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This week at City Hall: Nov. 16

The City Council considers options for firework shows in 2022, the Riverside Police Department requests two new helicopters, and former Councilmember Andy Melendrez may get community room in his name.

A photo of the entrance to Riverside City Hall.
City Hall in Downtown Riverside

City Council Meeting

Item 7: Appropriation for $3.5 Million for Street Re-Pavement

On Tuesday, the council will be looking to approve the appropriation of $3.5 million from Measure Z funds for the pavement of 27.5 miles of road across all seven wards in Riverside. To pass, the plan will require five affirmative votes from the council.

Item 8: Consideration of Firework Options for July 4th

In September, the council parted ways with their past firework provider after a breach of contract. This session the council will discuss and potentially select a preferred option for the city’s 2022 Fourth of July Fireworks shows.

They will be reviewing seven different options, all of which include shows at Ryan Bonaminio Park by Mount. Rubidoux and La Sierra Park. Two of the options include Drone Light Shows that would have 200 drones do 12 different light formations.

Item 9: Financial Review of Plans to Building 80 Affordable Housing Units

The council will conduct a Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) public hearing regarding the city being issued revenue bonds. They’ll also be discussing the related financing, acquisition, and development of plans to build 80 affordable housing units on a property on Pierce Street.

Item 10: Review of Appeal by Developers of Proposed AC and Residence Inn Hotel

Continuing their Oct. 12 discussion, the council will hear an appeal filed by Greens Ehrenberg, LCC, who is working to develop a potential AC Marriot/Residence Inn Hotel off Mission Inn Avenue and Lime Street.

During their April 28 meeting, the Cultural Heritage Board failed to give the building a Certificate of Appropriateness. The Land Use, Sustainability, and Resilience Committee (LUSR) then heard the appeal in July, recommended design modifications, and recommended that the council uphold the appeal filed by the developer.

During the July LUSR meeting, four individuals spoke in opposition and two in support. Concerns made to the committee include shadows cast by the proposed building, consistency with historic preservation policies, and cumulative impacts on the Mission Inn Historic District.

Item 19: Review of Police Department Request to Purchase Two Helicopters

The council will consider approving the allocation of over $10 Million from Measure Z funds to purchase two Airbus H125 helicopters for the Riverside Police Department. In their presentation, the department says their current fleet of two MD 500E helicopters are aging, with the department unable to stock parts for timely repairs.

The oldest aircraft is a 1995 model and has over 13,000 hours of flight time. Their other model is a 2008 and has 6,000 hours of flight time. Other concerns expressed include struggling to stay current in the industry, significant maintenance costs, and increased unscheduled maintenance.

Item 20: Review of Redistricting Plan

The council will receive a redistricting framework from the City Clerk Department. Redistricting happens on all levels of government every ten years after the census.

They’ll be discussing procedural requirements, the formation of redistricting commissions, the process for appointing commission members, and the overall timeline for the plan. According to their plan, the city hopes to accept their final redistricting maps sometime between January and March of 2023.

Item 23: Amendment of New Sidewalk Vendors Policy

After last discussing the issue in September, the council will look to officially adopt an ordinance to update their policy on sidewalk vendors. The most significant addition to the ordinance would allow applicants to use documentation other than their social security number in their application, which would make the city compliant with the state law. Other new regulations include restrictions on where food carts can be placed. The ordinance is expected to pass.

Housing and Homelessness Committee Special Meeting

Item 2: Presentation on Homelessness by Riverside County Official

On Monday, the committee received a presentation by representatives from the County of Riverside Continuum of Care. According to their presentation, 20% (587 individuals) of all individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the county are in the City of Riverside.

Item 3: Analysis of Existing Shelter Beds in the City

The committee also received a presentation on existing homeless shelter beds in the city. There are 240 existing emergency shelter beds in Riverside, representing 31% of what’s available across Riverside County. If an individual were to need emergency housing, they could utilize the cities shelter for at least 30 days and up to 90.

Cultural Heritage Board

Item 3: Presentation on Proposed Downtown Train Station Project

On Wednesday, the board will receive an update on Riverside’s Downtown Train Station Improvement project. The presentation will be made by individuals from the Riverside County Transportation Commission. The board will review graphics of new proposed tracks, platforms, and parking, and discuss other facilities on the property.

Airport Commission

Item 7: Airport On-Call Design Consultant

During their Thursday meeting, the commission will potentially approve an agreement with Mead & Hunt Inc., who will be on-call design consultants. They will potentially agree to a five-year plan that will not exceed over $500,000 and call on the company’s design, engineering, and construction management services when needed.

Item 8: Riverside Airport Operations Report

The commission will also receive an update on Riverside Municipal Airport’s operations and activities for the period of July to September 2021. According to their documents, the airport saw 87,826 takeoffs and landings from January to September of this year, which is 1.5% down from the same period in 2020.

Safety, Wellness, and Youth Committee

Item 2: Naming Park Community Room After Former Councilmember Andy Melendez

The committee will be considering a request to rename the community room at Booby Bonds Park after former Councilmember Andy Melendrez. Melendrez served as Ward 2 councilmember from 2006 till 2021. The nomination was submitted by Collette Lee, who is the past president of the Riverside Arts Academy.