Tuesday, July 27, 2010

City Council meeting tonight

In its last meeting before the summer break, the city council will have a lot to discuss. The open session meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the city council chamber.

The council will consider a proposal by a private operator, Children's Source, LLC, to run the city's preschool and Tiny Tots programs. With the recent budget cuts, funding was no longer available for the city to subsidize the programs. The lease agreement would allow the operator to use the city's facilities over the next 5 years.

The owner of boutique gift shop Three French Hens is interested in taking over the vacant retail space in the Village West parking structure. Owned by the city, the retail space was recently vacated by Bedol What's Next and is available for lease. The council will be asked to approve the terms of the lease agreement.

Two Packing House businesses have applied for funding from the city for business improvements. The city has a CDBG job creation grant to attract new businesses and support business expansion in the city that create new jobs in town.

The Hip Kitty Jazz & Fondue Lounge wants to expand into the former art gallery space located in the Packing House. The Packing House Wine Merchant also wants to expand into the former Claremont Forum bookstore space. Both are requesting $50,000 from the city as the projects would create 2 full time equivalent jobs for the businesses.

The council will also consider relaxing the city's code on business signage to allow businesses more freedom to advertise and promote themselves. If approved, the amended ordinance would:

-Allow businesses to have freestanding identification signs in addition to building-mounted signs.
-Permit multi-tenant center signs if included as part of a center sign program.
-Establish that the city will adopt a multi-tenant center sign enhancement program to promote more effective identification of tenants.
-Allow center identification signs that have only the name of the center in addition to the multi-tenant signs.
-Remove distance requirement for freestanding freeway-oriented signs and permit the identification of more than 3 tenants on freestanding freeway-oriented signs.

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