Needles, CA: Needles City Council takes no action and only discusses about designating of a downtown area and the upcoming City of Needles General Plan community meetings in November 2021. 

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: City of Needles (Information and Agenda Packet):

Needles, California: Members of the Needles City Council took no action and only discussed about designating of a downtown area and the upcoming City of Needles General Plan community meetings in November 2021.

Live Broadcast By ZachNews (Skip to 51:59 for Agenda Item #11):

The no action taken and discussion only occurred during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority that was held on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021, which you can watch at ZachNews on Facebook.

Documents from the City of Needles, on October 12, Councilor Campbell requested that the City Council consider a a designation of a downtown area. The matter is agendized to determine if the City Council wants to consider an action on the matter at a subsequent meeting.

The following tools are available to designate a Downtown Area:

  • Exclusionary Overlay Zone- A regulatory tool that creates a special zoning district, placed over an existing base zone, which could exclude defined uses within it. An overlay zone would define the boundaries of the downtown area and what is permitted in the area. A CEQA Initial Study would be required.
  • Rezone- A Regulatory tool that is any change or amendment to the zoning map to move land from one zoning district to another. Would create a new zoning classification or designation in the downtown. A CEQA Initial Study would be required.
  • Downtown Specific Plan- Is a regulatory tool that local governments use to guide development in a localized area and to systematically implement the general plan. It is intended as a more detailed development plan that is a general plan. A CEQA Environmental Impact Report would be required.
  • City of Needles General Plan Land Use Element Update- The City is currently updating our General Plan Land Use Element. A CEQA Environmental Impact Report would be required and can be completed with the rest of the general plan update.

All of the above processes are available to Council to designate a new Downtown area. City Staff recommends that we utilize the General Plan Land Use Element Update as a means to address the designation of a new downtown. Public workshops are taking place on Thursday November 18, 2021 at the Needles Recreation Center from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.

As for the fiscal impact, the City of Needles said in the documents that costs to utilize a consultant to complete the overlay zone, rezone, or a Downtown Specific Plan. The General Plan Land Use Element is paid through a SB 2 Planning Grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

The recommended action to members of the Needles City Council is to provide direction on whether the Council wants agendized this matter for action at a subsequent meeting to designate a downtown, and, if so, direct staff to develop the methodology to do so.

*** Agenda Packet for Agenda Item #11 (Unless otherwise noted, all downloadable agenda packets that are posted here are in a PDF file format so please make sure to have a PDF file reader or viewer): ***

cc-11-102621-downtown area

In summary, discussion was mainly about the City of Needles General Plan, the upcoming meetings for the general plan and downtown regarding the general plan.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke about the upcoming meetings regarding the City of Needles General Plan, and about what the general plan will look into; the zones and the different kinds of uses of these zones, looking at what would be allowed in residential zones and looking at the downtown and the general land use element of the city; and as result we made be looking at a new zoning map and general plan map later for the City of Needles, designating areas residential, commercial and so on.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels add that the work could take as long as August 2022 to be finally adopted because the City of Needles have to do an environmental impact report on it.

*** More Information Regarding City of Needles General Plan Meetings: ***

https://zachnews.net/2021/10/13/news-alert-needles-ca-city-of-needles-will-be-hosting-general-plan-community-meetings-inside-the-needles-recreation-center-in-november-2021/

After short discussion and debate members of the Needles City Council and no public input, to action was taken by members of the Needles City Council on this “Action” agenda item.

For more information, please contact Dale Jones, City Clerk at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113.

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