Friday, May 06, 2011

Blog #13 - Town Council Actions - May 4, 2011

Tighter Smoking Restrictions, Smart Meter Moratorium to be Extended for One Year

The Town Council at its regular meeting on May 4, 2011 introduced and held its first reading of an ordinance that will tighten smoking restrictions. On the residential side any building with four or more living units will require a minimum of 75 percent of the units (including balconies, porches, decks or patios) to be permanently designated as non-smoking. Landlords may designate up to 25 percent of their outdoor area for smoking. The ordinance also bans smoking in the entrances to any Fairfax building smoking is already prohibited including bars, restaurants, places of employment and public places. A second reading of the ordinance will take place on June 1, 2011 and the law will become effective on July 1, 2011. There is a 14 month grace period. The Fairfax ordinance is more restrictive than the second-hand smoke law Novato adopted in 2008 and slightly less restrictive than the ordinance passed in Larkspur last month.

The Council also conducted a first reading of an ordinance to limit the location, number and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance will limit the location of any new dispensaries to the central commercial, highway commercial or limited commercial districts of the Town. Some changes were made at the meeting to the ordinance around the issue of types of identification and auditing of records. A second reading of the ordinance will take place on June 1, 2011 and the ordinance becomes law on July 1, 2011.

Other actions taken at the Town Council May 1, 2011 meeting:

• Re-appointed Elon Rosenfeld to the Parks and Recreation Commission for another four-year term to May 31, 2015.

• Discussed the possibility of a local sales tax in the Town of Fairfax.

• Set the summer schedule for Town Council meetings for the following dates: June 1 (Regular Meeting); June 22 (Budget Workshop); July 13 (Regular Meeting); July 27 (Special Meeting on Sales Tax Proposal) August 17 (Regular Meeting)

• Adopted a resolution calling for the decommissioning of all nuclear power plants on the California coast.

• Approved a proclamation honoring Joe Langlois for his thirty-six years of service to the Ross Valley Fire Department.

• Heard a first reading of Ordinance 754, an ordinance to provide clean indoor health protection including the regulation of the exposure to smoke in multi-unit apartment buildings.

• Adopted Ordinance No. 761, extending for an additional year the Moratorium on the Installation of Smart Meters and Related Equipment within the Town of Fairfax or in, along, across, upon, under and over the public streets and places within the Town of Fairfax

• Discussion/Consideration of possible actions regarding the Town’s bank accounts in light of banking foreclosure and loan practices.

• Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance No. 762, An Ordinance of the Town Council of the Town of Fairfax Amending Section 5.16.130 of the Fairfax Town Code to Remove Real Estate Agents from Business License Fee Obligations.

• Approval of Invitation to Ross Valley Sanitary District to Discuss Proposed Rate Increase, Sewage Spills/Reporting, and Consolidation Efforts at June Council Meeting

• Discussion and consideration of Measure I Youth Work Grants

• Discussion of Citizens Redistricting Commission Public Input Hearing Saturday, May 21, 2011, Oakland City Council Chambers

• Discussed the possibility of a local sales tax in the Town of Fairfax. This item will continue on each Council agenda for many months as a continuing dialogue is held with the community on this important issue. The entire amount collected from a one half cent local sales tax would go to the Town and could generate about $150,000 per year. The projected Town budget for fiscal year 2011-12 will have a deficit of about $350,000 due to declining property and other tax revenues and increasing retirement and health care costs for employees. Some of the employee groups already pay a portion of the employee portion of the PERS system and discussions will occur in the next few months with all bargaining groups in Fairfax and with the Ross Valley Fire employees.

Other notes and announcements:

• May 12th, Thursday, is “Bike to Work Day”

• May 14th, Saturday, Peri Park Playground Clean-up, 9 a.m. to Noon, clean, spread new sand and maintain benches

• May 15th, Sunday, Volunteer Fairfax Trails Project Workday, 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., meet at 16 Park Road

• There will be no Teen Night on June 3rd.

• The Youth Commission will be participating in a Youth Music Showcase with Jack Irving on June 11th at 7pm in the Women's Club as part of the Fairfax Festival

• Applicants sought for the General Plan Implementation Committee, two community members needed

• Volunteer Board Vacancy to complete an unexpired term to September 30, 2012

• Vacancy on the Fairfax Youth Commission for Ross Valley youth between 14 and 19 years of age

• Register now for Camp Fairfax and exciting new summer programs– new FOCAS guide available

• Statement in honor of Paula Ross, Holocaust survivor

The next Town Council meeting will be June 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM at the Women’s Club.