Archive for the ‘Children & Families’ Category

Governor allows local governments to extend renter protections through Sept. 30, marriage licenses via videoconferencing, more

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

SACRAMENTO — On Tuesday, June 30, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order extending authorization for local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through September 30. Currently Contra Costa County’s urgency ordinance preventing evictions and rent increases expires on July 15.

The order also addresses a variety of issues in response to the pandemic, by extending provisions in earlier orders which allow adults to obtain marriage licenses via videoconferencing rather than in-person during the pandemic; waive eligibility re-determinations for Californians who participate in Medi-Cal, to ensure they maintain their health coverage; suspend face-to-face visits for eligibility for foster care; and permit In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program caseworkers to continue caring for older adults and individuals with disabilities through video-conferencing assessments.

The order also extends waivers temporarily broadening the capability of counties to enroll persons into the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, allowing for self-attestation of pregnancy and conditions of eligibility, and waiving in-person identification requirements.

In addition, the order extends provisions allowing for mail-in renewals of driver’s licenses and identification cards, to limit in-person transactions at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and extends timeframes related to the payment of real estate license application and renewal fees and continuing education requirements for licensees.

The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.

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Antioch park picnic areas, restrooms, parking lots open July 1st, Water Park opens for family swim July 3rd

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

By Nancy Kaiser, Director, Antioch Recreation Department

Antioch parks have been open for health and fitness opportunities, and on July 1, 2020 picnic areas, park restrooms, and parking lot gates will be opened. The County Health Orders allow picnic areas and barbecues to be enjoyed by families and people in the same living unit or household.

Come Splash With Us!

Beginning July 3rd, the Antioch Water Park will be offering family swimming hours by reservation. To schedule the swim time for your family at 1:00, 2:15, 3:30 or 4:45 p.m., call (925) 776-3070. It will be a warm holiday weekend, but you and your children can keep cool!

Additional programs and activities will be scheduled later in the summer when new Orders are provided by Contra Costa County Health Department. Residents are encouraged to stay connected with the City of Antioch by following the daily announcements posted on the website www.antiochca.gov and participating in the Virtual Recreation Center at https://www.antiochca.gov/recreation/virtual-recreation-center-and-network/.

For more information about summer recreation programs and activities including summer camps for kids, sports programs, senior services and the Antioch Water Park summer season, please call the Antioch Recreation Department at 925-776-3050. Recreation staff is working each day to assist Antioch families.

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Council tables decision on location for homeless trailers, supports initiative limiting Sand Creek new home development

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Caltrans employees towed the five FEMA trailers to Antioch on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2019.

Council also extends moratorium on evictions and rent increases to July 15

By Allen Payton

On two unanimous votes during their meeting Tuesday night, the Antioch City Council chose to postpone any decision on a location for the five FEMA trailers intended to provide temporary housing for homeless families with school children, and to support the November ballot measure limiting new home development in the Sand Creek Focus Area.

“The council can give the emergency shelter overlay designation to all three properties,” Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs said during his staff report on the trailer matter. He defended the Planning Commission’s decision to recommend placing them at the fairgrounds.

“Their reasoning is not what it sounds,” he explained. “They’re not opposed to a homeless shelter. They wanted a really nice site. They wanted to make sure we do the best we can.”

During public comments, Andrew Becker asked about the viability of the fairgrounds site, since it already had hookups and if the city had considered any showers were on-site. The Nick Rodriguez Center has showers.

Mike Stewart spoke next sharing concerns about the Fulton Shipyard Road location, “with a focus on safety for the children. The actual available area…about two acres. The balance of the sites is the city transfer facility…basically the city dump. Trucks moving in and out all day long. There is no grocery, no playground, no children near the Fulton Shipyard site.”

Anthony Fieros who owns a home on W. 10th Street across from one site said, “This is the middle of a residential area. It’s a terrible location next to the fire station, there. It’s noisy. It’s just a bare parking lot. No electricity, no water, no sewer. I’d encourage a no vote for everybody.”

Lucy Meinhardt supported the rezoning designation writing, “It’s past time to implement the recommendations of the homeless task force.”

Sherry Fitzpatrick wrote, “I do not believe the trailers should be placed in residential areas. This will not be temporary. It will be an ongoing expense to the city. It’s a nice, feel good idea, but the city should not be in the social services business. The trailers should be placed on Contra Costa County or state property with services. Emergency housing is 180 days or less. What then?”

Dawn Bright wrote, “I’m opposed to the…housing overlay for the three sites. The commission directed the staff to open a conversation with the agriculture board for using the fairgrounds. Please stand up and fight for Antioch.”

Susan Welsh in opposing locating the trailers on W. 10th Street wrote, “The property at 301 W. 10th Street is in the Downtown Specific Plan. It would reduce property values in the area. Plus, it’s a trailer park in a residential area. San Jose received trailers from the state…and is now returning them due to problems. It would be cheaper to rent five apartments in different areas of the city.” She supported considering locating the trailers at the fairgrounds.

Fire Chief Bouchard wrote, “The fire district has some significant concerns at 301 W. 10th Street. As you know, fire stations are 24-hour facilities. The proposed use…could draw many persons to the area. The additional vehicular traffic…could impede our fire services.”

Sheila Driscoll wrote against all three locations and in support of the fairgrounds’ location.

Mike Barbanica wrote about his concerns of placing them in residential areas. “Please do not place the trailers…specifically on Fitzuren Road.”

The final comment supported placing the trailers on the fairgrounds.

Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts was the first council member to ask questions.

“Can you speak to the fairgounds site,” she asked City Manager Ron Bernal

“The idea of using the fairgrounds…the governor’s office identified…seven fairgrounds in the state and ours was not one of them,” Bernal responded. “I spoke with the fair manager…he said his property did not qualify and was being used for other purposes. It’s being used for longer-term tenants. The city council may want to pursue this at a higher level than just the fair manager.”

Motts then asked about the “amenities that would need to be added, such as safe, overnight parking” for the Fitzuren Road site.

City Manager Ron Bernal said the Fitzuren site would need “electrical hook-ups for four trailers” as well as “some grading, some gates…sidewalk, curb and gutter would need to be installed. A significant amount of work would need to be done.”

Councilman Lamar Thorpe then made a motion to the item.

“There are other options we’re looking at,” Motts said as she offered a second to the motion. “We are looking at Fitzuren as a safe, overnight parking spot. We have yet to find a safe place to do that. We do know that families are living in their cars overnight.”

While it costs money, she pointed out, “The cost to not do it far outweighs that. We’re spending millions of dollars to move people around. They’re affecting our drinking water. Fires are being set. They call 9-11 and ending up in our hospitals. I just want to promise the community that there are things being done. The bottom line is this is temporary. The goal has always been to get people into permanent housing.”

Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock then said, “The Fulton Shipyard is not a good area for any youth to be in. In listening to the comments. I don’t think the other two locations are viable, either. Then again, you have to look at these trailers. We thought they could help. But when you look at the 180 days you can stay in them…would the students be uprooted?”

Wright then called for the vote.

“I am for one of these properties,” Thorpe added. “But some recent conversations that we can follow up on…we may not even have to go in this direction.” He expected that to occur “by the end of the week.”

“I’ve had some conversations, too,” said Mayor Wright. “The conversation with the fairgrounds did not include the discussion of additional infrastructure such as five pads.”

With that the council voted 5-0 to table the matter.

Supports Sand Creek Area New Home Development Limits Ballot Measure

On another unanimous vote, the council adopted a resolution expressing its support for approval of the Let Antioch Voters Decide: The Sand Creek Area Protection Initiative to change General Plan designations within the Sand Creek Focus Area and permanently require voter approval of amendments to the city’s Urban Limit Line. Resolution supporting Sand Creek LAVD initiative

The initiative would prevent the development of homes west of Deer Valley Road and reduce the total number of units to 2,100 from 4,000 previously approved by the city council. Any additional development would require a vote of the people.

However, the initiative is challenged by new state law that prevents cities from downzoning property already zoned for residential development either by council vote or initiative.

The Zeka Group, owner and developer of the planned Zeka Ranch project on the west end of the Sand Creek Area, as well as adjacent property owners, are expected to file a pre-election lawsuit against the proponents and city.

The initiative was adopted by the city council in 2018 after enough signatures of Antioch voters were gathered to qualify for the ballot. But a judge, in response to a lawsuit by Zeka and another affected property owner, tossed out the council’s approval of the initiative and required they place the measure on the November 2020 ballot, instead.

Approve Use of, Application for $2.3 Million in Housing Grant Funds

In other council action, they approved on a 5-0 vote, the use of $2,365,410 in Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) grant funds. According to the staff report the funds are to be used “for the purpose of assisting persons who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness; housing rehabilitation and the development of accessory dwelling units; and creating homeownership opportunity for Antioch workers and renters earning from 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income.”

The council also adopted a resolution authorizing the application for PLHA grant funds from the state.

“Is that $2.3 million guaranteed?” Mayor Sean Wright asked.

“As long as ACD accepts our proposal we are guaranteed to receive some amount of money, up to the $2.3 million… the first year up to $400,000,” said Teri House, the city’s housing consultant.

Wilson, I assume you applied for the maximum amount. Did you have a guideline of what kind of program you want to use this money for?

“Yes. The plan continues the plan that the CBDG sub committee has established over a decade of our housing successor funds…and homeless assistance,” House said. “This just continues those programs…that have been on going for at least a decade. And yes, we applied for the maximum.”
“Thank you. Good to hear,” Wilson responded.

Expires Moratorium on Evictions & Rent Increases, Antioch Covered by County Ordinance, State Orders

In final action, the city council voted 5-0 to expire the City’s rent increase and eviction moratorium. The action was taken because the county’s moratorium, approved by the Board of Supervisors and runs through July 15, applies to cities as well as unincorporated areas in the county. According to the city’s new urgency ordinance, the City Council finds that “residences and businesses…will continue to have protections from eviction and adequate ‘grace periods’ to repay unpaid rent…from the Governor’s Executive Orders, Judicial Council Emergency Rule, and the County’s Urgency Ordinance.” Urgency Ordinance on Eviction & Rent Increase Moratorium ACC062320

 

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Antioch Council to consider location for five FEMA trailers for homeless Tuesday night

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

The five trailers currently stored in the City’s maintenance yard. Herald file photo.

Planning Commission recommends using state owned Contra Costa Event Center (fairgrounds) instead of one of three city owned properties.

By Allen Payton

During their regular meeting this next Tuesday night, June 23, the Antioch City Council will finally have the opportunity to decide where to locate the five Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailers donated by the state to help with the homeless crisis. The City received the trailers on March 2, just two weeks before the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order was issued by the county, which according to Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts has delayed the matter. (See related article) The matter was also delayed because the council wanted to hear from the Antioch Planning Commission on the matter, first.

City staff has offered three different city owned properties for locating the trailers, including one on Fitzuren Road next to Highway 4, between Contra Loma Blvd. and G Street; one on W. 10th Street in the parking lot of the Rivertown Resource Center, and one on Wilbur Avenue in the industrial part of the city. However, the Antioch Planning Commission opposed each of them for various reasons. See full city staff report, here: Emergency Shelter Trailers Location Options ACC062320

The commissioners heard the matter on June 3 and according to the city staff report, “passed a resolution recommending that the City Council make the proposed text amendments but did not recommend that any of the proposed sites be rezoned to include the ES (Emergency Shelter) Zoning Overlay. The Planning Commission sited concerns about each of these properties. On the Fitzuren (Road) site, the Commission expressed concerns about the proximity to Highway 4 and the associated noise and pollution. On the (West) 10th Street site, the Commission was concerned about the loss of parking for the adjacent community center. At the Fulton Shipyard (Road) site, the Commission felt that the shared use with heavy City operations and the associated truck traffic was inappropriate for family housing, along with the lack of nearby services. The Planning Commission suggested that staff pursue use of the Contra Costa County Event Center (fairgrounds) RV Park for these trailers.” (See map and information on each location, below).

The City has issued a request for proposal to hire a non-profit organization to oversee the management of the trailer program and needs that contract in place before moving anyone into the trailers. The target population for the trailers are homeless families with children attending Antioch Unified School District schools.

The matter is item 6 on the agenda. The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. and can be viewed livestream on the City’s website or on Comcast Local Cable Channel 24. To submit a comment for this or any other item for Tuesday’s council meeting agenda, please use the form on the city’s webpage, here.

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Coyote Hills Outdoor Summer Day Camps 2020 in Antioch begin soon

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

School-age youth are invited to join the Recreation Department for Coyote Hills Outdoor Summer Day Camps starting the week of June 29th and continuing through July 2020! Staff has developed comprehensive camp safety guidelines based upon National guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Camping Association. Protective measures for staff and campers, includes thorough pre-screening measures, separating groups of campers, and modifying camp activities.

Campers will still enjoy an outstanding Coyote Hills Camp experience each week with a fun new theme in the great outdoors at Prewett Park on Lone Tree Way next to the Antioch Community Center and Antioch Water Park and across from Deer Valley High School. All games and activities have been developed to meet current health guidelines including social distancing.

Many seasoned camp staff are returning to camp this summer and look forward to seeing campers and families! Registration is now open online only at www.antiochca.gov/recreation/activity-registration. For general information summer recreation programs and reopening plans call the Antioch Recreation Department at 925-776-3050.

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Antioch Community Campout – In Your Backyard Sat., June 20 – during Celebrate Great Outdoors Month

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Families can still get outdoors while staying at home – host a family camping event right in your own backyard! June is “Great Outdoors Month” so the Antioch Recreation Department is hosting a Community Campout in your backyard on Saturday, June 20, 2020. Prepare for an unforgettable evening in nature, from gathering the right camping supplies to making the perfect s’more. There are camping and nature movies you can watch, games that all ages can play, and the unforgettable campfire songs. Every campout should end with stargazing and a song or two. The Recreation Department has pulled together a list of resources for planning your backyard campout, even if you still choose to sleep in the house!

Visit the campout page https://www.antiochca.gov/recreation/virtual-recreation-center-and-network/ to get started. Families are encouraged to share their “camping” pictures on the Recreation Facebook page www.facebook.com/antiochrecreation starting Saturday, June 20th. Great Outdoors Month began under President Clinton in 1998 and has grown into a month-long celebration of the outdoors. Today, during COVID-19, parks and outdoor places have become essential to a healthy and active life for all family members.

For more information about the Antioch Community Campout – In Your Backyard – call the Recreation Department at (925) 776-3050.

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Lap swimming begins today, Monday, June 15 at Antioch Water Park

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Outdoor swimming pools are now approved for lap swimming! The Antioch Water Park will be open for lap swim only beginning, today, Monday, June 15th. Lap swim will be offered in 30-minute sessions, 8am-11am and 4pm-6pm seven days a week for swimmers 12 years and older. Residents can add another fitness activity to their routine and enjoy being outdoors. In order to meet health and safety guidelines all swimmers must reserve time for swimming in advance; the number of swimmers allowed at one time is limited.

Interested swimmers must call the Antioch Water Park at 925-776-3070 to reserve a lap swim time. Reservations open on Tuesday, June 9th and swimmers will be able to schedule time for as long as lap swimming is offered. The cost for lap swim will be $4 per session.

In order to comply with the guidelines, bathrooms will be available but locker rooms will be closed. Water Park staff will be complying with local Health Orders to ensure the cleanliness of the facility, and the safety of each individual guest. Swimming is an excellent fitness activity for all ages and each swimmer will be given their own lane so they can swim at their own pace.

For more information about the Antioch Water Park summer season, season passes, swimming lessons, and general summer recreation programs please call the Water Park at 925-776-3070. Recreation staff is working each day to assist Antioch families. For more information visit www.antiochca.gov/water-park.

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Order your Father’s Day BBQ To Go from Lone Tree Golf & Event Center, today

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

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