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Attorney News

 

CANNABIS

The City Attorney’s Office continues to be an integral part of an inter-departmental team of city staff, led by the Office of Cannabis Policy & Enforcement, to help them navigate the complex and ever-changing laws relating to the emerging medical and adult-use cannabis industry. In 2017, the office advised the City on the adoption of new land use and business regulations for commercial cultivation sites, manufacturing facilities, testing laboratories, distribution hubs, and retail dispensaries. In addition, the office has been a critical partner in the efforts to increase enforcement against illegal cannabis operations throughout the City.

 

CAO Supports Multi-year Effort to Streamline City’s Infrastructure Financing Ordinances

On February 14, 2017, the Sacramento City Council adopted seven new ordinances that restructured the City Code to facilitate administration of development impact fees and offer financial incentives to stimulate housing and job growth, particularly in economically challenged neighborhoods, near transit stations, and in the Central City. Six attorneys worked closely with four city departments to develop financing plans, nexus studies, fee credit and deferral programs, and draft ordinances and resolutions to implement the goals of the 2035 General Plan to support projected growth. In addition, the Subdivision Code was revised to further incentivize infill development by modernizing parkland dedication requirements. This effort resulted in establishing infrastructure improvement programs in three subareas of the city, a new citywide transportation impact fee, revised affordable housing fees, and new park fees for regional parks, pools, community centers, and parkways. The development community supported these changes because the overall fee burden in comparison with other jurisdictions in the region was fair and reasonable.

California WaterFix

This is the "Delta tunnels project," which proposes the construction of three new water intakes supplying two Delta tunnels to deliver water from Northern California to State and Federal Water Project contractors. The City, along with numerous other agencies and water supply interests throughout the State, filed a protest in the WaterFix change petition proceeding being conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board. The City is participating in this process out of concern for the project's potential adverse impact on regional water supplies, and to safeguard the City's long-standing water rights on the American and Sacramento Rivers. The State Water Board hearing process has been separated into two phases. To date, the City has presented evidence and testimony in the first phase of the hearing process, which has concluded. The second phase of the hearing process focused on environmental issues will begin on January 18, 2018.


Sanctuary City

The CAO has worked with the City Council to refine the City’s Sanctuary City Resolution that was adopted on May 4, 2017. The Resolution is intended to protect Sacramento City residents from federal immigration policies that may adversely impact them or the City’s local government operations.

EVGO

Our office aided staff in negotiating a contract to place up to six electric vehicle chargers on-street in partnership with a private electric vehicle charging network, EVgo. EVgo will fully construct, operate, and maintain the chargers for a ten-year period at no cost to the City, using the newest generation of 150-kilowatt high-power DC   fast-charger technology. While many cities have parking garages or facilities that include electrical vehicle charging stations, Sacramento is one of a handful of California cities that is seeking to develop “curbside” chargers on-street in the public right-of-way. These chargers will be the first curbside EV chargers available in the City, serving as a pilot for City staff to learn and develop permit guidance for future curbside charging projects. Our office is also working with staff in providing comments on proposed state legislation allowing cities to reserve parking spaces for on-street chargers.


homeless housing

Our office is providing advice on the provision of affordable housing opportunities and health care for homeless individuals in our City, including

Whole Person Care Pilot: Our office is aiding staff in the City’s participation in the statewide Whole Person Care Pilot Program, which will result in a four-year program to provide outreach, care coordination, housing support, and respite services to vulnerable individuals in the Sacramento region. The program will be funded by private grants, federal funding, and local funding. Because Sacramento is the only city in California participating in the program (the other participants are counties), the City will work in close partnership with existing subject-matter experts within the Sacramento community.

The Mayor’s Homeless Initiative: This initiative focuses on providing housing for 1,600 homeless households within the next two to three years by allocating a portion of public housing units and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) that become available each year due to turnover. Working with the County of Sacramento and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, changes to the City Housing Authority’s Admission and Continued Occupancy Policy and the County Housing Authority’s HCV Administrative Plan to add a homeless preference are needed and approval by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is required. The plan is to allocate 200 public housing units and 600 rental vouchers for homeless families, which would include households at risk of becoming homeless, as well as to provide services for these families so they can transition to permanent supportive housing.

JOB GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT INCENTIVE STRATEGY

Recognizing that the City must adopt and implement recruitment strategies to make it more competitive in attracting businesses to Sacramento, the City Attorney’s Office assisted the City’s Economic Development Department in developing a job growth and employment incentive strategy that provides a framework to guide the City’s approach in pursuing major employment opportunities. The strategy underscores the City’s commitment to corporate recruitment efforts that bring large numbers of high-wage jobs to the City, diversify the City’s economic base, provide employment opportunities to underserved populations, and provide broad public benefits that enhance the quality of life and environment within the City.