Clayton looks at parking, sign rules

The City Council is considering a residents’ request for a residential permit parking program for Regency and Rialto drives.

While all council members expressed a desire to mitigate impacts to the Regency and Rialto neighbors, the council disagreed as to what actions should be taken initially and whether to create an on-street, parking-by-permit only program available solely to adjacent residents and their guests. By a 3-2 vote, the council decided to further consider a draft parking-by-permit only program at a future meeting. (For more, see story on Page 3 of the FEB 15 Pioneer.)

Temporary non-commercial signs. Historically, Clayton has regulated the size and number of political and other non-commercial signs fairly restrictively. More recent case law prohibits content-based local sign ordinances although still authorizes cities to regulate, for example, the size and location of signs, provided such regulation is content neutral. The council recently reexamined its sign ordinance for all temporary, non-commercial signs. A majority of the council wanted to restrict individual sign size, to the extent legally permissible, in order to avoid large billboards in our residential districts. With a 4-1 vote, the council provided direction for staff to prepare a draft ordinance that would limit individual sign size to a maximum of 16 sq. ft. but no limit on the number or total area of signs per private property.

Weed control policies. Like most cities, Clayton uses glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup) sparingly to eliminate weeds in public landscaping areas, such as medians and right-of-ways, but not in park turf areas. The Maintenance Department employs certain “best management practices” and recently added another measure that allows residents to be aware of when and where such herbicides are being sprayed. During the one hour it takes for the herbicide to dry, maintenance will post signage across the area to alert passersby and dye the herbicide blue. Glyphosate use and application method on private property areas is up to each property owner and homeowners association, as applicable.

Property tax update. Originating from 1978’s Prop. 13, Clayton is considered a “low property tax city.” We receive about 7 percent of the 1 percent ad valorem property tax our residents pay to the county – less than the typical 11-12 percent other cities receive. That means a Clayton property owner paying $10,000 annually in ad valorem property taxes only results in about $700 in general revenue to the city. More than 50 percent of the general revenues received by the city each year go to operate our Police Department. Other revenue sources, such as in-lieu vehicle license fees and sales taxes, are necessary to keep the city operational. SB1 gas tax money is one revenue source that helps the city maintain its roads. Clayton’s Pavement Condition Index score is 84/100 (very good), tying for second place with El Cerrito among 101 Bay Area cities, compared to the Bay Area’s average road condition rating of 67 (fair).

Mayor’s office hours. 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Cup O’ Jo and 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Clayton Historical Museum (coinciding with museum hours).

Contact Mayor Catalano at tcatalano@ci.clayton.ca.us. For more updates, follow her at www.facebook.com/CouncilmemberTuijaCatalano.