Sebastopol City Council Preview 2020

The Sebastopol City Council is meeting virtually Tuesday night, July 21 at 6 p.m. You can watch it live, or watch a recording of it after the meeting occurs.  

Here’s what’s on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

As part of its consent calendar, the council will be considering the following items:

  • Approval of minutes for the June 30, July 7 and July 8 council minutes
  • Approval of a resolution designating the authority and updating the process and procedures in the determination of disability retirement for safety employees
  • Approval of an amendment to the lease of the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center (to lease the outdoor space)
  • Approval of the deadline for the city climate action subcommittee — approval of the youth application and approval to schedule interviews
  • Approval of an award of contract for the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center kitchen rehabilitation and upgrade

The council will also be appointing someone to fill an open spot on the Public Arts Committee. 

They will also be holding a public hearing to consider the approval of an extension of the moratorium on the establishment of new non-hosted vacation rentals of more than 30 days per year. The moratorium was created Aug. 6, 2019 and extended in September until Aug. 6 of this year. The initial moratorium was put in place following the council’s decision that converting a dwelling unit into a vacation rental was inconsistent with the city’s housing element, which, according to the agenda item for the public hearing, states that the city should “take measures to protect existing housing stock for permanent residents.”

The city is expected to begin working with a consultant in August to assist it with figuring out how to regulate non-hosted vacation rentals. The moratorium being addressed in the public hearing does not apply to non-hosted vacation rentals that are registered with the city, non-hosted vacation rentals of less than 30 days per year or hosted vacation rentals. 

The council will discuss and consider results from W-Trans about potential changes to Florence Avenue due to parking and safety concerns. The issues they addressed including maximizing street parking on the north end of Florence and increasing line of sight distances from residential driveways on the street.

Initiated by recent local and national events, the city held two June public meetings to hear concerns and feedback from Sebastopol residents around law enforcement and law enforcement practices. At the meetings, it was proposed that the city hire a consultant, Jerry Threet, to help the city develop review and audit police department policies, practices and training, facilitate community meetings and help better understand the Sebastopol community and its concerns relating to the police. At its Tuesday night meeting, the council will consider the budget range of $30,000 to $40,000 for the scope of work for Threet, as well as consider the framework of the actions needed to ensure that the city council is informed and able to utilize community input. 

Earlier this year, the council approved hiring consultancy firm CoMission to help Sebastopol revitalize its downtown and encourage businesses and nonprofits to support one another. Since it was initially brought on, CoMission’s direction has changed due to the impact of COVID-19. Included in their work, CoMission conducted a business survey and launched the Sip, Shop, Savor, Safe Sebastopol campaign. To help CoMission address more of its objectives including hosting webinars, sessions for businesses and nonprofits, working on pandemic recovery and more, city staff is bringing forward a $85,000-125,000 budget adjustment.

According to the agenda item report, 10-15% of the funds would be used by CoMission to pay other professionals to host webinars, leverage local artists and designers for marketing material and develop infrastructure and support from the chamber of commerce. 

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