City of Riverside Update and Working Draft Action Plan on Neighborhood Livability


City of Riverside

Update and Working Draft Action Plan on Neighborhood Livability

UNA Meeting

  1. Internal staff meetings that have occurred and the outcomes

  • On Thursday, June 27, 2013 UCR staff (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Community and Local Government Relations Officer, and a representative from UNET) and City staff from various City Departments including City Management, City Attorney’s Office, Code Enforcement, Police, Fire, Building Division, Planning Division, and Public Works Traffic Division discussed the neighborhood issues raised at City Council meetings of June 18 and June 25. Discussion included existing Codes, programs, tools and remedies and how are they working, what is being enforced, what is not and what other strategies could be employed to address the neighborhood issues identified by the residents in the University Neighborhood. As a result of this meeting, various action steps have been identified that can be implemented now with the support of the community.

  • On Monday, July 1, 2013 – UCR conducted their internal staff meeting and will be collaborating with the City and the residents.

  • On July 1, 2013 at the monthly meeting of the Riverside Neighborhood Partnership (RNP) three residents from the University Neighborhood addressed the board during Public Comment about the ongoing student housing concern the residents in the area have been dealing with over the past several years. The residents requested the assistance of the board to help advocate on their behalf. Several RNP board members earlier that evening had been encouraged by the Mayor to step in and become involved in the ongoing situation. At the end of the meeting, RNP formed a University Task Force comprised of the following board members:

  • Jeff Kraus who represents UCR

  • Gurumantra Khalsa who represents the University Neighborhood

  • Jeff Wright, RNP Chair who represents the Magnolia Neighborhood

  • Paul Chavez who represents Casa Blanca Neighborhood

  • Scott Andrews who represents the Arlanza Neighborhood

The RNP University Task Force met on July 8, 2013 to organize and discuss the role of the RNP in building the bridge between the neighborhood and the City. The Task Force identified several items and will be sharing those at the July 9 meeting at 5 p.m. with City staff and other involved parties.

  • The City has designated staff as point of contacts for the University Neighborhood: Gary Merk, Code Enforcement Manager, Office number 951-826-5633 or via email at and Hilda Gonzalez, Office of Neighborhoods Office number 951-826-2390 or via email at

  1. A list of new or enhanced enforcement and information actions that the City has taken in light of the recent complaints by the University Neighborhood (ie: handouts at the counter informing applicants of Room Rental Ordinance; additional Code Enforcement efforts in the University Neighborhood, etc.)

  • The following University Neighborhood Action Steps include existing actions that can be taken now and new or enhanced enforcement that can be implemented now to address recent complaints by the University Neighborhood has been prepared and will be available for handout as described below.

  • University Neighborhood Action Steps

  • Purpose: To improve quality of life for residents in the area around UCR (including University and Canyon Crest neighborhoods) who are impacted by students who reside off-campus. Italicized items represent new actions.

  1. Enforce Existing Laws

    1. Noise/Parties

      1. RPD can enforce Municipal Code violations, do not need a reporting party

      2. Noise – RMC Chapter 7 provides that it is unlawful for any person to make, continue, or cause to be made or continued any disturbing, excessive or offensive noise which causes discomfort or annoyance to reasonable persons of normal sensitivity, both RPD and Code can cite for violations

      3. Loud or Large Parties – RMC 9.60 pertains to loud or large parties on private property and provides for police response and billing of the costs to the responsible person

      4. Party Patrols – RPD, UNET and Code

      5. Maintain database of calls/master list of problem properties (Code/RFD/RPD)

    1. Property Maintenance

      1. Code can cite for apparent violations of room rental ordinance – RMC 19.150.020(A) and Boarding House Ordinance – RMC 19.150.020 (B) (visit properties during hours when students will be present [early morning/evening] not during school hours)

      2. Property maintenance standards – RMC 6.14 requires that landscaping be provided and maintained (not dead or overgrown) and free of weeds and debris

      3. Public Nuisance Abatement – RMC 6.15 allows for the abatement of violations (including but not limited to trash, weeds, overgrown/dead landscaping, discards, outdoor storage of personal property, peeling paint, loud/unusual noises, foul/noxious odors, stagnant water)

      4. Trash cans – RMC 6.04.030 states that trash cans cannot be placed curbside earlier than 6 pm the day preceding collection and must be removed by 8 pm the day of collection

      5. Parking – RMC Title 10 provides for enforcement of parking and traffic regulations including on-street parking in excess of 72 hours, parking to impede traffic and RMC 19.580 restricts off-street parking to paved areas

      6. Dedicate a staff person to proactively enforce the area including sweeps the day after trash is picked up to look for trash cans/other violations

    1. Parking – Residents can petition for preferential parking zone in their area.

  1. Educate Property Owners on resources at City Hall for help

    1. Designate City Point of Contact for neighbors:

Gary Merk, Code Enforcement Manager

Office number 951-826-5633 or via email at

Hilda Gonzalez, Office of Neighborhoods

Office number 951-826-2390 or via email at

    1. How to Report a Violation

      1. Call 3-1-1 or use 311 Mobile App

      2. Can be anonymous

    1. Planning Commission Workshop on the Neighborhood Livability Program

      1. Thursday, July 18, 9 am or thereafter

    1. Establish a Community Meeting

      1. Prior to start of UCR Fall Term (September 26, 2013)

    1. Direct Mail – Building upon UNA “Who to Call” handout, supplement and send informational piece to residents and absentee property owners informing them of the rules and expectations, noting how to report a violation and the potential penalties which can be incurred by residents and property owners

    1. Permit Process

      1. Room additions (interior or exterior) to receive copy of room rental ordinance when permit is issued

  1. Educate Students

    1. Student orientation

      1. Good Neighbor Guidelines and consequences

      2. City hosted information booth

    1. UCR Office of Student Affairs

  1. Implement new/amended laws

    1. Room Rental Ordinance

    2. Social Host Ordinance

  1. When does the City anticipate incorporating members of the University Neighborhood into a discussion regarding what the City and UCR propose to do and allow them to share their ideas with us?

  • The City has invited members of the University Neighborhood to the July 9 meeting with City Staff, UCR Representatives, to discuss the City’s Action Strategy, Rental of Rooms Ordinance and listen to their concerns as to how the plan can best work in their neighborhood. From this meeting City staff is eager to hear their input and let them know the City values their input and wants to do whatever is needed to help correct the problems occurring in their neighborhood.

  • In addition, the University Neighborhood is encouraged to attend and provide input at a City Planning Commission workshop on the Neighborhood Livability Program/Rental of Rooms Ordinance at its Thursday, July 18, 2013 meeting which will be held in the City Council Chambers. A staff report will be available for public review on Friday, July 12, 2013.

  • The University Neighborhood Association (UNA) meets monthly on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Crest Community Church located at 3431 Mt. Vernon Rd, Riverside, CA 92507. City staff has been invited to attend the July 11, 2013 meeting. Staff has been informed that about 75 residents may be in attendance and look forward to their input.

  • On August 6 the University Neighborhood will participate and host an event for the 30th Annual National Night Out. The event will take place at Islander Park. City staff, UCR representatives, and neighbors have made plans to join in the celebration.

  • On August 8, City staff will attend the monthly meeting of the neighborhood group and provide a status update to the community.

  • In September City staff, UCR staff and residents will participate in various student meetings to inform them of City ordinances, laws and consequences, along with tips on being a good neighbor. The first day of classes in on Thursday, September 26. Move in day on the campus is September 22. Students living off campus usually move in about a week before classes begin.

  1. How does the City intend to partner with UCR to address this issue with their incoming class this year

  • UCR and City Staff will jointly work together in collaboration to be part of the orientation with students before the start of the new school year.

  • UCR and City Staff will jointly work together to hold a community meeting before the start of the school year.

  1. Anticipated concerns from community

    • RPD’s response time to party calls – need of complaining party (resident) to sign noise complaint and possible retribution as a result thereof, giving their personal information to dispatch and reporting officer (not anonymously). Note: Chapter 7.35 of the Noise Ordinance – neither a reporting party nor a citizen’s arrest are required for a criminal citation to be issued for a violation.

    • Overflow of trash and debris at the end of each quarter.

    • Excess vehicles in the residential neighborhood during school hours.

    • Number of students living in a single family dwelling.

    • Absentee landlords who are not being responsible for their tenants.

    • City of Riverside’s Community Development Department’s Planning and Building Divisions allowing of the subdivision of rooms in a single family dwelling through permitting process.

  1. Code Enforcement proactive response to the community

    • Code Enforcement team patrolling the neighborhood looking for violations, plus additional patrols on the weekends.

    • Code Enforcement will develop a spread sheet tracking problem properties, landlords, and students violating City Ordinances.

    • A Senior Code Enforcement Officer Chris Pullin has been assigned to oversee all student housing related complaints.

    • Establishment of new strategies to enforce Room Rental Ordinance.

    • Code Enforcement will use the City’s Neighborhood Livability Program to address student housing.

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