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City Council

The People's Business: June 8, 2020

After today's big budget hearing, the City Council is back tomorrow for its regular weekly meeting, and as usual, it offers a mix of COVID-19-related items and typical City business.

For details on any item, click the agenda, then click on the item. Over on the right side of the page, you'll see a staff report and links to other bits of supporting material.

City Council -- Tuesday, June 9

Tuesday's agenda begins with one proclamation and five consent items that are considered noncontroversial and won't be discussed unless a Council member or someone from the public pulls it out for discussion. 

Then there are these seven matters up for conversation and action:

  • Illustration: extending a life ringSmall Business Relief Fund: Mayor Kevin Faulconer is asking the Council to approve taking $12.8 million from San Diego's share of federal CARES Act funds and using it to augment the City's Small Business Relief Fund to assist small businesses facing hardship due to COVID-19. The Council will actually need to take this matter up today during its final public hearing on the City budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. If this request from the Mayor survives that process, Council on Tuesday will need to pass an emergency resolution approving the allocation and expenditure of the CARES Act funding. 

Under the proposal, this new $12.8 million infusion would be distributed to local businesses with fewer eligibility restrictions, effectively opening it up more business owners than were eligible for the initial $6.1 million that was made available back in March. That initial funding was gobbled up quickly.

  • San Diego Tourism Marketing District: San Diego's Tourism Marketing District (TMD) is a mechanism by which the lodging businesses within the city assess themselves a 2-percent fee on hotel-room stays and use that revenue to market San Diego as a destination. The district operates under an agreement with the City of San Diego that regulates how the district does its business and handles its money.

Partly due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, the TMD wants to scrap its current operating agreement with the City and sign a new one. This request is driven mostly by the TMD's desire to use the remaining funds in a Litigation Reserve for marketing purposes. The City required the establishment of the Litigation Reserve to pay legal costs associated with several lawsuits that have all been resolved.

As part of this item, the TMD will present an annually required report of its plans for the coming year as it operates under a total budget of $38.5 million.

  • Temporary Rules of Council: The City Council does its business according to PDF icon certain rules. On April 7, the Council voted to PDF icon change those some of those rules temporarily in order to operate under the extraordinary circumstances caused by COVID-19. Under the temporary rules, the Council's regular meetings are held on Tuesdays rather than Mondays and Tuesdays. And except for the Rules Committee and the Budget Review Committee, all of the Council's policy committees are on hold. The rule changes, meant to be in effect as long as the Governor's Emergency Order is in effect, also govern how the Council's meetings are run, given the need for physical distancing.

On Tuesday, Council President Georgette Gómez will ask her colleagues to agree to restart policy committee meetings in July and make changes to the temporary rules in reflect improvements in public participation.

  • Regional Transportation Improvements Program: In its role as the regional transportation planning agency for San Diego County, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), is required every five years to develop a Regional Transportation Improvements Program. The current plan was developed in 2018. These plans are subject to amendments throughout their five-year lifespan. On Tuesday, the City's Transportation and Storm Water Department will ask the Council to submit amendments to the list of RTIP projects in San Diego that are funded through the TransNet program. 
  • Atlas Specific PlanAtlas Specific Plan Amendment: There's a group of mostly noncontiguous sites on both sides of Interstate 8 in Mission Valley designated as the Atlas Specific Plan, which gets its name from Atlas Hotels, the company founded in the 1950s by developer Charles H. Brown, who created Hotel Circle. On Tuesday, the City Council is being asked to remove two contiguous parcels from the Atlas Specific Plan, because the Mission Valley community decided that they should be zoned for a mix of residential-commercial uses rather than for offices and hotels and rezoned them as such (Mission Valley Community Plan). The two parcels (the smaller purple area in the center of the image over to the right) total 7.8 acres and are bounded to the south by Hotel Circle North, to the west by the Crowne Plaza San Diego Mission Valley Hotel, to the north by the Riverwalk Golf Course and the San Diego River, and to the east by the Sundt office building. This item and the next two were originally scheduled for the Council's June 2 meeting but were put off until tomorrow.
  • South Mission Beach Storm Drain and Green Infrastructure: The City's Public Works Department is asking the Council to approve a permit to construct a comprehensive drainage system upgrade for water quality and flood control management, known as the South Mission Beach Storm Drain and Green Infrastructure project. The project is located on Mission Boulevard between San Fernando Place to the north and San Diego Place to the south, as well as numerous perpendicular streets running eastward to San Diego Bay. The current drainage system isn't working, and the area is flooding during storms. This project will fix it.
  • Municipal Waterways Maintenance Plan: The Transportation and Storm Water Department is asking the Council to approve permits and an ordinance to implement the Municipal Waterways Maintenance Plan, a citywide approach to maintaining and repairing public drainage facilities throughout San Diego.

Tuesday's meeting begins at 11 a.m. Sorry, due to COVID-19, only City staff and credentialed members of the press may attend in person. However, anyone can participate and make comments by dialing 619-541-6310 and entering the access code 877861 followed by # when the item you're interested in comes up (PDF icon full call-in instructions). Watch the meeting on cable TV channel 24 or AT&T channel 99, or stream it online.

Coming next: a preview of Wednesday's Rules Committee meeting!

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