Healdsburg City Hall

The Healdsburg City Council has a short agenda on tap for its next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18. However, the council will be looking at several important items, including an amendment to the Healdsburg Municipal Code updating the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, and the Project Homekey grant acceptance and purchase/sale agreement for the L&M Motel, the future site of the city’s interim housing site.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and will be held via Zoom.



Tuesday’s meeting will kick off with a report from Healdsburg City Manager Jeff Kay. Kay will review the latest COVID case numbers and provide an update on the drought and reservoir levels.


Public hearings

City staff will introduce, for first reading only, an ordinance amending the Healdsburg Municipal Code updating the Water Shortage Contingency Plan. The ordinance amendment would update the city’s three-stage water shortage contingency plan to a six-stage contingency plan.

“Each stage would include progressively higher levels of conservation in increments of 10%. Additionally, each stage would provide guidance on what uses of water are either reduced or fully prohibited to meet the needed reduction in water demands,” according to the agenda item report.

The new amendment also allows the city council to change or modify water restrictions as needed depending on water supply conditions.

The proposed six-stage plan includes:

Stage 1 - 10% reduction: “Customer education and outreach, common sense conservation measures such as not washing sidewalks, reducing irrigation, using automatic shut-off nozzles.”

Stage 2 - 20% reduction: “Irrigation 3x/week, restaurants only serve water upon request, halt permits for new pools, repair leaks within seven-days, construction using recycled water, hotels and restaurants educating guests on water conservation.”

Stage 3 - 30% reduction: “Irrigation 2x/week, prohibit new plantings except for drought-resistant landscapes, no power washing unless necessary for public health, residential water budget of 4-HCF (99 gallons per person per day), commercial and industrial reduction of 30% or greater.”

Stage 4 - 40% reduction: “Irrigation 1x/week but prohibit irrigation of ornamental lawns, residential water budget of 3-HCF (74 gallons per person per day), commercial and industrial reduction of 40% or greater.”

Stage 5 - 50% reduction: “No outdoor irrigation, residential water budgets of2-HCF (50 gallons per person per day), commercial and industrial reduction of 50% or greater, new development must achieve an equal amount of water conservation prior to receiving occupancy (exemption for affordable housing).”

Stage 6 - Greater than 50% reduction: “No outdoor irrigation, water budgets of less than 40 gallons perperson per day, commercial and industrial reduction of 60% or greater, new development must achieve two-times the water conservation prior to receiving occupancy (exemption for affordable housing).”

Currently, the city has implemented Stage 2 of its current contingency plan, which requires a 20% reduction in water usage and restricts certain types of water usage such as the washing of sidewalks, the use of potable water for construction and new swimming pools.


Old business - Purchase/sale agreement for L&M Motel and Homekey grant

If approved by the city council, the city will finalize the purchase/sale agreement for the L&M Motel, the future home of a 22-unit interim housing site for Healdsburg’s chronically homeless. The council will also accept the $7 million grant from Project Homekey.

The project, the first of its kind for the City of Healdsburg, is a collaboration between the city, Reach for Home and Burbank Housing.

In order to get the project off the ground, the city and Reach for Home submitted a joint grant application for Project Homekey, a $750 million state program that was launched in 2020 with the goal of helping local communities rapidly acquire hotels, motels, commercial buildings and other housing types to rapidly house people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $7,048,800 grant request was approved by the state on Dec. 21 and city manager Jeff Kay announced the grant award during the Jan. 3 Healdsburg City Council meeting.

While the city was awarded over $7 million in Homekey funds, funding gaps still remain. To fill in the gaps, the city has requested $1.1 million from the county for capital costs and $1.5 million to support three years of operating costs.

The purpose of the housing site would be to get people off of the streets and on a path toward permanent housing.

During individuals’ stay they would get into the system of care and case workers would help identify more permanent housing solutions through either a housing voucher — at the Los Guilicos shelter site, 38% of its residents are moving on to more permanent housing through vouchers, according to Stephen Sotomayor, Healdsburg’s housing administrator — or through other appropriate wrap-around services.


Other agenda items

The council will also appoint three applicants to the parks and recreation commission for a three-year term to expire on Jan. 1, 2025.

Applicants for the commission include Skip Brand, Kristin Thwaites, Richard Halvorsen, Sydney Nicolas, Emily Machi, Brian Crabb, Chris Herrod and David Hunt. The council subcommittee interviewed the applicants on Nov. 23 and on Jan. 14, 2022.

The council will also consider re-appointing Jane Farkas to the senior citizen advisory commission for an additional three-year term and appoint Donald Taylor for a three-year term.

Staff Writer

Katherine Minkiewicz-Martine has been a staff writer with The Healdsburg Tribune and SoCoNews for over two years. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism.

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