    F.3. State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways Grant Funds Application

    Agenda Summary

    Samoa Boat Launch Division of Boating and Waterways Resolution

    F.4. EPD Reorganization and New Classification - Forensic Analyst I/II

    Agenda Summary

    EPD Resolution

    Forensic Analyst I/II

    F.5. Hills and McCullens Pump Stations Pump Upgrads Project Award

    Agenda Summary

    F.6. Secondar Clarifier Repairs Phase II - Acceptance

    Agenda Summary

    Motion to council

    Council moved to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar, motion passed with four yes votes and one absent.

    F.2. Modify First-Time Homebuyer Agreements - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Example 1 - Without Interest Option

    Example 2 - With Interest Option

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach requested that the item be pulled from the Consent Calendar for an explanation of the item for the public.

    Finance Director Millar explained that staff had become aware of differences in loan agreements for first time homebuyer loans and rehab loans made in 2001 and 2003. These loans were made by an entity of the City at that time, the City's Redevelopment Agency. Loans from before 2003 did not have the same conditions as those made after, and staff brought this to Council to modify those loans so that they might have the same conditions available.

    Council Questions & Comments

    Councilmember Castellano asked to clarify, that there are a total of 37 loans in the community and 6 do not have the condition that allows homeowners to benefit from growth in the market. Answer: Director Millar said there are more loans on the books, this was just a subset from the Redevelopment Agency. Staff did not comb through every loan agreement, staff found the difference between two of them, and noticed that one had an option, whereas the other one didn't have that option, and that's what staff would like to modify going forward. Economics has changed in 20 years and home values have gone way up, so calculations that may have been more attractive 20 years ago aren't as attractive today. The intent of the program was not to create large interest revenue windfalls, and without this changes, that would could happen in some cases.

    City Manager Slattery clarified for the public that these agreements that staff is seeking to modify had certain clauses that were based solely on appreciation, and when Director Millar talks about revenue, that is referring to the intent of these loans were not for the City to recoup revenue from these loans, and the loans that solely have appreciation if the homeowner has this property for 20-plus years, there's a lot of equity built up, and these agreements that staff would like to adjust would require the homeowners to pay the City a certain percentage of that appreciation, as opposed to just an interest on what was originally loaned. There's huge difference in what the City would recoup if these loans were not modified. Staff does not feel that it is fair to those folks, nor was it the intent of the program when it was first brought forward.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked how many people this would affect, the number of loans affected. Answer: Approximately six would now have these two options of the different calculations. City Manager Slattery added that those are existing loans, not necessarily people coming to us to try to sell their property. There was someone who recently sold their property and the City utilized a different method to adjust that, but if someone did not sell their property, it wouldn't make a difference. If one of the six homeowners wishes to sell their property, this could benefit them. Director Millar also added that making the option available doesn't mean that a homeowner would take that option; there are lots of scenarios, providing an additional option wouldn't hurt anyone and could benefit a few.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked how old some of the loans are, and how was it handled when homeowners wanted to sell. Answer: Director Millar was not certain on the oldest loan, one of the loans that faced difficulties was signed in 2001. The City typically do not see many issues around the payoffs, there have been no problems navigating the payoffs until this point; the market conditions have changed so much in the past few years, which is why the Director believes this option has become problematic now. City Manager Slattery also said that the City is also aware of one other homeowner with a loan similar to this who was intending on selling their property, and at the time different management and staff were holding them to those terms, and that person chose not to sell their property.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach clarified that when Director Millar said that there had not been issues previous, did he mean that no one had raised concerns. Answer: Director Millar clarified that while he has overseen the Housing Division, he had not come across somebody that has pointed out the difference and how that could negatively affect them or change their decision to sell their home.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked if it is known how many sales occurred with that condition. Answer: the City does not have an exact figure of how many people sold without this condition.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach asked where any excess funds from payoffs of these loans go within the City. Answer: Director Millar said that where there are many different version of these loans, but in this case where the monies originated from the Redevelopment Agency, which is now referred to as the Successor Agency, that Agency is regulated in its way. For loans that are paid off, the funds go back into what is called the Housing Successor, and those funds are restricted to funding housing developments, or shelter. In some cases the City has used those monies to provide grants to the Betty Chinn Foundation; the monies are restricted in a way that they must be used for some sort of housing or housing-adjacent activity.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach clarified that currently the clause, which hasn't previously been a deterrent for people selling their house, that if their property has appreciated, a portion of that appreciation comes back to the City. Answer: Director Millar agreed that was a correct understanding. City Manager Slattery added that this matter would allow the homeowners to choose that option, or to choose another option, which would just be based off of the interest. So if they don't have that clause currently, this would provide an option, and it's better for anybody to have that choice.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach confirmed that the options are consistent to what was available in 2003. Answer: yes.

    Public comment for this item

    Two people shared public comment on this item. A real estate agent who worked with homebuyers who borrowed with and without the interest option available. One buyer borrowed $15,000 in 2001 for a home with a purchase price of $115,000. He estimates that he would list that home for $425,000 if listing today, and with the appreciation option only, the loan of $15,000 could cost the borrower up to $160,000 to pay back. Buyers who got a $50,000 loan in 2003 and then refinanced in 2012; their repayment for that loan time was $63,000. The real estate agent said that the proposed modification would make the first home buyer's loan payoff more reasonable, and asked that Council pass this modification.

    The home buyer that the real estate agent represented for the loan of $15,000 in 2001 spoke. He shared that he was grateful for the oppurtunity to raise his family, but now is looking to retire and downsize to a home that is more manageable. He said that the equity in the home represents the work of his life. He asked that council pass this modification.

    Council questions comments

    Councilmember Bauer thanked staff for bringing this modification forward; the City is not in the business of trying to make money off of people, trying to help people get into houses.

    Motion to council

    Council voted to approve the modification, motion passed with four yes votes and one absent.

    I. Reports & Action Items - Watch

    I.1. Bay to Zoo Trail Consulting Services - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Presented by Public Works Director Gerving and City Engineer Willor. Director Gerving gave an overview, staff will present an update on the next phase of the the Bay to Zoo trail project and some history of the project, recommend that Council authorize a contract with GHD for the next phase of professional services, and allocate Measure H funds to match a grant that the City received for this project.

    City Engineer Willor presented the history and the current status of the project. The Bay to Zoo trail is a proposed 3 mile trail from the existing Waterfront Trail terminus at Tydd street going to the Sequoia Park Zoo. The proposed trail will have 2 miles of Class 1 trail and 1 mile of Class 3. Class 1 trail wide paved trails, in this case a minimum of 10 feet wide, separated protected path like as for the existing Waterfront Trail. Class 3 trail will be in the southern portion of the trail, around Washington Elementary School and Sequoia Park Zoo, and will have sharrows, signage, and improvements to the sidewalk to improve pedestrian and cyclist access and travel in that area. The project provides access to the only existing protected crossing of Highway 101, where the existing Waterfront trail goes along the slough and under the Highway 101 slough crossing bridge. This project creates important connection to the Zane Middle School and Washington Elementary School, and the hospital, as well as providing a connection with the continuation of the Humboldt Bay Trail, which will be completing in the very near future. Encourages and promotes Multimodal and Active Transportation

    The project originated when the Eureka Trail Committee, formed in 2000, discussed a "greenbelt" trail through Eureka gulches that would connect schools and neighborhoods to the waterfront in that same year. In 2016 and 2017, Eureka City Schools and the City officially identified the Bay to Zoo Trail as a Safe Route to School project. In 2018, the then City Council designated the Bay to Zoo Trail as a Strategic Visioning Goal, and that goal has been in Strategic Visioning documents in the years following that point.

    The trail will provide connections for multimodal uses by connecting the Waterfront Trail and future Humboldt Bay Trail North, connecting Sequoia Park and surrounding neighborhoods in the south, residential neighborhoods and schools, Open Door Clinic location and St. Joseph Hospital, future trail segments connecting to possible trails in the south of Eureka, and existing and future trails and pathways to the greater Eureka area, including Cutten and the McKay Tract and Myrtletown.

    The trail will go along waterfront and tidal areas, so the design of that portion will include bridges and boardwalks, the trail along the northern portion, the Class 1 trail will be very similar to the existing waterfront trail with a wide paved trail with widened gravel shoulders. The Class 3 portion of the trail will have bike facilities in the southern section, on street facilities and improvements to the sidewalks, to help create a safer and more accessible pathways in the south section. A major change proposed is a roundabout on Myrtle Avenue, at the intersection of of McFarland and Myrtle, where the trail would cross Myrtle Avenue, coming from the Second Slough lowlands. This creates an opportunity to slow traffic, shorten street crossing distance, and to make trail users more visible to vehicles.

    The proposed trail alignment is very conceptual at this phase, as the City is entering into the process of design. Tentative alignment was established as part of the Environmental Document; actual trail alignment will be determined through the design process and consultation with property owners and community partners. The trail will generally heads up one side of Second Slough, crosses Myrtle Avenue at that proposed roundabout, and then goes parallel to McFarland before going back along the edge of Second Slough, continuing to Zane Middle School. There will be connections to Zane and the Eureka Dog Park and that area. The trail would then cross Buhne with an improved crossing to allow for safer, higher visibility crossing, and continuing along behind St. Joseph Hospital. The Class 1 portion of the trail would end at Russ street, and continue on facilities that are on existing streets with sidewalk improvements, or bike facilities that are highlighted there.

    The City has completed the CEQA Environmental Document; received a grant of $110,000 to complete environmental studies for the Bay to Zoo Trail, which included mapping, wildlife and plant studies, and cultural studies. The Planning Commission adopted the Environmental Document in September of 2021. The City then applied for Design, Right-of-Way and Construction funding from the California Active Transportation Program (ATP). The City was awarded a grant of $8,999,000 in 2023 contingent upon a commitment from the City committed of a million dollar match for the project.

    The matching funds for this project were identified through Measure H funds. Measure H funds go toward street maintenance, repair and development projects annually in a minimum amount of $2.5 million. Typically these funds go to maintenance and repair, this year a minimum of $1.5 million will go to maintenance and repair and $1 million will go to the Bay to Zoo Trail project. The project includes many aspects of what Measure H supports: street repair and road safety, community health services, and parks and recreation. The application was rooted in Safe Routes to School and to providing access to disadvantaged communities, and was a large part of why the application was successful, and this commitment of $1 million from the City has leveraged nearly $9 million in State and Federal funds through ATP.

    In November of 2023, the City released a formal Request for Proposals from experienced engineering and planning consultants for professional services for the Bay to Zoo Trail project. One proposal was received by the deadline, and staff is recommending that Council determines GHD the selected consultant and authorizes a contract for up to $1.7 million.

    Once Council grants Authorization to Proceed, project team will begin working on Project Acceptance and Environmental Document (PA&ED). These are CalTrans terms, as the funds are State and Federal Transportation funds that are administered by CalTrans. That primarily means the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documentation, which follow along with the CEQA documents that were produced previously with federal funding in mind. That should make producing the NEPA documents a more efficient process. The project team will re-engage with property owners in the community. There have been conversations in the past years of this project, but now that the funds have been awarded it is time to start talking to property owners along the proposed trail sites.

    The project team is focusing on community engagement and outreach, and is developing a robust community outreach plan to reach property owners, businesses, the school district, hospital and medical offices, and community members. It is important to the project team that everybody has an opportunity to weigh in on the project.

    The project team has been authorized to proceed with the PA&ED phase, and that phase has begun, and should be completed by January of 2025. The Right-of-Way phase will follow immediately after the PA&ED is complete, and is scheduled for January 2025 to January 2026. The final plans specifications and estimates (PSE) phase should end at the beginning of 2026, with an aim of construction from 2026 through 2027, with an estimated construction time frame beginning in May 2026 and estimated to conclude in October 2027. This is an ambitious goal, but one that should be striven for.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Bauer noted that it had been about 20 years since the conversations with community members and property owners has begun, and asked how outreach had been conducted in the meantime. Answer: City Engineer Willor in 2016, after discussion with the schools and staff, began process of opening dialogue with neighbors. The first round were phone calls, then going out along an existing sewer access easement and initiating conversations along the way. Since that point, have acquired grant funding to host a Safe Routes to School community meeting at Zane Middle School, a public community meeting to discuss the trail and what the trail could be and what the connections could be around and to the school. That was in 2017 or 2018. Since then have garnered support from some of the bigger stakeholders. The school district has provided letters of support in all three applications made for the project. Have also been in conversation with St. Joseph Hospital; the trail alignment crosses through a couple of their properties, and they have also provided letters of support for applications as active transportation goals are important to them. The project team has done presentations to Council and the Open Space, Parks and Recreation Commission, some local biking and trails groups in the community. Humboldt Trails Council has asked the project team to present about the trail, have presented at the Trails Symposium a few times, among other community meetings. Communications has been pretty active since 2016, but there was a gap in the communication prior to that. City Manager Slattery also added that City Engineer Willor mentioned the discussions at City Council meetings, and added that there are all of the regulatory meetings where this project has had to be approved; the Planning Commission, and the overall regional transportation plan produced by Humboldt County Association of Governments. This has been a part of that plan since 2016 or 2017, and each year there is a meeting related to that, and the project team makes adjustments accordingly.

    Councilmember Bauer followed up with a question about the section from Myrtle to Buhne, where there is an existing desire/social trail, that is used by students to get to Zane from Buhne and Myrtle and seems to get a lot of use already; asked if the project team have taken a look at that. Answer: City Engineer Willor have observed people utilizing the existing path, and have seen where property owners have cut trails connecting their properties to that path. There is a lot of access from Zane and the dog park where people have connected to that path from those locations. Does not have numbers, but does know that it does get use fairly heavily.

    Public comment for this item

    Seven people shared public comment. Six people were supportive of the trail. A parent spoke about how their children would like a protected bike area to use to get across town. People from local bike advocacy and transportation advocacy groups spoke and shared their excitement and support. A bike commuter spoke in support. A member of Planning and Harbor commissions spoke in support, will share specific concerns in writing to Council, is excited to leave a legacy of Right-of-Way access, and asked for more public outreach to welcome property owners along trail alignment. One commenter said that Measure H funds should not be diverted for use in trails. One commenter responded to that comment, saying that these uses were in alignment with the intent of Measure H, and shared their support.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano noted that after reviewing the agenda, had requested that staff will make opportunities for public engagement with the hiring of GHD and moving forward. Noted that the City will be continuing to improve roads, that capital improvement and road improvement plans won't end because of this project. Thanked a public commenter for mentioning that these projects give people opportunities to get off roads. Looking forward to how this will connect to other trails, and requested a refresher of the overall trail plans in a coming Council meeting, so the public can have that on their radar.

    Councilmember Bauer understands the public's concerns and thanked commenter who spoke about their property along the trail alignment. Staff and Councilmember Bauer will be happy to meet with the public, and he wants to see that the public is heard. A priority of the project is to get children to school safely, and easier access to safe trails to help with community health. A new trail will be challenging, and will require the community working together to make sure that it will work for everyone.

    Motion to council

    Council voted to authorize the contract with GHD and authorize the matching Measure H funds. Motion passed, four yes votes, one absent.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    Councilmember Moulton requested report from staff on the findings from the Jacobs Town Hall, along with a recommendation for the rezoning of the Jacobs Campus site. Response: consensus.

    Councilmember Castellano would like to invite speaker who spoke at the NAACP Martin Luther King Jr Day Celebration to present that speech to Council. Response: consensus.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach attended Pathway to Payday event, attended Jacobs Town Hall, attended the Greater Eureka Chamber Gala, attended CalCities Taxation Revenues Committee meeting and reporting thta the Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) is projecting a $68 billion deficit in the State's budget and projecting cuts to funding for services for homelessness, children's programming, and there are concerns about the State clawing back under- and unused funds. LAO is also noting ongoing reduction in gas tax revenue with prevalence of electric vehicles and pushing to ask State to address disparity and loss of funds. Will be hosting a Town Hall on Public Safety in Chambers on Saturday, February 17 with Supervisor Arroyo, Chief Stephens, and others.

    Councilmember Bauer participated in the recent Trash Bash and collected a record amount of trash with the Pac Out Green Team. California Conservation Corps members are working in Cooper Gulch removing non-native plants to make room for native species. Attended CalCities Environmental Quality meeting and noted that the legislative year is just beginning and there will be bills to review that will affect Eureka. Attended the Chamber Gala, and Redwood Coast Energy Authority meetings.

    Councilmember Moulton attended JPA meeting, attended the Chambers Gala, where The Foggy Bottom Boys won Small Business of the Year and Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation won the award for Positive Community Impact for a Nonprofit, began Eureka City School 2x2 meetings.

    Councilmember Castellano attended Grant Elementary School's 100th Day of School Parade, attended the Chamber Gala, continuing to meet with folks about housing, attended Norther California Association of Nonprofits meeting, attended the Jacobs Town Hall, attended Arts Alive, attended Eureka Main Street's Strategic Planning meeting, attended CalCities Housing Community and Economic Development Policy Committee meeting.

    Mayor Bergel traveled to Sacramento to see Senator McGuire sworn in, missed the Trash Bash, attended the dedication of a new Little Free Library, hosted a class from College of the Redwoods for students with Developmental Disabilities and lead them in a mock Council meeting, attended the Chamber Gala, attended Kindness Day at Grant Elementary.

    Adjournment - Watch

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  • Regular City Council Meeting - January 16, 2024

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    View Agenda - Watch Entire Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement - Watch

    The land that Eureka rests on is known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji. Past actions by local, State and Federal governments removed the Wiyot and other indigenous peoples from the land and threatened to destroy their cultural practices. The City of Eureka acknowledge the Wiyot community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. This acknowledgement demonstrates the City’s commitment to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

    Report Out of Closed Session - Watch

    Motion passed with 4 yes votes and one abstention to authorize City Attorney Luna to initiate litigation to petition for receivership at 1766 P Street. Councilmember Bauer recused himself from that item.

    Roll Call - Watch

    Mayor Bergel presiding; Councilmember Castellano, Councilmember Moulton, Councilmember Fernandez, Councilmember Bauer, and Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach present in chambers.

    A. Mayor’s Announcements - Watch

    A.1. Proclamation: Appreciation of Service for Charles Petty - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Mayor Bergel, in recognition of Charles "Chuck" Petty and his many years of service to the City of Eureka and the Historic Preservation Commission. Presented to Chuck Petty.

    A.2. Proclamation: USCG Manson - Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Bauer, in recognition of Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Manson's life-saving actions. Presented to Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Manson.

    A.3. Proclamation: National Mentoring Month- Watch

    View the Proclamation

    Read by Councilmember Moulton, in recognition of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast's 55 years of service in Humboldt County and proclaiming January 2024 as National Mentoring Month. Presented to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast.

    B. Presentations - Watch

    B.1. 2023 Home For The Holidays Recognition - Watch

    Presented by Economic Development Coordinator Sarah West

    Presentation of awards to the winners of the 2023 Home for the Holidays contest. This year was the 4th annual contest. Voting is open in the last two weeks of the year, and goes through Christmas. The contest is open to participants in the greater Eureka area, and do not need to be within City limits. This year extended the voting through Christmastime, which was peak voting time. Will be continuing that in the future.

    Participants compete for 1st Place, 2nd Place, and Mayor's Choice. Winners are awarded a gift certificate to a Eureka business of their choice. 1st and 2nd Place winners are chosen by popular vote through online voting. Mayor's Choice is chosen by Mayor Bergel.

    D. Public Comment - Watch

    Five people shared public comment. One commenter thanked City staff and Councilmembers for responding to an incident; asked for a better response from their representative Councilmember, and shared their observation of incidences of crime. One commenter shared their opinion about homeless people and their own observations with Council, and articles written about other cities. One commenter shared their experience of riding the new public transit service from Eureka to Ukiah, their appreciations for the NAACP Martin Luther King Jr Day celebrations, and that they will be sending a ceasefire resolution to Council. One commenter shared an invitation to the public to participate in Humboldt Marble Weekend, February 9th through February 11th. One commenter asked that Consent Calendar Item F.4. to be pulled from the Calendar. Mayor Bergel confirmed that the item will be pulled from the Calendar for discussion.

    E. Public Hearings - Watch

    E.1. Carrington Company Lot Line Adjustment Coastal Development Permit (CDP-23-0001) Appeal - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - City Council Resolution

    Attachment 2 - LLA Map

    Attachment 3 - Appeals

    Attachment 4 - Planning Commission Report

    Presented by Senior Planner Caitlin Castellano

    Review of second appeal by the Carrington Company's Lot Line Adjustment Coastal Development Permit at 4775 Broadway. The applicant proposes the adjustment of the lot lines of three parcels, resulting in three parcels. No new parcels will be created.

    The site is located in the southern portion of Eureka, along Broadway and abutting the City-County line. Most of the property is within the Coastal Zone, with a small portion of the most north-east corner in the Inland Zone. The property is currently comprised of three parcels, and the proposed Lot Line Adjustment (LLA) will result in three parcels. The proposed LLA would section off the portion of the property currently used by the Butler Valley Carol Sund Center into a 3 acre parcel (Parcel A), and section off the upper terrace portion of the property into its own distinct 20 acre parcel (Parcel C) separate from the 61 acre grazed lowland portion of the property (Parcel B). The applicant's stated purpose of the LLA is to convey Parcel A to the Butler Valley operation, retain Parcel B and continue leasing it for grazing, and potentially sell Parcel C in the future. No physical development or new uses are proposed on any of the proposed parcels at this time.

    The property is in the Coastal Zone, and the LLA is non-exempt development and is requires a Coastal Development Permit (CDP). The CDP is appealable to the Coastal Commission, and must conform to the policies of the Local Coastal Program (LCP). Based on the findings and analysis (available in the Director's Staff Report), the Director approved the CDP with three conditions, outlined in the Director's Staff Report. Two of the conditions are intended to limit impacts to coastal resources through deed restrictions on Parcel B, and one condition stipulates that the LLA cannot be recorded until the CDP becomes effective. Parcel B is subject to these deed restrictions because the proposed Parcel B would be without any clear uplands, and any potential development would require filling of wetland. The deed restriction conditions stipulate that Parcel B may not have any future development except for developments outlined in the Director's Staff Report, and only after all necessary permits and authorizations are obtained, including a Coastal Development Permit; and that proposed Parcel A include an access easement to access Parcel B.

    The Director conditionally approved CDP on 11/13/23. 18 community members joined the meeting on Zoom; 9 spoke and 9 appeals were received. The concerns shared at that meeting were about the City's noticing procedure and the use of Zoom only to conduct the Director's hearing, the LLA not consistent with the LCP. The Planning Commission sustained the Director's approval by a 2:1 vote, with one recusal and one absent on 12/13/23. 6 community members spoke, 4 appeals were received. Concerns similar to what had been previously expressed, and new concerns about the use of exemption from CEQA, future traffic and safety impacts near Pine Hill Elementary, and impacts to views as a result from any potential future development of the upper terrace (Parcel C). The Planning Commission's responses to the appeals are included in the Planning Commission Report.

    Council may sustain, modify, or overrule the Planning Commission-level decision on appeal, and if Council sustains or approves, that decision is appealable to the Coastal Commission. An important note is that any future development on any resultant parcel must be consistent with Coastal Agriculture land use/zoning designation, and requires CDP and environmental review, and no new uses or physical development is authorized by the LLA, which allows for the exemption from CEQA.

    Mayor Bergel invited the applicant to shared comments with Council.

    Applicant's agent Mike O'Hearn, surveyor with O'Hearn and Associates. O'Hearn conducted the parcel research and mapping for the LLA. Satisfied with staff summary, iterated that there are no new parcels created as a result of the LLA, and no development is being proposed at this time. Carrington Company is creating Parcel A to make a donation of the parcel to the Butler Valley Carole Sund Center. Mr. Carrington has a personal interest in the work that the center does with developmentally disabled adults, and wants to give the land to the organization. Applicant wanted to make the lot lines better fit the land, by consolidating the lowland and the upper terrace into their own separate parcels. If there is any future development, that would have to go through the full permitting and CEQA analysis. This LLA would not have any impact on traffic. Asks for Council to approve the LLA.

    Council Questions

    Councilmember Castellano noted that many of the comments received expressed concerns about potential future development, and asked if there could be potential future developments on the site as the lot lines are now. Answer: Mike O'Hearn as the lot lines are now, there are two parcels that cover the developable upper terrace, and there could be the potential for two separate development projects on two parcels. Senior Planner Castellano added that any developments would have to be developed consistent with the Coastal Agriculture zoning designation.

    Councilmember Castellano asked if there were future developments regardless of the LLA, would there be a similar process followed in terms of going to the Coastal Commission and such. Answer: yes.

    Public Hearing Comments

    Seven people shared public comment. All of the commenters shared concerns about the impact of the LLA proposal on the surrounding roads and habitat. Several commenters spoke in support of the planned donation of a proposed parcel to the Butler Valley Carol Sund Center, but were very concerned about the effects of any potential development on other proposed parcels. Commenters spoke about the unique nature of the sensitive wetland habitat located on two of the proposed parcels, and express concern for that habitat in the event of not yet proposed development. One commenter shared their belief that there are plans to develop the upper terrace section, and that it would be in contradiction to the City's General Plan. One commenter shared an observation of an osprey nest that was not captured in an old report.

    Council Questions & Comments

    Councilmember Bauer asked if development was allowed in the 100-foot ESHA (environmentally sensitive habitat areas) buffers, noted in Attachment 4, in the Wetland Delineation Report. Answer: Senior Planner Castellano noted that the Wetland Delineation Report that is included, is from 2012 when there was a previous study done for a potential subdivision. This report was included to show that there had been a wetland delineation, and that there were at least some upland areas outside of those 100-foot buffers. If it were ever to be developed in the future, a new wetland delineation would be required, but under the Coastal Commission regulations, no development is allowed within the 100-foot buffer unless it is demonstrated based on evidence that a smaller buffer would be appropriate and still protect the resource. The 100-foot buffer is standard unless it can be proved that a smaller buffer would be sufficient.

    Councilmember Castellano has concerns about the items brought up, and how those concerns play into the decision before Council about the lot line adjustments. Councilmember Castellano believes that the Coastal Commission will take the concerns presented here very seriously, and will review environmental analysis that the Council is not situated to consider when only looking at the LLA, and moving forward with the LLA will push the matter into a renewed review of the habitats at the site. Councilmember Castellano does not believe that the environmental concerns will change based on where the lines are drawn.

    Councilmember Moulton commented that there is one stated definite outcome that is the good of giving the parcel to the care home organization, where as the future development, we have to trust the process and give the benefit of the doubt that what's going to be done in the future, if something happens in the future, will be done in a way that's responsible and in compliance with the law.

    Councilmember Fernandez noted that procedurally this is only a consideration of the LLA, but to say that the LLA should not be allowed because of something that may happen in the future is something that Councilmember Fernandez is reluctant to do. There are procedures, there is CEQA in place to make those decisions. The Planning Commission and Council will have the oversight with future developments on this site, and would like to move forward with the approval of the LLA at this time.

    Motion to council

    Council moved to approve staff recommendation; motion passed unanimously.

    F. Consent Calendar - Watch

    Item F.4. was previously requested to be pulled from the Consent Calendar for discussion.

    F.1. Approve City Council regular minutes of December 19, 2023

    December 19, 2023 Minutes

    F.2. Outdoor Equity Grants Program Fund Authorizing Grant Resolution for D.Y.N.A.M.I.C. (Discovering Your Nature Adventure and Making Impactful Connections)

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Resolution

    F.3. Mayor's Appointments to Boards and Commissions

    Agenda Summary

    F.5. Biosolids Disposal Project 2024/26 Award

    Agenda Summary

    F.6. Community Block Grant Program Coronavirus Response (CDBG-CV) Standard Agreement Amendment

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - CDBG-CV Amendment Resolution

    Motion to council

    Council moved to moved to approve the Consent Calendar minus item F.4.; motion passed unanimously.

    F.4. Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders Letter of Support - Watch

    Councilmember Castellano was recused for this item.

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Letter of Support

    Presented by City Manager Slattery.

    This item is a letter of support for Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders (HAPI), the organization that has worked with City staff on the Chinese Expulsion memorial. They have applied for a California Humanities Grant to help support that project, and staff has put together a letter of support for their application to make it more competitive.

    Council Questions & Comments

    No questions from Council.

    Public comment for this item

    Public comment from Sheri Woo of the steering committee of HAPI, thanked Council and staff for being supportive of not only this project, but of the other projects that are a part of the Eureka Chinatown Project including the interpretive panels, the renaming of Charlie Moon Way, the mural, and the tours of the area. Noted that there is a segment on local PBS station KEET program where HAPI is also featured.

    Motion to council

    Council moved to approve Item F.4. Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders Letter of Support; motion passed with 4 yes votes and 1 absent.

    H. Ordinances & Resolutions - Watch

    H.1. 2024 Salary Schedule - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Resolution

    Attachment 2 - Salary Schedule

    Presented by Human Resources Director Will Folger

    This is a routine item that requires approval each year, and there are several changes that are effective as of January 1st, 2024.

    The City Salary Schedule is routinely updated and approved by Council, as required by CalPERS regulations. When there are changes to executive salaries, there is a requirement that those changes are reported orally. The changes to the salary schedule reflect routine changes to the Classification and Compensation Plan, including newly created classifications, minimum wage raises, and previously negotiated and approved salary raises that went into effect on January 1st and will be applied to all permanent classifications, including the salaries for executive positions.

    • City Manager, moving from Grade Code (GC) 303 to GC 313
    • Assistant City Manager, moving from GC 263 to GC 273
    • Public Works Director, moving from GC 257 to 267
    • Development Services Director, Community Services Director, Finance Director, and Human Resources Director, all within the same GC, moving from GC 251 to GC 261

    These changes are a part of the 5% increase in salaries that will be applied across the board to all positions that have not received an independent market rate adjustment during the term of the current contracts.

    Council Questions

    No questions from Council for this item.

    Public comment for this item

    No public comment for this item.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano appreciates the raising of the lower levels of the wages tier, and still has concerns that there are employees starting at less than $18.00/hour with the increased costs of living, and would like to see that addressed. Councilmember Castellano understand the technicalities of incremental adjustments, and would like to keep this matter in the forefront of attention.

    Motion to council

    Council moved to adopt the resolution approving the 2024 Salary Schedule; motion passed unanimously.

    H.2. Eureka Police Department Equipment Ordinance - Watch

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Bill No. 1033 Military Use Ordinance

    Attachment 2 - AB 481 EPD Military Equipment

    Presented by City Manager Slattery

    This is the same ordinance that was brought before council at the last meeting (See the summary and watch the presentation to Council at the December 19, 2023 meeting), and there have been no changes since then. This is an inventory of the equipment that Eureka Police Department (EPD) uses, including equipment that is owned by EPD and equipment owned by the County or other agencies. Nothing has changed since the Public Hearing at the last meeting, and staff is asking Council to adopt the ordinance. EPD must come before Council to add items owned by other agencies to inventory of items available to use, or when EPD would like to purchase items.

    Council Questions

    No questions from Council for this item.

    Public comment for this item

    No public comment for this item.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Fernandez cited Councilmember Moulton's comments from the December 19 Council Meeting and appreciates the attempt to bring more of this to light so we have an understanding of the use and a timeline of when, why, and how these materials may be used by law enforcement in Eureka.

    Motion to council

    Council moved to adopt the resolution; motion passed unanimously.

    I. Reports & Action Items - Watch

    I.1. Measure A Opposition Letter

    Councilmember Bauer was recused for this item.

    Agenda Summary

    Attachment 1 - Measure A Opposition Letter

    Presented by City Manager Slattery

    This item was brought by a Councilmember at the last Council meeting as an urgency item for legislative action, after being contacted by opponents of Measure A. Council had staff bring this item back for more discussion and consideration. Since that time, City Manager Slattery has received communication from proponents of and opponents to Measure A, and has forwarded all information received about this item to Council. That information did not make it into the agenda packet, both because staff was continuing to receive information after the agenda publication time, and this is a County measure that has gone through multiple public processes, including a forum in Arcata.

    A brief overview of the talking points from the proponents of Measure A says that this will protect rivers, streams, and wildlife; it will add a goal to the General Plan supporting small-scale, high quality cannabis cultivation, discourage future large-scale farms by limiting the size to less than 10,000 square feet for new permits, limit the number of permits and acreage under cannabis cultivation, protect vested rights and property rights, improve public participation and official accountability, and support effective enforcement.

    Opponents to Measure A say that the definitions being expanded will result in the ballot measure being applied to existing permit holders any time the number or size of existing structures in connection with cultivation, which will preclude modifications of the site, even for environmental protection. It caps the cultivation area to 10,000 square feet, which they feel is arbitrary when in parts of the state cultivation size is over 100 acres, and will make grows that are greater than 10,000 square feet or grows that mix light and indoor cultivation legal-non-conforming, which means the sites cannot be modified. The permit term and renewal limitations of the ballot measure would greatly increase the costs of the permits. When the ballot measure becomes effective, it'll impose caps that have already been met, and the ballot measure will require that any amendment to the cannabis codes for the county be changed through another ballot measures, which opponents say with the industry being dynamic and changing, will make it difficult to adapt to those changes.

    Council Questions

    No questions from Council for this item.

    Public comment for this item

    10 people spoke for this item. 8 people spoke in opposition of Measure A, and two proponents of Measure A spoke. Two proponents and one opponent asked that the City Council not weigh in and not send the open letter. Proponents for Measure A spoke about the time taken to build the language of the initiative, how they see would be a benefit to environmental harms they see. Opponents against Measure A spoke about their own experiences as growers and manufacturers, the amount of strict compliance must currently go through as growers, and that this would be an additional burden. Some commenters shared that this could be an existential burden. Opponents also shared what other entities in the County were also publicly against this measure.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Castellano supports the letter in opposition to this County measure, and recognizes the stress that local farmers experience. Has heard from a number of farmers, and would like for Humboldt County to continue to be a place where people can come to get locally grown cannabis.

    Councilmember Contreras-Deloach has spoken to a number of people since this item was first introduce and now, including people involved in the industry, civic leaders, people involved in enforcement, and tribal leaders. Does not support this letter, and is not comfortable with Council weighing in as most of the cultivation does not happen in Eureka; and is important for the voters to decide on this matter. People have shared the great issue with abandoned farms, diversion of streams, destruction of watersheds, and facing many years of environmental impacts of abandoned sites when farms go under. Tribal leaders have shared the great issue with poisoning of streams and watersheds, which poison wildlife, including fish. Has heard from a number of groups speaking about the downsides of the industry, and based on the information shared with her, will vote to not send the letter for these reasons.

    Councilmember Fernandez discussed the intent versus the impact, and that the measure is written too broadly. This will have an impact on Eureka, even if there is no commercial cultivation within City Limits; this will impact manufacturing and retail, and will be voting to send the letter.

    Mayor Bergel cannot vote on the matter, but did share appreciation for the courage of the farmers to come forward and take a risk to become legitimate, and does not believe that there is any business or industry that is as regulated as cannabis, and that it is over-regulated. Noted that this measure would only impact legal grows and not illegal grows, which are the sources of the issues that this measure seeks to meet.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach responded to the comments from the Mayor, learned from law enforcement that there are issues with legal operations circumnavigating the rules, and that there could be a lot done to be more friendly, and also sees that the market is saturated.

    Motion to council

    Council voted to approve the sending of the letter in opposition to Measure A; motion passed with three yes votes, one no vote, and on abstention.

    I.2. Elect Mayor Pro-Tem

    Councilmember Castellano served as the Mayor Pro-Tem for 2023, and Council will elect a Mayor Pro-Tem for 2024.

    Council Comments & Nominations

    Councilmember Fernandez indicated interest.

    Councilmember Moulton asked if Councilmember Castallano was interested in serving in the role again.

    Councilmember Castellano said that there were not many opportunities to appear as Mayor Pro-Tem in the past year, as Mayor Bergel was not absent from many events or meetings, and would like to serve again.

    Public comment for this item

    No comments from attendees in chamber, none on Zoom.

    Motion to council

    Councilmember Moulton nominated Councilmember Castallano for Mayor Pro-Tem, Councilmember Bauer seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

    J. Future Agenda Items - Watch

    Councilmember Bauer requested a check-in report from the Crisis Alternative Response of Eureka (CARE) Mental Health Clinicians. City Manager Slattery noted that staff was planning on providing a report to Council in City Manager's Reports, will agendize it separately provided there is consensus from Council. Response: Consensus reached.

    Councilmember Bauer has been reading about private equity firms and other corporations purchasing homes to rent and becoming landlords, seeing this mostly happen on the East Coast. Would like to ask staff to review if this could be a issue that could affect Eureka when reviewing the upcoming ordinance for short-term rentals. Concern is over private equity firms buying up apartments and becoming terrible landlords, and would like to discuss if creating an ordinance before it's an issue when discussing short-term rentals. Response: Consensus reached.

    K. City Manager Reports - Watch

    K.1. Development Services Customer Service Survey - Watch

    Presented by Development Services Director Kenyon

    The City had received a grant with a requirement and funding to conduct a survey related to Customer Service in the Development Services Department.

    The Development Services department is one of five other departments that comprises the organization of the City of Eureka. The department is a very small, and has two divisions, Planning and Building. The Planning division is made up of two Senior Planners, three Assistant Planners, two part-time, temporary Planners, and an Administrative Technician. The Building division is made up of a Chief Building Official, a Building Inspector, a Permit Analyst, and an Administrative Technician. The four-person Building division issued 1,196 building permits in 2023, without any outside plan-check.

    This survey came out of a goal of the Housing Element, Housing Element Goal H-1, and Implementation Program H-5, and received funding for the survey from a grant. In addition, Director Kenyon was inspired by the City of Eureka's Strategic Visioning and conducted visioning for the Development Services Department, and outlined department vision and goals. The vision statement that was crafted by the Planning team is service-oriented.

    The Planning division created an online survey that was 24 questions long about permit processes and customer service. The survey took approximately 8 minutes to complete, and was sent out in July of 2023 to people who applied for a building or planning permit in 2021 or 2022. 599 customers were emailed and postcards were mailed to 2,386 customers. 61 people responded. The timeframe for the survey means that the respondents were people who applied prior to the new City website and before the City moved to online permitting through OpenGov, as well as during the pandemic, and when the department was at a different staffing level and the Building division was relying on outside consultants to perform plan check. Staff were also working remotely, which had a major impact on responsiveness.

    Out of the 61 respondents, 55% applied for building permits only, 17% were for planning permits only, and 28% applied for both, and most of the respondents were the property owners. Customer service is important to the Development Services department, since they have a lot of interaction with the public, especially property owners, in situations that have high stakes for the applicants.

    There is a customer service survey from 2015, the Business Ready Study that asks a lot of the same questions, and provides a good point of comparison. This was sent to local businesses, instead of just permit applicants, and had questions about all City departments. The Business Ready Study is included in the the Planning Library. Many of the items requested in that survey have been implemented in the time since the survey was conducted. Now have a pre-application development review process where twice each month, relevant departments and some outside agencies review a preliminary site plan submitted by the project proponent and provide feedback the project proponent can include in their design process. Have had comprehensive update to the Inland Zoning Code, to allow for greater flexibility based on context, and perform an annual cleanup amendment to address issues with the implementation of the zoning code. The Planning division now has Spanish speakers on staff. The set up of how applicants interact with the Planning division has changed; prior to 2020, the public visited the third floor, and now the public requests assistance at the first floor counter, and staff comes downstairs. This change has improved staff efficiency.

    The current best practices for the Planning division workflow is to refer projects to other agencies and departments early, to highlight any issues early in the process. Have a Planner on Duty assigned daily to be available for calls or walk-ins. Planners create written records that are tied to that property in the database to record any research done for each property, which prevents work from being duplicated and allows for consistent communication about a property. Customer service is a part of employee evaluations at hiring and annual performance reviews, and there is support for staff training for things like interpersonal skills, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training, and there is time set aside for training each month.

    The current survey results show that most respondents found the permitting process to be mostly clear, with most respondents reporting that they found the permitting steps, permitting fees and items necessary for a complete application to be clear, but the timeline of the permitting process to be confusing. Respondents could choose answers from Very Clear, Clear, Confusing, and Very Confusing.

    The survey asked respondents to select items from a list of actions that they felt would most improve the City's permitting process. The top responses were to consolidate information on necessary permits and approves from the various City departments in one location, to allow staff to approve more projects administratively without committee/commission review, and to designate a point person that coordinates with all departments, or a "one stop shop". Other ideas for improvement that came out of some of the open-ended sections of the survey include continuing to clean up/update the code, including Coastal Zoning Code update, more same-day approvals; more ministerial approvals; streamline findings for discretionary approvals, better communication on what needs a permit and what info is needed for the application and why, and OpenGov improvements such as yes or no questions to help figure out permits needs; auto-fill duplicative info among permits.

    Survey respondents rated their interactions with Planning and Building staff. Speed of response, clarity and accuracy of information provided, professionalism and courtesy, and helpfulness with problem-solving or challenging or unique circumstances were all rated positively, but the responses for clarity, professionalism, and helpfulness were down from the 2015 study. Ideas for improvements for how staff interacts with the public include creating standard customer service training of new staff, requesting customer feedback more, train staff on written correspondence, get out in the community more, like tabling at Friday Night Markets, and growing Talk Eureka website, the community engagement forum.

    Respondents gave feedback about the coordination and communication among the City divisions and departments during the application and review process. 66% of respondents rated as Coordinated or Very Coordinated, while 18% said Very Uncoordinated. Ideas for improvement in this area include cross-training, using a model of a Planner as a case manager to help people move through the process, and follows an application through the process, building relationships with outside agencies, and holding internal multi-division project meetings for more complex projects.

    Respondents were asked about if they went through the pre-application review process. 14% had gone through, and all but one person found it to be helpful or somewhat helpful. The people who did not participate were asked if they were aware of this option, and 88% of respondents were unaware. Ideas for improvement here include getting the word out to the community that this is an option, and adding follow-up emails from staff with contact info and the roles of staff who attended these reviews.

    Respondents were asked if they had conducted business at City Hall. 59% of people said yes; this will go down with OpenGov as the permitting application is available online. The average rating from the respondents was 3.5 out of 5 stars. Improvements regarding this are already beginning, staff has installed better signage at the front desk, and will be adding better ADA access and workstations, creating and advertising appointment system to encourage scheduling ahead to allow for more informed conversations, more cross-training, and ensuring proper training for new staff before they are assigned front-counter work without supervision.

    Respondents were asked about the City website, the responses were more than likely about the old website which was updated in January of 2023. 71% of respondents said that they had visited the website for development-related information, and the average rating of that website experience was 3.3 stars out of 5. Asked respondents open-ended questions about how to improve, and had good responses: the new website is an improvement, and more ideas for improvement are to improve ADA compliance, add Spanish language material, review the content to ensure use of plain language, add more guidance about regulations and processes, increase use of the Web GIS viewer and educate the public on how to use it, and have all permit information together in one place, as opposed to by department.

    The survey asked if respondents had participated in the permitting process in other cities or counties, and 64% of the respondents said they did, and the most common jurisdiction was Humboldt, Fortuna, and Arcata. Most of the respondents said that Eureka's process was roughly equivalent or more difficult than the other jurisdictions, but responded that the costs were either roughly equivalent or cheaper that other jurisdictions. Ideas for improvement include talking to other jurisdictions about how they handle their processes, and explaining the permit fees better.

    The process of improving customer service in the Development Services department is an ongoing process. Will conduct a survey like this in a few years to measure the progress made.

    City Manager Slattery added that he has seen a huge progression in improvements in Development Services in his employment at the City, and does not receive the amount of complaints that had done so previously, but receives positive feedback from customers and the community. The work that staff has been doing to improve the experience of the public is visible.

    Council Comments

    Councilmember Bauer commented that he was glad to see the improvements, saw a lot of positivity in the survey responses, and is appreciative of the presentation. Asked the public to please participate in surveys when they come out.

    M. Council Reports & City Related Travel Reports - Watch

    Councilmember Bauer attended CalCities policy committee introductory meeting, will be discussing legislation, a lot of which will affect the City; attended the JPA [Humboldt Bay Fire Joint Powers Authority] meeting; will be attending RCEA [Redwood Coast Energy Authority] meeting; noted that it will be a busy winter with lots of legislation at the Capitol.

    Councilmember Castellano attended Eureka Main Street and HWMA [Humboldt Waste Management Authority] meetings; will be attending CalCities Housing and Economic Development Committee meeting; attended Eureka NAACP Martin Luther King Jr Day celebration and HC Black Music and Arts celebration, shared that they were powerful events.

    Councilmember Contreras-DeLoach hosted a field trip for a high school civics class; attended CalCities Tax and Revenue Committee meeting and will be discussing the Governor's Budget and will be learning more about the upcoming budget cuts, will be affecting housing and homelessness funding; attended swearing in of Eureka Police Chief Stephens; attended NAACP MLK Day celebration.

    Councilmember Fernandez had cell phone stolen and missed some events; attended CalCities Governmental Transparency and Labor Relations committee; will be attending 2x2 with Eureka City Schools; attended NAACP MLK Day Celebration.

    Councilmember Moulton will be starting up 2x2 meetings with Eureka City Schools later this month; offered congratulations to Chief Stephens, was unable to attend the swearing in; noted that the January Arts Alive was well attended despite the amount of rain; had traveled during the holidays back to hometown in Texas and shared appreciation for local governments and communities working together to maintain community space. Attended JPA meeting; and will be hosting a Town Hall on Tuesday, January 23rd in Council Chambers at City Hall, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm to discuss the Jacobs Site. The site has changed hands and is now no longer owned by Eureka City Schools, and Councilmember Moulton is hosting the Town Hall to discuss what developments are possible there, and gather feedback from the community about what the community would like to see there.

    City Manager Slattery noted an item not mentioned in City Manager's Reports, was notified via press release that the City was awarded a 1.9 million dollar grant to fund electric vehicle charging stations. The City will be in the design process in the next year, and begin the installation phase in the next two years.

    Mayor Bergel also had items not mentioned in the Mayor's Reports; shared that it was an honor to swear in Chief Stephens. Noted that community problems require community solutions, and invites community members to join in and volunteer or attend events, or meet with elected officials, and invites community members to share what changes they would like enacted.

    Adjournment - Watch

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Page last updated: 15 May 2024, 01:10 PM