Acton Town Council Regular Meeting Minutes August 15, 2016 Approved

  1. Flag salute & Roll Call – The Regular Meeting of the Acton Town Council was called to order at 7:33 PM by President Tom Costan.  Members present at the meeting: Angela Toghia, Jacki Ayer, Katherine Tucker, Tom Costan, Pam Wolter, John Farrar, and Kelly Teno.
  2. Minutes of Last Meeting –  Approved with the changes of 2 name spellings.
  3. Community Comments – Neil Weisenburg introduced himself, he is running for the East Kern Water District. He is an Acton resident and he will have a website up and running in a couple weeks.
  4. CHP Officer Gilbert Hernandez – Officer Hernandez came to speak about traffic enforcement in Acton.  He understands concerns that Crown Valley and Sierra Hwy are a speed way.  He explained that enforcement efforts are down due to CHP being down over 600 officers statewide, there are only 43 officers at their station, traffic collisions are up and they are spending more time at collisions instead of enforcement.  Acton has the least amount of incidents, through out the AV though he confirmed that nearly 1/4 of all accidents in the AV area are in Acton.  There is talk of additional resources coming but they are not for sure where those resources will go.  A question was asked if Acton could hire officers to patrol?  He said yes but it would be on officers days off. It was brought up to remind people to be safe at community events.  It was asked if CHP can make recommendations on speed limits. He has never seen it Department of Public Works does this.  According to the Vehicle Code they will go with the enforceable speed, there must be 13 houses on one side of the rode for 1/4 mile to be considered residential.  He announced that CHP is hiring and if we knew of anyone who would be interested would we pass on the information.
  5. Title 10 Presentation – Marcia Mayeda – Director of Animal Care and Control spoke about the changes to title 10.  The sections that were changed were outdated and conflicted with state laws.  They were doing an overall cleanup, plain language changes and simplifying the ordinance length by about 38%.  Substantial changes include reduced license fees for Vets, and dangerous and visious dog issues.  They are trying to streamline the process.  They looked at ordinances around the country and found ones that worked.  Questions and comments included : An ATC member pointed out the letter we wrote last year that included noise nuisance and how did they reach out to the rural communities for comments.  Marcia never saw the letter and asked for a copy. She apologized for rural communities not being included.  It was brought up that there was outreach to the breeders and kennels but not residents.  It was asked if the ordinance could be continued and not go before the BOS on August 23rd.? No we would have to do another ordinance.  It was asked if they can write a couple paragraphs to the BOS letter to let it be known that noise needs to be addressed?  They will write a new letter and also attach our letter and other community letters.   Marcia suggested that they have 2 meetings for all interested parties to make comments and suggestions for a new ordinance.   She will schedule those meetings.  Richard Grooms, Supervisor’s Staff Assistant announced that Title 22 is on the backburner, we need to work on animal facilities and noise.  For the people with 1 to 3 barking dogs this ordinance works great.  Ordinance needs to be adjusted as needed instead of killing the ordinance.  There were a few kennel owners in the audience and they were concerned about too much regulation and residents wanted to close them down.  They stated that most kennels are clean and follow all the rules, it is very stringent to get a permit and very costly.  Kennel owners come out here because it is rural and it is their life, there are lots of wonderful rescues.  Questions from the audience included, are residents notified if a new kennel is going to be opening?  No neighbors are not notified, Regional Planning would have to notify them when they are applying for a permit. When the zoning was A-1 a CUP was required, but A-2 is a by-right use.  Businesses should be handled in a different manner but we have been asked to swallow the pill that there is more punishment for 3 dogs verses 300 dogs.  It was asked how many complaints they get a year?  They get about 3 a year from animal facilities and about 1000 a year from residential.    A local realtor is worried about too many facilities coming in, she gets about quite a few requests each year for land to put kennels on.  Another resident stated that their right to complain is taken away with this ordinance, they can complain about 3 dogs next door but not about noise from a facility.  A rescue operator was asked if their license imposes a condition on noise, they said no.  In closing Marcia said this will be their top priority and will advise Town Councils of meetings.   It was asked if she could just strike the line stating that animal facilities were not subject to noise prohibitions, she said no.  ( Follow up: before this went to the Board of Supervisors, the provision was removed. )
  6. Community Standards District Committee Formation – Tabled
  7. Significant Ecological Area Ordinance – Pam Wolter made a motion for Angela Toghia to chair the SEA Ecological Area Ordinance Committee.  John Farrar 2nd the motion, no discussion, motion carried.
  8. Meeting adjourned at 10:03 pm, Next scheduled meeting TBD @ 7:30 at the Library
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