Nevada City council to discuss B&B ordinance, fire station brownouts |

Nevada City council to discuss B&B ordinance, fire station brownouts

The Nevada City Council is expected tonight to formally adopt a previously approved bed-and-breakfast ordinance, which prohibits the establishment of new facilities in residential zones.

Council members will also review the city’s rotating brownout plan for Fire Station No. 54, following the April 19 departure of three Nevada County Consolidated firefighters from the station.

In October, Consolidated Fire Chief Jim Turner presented a proposal to the board that would reduce staff from 30 to 27 firefighters in the district by declining to fill three vacant positions. The proposal was approved on a 4-3 vote, and Consolidated gave a 180-day notice to Nevada City, stating they would vacate the three positions on April 19.

City Manager Mark Prestwich met with council members and local fire chiefs to explore the city’s options.

“During this interim period, the station will remain open at least four out of the six days in the rotation.”Nevada City Manager Mark Prestwich

After meeting with fire union representatives, Prestwich said the city came up with a plan to staff at least two of the station’s three 48-hour shifts by hiring a supplemental firefighter for up to 18 months, bringing the station’s staff to four firefighters and two interns.

In its plan, the city will not hire to fill a currently vacant position, instead using those funds to pay the new firefighter’s salary. The city recommends council members receive and file this plan on Wednesday.

“During this interim period, the station will remain open at least four out of the six days in the rotation,” said Prestwich.

Potential long-term funding for the station could come from a proposed June 2016 measure that would increase city sales tax by a quarter of a percent to accrue $290,000 annually.

At tonight’s meeting, the council expects to adopt a B&B ordinance that was unanimously approved last month. The ordinance prohibits the establishment of new B&Bs in residential zones, ensuring due process procedures for discontinued and nonconforming B&Bs that are subject to revocation.

The initiative seeks to reinforce Measures F and G, which were approved by voters in 1994. The ballot measures removed city policy that regulated short-term rentals of more than one week and less than 30 days in the area, and prohibited the establishment of new B&Bs.

According to the ordinance, nonconforming B&Bs would be reviewed in a due process hearing with the city to decide whether permits would be revoked. The policy also states B&Bs that are inactive for more than a year could be considered nonconforming pending city review.

The newly passed B&B ordinance, however, is a separate issue from policy around Airbnb-type rentals, which council members tabled at a March 4 meeting with plans to revisit the issue in the future.

In other business, council members will vote to approve the city’s budget calendar, and also hold a public hearing regarding Community Development Block Grant application submission. The council will also review and authorize First Friday Art Walk street closure application requests.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email or call 530-477-4236.

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