The next City Council meeting, normally scheduled for the first Monday of the month, will be postponed to Tuesday Sept. 8 because of Labor Day. Among the items discussed at Monday's meeting of the Barstow City Council:

Update of the Housing Element The Barstow City Council voted to continue a public hearing on an update to the Housing Element of the Barstow General Plan until the next scheduled meeting. Community Development Director Brent Morrow said the city has worked with Willdan Engineering, an Anaheim-based consulting firm, for the past year-and-a-half to update the Housing Element. According to the agenda item, the Housing Element is required by state law to be updated every five years. This Housing Element covers a period of eight years from 2006 to 2014.

In a short presentation to the City Council, Albert Warot, a consultant with Willdan Engineering, said his firm's work involved updating the existing housing conditions and projecting housing needs. The updated element would accommodate current and future population growth, he said. The city submitted the final element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for review. Written confirmation from the department that the updated element is in compliance with state law was received in July.
When the matter was open for questions from the City Council, Barstow Mayor Joe Gomez and Councilmember Timothy Silva said they would like to continue with the public hearing and make a decision at the next City Council meeting.

Development Impact Fee payment The City Council approved the first reading and introduction of an ordinance that would amend the Barstow Municipal Code to require that development impact fees be paid at the time of final building inspection.
Morrow said the fees would be in place at the time a building permit was filed. City Manager Richard Rowe said the fees would have to be paid when a building's certificate of occupancy is issued.

Speed limit on Higgins Road The Council voted to introduce an ordinance to establish a 35-mile-per-hour speed zone on Higgins Road between Forane Street and Armory Road. The speed limit will go into effect 30 days after a second reading and adoption of the ordinance.
City Engineer Nick Nichols said although residences exist on the street the number of homes that face Higgins Road doesn't qualify it as a residential district and is not subject to the speed limit of 25 miles per hour for residential districts. Nichols said 13 homes per quarter-mile have to front a street to make it a residential street. The current speed limit at that portion of road is 55 miles per hour, Nichols said.
According to City Attorney Yvette Abich-Garcia, by state statute the city has to undergo a 30-day waiting period during which police wouldn't enforce the new speed limit. Staff can take appropriate steps to advise the public, she said, including installing signs.

Council honors girls softball City Councilmembers presented certificates and pins to players and coaches for the 2009 East Barstow Little League Softball 10-11 year-old All Star Team. This year in addition to winning the Tournament of Champions, the team placed second in the state softball championship.