Friday, June 03, 2011

Blog #17 Town Council Actions from June 1, 2011

Fairfax Town Council adopts ordinances to Tighten Smoking Restrictions and Regulate Marijuana Dispensaries

The Town Council at its regular meeting on June 1, 2011 adopted an ordinance that tightens smoking restrictions in Fairfax. The key change to the ordinance is that a minimum of 75% of units in a multi-unit residence must be permanently designated as non-smoking, including exclusive areas of the units such as private balconies, porches, decks, or patios. All units may be designated as non-smoking. The non-smoking units must be grouped together and physically separated from the smoking units to the maximum extent possible.

The other key change is that smoking is prohibited within a reasonable distance from any entrance, opening or exit of any enclosed area within which smoking is prohibited, except while passing on the way to another destination. Smoking is also now prohibited in Town parks, including, but not limited to, Contratti Field, Fairfax Park and Peri Park and Playground and at public events such as the Farmer’s Market and the Fairfax Festival.

The Town Council also passed an Ordinance that regulates the location, number and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. The key points are that there will not be more than three dispensaries in the Town. The other key point is that dispensaries shall be located only within the Central Commercial (CC), Highway Commercial (CH), and Light Commercial (CL) area as designated in the General Plan and Zoning Map. In addition, a dispensary cannot be located within 600 feet of a school or directly abutting a residential property unless there is a fence or an intervening natural landform between the commercial property and the residential property such as a creek or significant undeveloped parcel of land.

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

• Authorized the Town Manager to sign a Professionals Services Agreement with Thomas Vence for solid waste management consulting services for a not to exceed amount of $5000;

• Adopted a resolution to oppose a proposed rate increase by Sanitary District No. 1 (Ross Valley Sewer District) and directing the Town Manager to file a vote of protest in accordance with Proposition 218;

• Adopted a proclamation declaring June 9, 2011 as Linda Bell Day for all her contributions to White Hill School;

• Approved a letter of support for SB 568, prohibiting food vendors from dispensing prepared food products in polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers;

• Adopted a resolution supporting AB 750 (Hueso), establishing a State of California Investment Bank;

• Began a public hearing process to approve the initial study, draft mitigated negative declaration and traffic impact permit for the Good Earth Project on 720 Center Blvd. This item will return to the Town Council at a Special Council meeting on June 22, 2011;

• Discussed the possibility of a local sales tax in the Town of Fairfax. This item will return to the Town Council at a Special meeting on June 22nd to consider placing a local sales tax measure on the ballot. 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. A local sales tax of three quarters of one percent would generate about $225,000 per year. A one percent local sales tax would generate about $300,000. 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:

• Fairfax Festival is June 11-12, 2011

• Fairfax Food Pantry on Saturdays 9:00 AM-12 Noon at the Fairfax Community Church, 1000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

• 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

The next Town Council meeting will be June 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM at the Women’s Club. This is a Special Meeting to discuss the proposed fiscal year 2011/12 Town Budget and to discuss possible new revenue sources including a possible local sales tax initiative.