City highlights yearly accomplishments

FinanceBusinessTechnology IndustryAnnika Dries

Many points raised by Mayor Kelly Boyd were also included in the city's press release listing key accomplishments in 2012.

Public Safety:

•Developed a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program and completed two classes in May and December with 53 graduates.

•New fire engine in service.

•Fuel modification in Oro Canyon.

•Used grant funds and a small city contribution to upgrade equipment in the dispatch center.

•Updated Alert OC notification system to identify potential flood areas.

•Restarted the Citizens Academy programs.

•Implemented a new traffic control program on impacted, non-summer weekends.

•Updated flood damage protection information on the city website.

•Implemented Fire Department inspection software and reporting system for minor crimes.

•Received approval for a $122,000 grant from the Office of Traffic Safety to enforce impaired driving violations.

•Adopted a social host ordinance regulating the provision of alcoholic beverages to juveniles.

Public Facilities:

•Reconstruction of the Main Beach Lift Station.

•Implemented an emergency erosion control plan for the burn area in South Laguna.

•Completed temporary improvements to the burn dump site off of Phillips Road to handle storm flows until the site can be permanently remediated.

•Completed structural repairs to the Glenneyre Street parking structure.

•Installed 30 bike racks the downtown area.

•Upgraded network cabling in City Hall, greatly improving the speed and reliability of the computer network.

•Implemented a backup and recovery plan for city network and hardware systems.

•Constructed a storage area at Heisler Park for the Junior Lifeguards program.

•Constructed a slope stabilization wall behind City Hall.

•Replaced or added guardrails at 16 locations in the Diamond/Crestview neighborhood.

•Upgraded the Circle Way beach access.

•Approved revisions on the Canyon Acres floodplain map, which reduced the need for most property owners to purchase mandatory flood insurance.

•Upgraded the city undergrounding assessment district policy to improve the certainty of the process and mitigate potential financial losses for the city.

•Repaired the Dorn Court and Bluebird Drive hillsides to protect sewer pipes damaged by the December 2010 storms.

•Replaced the current telephone system with a service that is more reliable, provides better service and easier to maintain.

•Installed new directional signage on City Hall property to direct customers to services.

•Water Quality staff worked with the Irvine Cove Community Assn. to identify grant funding and to construct an urban water diversion unit to protect the Irvine Cove Beach and the ocean.

•Conducted a comprehensive cleaning of the Laguna South Orange County Wastewater Authority (SOCWA) wet well, which is responsible for pumping one million gallons of sewage each day.

•Replaced the city hall roof, except over the recreation building.

•Completed Art-in-Public Places installations in Heisler Park.

Community Development:

•Updated ordinances regarding residential care facilities and short-term lodging units.

•Updated the Land Use Element of the General Plan that was approved by the California Coastal Commission.

•Open for Business meetings continued.

•Temporary Use process was modified to allow administrative approvals for minor projects.

•Updated the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance.

•Updated the Zoning Code to require noticing of tenants within 100 feet of a project site.

•Amended the Real Property Report ordinance to extend the validity time periods from three to six months.

•Passed a Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting ordinance.

•Completed a lengthy update of the Native Vegetation Protection ordinance.

•Adopted and obtained state certification of a new housing element for the city.

•Worked to improve communication between the board and staff, enhance staff reports, and have planners attend Design Review Board meetings.

Miscellaneous:

•Obtained $318,000 grant to be used for the purchase of three trolleys.

•Completed an update of the 2007 citizen survey, which showed highly rated city services.

•Streamlined the city hall automated attendant phone system to better serve customers.

Retained a grant-seeking firm to assist with identifying funding sources for city projects and programs.

•Installed interpretive signs in Heisler Park.

•Prepared and distributed a brochure to local hotels, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau regarding Marine Protected Areas.

•Adopted an "anti-puppy mill" ordinance.

•Banned single-use plastic bags by most retail establishments, effective Jan. 1.

•Conducted Brown Act Training for interested members of the City Council and city boards, commissions and committees.

•Reduced the cost of undergrounding utility poles for 724 homeowners by refunding the bonds of 7 assessment districts into a single bond issue.

•Paid off assessment district bonds early for the following assessment districts: Arch Beach Heights (366 homeowners); Ocean Way, Driftwood and Marilyn district (67 homeowners); Legion, Short, El Camino Del Mar and Los Robles (35 homeowners).

•Published the findings of the Arts and Economic Prosperity Report.

•Presented 29 cultural events: 19 free concerts, three films and six Artist Open Studio tours.

•Installed an artist-designed bench on Ocean Avenue.

•Improved the on-line business license process.

•Secured public parking at the Boat Canyon Center (Pavilions) parking lot to augment the city's summer season peripheral parking.

•Honored Annika Dries, Gold Medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, at a special hometown event.

•Distributed more than $239,000 in Community Assistance Grant funds to 32 local nonprofit organizations.

•Upgraded the recreation brochure on the city's website.

•Installed GPS on city buses and trolleys to allow customers to track bus and trolley routes online.

•Added city bus routes and schedules to Google Transit planning tool.

•Routed transit service to the community center.

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