Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles Planning Commission Meeting.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: Cindy Semione, Secretary to the Board with the City of Needles (Information):

Needles, California: The Needles Planning Commission held a meeting inside the Needles City Council Chambers on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021.

The Needles Planning Commission Meeting was broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook.

The City of Needles wants to remain the public that the Needles Planning Commission is continuing to hold meetings pursuant to the provisions of the Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20 which suspends certain requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act.

As a result of the California’s Executive Order to “Stay-At-Home”, the City of Needles said that in person participation at the Needles Planning Commission meetings is not allowed at this time and the Needles City Council Chambers are not open to the public.

**** Here is a summary and the voting results that occurred during the meeting: ****

*** Old Business: ***

  • Agenda Item #6(A):

A public hearing to consider all evidence for or against recommending approval of a Conditional Use Permit for a 2,500 sq. ft. Retail Cannabis Business, located at 1804 Needles Highway, in the C-2 (General Commercial) Zone, also known as APN 0185-045-03 (Continued From The December 2, 2020 Meeting).

Members of the Needles Planning Commission voted 4-2 to continue the item to the next meeting on February 3rd, 2021. Chairwomen Kidd and Commissioner Ostby voted “No” on continuing the item.

*** New Business: ***

  • Agenda Item #7(B):

Elect Chairperson and Co-Chairperson.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission voted unanimously to elect Linda Kidd for Chairperson.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission voted unanimously to elect Bob Rath for Co-Chairperson.

  • Agenda Item #7(C):

A public hearing to consider all evidence for or against recommending approval of an amendment to the Needles Municipal Code Section 96.00 “Permissible Use Table”; Section 96.08 “Accessory Dwelling Units” Providing 2020 Legislative Updates to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Resolution No.01-06-2021 PC recommending approval of an amendment to the Needles Municipal Code Section 96.00 “Permissible Use Table”; Section 96.08 “Accessory Dwelling Units” Providing 2020 Legislative Updates to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Members of the Needles Planning Commission voted 5-1 to approve Resolution No.01-06-2021 PC recommending approval of an amendment to the Needles Municipal Code Section 96.00 “Permissible Use Table”; Section 96.08 “Accessory Dwelling Units” Providing 2020 Legislative Updates to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Commissioner Beard voted “No” on this item.

  • Agenda Item #7(D):

A public hearing to consider all evidence for or against recommending approval of Amendment of City Code Section 104.17.1 Legal Non-Conforming Signs Allowing Non-Commercial Messages.

Resolution No. 01-06-2021-1 PC recommending approval of an amendment of City Code Section 104.17.1 Legal Non-Conforming Signs Allowing Non-Commercial Messages.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission voted unanimously to sent this item back to the City for further discussion; to come up with something new.

  • Agenda Item #7(E):

A public hearing to consider all evidence for or against recommending approval of an amendment to the Needles Municipal Sign Code, Article X, Section 104.17.2 Definitions and Section 104.17.6(H)(1) Wall Signs.

Resolution No. 01-06-2021-2 PC recommending approval of an amendment to the Needles Municipal Sign Code, Article X, Section 104.17.2 Definitions and Section 104.17.6(H)(1) Wall Signs.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve Resolution No. 01-06-2021-2 PC recommending approval of an amendment to the Needles Municipal Sign Code, Article X, Section 104.17.2 Definitions and Section 104.17.6(H)(1) Wall Signs.

*** Needles Planning Commission Requests: ***

Commissioner Robert spoke about the roadway condition of Needles Highway from the Palms River Resort to the County Line being “Hazardous Beyond Belief.”

Commissioner Beard asked a question regarding the Administrative Hearing that occurred November 3rd, 2020, and a property on Cherry Drive at Safari Drive; asking is this going out to bid on demolition? and when the court order going to be enforced? Needles Director of Development Services Patrick Martinez answered saying that we have to go through the Code Enforcement process,and that there are line items in the budget to do those types of demolitions, and once we demolish them, we abate the property as well as put a lean on the property. Needles Director of Development Services Patrick Martinez added that the property is currently going through legalization and we’re working with the receiver; to the point were we’ve identified the property, we’ve already took it to an Administrative Hearing, then what we do is we put these properties in front of a receiver to be able to identify which properties they want to take forward; the once they don’t we do the abatement on but a lot of these are really good properties, and they understand the need for housing in our city so these receivers take these properties over. for this property, we’re working with the attorney of the individual who wants to become the owner.

Commissioner Rath wants to find out if the Needles Planning Commission can be given a monthly report on all of the legitimately investigated odor complaints at any of the cannabis facilities, and the noted actions or corrections.

Commissioner Ostby asked about the large project that was brought to them (the mixed-use development that was to be build on the dirt lot property along West Broadway between G Street and H Street where the old Needles Chamber of Commerce building is located on) and the time line that was given for that development, what is the update on this development? Needles City Manager Rick Daniels answered saying that they had to begin substantial construction by September 2020. Using COVID-19 as an excuse, they’ve counter with an extension of time but we said you have to have milestones; the City isn’t going to wait for if it passes or fails at the end of the day; they need to file an application by this date, get a building permit by this date, start construction by this date; milestones that they will have to clear.

Chairperson Kidd asked about the hotel development (the new Hampton Inn project located along Needles Highway near O Street), what is the latest on groundbreaking? Needles City Manager Rick Daniels answered saying he aspect a groundbreaking any day, and that they are in the process of selecting a contractors, their loan is all funded guarantee and all of the time periods for legal challenges have passed.

Commissioner Dresser asked about the modeler buildings along East Broadway near Smith Road, what is going on with that? Needles City Manager Rick Daniels answered saying that they were allowed to put those buildings there and use them as long as they were constructing the new building. since they haven’t, those buildings haven’t been used but there’s going to come a time where we’re going to have those temporary buildings removed because we’re not seeing movement towards substantial construction.

*** City Manager Report: ***

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels:

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels interdicted the new building official for the City of Needles name Alberto Paiva. He has all of the requirements for building inspector, electrical inspector, mechanical, pluming and structural; as well as a regular professional engineer, license to operate in California. He is fulfilling both of those rolls as Chief Building Official and City Engineer.

For more information regarding the Needles Planning Commission Meetings, please contact Cindy Semione, Secretary to the Board, at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113.

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