Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 18, 2017     Feather River Bulletin
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October 18, 2017

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4B Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter |I Lauren Westmoreland Staff Writer The focus of City Hall continued to be centered on the formation of the city's draft cannabis ordinance at the Portola City Council meeting Oct. 11. City Attorney Steve Gross explained to the council that after a long line of meetings on the topic, with much fine-tuning, an ordinance had been crafted that he hoped would be right for the community. The ordinance fiat-out prohibits commercial grows or activity of any sort within city limits, which includes growing, processing and dispensaries, regardless of whether the activity would be medical or recreational in nature. The ordinance would allow for licensed, permitted deliveries to be driven into the city for medical marijuana patients from dispensaries outside the area and the maximum number of plants allotted for cultivation would be six per residence for personal consumption only, regardless of the number of people in residence. There were few changes made from the last council meeting. The revised ordinance requires "a self-completed certificate of compliance, executed, and returned to the City prior to any cultivation and/or construction of any accessory structure, greenhouse, or fully enclosed and secure structure used for growing marijuana." The council hopes that the certificate would be an educational tool for those who plan on growing, with checklists and conditions for local growers on the form. Council member Tom Cooley noted that he had wondered how the ordinance would be enforced without revenue attached to it, and added that the form would be the first step to inform the public on what constitutes growing responsibly. Another revision reduced the allotted cultivation area from 125 square feet to 100 square feet. Gross noted that in other areas, 100 square feet seems to be an average size for cultivation. Gross also stated that reducing the square footage would likely limit the amount of crop yield, as the city does not want to promote or foster extra production. There were also thoughts that perhaps making the grow space smaller could potentially assist with minimizing cannabis odor. Another significant change to the draft requires that cannabis cultivation within city limits must be concealed from public view so that there is no exterior evidence of cultivation, including minimum fencing requirements, the use of translucent windows and identifying specific nuisance violations. Cooley then noted that there was a focus on owner responsibility, requiring homeowners to sign off on tenants potentially cultivating cannabis on rental property. Gross reminded the council that the formation of the ordinance was a "living" process, and that the council could get regulations in place before state cannabis regulations come into play beginning in 2018. He stated that the council can always revisit and free tune the ordinance at a later date. Community Service Officer Chuck Brashear mentioned that he would like to see a driver's license or California ID number on the compliance certificate to ensure that he can better enforce the ordinance. Larry Douglas asked if it would be possible to provide a timeframe for filing the proposed certificate for those that may already be in the process of cultivation. After discussion, the council determined to revise the ordinance adding a 60-day grace period for those already cultivating to become compliant, and requiring the compliance certificate include identification information such as a driver's license or California ID card number for enforcement purposes. The council voted Ul3nnimou~ly to ~ppro'tro tho changes. City Clerk Melissa Klundby reminded the room that a final ordinance must be on the Oct. 25 agenda to be adopted by Nov. 11, with time for a required notice in the paper. City Council communications During the city council communications portion of the meeting, council member Phil Oels noted his engagement in a "really good conversation" with John Hodgkins on the 192 Development Agreement, as well as sitting in on a conference call with city staff, the State Water Resources Control Board, the city of Redding and others to discuss local water infrastructure. Council member Bill Powers commented on the fact the Forest Service had given a total of $729,000 to a variety of county and forest projects, from fuels reduction to trails work. "It was very well done," Powers said. "Only two projects were turned away on technical issues." Powers also took a moment to share that after his recent training on suicide prevention first aid, he receivedf a call that one of the 19 in his class had died by suicide, saying, "It really sent a shockwave through me and brought home how urgently we need mental [health] first aid in our community." Powers asked the room to keep the rest of California in mind as the state endures multiple fires. "I've never seen anything like it," said Powers. Council member Tom Cooley noted his meeting with Powers in their capacity as the infrastructure committee, and that the committee met with Intermountain Disposal to discuss contract conditions and how to improve communications between the city, the community and IMD. "It was a very productive meeting," Cooley said. Mayor Pat Morton said she attended several meetings with City Manager Robert Meacher, who then gave his City Manager's Report. City Manager's report Meacher stated that staff was still struggling with FEMA, explaining that CalOES appeared to have kept notes throughout the process to request funds for winter storm damage in the city, but the notes were never shared with FEMA. "We're trying to extract that information from the now-retired CalOES representative that we had been working with," Meacher said wryly. "Dan Bastian is really leading that effort." Meacher also noted that with the many major ' disasters in the state and country, Portola's potholes might not be a priority for FEMA, but that he would endeavor to keep the process moving. Meacher commented upon his recent conversation with Hodgkins on the 192 Development Agreement, stating that there may be potential for cap and trade funds to jumpstart the 10-acre, 60-unit project. He also noted that all staff efforts related to the project would be billed to the state, as it currently qualifies for technical assistance. Meacher spoke about the failed CDBG sewer project and how the potential water infrastructure project was very encouraging. "This would be from a state revolving loan fund," Meacher explained. "That means the funds would be a grant to the city." "The Beckwourth Rim Trail project is now at a phase to garner letters of support to move forward," Meacher commented with a smile. "The mural at the Old Town Portola Event Center is moving along and the ~rroup is still fundraising, and looking for group sponsors of the five panel mural. So, very positive, moving forward." Meacher ended by noting to the council that they had an issue regarding possible city council exposure to litigation, which the council moved to add to the agenda as a closed session urgency item. Gross then updated the room on the status of the Schism Estate claim from the bowling alley fire, explaining that detailed information has been submitted and the claim seems to be moving forward and is recognized as valid. PVFD advisory committee After Meacher told the room that Chief Duff has been doing his best to pull the Portola Fire Department together, Morton formed an ad-hoc Portola Volunteer Fire Department Management Advisory Committee, "enabling action to assist the fire department." The mayor stressed that the objective of the committee was not to cast a shadow on the department, but to assist. Many PVFD members were in attendance, including Assistant Fire Chief Henry Johnson, who stated, "PVFD would welcome a reconstituted committee, and help from the city to assist with ensuring transparency, best management practices and flow with the city council. I think it's a great idea." The council consented to the proposed constitution of the committee, comprised of Morton and Cooley, with all in favor. To contact City Hall, phone 832-6803. Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. and all are welcome to attend and participate. CHP REPORT The following incidents are submitted by the Quincy Area California Highway Patrol as a tentative summary pending the conclusion of the investigation(s). Deer-related accident, Oct. 10 At about 9:05 p.m., Gary Van Treese, 65, of Clio, was driving a 1995 Jeep Cherokee eastbound on Highway 70, just west of Delleker Drive. His stated speed was 55 mph. A deer crossed the highway from north to south directly into the path of the Jeep. The driver applied the brakes and collided with the deer. The Jeep sustained minor damage to its left front headlamp, bumper and grill as a result. The deer died on impact. Van Treese and a passenger had been wearing seat belts at the time. Neither one was hurt,: Iff Have your busJness and/or personal name(s) listed on a full page ad. "We Salute Our Soldiers, Past & Present" (Examples: Chester Progressive or Mr. & Mrs. Smlth) This page will run in all four Plumas County newspapers on Nov. 8th, 2017 /,~'~:/,~+~, ~ ',;++',%,':~~,'~,'~ ~/':: ~i~:~:~L ,. ,,+~ .,,~ ~;'0' ,,~:%.~, ,,, ,~' ',,~!~i~; ,%%+~y :~~,,,~!i~;~'+;'/, ,+~ ~i;. ,i~::, "~i~". 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