January 22, 2022

 Celebrating 34 Years of Community Service

Another New Year and we hope you are hopeful for what this year can bring and you are well.  Our apologies this News You Can Use is bit delayed. Be sure don't miss out on these important city and area topics, plus new schedule updates.  

Thank you to those who’ve already renewed your annual CRA Membership. New 2022 VIP Cards are mailed to new and renewing members. Our VIP offers list covers businesses about town including retail, restaurants, services and our artist community with a new offer from the Kathy Sharpe Studio & Gallery  – thank you!  If your favorite establishment is not yet on our list, be sure to nudge them to sign-up.  Visit www.carmelresidents.org/vip-card for details. 

 Planning your remaining January & full February Calendars

  • January 27th – Thursday 10AM -2PM Carmel Farmers Market where CRA Hosts a Community Table.  Our Farmers Market is held every Thursday, with CRA there the last Thursday each month, January thru October.   Stop by!
  • NEW January 27th - Thursday 4:30PM Zoom - City Leadership hosts "Community Input Requested regarding hiring new Public Safety Director" (also known as Police Chief).  Please join in and contribute what you care about in this upcoming important candidate selection.  See the mentions of this session was covered in the weekly Friday Letter, Pine Cone and Zoom details will be posted on the meetings City web page HERE
  • POSTPONED new date to be announced, (was Jan 27th) CRA Hosts "Historic Hotel Del Monte" – with John Sanders in Carpenter Hall. For the latest visit here.
  • POSTPONED new date to be announced, (was Feb 8th) CRA No-Host Gathering Program, that was set for Vesuvio’s Lava Lounge. Visit www.carmelresidents.org home page for details. 
  • January 31st-February 6th – AT&T ProAm, at Pebble Beach. Golfers and their fans will be arriving shortly.  Visit www.attpbgolf.com for details.
  • February 1st - Tuesday 4:30 PM Regular City Council Meeting.  Always fascinating and your City leadership appreciates your live comments.  Details on agenda and participation on the City meetings page here
  • February 11th – Friday at 8AM Carmel Chamber will host “State of the City & County” with Mary Adams, Dave Potter and Chip Rerig. Visit www.carmelchamber.org for registration/signup (and any updates).
  • NEW DATE - February 16th - Carmel Planning Department Workshop - The Planning and Building department is inviting all contractors, architects, designers, and the public to attend an informational workshop on development process updates, application requirements, and the inspection process.  (specific time and location/access info will be posted at https://ci.carmel.ca.us/meetings).
  • February 16th – Wednesday 7-8PM Carpenter Hall to learn about M.J. Murphy Building & Architect – hosted by Carmel Library Foundation. Visit www.carmelpubliclibraryfoundation.org/events/upcoming-programs-events/ to register and for detials.
  • CRA is planning in-person programs once again in March (crossing fingers).  We are targeting a March 24th Program with Brandon Swanson on the Future of our Village Architecture - more to follow.  And yes, there is always more. Visit the CRA Calendar for meetings and events from the City Council, Boards & Commissions, All Holidays, plus with local organizations throughout town all year round. www.carmelresidents.org/calendar-view

Useful Resources for Locals

  Food Scraps go into Yard Waste Containers - effective Jan 2022! 

Residents should be putting their food scraps in their green cart, to be composted with their yard trimmings!  Accepted food scraps include:
   * Cooked meat, fish, bones, and shells
   * Cheese and other solid dairy products
   * Bread, pasta, pastry, and other grains
   * Fruits, vegetables and coffee grounds

Make sure you do NOT include raw meat, metal, wires, rubber bands, glass, plastic, paper, or cardboard in the green cart as they will contaminate the compost. Kitchen compost pails are available to Carmel residents for pickup while supplies last at both Libraries, or City Hall.  For details and tips on food scraps composting, check the City's website here and Monterey Regional Waste Management District's website here

  Seeing Illegal Litter or Dumping along our roadways? 

To report significant Litter or Illegal Dumping anywhere in Monterey County....
If you've found the results of illegal litter dumping, report it here.
If you are seeing someone actively doing illegal litter dumping, report it here. There are important pointers here including: collect photos', possible license plate #'s, people descriptions - but do NOT confront them.  And provide time, date and precise location details too. 

  Assistance from California State Department of Insurance - Ombudsman 

If you are challenged to find or renew residential insurance, visit this tips page here

If these tips don't do help your search, California FAIR Plan provides homeowners insurance as a last resort. This link provides a list of agents and brokers registered with FAIR.

And did you know California provides Low Cost Automobile Insurance for eligible residents? Visit this page for details

 Highlights of the Carmel City Council Regular Meeting
Tuesday - Jan 4, 2022 4:30 PM

YouTube Recording Here and Agenda Packet Here 


C.Rerig - Hiring Update - typically we hire 6 in a fiscal year, year to date 14 hired, plus 3 more and many openings being actively worked and are posted on City website. After 9 years with the City, it is our Director of Budgets Sharon Freidrickson's last day, as she is joining Berkeley in a similar role. Our Robin Scatini will be filling in for Sharon. 
B.Richards - Offers his thanks to Carmel Chamber's Jenny Macmurdo as she is moving over to the Pacific Grove Chamber. 
Remaining council reinforces these thanks and congratulations to these two consummate professionals.
J.Baron - Announces two community meetings casual conversations about the Carmel Community.  And in the Consent Agenda, he extends extra thanks to the Carmel CERT team and acknowledges their designation as an official City Support Group.

Consent Agenda - all items Approved 5-0.

Orders of Business - Expanded

#9 Receive Report on Housing Topics Regarding Housing (RHNA and Senate Bills 8, 9, & 10) - presented by Brandon Swanson, Director of Planning and Building.   

Brandon summarized these Senate Bills in his great presentation that have the general goal of incentivising developers for to streamlining permit and approvals of new housing projects addressing population growth projections. He research finds given the requirements in this bill, that these do not represent significant impact to Carmel. 
SB8 provides some clean up details for existing laws.
SB10 is a voluntary bill that allows local zoning to be amended for up to 10 units per lot, with ordinance to be adopted and grants CEQA exemption until 2029.  However the rezoned areas must be within 1/2 mile of High Quality Transit, because we are not near qualifying transit, therefore SB10 does not effect us.
SB9 Some facts include: it allows for up to 4 single family dwellings on a single lot or subdivision with 2 single family dwellings on one lot, approval for a project must be ministerial if all requirements are met and it is not subject to CEQA requirements with guardrails are in place to prevent exploitation by developers. Any project must keep 75% of existing walls (no tear down - rebuild), Cities may impose objective zoning standards (coverage, floor area, height, setbacks, trees).  And SB9 cannot be applied to property types of Historic (St & Local), cannot be within a Historic District, and cannot be in an area mapped by CalFire/FEMA as high fire of flood risk. You also cannot split a lot to smaller than 40%/60% with each lot no smaller than 1200 sq ft. City may require 1 off-street parking space per unit.  You cannot also have an ADU after subdividing.  Property owner must occupy 1 of the units for 3 yrs or more.  No unit can be used as a STR (short term rental). Finally we must also have water credit & meter - and we currently have a cease-and-desist order in place.   With all of these considerations, Carmel would not be impacted by SB9. 

Now on to RHNA impacts...

The 6th cycle RNHA allocation for Monterey County is 33,274 
Carmel-by-the-Sea cumulative portions of of the RHNA allocation are:
     6th Cycle (2023-2031) is 139 units
     5th Cycle (2015-2023) is 62 units
 A "unit" is a single residential location (ADU, Home, Apartment...)

Brandon, with the grant funds mentioned below, will begin a project to dig into options for our City can address and respond to the RHNA requirements.

Comments/Discussion Highlights

Ken White, in public comments, stated that the Senate Bill #9 should have been raised to the public for vote, given the decrease of local controls, and the tendency of future adjustments continuing on a slippery slope.  There is a group "OurNeighborhoodVoices" petitioning to put recall of these bills on the ballot for a vote.  We must continue to locally control our own zoning. 

D.Potter - (especially given scarce open space in 93921) he asks to explore extending the reach into surrounding communities to address the critical housing need, for example near Crossroads.   He too is concerned about maintaining local control, and points out that the Senate Bills benefit larger cities.   

J.Barron - looks for solutions to affordable housing possibilities to come from this effort. 

K.Ferlito - cautions everyone to not fear this, but to embrace this as an opportunity to be creative with solutions for incremental housing.  

Revisioning Vista Lobos and North Lot of Sunset Center may provide options.  

#10 Receive final fiscal Year Ending June 30 2021 - Approved 5-0, with D.Potter's thanks and appreciation to everyone on Staff and Council for their contributions to keeping us fiscally sound through these pandemic times.

#11 Decision on extending temporary parklets beyond January 20 2022.  Brandon Swanson provided a summary of this topic and the decisions/guidance needed from Council.   

Public comments:  J.Jung spoke to significant concerns about the temporary parklets - especially their look and cleanliness. Several businesses spoke - including supporting the private space use, defining an exit strategy, long-term permanent offering, while emphasizing the parklets critical value in these Virus times.   

Council comments:  C.Theis highlights: virus status and its impact on business, employees and visitors, this program is temporary, must tighten enforcement on temporary parklets, the planning commission must engage on parkets, and extend the temporary parklets for now.  D.Potter: supports extension if planning commission is also engaged, strongly supports enforcement especially on cleanliness, adhoc group put together policy and planning commission circle back to council shortly.  K.Ferlito: agrees with Mr Jung's statements and concerns on the look and cleanliness, also most are missing ADA compliant, some cities are extending and some are shutting them down, the atmosphere is like Fisherman's Warf (not fitting for Carmel), Omnicron is in our community, remains support shutting down parklets - no extension - as we do have over 30 restaurants with private space.  B.Richards: wants to emphasize and focus on long term program, with the Virus the needs for parklets continue short term, in parallel looks to the time when a temporary program can end, supports more oversight on today's parklets.  D.Potter: asks if we can execute stronger enforcement by Brandon, responding they can strengthen oversight tied to existing conditions for temporary use.  J.Baron: has the similar position to ending temporary program like K.Ferlito, he asks that the Council should provide program suggestions and guidance to the Planning Commission in a City Council session and then turn them loose, including addressing General Plan impact points in dialog with Staff to start.  K.Ferlito: offers the temporary program will not likely smoothly transition into the permanent program, significant work is needed for a permanent offering.  D.Potter summarizes: 3 month extension for temporary program with an ending of parklets April 20th, with enforcement (3 strikes) on upkeep of existing temporary parklets now and in February Council to compile guidance points to pass on to Planning Commission.  Two motions a) Council to compile guidance for Planning Commission Approved 5-0, b) Hard stop to temporary program by April 20, with rigorous enforcement on temporary Approved 3-2.

Returning to In-person civic meetings.  Chip targeted Council to be in-person in February. Chief Uhler as picked up N95 masks, CERT could verify vaccination & booster.  When in-person is introduced, the remote participation option will remain.  However with Omnicron - he needs guidance on target timing.  Chief Uhler would attend addressing if there was a "Bad Actor" misbehaving.  Concluded: they will continue to target February for Council - but it will be pending based on yet to be determined variables.

#13 Recieve report on various City Council Strategic Initiative project.  

Brandon summarized the status, noting active hiring supporting new or partial projects, the new tracking tool for updates.  A majority are underway.  Some examples pending new hires include: Street Addresses, Sunset Center North Lot, City property utilization (Flanders etc), and others. There are key projects listed as complete as well.  C.Rerig adds his tool does not track and include some government mandated projects that consume significant resources.

Public Comments: Dale Byrne, Karyl Hall and Nancy Twomey offered various comments and support for this next session. 

With significant items discussed, Council concluded date (ideally afternoon) for community input in the coming weeks. (Pending scheduling by City. CRA will send out membership notice as soon as this date is made available).

#14 Consider Planning Commision Appeal tied to the China Arts Center on Dolores 2 NW of 7th.  

This item has been covered extensively in the Pine Cone addressing the front door opening for this remodel, and of course you can view recording for details.

With strong engagement and flexibility by the applicants with the community, the Council Approved 5-0 this appeal.   D.Potter extended extra thanks and appreciation to the applicant team for their approach.

 Cheers!    Your comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome.   

Carmel Residents Association
PO Box 13, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
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