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CDCC Minutes, March 6, 2006

Call to Order:

Chairperson Bambrook called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

  1. Roll Call

    Members Present:

    Barbara Bambrook
    Kay Miller
    Glenna Axe
    Mark McGee
    Robert Elliott
    Jesus Silva
    Dorothy Ruhnke

    MEMBERS ABSENT:

    Simon Karmarkar

    Staff Present:

    Linda R. Morad, Housing Programs Supervisor
    Kim Husereau, Clerical Assistant

  2. Approval of Minutes

    A MOTION was made by Member Elliott to approve the Minutes of February 8, 2006 as written. The MOTION was SECONDED by Member Axe and CARRIED unanimously.

  3. SECTION 108 UPDATE - RICHMAN PARK AREA

    Ms. Morad provided an overview of the Section 108 guaranteed loan obtained by the City in June, 2004. The loan of $7.5 million shall be paid back in annual installments from CDBG funds over the course of 15 years. She explained that City Council has directed these funds to be used for capital improvements in the Richman Park area. Improvements are planned for the roadways of Valencia Drive and West Avenue, area alleys and Richman Park.

    HOME and Redevelopment funds are also utilized in the area plans for both rental units and home-ownership projects. The status of each housing project in the area was summarized including properties owned by the City and properties owned and managed by Civic Center Barrio Housing Corporation (CCBHC).

    Q: Is the density in the area increasing as a result of the housing projects planned?
    A: No. Overall the density will be reduced. Although the Bungalow project will demolish 5 units and replace them with 8 units, there are two vacant parcels involved and the plan being proposed to non-profits agencies like Habitat for Humanity would remove 18 units and replace them with nine.

    Q: Will the number of persons living in each unit be controlled?
    A: The agreements and rental leases designate controls on the number of occupants at two persons per bedroom plus one additional person. For example a two bedroom unit could house a maximum of five people.

    Q: Will the relocated residents from the area be given a priority in returning to the new housing?
    A: There is an effort to give them priority consideration; however, many of the relocated persons do not qualify to purchase. The initial intent was to bring them back and a significant effort has been made to do so. Unfortunately, in most cases this has not been possible.

    Q: When will the work be completed?
    A: The funds received from the Section 108 loan must be spent within three years. The project must reach completion by Summer, 2007.

    Yelena Voronel, Senior Civil Engineer for the City of Fullerton provided an update on the status of infrastructure improvements including the cut through street. Yelena explained that alley reconstruction is in progress to replace old asphalt, improve drainage, create new gutters and install ADA compliant driveways. The Street Project is in the final design stage. It is anticipated that this project will be awarded by City Council in June, with construction to begin in August-September, 2006. Ms. Voronel described the design of the improvements planned for Valencia Drive that will create a more pedestrian-friendly street and calm through traffic.

    Q: Will the parallel parking designed for Valencia decrease the total number of parking spaces available?
    A: Yes. However, the overall plan for housing in the area will decrease density and encourage garage parking to offset the reduction in on-street parking.

    Q: How will street sweeping and drainage be affected by the parking design on Valencia?
    A: City Maintenance Staff have been involved in the planning and have provided input into the current design that will allow for proper drainage and efficient cleaning.

    Ms. Voronel provided an update on the design concept for the cut-through street and parkway. She described the illuminated crosswalk and landscape features that are planned for the area and the center median on Valencia Drive.

    Q: Will there be speed bumps along Valencia?
    A: No. Speed bumps are not allowed in public right of ways within the City of Fullerton.

    Q: What percentage of the housing in the Richman Park area is part of a City rehabilitation project?
    A: A very small percentage, possibly 10% or less at this time.

    Members held a brief discussion about the need to involve absentee landlords in area improvement efforts. It was noted that the contributions of the Valencia Task Force have been very successful. A suggestion was offered to implement Operation Clean Up projects based upon prior success experienced in other parts of the City where a high percentage of absentee landlords exist. It was noted that it has been demonstrated within the City that strategic investments and neighborhood infrastructure upgrades serve to generate an overall increase in pride of ownership and improvement in living conditions.

    Q: Why was such a high price paid for the parcels that the City recently purchased?
    A: The price paid was based upon fair market value and the appraised value of each parcel. The estimated value is currently given at $900,000 per parcel for properties of this size with multi-residential zoning.

    Judy Peterson, Parks and Recreation, Family and Senior Services Manager described several current design features that pose problems and hazards at Richman Park and stated that improvements to the park are targeted toward improving usability and safety. She then presented the design concept to resolve these issues and introduce new features, including new structures that will offer enhanced outreach services to the local community. Ms. Peterson explained objectives to improve security through providing a clear line-of-sight across the park and increased lighting. Plans include enhancements to play areas and open areas, new picnic structures, barbeques, new bathrooms and a formal park entry with new signage.

    Ms. Peterson advised the Committee that the plans have been presented at several community meetings and reviewed by the Valencia Task Force, the Park Commission and City Council. Construction is slated to begin in November, 2006 with a completion date in June, 2007.

    Q: Are the boulders currently in the play area going to be removed?
    A: The City Maintenance department has developed plans to utilize the boulders in various locations throughout the City including delineation of trails.

    Q: Do the park plans accommodate a need for trash collection access?
    A: The trash collection will have to take place within the parking lot.

    Q: Will there be lighting provided to the soccer field?
    A: The soccer field is located on school property. The City is working on a joint proposal that would allow for lighting of that area, however, it is not a part of this project.

    Q: What is the size of Richman Park?
    A: 2.49 acres.

  4. REVIEW OF 2006-2007 CITY DEPARTMENT REQUESTS

    Ms. Morad advised the Committee that the FCLO contacted her subsequent to their failure to appear before the Committee as scheduled on March 15, 2006. The FCLO representative stated that they were unable to appear due to preparations for the opening of Cats and requested to be allowed to make a presentation on March 13. There was a consensus among the Members to decline the request. It was noted that the FCLO representative did not advise Staff of a need to reschedule prior to their absenteeism.

    Ms. Morad reviewed the applications submitted by the following City Departments:

    Development Services - Code Enforcement
    Funding request has been reduced from last year by shifting one position to a different funding source. The request is for $401,370.

    Q: Does Code Enforcement use money from fees and fines to offset cost?
    A: The money is directed to the General Fund. This is an appropriate question to direct to Code Enforcement when they make their presentation, as they may be able to provide greater detail.

    Development Services - Housing and Community Development Administration
    This is the department that oversees CDBG, HOME funds and affordable housing projects within the city. A portion of this funding request ($200,000) will be directed to the City General Fund as overhead to cover indirect expenses. The actual administration cost and salaries equal $166,190.

    Development Services - Housing Rehabilitation
    This program assists individuals to rehabilitate their homes. Most of the recipients are senior citizens. There are different types of grants available; some grants are forgiven immediately, others over time. The grant programs primarily provide new roofs, exterior paint and garage doors that visually improve the neighborhood and promote pride of ownership. There are also loans available for complete rehabilitation that may include both interior and exterior renovations.
    The request is $500,000 to continue this program, $350,000 is "new money" and the remaining $150,000 is in the revolving account to which funds are returned as recipients pay off loans.

    Q: Has there been a greater need for assistance with roofing because of the increased rainfall last year?
    A: The requests have been fairly consistent, because so many roofs were replaced through this program prior to the record rainfall.

    Q: How are residents made aware of these programs?
    A: In the past, when this department has been fully staffed, advertisement was generated through cable TV, local newspapers, inserts in water bills and some direct mailings.

    Maintenance Services - Graffiti Removal
    This program removes graffiti throughout the City; however, the $51,670 requested will be utilized in the CDBG eligible areas.

    Q: Is the graffiti increasing or decreasing in Fullerton?
    A: Not certain.

    Q: Why has the funding increased from last year?
    A: No additional information was provided on the application describing the increase.

    Parks and Recreation - Fullerton Community Center Project
    There are currently two Community Centers; Garnet and Richman Park. Both of these centers have existed for many years and have staffs funded through CDBG. The funding request has been increased this year in order to start a new Community Center in West Fullerton at Gilbert Park. $152,000 is requested for staffing.

    Development Services -Section 108
    The request for $489,000 in additional funding will be utilized to complete capital improvement projects in the Richman Park area due to unforeseen and increased costs.

    Ms. Morad advised the Members that the total available funding for all projects is approximately $2.4 million, which includes the new allocation of $1.5 million and $809,000 re-programmable funds. If the Committee chooses to fully fund Public Services at the maximum cap of 15% ($234,500) the remaining funds available will be $2.1 million. However, the total of all other requests equals $ 2.7 million. There is a shortfall of $500,000. The Committee is not required to fully fund Public Services.

    Q: How is Fair Housing categorized?
    A: It may be classified as Administration or Public Service.

    Q: Were the City Departments aware of the budget cuts prior to submitting their applications?
    A: Yes. Applications were due on February 27, 2006.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

    No public comment.


  5. ADJOURNMENT

  6. Member Axe MOVED to adjourn, SECONDED by Member Elliott. Chairperson Bambrook adjourned the meeting at 8:30 P.M.

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