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Bellflower Moves Forward on Vehicle Lifts, Continues UUT

By Tammye Mcduff

The Bellflower City Council, at its regular December 8 meeting, considered going forward with the current pilot program that allowed installation of 42 vehicle lifts within a multiple residential zone in the city.

Vehicle lifts have been typically utilized in dense urban cities for the purposes of addressing off-street parking requirements. Vehicle lifts have also been commonly utilized for commercial uses such as car dealerships and parking garages.

In late 2011, the City Council heard from the Advanced Group who expressed their desire to install vehicle lifts at the Sherwood Apartments located at 14500 McNab Avenue.

The City Council requested a pilot program be prepared for the vehicle lifts that allowed the existing vehicle lifts to remain on the subject site. The pilot program also allowed the relocation of the forty-two (42) the lifts within the property.

According to the property management team, 100% of the vehicle lifts are being occupied by residents of the apartment complex.

Vehicle lifts are leased to tenants for an additional $75 per month to offset the cost of installation.

The property management team has had no issues and because of the continued demand for off-street parking, they would consider expanding the use of vehicle lifts if additional funding becomes available.

An examination showed that the lifts are in good condition, well maintained, and adequately screened from McNab Avenue by the location of existing residential buildings and landscaping in the adjacent planters.

After evaluating the use of vehicle lifts located at Sherwood, the city found it reasonable to create development standards that would allow for lifts on a permanent basis within the multiple residential zone.

In other news, council considered whether the provisions of the city’s Utility Users’ Tax should continue in effect or be modified or repealed.

According to city ordinances, “a public hearing to be held at the first regular meeting of the City Council in the month of December of each year … at which time the City Council shall consider whether the provisions of this ordinance shall continue in effect or be modified or repealed.”

City Manager Jeff Stewart and Staff recommended the UUT should remain in effect in its present form. The City projects that the UUT revenue will be approximately $3,660,000 for fiscal year 2014-2015.

The present UUT was approved by Bellflower voters on March 4, 1997. The imposed tax is equal to five percent of the gross charges made to each service user in the City for telephone, including cell phones; electricity, and natural gas.

Bellflower voters approved Measure A in 2009 which revised the original UUT ensuring that the use of Internet based telecommunication and other technologies would remain taxable.

Voters then approved Measure P in 2012, raising the UUT rate from 5% to 7% for a period of five years, spanning from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018. A 2% increase will automatically be removed at the end of the five-year period, reverting the UUT tax to the original 5%.

As part of the UUT, Staff also recommended the Community Policing Program should continue.

The city’s Public Safety Review Committee is tasked to review and make recommendations to council regarding the implementation of the City’s Community Policing Program and the expenditure of funds.

At the regular November 18, 2014, meeting, the Public Safety Review Committee unanimously recommended that the Community Policing Program should continue and that the existing Utility Users’ Tax should continue in effect, and in its current form.

Although not mandated by law, 80% of UUT revenues are allocated to community policing while the remaining 20% is distributed to capital improvements. As of December 2014 capital improvements include tree replacements, handicapped ramps, pocket parks; open space improvements; as well as compliance with slurry seal, street resurfacing and replacement of sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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