During the regularly scheduled Dos Palos City Council meeting on Aug. 15, City Manager Dewayne Jones introduced Brian Guerrero, the newly hired Director of Community Development.  Guerrero joined the City of Dos Palos team in his new role on August 1. 

Guerrero was born on the island of Guam, moved around growing up and settled in Atwater where he graduated from Atwater High School. After graduating from San Francisco State in 2006,with a degree in geography and an emphasis in GIS and the Environment, Brian began working at Merced County in 2006 as a planner in the Community and Economic Development Department and moved up to Planner III within a few years. 

In 2010 Brian moved to the Merced County Human Services Agency, where he worked for four years before returning to the Community and Economic Development Department as its Planner and Development Services Coordinator. He worked for MC HSA until starting his new role with the City of Dos Palos. 

Guerrero is primarily working on the City of Dos Palos Housing Element and some compliance projects to bring the city up to date with some of the updated laws with regards to the city’s Model Water Landscape Efficiency Ordinance and California’s SB1383 Waste Regulations. 

He will also be working on adopting Merced County Association of Government (MCAG) vehicle miles traveled (VMT) transportation impacts in preparation for any projects that would potentially generate traffic impacts.

“I always enjoyed my time here in the Valley,” Guerrero said at the council meeting, “and knew that I wanted to come back and work and raise my family here.  I have grown to love this community. and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve the city and its residents and excited to help and see this community grow.”

Since starting his new position, Guerrero has been hard at work working on the City of Dos Palos Housing Element.  This housing element is a comprehensive assessment of current and future housing needs for the city and includes a plan to meet those needs (also known as a housing “blueprint”). 

According to the Dos Palos General Plan Housing Element drafted in 2019, the provision of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable housing for current and future residents of the City of Dos Palos is the primary focus of the Housing Element. 

The Housing Element also places special emphasis on various types of households including the elderly, the disabled, female headed single-parent households, large families, farmworkers, overcrowded households, residents of group quarters and the homeless, since these groups may have more difficulty in finding decent and affordable housing due to their special needs.

According to the Merced Regional Multi-Jurisdiction Housing Element, a housing element is a plan to support housing for people of all income levels and needs.  The housing element directs locations for new housing and includes policies to support new housing development, preservation and rehabilitation of existing housing, affordable housing, homeownership opportunities, emergency shelters and supportive transitional housing and housing for seniors, students, farmworkers, and people with disabilities. 

The State of California requires all cities to have an adopted Housing Element, which the City of Dos Palos does not have and is thereby out of compliance, putting the City of Dos Palos at risk for potential fines, the potential for legal action against the city and the loss of eligibility for several federal and state housing, community development and infrastructure funding and grant programs.

The State Housing and Community Development (HCD) has determined that the City of Dos Palos has a housing goal to produce a total of 261 new units within the next 8 years.  With Guerrero onboard, the city hopes to have a drafted housing element that it can submit to HCD for review and adopted by the city council within the next year. 

Providing adequate housing— especially extremely low- and low-income housing—remains a significant challenge to both local governments and the private sector.

The City of Dos Palos will hold a community meeting on housing in the City Council Chambers (1546 Golden Gate Avenue, Dos Palos) on Wed., August 30, at 6 p.m.  The input from community residents will help create a housing plan for the region for the next eight years.

The city council also approved the Dos Palos Police Fee Schedule that includes increases in General Dos Palos Municipal Code Violations to $150 for the first occurrence and double for each consecutive citation up to $1,200.  The Fireworks Violation (DPMC 8.22.010) was also increased to $2,500 per occurrence.  A full list of the revised fee schedule can be requested at city hall. 

The city has also contracted with a vendor to collect past due fees that have gone unpaid.  Community residents are encouraged to contact the city hall if they believe they may have unpaid fees.

The next regularly scheduled Dos Palos City Council Meeting is scheduled for Sept. 19, 2023, in the city council chambers (1546 Golden Gate Avenue, Dos Palos).

Claudia Bretado Bautista