Jessica Cejnar / Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 @ 4:34 p.m. / Local Government
Supervisors to Discuss Homelessness, Housing, Solid Waste on Tuesday
In addition to revisiting a discussion on county-owned properties as a “staging area” for the homeless, supervisors on Tuesday will consider a zoning change ahead of a proposed 24-unit housing development on Northcrest Drive.
At the request of Del Norte County District 1 representative, Roger Gitlin, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to list vacant or unused property that may satisfy the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Boise v. Martin stating that prosecuting homeless people or sleeping in a public area violates their constitutional rights.
Though staff complied with the Board’s direction, a staff report states that very few county-owned parcels could be used as a “staging area” for the homeless.
“Many of the properties are roadways with subsequent Rights of Way for transportation and utilities,” the county’s staff report states. “Others are improved with parks, parking lots, two airfields and an airport, or contain county buildings or other infrastructure. There are also vacant lots in the outlying areas of Klamath, Hiouchi and Gasquet that may or may not be suitable for development.”
According to the staff report, two parcels south and east of the Del Norte County Jail at 5th and G streets are vacant of any structures, but can be used for parking. These properties once housed county offices that have since been removed, according to the staff report.
A third county property in the Crescent City area houses juvenile hall, the Del Norte Search and Rescue office, surplus property storage and office space for the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office.
At the Board of Supervisors July 23 meeting, Gitlin said he received complaints from residents about the “deterioration and quality of life issues” in the county. He asked county staff for a list of properties in hopes that one would provide a suitable site to satisfy the Court of Appeals ruling, offering a place for the homeless that’s “off the beaten track.”
Gitlin also proposed establishing “FEMA-type housing” to satisfy the Appeals Court’s decision, however Board Chair Lori Cowan chose not to place it on the July 23 agenda.
Keeping with the theme of housing on Tuesday, the Board will consider changing the zoning for a 1.25 acre parcel at 1600 Northcrest Drive from its current general commercial designation to high density multi-family residential. This would allow property owner Nato Flores to move ahead with a proposed housing complex that includes 24 studio and one-bedroom homes as well as shared laundry, according to the county staff report.
Four units will be designated for low-income residents, according to county staff. High density multi-family residential zoning allows for six to 15 units per acre, according to the report.
Flores proposes to add 15 one-bedroom units to the property, which already has eight studio-one-bedroom homes and a two-bedroom home, according to the staff report.
Flores recently repaired the eight units, which had been dilapidated, according to the report. He also demolished another one-bedroom house and installed a driveway.
The property’s current designation doesn’t allow Flores to build more residential housing units, according to the report.
Flores’ proposed housing development went before the Del Norte County Planning Commission for a conditional use permit on May 1. According to the staff report, the Planning Commission was concerned with fencing and drainage on the property. Planning Commissioners also recommended the Board of Supervisors rezone the area to allow for the proposed development.
On the Board’s consent agenda is a request from Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority Tedd Ward to resurrect the advisory Solid Waste Task Force.
Ward proposes to designate the Task Force as a five-member body and for the Board of Supervisors to appoint Friends of Del Norte Vice President Eileen Cooper, Recology Del Norte General Manager Jeremy Herber and Hambro WSG Vice President Joel Wallen to the Task Force.
Recology Del Norte holds the collections franchise contract with the Solid Waste Management Authority and Hambro WSG is contracted with the authority to operate the Del Norte Transfer Station.
The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Flynn Center, 981 H Street in Crescent City. Agendas are available at http://agendas.dnco.org/.