TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT
DATE: MARCH 1, 2005
SUBJECT: EQUESTRIAN COMMITTEE
Staff Coordinator: Dave Blumenthal, Associate Planner
Provide staff with direction on the status of the Equestrian Committee.
On February 3, 2004, the City Council determined to continue the Equestrian Committee for a period of one year and re-examine the need for the Committee at such time. Inasmuch as the one-year period has expired, staff has agendized this item for the Council’s consideration. Based on the Council’s action on February 3, 2004, staff is seeking the City Council’s direction on the status of the Equestrian Committee.
On February 3, 2004, as a result of lack of interest in the recruitment for new Equestrian Committee Members, the City Council agendized a discussion item to determine the future status of the Equestrian Committee. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Council adopted a motion that states, "That the Equestrian Committee continue for one more year; that it meet as often as its members and staff determine it is appropriate, up to once a month; that the meetings not exceed the amount to operate as is reflected in the present budget for this Committee; that the formation of this Committee will be re-examined in one year to determine if this body is needed; that staff will solicit more applications to bring the membership up to 9 members, who will serve one year on this Committee; that the City Council will reserve judgment on the size of the Committee until such time as all applicants have been interviewed – interviews/appointments to be done as expeditiously as possible; that in addition to the Committee’s existing charter, that the Committee would not be given the authority to make final decisions on any matter; that the Committee will provide advice on land use issues to the Planning Commission; that it will provide advice on an equestrian center and other equestrian-related issues to the Open Space Task Force; that it will provide advice to the City Council and staff on horse care and issues concerning the handling of manure; that it will provide advice to the City Council and Planning Commission on trails, the preservation of trails, and that it will attempt to coordinate with other Peninsula cities on the preservation of trails; and that the City Council will look at the progress and reports relating to the issues set forth in its charter and re-evaluate the Committee one year from now."
Equestrian Committee meetings are scheduled to occur on the second Thursday of each month. In 2004, the Equestrian Committee held ten meetings (January and December were canceled due to lack of quorum). During these ten meetings, the Equestrian Committee accomplished the following tasks:
In addition to these accomplishments, staff has taken several steps to reduce the City’s cost of maintaining the Equestrian Committee. These steps include the elimination of a recording secretary and having the staff liaison prepare the minutes as part of his normal workload. Additionally, staff has begun mailing the agendas to the Committee members, in lieu of having Public Works staff hand deliver them. These actions have effectively eliminated the need for staff overtime to support the Equestrian Committee, with exception to overtime required to attend the Equestrian Committee meeting (approximately 3½ hours per month). Nevertheless, including overtime, staff spends approximately eight hours per month to support the Equestrian Committee.
It should be noted, if the City Council determines the best course of action is to disband the Equestrian Committee, staff recommends that a Code Amendment be processed to address the transfer of the Committee’s permit granting authority and remove references of the Equestrian Committee from the Development Code.
If the City Council’s action on this matter is to disband the committee then it would have a slight a positive fiscal impact upon the City. Disbanding the Committee will save approximately eight hours of staff time per month, which includes 3½ hours of staff overtime.
Joel Rojas, aicp, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement
Les Evans, City Manager