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No Temporary Use Permit Requirement Urged for Hope Van

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The operations of Shasta Community Health Center’s Hope Van, which provides free medical services to homeless and other people in need in Redding CA, will be unnecessarily restricted if proposed ordinance No. 2541 is approved by Redding City Council on February 2, 2016.

Redding Voice recommends disapproval of the proposed Temporary Use Permit provisions in the ordinance. Homelessness in Redding CA is a hotly debated issue, but much very good work is currently underway (but not yet finished) to come up with solutions to this complex problem i.e. Kristen Schreder’s HomeBase Redding Area Homeless Strategic Planning Workshop; the Public Safety Blueprint; Redding Resource Center, etc.

Making it more difficult for the Hope Van to operate, by requiring additional Temporary Use Permit restriction is both untimely and unnecessary. The Hope Van is a valuable humanitarian service to people in distress who live in Redding, but may not have adequate shelter. If passed, the City’s Director of Development Services would have the authority to alert area business/residents of the Hope Van locational intentions before issuing a Temporary Use Permit, with the likely end result being NIMBY opposition and unlikely approval. This would be a shame!

Buried in the City of Redding, February 2, 2016 regular calendar is item 9A. Adoption of Ordinance No. 2541 amending Redding Municipal Code Title 18 (Zoning), which is framed as a “clean-up and updating of the Zoning Code.” The proposed ordinance had its first reading January 19, 2016 and if approved on February 2nd will amend Title 18 (Zoning), Chapter 18.17 (Temporary Use Permits), Sections 18.17.030 and 18.17.060 and become law 30 days later.

The staff report, written by planning Manager Kent Manuel* notes (on page 219 of the Agenda Package) that,

“Temporary Use Permit provisions do not address mobile medical and similar services such as Shasta Community Health Center’s HOPE (Health Outreach for People Everywhere) van, the BloodSource van and similar operations. Depending on location, City staff has noted issues related to blocking of sidewalks, conflicts with parking spaces and driveway aisles, loitering, trash, and similar issues. Requiring a temporary use permit would allow the City to place location specific conditions on the use, when warranted, to address these unintended impacts of a temporary use.”

The proposed amendments would “specifically authorize the Director of Development Services (Director) to notify surrounding property owners of an application should he/she feel it is warranted. Currently, the Ordinance does not require property owner notification unless the application is referred to the Board of Administrative Review (BAR). The proposed amendments would give the Director the option to obtain input from potentially affected property owners before making a determination to approve or deny a use without the delay of scheduling a public hearing at BAR.”

My personal experience with the Hope Van is that SCHC has always voluntarily attempted to be a good neighbor and has moved when asked, first from Quartz Hill/Benton on Fridays, then to Lake Blvd. and now to Breslauer, even at diminished convenient access for their clients. The Hope Van is now limited to Breslauer, Rolling Doors (behind the Good News Rescue Mission) and Empire Recovery Center locations because of NIMBY. In my opinion, further regulation is not necessary and would show a lack of compassion on the part of Redding’s leadership; deleting the proposed Temporary Use Permit changes will acknowledge an appreciation of the necessary work the Hope Van is doing.

Make your voice heard at City Council meeting on February 2, 2016. Apparently at Kristen Schreder’s request the item has been pulled from the consent agenda, but it is #9 on the agenda so public testimony will be much later in the evening than 6 PM.

We urge deleting the proposed Temporary Use Permit changes to the current ordinance. At a minimum, approval of this section should be deferred to a much later date.

 

*I found discussion with Kent Manuel congenial and open to hear public opinions. He can be reached at 229-4029 or kmanuel@ci.redding.ca.us

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