The Carpinteria City Council held its regular meeting by Zoom call on Monday, April 13. The full agenda and video footage from most of the meeting can be found at https://carpinteria.ca.us/city-hall/agendas-meetings/. Technical difficulties interfered with the video recording for the final items acted upon.
- The Council approved an agreement to continue receiving consultant services from The Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County to implement and monitor compliance of the Workforce Homebuyer Down Payment Loan Program. The loan program provides deferred re-payment of down payment loans to assist low to above-moderate income families in purchasing a home in Carpinteria.
- The Council authorized a time extension for the development of the Sea House project (formerly Green Heron Springs) and a cost-sharing condition for street and curb improvements on Cravens Lane from Via Real to the frontage of the project. The developer will be responsible for $120,628. The City will be responsible for $175,838, which will come from Measure A funds.
- The Council unanimously approved the following COVID-19 Pandemic responses:
- Waiver of Business License and Downtown Business Improvement Area annual fees. Waiving business license renewal fees for 2020 would impact the city budget by roughly $28,000. Waiver of the $119.35 annual Downtown Business Improvement Area assessment fee will result in a loss of approximately $15,000 in revenue for the Downtown Business Improvement Area fund, which pays for activities and improvements that promote the Downtown area.
- Additional funding of $100,000 from the Measure X Fund to the Community Services Support Program of the 2020 Budget. This action also authorizes the Finance Committee to determine a process for approval and distribution of funds for COVID-19 response work to organizations currently funded through the Program. These include Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Catholic Charities, Help of Carpinteria, Rape Crisis Center, Carpinteria Children’s Project, 211 Help Line, and Community Action Commission’s Healthy Senior Lunch Program. Additionally, this action waives Community Services Support Program application requirements for the 2021 Budget for organizations receiving a grant in 2020.
- Enactment of a temporary hiring freeze applying to all full time, part-time, and part-time seasonal positions. This will result in a total savings of $300,000 for the final quarter of the 2019/2020 fiscal year. The City expects upwards of $1 million in lost revenue for the fourth quarter from reduced sales and bed (TOT) tax, approximately 10 percent of the City’s overall $10 million general fund. Other funds that will be impacted by the pandemic are Measure X and gas tax revenues.
- The Council approved a temporary moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants if the tenant fails to pay rent due to income loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants will not be relieved of rent responsibility and will be required to pay in full within 180 days after the local emergency expires. This action aims to protect businesses from eviction, create a process for landlords to recoup lost rental income within a reasonable amount of time, and help the local economy recover by ensuring that businesses have the means to reopen after the pandemic. Residential evictions during the pandemic have been banned by the State of California.
- The Council re-ratified a proclamation of local emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.