A wide-ranging Twentynine Palms City Council meeting started with the topic of invocations, and went on to real estate matters, Development Code policy, and next year’s budget. Reporter Dan Stork has details…
City attorney Patrick Munoz opened the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting with an update on the Supreme Court decision on invocations at public meeting. His opinion was that current practice in Twentynine Palms is consistent with what the Court has allowed.
At Council member Cora Heiser’s request, an item to prequalify two firms to provide real estate services to the City was pulled from the consent agenda. After hearing City Manager Joe Guzetta’s explanation that this would streamline the process of obtaining expert advice when needed, Heiser and three colleagues approved the prequalification, but member Jay Corbin dissented.
The Council considered eight questions from the Planning Commission asking for Council direction on issues related to revision of the Development Code. The questions concerned the sign code, rooftop-mounted equipment, alternative parking surfaces, streamlining of the permitting process, historic structures, and light intensity measurement. In general, Council direction tended toward more flexibility in the Code.
Following a brief closed session to consider property acquisition, the Council voted to acquire 3 parcels on Smoke Tree, at a cost of $123,000, using Project Phoenix bond funds.
City Manager Joe Guzetta presented a balanced draft budget for fiscal 2014-2015. Council then began the work of going through it line by line with comments, questions, and directions for refinement, tinkering with items such as weekend park maintenance, whether to engage a lobbyist, development personnel, public art funding, and more.