Affordable housing out, restrooms in

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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Citing the hard-hit real estate market as a deciding factor, city leaders ended an eight-year affordable housing policy. Folsom City Council members unanimously approved the second reading of the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance last week, council members said they considered it an outdated affordable housing requirement placed on builders. After 30 days, it takes effect. Any residential projects approved after Feb. 24 will not be subject to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, effectively ending the affordable housing requirement on developers. The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance used to provide all development projects of 10 or more units set aside 15 percent of the total number of units to be affordable-to-low income (5 percent) and very low-income (10 percent) households. In other business, the council approved funding for the first phase of the renovation project at the Dan Russell Arena. The city approved $195,000 from redevelopment funds for the first step in the renovation process, said Robert Goss, Parks and Recreation director. Approved cost includes the demolition of the existing restrooms, asbestos assessment and purchase of two mobile modular restrooms and an allocated cost of $40,000 for improved pedestrian access and safety on Stafford Street in Folsom. The two mobile modular restrooms include 10 fixtures in each, costing $130,000 total. “We are identifying our priorities and taking the first step,” Goss said. Tim Plummer, 63, is the owner of Motorfest Productions Company in Folsom and is looking to use the arena for their upcoming Folsom Motorfest show in June. “Some of the renovations would improve our event greatly,” Plummer said. “The restrooms are a mess. That was the catalyst that started this whole renovation project in the first place. They are looking to make the arena more of a community facility for all sorts of community events.” Goss said because of the sheer expense of the project, the city allowed staff to look into mobile restrooms to use in other city events. “The council appreciated the flexibility of mobile restrooms because it improves the city events and is a wise expenditure of public funds,” Goss said. City staff will report back to the Folsom City Council again at a later date to discuss detailed plans for phase one and phase two of the renovation process. Goss said the next meeting date has not been decided at this time. “We believe we will have the new restrooms available for the upcoming rodeo,” Goss said.