City of Riverside to Hold Virtual City Council Meeting Tuesday

Published: 3/27/2020


March 27, 2020 


Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer


[email protected]



City of Riverside to Hold Virtual City Council Meeting Tuesday

Items for discussion include ban on evictions, housing project at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
En español: https://www.riversideca.gov/press/la-ciudad-de-riverside-tendrá-reunión-virtual-del-concilio-municipal-este-martes

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside will hold its first virtual City Council meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday (3/31) and will include an option for members of the public to provide a pilot “drive up public comment” from the safety of their vehicles in the parking lot of City Hall.

Items on the agenda include a proposed moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants for non-payment of rent for the next 60 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic; a review of emergency orders issued during the pandemic; and a public hearing on a proposal to build 50 affordable housing units at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.

The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

“We all are changing our behavior in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe during this very serious health threat,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “We are bringing this same mindset to how we do the public’s business, so we will see you online and look forward to your feedback.”

A live webcast of the meeting will be available at www.engageriverside.com, and members of the public will have several ways to provide input. They include:

* File an eComment at www.engageriverside.com

* Send an email to [email protected]

* Drive up at 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. to a video link set up in the parking lot of City Hall, 3900 Main Street.

The meeting can be held because Gov. Newsom’s call for the public to stay at home in order to stifle the spread of COVID-19 includes an exemption for essential government services. He also has issued an order that enables virtual government meetings and suspends some usual meeting requirements. That order can be found here.

The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. with closed sessions for legal matters, which are not open to the public.

The virtual meeting starts at 5 p.m. and includes an update on how the city is battling the spread of COVID-19, as well as three other related items, including the moratorium on evictions.

Then, at 7 p.m., the City Council will take public comment on any matter, then proceed to a discussion of the St. Michael’s project.

“COVID-19 cases are increasing in Riverside County, so these precautions are absolutely necessary,” Mayor Pro Tem Erin Edwards said. “I am encouraged by our city’s efforts to protect public health while also innovating public comment procedures to ensure that residents are heard.”

People who wish to comment on the eviction discussion at 5 p.m., provide public comment at 7 p.m., or speak on the St. Michael’s project at 7 p.m. are encouraged to avail themselves of the online resources listed above. The City Council chambers will not be open to the public, and most elected officials will be participating in the meeting from outside the chambers using a computer and an online meeting tool.

Members of the public who wish to speak in person on items on the 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. portions of the agenda should make plans to do so from their vehicles. A camera system, with communications personnel in attendance, will be set up on the west side of City Hall in a parking lot. Speakers should plan to access this option by driving south on Orange Street from University Avenue and points to the north, turn right on Ninth Street, then turn left down Mariposa Alley and then right on 10th street before turning right into the parking lot.

Signs will be posted, and police officers will direct motorists and maintain order. Motorists who attempt to access the line by driving west on Ninth Street from Lemon or Lime streets will be required to circle the block and enter the back of the line on Orange Street.

The St. Michael’s housing item has previously been delayed and is being heard at this meeting because, if the issue is delayed further and then approved, deadlines for crucial funding sources will have passed.

The meeting, and the drive-up public comment option are part of an evolving decision to how to do the public’s business while keeping everyone as safe as possible from COVID-19. Future meetings will collect public comment by email, e-comment and letters delivered by mail.

For the latest information and resources regarding COVID-19 -- www.RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19