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Gridley Herald

Impact Fees for Development, Homelessness

Nov 21, 2023 02:28PM ● By Sharon Pearce

LIVE OAK, CA (MPG) - A new method of calculating impact fees to be used in the proposed Sutter Butte Basin Development was considered by Live Oak City Council at its Wednesday, November 15, 2023, meeting. Kevin Valente, Contract Planner, Michael Bissette and Seth Rosell, Budget Manager, presented the graphics showing how impact fees would be allocated under what would have to be a new ordinance for building in the floodplain.

A Nexus study was required to show how fees would be collected, probably based on square footage of any residence. In the calculations presented, it appeared +/-$57/month or about $685/year might be added for residences.  It showed how a private company that creates a new business, such as the flood plain development in a municipality, can become liable for any new tax laws and registrations. This can even be eliminated if the residence is constructed above the 200-year average projected flood level in urban settings. This development would build above the 100-year projected flood level. Fees, already calculated, would be refunded from past collections.

Rosell explained this is a new impact fee concept – two statutes govern two fees. One is paid from a federal equity approach, and the other requires each residence’s square footage measurement be calculated, so each residence ends with a different fee. Purpose, use, and relationship determines what the fee will be. A 30-year horizon has been calculated at $625 million dollars in project fees for flood protection.

This presentation was to have Council pass a resolution that, (1) adopts the Nexus Study, and (2) delegates authority to the City Manager to execute the collection agreement with SBFCA, the Counties of Butte and Sutter and the Cities of Gridley, Live Oak, and Yuba City. The motion was passed on a vote of 4:1, with Councilmember Nancy Santana voting against it.

Close to an hour of the council session was given to a presentation by Johnny Burke, Executive Director of the Sutter Yuba Homeless Consortium as part of Homelessness Awareness Month. Burke pointed out facts about the homelessness issue in the city and county today, and responded to questions of the Council, following which he was presented the Homelessness Awareness proclamation.

Burke stated he took over a church in Yuba City three and one/half years ago, which became the home for the Rescue mission. Burke pointed out that today an individual is considered homeless if the previous night they had no shelter; but if they stayed in a motel, or even a tent, then they were not homeless yet.

Burke said shelters are dealing with a larger, older crowd now: the baby boomers. They are asked two new questions this year: “What city or town did you become homeless in?” and “What city or town do you consider home?” He said half consider where they are to be home. He spoke of the “precariously-housed.” Top reasons for homelessness are inability to pay rent, unemployment or losing a job, and domestic violence.

Housing goals today are to stabilize housing, create brand new affordable housing where new residents are showing they will remain, homeless prevention as day sheltering services are not slowing down, and community engagement, which to date has been “terrible.”  Though much fewer now, homeless still died on the street this year. Sutter Health, for one, has outreach teams, and locally law enforcement has Officer Scott Brooks available to contact. Bridges to Housing services a client one time only, but the Salvation Army will pay a deposit on housing for one to three months, and as they become employed, it drops to 50%.            

Burke emphasized that in California “everything is free choice now; it is very difficult to force anyone into housing. It is being reported severe psych problems came in when (homeless) people were forced to take certain prescription drugs for ‘mental illness.’” In California no one can be locked up for walking around, talking to themself and “acting crazy,” anymore. They can still be put on a 5150 Hold – if showing a danger to self.

You don’t see families with children living outside now; that has changed from five years ago, said Burke, but singles and couples can still be found earning only 50% of needed income for housing and there’s no transitional housing anymore. “Housing First” is the motto today to move people directly off the street.  Those who decline change their mind in inclement weather, it has been found. The program Hands of Hope is there to help.

Vice Mayor Jeramy Chapdelaine congratulated Burke who remarked that about 15 churches in Marysville are open in winter and bad weather to take in homeless plus places in Marysville, and Olivehurst. Mayor Bob Woten told Burke, “Your presentation tonight has certainly educated us a lot on what you do.”

A public commenter requested assistance from the Council on his efforts with some others to develop organized cricket play for community children, an historical game popular in Asian and East Indian communities and growing in popularity again. He was told someone from the city would be in touch with him.

All matters on the consent calendar were passed after discussion on upgrades scheduled for the dog park, and the cost for a new fire hydrant following a multi-car accident where one vehicle crashed into it. That will end with a reimbursed repair cost of $23K.

City Manager Aaron Palmer advised there would be a Turkey Holiday 11/21, a Holiday Stroll event on 12/1, and also in December an event called “Sit on the Engine.” Councilmember Santana asked if there was a larger site to use for the planned Ice Rink. Councilmember Lakhvir Ghag reported on attending some SACOG events covering the pros and cons of e-vehicles and hydrogen-fueled vehicles. Ghag reported there were six mosquito infestations reported to the Vector Control Board for Yuba County, and five for Sutter. Ghag also reported the Sikh Culture Awareness celebration was successful in the number of foil-wrapped Veggie Burritos sold, and in small donations from hundreds of thousands of visitors over three days.

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