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City Attorney FAQs

Any further questions can be directed to Ken Eichstaedt at [email protected]

To report issues including potholes or sidewalk concerns click here.

Electric bikes and scooters are treated as bicycles and are subject to the same regulations and provisions within the city. For more information click here.

The Petaluma Bike and Pedestrian Master plan provides a thorough glimpse into City plans which can be accessed here. Sign up here to stay informed and share your thoughts!

If you are interested in joining the PBAC or any other commission, committee, or board click here.

The Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee makes walking and biking safer and more enjoyable by developing new bike and pedestrian projects, providing recommendations for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, reviewing development applications and more. Additional information about the PBAC can be found here.

Projects the City are working on to improve bike and pedestrian transportation include: 

Registering your bike with the Petaluma Police Department helps you get your bike back if it gets lost or stolen. For more information on why you should register your bike and to access the registration form click here.

Access the proposed and existing bike facilities maps here.

La población en el estado de California (como en el resto del mundo) está creciendo. Con el fin de garantizar que haya suficientes viviendas para que todos vivan de manera asequible, el estado de California determina las cifras de población proyectadas y después estima cuántas unidades de vivienda deben crearse para satisfacer la demanda de vivienda. Luego, el Estado pide a las ciudades que ayuden, asignando a cada ciudad una cantidad de unidades de vivienda que deben crear para apoyar a la población en crecimiento (esto se conoce como Asignación de Necesidades de Vivienda Regional). 

En pocas palabras, el estado exige que Petaluma, como todas las demás ciudades de California, cree unidades de vivienda. El número de unidades cambia a medida que cambian las proyecciones de población del Estado, pero siempre debemos seguir su dirección o corremos el riesgo de que el Estado revoque nuestros poderes de uso de la tierra, lo que significaría que el Estado podría decidir qué se puede y qué no se puede construir aquí. 

El Plan General y el Plan de Gestión del Agua Urbana de Petaluma nos ayudan a proyectar y prepararnos para el uso futuro del agua, incluido el uso asociado con nuevas unidades de vivienda. Planeamos con mucha anticipación y contamos con planes de respaldo para las sequías, que es una condición recurrente en nuestra región. Algunos de estos planes de respaldo incluyen pedir a nuestra comunidad que ayude a conservar el agua, expandir el tratamiento y la distribución de agua reciclada y contar con los suministros de agua subterránea cuando se reducen las asignaciones de agua superficial. 

Por otra parte, para asegurar que la ciudad de Petaluma tenga suficientes suministros de agua para satisfacer el aumento de la demanda de agua, el Plan General (la hoja de ruta de Petaluma para el crecimiento) requiere un monitoreo de rutina de los suministros de agua en comparación con el uso real, y la evaluación para cada nuevo proyecto de desarrollo (Política 8-P- 4). 

Además, todos los nuevos desarrollos están sujetos a los últimos estándares del código de construcción, que requieren la implementación de eficiencia del agua para usos de agua en interiores y exteriores. La Ciudad también impone una Ordenanza de Eficiencia en el Uso del Agua para Jardines, que minimiza el uso de agua para riego. 

Actualmente estamos actualizando nuestro Plan de Gestión del Agua Urbana del 2020 (UWMP, de sus siglas en inglés). Puede ver nuestro UWMP final del año 2015, el borrador de UWMP del 2020 y la contingencia de escasez de agua aquí: Entrega y calidad del agua de la ciudad de Petaluma – Obtenga más información. 

El City Council celebrará una audiencia pública el 17 de mayo del 2021 para recibir comentarios públicos sobre el Borrador actualizado del UWMP del 2020.

Procedimiento ante infracción (Sección 15.17.100 del Código Municipal de Petaluma) 

  1. Losusuariosque violen los requisitos de la Etapa 1 o el Capítulo 15.17 de PMC recibirán una advertencia escrita o verbal y se les solicitará que la infracción sea corregida dentro de un tiempo razonable. Setenta y dos horas desde la notificación de la infracción se considerará un tiempo razonable para la corrección. 
  2. La Ciudad puede instalar un dispositivo de restricción de flujo en la línea de servicio.
  3. La Ciudad puede imponer una multa por desperdicio de agua al clienteo usuario.
  4. La Ciudad puede cortar el servicio de agua y cobrar al cliente por la reconexión. El servicio no se restablecerá hasta que la Ciudad verifique que la infracción ha sidosubsanaday que se han pagado todos los cargos y tarifas.

Las siguientes restricciones del uso del agua se aplican durante todo el año. Para obtener una lista completa de las restricciones del uso del agua, consulte la Sección 15.17.070 del Código Municipal de Petaluma (Código Municipal de Petaluma). 

  • Lavado de áreas de superficie dura con manguera directa,a menos que esté equipado con una boquilla de cierre.
  • Desperdiciode agua a través de roturas o fugas dentro del sistema de plomería o distribución privada del cliente, durante un período de tiempo considerable. 
  • Riegode un modo, o en la medida que permita el escurrimiento de agua, o el rociado excesivo de las áreas que se están regando. 
  • Lavar automóviles, botes, remolques u otros vehículos, equipos y maquinaria directamente con una manguera que no esté equipada con una boquilla de cierre en el extremo de la manguera.
  • Riegodel jardín durante o dentro de las 48 horas de lluvia mensurable. 
  • El riego con agua potable de césped ornamental en medianeras de vía pública.
  • Usar aguapara cuestionesdel agua que no sean de reciclaje. 
  • Cubiertas para piscinas y spas: las piscinas y spas al aire libre deben cubrirse fuera del horario comercial o mientras no estén en uso.

Si sabe dónde está la fuga, llame a un profesional o repare la fuga de manera oportuna. Según la EPA, el 10% de los hogares tienen fugas que desperdician 90 galones de agua o más al día. Las fugas comunes suelen ser por “flappers (placas) de inodoro desgastadas, grifos que gotean y otras válvulas con fugas. Arreglar estas fugas o contratar a alguien para que lo ayude puede ahorrarle al menos un 10% en su factura de agua y evitar que el agua se desperdicie. 

Si no sabe de dónde proviene la fuga, el mejor lugar para comenzar es revisar su medidor de agua. Para obtener instrucciones paso a paso sobre cómo verificar su medidor, haga clic AQUÍ

Alentamos a los residentes a reportar los casos de desperdicio de agua en su área. Ejemplos comunes de desperdicio de agua son los sistemas de riego como: riego roto, exceso de pulverización, escorrentía y sincronización incorrecta. Si ve desperdicio de agua, háganoslo saber. Para reportar algún caso de desperdicio de agua, comuníquese telefónicamente al 707-778-4507 o envíe un correo electrónico a [email protected]

En caso de grandes fugas y emergencias relacionadas con el agua, llame al 707-778-4546. 

También puede informar estos problemas y otros en línea ingresando al sitio web a continuación: cityofpetaluma.org/issues

Petaluma compra agua de Sonoma Water. Para obtener más información sobre el suministro de agua de Sonoma y los niveles de los reservorios en caso de escasez de agua, visite el siguiente sitio web sonomawater.org/drought.

Apagar su sistema de riego o reducir significativamente el riego es una manera fácil de ahorrar grandes cantidades de agua. Si no puede dejar de regar su jardín, los siguientes pasos pueden ayudar a reducir el uso de agua en exteriores: 

  • Revise minuciosamente su sistema de riego para asegurarse de que no haya roturas, fugas o desperdicio de agua cuando esté encendido o apagado.
  • Programe su riego para que funcione entre las 8:00 p.m. ylas 6:00 a.m., para reducir la evaporación. No riegue entre las 6 a.m. ylas 8 p.m. 
  • Revisesu programa de riego semanalmente. Apague el riego cuando haga frío o llueva.
  • Utilice tiempos de riego más cortos para permitir que el agua penetre completamente en eljardíny para reducir la escorrentía. 
  • Use mantillo parauna mejor retención dela humedad. 
  • Riegue a mano cuando sea necesario en lugar de utilizar un sistema de riego automático.
  • Para obtener recomendaciones gratuitas sobre el programa de riego semanal, visite srcity.org/3446/Watering-Recommendations

La ciudad de Petaluma ofrece muchos programas, reembolsos y recursos para ayudar a los residentes de Petaluma a contribuir y ahorrar agua. Para obtener información sobre cualquiera de los siguientes programas, reembolsos o para solicitar cualquier artículo, por favor comuníquese telefónicamente al 707-778-4507 o envíe un correo electrónico a [email protected]

  • Dispositivos de conservación de agua gratuitos: la ciudad ofrece dispositivos de conservación de agua gratuitos a todos losusuarios de agua de Petaluma. Para obtener más información sobre los artículos disponibles, por favor visite el siguiente sitio web: CityofPetaluma.org/SaveWater 

Reembolsos por ahorro de agua:

  • Reembolsos por la adquisición de inodoros residenciales de alta eficiencia (HET, de sus siglas en inglés): si tiene un inodoro que descarga 1.6 galones por descarga (gpf) o más, puede calificar para solicitar un reembolso de hasta $150 para reemplazar su inodoro antiguo con uno de alta eficiencia (HET). Para obtener más información, por favor visite el sitio web a continuación: CityofPetaluma.org/Toilets
  • Reembolsos para inodoros y urinales comerciales de alta eficiencia: las empresas pueden calificar para solicitar un reembolso de hasta $260 por cada accesorio de baño antiguo que se reemplace por un inodoro o urinal de alta eficiencia. Usted puede comunicarse telefónicamente al 707-778-4507 o enviar un correo electrónico a conservació[email protected], para obtener más información. 
  • Reembolsos para lavadoras de ropa de alta eficiencia: reemplace una lavadora de ropa de carga superior con una lavadora de carga frontal que califique y reciba un reembolso de $75. Para obtener información sobre lavadoras que califican y una solicitud de reembolso, puede visitar el siguiente sitio web: CityofPetaluma.org/Washers 

Programas de ahorro de agua:

  • Programa Mulch Madnessse trata de un programa gratuito de reemplazo de césped, para residentes y negocios que desean transformar sus céspedes sedientos de agua en un jardín cubierto de mantillo tolerante a la sequía. Este programa incluye suministros gratuitos de mantillo en hojas (abono, cartón, mantillo) y su entrega, así como kits de conversión de riego para residentes. Para saber cómo calificar, por favor visite el sitio web a continuación: CityofPetaluma.org/Mulch 
  • Programa de visitas a domicilio HouseCall Water-Wise: este es un programa personalizado para ayudarlo a usar el agua de manera más eficiente, tanto dentro como fuera de su hogar. Con cada visita a domicilio de Water-Wise HouseCall, un profesional capacitado en eficiencia del agua evaluará su uso actual de agua y describirá las mejores y más prácticas formas de maximizar el ahorro de agua. Debido a las restricciones de Covid-19, nuestro personal de conservación no puede ingresar a las casas, pero puede ayudar con las áreas al aire libre (verificaciones de riego, horarios de agua, verificar su medidor) y también guiarlo a través de cómo realizar una inspección de fugas en interiores. Las inspecciones de HouseCalls Water-Wise se pueden realizar en persona o por teléfono. Para obtener más información, puede ingresar al siguiente sitio web: CityofPetaluma.org/WaterWise
  • Kits de fugas DIY (hágalo usted mismo): aprenda a comprobar si hay fugas en su hogar con un kit de fugas DIY GRATUITO. Cada kit incluye instrucciones fáciles de usar, un práctico manual de plomería, tabletas de tinte para inodoro y más. Disponible para los usuarios de agua de Petaluma a pedido, los kits se entregan semanalmente sin contacto. Para obtener más información, por favor visite el siguiente sitio web: CityofPetaluma.org/SaveWater

La Etapa 1 estará en vigencia hasta que se recuperen los niveles de suministro de agua o hasta que las condiciones de escasez de agua empeoren y la Ciudad deba implementar la Etapa 2 o superior del Plan, para reducir la brecha en el suministro de agua y el uso del agua por parte de los clientes. 

No. El objetivo de reducción del 20% para Petaluma es para toda la ciudad. Petaluma reducirá su uso total de agua en un 20% en comparación con el consumo promedio del período comprendido entre los años 2018-2020. El objetivo de Petaluma no se aplica a cada cliente individual, sino a la Ciudad en su conjunto. A los clientes individuales de agua se les pide que sean prudentes con el uso del agua, cumplan con las restricciones obligatorias, aprovechen los programas de reembolso por conservación de agua de la Ciudad, y eliminen y denuncien el desperdicio de agua.

El 3 de mayo de 2021, el Ayuntamiento puso en vigencia la Etapa 1 del Plan de Contingencia de Escasez de Agua (WSCP) del 2015 de Petaluma, que incluye reducciones voluntarias y restricciones requeridas. 

El City Council solicita una reducción voluntaria del 20% en el uso de agua en toda la ciudad en la Etapa 1. 

A partir del 3 de mayo de 2021, las restricciones requeridas de uso del agua de la Etapa 1 incluyen: 

  • Se servirá agua en restaurantes sólo bajo petición.
  • No sepermite la utilización deagua potable para lavar el pavimento, excepto por motivos de salud y seguridad, incluido el saneamiento. 
  • Se fomenta el riego de jardines entre las 8:00 p.m.ylas 6:00 a.m. 
  • Se recuerda a los usuarios de aguaquerealicen las reparaciones necesarias para evitar las fugas y eliminar el desperdicio de agua.

The population of California (like the rest of the world) is growing. In order to ensure there is enough housing for everyone to live affordably, the State of California determines projected population numbers then estimates how many housing units must be created to meet the housing demand. The State then calls upon cities to help, allocating each city a number of housing units they must create to support the growing population (this is known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation). 

Simply put, Petaluma, like all other cities in California, is required by the State to create housing units. The number of units changes as the State’s population projections change, but we must always follow their direction or we run the risk of the State revoking our land use powers – which would mean the State could decide what can and cannot be built here. 

Petaluma’s General Plan and Urban Water Management Plan help us project and prepare for future water use, including use associated with new housing units. We plan far in advance and have back-up plans in place for droughts, which is a recurring condition in our region. Some of these back-up plans include calling on our community to help conserve water, expanding treatment and distribution of recycled water, and reliance on groundwater supplies when surface water allocations are curtailed. 

Furthermore, to assure that the City of Petaluma has sufficient water supplies to meet increased water demand, the General Plan (Petaluma’s roadmap for growth) requires routine monitoring of water supplies against actual use and evaluation for each new development project (Policy 8-P-4). 

Additionally, all new development is subject to the latest building code standards, which require water efficiency for indoor and outdoor water uses. The City also imposes a Landscape Water Use Efficiency Ordinance, which minimizes water use for irrigation.   

We are currently updating our 2020 Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP). You can view our Final 2015 UWMP and the Draft 2020 UWMP and Water Shortage Contingency here: City of Petaluma Water Delivery and Quality – Learn More. 

The City Council will hold a public hearing on May 17, 2021 to receive public comment on the updated Draft 2020 UWMP.

Violation Procedure (Petaluma Municipal Code Section 15.17.100) 

  1. Customers in violation of Stage 1 requirements or PMC Chapter 15.17 will receive a written or verbal warning and order that the violation be corrected within a reasonable time. Seventy-two hours from notice of violation shall be considered a reasonable time for correction. 
  2. The City may install a flow-restricting device on the service line. 
  3. The City may levy a water waste fine to the customer. 
  4. The City may shut off water service and charge customer for reconnection. Service shall not be reinstated until verified by the City that the violation has been corrected and all charges and fees have been paid.

The following water use restrictions are enforced year-round. For a complete list of water use restrictions please refer to the Petaluma Municipal Code (Petaluma Municipal Code) Section 15.17.070.  

  • Washing of hard-surfaced areas by direct hosing unless equipped with a shutoff nozzle. 
  • Escape of water through breaks or leaks within the customer’s plumbing or private distribution system for any substantial period of time. 
  • Irrigation in a manner or to the extent that allows runoff of water or over-spray of the areas being irrigated. 
  • Washing cars, boats, trailers, or other vehicles, equipment, and machinery directly with a hose not equipped with a hose-end shutoff nozzle. 
  • Irrigating landscape during or within 48 hours of measurable rainfall. 
  • The irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians. 
  • Using water for non-recycling water features. 
  • Swimming Pool and Spa Covers – Outdoor swimming pools and spas are to be covered during non-business hours or while not in use. 

If you know where the leak is, call a professional or fix the leak in a timely manner. According to the EPA, 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more a day. Common leaks include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. Fixing these leaks or hiring someone to help you can save you at least 10% on your water bill and save water from being wasted. 

If you do not know where the leak is coming from the best place to start is to check your water meter. For step by step instructions on how to check your meter, please click HERE

We encourage residents to report water waste in their area. Common examples of water waste are from irrigation systems such as: broken irrigation, overspray, run-off, and improper timing. If you see water waste, please let us know. To report water waste please call 707-778-4507 or email [email protected] 

For large leaks and water emergencies please call 707-778-4546. 

You can also report these issues as well as others online at cityofpetaluma.org/issues

Petaluma purchases water from Sonoma Water. For more information on Sonoma Water supply and water shortage reservoirs levels, please visit sonomawater.org/drought.

Turning off your irrigation, or significantly reducing your irrigation is an easy way to have big water savings. If you are unable to stop irrigating your landscape,  the following steps can help with reducing outdoor water use: 

  • Thoroughly check your irrigation system to ensure there are no breaks, leaks, or water waste occurring when it is on or off.  
  • Schedule your irrigation to run between 8pm and 6am to reduce evaporation. Do not water between the hours of 6am to 8pm. 
  • Reassess your irrigation program weekly. Turn off irrigation in cool weather or when it rains.  
  • Use shorter run times to allow water to fully soak into the landscape and to reduce runoff.
  • Use mulch to retain moisture. 
  • Hand water when needed instead of using an automatic irrigation system.  
  • For free weekly irrigation schedule recommendations, please visit srcity.org/3446/Watering-Recommendations

The City of Petaluma offers many programs, rebates, and resources to help Petaluma residents save water. For information on any of the below programs, rebates, or to request any items, please call 707-778-4507 or email [email protected] 

Water Saving Rebates: 

  • Residential High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) rebates – If you have a toilet that flushes 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or more you can qualify for up to a $150 rebate to replace your older toilet with a HET. For more information, please visit: CityofPetaluma.org/Toilets 
  • Commercial High-Efficiency Toilet and Urinal rebates – Businesses can qualify for up to a $260 rebate for each older bathroom fixture that is replaced with a high-efficiency toilet or urinal.  Please call 707-778-4507 or email conse[email protected] for more information.  
  • High- Efficiency clothes washer rebates – Replace a top- loading clothes washer with a qualifying front- loading washer and receive a $75 rebate. For information on qualifying washers and a rebate application please visit: CityofPetaluma.org/Washers 

Water Saving Programs: 

  • Mulch Madness Program – A free turf replacement program for residents and businesses who want to transform their water thirsty lawns to a drought tolerant mulched landscape. This program includes free sheet mulching supplies (compost, cardboard, mulch) and delivery, as well as irrigation conversion kits for residential accounts. To learn how to qualify please visit: CityofPetaluma.org/Mulch 
  • Water-Wise HouseCall Program – This is a personalized program to help you use water more efficiently both inside and outside your home. With each Water-Wise HouseCall, a trained water efficiency professional will assess your current water usage and outline the best and most practical ways to maximize water savings. Due to Covid-19 restrictions our conservation staff cannot enter homes but can help with outdoor areas (irrigation checks, water schedules, check your meter) and also walk you through how to do an indoor leak inspection. Water-Wise HouseCalls can be performed in-person or on the phone. For more information, please visit: CityofPetaluma.org/WaterWise 
  • Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Leak Kits – Learn how to check for leaks in your home with a FREE DIY Leak Kit. Each kit includes easy to use instructions, a practical plumbing handbook, toilet dye tablets, and more. Available to Petaluma water customers by request, kits delivered contact-free weekly. For more information, please visit: CityofPetaluma.org/free-water-conservation-devices

Stage 1 will be in place until water supply levels recover or until water shortage conditions become worse and the City implements Stage 2 or higher of the WSCP to reduce the gap in water supply and customer water use.

No.  The 20% reduction target for Petaluma is Citywide.  Petaluma shall reduce its overall water use by 20% compared to the average of 2018-2020 consumption.  Petaluma’s target is not applied to each individual customer, but to the City as a whole.  Individual water customers are asked to conserve water, comply with mandated restrictions, take advantage of the City’s water conservation rebate programs, and eliminate and report water waste.

On May 3, 2021, the City Council implemented Stage 1 of Petaluma’s 2015 Water Shortage Contingency Plan that includes voluntary reductions and required restrictions.  

The City Council is requesting a voluntary 20% reduction in citywide water use in Stage 1. 

Effective May 3, 2021, Stage 1 required water use restrictions include:  

  • Water served in restaurants on request only. 
  • No application of potable water for washing down pavement, except for health and safety, including sanitation. 
  • Landscape irrigation encouraged between the hours of 8pm and 6am. 
  • Water users are reminded to fix leaks and eliminate water waste.

For more information about financing, please contact the Finance Department at (707) 778-4341. For information about the Encroachment Permit process or sidewalk repair questions, please contact the Public Works & Utilities Department at (707) 778-4303.

You may attend a public hearing before the City Council to dispute the charges. A date and time will be provided in your invoice. At the public hearing, the City Council will hear and pass upon a report on the cost of the repair together with any objections or protests, if any, which may be raised by any property owner liable to be assessed for the cost of such repair and any other interested persons. The City Council will only hear objections on the date provided in your invoice. Please do not attend a different City Council meeting. City Council members will not comment on your concerns if you are not scheduled to present your dispute.

Once the execution of a finance agreement takes place, this agreement serves as a legal document. If an owner defaults, does not pay the invoice by the due date, the City in its sole discretion may choose to collect amounts owing through a lien and/or special assessment on the property and billed on the annual property tax bill. Collection Agencies may be used to collect, all additional costs including attorney fees may be collected as well.

Final Financing Agreement must be submitted to the Finance Department.

The administration fee is currently $320.00 and may be updated annually to reflect the full cost of staff time managing the sidewalk work and finance agreement. This fee covers costs such as: mailing notices, make or receive phone calls, meet with property owners, manage contractor, inspect work and set-up financing arrangement. A $5.00 monthly statement preparation fee applies.

The maximum term for a finance agreement is 3 years or 36 months.

The minimum monthly principal payment is $100.00. Fees and interest will be in addition to the monthly principal payment.

The total invoiced amount can be financed. This invoice amount includes sidewalk repair, tree removal if necessary and the program administration fee.

If the City of Petaluma perform the sidewalk repair work and the cost of the repair is more than an owner can afford to pay in a single payment, the City provides financing to property owners at the prime interest rate. monthly interest based on the prime lending rate and will be updated annually. *Financing through the City is only available if the City completes the repairs.

If your property is noticed by the City of Petaluma, property owners have two options for repairing the sidewalk:

1. Owners may make repairs themselves by hiring a licensed contractor and obtaining the proper permits from the City prior to beginning work; or

2. Owners may have the City repair the sidewalk by requesting the repair be completed and agreeing to reimburse the City fully for the cost of the repair plus an administrative fee to cover staff time.

Note: An Encroachment Permit is required for any work in the public right-of-way; and to plant, trim, remove, or replace trees in the public right-of-way. An Encroachment Permit can be obtained from the City of Petaluma Public Works Department at (707) 778-4303 Option 6. For more information click here. All repairs much be completed by one of the options above and each property owner will be given approximately 30 days to comply with the specifications of the Sidewalk Program.

It is not recommended. If a resident wants to complete the repairs, the City Engineer and City Inspector must sign off on the repairs prior to work beginning. The City prefers that a licensed contractor completes the repairs (either an A or C8 license). Additionally, a bond must be posted and insurance provided. The amount of the bond is dependent on the total amount of the repairs.

Yes, a Tree Removal permit is required. It is unlawful to remove any tree located within the public right-of-way without first obtaining a tree removal permit. A replacement tree may need to be planted. The City Arborist reviews all tree removal permits. The City has a list of approved replacement trees.

The City does not recommend repairing the sidewalk without addressing the tree root problems if that caused the unsafe sidewalk conditions. Sometimes, tree roots can be safely trimmed in a way that does not affect the stability of the tree. Any cutting of tree roots 2″ or bigger must be approved by City staff or a Certified Arborist. If a Certified Arborist other than the City’s certified Arborist is used, you must provide written documentation that the tree roots can be safely trimmed. If the tree roots cannot be safely trimmed, it is recommended that the tree be removed. A Certified Arborist can help determine if the tree roots can be safely trimmed.

Trees in the planter strips between the sidewalk and the street are the responsibility of the property owner fronting the tree. In some cases, tree roots have caused sidewalk damage. The City will work with the homeowner to determine if the tree needs to be removed or if root trimming will fix the problem.

City of Petaluma municipal code 13.10 states that the owner of the property fronting the sidewalk is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, curb, gutter, and park strip area in a non-hazardous condition. Although the City of Petaluma has an easement to allow safe pedestrian access, it is not responsible for maintenance and repair of the owner’s property. Property owners are potentially liable for personal injuries caused by their failure to maintain reasonably safe sidewalks. Property owners are not exempt from liability for the cost of repairs even though the damage may have been caused by tress planted in the public right-of-way.

Yes, the fee proposal would count towards the 20-page limit. The Index/Table of Contents, tables, charts, graphic exhibits, and resumes of key staff are excluded from the page count limit. Additionally, any writing samples as attachments to the proposal will be excluded from the page count limit.

This item goes hand in hand with the items it follows, Key Staff and Summary of Firm’s Capabilities. The intent was for our evaluators to get to know your firm’s work by being able to see some examples of successful grants that your firm has produced. The amount of writing samples is up to the firm, ultimately the quality of the work is what will be evaluated. The sample(s) can be included as an attachment(s) to your proposal in one complete pdf. The writing samples will not be counted in your page limit.

The information requested in this section should describe the qualifications of the firm, key staff, and sub-contractors performing projects within the past five (5) years that are similar in size and scope to demonstrate competence to perform these services. There is not a specific number of past projects the City of Petaluma is looking for; the City is looking for competence to perform the listed services in the firm’s provided past projects.

The City of Petaluma does not have a list of specific grants that we will be seeking on-call grant writing assistance for. Internally a few departments have running lists of grants to watch and that staff may be applying to. We envision leveraging funding through on-call grant writing assistance to help apply to more specialized and big-ticket type grants that fit the City Goals and Priorities or that our staff does not have the capacity to do in house.

It is up to the proposer to establish and illustrate if they can fulfill the needs of the City of Petaluma identified in the Request for Proposal from their location of operation or location of employees. Note: We understand that some firms may have employees working remotely due to the pandemic.

Any firm may submit a proposal. All proposals will be evaluated through the listed criteria.

Due to the state of the pandemic and our offices currently closed to the public, if we were to have meetings for the finalists, they would be conducted virtually.

Due to the state of the pandemic and our offices currently closed to the public, we will accept a PDF submission of your proposal via email. As stated in the proposal, the deadline to submit is Thursday, February 25th, at 3:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. If you wish to submit electronically, please email Aaron Zavala, Senior Management Analyst, at [email protected]

Effective October 20, 2020, the Petaluma River is open for boating all the way up to the Turning Basin.

For specific details on visiting the Turning-Basin, please contact the Petaluma Yacht Club 707- 765-9725. They are more than happy to provide visitor assistance.

The County of Sonoma has published a page about evacuating safely in the era of COVID-19. Read the page so that you and your family members can respond in the safest way in the event of an emergency.

Staying Safe in Emergencies During COVID-19

The City works with Petaluma People Services Center to coordinate donations and volunteers during a wildfire or other emergency.

PPSC is a trusted partner in our community. It has good working relationships with other nonprofits, including faith based organizations, that serve our community.

For information about how to donate/volunteer, please contact PPSC at Phone (707) 765-8488 or petalumapeople.org.

 

If an alert or warning needs to be issued for a potential threat to the City of Petaluma, community members can receive these messages by subscribing to Nixle or SoCo Alerts. As part of our emergency management and preparedness, the City of Petaluma provides this alert and warning service free to our community. To subscribe to Nixle text your Zip code to 888777. We encourage all of our community members to also sign up for SoCo Alerts if you have not already done so.

Like the County of Sonoma, the City of Petaluma also has the ability to activate the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system for situations that present an imminent threat to life or property. This notification does not require subscription and is typically received through a wireless device like a mobile phone or tablet. You may have already seen this type of alert before as it commonly used for AMBER alerts.

For more info and access to the evacuation map, go to our Evacuations Page.

The City will continue to keep the community informed about Measure U. If you are a member of a community organization that would like to receive a presentation on Measure U please contact Ingrid Alverde at 707-778-4549 or [email protected]. You can also find additional Measure U background and voting information in the links below.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020. To check your registration or get registered to vote, visit registertovote.ca.gov.

Measure U was placed on the ballot after months of community engagement. Over 3,000 residents participated in workshops and survey responses. Residents identified top priorities, including:

  • Emergency public health, wildfire, and natural disaster preparedness
  • Maintaining 911 emergency response times and fire prevention and protection
  • Ensuring 24-hour police and fire staffing
  • Keeping public areas safe and clean
  • Repairing streets, roads, and potholes
  • Supporting local businesses through recovery

Measure U is a one cent locally controlled sales tax that would generate local funding for vital city services. Measure U is not applied to prescription medicine or food purchased as groceries, and out-of-town visitors to our City also pay the cost. Measure U is not a tax on your property or home.

Yes. In keeping with our tradition of prudent fiscal stewardship, Measure U requires Independent Citizen Oversight, spending priorities based on community input, financial audits, and public disclosure of all spending. All Measure U funding stays in Petaluma and none can be taken by the State.

Yes. Petaluma’s 396 miles of roads are rated the worst in the Bay Area and are pitted with potholes and cracks and in dire need of maintenance. Measure U will repair existing hazards and properly maintain our streets, which will only get more expensive to fix the longer they go without repair and repaving. Measure U will fix our streets and potholes and make our roads safer, including for first responders who need to reach people quickly that need help.

Petaluma has been fortunate and spared from recent fires but calls for emergency response to the Fire Department continue to increase to record levels – an increase of 95% in the past decade which has also increased emergency response times. Measure U will ensure our firefighters can respond quickly to any emergency with adequate staffing and equipment that protects our city and residents.

If enacted, Measure U funding would stay local to address Petaluma’s local needs. It’s more important than ever to maintain fiscal stability and be prepared for any future wildfire, public health and safety, or other natural disaster. We cannot depend on the state or federal government to adequately address our local needs, recovery efforts, and community priorities for a safe, prepared, and well-maintained city.

The Petaluma City Council unanimously placed Measure U on the November 3, 2020 local ballot. Measure U would enact a one-cent sales tax to address community priorities with reliable, locally controlled funding that cannot be taken by the State.

PG&E operates drop-in Community Resource Centers during the day in counties impacted by a PSPS.

All centers provide ADA-accessible restrooms and hand-washing stations, medical equipment charging, device charging, Wi-Fi, bottled water and snacks.

Indoor centers also offer air-conditioning or heating, seating and ice.

For more information, go to PG&E’s community resources web page.

People who rely on a medical device that requires electricity or who take medicine that must be refrigerated must take special care to prepare for a Public Safety Power Shutoff.

Here are steps to take NOW so that you are ready when a PSPS is called:

Register with PG&E’s medical baseline program
Click HERE for more information. Medical Baseline customers may receive extra notifications as part of this outreach which may include additional phone calls or a door knock to ensure they’re aware and can make preparations to stay safe. It is important that Medical Baseline customers acknowledge receipt of a notification by answering the phone and speaking or replying to the text message.

Consult your Health Provider
Because each situation is unique, we recommend that you ask your health care provider or pharmacist for advice on how to properly store your medicine during a power outage.

Get Help from an Independent Living Center (ILC)

If you rely on power to operate life-sustaining medical devices, an ILC may be able to cover the costs associated with accessible transportation to and from PG&E Community Resource Centers. They may also provide funds for hotel expenses, use their offices as charging stations, and provide loaner backup battery power. Get more info HERE.

Investigate Backup Power
To learn about backup power options, go to PG&E’s backup power web page and/or read this handout.

Tips for Keeping Medication Cold
Read this handout.

You can find out if your power will be turned off in several ways:

PGE Alerts:
When possible, PG&E will email, phone, or text to customers who will be impacted by a PSPS, before power is turned off. In 2020 season, PG&E is striving to send alerts 48 hours, 24 hours, and immediately before the scheduled PSPS.

Note: PG&E will send alerts using the information on file. If your contact information and address are not in the PG&E system, you may not receive an alert. Update your contact information online or call 1-866-743-6589.

PG&E Outage Map
Go to PG&E’s main web site and link to the PSPS outage map. There you should be able to view a map that shows where the PSPS will be and type in your address and get information about whether you will be impacted by the PSPS.

A “Public Safety Power Shutoff” or “PSPS” is an intentional shut off of the electricity grid for safety reasons, such as to reduce fire risk during gusty and dry weather. The electricity utility that serves the area–PG&E, for Petaluma–is the entity that calls for the PSPS.

Go to the PG&E website for information about how to plan for and respond to a PSPS.

Dredging will begin on Friday, September 4, 2020, and will end no later than October 29, 2020. Under the terms of the contract, the contractor has 89 days to complete the project.

The contractor is allowed to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a big project with a short timeline so we expect to see crews working day and night, 7 days a week.

Important information about D Street Bridge Closure

The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for funding and managing the dredging project. The City of Petaluma is a partner agency on this project; however, we are not managing this project and have not been part of the decision-making in terms of the contractor chosen, project timeline, or hours of operation.

Dredging will begin at Shollenberger and then work downstream (towards the Bay) to address some spots of shoaling along the channel. Once that is complete, work return to Shollenberger and then go upstream (towards the City core), finishing with the Turning Basin.

Important Info about D-Street Bridge Closure Oct. 4 – 11.

The dredging project will have the following impacts:

Shollenberger Park Access
The loop trail around Shollenberger will need to be closed for the duration of the project, to allow safe equipment access and to help ensure public safety.

Noise
Dredging can be noisy work. Those who live and/or work along the river should be prepared to hear noise (similar to heavy construction work) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The noise will be most apparent from mid- to late-October, when dredging occurs along the City’s River Front and downtown areas.

Vehicle Traffic
When dredging occurs in the Turning Basin, the D Street Bridge will be opened multiple times a day, thereby, impacting the traffic along D Street.

Access to the Petaluma River/Boat Traffic
During the project, the areas undergoing dredging will not be accessible to the public, and marine traffic will likely be affected as well. Obstructions such as docks that are currently encroaching on the federal channel will need to be relocated during the project.

 

Over the past decade, silt has built up in the Petaluma River, making it impossible for tourists and locals to boat down the river, whether as part of a day’s excursion for shopping and lunch in Petaluma or as part of one of the many water-based events such as the Holiday Lighted Boat parade.

Removing this silt through dredging will result in a deeper river that will accommodate a wide variety of boats. This means more recreation opportunities, the return of river events, and a revitalized riverfront economy and experience.

Dredging also will offer more flood protection.

The City has been pursuing additional funding and project partners to make a push for beneficial reuse of the dredge materials. Beneficial reuse could include the use of the dredge material to enhance the resiliency of the Petaluma Marsh and help protect additional vulnerable locations along the Petaluma River.

This project is following strict Fish & Wildlife protocols and other measures to protect the environment.

Project Timing & Deadlines
The US Fish & Wildlife Agency has issued a permit for this project, with the condition that the project be completed during a certain time of year and within a certain time frame. The project must run on a 24×7 operation in order to meet these permit requirements.

Water Quality Tests
California Regional Water Board – San Francisco Bay Region issued Waste Discharge Requirements for this project. These include requirements for sampling and observation through and a self-monitoring program conducted by the City’s Water Quality team.

Safe Silt Disposal
Dredged material will be disposed of at a designated disposal site in the Bay.

The work in this Upper River portion will be completed with a 74’ suction dredge, Sandpiper. A 24” pipe will be connected to the dredge and material will be pumped through the pipeline into the Shollenberger disposal site. The longest length of pipeline will be ~14,000 ft when the dredge is working in the turning basin.  The pipeline will be submerged for most of it’s length but marked with buoys.

At the disposal site in Shollenberger, a bulldozer and other equipment will be used to spread the material as needed and reposition the discharge pipe.

There will be a second, clamshell dredge that will be removing material ‘out in the flats’ from the channel in San Pablo Bay.  This material will be loaded into a hopper barge, which will dispose of the material  at a designated in bay disposal site.

The City of Petaluma is wrapping up the process for obtaining 10-year maintenance dredging permits to support future maintenance dredging events, including the tentatively scheduled Marina dredging in 2021. The City will also be applying for the Measure AA Grant to provide additional funding for upcoming dredging. In addition, the City has been pursuing additional funding and project partners to develop a long term, sustainable plan to have the Marina regularly dredged

The banners hung across D Street and Kentucky Street are managed by the City Manager’s Office. You must submit a permit application with the appropriate fee and meet the following guidelines:

  • Only nonprofit or community events can be advertised.
  • No political campaign advertising is permitted – this includes local races such as school board, hospital board, city or county elections.
  • Reservations may be made up to one year in advance. Call 707–778–4345 for assistance.
  • Banners may be hung for a maximum two-week period, on a space-available, first come/first served basis.
  • Banners must have slits cut in them to allow the wind to pass through.
  • Only one banner may be hung at each location at any one time. Banners may be printed on both sides, however, if nonprofits choose to share banner space.
  • No banners may be hung the week before Thanksgiving through the first week in January to allow for downtown holiday decorations.
  • It is the permittee’s responsibility to arrange for the hanging of the banners. Location of hooks for the banners are on private property, and property owners do not permit ladders placed against their buildings. The City does not hang banners. You must arrange to have your banner hung by a sign company or by a company who has a bucket truck.  Check the phone directory for licensed companies providing this service.
  • The cost for a banner changes each new Fiscal Year based on the CPI and the City of Petaluma Fee Schedule.  The current cost is $42 and will be effective until June 30, 2020.

Banners May Be Hung Across the Following Streets and Locations:

  • Location #1 – D Street – 149 C Street and 200 First Street
  • Location #2 – Kentucky Street – 140 Kentucky Street and 141/143 Kentucky Street

A medida que usted lleve adelante sus preparativos para enfrentar los riesgos del Coronavirus (COVID-19), queremos que siga confiando que contamos con una fuente de agua potable segura, limpia y de buen sabor.

La red municipal de agua de la Ciudad de Petaluma llega a sus clientes proveniente de la “Sonoma County Water Agency” (Agencia de Agua del Condado de Sonoma) y se purifica utilizando técnicas modernas de tratamiento para eliminar patógenos, incluyendo las bacterias y los virus. El agua se controla regularmente para garantizar que supera todos los estándares estatales y federales de salud y de seguridad. Para conocer más información sobre la calidad del agua, por favor ingrese a la página web que informa la calidad de nuestra agua.

CITY ATTORNEY SUMMARIES OF ORDERS AND ORDINANCES

SONOMA COUNTY

STATE OF CALIFORNIA

UNITED STATES

  • The U.S. Department of Labor has announced new action and relief through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The purpose is to help families, workers and employers as we face the effects of COVID-19. Review Employee Rights as a result of the FFCRA. Additional information can also be found at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Key information regarding current services and operations within the City of Petaluma:

  • Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, the City limited operations to “essential services only” through May 3, 2020. Check out the listing of city departments and services.
  • All public-facing City facilities, including City Hall and the Petaluma Community Center, are closed through May 3, 2020.
  • City first responders are on the job prioritizing the health and safety of the community. To help limit the spread of coronavirus, we encourage the public to utilize our online police reporting services at https://cityofpetaluma.org/departments/police-department/ or call the 24/7 police non-emergency line at (707) 778-4372. In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1 for assistance.

SHOPPING HOURS FOR SENIORS

  • Oliver’s and Petaluma Market are reserving the first hour they are open every day, from 6-7 a.m., for seniors and individuals with suppressed immunity systems. So is Whole Foods, which offers a window from 8-9 a.m.
  • Safeway and Lucky designated 6-9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for those same groups, as well as pregnant women. Target in Santa Rosa and Petaluma are reserving the first hour on Wednesdays, 8-9 a.m., for at-risk shoppers.

 

TRANSIT

  • Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is reducing services in response to changes in ridership demand. Learn more on the SMART website.

NEED HELP WITH MEALS?

  • Petaluma City Schools (PCS) will start a free meal program on March 23. This program is for students and their siblings of PCS, Two Rock School, and Wilson School. More info here.

 

ISSUES WITH PRICE GOUGING

  • California’s price gouging law prevents business from wrongfully profiteering on essential goods, supplies and services during an emergency. If you are the victim of price gouging due to the coronavirus, or if you have information regarding potential price gouging, you can file a complaint through the Sonoma County’s District Attorney’s office or by calling (707) 565-5317. 

As you make any preparations to deal with the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) know that your tap remains a safe and reliable source of clean, good-tasting drinking water.

Water served by City of Petaluma to customers comes from the Sonoma County Water Agency and is purified using modern treatment techniques to remove pathogens, including bacteria and viruses. Water is continuously monitored to ensure that it surpasses all state and federal regulations for health and safety. More information on water quality can be found on our water quality page.

Información clave sobre los servicios y operaciones actuales dentro de la Ciudad de Petaluma:

  • A partir del martes 17 de marzo, la ciudad limitó las operaciones a “sólo servicios esenciales” hasta el 4 de mayo de 2020. Puede leer el artículo completo aqui.
  • Todas las instalaciones públicas de la ciudad, incluyendo el ayuntamiento y el Centro Comunitario Petaluma, estarán cerradas hasta el 4 de may de 2020.
  • Animamos al público a utilizar nuestros servicios de denuncia policial en línea en https://cityofpetaluma.org/departments/police-department/ o llame a la línea de no emergencia de la policía 24/7 en (707) 778-4372. En caso de emergencia, marque el 9-1-1 para asistencia.

RESUMEN DE LAS ORDENANZAS MUNICIPALES Y ÓRDENES DE OTROS ESTAMENTOS GUBERNAMENTALES

  • Revisión del resumen del Secretario(a) de la Ciudad acerca de la Orden del Condado Shelter-in-Place” (Refugiarse en el Lugar o Quedarse en Casa). (City Attorney’s Summary)
  • Revisión del resumen del Secretario(a) de la Ciudad acerca de la Orden Estadual que pone una moratoria en los desalojos. (City Attorney’s Summary)
  • Revisión del resumen del Secretario(a) de la Ciudad que compara las Órdenes del Condado de Sonoma sobre la Urgencia Defensa de Inquilinos que enfrentan un Desalojo por causa del COVID-19 y la Orden Ejecutiva N-37-20 del Estado de California que pone una moratoria en los desalojos. (City Attorney’s Comparison)

 

CONDADO DE SONOMA

  • Obtenga las últimas novedades de las Órdenes o Mandatos, Actualizaciones y Comunicados de Prensa del Condado. (Orders, Updates and Press Releases)
  • Haga clic aquí para obtener más información sobre cómo recibir alertas del Condado
  • La Junta de Supervisores aprobó la Ordenanza Municipal “Eviction Defense Ordinance” (Defensa contra Desalojos). Conozca más sobre el Memorándum de la Ciudad de Petaluma.

 

ESTADO DE CALIFORNIA

  • Manténgase informado(a) con las últimas noticias, Órdenes o Mandatos y las actualizaciones del Estado de California. (News, Orders and Updates)

 

ESTADOS UNIDOS

  • El Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos anunció qu nuevas acciones para traer alivio a las familias a través de la ley nacional “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”, FFCRA). El propósito de esta ley es ayudar alas familias, trabajadores(as) y empleadores a sortear los efectos provocados pro la pandemia del COVID-19. Revise el resultado del la ley FFCRA en el documento que tiene por título “Derechos Laborales del Empleado/a” (Employee Rights) que también puede ser consultado en el Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos. (U.S. Department of Labor)

 

 

HORAS DE COMPRAS PARA LOS ANCIANOS

  • Oliver’s y Petaluma Market reservan la primera hora que están abiertos todos los días, de 6 a 7 a.m., para personas mayores e individuos con sistemas inmunológicos suprimidos. También lo es Whole Foods, que ofrece una ventana de 8 a 9 a.m.
  • Safeway y Lucky designaron las 6-9 a.m. todos los martes y jueves para esos mismos grupos, así como para las mujeres embarazadas. Target en Santa Rosa y Petaluma reservan la primera hora de los miércoles, 8-9 a.m., para compradores en riesgo.

TRÁNSITO

  • Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) está reduciendo los servicios en respuesta a los cambios en la demanda de pasajeros. Aprenda más en el sitio web de SMART.

¿NECESITAS AYUDA CON LAS COMIDAS?

  • Las escuelas de la ciudad de Petaluma (PCS) comenzarán un programa de comida gratis el 23 de marzo. Este programa es para los estudiantes y sus hermanos de PCS, Two Rock School y Wilson School. Más información aqui.

 

PROBLEMAS CON LA ESTAFA DE LOS PRECIOS

  • La ley de estafa de precios de California impide que las empresas se aprovechen indebidamente de los bienes, suministros y servicios esenciales durante una emergencia. Si usted es víctima de la estafa de precios debido al coronavirus, o si tiene información sobre una posible estafa de precios, puede presentar una queja a través de la oficina del Fiscal de Distrito del Condado de Sonoma o llamando al (707) 565-5317.

Petaluma’s City Charter can be found here.

Petaluma is a Charter City, meaning it was incorporated by a Charter that acts like a constitution for the City.  Cities that have not adopted a charter are general law cities. General law cities are bound by the state’s general law, even with respect to municipal affairs. Of California’s 478 cities, 108 of them are charter cities.

The charter city provision of the State Constitution, commonly referred to as the “home-rule” provision, is based on the principle that a city, rather than the state, is in the best position to know what it needs and how to satisfy those needs.  The home-rule provision allows charter cities to conduct their own business and control their own affairs.

A charter maximizes local control. A city charter, in effect a city’s constitution, need not set out every municipal affair the city would like to govern. So long as the charter contains a declaration that the city intends to avail itself of the full power provided by the California Constitution, any city ordinance that regulates a municipal affair will govern over a general law of the state.

Petaluma has a local minimum wage that is higher than the State minimum wage. This minimum wage applies to hours worked within the city limits. Effective January 1, 2021, the Petaluma minimum wage will be $15.20 per hour for all employers, regardless of size.

In 2020, the Petaluma minimum wage was $15.00 per hour for Large employers (26 or more employees) and $14.00 per hour for Small employers (25 or fewer employees).

Check out our minimum wage web page for more info about the Petaluma minimum wage ordinance.

To receive city notifications, please go to cityofpetaluma.org/subscribe and then complete and submit the form there. If you are not able to complete the form online, please send your contact information to [email protected].

To report a crime that is an emergency and in progress, dial 911.

For non-emergency crimes, including those that are in progress and those that have already taken place, read our tips here.

The City issues parking permits in the following situations:

  • Reserved parking in ‘A’ Street and Keller Street parking facilities: currently there is a waiting list for these permits.
  • Temporary construction parking permits: you need this permit for  parking construction-related equipment or vehicle in a timed parking zone.  A timed zone is usually in the downtown area where parking is only permitted certain days and hours. These permits are issued for a maximum of thirty days at a time, after which they may be renewed.
  • Residential parking permits may be issued for areas where “Permit Only” restrictions are in effect, or as designated by City Council.

Parking permits are handled by the Finance Department. Please contact [email protected] for assistance.

If you are a City Council or Commission/Committee member with questions about conflicts of interest, ethics, open meetings, or records, please contact the City Attorney by phone (707-778-4362) or email ([email protected]).

 

For zoning-related questions, please contact the Planning Department. If you are a business, you can also use our online zoning check tool at petaluma.opencounter.com.

Another option is to refer to the Implementing Zoning Ordinance document.

For code-related questions, please start by viewing the City of Petaluma Municipal Code online. If you still have questions, please contact the appropriate department, e.g., Building for Building-related codes. For questions about nuisance-related codes (noise, parked cars, etc.), please contact Code Enforcement. For landscape/water conservation codes, please contact the Water Conservation team.

 

Report a water leak by calling the Public Works & Utilities Water Department at (707) 778-4546.  A City employee is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.

Contact Code Enforcement at 707-778-4469, via email ([email protected]) or via their online form (available on the Report Nuisance Code Enforcement page).

If you  need assistance with a legal matter in Sonoma County, please visit Sonoma County Community Services for information or the Sonoma County Bar Association for a referral. The City Attorney’s Office does not, and cannot, represent members of the public or offer them advice.

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