Patterson City Hall

To streamline and decrease the burden of the process, the City Council was asked to adopt urgency ordinance No. 845 regarding emergency hearing and appeal procedures for administrative citations during the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

The council voted to pass the ordinance unanimously.

This ordinance is intended to eliminate the quandary of residents choosing between contesting a citation and adhering to stay-at-home orders. 

After testimony is given, the hearing officer will issue a written decision to uphold, reduce, or cancel the administrative citation.

The ordinance also waives the requirement of submitting an advance deposit or hardship waiver request. 

It goes into effect immediately and will remain in place until Gov. Newsom ends the state of emergency in response to COVID-19 or until the ordinance is rescinded by the Patterson City Council. This ordinance only applies to administrative citations given during the COVID-19 emergency. 

It also retroactively applies to any contested citations that occurred after the governor announced the stay-at-home orders. 

The ordinance is intended to “safeguard” due process of law. The party contesting the citation must be allowed to present evidence and provide testimony. The ordinance will provide flexibility in the manner in which the evidence and testimony can be transmitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals will be entitled to present testimony in writing, telephone, video conference, or by any other reasonable means to be determined by a hearing officer. 

Under the previous system, contested administrative citations issued by the city must be reviewed under procedures outlined in Chapter 1.36. 

Under the previous procedures, residents and property owners may be forced to choose between traveling to city facilities to appear at a hearing to contest an administrative citation or surrender their due process right to administrative review. 

The staff report sent to the city council stated that the proposed ordinance “is intended to both preserve due process and provide flexible administrative review procedures during the COVID-19 emergency, in addition to all other legal remedies, criminal or civil, which may be pursued by the City to address violations of the PMC.”

Testing Center in Patterson

Patterson was chosen as one of two sites in Stanislaus County for a testing facility managed by OptumServ. The facility will be able to manage 150 patients per day. 

The walk-in facility is located at the Hammon Senior Center. The facility already began to take patients as of Monday, May 4. Patients must first submit for an appointment by visiting online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123. 

“Very happy to have this here. It is going to provide a much closer option to get tested,” City Manager Ken Irwin said at the council meeting on Tuesday. 

Irwin stated that the facility is open to those with and without insurance. He stated that the state will pay for the patients that are uninsured to get tested. 

“If you are having symptoms of COVID-19, please go get tested,” Mayor Deborah Novelli said.

Senior meal pick-up moved to PHS

Seniors that participate in the senior meal program will now be asked to pick-up their meals on Thursdays at Patterson High School. 

The senior meal program provides food to approximately 150 seniors. The meals distributed are for a whole week. 

Those in need of assistance or more information on acquiring meals can call 209-558-8698.

Discussion on General Plan Amendment/Rezone tabled to a later date

Discussion on the issue of rezoning and redesignating approximately 13.16 acres of land to a High-Density Residential zone in the area of North First Street to the west, Weber Avenue to the east, East Las Palmas Avenue to the south and Juarez Court to the north as an area to be has been tabled for discussion at a later date.

City staff had received letters from residents in the area impacted by the proposal stating that they were not properly notified about the intention to rezone. City staff asked the council to delay the discussion and vote until the staff can field more concerns or questions regarding the matter from residents. City staff will send out additional letters for outreach. The date when the item will be discussed is yet to be determined. 

In 2016 the Patterson City Council adopted an updated Housing Element. The Housing Element is one of seven mandatory elements of the General Plan required under state law. 

“The Housing Element, among other tasks, identifies and analyzes existing and projected housing needs and outlines goals, policies, and programs for the preservation, improvement, and development of housing for households of all income levels,” reads a staff report on the matter. 

The State Department of Housing and Community Development (HUD) makes projections for expected growth in the state and allocates a portion of that expected growth pursuant to an exercise referred to as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) to each Metropolitan Organization (MPO). The Stanislaus County of Governments or StanCOG is the county’s MPO.

StanCOG then allocates a portion of the RHNA to each jurisdiction in the county. Cities are not required to provide the number of housing units allocated but are required to have sufficient inventory of land that is general planned and zoned to provide enough housing for households of all income levels. 

The Housing Element concluded that Patterson is unable to meet its RHNA requirements based on the current zoning plans. It required the city to rezone a minimum of 21.2 acres of land to a zone that will allow residential development at an intensity of 20 units per acre. 

City staff reported that “ under current zoning requirements, the High-Density Residential Zone, is the only zone available to the city that meets these requirements.” 

The city was recently contacted by R&L Performance Funding, Inc, to consider the possibility of rezoning a vacant 2.14-acre parcel to a High-Density Residential zone. 

City staff recommended designating the area of North First Street to the west, Weber Avenue to the east, East Las Palmas Avenue to the south, and Juarez Court to the north as an area to be rezoned and re-designated approximately 13.16 acres of land to a High-Density Residential zone. Approximately 8.87 acres of targeted land was designated as Low-Density Residential, and 4.29 acres of land were designated as Heavy Industrial. Existing land uses include single-family residences, multi-family residences, a church and a vacant lot. The project site is surrounded by single-family residences to the north, east, and south and construction storage yards to the west and south.

The proposal would amend the City’s General Plan Map and Zoning Map to meet its RHNA requirements. No development is contemplated as part of this project. 

Consent calendar

Six items were approved on the consent calendar unanimously. 

  • Motion to waive all readings of ordinances and resolutions
  • Approve minutes of regular meeting on Feb. 4
  • Approve minutes of regular meeting on Feb. 18
  • Approve of minutes of regular meeting on March 17
  • Approve resolution 2020-23, a resolution of concurrence and support for the approval of the fiscal year 2020-2025 Regional Consolidated Plan, the fiscal year 2020-21 Annual Action Plan, and the Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. 
  • Approve resolution No. 2020-24, accepting as complete the Cal Fire City of Patterson Management Activities for GHG Reduction Fund Project, authorizing staff to close out Cal Fire Agreement 8GG14427.

PI reporter

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