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This Week at City Hall: April 25

This week the City Council will hear the annual Community Police Review Commission report and consider a new ordinance regarding smoking in multi-housing units. On Thursday, the Planning Commission will review plans for an expansion of the Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center.

An outdoor photo of City Hall
City Hall located in Downtown Riverside

City Council

Item 9: Community Police Review Commission 2021 Annual Report

On Tuesday, the City Council will hear the 2021 Community Police Review Commission Annual Report. The commission’s primary role is to conduct independent reviews of officer-involved deaths and citizen complaints. The report reviewed all 46 cases that the commission reviewed in 2021.

Of the 46 complaints, the commission determined that 25 were unfounded. Eight of the cases were sustained by the commission, five were found to be frivolous, and two were exonerated. The report defines sustained as “when the investigation discloses sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and that it constituted misconduct.”

The report also compares the commission’s results to those of the Riverside Police Department (RPD). While the commission found eight cases were sustained, the RPD only found five.

Item 11: Fiscal Year 2022-2024 Budget

The City Council will continue their discussion of the Fiscal Year 2022-2024 Budget Development process, studying underfunded critical needs and near-term budget considerations. On April 18, the City Council held a day-long budget workshop, which included an update on the general fund and Measure Z funds as well as budget targets for different city departments.

Item 14: Adopting new ordinance regarding military equipment use policy

The City Council will review a proposed ordinance regarding the use of “military and specialized equipment” by the Riverside Police Department. In 2021,Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 481, which classified certain specialized law enforcement equipment as military equipment, and requires that municipalities oversee all future purchases and use of such equipment.

The proposed ordinance would make Riverside compliant with the new law and require the city to hold a public hearing in which the community can provide input on the equipment being used.

Item 17: Proposed ordinance to regulate smoking around multi-unit residences

Under consideration is a new ordinance that would make all multi-unit housing smoke-free, except for in designated areas. The law would apply to all tobacco, e-cigarette, and marijuana products, and defines multi-unit residences as any location that contains two or more rental units.

Property owners could designate a portion of a property where smoking would be allowed. However, the designated area could not be in an enclosed area or within 25 feet of an enclosed area. The area must also be 25 feet from any play or recreation areas, constitute no more than 25% of the property’s total outdoor area, have a clearly marked perimeter with conspicuous signage, and not overlap with any other areas where smoking is prohibited.

Locations excluded from the proposed ordinance are single-family homes, hotels, mixed hotel/common interest development projects, and detached or attached accessory dwelling units on a single-family zoned property.

Board of Public Utilities

Item 5: Increasing monthly electric and water credit for low-income residents

On Monday, the board considered approving an increase to the city’s monthly electric and water credit through the Sharing Households Assist Riverside Energy (SHARE) program, which provides low-income residents with monthly utility bill assistance. Residents currently enrolled in the program receive a $15.50 monthly credit for their electric bill and $3 for their water bill.

Under the proposal, in fiscal year 2022/2023 the credit would increase to $16 for electric and $3.25 for water, if approved. The amount of the credit has increased three times since July 2019.

Planning Commission

Item 6: Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center expansion

On Thursday, the Planning Commission will review several items for the proposed expansion of the Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center .They include modifying a previously approved conditional use permit, approving a minor conditional use permit, reviewing the project designs, and reviewing the environmental impact report.

Contained within the plans are several major construction plans, including the addition of a new five-level hospital wing and a new employee parking structure. Kaiser Permanente also wants to rezone two lots near their current property.