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This Week in City Hall: September 4, 2023

City Council is back after a two-week hiatus. Council will discuss discontinuing RPD's Crime Free Multi-Housing Program and a potential agreement to bring autonomous vehicle manufacturing to Riverside.

Welcome to our weekly digest on public meetings and agenda items worthy of your attention in the next week. This guide is part of our mission to provide everyday Riversiders like you with the information to speak up on the issues you care about.

City Council will meet in closed and open sessions on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. (agenda).

Discontinuing RPD's Crime Free Multi-Housing Program

Councilmembers on the Housing and Homelessness Committee and the Riverside Police Department (RPD) propose discontinuing the City's Crime Free Multi-Housing Program (CFMHP). The City's report says the CFMHP "is a crime prevention program designed to reduce crime, drugs, and gangs on apartment properties," approximately 120 properties participate across the city.

According to the City report, RPD's implementation of the CFMHP is out of compliance with the International Crime Free Association, which requires background checks on potential tenants. Additionally, the report claims RPD and other City departments are concerned about the "potentially negative impact on the re-entry into society of formerly incarcerated persons."

Over the last week, some Riversiders have received text messages from an organization called IE Votes. "A Riverside law harms Black/Latinos renters by unjustly pushing them into homelessness. We must remove it!" the messages invite for Public Comment support. "Greedy landlords are using this law loophole to unjustly evict people of color from historically white communities," the statement continues.

Ohmio Headquarters Agreement

Council will consider an agreement with New Zealand-based autonomous vehicle manufacturer Ohmio, Inc. to locate their international headquarters and manufacturing facility in Riverside. The proposal includes the City’s lease of three autonomous shuttles.

Should Ohmio move its headquarters and point of sale to Riverside, the City would receive approximately $7,600 in sales tax revenue for each all-electric autonomous shuttle sold at an average price of $300,000.

Jennifer Lilley, Riverside's Community and Economic Development Director, says, "Should this product 'take off', this establishment has the potential to become one of the City’s largest sales tax generators."

RTRP Update

Councilmembers Conder and Hemenway have an update on the Riverside Transmission Reliability Project.

Riverside Auto Center Business Improvement District

Council will hold a public hearing before renewing its agreement with the Riverside New Car Dealers Association (RNCDA) to provide $100,000 in annual funding from the City to RNCDA in exchange for advertising time on the electronic billboard alongside the 91 freeway. The City’s report states that sales tax revenue from the dealerships accounts for about 25% of sales tax dollars collected annually, an estimated $22.5 million for the 22/23 fiscal year.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the City would receive approximately $26,000 in sales tax revenue for each Ohmios shuttle sold.