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March 30, 2004 > City of Newark City Council Meeting

City of Newark City Council Meeting

Thursday, March 25, 2004

by Susana Nuñez

This week's meeting began with the introduction of three newly hired employees in the Recreation and Community Services Department. The new employees, Dean Bradshaw, Veronica Rangel, and Charlotte Allison, were present at the meeting. A commendation was given to Nicolas Ryan Hellewell who completed the requirements necessary to be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. Also receiving a commendation, and standing ovation, was Police Sergeant Dan Cohen, who retired after 24 years of serving as a Newark Police officer and 31 years in law enforcement. He started working for Newark May 1, 1980 and earned the rank of sergeant in 1987. The day of the meeting marked his last day serving as a police officer.

Written Communications - the first item approved at the meeting was a conditional use permit for new colors and signage at the Shell Gas Station at 5489 Thornton Avenue. The new color scheme consists of a tan and dark brown that compliments the colors of the Kmart and Big!Lots found in the same shopping center. The new signs reflect Shell's updated corporate imaging. A conditional use permit and a planned unit development for new colors and signage at the Shell Gas Station at 6005 Jarvis Avenue, with the same color schemes and signs described in the aforementioned Shell Gas Station on 5489 Thornton Avenue was approved. The council also approved a conditional use permit and planned unit development for signage at Mountain Mike's Pizza at 5333 Thornton Avenue. The application consists of two building signs; one on the south elevation facing Thornton Avenue, and one on the west elevation, along with replacement sign panels on the existing double-faces monument sign along Thornton Avenue.

In the Public Hearings portion of the meeting, a zoning text amendment to amend Zoning- Nonconforming Uses Structures and Signs was approved, as well as Conditional Use Permits-Revocation, to establish a procedure by which property owners may apply for revocation of a use permit. Newark's regulations for nonconforming uses, structures, and signs have not been significantly changed since they were first adopted in 1965. A number of zoning changes are called for in the City's updated housing element, which could create nonconforming uses. Staff believes that the regulations need to be updated now, since about five years ago they were identified as out of date.

The next item approved was property owners' objections to the 2004 Weed Abatement Program and instruction to the Superintendent of the Streets to abate the public nuisances. Several owners have notified staff that they will perform the work themselves and if the weeds are not abated in a timely manner, the city's contractor will perform the work in May. This will provide owners time to complete the abatement.

All six Consent items were approved simultaneously, which includes plans and specifications, acceptance of bid and award of contract to Best Roofing and Waterproofing, Inc. for Newark Library building re-roofing. The next item approved was authorization for the Mayor to sign an agreement with Joel Nelson Production, Inc. for the 2004 Music at the Grove Program.

Also, authorization for the Mayor to sign an amendment to the agreement dated March 1, 2002 between Bruce MacGregor and the City of Newark changing the due date for the completed manuscript and including additional work was approved. In July 22, 1999, the City and Mr. MacGregor entered into an agreement to document the City's history in the form of a book, which would cover the City's history until the end of the 20th Century.

Approved as well was the authorization to purchase thermal imaging equipment for the Fire Department, which was being demonstrated at the meeting. Also approved was authorization for the Mayor to sign an agreement with Alameda County for participation in the Alameda County Urban County Housing and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for fiscal year 2004-2005. Newark receives funding under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and CDBG Program. It provides funding for activities benefiting low and moderate income persons, including public works projects, planning studies, and housing rehabilitation and repair. Lastly, authorization for the City to accept a National Police Athletic/Activities leagues Youth Enrichment Program (PALYEP) grant, approve the subgrant agreement, and authorize the Police Chief to sign said agreement with PALYEP was approved.

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