Seb meeting preview

The next Sebastopol City Council meeting is on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Youth Annex, 435 Morris St., Sebastopol. Topics include the unveiling of the new Libby Park play structure design, a presentation about Sonoma Clean Power, a possible reconfiguring of crosswalks across Petaluma Avenue near the downtown plaza and more.


The council meeting kicks off with a closed session at 5 p.m. regarding anticipated litigation. According to the agenda, there is one case pending, with no mention about what that might be.


An end to the local emergency declaration

Fire chief Bill Braga signed an emergency proclamation at the end of October during the PG&E power outages, the Kincade Fire and resulting evacuation, and the council ratified that on Nov. 5.

According to the agenda, “The purpose of a local emergency proclamation is to provide extraordinary police powers; immunity for emergency actions; authorize issuance of orders and regulations; activate pre-established emergency provisions; and is a prerequisite for requesting state or federal assistance.”

Now that the emergency is over, the council is expected to terminate this declaration. (See the city staff report.)

Libby Park Playground design and bidding authorization

The city is getting ready to spend the $130,000 it has budgeted to replace the playground structure at Libby Park. The city’s two Rotary clubs stepped forward to raise money for this project (in part by selling tamales) and will be contributing $30,000 of the $130,000 budget. The remaining funding will come from the State Proposition 68 Park grant.

The city did a survey asking what elements people, including local school children, wanted to see in the play structure design. They received 500 responses. The planning commission recommended the following design and at the upcoming meeting the council is being asked to approve the final Libby Park design and to authorize the staff to proceed with procuring bids for the project. (See the city staff report.)

Parking behind the Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce

At the Dec. 3 city council meeting, the city council approved the conversion of the parking lot behind the chamber of commerce from no time limit to three-hour timed parking, with an exemption for post office employees, allowing them to park in excess of the three-hour limit. Since then the police department has received numerous requests from local businesses also wanting permits. To be fair to all downtown businesses, the police department is requesting that the post office employee permit approval be rescinded and no local businesses be exempted from the three-hour limit. (See the city staff report.)

Sonoma County Airport noise concerns

The city council will also consider approving a letter for the mayor to sign and send to the Sonoma County Airport regarding noise from current flight patterns. (See the city staff report.)

A presentation from Sonoma Clean Power

Sonoma Clean Power is a not-for-profit public agency operated by the counties of Sonoma and Mendocino and several local cities, including Sebastopol. Sonoma Clean Power supplies electricity to customers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties from cleaner sources with lower emissions at about the same price as PG&E.

Since inception in 2014, Sonoma Clean Power has saved customers tens of millions of dollars in on-bill savings as well as providing a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. PG&E continues to own and maintain the electrical grid, repair power lines and accomplish all customer billing.

Last year, the Sebastopol City Council signed onto Sonoma Clean Power’s greenest program, Evergreen, which cost an additional $41,000 but is comprised of all local renewables.

Mayor Slayter is the city’s representative on the Sonoma Clean Power Board of Directors and is currently serving as vice chair.

This presentation is for information only; there are no actions scheduled to be taken at this meeting. (See the city staff report.)

Should the city sponsor another year of Sebastopol Walks?

Sebastopol Walks has conducted more than 120 walks around Sebastopol over 12 years, with more than 3,000 participants. The city council will listen to a presentation about Sebastopol Walks and decide whether to sponsor another year. Walks are led by volunteers so there is little or no fiscal impact. (See the city staff report.)

Reconfiguring crosswalks around the downtown plaza

The council will consider adopting a resolution approving Caltrans’ request to eliminate three crosswalks along Highway 116/Petaluma Avenue in downtown and build a new crosswalk across Petaluma Avenue at the Weeks Way entrance to the downtown plaza.  This new crosswalk would include a pedestrian-activated lighted warning system, like that at Bodega and Nelson Way.

The crosswalks that Caltrans is considering eliminating include the crosswalk across Highway 12 at Petaluma Avenue, the crosswalk across Depot Street at Petaluma Avenue, and the cross walk across Petaluma Avenue at McKinley Street. (See the city staff report.)

Apple Blossom 2020

The council will hear a report about the city council-sponsored events planned for Apple Blossom 2020 (some of them tied to the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage). (See the city staff report.)

Sebastopol City Council

The Sebastopol City Council: (L-R) Una Glass, Neysa Hinton, Patrick Slayter, Sarah Glade-Gurney, Michael Carnacchi

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