Chapter 2.04


Article I. City Council

2.04.010    Legislative body.

2.04.015    Mayor.

2.04.020    Compensation.

2.04.030    Planning agency.

2.04.040    Planning commission.

Article II. City Council Meetings

2.04.050    Applicability.

2.04.060    Meeting defined.

2.04.070    Time and place of regular meetings.

2.04.080    Special meetings.

2.04.090    Adjournment and continuances.

2.04.100    Charge for mailed notice of meetings to property owners.

2.04.110    Quorum.

2.04.120    Minutes.

2.04.130    Recordings of meetings.

2.04.140    Correspondence – Availability to the public.

2.04.150    Correspondence – Authority of city manager.

2.04.160    Council agenda.

2.04.170    Administrative instructions.

2.04.180    Consent calendar.

2.04.190    Oral communications.

2.04.200    Addressing the council on matters not scheduled for public hearing.

2.04.210    Public hearing – When held.

2.04.220    Public hearing – Procedure.

2.04.230    Public hearing – Evidence.

2.04.240    Public hearing – Continuation.

2.04.250    Public hearing – Closing.

2.04.260    Public hearing – Reopening.

2.04.270    Public hearing – Decision.

2.04.280    Presiding officer – Designated.

2.04.290    Presiding officer – Duties and powers.

2.04.300    Speaking rights of members.

2.04.310    Questions to staff or members of the public.

2.04.320    Points of order.

2.04.330    Point of interest privilege.

2.04.340    Privilege of closing debate.

2.04.350    Calling the question.

2.04.360    Statement of reasons for dissent against council action.

2.04.370    Decorum and order – Council and city staff.

2.04.380    Decorum and order – Audience.

2.04.390    Enforcement of decorum.

2.04.400    Motions.

2.04.410    Precedence of motions.

2.04.420    Particular motions – Purpose and criteria.

2.04.430    Legislative action.

2.04.440    Preparation of ordinances.

2.04.450    Ordinances – Adoption.

2.04.460    Reading of ordinances and resolutions.

2.04.470    Resolutions.

2.04.480    Resolutions – Adoption.

2.04.490    Disqualification for conflict of interest.

2.04.500    Failure to vote.

2.04.510    Tie vote.

2.04.520    Changing vote.

2.04.530    Reconsideration.

2.04.540    Correction of documents.

2.04.550    Robert’s Rules of Order.

2.04.560    Council policy manual.

2.04.570    Failure to observe procedures.

Article I. City Council

2.04.010 Legislative body.

A. The city council shall be the legislative body with the exclusive and original jurisdiction to interpret and govern all matters described and/or set forth within city ordinances, resolutions, codes and other regulatory directives adopted previously by this council by reference or currently applicable to any activity, event, request, forbearance and/or issue raised of any nature within the boundary of the city.

B. This section is in addition to the authority vested in the council pursuant to SBMC 2.04.030. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.04.010)

2.04.015 Mayor.

A. Beginning with the general municipal election in November 2020, the mayor is elected citywide and shall serve a term of four years pursuant to SBMC 2.24.016, 2.24.017 and 2.24.018.

B. The mayor shall be the presiding officer of the city council.

C. The mayor is a member of the city council with all the powers and duties of a member of the city council. The mayor may make or second motions and otherwise participate fully in the workings of the city council.

D. The mayor shall sign all:

1. Warrants drawn on the city treasurer;

2. Written contracts and conveyances made or entered into by the city; and

3. Instruments requiring the city seal (the council may provide by ordinance that the instruments described above be signed by an officer other than the mayor).

E. The mayor, with approval of the city council, shall make all appointments to boards, commissions, and committees consistent with City Council Policy 5 unless otherwise provided by statute.

F. The mayor shall perform all duties imposed on the position of mayor by the laws of the state of California or by ordinance of the city.

G. The mayor shall be entitled to compensation as set out in SBMC 2.04.020. (Ord. 489 § 2, 2018)

2.04.020 Compensation.

A. Each member of the city council, with the exception of the separately elected mayor, shall receive as salary the sum of $860.00 per month.

1. The separately elected mayor shall receive the sum of $960.00 per month.

B. Members of the city council may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official duties according to policies adopted by the city council and to the extent provided in the city’s budget.

C. Each member of the city council shall receive retirement and health and welfare fringe benefits to the same extent that such benefits are available and paid by the city for its miscellaneous employees. Any amount paid by the city under this subsection shall not be included for purposes of determining salary under this section.

D. The salary authorized by subsection A of this section shall become operative only on and after the date upon which one or more of the members of the city council becomes eligible for such increase pursuant to Government Code Section 36516.5 by virtue of beginning a new term of office following the election to be held in November, 2020. Until subsection A of this section becomes operative, the salary of the members of the city council shall be $712.58 per month. (Ord. 485 §§ 1, 2, 2019; Ord. 389 § 2, 2008; Ord. 311 §§ 1, 2, 2003; Ord. 263 §§ 1, 2, 2000; Ord. 226 § 1, 1996; Ord. 112 § 1, 1990; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.04.020)

2.04.030 Planning agency.

The city council establishes itself as the planning agency of the city of Solana Beach. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.04.030)

2.04.040 Planning commission.

A. The city council finds and determines that California Health and Safety Code Sections 33300 and 33301 require that before any area is designated for redevelopment, the community authorized to undertake the development must have a planning commission.

B. Pursuant to California Government Code Sections 65100 and 65150, the city council establishes itself as the planning commission for purposes of all redevelopment matters and activities to be carried out in compliance with the California Community Redevelopment Law (California Health and Safety Code Section 33000 et seq.). The planning commission shall consist of the five members of the city council now serving or hereinafter elected, and the council members shall serve on the commission for the duration of their respective council terms. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.04.040)

Article II. City Council Meetings

2.04.050 Applicability.

This article shall be known as the council procedure regulations of the city. It shall apply to all regular and special meetings of the city council. The provisions of this article are intended to implement the provisions of the State Ralph M. Brown Act, codified at California Government Code Section 54950 et seq., as amended from time to time. Nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize any action or inaction which is contrary to the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act. If a provision of this article is more restrictive than the Ralph M. Brown Act, the provisions of this article shall prevail. (Ord. 361 § 1, 2007; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.010)

2.04.060 Meeting defined.

A. “Meeting” means the gathering together of a majority of the members of the city council, each member within normal hearing distance of the other, at the time and place established by ordinance, resolution, or motion, for regular or adjourned meetings or at such other time and place as authorized by law for special meetings, for the purpose of acting in their official capacity as the legislative body of the city; to make decisions, commitments or promises by a majority of the council or by actual vote by a majority of the council when sitting as a body or entity upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance.

B. All meetings of the city council shall be open to the public, unless otherwise authorized by law to be held in private. If the council holds a closed meeting or closed session at a regular or special meeting, any person or entity having filed a written request for notice of the meetings may be excluded as authorized by Title 5, Division 2, Part 1, Chapter 9, commencing with Section 54950 of the State Government Code. No member of the city council, employee of the city, or any other person present during a closed session of the council shall disclose to any person the content or substance of any discussion which took place during the closed session unless the disclosure is authorized by a majority vote of the city council.

C. No other gathering of the persons who constitute the city council or any portion thereof shall be considered a meeting. Any action or decision required by law to be taken or made at a meeting shall be invalid and of no force and effect if the same is not taken or made at a meeting as defined in this section.

D. The foregoing shall not present less than a quorum, otherwise gathered at the time and place and for the purpose of conducting a meeting, from adjourning from time to time in accord with law until a quorum is present.

E. If at any time the legislature of the state or the final decision of an appellate court of the state should define a meeting of the city council other than as set forth in this section, such legislative or final judicial definition shall thereafter supersede the definition set forth in this section. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.020)

2.04.070 Time and place of regular meetings.

The city council shall hold regular meetings in the council chambers of City Hall, 635 South Highway 101, in the city or at such other place as may be determined by the council on the day and time set by the council by resolution. When the day for a regular meeting of the council falls on a legal holiday, no meeting shall be held, but a regular meeting shall be held at 6:00 p.m. on the next succeeding business day thereafter, or at such time and place as may be previously established by the council. If by reason of fire, flood, earthquake or other emergency it is unsafe to meet in the place designated, the meeting may be held for the duration of the emergency at such place as is designated by the mayor, or, if the mayor should fail to act, by three members of the city council. City council meetings shall conclude at 10:30 p.m.; provided, however, that an item commenced before 10:30 p.m. may be concluded; and further provided, that this time limit may be waived by unanimous vote of all members present. (Ord. 330 § 1, 2004; Ord. 268 § 1, 2001; Ord. 218 § 1, 1996; Ord. 146 § 2, 1992; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.030)

2.04.080 Special meetings.

A. Special meetings may be called at any time by the mayor or by three members of the city council by delivering personally or by mail written notice to each council member and to each local newspaper of general circulation, radio or television station having filed written request for such notice. The notice must be delivered personally or by mail and received at least 24 hours before the time of such meeting as specified in the notice. The call and notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted. No other business shall be considered at such meetings. The written notice may be dispensed with as to any council member who at, or prior to, the time the meeting convenes files with the city clerk a written waiver of notice. The waiver may be given by telegram. The written notice may also be dispensed with as to any council member who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes. The call and notice shall be posted at least 24 hours before the special meeting in a location freely accessible to the public.

B. Emergency special meetings may be called pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.5. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.040)

2.04.090 Adjournment and continuances.

A. Any meeting may either be terminated or continued to another time, place or date by adjournment, regardless of whether or not all matters on the agenda or under discussion have been completed, acted on or concluded. A meeting shall not be adjourned to a date beyond the next regular meeting. Notwithstanding the above, no meeting shall be terminated before closing all public hearings notified for that meeting, without first continuing such public hearings to another time, place and date.

B. Where a meeting is continued to a future date, if the time or place, or either of them is not stated in the order of adjournment it shall be deemed to be at the hour and place specified for regular meetings of the council.

C. Meetings may be adjourned by the mayor by a simple declaration thereof in the absence of a protest by any council member. Meetings may also be adjourned upon the making and seconding of such a motion in accordance with the procedures on motions established by this chapter. If a quorum is not present, less than a quorum may so adjourn a meeting. If all members of the council are absent, the city clerk shall declare the meeting adjourned to a stated time and place and shall cause a written notice of the adjournment to be given in the manner provided in SBMC 2.04.080 for special meetings. When any meeting is adjourned the city clerk shall post notice of such adjournment on the council chamber door within 24 hours after the time of the adjournment.

D. Whenever any hearing being held, or noticed, or ordered to be held, at a meeting is continued or recontinued to a time less than 24 hours after the time specified in the order or notice of hearing, a copy of the order or notice of continuance shall be posted immediately following the meeting at which the order or declaration of continuance was adopted or made.

E. When a regular meeting or adjourned regular meeting is adjourned, the resulting adjourned regular meeting is a regular meeting for all purposes. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.050)

2.04.100 Charge for mailed notice of meetings to property owners.

Whenever a property owner requests mailed notice of meetings, pursuant to Government Code Section 54954.1, the property owner shall pay an annual charge of $50.00. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.060)

2.04.110 Quorum.

Three members of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Motions may be passed by a majority of the quorum, but ordinances and resolutions granting franchises or authorizing the payment of money require at least three affirmative votes. Less than a quorum may adjourn from time to time. Where there is no quorum, the mayor, vice mayor, or any member of the council shall adjourn such meeting; or if no member of the council is present, the city clerk shall adjourn the meeting. For the purpose of considering any item subject to vote of the council, when a member of the council is disqualified due to a conflict of interest, his presence shall not be considered in determining the presence of a quorum. Consideration on such item shall be deferred until a quorum of noninterested council members are present to discuss and vote on them if a disqualification reduces those in attendance to less than a quorum. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.070)

2.04.120 Minutes.

A. Unless the reading of the minutes of a council meeting is requested by a member of the council, the minutes may be approved without reading if the clerk has previously furnished each member of the council with a copy thereof.

B. The minutes of the council shall be kept by the city clerk and shall be neatly typewritten in a book kept for that purpose, with a record of each particular type of business transacted set off in paragraphs, with proper subheads; provided, that the city clerk shall be required to make a record only of such business as was actually passed upon by a vote of the council and shall not be required to make a verbatim transcript of the proceedings; and provided further, that a record shall be made of the names and addresses of persons addressing the council, the title of the subject matter to which their remarks related and whether they spoke in support of or in opposition to such matter. A council member may request, through the mayor, the privilege of having an abstract of his statement on any subject under consideration by the council entered in the minutes.

C. As soon as possible after each meeting, the city clerk shall furnish a copy of the minutes to each council member, the city manager, city attorney, and any other individuals designated by the city manager. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.080)

2.04.130 Recordings of meetings.

A. The city clerk may tape record city council meetings as an aid in the preparation of the minutes. If tape recordings are made, they shall be retained by the city clerk until such time as the minutes have been approved by the city council. Upon such approval of the written minutes by the city council, the city clerk may reuse or erase such tape recordings unless specifically requested by the city council or the city attorney to retain such tapes at the time the minutes are approved.

B. While the city clerk has the tape recordings in his possession, members of the public may hear tape recordings of the city council meetings during office hours when it will not inconvenience the ordinary operation of the clerk’s office; brief or shorthand notes may be made; however, mechanical rerecordings may not be made from such tapes; and in this connection, the city clerk is further authorized to allow the recording machine to be used by the public for listening purposes when such machine is not necessary for use by the city clerk in the ordinary function of her office.

C. If any person wishes a record of the city council meeting, or any portion thereof, a request therefor shall be filed with the city clerk 24 hours prior to the meeting. If such a request is received, the city clerk shall make arrangements to make and preserve such a record at the expense of the person making the request.

D. If any person desires to have a matter reported by a stenographer reporter, he may employ one directly at his expense or request that the city clerk arrange, also at the requesting party’s expense, for a reporter. Any such request shall be made in writing at least two full working days before the meeting. The city clerk may require a deposit before making arrangements for such record. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.090)

2.04.140 Correspondence – Availability to the public.

Correspondence addressed to the city council which is received by the city clerk or any other officer or employee of the city shall not be a matter of public record until, and unless, it is received and filed by the council at a regular, special or adjourned meeting of the council, or unless it is retained and used by the city in the normal course of business. Correspondence shall not be read aloud at a council meeting unless requested by a majority vote of the council. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.100)

2.04.150 Correspondence – Authority of city manager.

A. The city manager is authorized to open and examine all mail or other written communications addressed to the city council, except correspondence addressed to individual council members, and to give it warranted attention to the end that all administrative business referred to in such communications and not requiring council action may be acted upon between council meetings, provided that all communications and any action taken pursuant thereto shall be reported to the city council.

B. The city manager’s office and the city clerk’s office shall coordinate on mail received by the city clerk’s office in order to effectively accomplish the purposes of this section.

C. Correspondence concerning a matter on an agenda for consideration by the council, which is received prior to 12:00 noon on the Thursday preceding the meeting, shall be made a part of the agenda item.

D. Correspondence requiring council action shall be placed on an agenda as soon as practicable, together with a report and recommendation from the city manager. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.110)

2.04.160 Council agenda.

A. In order to facilitate the orderly conduct of the business of the council, an agenda shall be prepared for each regular meeting containing the specific items of business to be transacted and the order thereof. Items of business may be placed on the agenda by the direction of a member of the council, the city manager or the city attorney. Agenda items, including ordinances, resolutions, contracts, staff reports or other matters to be submitted to the council shall be delivered to the city manager by 12:00 noon on the Wednesday of the week preceding the regular meeting.

B. All agenda items, ordinances, resolutions and contract documents shall, before presentation to the council, have been approved as to form and legality by the city attorney or his authorized representative, and shall have been examined and approved for administration by the city manager or his authorized representative, where there are substantive matters of administration involved. Notwithstanding the requirements of this subsection, any council member may place an item on the agenda without review by the city attorney or city manager by delivering it directly to the city clerk in accordance with subsection A.

C. No matters other than those listed on the agenda shall be finally acted upon by the council; provided, however, that matters not on the agenda but deemed to be of an important or urgent nature by any council member, the city manager or the city attorney may be submitted for council consideration and action, subject to an explanation of the importance or urgency stated in open council meeting. No matter may be considered by the council other than those matters on the agenda without the unanimous consent of the council present at the meeting.

D. The agenda shall contain a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed, shall specify the time and location of the meeting and shall be posted on the public bulletin board at City Hall. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.120)

2.04.170 Administrative instructions.

The city manager is authorized to prepare and promulgate administrative instructions for the preparation of agenda reports, order of business at meetings, presentation of matters to the council and other administrative matters. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.130)

2.04.180 Consent calendar.

A. Certain items for inclusion on the agenda which have been reviewed by the city manager, delivered to the city council and made available to the public prior to the council meeting shall be grouped together for action and listed under the consent calendar, when such matters are considered to be noncontroversial and in the nature of housekeeping items by the city manager, requiring only routine action by the council. Actions recommended by the city manager shall be in summary form and be a part of that item. Adoption of the consent calendar may be made by one motion approved by the council; provided, however, that the mayor should first advise the audience that the consent calendar matters will be adopted in total by one action of the council unless any council member or any individual or who has so requested wishes to be heard on one or more consent items. In that event, the mayor may defer action on the particular matter or matters and place them on the regular agenda for consideration in any order deemed appropriate. A request from the public to discuss an item must be filed with the city clerk in writing prior to council consideration of the consent calendar.

B. The written agenda available to the public and to the city council shall provide a notice of explanation to the public concerning the consent calendar. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.140)

2.04.190 Oral communications.

The agenda for each regular meeting of the city council shall include a time for oral presentation by members of the public on matters of city concern which are not otherwise listed on the agenda. Persons wishing to address the council shall fill out the form specified in SBMC 2.04.200. Comments shall be limited to three minutes unless otherwise permitted by a majority vote of the council. The council shall not discuss or take action on any matter brought to its attention during oral communication, unless otherwise authorized by law. At the direction of any member of the council, the city manager shall place any matter requiring council discussion or action on the agenda for a subsequent regular council meeting. (Ord. 361 § 2, 2007; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.150)

2.04.200 Addressing the council on matters not scheduled for public hearing.

Any person may submit oral or written communication to the city council on any matter listed on the agenda, subject to the following:

A. Any person desiring to address the council shall first obtain permission of the presiding officer. The person requesting permission shall submit a written request to speak on a form prepared by the city manager and provided at each meeting. The form must be submitted to the city clerk before the matter is considered by the city council.

B. Each person desiring to address the council shall approach the podium, state the subject he or she wishes to discuss, state whom he or she is representing if he or she represents an organization or other persons, and shall limit his or her remarks to three minutes. Further time may be granted to the person addressing the council by the majority vote of the council, or an individual who is present and donates his or her time to the person for a total of six minutes. Individuals donating their time waive their individual time to speak on the matter. All remarks shall be addressed to the council as a whole and not to individual members thereof. No questions shall be asked of a council member or a member of the city staff without obtaining permission of the presiding officer. The presiding officer shall not permit any communication, oral or written, to be made or read where it does not bear directly on the agenda item then under discussion.

C. After a motion has been made, no member of the public shall address the council from the audience on the matter under consideration without permission granted by a majority vote of the council.

D. Written Communication. Interested parties or their authorized representatives may address the council by written communication with regard to matters with which they are concerned and are then the subject of council discussion. Copies of such communications shall be furnished to each council member present and shall not be read aloud at the meeting unless so ordered by a majority vote of the council. Written communications from the administrative staff shall not be read aloud unless requested by the writer or any council member. Anonymous communications shall not be considered or placed on the agenda.

E. When any identifiable group of persons, as opposed to the general public at large, wishes to address the council on the same agenda item, the mayor shall have the discretion to request that a spokesperson be chosen by said group to address the council. If additional issues are to be presented at the hearing by any other member of such group, the mayor may limit the number of persons and the time periods to address the council, so as to avoid unnecessary repetition of issues before the council. Groups of persons represented by a spokesperson shall be limited to a total presentation of 10 minutes. Additional time may be granted by a majority vote of the council.

F. For the purposes of this chapter, a “group” or “organization” shall be defined as at least three identified individuals, including the speaker, of the same group or organization who are present at the meeting. Representatives of a group or organization donating their time waive their individual time to speak on the matter. All representatives must provide their name on the representative’s speaker slip to identify themselves. (Ord. 361 §§ 3, 4, 5, 2007; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.160)

2.04.210 Public hearing – When held.

A. Wherever by law the city council is required to hold a public hearing on any matter before it, such hearing will be held in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth in this article. Nothing herein shall prohibit or limit the city council from holding a public hearing on any matter before it, whether required by law or not, and nothing herein shall prohibit or limit any member of the public from addressing the council in accordance with the procedures provided for in this article, irrespective of whether or not a public hearing is being held.

B. All public hearings shall be scheduled to begin at a time certain which shall be the hour the council convenes. The council shall hold such hearings in order, in accordance with the schedule on the agenda at the time or as soon thereafter as practicable. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.170)

2.04.220 Public hearing – Procedure.

A. The presiding officer shall announce that it is the time and place for a public hearing scheduled on the agenda.

B. Prior to all city council public hearings, copies of the council’s agenda, with attachments, including the staff report, if any, shall be available at the office of the city clerk at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of the hearing; provided, however, the council may allow in its discretion the filing of supplemental reports which shall be made public at the commencement of the hearing.

C. The order of the hearing shall be as follows unless otherwise required by law:

1. Public Hearings.

a. Presentation of staff report;

b. Questions from the council;

c. Presentation by the applicant;

d. Testimony of people/groups in favor;

e. Testimony of people/groups in opposition;

f. Rebuttal of applicant with remaining time;

g. Additional questions from the council;

h. Closing or continuing the matter;

i. Action as determined appropriate by the council.

2. Appeals shall be conducted pursuant to Chapter 2.32 SBMC.

D. The provisions of SBMC 2.04.300 for addressing the council shall apply to persons testifying at public hearings except that:

1. Persons, except for the applicant and appellant, wishing to address the council shall fill out the form specified in SBMC 2.04.200;

2. The time limit for individuals shall be three minutes unless an individual who is present donates his or her time for a total of six minutes. Individuals donating their time waive their individual time to speak on the matter;

3. The time limit for groups, as defined in SBMC 2.04.200(F), shall be 15 minutes;

4. The applicant and/or appellant shall have 15 minutes.

E. The majority vote of the council, dependent upon the necessity for ensuring adequate presentation of testimony and evidence to provide a fair hearing, may set longer time limits than otherwise allowed by this chapter. (Ord. 457 § 2, 2015; Ord. 361 §§ 6, 7, 8, 2007; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.180)

2.04.230 Public hearing – Evidence.

A. During the public hearing, the council shall receive oral or written evidence relevant to the matter being considered which shall become part of the record. The presiding officer or any member of the council through the presiding officer may require the city clerk to swear any person giving evidence at the time of the hearing on the matter under consideration, if in the opinion of the presiding officer or any member of the council, the oath is necessary. The rules of evidence as established by the Evidence Code for the state of California shall be substantially relaxed in order to afford a full presentation of the facts essential for judicious consideration by the council of the matter which is the subject of the public hearing. Failure on the part of the city council to strictly enforce rules of evidence or to reject matters which may be irrelevant or immaterial shall not affect the validity of the hearing. Any procedural errors which do not affect the substantial rights of the parties shall be disregarded. The council may order the city clerk to issue and the chief of police or his representative to serve subpoenas for any witnesses or records necessary for the production of evidence at any duly scheduled public hearing as provided for herein. Any person, other than a member of the council, who wishes to direct question(s) to an opposing speaker shall submit such question(s) to the presiding officer, who will ask the question(s) to the speaker. The presiding officer may, at his discretion, restrict the number and nature of any questions asked pursuant to this section.

B. If there is a staff report, it shall be considered as evidence and shall become part of the record of a public hearing. Such report need not be read in full as part of the staff presentation. A synopsis of such report may be presented orally by staff members to the council. In addition, any of the following may be presented to the city council and, if presented, shall also become part of the record:

1. Exhibits and documents used by the city staff and any persons participating in the hearing;

2. Maps and displays presented for use at the hearing; provided, that whenever practicable, they shall be displayed in full view of the participants and the audience;

3. All communications and petitions concerning the subject matter of the hearing; provided, that a reading of such matters only shall be had at the request of a council member,

4. Information obtained outside of the council hearing, such as a view of property; provided, such information, or a conversation with persons in the neighborhood, shall be disclosed for the record during the hearing.

C. All exhibits, reports, maps and other physical evidence placed before the council shall be retained by the city clerk or the appropriate department head, as public records. Such exhibits may be released by the clerk with the approval of the city attorney. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.190)

2.04.240 Public hearing – Continuation.

At any time that it appears to the presiding officer or a majority of the council through the presiding officer, that inadequate evidence has been presented to afford judicious consideration of any matter before the council at the time of a public hearing, or for other just cause, a continuation of said hearing may be ordered to afford the applicant, his opponents, or the city staff adequate time to assemble additional evidence for the council’s consideration. Any continuation ordered by the council through its presiding officer shall be to a date certain, which said date shall be publicly announced in the council chamber and shall constitute notice to the public of the time and place that further evidence will be taken. The public announcements provided for herein shall constitute notice to all persons of time and place when further evidence will be taken by the council. The council shall also have the option to set the matter for a new hearing. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.200)

2.04.250 Public hearing – Closing.

When neither the applicant, his opponents, or the city staff have further evidence to produce or when in the opinion of the presiding officer or the majority of the council through the presiding officer sufficient evidence has been presented, the presiding officer shall order the public hearing closed, at which time no further evidence, either oral or written, will be accepted by the council; provided, however, that this rule may be relaxed by the presiding officer where it appears that good cause exists to hear further evidence concerning the matter which is the subject of the public hearing. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.210)

2.04.260 Public hearing – Reopening.

A public hearing on any matter once closed cannot be reopened on the date set for hearing unless the presiding officer determines that all persons who were present when the hearing closed are still present. Nothing herein, however, is intended to prevent or prohibit the reopening of a public hearing at any subsequent regular or special meeting of the council. No public hearing may be reopened without due and proper notice being given to the applicant and his opponents, designating the time and place of said reopening. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.220)

2.04.270 Public hearing – Decision.

A. The city council shall consider all evidence properly before them in accordance with this chapter. The council shall then indicate their intended decision and instruct the city manager or the city attorney to return with the documents necessary to effect that decision including findings as may be appropriate to the matter. Upon return of such documents, the council shall determine whether the findings are supported by the evidence before them at the hearing and if the decision is supported by the findings and after making any changes render their decision by taking action on the documents. The city council’s decision is not final until adoption of the documents.

B. A council member who was absent from all or a part of a public hearing shall not participate in a decision on the matter unless the member has examined all the evidence including listening to a recording of the oral testimony and can represent that he or she has a full understanding of the matter. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.230)

2.04.280 Presiding officer – Designated.

A. The presiding officer of the council shall be the mayor or, when absent, the vice mayor.

B. Said officer shall take the chair at the hour appointed for the meeting, and shall immediately call the council to order.

C. In the absence of the mayor or vice mayor, the city clerk shall call the council to order, whereupon a temporary presiding officer shall be elected by the members of the council present.

D. Upon arrival of the mayor or vice mayor, the temporary presiding officer shall immediately relinquish the chair upon the conclusion of the particular business immediately before the council at the time. Wherever in this chapter the term “mayor” is used, it shall apply equally to the presiding officer as defined in this section. The mayor shall have a vote but no veto power, and may move, second and debate from the chair. In the event of the taking of a roll call for the purpose of voting or otherwise, the mayor’s name shall be called last. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.240)

2.04.290 Presiding officer – Duties and powers.

A. The mayor shall sign all ordinances, resolutions and other documents necessitating said officer’s signature, which may have been adopted in the mayor’s presence, shall preserve strict order and decorum at all regular and special meetings of the council; shall state, or call upon the clerk to state, every question before the council; shall call for the vote and announce the decision of the council on all subjects; shall decide all questions of order, subject, however, to an appeal by the council or any council member, in which event a majority vote of the council shall govern and conclusively determine such question of order; and shall have and exercise such other powers and duties as authorized by law.

B. The mayor shall have authority, subject to SBMC 2.04.320, to:

1. Set time limits on council discussion on any matter;

2. Declare the opening of the public hearing;

3. Rule any motion on a subject not on the agenda as being out of order, in which case the motion shall thereafter be void;

4. Table any motion on any matter until the regular or special council meeting whenever the city attorney advises that there is a question as to the validity or constitutionality of the particular proposed course of action which is the subject matter of such motion;

5. Require any witness testifying to facts at any public hearing to be sworn before proceeding further with any such testimony;

6. Rule any speaker out of order, terminate any communication with the council from a member of the public and/or declare a recess in order to establish order to any meeting; the mayor, or such other member of the council as may be presiding, may move, second and debate from the chair, subject only to such limitations of debate as are by these rules imposed upon all members. The mayor shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of a council member by reason of being mayor or acting as the presiding officer. (Ord. 361 § 9, 2007; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.250)

2.04.300 Speaking rights of members.

A. Every council member desiring to speak shall address the chair. Upon recognition by the mayor, a council member shall speak only to the question under debate, avoiding reference to character and indecorous language.

B. A member, once recognized, shall not be interrupted when speaking except to be called to order, or as otherwise provided in this article. If a member is called to order while speaking, said member shall cease speaking until the question of order is determined; if in order, said member shall be permitted to proceed.

C. The council member moving the adoption of an ordinance, resolution or council action shall have the privilege of being the final speaker. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.260)

2.04.310 Questions to staff or members of the public.

A. Any council member desiring to question the city staff shall, after recognition by the presiding officer, address his questions to the city manager, or the city attorney, who shall be entitled either to answer the inquiry himself or to designate a member of his staff for that purpose.

B. Every council member desiring to question a member of the public shall, after recognition by the presiding officer, state the question through the presiding officer. The presiding officer may disallow the question subject to overrule by a majority of the council. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.270)

2.04.320 Points of order.

The presiding officer shall determine all points of order, subject to the right of any council member to request full council ruling and the question shall be, “Shall the decision of the presiding officer be sustained?”. A majority vote shall conclusively determine such question of order. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.280)

2.04.330 Point of interest privilege.

The right of a council member to address the council on a question of personal privilege shall be limited to cases in which his integrity, character or motives are questioned or where the welfare of the council is concerned. A council member raising a point of personal privilege may interrupt another council member who has the floor only if the presiding officer recognizes the privilege. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.290)

2.04.340 Privilege of closing debate.

Subject to the provisions of SBMC 2.04.300, the council member moving the adoption of an ordinance, resolution or motion shall have the privilege of closing debate, subject to a council majority ruling that debate should continue. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.300)

2.04.350 Calling the question.

A member of the council who wishes to terminate discussion of a motion may call for the question. If the call is seconded, the presiding officer shall ask for a vote. If the call carries, the council shall then vote on the motion without further discussion. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.310)

2.04.360 Statement of reasons for dissent against council action.

Any council member shall have the right to have the reasons for his or her dissent from or his protest against any action of the council entered in the minutes. Such dissent or protest shall be brief and stated in substantially the following manner: “I would like the minutes to show that I am opposed to this action for the following reasons...”. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.320)

2.04.370 Decorum and order – Council and city staff.

While the council is in session, the council members and city staff shall observe good order and decorum. A member shall neither by conversation, or otherwise, delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the council, nor disturb any member while speaking or refuse to obey the directives of the presiding officer. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.330)

2.04.380 Decorum and order – Audience.

Members of the public attending council meetings shall observe the same rules of order and decorum applicable to the city council and staff. Any person making impertinent and slanderous remarks or who becomes boisterous while addressing the council or while attending the council meeting shall be removed from the room if the sergeant-at-arms is so directed by the presiding officer, and such person may be barred from further audience before the council. Unauthorized remarks from the audience, stamping of feet, whistles, yells and similar demonstrations shall not be permitted by the presiding officer, and if such conduct continues, he or she shall direct the sergeant-at-arms to remove such offenders from the room. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.340)

2.04.390 Enforcement of decorum.

A. The city manager, or such member of the sheriff’s department as he may designate, shall be sergeant-at-arms of the city council. Any council member may move to require the presiding officer to enforce the rules and the affirmative vote of a majority of the council members present shall require him to do so.

B. It shall be unlawful for any member of the council or other person to use vulgar, profane, loud or boisterous language at any meeting or otherwise interrupt the proceedings of the council, or to refuse to carry out orders and instructions given by the presiding officer for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at the council meeting, or to interrupt proceedings after being told to cease by the presiding officer.

C. Upon instructions of the presiding officer, it shall be the duty of the sergeant-at-arms or any of them present, to place any person who violates the order and decorum of the meeting under arrest. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.350)

2.04.400 Motions.

A. A motion is a formal statement of a proposal or question to the council for consideration and action. Every council member has the right to present a motion. A motion is generally not to be considered as a legislative action of the council, but is in the nature of direction or instruction, however, a motion will generally suffice unless a resolution is specifically called for by law or unless there is some reason for desiring the particular action formalized by separate instrument.

B. If the motion contains two or more divisible propositions, the presiding officer may divide the same.

C. If a motion is properly made, the presiding officer shall call for a second. No further action is required on a motion which does not receive a second.

D. When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be restated by the mayor before a vote.

E. A motion once before the council may not be withdrawn by the maker without the consent of the second. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.360)

2.04.410 Precedence of motions.

A. When a main motion is before the council, no motion shall be entertained except the following which shall have precedence, one over the other, in the following order:

1. Adjourn;

2. Recess;

3. Table;

4. Previous question;

5. Limit or extend debate;

6. Refer to committee or staff;

7. Substitute;

8. Amend;

9. Postpone;

10. Main motion.

B. The order of preference in subsection A is subject to the following restrictions:

1. A motion shall not be in order which repeats a motion made previously at the same meeting unless there has been some intervening council action or discussion.

2. A motion shall not be in order when the previous question has been ordered.

3. A motion shall not be in order while a vote is being taken.

4. A motion shall not be in order when made as an interruption of a council member while speaking. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.370)

2.04.420 Particular motions – Purpose and criteria.

The purpose and salient criteria of the motions listed in SBMC 2.04.410 is as follows:

A. Motion to adjourn:

1. Purpose: to terminate a meeting.

2. Debatable or amendable: no, except a motion to adjourn to another time is debatable and amendable as to the time to which the meeting is to be adjourned.

B. Motion to recess:

1. Purpose: to permit an interlude in the meeting and to set a definite time for continuing the meeting.

2. Debatable or amendable: yes, but restricted as to time or duration of recess.

C. Motion to table:

1. Purpose: to set aside, on a temporary basis, a pending main motion provided that it may be taken up again for consideration during the current meeting or at the next regular meeting.

2. Debatable or amendable: it is debatable but not amendable.

D. Motion for previous question:

1. Purpose: to prevent or stop discussion on the pending question or questions and to bring such question or questions to vote immediately. If the motion passes, a vote shall be taken on the pending motion or motions.

2. Debatable or amendable: no.

E. Motion to limit or extend debate:

1. Purpose: to limit or determine the time that will be devoted to discussion of a pending motion or to extend or remove limitations already imposed on its discussion.

2. Debatable or amendable: not debatable; amendments are restricted to period of time of the proposed limit or extension.

F. Motion to refer to committee or staff:

1. Purpose: to refer the question before the council to a committee or to the city staff for the purpose of investigating or studying the proposal and to make a report back to the council. If the motion fails, discussion or vote on the question resumes.

2. Debatable or amendable: yes.

G. Substitute motion:

1. Purpose: to strike out one main motion and insert another main motion in its place which may be done so long as it is related to the subject of the original motion.

2. Debatable or amendable: the substitute motion is left unacted on until council members have the opportunity to perfect the main motion by amendments, if desired. The substitute motion is debatable and subject to amendment. After amendments have been offered, the substitute motion is voted upon and, if adopted, strikes the main motion.

H. Amend:

1. Purpose: to modify or change a motion that is being considered by the council so that it will express more satisfactorily the will of the members. If the motion passes, then the main motion should be voted on as amended.

2. Debatable or amendable: it is debatable unless applied to an undebatable main motion. It is amendable.

I. Motion to postpone:

1. Purpose: to prevent further discussion and voting on the main motion until a future date or event. If the motion fails, discussion and voting on the main motion resumes. If it passes, the subject of the main motion shall not be brought up again until the specified date or event.

2. Debatable or amendable: it is debatable but not amendable.

J. Main motion:

1. Purpose: the primary proposal or question before the council for discussion and decision.

2. Debatable or amendable: yes. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.380)

2.04.430 Legislative action.

All legislative action undertaken by the city council shall be by means of an ordinance or resolution. Legislation of a permanent nature which is to remain in force until amended or repealed, which establishes rights and obligations and the failure to comply with which may result in a penalty, shall be by ordinance. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.390)

2.04.440 Preparation of ordinances.

All ordinances shall be prepared by the city attorney. No ordinance shall be prepared for presentation to the council unless requested by a council member, the mayor, city manager, or prepared by the city attorney on his own initiative. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.400)

2.04.450 Ordinances – Adoption.

An ordinance shall be introduced by motion after a reading of the title. If passed, it shall be returned for further council action at least five days thereafter. Adoption shall be by motion after reading by title. Unless a council member requests reading in full, the council shall be deemed to have unanimously voted to waive such reading. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.410)

2.04.460 Reading of ordinances and resolutions.

At the time of introduction or adoption of an ordinance or adoption of a resolution, the same shall not be read in full unless after the reading of the title, further reading is requested by a member of the council. If any council member so requests, the ordinance or resolution shall be read in full. In the absence of such a request, this section shall constitute a waiver by the council of such reading. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.420)

2.04.470 Resolutions.

In most cases, a resolution is little more than a formal motion set forth in a formal document. In some matters, such as an assessment proceeding, general plan amendment, or the grant or denial of variances, a resolution is required. A resolution should be required under any circumstances where it is desirable that the action be formally recorded in the office of the city clerk as a numbered document which can be used for future reference. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.430)

2.04.480 Resolutions – Adoption.

A. Where a particular resolution has been prepared and is before the council, it shall be adopted by motion, second, discussion and vote. It is not necessary to read the resolution by title or in full, provided it is identified by the presiding officer. Upon request of any member of the council, the resolution shall be read by title or in full.

B. Where a particular resolution has not been prepared, a motion to direct the city manager or city attorney to prepare the document and return it to the council is in order.

C. Where necessary, a resolution may be presented verbally in motion form together with instructions for written preparation. Upon execution of such a resolution, it shall become an official action of the council. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.440)

2.04.490 Disqualification for conflict of interest.

If a council member has reason to think a conflict of interest may exist, he or she shall give the facts of the matter to the city attorney and request advice thereon prior to the meeting in accordance with city council adopted policy. Any member of the city council who is disqualified from voting on a particular matter by reason of a conflict of interest shall disclose the conflict and step down from the decision in the manner required by law. A council member stating such disqualification shall not be counted as part of a quorum and shall be considered absent for the purpose of determining the outcome of any vote on such matter. (Ord. 305 § 1, 2003; Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.450)

2.04.500 Failure to vote.

Every council member should vote unless disqualified by reason of conflict of interest. A council member who abstains from voting acknowledges that a majority of the quorum may decide the question voted upon. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.460)

2.04.510 Tie vote.

Tie votes or a vote lacking the required number of affirmative votes shall constitute “no action” and the matter voted upon remains before the council and is subject to further council consideration. If the city council is unable to take action on a matter before it because of a tie vote or the lack of the required number of votes, the city clerk shall place the item on the next regular meeting of the city council for further consideration. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.470)

2.04.520 Changing vote.

A council member may change a vote only if a timely request to do so is made immediately following the announcement of the vote by the presiding officer and prior to the time the next item in the order of business is taken up. A council member who publicly announces an abstention from voting on a particular matter shall not subsequently be allowed to withdraw his abstention. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.480)

2.04.530 Reconsideration.

A. A motion to reconsider any action taken by the council may be made only at the meeting at which such action was taken. It may be made either immediately during the same session, or at a recessed or adjourned session thereof. Such motion may be made only by one of the council members who voted with the prevailing side. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent any council member from making or remaking the same or any other motion at a subsequent meeting of the council.

B. A motion to rescind, repeal, cancel or otherwise nullify prior council action shall be in order at any subsequent meeting of the council. The effect of such action shall operate prospectively and not retroactively and shall not operate to adversely effect individual rights which may have vested in the interim. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.490)

2.04.540 Correction of documents.

Upon occasion ordinances or other documents are submitted in draft form, or on-the-spot amendments occur or typographical or other technical errors are found which necessitate retyping of the document; such redraft, when properly executed, shall become the original document to be effective and to be retained in the files of the city clerk. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.500)

2.04.550 Robert’s Rules of Order.

If a matter arises at a council meeting which is not covered by this chapter or applicable provisions of federal or state law or the Solana Beach Municipal Code, the procedures of the council shall be governed by the latest revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.510)

2.04.560 Council policy manual.

The city manager shall maintain a council policy manual to contain such written policies as the council may adopt. The purpose of council policies are to indicate how the council intends to rule in the future on particular matters of a recurring nature which are subject to their discretion. Policies shall be numbered and dated and shall remain in effect until rescinded. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.520)

2.04.570 Failure to observe procedures.

The provisions of this chapter are adopted to expedite the transaction of the business of the council in an orderly fashion and are deemed to be procedural only. The failure to strictly observe such rules shall not affect the jurisdiction of the council or invalidate any action taken at a meeting that is otherwise held in conformity with law. (Ord. 31 § 2, 1987; 1987 Code § 2.18.530)