City Attorney FAQs

Immediately after a home fire, take these 4 steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
  2. Let friends and family know you’re safe.
  3. People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.
  4. Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.

Fire is traumatic and many will experience emotional responses. During this time it is important to care for your loved ones.

  • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress.
  • Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke, or soot.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Help people who require additional assistance – infants and children, older adults, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

For additional fire safety resources and checklists, visit the American Red Cross Home Fire Safety page HERE.

  • Conduct practice drills. Physically place yourself in safe locations.
  • Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitations) from your local Red Cross Chapter or other community organization.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Learn how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged. (Safety note: Do not attempt to relight gas pilot. Call the utility company.)
  • Check chimneys, roofs, walls, and foundations for stability. Make sure your house is bolted to its foundation.
  • Secure water heater and appliances that could move enough to rupture utility lines.
  • Keep breakables and heavy objects on bottom shelves.
  • Secure heavy tall furniture that can topple, such as bookcases, china cabinets or wall units.
  • Secure hanging plants and heavy picture frames or mirrors (especially over beds).
  • Put latches on cabinet doors to keep them closed during shaking.
  • Keep flammable or hazardous liquids such as paints, pest sprays or cleaning products in cabinets or secured on lower shelves.
  • Maintain emergency food, water and other supplies, including a flashlight, a portable batter-operated radio, extra batteries, medicines, first aid kit and clothing.

In the event of a fire, follow these practices to keep your family safe:

  1. Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
  2. Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
  3. Yell “Fire!” several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
  4. If closed doors/door handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  5. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
  6. If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
  7. Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.

If your clothes catch on fire:

  1.  Stop what you’re doing.
  2. Drop to the ground and cover your face if you can.
  3. Roll over and over or back and forth until the flames go out. Running will only make the fire burn faster.

Once the flames are out, cool the burned skin with water for three to five minutes. Call for medical attention.

With cold winter temperatures there is an increased use of fireplaces, wood stoves, space heaters, and other alternative heating methods. During these cold winter months, residential fires and other emergencies caused by heating appliances are more prevalent. The following safety tips can help you maintain a safe home this winter:

  • Have your furnace or wood stove inspected to ensure that it is in good working condition.
  • Maintain a 3-foot separation between things that can burn and heating equipment.
  • Check floor heaters to make sure they are not covered by floor coverings or other combustibles.
  • Install and use space heaters according to manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use an extension cord for an electric-powered space heater.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. Malfunctioning or improperly installed heating appliances can leak carbon monoxide gas, as can generators. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors. Always run generators outside and away from windows and doors. Ensure proper ventilation when using any fuel-burning appliance.
  • Keep young children away from heaters and stoves– especially when they are wearing pajamas or other loose clothing that can be easily ignited.
  • Keep a screen in front of fireplace openings.
  • Do not use flammable liquids to start fires; use only paper or kindling to start the fire.
  • Use only dry, seasoned wood in a fireplace or wood stove to avoid the build-up of creosote.
  • Allow fireplace and wood stove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container.

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

  • The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim’s health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body’s ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.
  • A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
  • In 2016, local fire departments responded to an estimated 79,600 carbon monoxide incidents, or an average of nine such calls per hour. This does not include the 91,400 carbon monoxide alarm malfunctions and the 68,000 unintentional carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Health Statistics shows that in 2017, 399 people died of unintentional non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning.

Safety tips

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches. High levels of CO can be fatal, causing death within minutes. Please see these safety tips for more information.

It is essential to have working smoke alarms throughout your home in case of fire. When maintained, these devices are able to provide you ample warning of fire, helping to save lives and avoid fire injury.

If a fire starts, smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying nearly in half. Smoke alarms sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and flaming fires.

  • In new homes: The National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up on every level of the home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Alarms must be wired together so that if one sounds, they all sound.
  • In existing homes: If smoke alarms are not already in place, at a minimum install them on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. If a fire occurs inside a bedroom, dangerous gases can cause heavier sleep. For the best protection, install interconnected smoke alarms in each bedroom and throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • To prevent nuisance alarms, vacuum cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly. Never disable a smoke alarm, even if you experience nuisance alarms while cooking or showering. Instead, use the alarm’s “hush” button. If nuisance alarms are a persistent problem, look for a different type of smoke alarm and ensure they are installed in the correct areas in the home.
  • Use the test button to test your smoke alarms at least monthly. The test feature tests all electronic functions and is safer than testing with a controlled fire (matches, lighters, cigarettes).
    • If the manufacturer’s instructions permit the use of an aerosol smoke product for testing the smoke alarm, choose one that has been examined and tested by a third-party product testing laboratory, and use it in accordance with the product instructions.
  • If you have battery-powered smoke alarms, replace the batteries at least once a year. Some agencies recommend that you replace batteries when the time changes from standard to daylight savings each spring and then back again in the fall. “Change your clock, change your batteries.” Replacing batteries this often will not hurt, but fresh batteries typically last at least a year, so more frequent replacement is not necessary unless the smoke alarm begins to chirp.
    • If your local area does not observe daylight savings time, pick an easy-to-remember anniversary, such as your birthday or a national holiday, as the day to change the batteries each year.
    • Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO) alarms at the same time you replace your smoke alarm batteries.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. This is the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time.

Be sure to install smoke alarms in areas where pets are and in other buildings that house animals where humans can hear them.

In addition to properly maintaining your smoke alarms, it is essential for you and your family members to know the meaning of the different beep patterns. Watch this video for a rundown of what the different beeps on your detector mean.

Follow these 4 simple practices in your home to prepare your family for a fire emergency.

  1. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas.
  2. Test your smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
  3. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year. This is especially important for young children!
  4. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
Project Name: DISH Wireless Telecommunications Facility “SFSFO01158A”
Address: 1300 Commerce Street, Petaluma [Map It]
APN: 007-630-001
City Record Numbers:PLUP-2022-0010 & PLSR-2022-0021
Applicant Name: Allison Holleman, for the CBR Group, Inc
Date of Decision: On or after Tuesday, December 13, 2022
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Proposed installation and operation of a new wireless telecommunications facility on the roof of an existing three-story self-storage building. The project would include the installation of the following:

  • 3 radio frequency fiberglass-reinforced polymer screens painted to blend in with the existing building to contain 3 panel antennas (1 per sector), 6 remote radio heads (2 per sector), and 3 over voltage protection devices (1 per sector); 1 equipment platform located near the center of the rooftop and concealed by the existing mechanical screen to support 1 equipment cabinet, 1 H-frame, 1 GPS antenna, 1 power protective cabinet, 1 telco fiber enclosure, 1 fiber network interface device, and 1 heavy duty safety switch; and 1 submeter located in the building’s existing interior utility room.

For more information:

 

Securing grant funds is a multi-step process with many considerations.

Outside agencies make grant funds available for projects that support initiatives they are trying to push forward. For example, in a given year, the State of California may be focused on funding roads that provide safe travel to schools. The State makes grants available for projects that would support this.

With this in mind, some of our projects are considered to be more “competitive” than others when it comes to securing grant funds. We look at our list of approved projects, then explore available grants and identify which projects would be most likely to receive grants based on the grant criteria.

Generally speaking, grants at the local, regional, state and federal levels tend to favor projects that improve safety and mobility options (transit, active transportation such as bicycle and pedestrian traffic, etc.) rather than new roads and development.

City funds are part of the annual City budget and are allocated at the discretion of the City Council with input from City staff and the community. Our goal is to make the most of these funds by pairing them with “matching” grants from outside agencies – a grant which provides money to fund a project with the requirement that we match that amount using City or local funds. Examples of local funds include…(look at list above)

The City’s Ordinance does not address rental increases. However, the California Tenant Protection Act (TPA) does limit rent increases. Under the TPA, annual rent increases are limited to 5% plus a cost of living adjustment or 10%, whichever is less. This CA guide for tenants and landlords includes all state rules describing these limits.

The TPA exempts the following properties from its rent control protections:

  • Housing that has been issued a certificate of occupancy within the past 15 years (this is a rolling date)
  • Owner-occupied duplexes
  • Student occupants of higher education dormitories
  • Residential real property that is alienable separately from the title to any other dwelling unit (i.e., single family homes and townhomes), with certain ownership restrictions (i.e., not owned by a corporation or investment trust);
  • Affordable housing; and
  • Assisted housing developments.

The City of Petaluma’s tenant protection ordinance authorizes tenants to bring civil actions to determine the applicability of the Ordinance to their tenancy. If the tenants prevail in a wrongful eviction action, they may recover their attorneys’ fees from the owner.

The following notices must be submitted to the City:

  • The notice required when a unit is removed from the rental market.
  • Copy of the recorded memorandum
  • Notice that the owner intents to return the unit to the residential rental market

Submit forms in person or by mail to:  11 English St, Petaluma, 94952; or by email to: [email protected].

  1. Provide Tenants with a Notice of Termination: ENGLISH  |  ESPAÑOL
    • Landlord must provide this notice to the tenant(s) in the language used to negotiate the lease.
    • The Notice of Termination must be provided to the tenant(s) in advance of the proposed move out date. The timing of the notice depends on several factors and must be at least:
      • 3 days prior to move-out date: for any tenant who fails to pay rent or fails to resolve issue(s) that breach the lease
      • 30 days prior to move out date: for tenant living in unit for less than one year
      • 60 days prior to move out date: for tenant living in unit for at least one year
      • 120 days if the termination constitutes a “withdrawal from the rental market”
      • 365 days if the termination constitutes a “withdrawal from the rental market” and at the request of the tenant (within 60 days of notice date) who has resided in the unit for at least a year and is over the age of 62 or is disabled.
      • Timing dependent: if the termination constitutes a “withdrawal from the rental market” or “owner to occupy dwelling unit” and the household includes a child under the age of 18 or an educator, the move out date cited on the Notice of Termination may not be during their school year.
  2. Additional Noticing: The “No-fault” reasons for terminating a tenancy permitted under the TPA include the following and require additional noticing as noted below:
    • Permanent withdrawal from rental market. Require Notice 6G: English | Español
      • Additional memorandum is also needed. The City is working with the County Recorder’s Office to create this memorandum and will be linked here once available.
    • Owner to occupy dwelling unit. Require Notice 6H: EnglishEspañol
    • Substantial rehabilitation for health and safety. Require Notice 6I: – English | Español
  3. Stop Accepting Rent
    • If you have provided your tenant with the Notice of Termination, you may not collect rent beyond the intended move-out date.

Pay Relocation

If Landlord terminates a tenancy without cause (to permanently remove a unit from the market, owner to occupy a unit, or for substantial rehabilitation) the tenant is entitled to relocation assistance. The assistance can be a direct payment or credit towards payments due.

Amount of relocation assistance: 

  • 100% of one month of rent; or
  • 150% of one month rent if the tenant household:
  • Qualifies as low income; or
  • Includes a member with a disability; or
  • Includes a member over the age of 62; or
  • Includes a child below the age of 18; or
  • The tenancy commenced prior to January 1, 2010

Offer Unit to Original Tenant

Owner must re-offer the dwelling unit to the displaced tenant at the same rent and subject to the same terms as when the tenancy was terminated if:

  • The owner or owner’s relative fails to occupy the dwelling unit within 90 days of the tenant household vacating the dwelling unit; or
  • The owner or owner’s relative fails to occupy the residential unit for at least three consecutive years following the move out date.
  • The unit was returned to the market within 5 years of the withdrawal date. In this case the tenant has a right of first refusal to return to the unit at a rent that does not exceed the lawful rent at the time the unit was withdrawn, subject to adjustments for cost of living.

Record Memorandum

If you remove the unit from the rental market, you are required to record a summary memorandum encumbering the unit for 10 years and provide a copy of the recorded memorandum to the City.

Project Name: MacDuff Work/Live Unit
Address: 307 Bodega Avenue [Map It]
APN: 006-301-025
City Record Number: PLSR-2022-0026
Applicant Name: Brent Russell, Architect, Studio 202
Date of Decision: On or after November 21, 2022
Project Description: The application proposes construction of a 2-story, 2,160 square foot structure to be used as one work/live unit and to be constructed toward the rear of the .42-acre Mixed-Use (MU1A) zoned property containing an existing commercial structure (French Salvage Antiques) at the address listed above. The property owners intend to use the work/live unit as office and studio spaces and new walkways are also proposed. The work/live structure is proposed to be 19-feet 6-inches in height and a minimum of 19 feet from the rear and side property lines, thereby meeting height and setback requirements for new structures in Mixed-Use zoned areas abutting residential districts. The proposed structure is designed to have a work/live shared space on the first floor with two bedrooms on the second floor, and to have a converted barn-like exterior appearance.
California Environmental Quality Act: The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15303 for Class 3 – New Construction or Conversation of Small Structures.

For more information: 

NOTICE OF TENANT RIGHTSENGLISH  |  ESPAÑOL

Landlords must notify their tenants about their rights when:

  • Entering, or changing, a lease
  • Raising the rent
  • Before and after the sale of a unit

If the City updates applicable laws – Subscribe Here to be notified.

Project Name: DISH Wireless Telecommunications Facility “SFSFO00026A” 
Address: 5341 Old Redwood Highway, Petaluma [Map It]
APN:  047-360-025
City Record Number: PLUP-2022-0005 & PLSR-2022-0011
Applicant Name: Allison Holleman, for the CBR Group, Inc
Date of Decision: On or after November 21, 2022
Project Description: Proposed installation of a new wireless telecommunications facility on the roof of an existing four-story office building. The proposed facility would consist of:

  • 3 panel antennas (1 per sector), 6 remote radio heads (2 per sector) and 3 over voltage protection devices (1 per sector), installed on mounts, and 1 equipment platform located near the center of the rooftop to support 1 equipment cabinet, 1 H-frame, 1 GPS antenna, 1 power protective cabinet, 1 telco fiber enclosure, 1 fiber network interface device, 1 heavy duty safety switch, and 1 submeter. Portions of the existing mechanical screen would be replaced with radio-frequency transparent material that would be painted and treated to match the existing color and texture.

For more information: 

 

Project Name: Petaluma Warehouse Lofts
Address:  800 Petaluma Boulevard South [Map It]
APN: 008-313-016
City Record Number: PLSR-2022-0037
Applicant Name: Frank Dostal
Date of Decision: On or after November 26, 2022
Project Description: The Applicant is converting the mixed-use property located at 800 Petaluma Boulevard South into Petaluma Warehouse Lofts, Artisan Inn. The application is to convert the current Luma Fitness space, Unit F, to three units and a 1,000-square-foot retail space. The proposal also includes creating a parking garage with three electric car charging stations. The other units of the property have been processed under building permits.

For more information: 

 

E. Wash Sidewalk Frontage 900x510 image of boaters on river picture of promenade pic of visitors walking downtown
NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT
E. Wash Sidewalk Frontage 900x510 image of boaters on river picture of promenade pic of visitors walking downtown
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E. Wash Sidewalk Frontage 900x510 image of boaters on river picture of promenade pic of visitors walking downtown
NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT
E. Wash Sidewalk Frontage 900x510 image of boaters on river picture of promenade pic of visitors walking downtown
NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT NAME OF PROJECT

The project has completed construction and closed out all related permits with Building and Planning.

The project has received all planning approvals; final plans approved; building and other permits have been issued; and project may be under construction.

Formal project application has been filed for one or more discretionary planning approvals. Residential projects of fewer than two units are not included unless Planning Commission approval is required, nor are non-residential projects that do not result in new development.

At this time, there are no plans to create or replace a new sculpture or any other kind of artwork at Lucchesi park. However, the Parks and Recreation department, Planning division, Recreation, Music, & Parks Commission, and the Petaluma Public Art Committee work closely to collaborate on projects and will continue to consider Lucchesi park as a future candidate for public art. The Public Art Committee and Recreation, Music, & Parks Commission are in frequent need for new artworks and sites to integrate public art around Petaluma, which Lucchesi park would greatly benefit from.

The artwork was surveyed by several art professionals and conservation experts regarding its condition. Red Teepee did not have an adequate foundation created for long-term display and required a new foundation and footing be created in order to safely secure the artwork. The City considered these factors before making the decision to remove Red Teepee. The City’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of the public which ultimately drove the decision to dismantle and remove the sculpture from Lucchesi park.

In 2017, local artists and arts advocates approached the Petaluma Public Art Committee about the deteriorating condition of Red Teepee with the hope that the Committee would allocate resources to conserve the sculpture in place.  On September 28, 2017, the Public Art Committee discussed the condition of Red Teepee, including preliminary ideas for conservation efforts. After researching the artwork’s origins and ownership, the City and Public Art Committee concluded that the artwork was never owned by the City of Petaluma and that Peter Forakis’ estate was held in trust by the Peter Forakis Art Foundation, who would also own Red Teepee.

In summary, between 2018 and 2021, letters were sent between the City and the head of the Peter Forakis Art Foundation on the topic of Red Teepee‘s future. The Public Art Committee and City at the time were open to collaborating with the Peter Forakis Art Foundation to conserve the artwork, which was in dire need for foundation repair, and began to pose a public safety issue in Lucchesi park. Due to lack of resources, the Peter Forakis Art Foundation did not have the ability to care for the sculpture nor relocate the sculpture from City property. The City Attorney sent several written requests for the Peter Forakis Art Foundation to remove the artwork; if the City received no response within an alotted timeline, the City would determine the artwork as abandoned property in accordance with Petaluma Municipal Code Chapter 3.08 Disposal of Unclaimed Property and seek recompense from the Peter Forakis Art Foundation for its removal and storage costs. On November 15, 2021, the extended removal deadline expired after several written attempts from the City to get in touch with the Peter Forakis Art Foundation and began the process of planning for the artwork’s removal.

On September 28, 2022, City staff coordinated efforts to dismantle and remove the artwork from City property. The recycled steel went to a local sculptor who would like to honor Peter Forakis’ legacy in future works that will be created from the recycled material.

The recycled steel from Red Teepee went to a local sculptor who would like to honor Peter Forakis’ legacy in future works that will be created from the recycled material. The Petaluma sculptor, who knew Peter Forakis personally, pledged to utilize the materials for new artwork projects both locally and beyond.

Red Teepee was part of a temporary art exhibition entitled “Look Out West” in 2003 located in Lucchesi Park. The exhibition featured sculptures by various artists and was organized and curated by Suzanne Wibroe. The exhibition’s artworks, including Red Teepee, were loaned to the event through a curatorial agreement between Wibroe and the City of Petaluma. This agreement outlined a schedule to host the exhibited artworks on the City’s property for a limited time, where after the close of the event, the artworks would be retrieved by the respective artists. 

At the conclusion of the temporary exhibition in Lucchesi Park, all artworks were removed by the artwork owners. However, Peter Forakis informed the City he would remove Red Teepee at a later date, although no date was agreed to in writing. Forakis never returned to remove Red Teepee and passed away on November 26, 2009.

Local artist Peter Forakis created Red Teepee in the year 2000. Forakis’ studio was located off Lakeville Street in Petaluma. Forakis passed away in 2009 and left the artwork to the Peter Forakis Art Foundation.

Forakis’ work is considered significant and influential by many, including San Francisco Chronical art critic Kenneth Baker, who credited him as the “originator of geometry-based sculpture from the 60’s.” Sculptures by Forakis have been collected by major museums around the United States.

The Safe Mobility and Community Connectivity | Safe Streets Goal is a city-wide initiative that strives to increase and provide safety for all users of our roadways. This project will provide Petaluma with a strategic map forward for Active Transportation.

The first three milestones, Memorialize Safe Streets Elements in Overall Vision (AT, Complete Streets, Calming, Accessibility, Trails, Sidewalks, etc.), Adopt Local Road Safety Plan, and Crosstown Connector Workshop, have been completed. The next milestone, Establish Criteria/Framework for Active Transportation Projects Selection, is in progress and is scheduled to be completed in Quarter 2 of Fiscal Year 2023.

Petaluma’s historic trestle is located along the southwest bank of the Turning Basin in downtown Petaluma.  While significant hurdles exist, the vision is to transform the structure which is currently in poor condition into a prized, iconic riverfront gathering place and active transportation hub.  Major milestones include environmental assessment, determining ownership/acquisition models, inviting the community to develop a vision for the site, design, securing funding for construction, and project implementation.  This will be a multi-year project.

The first two milestones, Reengage on Previous Studies/Plans/Designs and Commence Design of the Project to Make the Project Ready for Bids in FY24 or FY25, are anticipated to be completed by Quarter 1 of FY 2023.

Trees have multiple positive benefits related to providing wildlife habitat, sequestering carbon to help mitigate climate change, reducing the heat-island effect, and increasing property values through beautification.  Petaluma’s existing tree ordinance has not been updated to realize the increased benefit of enhanced tree protection.  The updated tree preservation ordinance would update internal processes and permitting related to tree removal, update provisions for tree maintenance, planting in the public right of way, and update standard provisions for all entitlements and land use permitting.  This legislation and policy update is expected to be considered by Council in Spring 2023.

The first milestone, Review Existing Regulations, Review of Draft Tree Technical Manual and ReLeaf, and Identify Case Studies, Best Practices, is anticipated to be completed by Quarter 1 of FY 2023.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is defined in Title 7 of the US Code as “a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks.”  A common feature of recent IPM Plan is to change practices to relegate chemical pest control to a last resort, with some plan prohibiting the use of synthetic pesticides altogether.  The process to develop an IPM Plan which would guide all pest control activities related to City facilities and operations is underway. Staff is working closely with consultants and a community working group of stakeholders to draft initial program details to present for feedback. The IPM Plan is expected to be presented to the City Council in Fall 2022.

The first two milestones, Complete Stakeholder Interviews and Site Analysis and Present Summary of Findings to Community Working Group and Staff for Review and Input, are anticipated to be completed by Quarter 2 of FY 2023.

The Public Safety Facilities Assessment will be used to inform future new construction and renovations to address inadequate police and fire facilities city wide. Fire Station 1 needs Seismic upgrades and Stations 1, 2, and 3 no longer meet operational needs for a diverse workforce with crew space lacking. The Police Station similarly is poorly configured to meet the needs of a modern police department with inadequate locker space, showers, meeting, and office space. This project will develop a road map and strategic plan to move our Public Safety facilities into the 21st century. 

Staff is finalizing a Professional Services Agreement with consultants to begin preparing a Public Safety Facilities/EOC Evaluation and Strategic Plan, with kickoff expected in September 2022. Operational and administrative analyses of the Fire and Police Departments are expected to be presented to the City Council in early Fall 2022 and will be used, along with existing facilities planning documents, to inform the development of the Plan. 

The first milestone, Complete the Public Safety Facilities/EOC Evaluation and Strategic Plan, is anticipated to be completed by Quarter 3 of FY 2023.

The Petaluma Fairgrounds is a 55-acre, multi-use property located in the heart of town. Through the years, this site has provided a place for fun, learning, special occasions, respite, and refuge during crises, as well as many lasting memories for Petalumans, County residents, and visitors. It is a truly unique place that is loved by so many. The City of Petaluma owns the Fairgrounds property and, for the past 50 years, has leased it to the 4th District Agricultural Association (4th DAA), a branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The 4th DAA determines the Fairgrounds property uses, which include the five-day Sonoma-Marin Fair in June and other organizations the 4th DAA subleases to, such as a preschool, elementary school, race track, and event spaces. 

After multiple lease renewals, the final renewal will expire on December 31st, 2023. The goal, the Fairgrounds – Outreach Process, Recommendations, and Framework for Decision-making, describes the series of milestones on a path forward for the fair and property.

The first two milestones, Complete Property, Soil, and Building Assessments and Receive Lottery Selected Panel Recommendations, are anticipated to be completed by Quarter 1 of FY 2023.

The need for eviction protection was underscored by the widespread employment disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The eviction moratorium enacted by the County of Sonoma during the pandemic is set to expire September 30, 2022.  This set of protections for tenants specific to the City of Petaluma includes legislation related to Just Cause, the Ellis Act, and updates to the City’s Mobile Home rental protection.  The tenant protection ordinance package is expected to be presented to the City Council for consideration on August 1, 2022.  

The first four milestones are all anticipated to be completed by Quarter 1 of FY 2023. 

  • Ellis Act / Just Cause: Review Legal Aid Exemplar, Sonoma County Just Cause Ordinance, State Law Rent Control Statute, State Law Authority and Preemption
  • Mobile Home Rent Control: Review Arbitrator’s Opinion and Council Suggestions/Communications
  • Mobile Home Rent Control: Research Recent Mobile Home Rent Control Challenges
  • Mobile Home Rent Control: Confer with Tenants’ Counsel

The City Council’s approval of the Climate Emergency Framework on January 11, 2021 set a goal for the City of Petaluma to become carbon neutral by 2030.  Major sources of carbon emissions in the City of Petaluma are transportation and existing buildings.  Electrification and fuel switch to renewable sources for the transportation and housing sectors would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  A citywide electrification plan will identify barriers and propose solutions for electrification of existing Petaluma buildings and infrastructure, including infrastructure upgrades needed to support electrification of buildings and vehicles.

The first milestone, Review Electrification Plans for Other Jurisdictions, is anticipated to be completed by Quarter 2 of FY 2023.

On November 9, 2016, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Proposition 64, became law, leading to recreational cannabis sales in California by January 2018. As a result of recreational legalization, local governments may not prohibit adults from growing, using, or transporting cannabis for personal use. Following recreational legalization, companies must be licensed by the local agency to grow, test, or sell cannabis within each jurisdiction. The City of Petaluma needs to adopt ordinances and regulations to allow for commercial use of cannabis within city limits. This project, the Adoption of Retail Cannabis Ordinance, is the process to allow commercial use of cannabis in Petaluma.

The first milestone, Review Regional Jurisdictions’ Regulations and Modify for Local Considerations, is anticipated to be completed by Quarter 1 of FY 2023.

Following the May 25th, 2020, murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, race relations and police use of force policies have become a focus in communities across the country. To address requests from community members and start these conversations locally, the City hosted a community engagement and listening forum followed by community-led listening sessions. After hearing from and listening to the community, the City hired a professional facilitator and established an Ad Hoc Community Advisory Committee (AHCAC). The AHCAC’s purpose was to discuss race relations in Petaluma, make recommendations to the City Council to improve them, help bring the community together, identify opportunities for meaningful change, and promote inclusion in Petaluma. On April 4th, 2022, the City Council provided direction on the implementation of the City’s Council Priorities in response to the recommendations of the AHCAC. This top 10 goal is the implementation. The first milestone, Develop and Issue Independent Police Auditor (IPA) Request for Proposal (RFP), is anticipated to be completed by Quarter 1 of FY 2023. The draft RFP will be presented to City Council on September 12th.

Part of the daily dredging work involves up to six barges making multiple trips from the Turning Basin to the disposal site in San Pablo Bay. The D Street Bridge would need to be in the “raised” position for a barge to pass through.

Unfortunately, the Bridge’s electrical system cannot support consecutive raising/lowerings, on any given day or for multiple consecutive days. The project team evaluated several options: limit the raising/lowering to two or three times per day, which would lessen the impact on vehicle traffic but extend the project several weeks; keep the bridge raised 24×7 for two weeks, which would allow the dredging operators to work Saturdays and shorten the project timeline but create greater inconvenience to the community; or keep the bridge raised on weekdays and then lower it on weekends, which would extend the project by a few days and would lessen the impact on traffic during the busy weekend.

The decision was made to raise the bridge at the beginning of each work week during the project (Sunday evening/early Monday morning) and then lower it at the end of each work week (approximately 7:00 p.m. Friday), keeping it lowered — and thus open to traffic – Friday evening through Sunday evening. This approach will streamline the dredging and shorten the total project duration, reduce the risk of the D-Street bridge malfunctioning caused by frequent opening and closings, avoid confusion, and minimize costs associated with closing the bridge every night and opening it every morning.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The noise and construction window for the dredging operations will occur between 7 am and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information about the Turning Basin dredging project, please go to cityofpetaluma.org/turningbasin.

With our limited environmental window and tight budget, we will be taking extra precautions to ensure the project timeline stays on track.

Restricting access to the Turning Basin starting September 26 will help the City avoid potential damage or delays caused by larger sailboats and motorboats traveling or mooring in or near the project site within a week of the project start date.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

Access to the Turning Basin—the area of the River between the D Street Bridge and the Balshaw pedestrian Bridge—is restricted to vessels associated with the dredging operation and public safety vessels.

Access to the stretch of the Petaluma River south of the D Street Bridge to San Pablo Bay will not be restricted during this project.

Safety on any waterway is a shared responsibility. During this dredging operation, there will be more activity on the Petaluma River than usual, with tugboats and barges traveling from the Turning Basin into the San Pablo Bay (and back!) up to 5-7 times per day Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To ensure safety, the professional, licensed tugboat captains involved in this operation will adhere to stay at a 5 miles per hour speed except when a slightly higher speed is necessary to maneuver. The tugboat captains will sound a “slow bell” when approaching smaller watercraft, as an extra measure of caution.

Kayakers, rowers, stand-up-paddle boarders, and boaters have more ability to maneuver and need to give these larger vessels a wide berth. Outreach by the City to local groups that use the River—the North Bay Rowing Club, Yacht Club, etc. — will help to ensure those who regularly use the River will take extra precautions during the project’s two-week period.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The proposed contractor employs seasoned tug boat captains who navigate along the Petaluma River on a regular basis. The contractor is relying on this experience, as well as recent analysis, to ensure the operation is safe. Surveys done by the proposed contractor within 60 days of the start of this project estimate a “cushion” of 2 ft of tire width on port and starboard sides between the largest barge (the Sonnee Delight) and the Foundry Wharf docks.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The City docks at the southwest side of the Turning Basin, along the trestle, will not be removed or replaced during this project. The City is aware of the issues with these docks and plans to address those issues as part of the future Trestle Rehabilitation project.

The decision not to include the trestle-side docks was based on funding and timing: there is limited budget and a limited environmental window to undertake these projects each year. Per Council direction, the City is setting aside $700K a year to address dredging and dock issues in the Marina and Turning Basin. Dredging the areas missed in the 2020 and repairing the City Docks on the Northeast/Northwest side of the Turning Basin was prioritized by Council for 2022.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The Yacht Club docks will not be dredged during this project. The City plans to dredge that area near the Yacht Club Docks as part of the project to rehabilitate the Trestle. The Trestle project is currently in initial planning stages.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The proposed dredging depth is 8 feet below Mean Lower Low Water (-8’ MLLW) plus a one-foot over dredge allowance in the Turning Basin. Approximately 18,605 cubic yards (cy) of material would need to be dredged to reach this depth.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The proposed contractor estimates that 5 to 7 round trips will be made per day during the first 5 days of the operations. During the second week, this number will taper down to 3 to 4 round trips per day.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The Marina
Per Council direction, the City is setting aside $700K a year to address dredging and dock issues in the Marina and Turning Basin. The City is hoping to dredge around the Marina in 2023. Stay tuned for more news about this dredging project.

Yacht Club Docks
The area around the City docks on the southwest side of the Turning Basin – known by locals as the Yacht Club docks – will be dredged as part of the project to rehabilitate the Trestle. The Trestle project is currently in planning stages.

Maintenance Dredging along the Petaluma River
The City and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have an agreement for maintenance dredging every four years, if necessary.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

120×40 Barge – The Sonnee Delight
The proposed dredging contractor will use a 120x40 ft excavator barge—the Sonnee Delight — to do the float dismantling and dredging. The Sonnee Delight is up-fit with a material handler configured for up to -52 feet of excavation. The crane cycles a 5 cubic yard level-cut digging bucket.

Turning Basin FAQ IMAGE 1

4-5 Scows
Once lifted from the water, the dredged material will be loaded onto a smaller barge called a scow. The proposed contractor will use 4 to 5 scows in this project.

Fun fact: From the late 1800’s through the 1920’s scow schooners connected Petaluma and San Francisco by hauling cargo up and down the river.

2 Tug Boats
A mini truckable tug will be shifting the barges in the upper reaches of the Turning Basin and River. A slightly larger tug will shuttle the barges from the project site to the disposal site in the San Pablo Bay.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

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

Project Timing & Deadlines
The US Fish & Wildlife Agency will issue 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.

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

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

Excessive silt in the Turning Basin has made it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for larger boats to sail or motor into this area of 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.

The silt buildup has also caused problems for those wanting to launch kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and other small watercraft from the docks adjacent to the River Plaza shopping center. The docks and their associated pilings desperately need to be renovated, but that can’t happen with high silt levels.

A local, river-based nonprofit – Petaluma Small Craft Center (PSCC)– is particularly eager for the dredging to take place so that its boat rental center, The Floathouse, can operate safely at any tide, providing year round river access to all. Once the Turning Basin is dredged, they can move ahead with their plans. 

Removing silt will deepen the Turning Basin waters, providing habitat for a wider variety of fish and birds while providing better flood protection. That makes dredging a boon not only for boaters, but also for anglers, wildlife enthusiasts, riverfront businesses, and anyone who enjoys the river view.

Dredging means better recreation opportunities for more people, a revitalized riverfront economy and experience, and a riverfront area that’s better protected from rising sea levels and flooding.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The City of Petaluma is responsible for funding and managing this dredging project. The project went out for bid in mid-August, and the contract was awarded to Lind Marine at the September 19, 2022, City Council meeting. Read Staff Report Here.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The current contract for the dredging of the Turning Basin entails the following items: 

  • The removal, demolition, and disposal of the City docks on the east side of the Turning Basin, to allow for dredging. New float docks will be installed as part of a separate contract in 2023.
  • The removal, protection, and reinstallation of the Petaluma Small Craft Center Floathouse and the City’s west side Turning Basin docks designated for reinstallation. These designated sections of docks will be reinstalled immediately following the dredging in November 2022.
  • The removal and storage of the East (Weller Street) gangway.
  • The removal and reinstallation of the West gangway.
  • The installation of any and all temporary barriers to close off the gangway landings.
  • The dredging of the Petaluma Turning Basin to a design depth of minus 8.0 feet (-8.0 MLLW).

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

Dredging will take place within the Petaluma River Turning Basin, which encompasses the area between the D Street Bridge and the Balshaw Bridge (see map for details).

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The D Street Bridge must be raised to accommodate barges as they move sediment from the Turning Basin to a permitted site in San Pablo Bay. Frequent raising/lowering of the bridge would strain the bridge’s electrical/mechanical system. Keeping the Bridge raised will help us avoid a system overload and possible long term bridge shutdown. In our effort to dredge the Turning Basin, let’s not break the Bridge!

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The dredging and docks project will have the following impacts: 

D Street Bridge Closure – Expect Traffic Delays & Detours
The D Street Bridge will be closed to cars, bikes, and pedestrians (all traffic) Monday – Friday, October 3-October 18. The Bridge will be reopened Saturday-Sunday, October 8-9 and October 15-16.

The bridge closure will require all traffic to cross the river at Washington Street.  Trucks will need to detour through Petaluma Blvd. South using the 101 freeway to cross the river while avoiding the downtown.  

Golden Gate and Petaluma Transit will be rerouted during this time to avoid the D Street bridge. For more info on the transit routes, visit transit.cityofpetaluma.net/. 

No Watercraft Access to the Turning Basin During this Project
For safety reasons, access to the Turning Basin will be closed to the public from September 26 through October 18. Boats & personal watercraft – kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, etc. — will not be allowed in the Petaluma River between the D Street Bridge and the Balshaw pedestrian bridge.

No Access to Petaluma Small Craft Center Dock & City Docks (West Side)
The Petaluma Small Craft Center Floathouse and City dock on the West side of the Turning Basin will be removed on October 3, 2022, and reinstalled no later than October 18, 2022.

No Access to East Side City Dock & Gangway
The City  dock and gangway on the East Side of the Turning Basin will be removed on October 3, 2022, and will not be replaced for approximately 13 months, in November 2023. The footpath connecting the City dock to the shoreline along Weller Street (Cavanagh Landing) will be closed during that time.

Noise
Dredging can be noisy work. Those who live and/or work adjacent to the Turning Basin should be prepared to hear noise similar to heavy construction work Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There also might be noise throughout the day as barges travel back and forth from the work site to the disposal site in San Pablo Bay (SF-10). 

 

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The project will start October 3 and is expected to end by October 18, 2022. In the event of a delay, the contractor has until November 30, 2022, to complete the project, per the permitted environmental window.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

The USACE dredged some parts of the Turning Basin in 2020. The areas in the proposed 2022 project were not dredged for the following reasons: 

  • Timing – complete dredging of the Turning Basin could not happen within the short environmental window required by the US Fish & Wildlife permit.
  • Permitting – the planned USACE near the docks triggered other permits requiring additional surveys, analysis, and processing.
  • Logistics – the 2022 dredging was a major project involving federal, state, and local agencies, as well as utilities. Logistical challenges prevented the USACE, who managed the project, from dredging the entire Turning Basin.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

Excessive silt in the Turning Basin has made it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for larger boats to sail or motor into this area of 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.

The silt buildup has also caused problems for those wanting to launch kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and other small watercraft from the docks adjacent to the River Plaza shopping Center. The docks and their associated pilings desperately need to be renovated, but that can’t happen with high silt levels.

A local, river-based nonprofit – Petaluma Small Craft Center (PSCC)– is particularly eager for the dredging to take place.  PSCC has a long-term lease with the City for one of the docks, where they plan to build a boathouse, hold events, and offer improved access to the river.  

This project will do the dredging necessary to improve watercraft access to the entire Turning Basin as well as provide better clearance for using the City’s docks. The project also sets the stage for replacement of the existing Eastside City dock, along Weller Street, with a new, safer dock and pilings.

For more information on the Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration (2022), CLICK HERE.

Project Name: FLM Ceramics Studio
Address: 301 2nd Street [Map It]
APN: 137-250-003
City Record Number: PLUP-2022-0016
Applicant Name: Forrest Middleton, FLM Ceramics Studio
Date of Decision: On or after September 26, 2022

The application proposes an “Artisan/Craft Product Manufacturing” use in the T5 zoning district. The business would consist of a 4,000-square-foot professional artisan tile and ceramics studio, a 2,000-square-foot pottery teaching studio, and a 400-square-foot ceramics retail space fronting 2nd Street. The professional studio proposes to operate from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday; it and the retail space will be run by up to 5 staff. The teaching studio will accommodate 4 to 10 classes per week with each class having up to 10 students; the teaching studio is also proposed for use by a limited group with a studio membership, with never more than 20 people total in the teaching studio and hours limited to 9:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M., seven days a week. 14 parking spaces are available and 5 indoor bicycle spaces will be available.

For more information: 

 

“For Cause” reasons to terminate a tenancy include when a tenant: 

  • Fails to pay rent
  • Breaches rental agreement
  • Is convicted of Illegal activity on property
  • Threatens violence
  • Fails to cease activities causing nuisance
  • Fails to give access to landlord

Landlord can terminate a tenancy without cause (“no cause”) when:

  • Owner wants to remove a unit from the rental market
  • Owner or family member wants to occupy unit (see exceptions below
  • Substantial rehabilitation to the unit is needed for health and safety purposes

Exceptions:

    • Owner may not terminate a tenancy under the reason of “owner or family member wants to occupy unit” if:
      • The owner or owner’s relative who intends to move into the unit as their primary residence already occupies another dwelling unit on the same property unless the owner or owner’s relative is disabled and needs the unit for their disability. In such a case, the tenant being evicted shall have first right of refusal to rent the other unit.
      • The tenant is 62 years of age or older or is disabled, and has been residing in the unit for at least 10 years; or
      • The tenant is disabled and catastrophically ill and has been residing in the unit for at least one year.
    • Owner may not terminate a tenancy in retaliation of the tenant exercising their rights under the Ordinance

The Ordinance applies when tenants have continuously and lawfully occupied a rental unit within the City of Petaluma for:

  • 6 months – when owner does not live on the same property as the tenant
  • 12 months – when the owner lives on the same property as the tenant or if the tenant rents an accessory or junior accessory dwelling unit.

Exceptions:
The following situations are not subject to the Petaluma rules:

  • Dwelling units owned or subsidized by a government agency where the rent does not exceed 30% of household income.
  • Dwelling units in developments in which at least forty-nine percent of the dwelling units are subject to affordable housing deed restrictions
  • Dwelling units with tenant managers and
  • Dwelling units in which the owner resides with a tenant as the owner’s primary residence.

If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:

  • Get the victim to a shady area.
  • Cool the victim rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:

  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not
provided.

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Seek an air-conditioned environment.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.

The warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

The skin may be cool and moist. The pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. See medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, those with high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment.

If medical attention is not necessary, take the following steps:

  • Stop all activity and sit quietly in a cool place.
  • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
  • Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms – usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs that may occur in association with strenuous activity. People who sweat a lot during strenuous activity are more prone to heat cramps. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, seek medical attention
for heat cramps.

The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age, but is most common in young children. Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

The risk for heat-related illness and death may increase among people using the following drugs:

  • Psychotropics, which affect psychic function, behavior, or experience (e.g. haloperidol or chlorpromazine);
  • Medications for Parkinson’s disease, because they can inhibit perspiration;
  • Tranquilizers such as phenothiazines, butyrophenones, and thiozanthenes; and
  • Diuretic medications or “water pills” that affect fluid balance in the body

Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness. Consider visiting a shopping mall or public library for a few hours.

Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will provide shade and keep the head cool. If you must go outdoors, be sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going out and continue to reapply according to the package directions. Sunburns affect your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin.

People suffer heat-related illness when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions that can limit the ability to regulate temperature include old age, youth (age 0-4), obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug use and alcohol use.

Those at greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants and children up to four years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, and people who are ill or on certain medications.

To report an employer who is suspected of not paying the correct minimum wage, please complete the Petaluma minimum wage violation intake form or send an email to [email protected].

The City, rather than the State, is responsible for enforcing the proposed ordinance, just as it is responsible for enforcing any other law adopted by the City Council.

The proposed ordinance gives the City the right to investigate suspected violations and to request employee records as part of its investigation.

Other cities with similar ordinances have found that most violations are the result of an oversight by the employer or confusion about the types of employees covered, rather than an intentional effort to cheat employees. These cities have taken a conciliatory approach to correcting any employer errors.

The City of Petaluma is following the conciliatory model as well.

The Petaluma minimum wage ordinance gives employees, an employee representative, or any other person the right to report suspected violations. It also gives them the right to bring legal action against an employer. Finally, it discusses remedies if a violation is found.

Similar to the State’s wage requirements, the proposed Petaluma ordinance requires employers to inform employees of the local wage and their rights at the onset of their employment and on an annual basis.

Employers also need to put up posters or flyers listing the current wage and employee rights. These flyers need to be in the languages spoken by at least 10 percent of the workers. Each year the City will make available a .pdf copy of a sample poster with updated wage information.

Click below for a sample 2023 notification letter and 2023 poster.

Notification Letter (in English and Spanish)
Poster (in English and Spanish)

Commissions can be factored in when calculating the Petaluma minimum wage. Employers shall use State guidelines for calculating minimum wage for commissioned employees. The state minimum wage can be used to calculate wages for these employees, as long as their hourly wage is no less than the Petaluma minimum wage. Because this is a complex issue, we recommend you check with an attorney or a labor law expert.

State Wage Orders regulate wages, hours, and working conditions of industries. Under these wage orders, certain types of employees must be paid a defined percentage over the state minimum wage. For example, auto technicians who bring their own tools must be paid twice the state minimum wage.

The state minimum wage can be used to calculate wages for these employees, as long as their hourly wage is no less than the Petaluma minimum wage. Because this is a complex issue, we recommend you check with an attorney or a labor law expert.

This ordinance covers all employees who work at least 2 hours per week in the City limits and who qualify for the minimum wage according to the California Labor Code. Tips and benefits cannot be included when calculating the Petaluma minimum wage.

The ordinance does not apply to Federal, State, or County agencies. It also does not apply to work done outside the Petaluma City limits or to time an employee spends travelling through the city to get to another destination.

With the exception of Federal, State, and County agencies, all employers are subject to the Petaluma minimum wage.

Our water supplier, Sonoma Water, regularly reports on the latest water supply levels and provides context by comparing those levels to recent years. Click here to learn more.

For water saving tips, resources, and programs, visit the City’s Water Conservation webpage – CLICK HERE.

Whether it’s generational families expanding or new people joining our community, Petaluma is growing. With growth comes the need for additional housing.

To ensure there is enough housing for everyone to live affordably, the State of California determines projected population numbers and estimates the number of new housing units needed to meet demand. The State allocates each city a number of housing units that are required to be built to support the growing population.

The State also requires water suppliers to ensure there is enough water available for California communities. As a water supplier, the California Water Code requires Petaluma to prepare an Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) every five years to assess the reliability and availability of water for current and future needs over a 25-year planning horizon. Water demand projections take into consideration several factors including population and employment growth, anticipated development in the General Plan, a range of dry year scenarios, and more.

The California Water Code also requires the City to prepare an updated Water Shortage Contingency Plan (Shortage Plan) every five years, which defines water shortage levels and identifies response actions that reduce water use to meet a reduced water supply.

While required by the State to create new housing units, Petaluma values sustainable growth that offers affordable and diverse housing for our community. Some ways we protect our finite water supply – both year-round and during water shortage emergencies – while continuing to develop the housing our community needs, is to create rules and guidelines for new development. Some of these rules and guidelines include:

  • Building codes that require indoor and outdoor water efficiency.
  • Municipal code requirements for new and rehabilitated landscapes to use water efficiently and maintain a water budget based on plant type and landscaped area.
  • New development is only allowed to plant between November 1 and April 30.
    • Exception for stormwater treatment features.
    • Exception for mitigation plantings required by regulatory agencies.

As shown in the graph on this webpage, the population (red line) has increased over time while citywide water use has decreased. Improved indoor and outdoor water use efficiency has allowed us to serve more people with less water than we have historically. To ensure this is the case for many years to come, the City continues to expand its water supply portfolio and rules for new development so we are better prepared for future water shortages. Let’s make water conservation a way of life in Petaluma!

The City of Petaluma’s water system originated in the late 1800s, to meet the growing demand as development occurred in the downtown area. The City’s original water source was the headwaters of Adobe Creek. In 1910, the City constructed Lawler Reservoir in the hills east of Petaluma to boost water supply. In 1937, stream diversion facilities and a water treatment plant were constructed at Lawler Reservoir to supplement surface water supply.

In 1960, the City of Petaluma entered into an agreement with the Sonoma County Water Agency for the annual delivery of 4,500 acre-feet of water. In December 1961, the Sonoma County Water Agency completed the Petaluma Aqueduct and the City of Petaluma began taking delivery of water, along with the North Marin Water District, from the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Russian River Water System. The City decommissioned Lawler Reservoir in the early 1990s.

Yes. The City is currently delivering recycled water to golf courses, City parks, schools, and other landscaping areas. The City is actively expanding the recycled water service area.

The well will be located in the general vicinity of the labyrinth, but the exact location is not known. The location will be finalized to facilitate construction activities, equipment, and materials.

It is possible that restrictions from Sonoma Water, the City’s main water supply source, will cause the City to need to use more local supply throughout the year. The CEQA document limits the amount of water able to be produced from the well at a little over 200 AFY.

The City has an aquifer storage recovery study in the planning stages, which will evaluate using wells for injection to later be used as a potable water supply source.

The pump is a submersible type of pump and will be located hundreds of feet below the ground. The well will be virtually silent. The minimal sound being generated will most likely come from the electrical equipment in the well house.

There are general known formations described as “Wilson Grove Formations” and “Fractured Bedrock”. The exact formations and types of soil that will be encountered during the drilling process and depths are variable.

Any situation that disrupts the ability to deliver water or meet the needs of the community would be considered an emergency. The residents in the immediate vicinity of Oak Hill will benefit from the supply and pressure from the well, but ultimately, the well can be used by the entire community of Petaluma.

We are now in Stage 4 of this plan, designed to reduce our city’s water usage by 30% through mandatory potable water use restrictions. The restrictions below listed with a were updated on August 1, 2022.

ALL WATER CUSTOMERS

  • Limited outdoor watering schedule reduced to two times per week –  overnight Tuesday and Saturday from 7:00 pm. to 8:00 am.
  • * Planting restrictions:
    • Residential water customers permitted to plant, including food gardens (with the below exception)
    • Moratorium on installation on high-water use turf.
    • Planting is not encouraged during the summer months
    • Additional planting restrictions for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) customers:
      • No planting or replanting allowed that requires potable water
    • Additional planting restrictions for new development:
      • Planting is permitted between November 1 and April 30.
        • Exception for stormwater treatment features.
        • Exception for mitigation plantings required by regulatory agencies.
  • All hoses must be equipped with a hose-end nozzle.
  • Water users are reminded to fix leaks and eliminate water waste (this step is required even when we are not in a drought, per Petaluma Municipal Code) 
  • No application of potable water to sidewalks, driveways, buildings, structures, patios, parking lots, or other hard surfaced areas, except in cases where health and safety are at risk.
  • No vehicle washing at home – commercial car washes only.
  • * No operating non-recirculating ornamental water fountains and water features, including decorative lakes and ponds.
  • No irrigating turf on public medians.
  • Pool and spa covers are required by the Petaluma municipal code to be covered during non-business hours or while not in use.
  • * Moratorium on the issuance of permits for new pools and spas.
  • For Schools, Parks, and LADs – limited outdoor watering schedule two times a week – overnight Monday and Thursday between 7 pm to 8 am.
  • * Homeowner’s Associations are prohibited from penalizing homeowners who reduce or eliminate the watering of vegetation or lawns during a declared drought emergency, and from requiring a homeowner to reverse or remove water-efficient landscaping that has been installed in response to a drought emergency once a drought emergency is concluded.

COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL, INSTITUTIONAL (CII)

  • Water served in restaurants by request only.
  • Operators of hotels and motels to provide guest with option of choosing to have towels and linens laundered daily.
  • Street sweepers must use recycled water for street cleaning.
  • * Planting restrictions for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) customers:
    • No planting or replanting allowed that requires potable water
    • Moratorium on installation on high-water use turf.
    • Food gardens permitted.

NEW DEVELOPMENT

  • * Planting restrictions for new development:
    • Planting is permitted between November 1 and April 30.
      • Exception for stormwater treatment features.
      • Exception for mitigation plantings required by regulatory agencies.
    • Moratorium on installation on high-water use turf.
    • Food gardens permitted.
  • * Moratorium on the issuance of permits for new pools and spas.

CONSTRUCTION

  • Recycled water must be used for dust control when available.
  • Number of recycled water haulers permitted to use recycled water for purposes other than construction to be determined by City Manager.
  • Potable water meters for construction limited to use for water line hydrostatic testing and chlorination. Water meters for construction will be evaluated on case-by-case basis.

AGRICULTURE

  • No new water hauler accounts permitted to purchase potable water (or as determined by City Manager.) The Santa Rosa Plain Drought Resiliency Project is exempt from this provision.
  • Current potable water hauler accounts will not be allowed to haul more than current allocation, and load accounts will be monitored for monthly usage.

STATE RESTRICTIONS

  • Commercial, industrial, institutional non-functional turf must not be watered. Exceptions apply.
    • Effective June 16, 2022, commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) non-functional turf must not be irrigated in California pursuant to recently adopted State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) regulations. Homeowners Associations’ common areas, unless it meets one of the other exemptions listed below, are included in this turf irrigation ban.
    • The State has defined non-functional turf as, “Turf that is solely ornamental and not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events.”
    • The State Water Board’s regulation states that some turf areas are exempt from the turf irrigation ban. The CII turf may still be watered after June 10, 2022 if the property owner or account holder determines that one or more of the following is true:
      • The turf is used for human recreation, civic purposes, sports or play.
      • The turf is irrigated with recycled water.
      • The turf is irrigated with non-potable water (water that is not permitted for use as a drinking water supply).
      • The turf is on the same valve as at least one tree or perennial non-turf plantings.
      • The turf is at a residential location, not at a commercial, industrial, or institutional location. The exception to this is common areas in Homeowners Associations sites. Unless one of the above exemptions applies, HOA common areas are included in this turf irrigation ban.
    • This emergency regulation adopted under Water Code section 1058.5 may remain in effect for up to one year, unless rescinded earlier, or extended by the State Water Board.
    • Please go to the State Water Board’s Water Conservation Emergency Regulations webpage for more information: bit.ly/conservationreg.

Al igual que los proveedores de agua de cierto tamaño en California, la ciudad de Petaluma debe mantener un plan para garantizar que se satisfagan las necesidades de agua durante los próximos 20 años. Este plan, actualizado cada 5 años, se denomina Plan de Gestión del Agua Urbana (UWMP, por sus siglas en inglés). Además de la planificación para años normales de uso de agua, el UWMP incluye proyecciones ante condiciones de sequía, como las que estamos experimentando ahora. Estas condiciones se abordan a través de un Plan de Contingencia de Escasez de Agua de múltiples etapas. Ahora estamos en la Etapa 4 del Plan de Contingencia de Escasez de Agua 2020 Modificado de la Ciudad, diseñado para reducir el uso de agua de nuestra ciudad en un 30% a través de restricciones obligatorias.

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