Sept. 22 Council Meeting Recap
City Council held a special meeting and a regular meeting on Sept. 22. The special meeting was a public hearing focused on potential updates to the Rocklin housing element. The regular meeting followed and covered items including: plans to allocate additional CARES Act funding for community groups, acceptance of a master license agreement for small cell wireless infrastructure, and a budget revenue update.
Wireless Infrastructure Agreement
Demand for cellular service is likely at its highest level ever and providers are expanding infrastructure to meet customers’ needs for data capacity and speed, including implementation of new 5G technology.
Federal and state regulations have found cellular providers to be utilities, and therefore have the right to install equipment such as small cell wireless devices on polls, traffic signals, and streetlights in the public right-of-way. The cellular companies can even place a new pole in the ground for use, if deemed necessary.
The City of Rocklin has limited ability to regulate wireless facilities but does have authority to approve or deny them in the public right-of-way based on health and safety reasons and aesthetics.
The City Council on Sept. 22 approved a master agreement that sets standards legally available to Rocklin and provides for a process for application and approval of pole licenses, in part, through annual master plans.
Read the entire agreement and additional background here.
Stay-at-home orders and business operating restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have made budget forecasting more difficult for Fiscal Year 2020/2021. The Rocklin finance department has committed to keeping City Council and the public informed with regular updates on city revenues and expenditures.
Based on information currently available, the City expects a balanced general fund for FY 2020-21. The balanced budget is due in part to the numerous measures Rocklin has taken to control costs and some better-than-expected revenue outcomes this fiscal year.
Returns on sales tax and property tax revenues are up from previous forecasts. However, departmental revenues from parks and recreation, community development, police, and fire have decreased more than anticipated.
Revenue uncertainty will continue through the fiscal year and beyond, as measures to control COVID-19 continue to evolve. To view the full budget revue update, click here.
Housing Element Update
The City of Rocklin (along with cities across the state) is in the process of completing mandatory updates to its housing and safety planning documents. Part of the updated housing element will include identifying sites and creating the needed zoning for developers to build affordable housing.
The focus of Tuesday’s public workshop was to discuss potential programs, tools, and strategies that can help set the table for private firms to build affordable projects.
Council, staff, and the public discussed ways housing could be built faster, cheaper, and funded more easily through various potential City policies. Options outlined included expedited permitting, parking requirement reductions, affordable housing impact fees, and many more.
$161,000 in CARES Funding to Support Rocklin Residents in Need
The City of Rocklin annually approves use of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to support agencies serving the less fortunate in the community. More than $51,000 in total has already been distributed to Habitat for Humanity, Senior’s First, Stand Up Placer, and the Salvation Army as part of the annual CDBG action plan.
The City recently received an additional $164,189 in CDBG funds from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Council approved plans for distribution of the funds to the agencies listed below as soon as possible.