Acton Town Council Meeting Minutes, April 3, 2023 Approved

  1. Call to Order, Flag Salute, & Roll Call –  The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by President Jeremiah Owen.  Present at the meeting – June Perkins, Jeremiah Owen, Tom Costan, Jacki Ayer, Pam Wolter and Kelly Teno.
  2. Community Comments – A Resident directed a question to Deputy Martinez and he provided the answer.
  3. Announcements and Correspondence –  The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection is developing a 0-5 Foot defensible space zone.  It will prohibit any combustible materials within 0-5 feet of a structure.  They want to assess how much this will cost homeowners, so they are asking homeowners to take a survey.  A notice is posted on our website.  Two ATC members have already taken the survey and unfortunately, they do not ask about the most costly retrofit situations, so their results will only show the lower costs.  The ATC should send an email or letter about this.  An organization called Avantus has requested to come to our May 1, 2023 meeting to present their proposed Battery Storage Project in Acton.  They are in the very early stages of development and will include a Q&A in their presentation.  The ATC requested them to provide a site plan ahead of time.  The ATC has received a response to our inquiry that the Budda Statue on Sierra Hwy.  is not a permitted accessory structure in the CRU zone and that it is an outdoor display that is also not permitted.  County staff confirm that the statue is a structure and that statuary is noy an approved accessory structure, but they will allow it.  The county Free Dump days were announced.  See flyers on our website for the information.  The Antelope Valley Environmental Collection Center operates on the First and Third Saturday of each month.  They accept household hazardous waste such as paint, oil, and batteries.  They also collect old electronics such as TV’s, monitors, computers, and printers.  Congressman Garcia has announced that the annual Congressional Art Competition is underway and is soliciting high school students to participate.  If you are interested please see the flyer posted on our website.  Regional Planning has received an application to develop parcel 3216-029-004 that has been used for illegal dumping, illegal RV residential uses, and illegal structure development.  The ATC sent a comment on this proposed development opposing any development until the site and the adjacent site are fully remediated.  The following are some of the things that our Board of Supervisors are working on.  April 4, 2023 they will be voting on a motion introduced by Sup. Horvath and Sup. Solise to empty out the County jails and re-instate “Cite and Release” protocols across the County. Supervisor Barger made a statement opposing the motion because it was not made in collaboration with law enforcement partners.
  4. Representative Update – Mr Bostwick gave updates from Supervisor Bargers office which included: There will be an Illegal Dumping Task Force Community Clean Up, the County will provide roll offs, and  trash bags for the 3 day clean up event.  The County is working on how to get homeless encampments cleaned up after they are gone.
  5. Library Report – The upcoming library programs were announced along with the dates for the Friends of the Library Art Vendors and Book Sale. It is April 22nd & 23rd.
  6. Sheriff’s Report –  Deputy Martinez gave the March report – 2 part one crimes, and 7 property crimes.  They are still getting tips about illegal grow houses and the tips are being more streamlined.
  7. Traffic/Proposed RV Park – Department of Public Works –  Elaine Kunataki from Department of Public Works (DPW) gave a report on the traffic study conducted at Red Rover Mine Road and Sierra Highway.  The ATC requested this study and others after complaints from residents.   Ms Kunataki announced that the study did not meet the criteria for a 4 way stop.  They understood the communities concerns about traffic commuter and also school times and they will put up signs that state “Red Rover Mine Road coming up”.  The County answered a letter of concern sent by a resident, and they are going to look at commuter and school times again and it will be done before the end of this school year.  Other concerns were brought up during discussion which included that the CHP has stated that most accidents on the 14 freeway during commute times happen close to Acton which causes the freeway to dump onto Sierra Highway.  When they take their counts in a new study they need to take this into account because maybe there were no accidents that day.  The speeds on Sierra Highway especially during commute times is very high since there are no stop signs from Canyon Country until you get to Crown Valley Road.  It was asked if a letter of support from the School District would help.  It was asked if the ATC could see the traffic count study and Ms Kunataki will look into the request.  Jacki spoke about the proposed RV Park on Sierra Highway just south of Ave V and Shannon Valley and the One-Stop meeting with the County.  This was placed on our agenda along with the traffic study at Red Rover Mine Road because of the potential traffic concerns.  It is a proposed luxury operation for 184 campers with a pool and restaurants and lake or pond.  They plan to use a well and want to put up a block wall for sound.  They were told they would need a CUP and that the block wall could be accommodated through the CUP process.  They were also told they need an onsite waste treatment system, a traffic study, a trail, will have to make all the buildings western and will have to comply with the Dark Skies Ordinance.  It was pointed out that living in an RV park is illegal and that it is a problem in some areas of the County.  The applicant stated that this was not a problem because the project was going to serve commuters on the freeway.  Jacki spoke as a resident of Acton and mentioned that their facility will have the same water demands as Thousand Trails operating at 20% capacity and that is a million gallons of water per day.  The environmental analysis will have to consider the impact that that will have on the Shannon Valley wells if they sink a well or on Acton town center wells if they use WWD37 water.  They should get a guarantee from AVEK because they cannot be served by local water resources.  She also talked about the dangerous conditions of having slow moving RV’s entering and exiting from and onto Sierra Highway where during commuting times the speeds can get close to 80 mph on the two lane road.  This would need to be addressed in the traffic study and that Acton was just denied a stop at Red Rover Mine Road and Sierra Highway that would have mitigated this problem to a great extent.  She also stated that this project was not consistent with new policies prohibiting general assembly uses in VHFHSZ’s.  Also the County has been unable to enforce any conditions on any RV parks in Acton so why should another RV park be approved and why should our community support it?  After discussion Jacki Ayer made a motion to write a letter addressing the issues that were expressed in the One-Stop meeting about the RV Park.  Tom Costan 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  8. Climate Action Plan – The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is out for the Draft Climate Action Plan (CAP).  It seems that they heard a few of the concerns that the ATC raised in previous comments.  A concern for our community is that the County won’t prohibit the building of new gas stations but the CAP will be eliminating all oil and gas.  The CAP should be on another agenda so the ATC can take a position.  Make it a running agenda item.
  9. County Policy on ADU’s – The ATC received information last week regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) from the Department of Regional Planning (DRP).  DRP has developed a new ADU policy that allows ADU’s and Junior ADU’s everywhere. The policy was written in response to AB 221 and SB 897 which, according to DRP, eliminates restrictions on ADU placement so the County has done away with the requirement that secondary access be provided for ADU’s in VHFHSZ’s.  This conclusion is not supported by either of the bills that were passed.  The County can set aside an ordinance or ordinance provision and replace it with policy only if the ordinance or ordinance provision is clearly contrary to the law.  The ATC does not see how the secondary access requirements that exist in the current ADU Ordinance are contrary to either AB 221 or SB 897.  Jacki Ayer made a motion to write a letter to Department of Regional Planning addressing new ADU policy that is in conflict with state law and county code.  Tom Costan 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  10. Treasurer Report – Bank Balance – less than $200.00, no deposits, bills or expenses.
  11. Minutes – The minutes of the last meeting were passed out for review.  Be prepared to vote on those and passed minutes at the next meeting.
  12. Councilmember Comments – June asked for definitions or explanations of the following; ADU, One-Stop, Tom Lackey letter.
  13. Committee Reports – The following committee’s had reports. a. Education Committee – Tom announced he would bring the Red Rover Mine stop sign issue to the school board. d.  Publicity – Tom reported that everything requested has been posted on our website.  h.  Trails, Open Space, and Recreation – Jacki reported that there was a County Trails meeting 2 weeks ago but the ATC did not attend due to miscommunication.  There was a notice that said the meeting would be in June so we thought it was postponed.  The County wants to finalize the Trails Map for Acton.  i.  Utilities –   j. Bylaws – Kelly reported about making a change to Article 11, F&G.  Tom will make all the changes and post the proposed revisions on our website and we will discuss them with residents at the next two meetings and take a vote on them.  m. Film Coalition – Jacki reported on film notices.  She noted that in a 9 day time period that Soledad Canyon Road was closed 7 times.
  14. Unfinished Business/New Business – Jacki Ayer mad a motion to write a letter to Cal Fire about the survey and not capturing high dollar retrofit requirements .  Tom Costan 2nd the motion.  The motion carried. 
  15. Items for Next Agenda – CAP, Census, Bylaws, Compliance on Industrial properties on Smith Ave.
  16. Adjournment – 9:25 pm
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