A list of requirements from the county came as a surprise to the staff of Our Daily Bread Ministries, as part of its efforts to become an official rescue mission for the area.
Director Mike Justice brought a list of conditions to the Triplicate, which seemed difficult, if not impossible for the mission to achieve. He noted he just paid the $1,700 permit fee to become a rescue mission.
“We have the building we purchased, we have the expertise, we have the ability to make this happen,” Justice said, “but what we don’t have is the money to do all these requirements.
“Basically we’re asking if the community could step up and someone who knows about this stuff and is willing to come on and troubleshoot for us,” Justice said. “Obviously we’re going to need a lot of financing to have a simple 16-bed mission. As it stands, it seems like ‘mission impossible.’”
Justice said some conditions appear to have changed, including parking space requirements and the length of the term. He said the original term was to be two years but a recommendation on the list asks for reapplication on one year.
Staff member Daphne Cortese-Dean said it was originally proposed that local agencies would come together to make the rescue mission a community reality.
“For a privately-funded nonprofit, we are going to need some serious grants,” Justice said, estimating drainage requirements to top $100,000.
He said some of the smaller requirements are achievable, but without some technical help, “I see a whole lot of impossible there.” He said he and his staff are not trying to be hostile but logical about the process and how to move forward.
“We’ve done our part,” he said. “Now we need help.”
The list came from the most recent county Environmental Review Committee meeting. The first page of the 2 0 conditions seemed achievable enough, with mandates like obtaining necessary building permits, installing a bicycle rack, providing 19 parking spaces, employing four staff members, and creation of a legal agreement that holds the county harmless in the event of legal action.
However, the second page asks the applicant improve the right-of-way for the full frontage of the property, including installing drainage features, Caltrans-approved curbs, five-foot sidewalks, and drainage adequate to handle runoff from a 10-year-storm.
It also says the applicant shall submit road improvement plans to the engineering division for review, a traffic control plan, secure an encroachment permit, bond for any improvements that impact a county right of way, and provide a civil engineer’s estimate to construct the improvements and repair any damage to existing infrastructure.
Lastly, it recommends the applicant submit a sewer capacity analysis prepared by a licensed civil engineer, purchase additional sewer capacity from the city and demonstrate that a sewer cleanout exists.
Asked if the list of requirements would be common for such a project, County Engineer Rosanna Bower said, “They’re not uncommon...”
Bower used the example of requiring a sidewalk plan, which would assume the mission’s thrift store is to remain open during construction. The plan would need to show how the public safety would be ensured during construction, should they use the sidewalk to go through the construction zone.
Bower said committee members determined that a lot of the population using the shelter would have bicycles, so it was decided the mission should have a bike rack providing seven spaces, one for every two beds.
She said a traffic control plan would similarly show how a lane might be closed if needed during construction, so that staff may discuss it.
When it came to the recommended improvements to the frontage of the building, Bower noted curbs, sidewalks and gutters are a code requirement for the frontage of the 80-foot wide parcel. She said the committee could recommend more than that, but chose to keep the paving and sidewalk requirement to the minimum.
Bower noted since neither the planning commission or ERC can change the code, the list included language that any request for modifications to the conditions can be filed with the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors within 10 days of the planning commission’s approval of a use permit.
“We’re here to work with them,” Bower said, “and let them know what’s available to them.”
She said the recommendations are not set in stone and will ultimately be accepted, amended or rejected by the planning commission.
The next planning commission meeting is 6 p.m. July 5 in the board of supervisors chambers. Meetings are open to the public.
Reach Tony Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org