Concerned business patrons and owners discussed the slow process that new business owners must go through in order to finally open their doors to the public.

The Mount Shasta city council meeting on Tuesday went in many different directions, as the council discussed Burney Disposal services, firework safety, and the slowed rate of new business openings in town.

Concerned business patrons and owners discussed the slow process that new business owners must go through in order to finally open their doors to the public.

“How can we expedite the process?” asked Mount Shasta’s Bayla Greenspoon.

Greenspoon, along with Nion Shepherd, owner of Alua Kombucha, commented on the slow process.

“We have almost 10 new restaurants waiting to open here,” Shepherd stated. His major concern is the amount of time it takes, due to slow initial processing and a time consuming plan check process. “I’m asking you to look at your plan check system,” he said.

Shepherd went on to tell the council that businesses “want to be open now,” and are “all waiting” on a response and approval.

Council member John Redmond said he could attest to these statements as a business owner himself. He said he went through the same arduous process.

“It’s snail mail,” Redmond stated.

City Planner Juliana Lucchesi said complaints she has received generally come from a building’s inability to meet ADA requirements.

The ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of public life.

“It’s a human right to have access,” Lucchesi said. “Human rights (health based rights) cannot be grandfathered in,” she added.

ADA issues are generally complaint based. Because the law was enacted in the early 1990s, many businesses in Mount Shasta are not up to current ADA code standards, and unless the city steps in or an individual complains, updates generallly are not made.

City manager Bruce Pope recommended that all new business owners be sure to do their research.

“The pre-development meeting is a good place to talk about these issues,” he said, going on to say that “without the meeting, new owners will start doing building modifications that can be halted halfway through construction because there could be a violation” revealed during plan check, or a code that wasn’t enforced in the initial build.

“Restaurants have very stringent policies. If you remodel you need to stay diligent ... It’s a serious undertaking,” said Pope.

Fire safety measures

Mayor Barbara Wagner said she attended the Pacific Power fire mitigation discussion that took place on Wednesday, June 19. She mentioned that a lot of residents are still concerned about evacuation routes with the current road construction slowing traffic on Interstate 5.

Wagner said she has extended an invitation to CAL FIRE’s public information officer to make up fire scenarios to map out easily routed evacuation plans.

“The unknown is scaring people,” Wagner said.

Councilor Jefferey Collings suggested that people educate themselves about fire mitigation.

“There is tree cutting happening around homes with high volage power lines,” he said. Trees with power lines overhead should be a certain distance away from the lines.

Collings went on to talk about how the company cutting trees is working with homeowners to keep their homes looking the way they want, while easing the risks of electrically induced fire.

Solid waste concerns

In an effort to clarify citizen concerns regarding the new company providing solid waste services in Mount Shasta’s city limits, finance director Muriel Howarth-Terrell and Lucchesi have been working with Burney Disposal.

The city is working to construct a franchise agreement with the company which would encompass the necessary and desired services required of them.

Lucchesi reported that services at the moment are based on state mandates, which need to be met through a series of meetings to bring awareness of codes and updates.

“We anticipate a survey ... to solicit what kind of services they should offer and when,” she stated. “It’s meant to establish people’s willingness to pay for services offered.”

When concerns of varying times, noises, and wildlife were brought up, both Lucchesi and Howarth-Terrell noted that the disposal company is working on routes to figure out which are the most effective.

Lucchesi suggested that people concerned with animal activity should take matters into their own hands.

“There are a number of strategies you can take to bear proof,” she said.

Mount Shasta City Hall offers bear smart pamphlets that discuss the dangers of attracting bears, and how they can be counteracted, she added.