dealing with rising seas and heightened concerns

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

dealing with rising seas and heightened concerns:

Commission seeks to incentivize, inform homeowners on resiliency efforts

Commissioner John Alemán will ask her colleagues on Wednesday to support a resolution to allow homeowners to tie into the City’s stormwater system without charge to handle runoff from their properties and to incentivize those who retain their own stormwater on site.
 
As the City raises roads and sidewalks, homeowners have been concerned about potential runoff from the streets onto their property and with how stormwater that has up to this point gone into the City’s drainage system naturally via gravity would drain from private properties once roads were elevated in front of them. While property owners are not supposed to drain into the City’s system, the natural process has pushed the water from the properties into the drains.
 
“You buy a house and it is built to drain onto the public right of way,” Alemán says. “Every house works that way. Unbeknownst to them that’s against the Code but that’s the built environment. I was struggling myself trying to explain that to residents.”
 
City Staff had been considering an idea for charging a fee for tying into the system but Alemán's resolution turns the process around from a penalty to a reward system.
 
“Ultimately, we’re all paying for this anyway,” she says. “This is our resiliency plan.” She believes charging homeowners to tie in is a disincentive. If they have to replace walls or gates or harmonize their properties with the elevated roads, or even elevate their homes, paying to tie into the system “might be something they would defer and, therefore, not add to the resiliency overall of the City,” she says. Her message, “We’re all in this together. You can tie in.”
 
On the other hand, “If a homeowner does make the investment to retain their own stormwater, that’s less taxing to the system,” Alemán says. “We want to encourage that. Some homeowners already have implemented cisterns. If they have that they will be rewarded with some form of award or incentive.” She believes this method is “more fair to homeowners and it is a better encouragement toward resiliency than the path we were on.”
 
Her resolution formalizes some things “so residents can see in writing it’s true. There’s a lot of distrust and fear around the program.” In addition to setting up a program to allow residents to tie in to the stormwater system, the resolution affirms “that the City not shed stormwater from public property or rights-of-way onto private property,” a commitment made repeatedly in public and private meetings with homeowners.
 
***
Despite recent education efforts, concerns about the elevation of roads continue to swirl in several neighborhoods as their projects come up on the schedule. One of the discussion items on the Commission agenda is the request from the Upper North Bay Road Homeowners Association to delay the proposed street drainage improvement and road elevation project for their neighborhood for at least 5 to 10 years. The request encompasses the North Bay Road area from 50th to 65th Street.
 
***
On the education front, the Commission will also discuss a date for a neighborhood street-raising/stormwater special commission meeting/workshop to further review the risks of sea level rise and the benefits of the City’s resiliency plan to install stormwater pumps and drains, raise seawalls, and elevate roads.
 
***
Other items on the agenda
 
Scheduled for 10:00 am: Alcohol sales and package stores. Second reading and public hearing on two ordinances restricting package store locations and new standards limiting the amount of display space in storefront windows for alcoholic beverage products.
No time certain for a first reading on the ordinance to roll back alcohol sale hours to their previously allowed 8:00 am start time.
Background here

Ordinances here:
Package store locations
Storefront displays
Alcohol sale hours

Scheduled for 2:00 pm: First reading on a rezoning for Terminal Island to allow a 25-story 90 unit multi-family residential tower.  The item was previously before the Planning Board but was withdrawn.
Ordinances here and here

Scheduled for 5:01 pm: First reading and public hearing on Medical marijuana dispensary locations
Ordinance

No time certain: Commissioner Ricky Arriola will discuss his idea for North Beach Yard, a temporary and pop-up food concept to be run by the founders of Wynwood Yard on the West Lots across from North Shore Open Space Park.

Full Commission agenda (with approximate times for some items noted)

Attend the meeting and make public comments or email the Commissioners.
 

homeowners to tie into stormwater system without charge


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
commission rethinks earlier plan, will incentivize instead

alcohol sales and package stores


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
where to draw the line?

medical marijuana dispensaries getting closer to fruition


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
planning board to consider locations and regulations

Medical marijuana dispensaries


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
land use development committee considers location options

Alcohol sales curtailed


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
retail sales pushed back to 10 am

new regulations on sales and service of alcohol


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
new restrictions on hours