Following a special closed session preceding the regular Live Oak City Council meeting April 4, Mayor Aleks Tica announced that Finance Director Joe Aguilar will serve as interim City Manager until a replacement for Jim Goodwin is hired. Goodwin and the City Council agreed it was time to sever his employment during a closed session March 28.
The Council Chambers were filled to seating capacity as at least a dozen residents spoke out against the possibility of Big T's Trees coming to Live Oak at the north end of town , 10777 Highway 99 directly behind Premier Homes on Larkin Road.
Many residents and a few who don't live in the subdivision made valid points against the addition of the Yuba City business to Live Oak.
City Planner Kevin Valente and Management Analyst Alison Schmidt answered questions of the Council regarding the municipal code primarily.
Schmidt explained that the applicant had put the application on hold and is not considering relocating to Live Oak at this time.
Issues of noise were brought up by residents and Schmidt stated noise related issues would be handled by code enforcement.
Councilman Jason Banks stated there is no definition of a firewood yard in the City's municipal code.
"I'm having a problem with that even though I know we haven't issued a permit," he stated.
Valente explained that the zoning code has different definitions per uses.
"It's not your fault if it isn't there. It's our fault. Am I missing something?" Councilman Banks asked stating that Google does not have definitions of firewood yards either.
Asking Valente if it is normal to issue a permit without a definition, Councilman Banks was told that it does happen often times.
Councilwoman Diane Hodges stated she wants the city to look nice so that people will stop and not be afraid.
"As far as Big T's Trees, we didn't know what that meant. We need to make sure available land on Highway 99 is zoned. We have three stop lights. We want visitors to have a good view. Yes I want businesses in Live Oak but I don't think that is appropriate for Live Oak," she stated.
Councilwoman Hodges asked how long it would take to look at the City's process as far as updates to zoning codes and was told three months by Schmidt.
A list of 67 signatures from residents of Premier Homes protesting the business being allowed on Highway 99 was presented to Council by resident Jerry Stewart.
He introduced Suzanne Wirth who came prepared with the 2017 CEQA book ready to answer any questions proposed including definitions of a firewood lot such as wood used for fuel and wood that is burned as fuel.
Stewart called the manufacturer of the type of saw mill used and was told decibels are 70. The City of Live Oak's General Plan states the maximum decibel allowed is 60 decibels with a one hour maximum permitted.
"Nobody brought up the General Plan today or at the previous meeting," Stewart stated.
One resident stated he had driven by the Yuba City location of Big T's and called it an absolute dump.
Another resident stated he had lived near a portable mill years ago and that it was loud, dirty and that it smelled when it rained. He also stated their was a problem with bugs and insects.
One resident of Premier Homes explained her father who is a Vietnam Vet with PTSD who needs quiet and peace around his home.
"My mother loves to garden. My father thrives in this environment. We put a lot of time and money in this house. If Big T had been there we wouldn't have moved here. My father sacrificed so much. We have lived in the Yuba Sutter Community a long time. He deserves to live peacefully," she stated.
Potential health hazards were brought up including airborne and inhaled wood dust which can cause cancer and should not be breathed in especially by children playing in their yards.