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San Juan Bautista City Council members at their Sept. 20 meeting adopted an ordinance that regulates the operation of businesses out of residences.

The ordinance was first addressed at the August 16 meeting, where City Manager Roger Grimsley and Assistant City Manager Rudy Luquin said they recognized there was a weakness in the existing municipal code that allowed people to open any type of business out of their home. 

“Currently, our municipal code hasn’t had any control on people conducting businesses out of their homes. We felt that it was necessary to establish some kind of criteria,” said Grimsley. 

The ordinance will be policed through the planning department’s code enforcement staff. “Like most things, it requires a use permit and there’s some conditions: they have to come to city hall to open up the businesses,” said Grimsley. 

New stop sign approved

In other action, the council also approved a stop sign at Franklin Street and The Alameda with additional one-way traffic on Third and Fourth streets. 

“We felt that that it was important to address this by establishing a four-way stop sign and when we analyzed we felt the it was a good remedy for the pedestrian and car traffic,” Grimsley said. “But then we got to looking at the width of Franklin street, westbound on Third and Fourth; it’s narrow, particularly in the day when there’s cars parked on each side of the street that does not allow two cars to pass each other. So when we looked at that whole area, we came up with a one-way traffic pattern, westbound on Franklin Street from Third to Fourth and eastbound one-way traffic from Fourth to Third and that’ll give us some continuity.”

Fire district decision

The council approved a resolution that will allow them to explore the option of being a part of a fire district. 

Defined bt the California Health and Safety Code 13800, a fire district is a “special” district  that is usually independent of any city or county government and is funded by a portion of residents’ property taxes and a special tax assessment on properties within that district.

“This resolution, all it’s really doing is opening up the communication between the city of Hollister and the county to look into a fire district,” said Councilman Robert Lund.“It may come back to where we may not want to be a district, we may want to keep it private, we may want to go on our own, but all this is doing is opening up the communication.”

Councilman Jim West added, “People need to know that if the fire district were to become a reality, people would be taxed. There would be a special tax for that.”

In other council news, Helena Kleinschmidt, owner of the antique shop Fool’s Gold, was selected as the city’s volunteer to honor on Philanthropy Day. Philanthropy Day takes place Nov. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at San Juan Oaks.