Thursday, January 3, 2013

Salida MAC Newsletter - January 2013

PLEASE NOTE: The December Salida MAC meeting was cancelled.

The November Salida MAC meeting is now viewable online by clicking this 
link – thanks to Salida MAC Councilmember, Brad Johnson and local Salida Public Radio Station 104.9 FM or read the summarized meeting content below. ~ Katherine Borges, Editor

Salida Fire Report - Capt Greg Bragg assigned to Modesto Regional Fire Station 12 (Broadway & Salida Blvd.) is seeing a spike in alarm calls but not in fire activity.  Wanted to remind everyone to practice good fire safety with space heaters; don't place objects near heaters, and do not leave burning candles unattended.

Sheriff's Report – Deputy Jeff Crowley reported that there tends to be more burglaries this time of year. Don't leave items in your car. When you go Christmas shopping, make sure you lock items in your trunk.  Don't leave laptops, cell phones, wallets, purses, lying around in cars because it results in a lot of “smash and grabs”.  Deputy Crowley also shared that there are people going around Salida impersonating Kirby vacuum salesmen or carpet cleaners. The impersonators are gaining entry to scope out homes and then breaking in to burglarize.  They are dressed professionally in a business suit and tie and may be driving a white van with no windows in the back.  Legitimate salespeople will have business cards, sales ID, and county permit.  The imposters get rude and upset when you ask for ID. Do NOT let them into your house and call the sheriff's department. 

CHP Report – October stats for Salida area: 9 collisions of which 2 were injury, 1 hit & run and 1 non-injury DUI collision. 4 DUI arrests.  Major incident in Salida was a street racing incident which didn't start in Salida, but ended on Hammett and Bacon where the driver was apprehended. 

Salida Sanitary Report – Salida Sanitary Board Member Brad Johnson reported that Salida Sanitary is still investigating various solar power options and had a presentation about it at their last meeting.

Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Report – Branch Manager Diane Barlett presented her official quarterly report. Saturday, December 1 between 1-4 pm is Craft Day at the library in the Storytime Room where you can create your own snowman. On December 8 at 3:00 pm, all are invited to a performance of Shakespeare's “A Midsummer's Night's Dream” in Salida Library's Community Room hosted by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival sponsored by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.  Salida Library's Book Club meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 10 am. December 15th is the monthly “Game Day” in the Storytime Room with a Wii, and board games. “Family Movie Night” is on December 18th in the Storytime Room. 

Stanislaus LAFCO Director, Marjorie Blom's
presentation at November's Salida MAC meeting

Special Report – Stanislaus Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) Director, Marjorie Blom - Ms. Blom opened with an overview of LAFCO: There are 58 LAFCOs throughout California.  LAFCO creates new cities and special districts, regulates changes in boundaries, city boundaries, special district boundaries, allows for service extensions; e.g.: Gregori High School has an out-of-boundary service extension from Salida Sanitary District to provide sewer services to the school. LAFCO performs special studies such as municipal service reviews, and sphere updates for all the nine cities and the over 70 special districts in our county. LAFCO is not part of the county; it does not govern what the county does unless it has to do with a special district.

Some of the goals of LAFCO are to discourage urban sprawl, to encourage efficient provision of public services, to promote orderly growth, and to preserve ag and open space.  LAFCOs were created by and follow state law; created as a result of the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act.

There's a LAFCO in every county made up of a five member board consisting of two county supervisors, two city council members, and then the city council and supervisors choose a public member. Each board member also has an alternate member. The alternates do not vote unless the regular member is not there. 29 LAFCOs within the state also have special district members seated on the LAFCO boards. Stanislaus LAFCO does not have special district members.

LAFCOs are independent. When a LAFCO commission makes a decision, it cannot be appealed to other administrative bodies. The only way to argue against what LAFCO has passed would be a lawsuit. 

Ms. Blom then shared a handout and brochure about LAFCO. Applications for boundary changes are made to LAFCO by a city, special district, or residents within a particular area. Applications take approximately 6 to 8 weeks to process and referrals are sent out to affected/interested agencies, special districts and to the Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) in an affected area. A public hearing is held at LAFCO. She then shared an example of how the unincorporated community of Denair was concerned about future development contained in the City of Turlock's General Plan so Ms. Blom gave a LAFCO presentation to the Denair MAC. 

Ms. Blom recommended visiting the Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG) website to view how the Sustainable Community Strategy will affect our area. 

Ms. Blom then went over the handout diagram. She went over the section “If LAFCO Approves”.  For example, say that LAFCO receives an application to annex an area, (e.g.: Modesto applying to annex Salida) before an application comes to LAFCO, a city starts the planning process called “Due Diligence” where it puts the information before the city's planning commission to determine whether its consistent with the city's General Plan or does the city need to do a General Plan amendment to allow this area to be annexed. When the city's planning commission approves it (or denies),  its a public hearing. Once approved, it goes to the city council and if approved there, it then goes to LAFCO. LAFCO has additional requirements to be met.  Although a city may have added the annexation to their General Plan, its not within the city's “sphere of influence”. LAFCOs decide what areas go into the city's sphere. So the city would first have to apply to LAFCO to amend the city's sphere of influence plan. If its Modesto making the application, Modesto would have to tell LAFCO what would happen to Salida Sanitary District, County Service Area #10 – would they go away? Would they detach? These additional requirements may result in several public hearings being held at LAFCO.

When LAFCO holds the final public hearing to determine whether or not a city can annex an area, residents of the proposed area to be annexed can publicly express their opinions at this hearing. If the LAFCO commission approves the annexation, then a protest hearing will be held. Registered voters and landowners can submit written protests and the protests are counted. If the protests are less than 25% of that number, then the annexation is approved. If less than 50% of the landowners and registered voters protest, then an election is held, usually by mail ballot. If over 50% of the voters say “no” then the annexation is terminated and doesn't happen. 

Q&A from the meeting's attendees followed. A gentleman asked if the annexation is terminated, can the city apply to annex the area again ten or fifteen years from now? Ms. Blom replied that the city can apply to annex the area the very next day after the annexation termination. Another lady asked why she was not notified when parcels of Salida were annexed like the land that Costco is on? Ms. Blom replied that only landowners and residents who live 300 feet from a proposed area to be annexed receive a notice. The lady then asked how can residents find out about it if residents aren't notified? Ms. Blom recommended visiting LAFCO's website where potential land annexations and public notices are posted 60 days in advance, and attending LAFCO's monthly meetings which are held on the 4th Wednesday of every month. 

Click here for "Stanislaus LAFCO Policies and Procedures" manual

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 7 p.m. At the Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Community Room, 4835 Sisk Road, Salida.

Salida MAC meetings are broadcast on government cable channel 19 in Salida and channel 7 in Modesto on Saturdays at 11 am.

Be sure to "LIKE" Salida MAC on Facebook and follow on Twitter to keep apprised of the latest information about Salida.

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