City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the City Council meeting of Jan. 10.

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EXTRAORDINARY BUSINESS

•Orange County Human Relations Commission representative Bill Wood presented the City Council with a certificate of appreciation for its support of the commission.

"It isn't like this in all cities," Wood said.

Wood reported that the commission mediated in 94 cases involving Laguna Beach. One hate crime was documented in 2010.

•Orange County Grand Jurist Don Dillon urged folks to apply to be on the jury. Dillon said the pay is not great, but jurors do get a reserved parking space at the courthouse while doing work that educational and worthwhile.

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PUBLIC COMMENT

The public is allowed to speak on any subject not on the agenda. Speakers generally are limited to three minutes, but the time can be adjusted by the council.

•South Laguna resident Christopher Toy recommended undergrounding utility power lines for safety, with improved neighborhood appearance an incidental benefit.

Toy said that trees or limbs falling on power lines have been responsible for a number of devastating fires, and downed power lines cannot be crossed by emergency personnel until the utility company has cut the power, which can hobble firefighters.

Property owners should be educated about the danger, the cost of undergrounding should be lowered and the process sped up, opined Toy. He said group discounts should be sought for the hookups from the utility to the homes, which can add $5,000 to $25,000 to the cost of undergrounding, and grants to subsidize the projects.

•Arts Commissioner Pat Kollenda listed a number of upcoming activities on the Alliance for Arts calendar, including Laguna Dance Fest, "Lonesome Traveler" at the Laguna Playhouse, Art Star Awards, Laguna Beach Music Festival, Laguna College of Art & Design student exhibit at City Hall and No Square Theatre's production of Chris Quilter's original "My Funny Valentine." For more information, visit http://www.allianceforarts.org.

•Robert Ross said the California Coastal Commission had served its purpose and should be "axed."

•Richard Picheny complained that three years have passed since he contacted the city about problems on the Groves property in South Laguna. Picheny said a spokesperson for the property owner had indicated that action would be taken within a year, but to date nothing has been done. He asked the city to take action if there is no action in the next six months.

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COUNCIL AND STAFF CHAT

Council members and staff report on events they have attended, people with whom they have met and other items of public interest.

•City Manager Pietig announced that a property in Arch Beach Heights had been donated to the city.

He also verified that the five trees in Bluebird Canyon saved by public outcry have been trimmed to the extent necessary to preserve public safety and the health of the trees.

•Councilwoman Toni Iseman thanked Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson for setting up a meeting with Supervisor Pat Bates to discuss Aliso Beach Creek and the bridge over the highway that provides access to the county beach.

She also thanked Toy for his reminder about undergrounding, which she said had discussed at the Laguna Canyon Conservancy meeting the previous evening. Iseman said that undergrounding is not an easy process, but well worth the trouble and expense involved. She hoped the City could streamline and simplify the process.

•Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger said the city should thank Edison for spending the necessary time to figure out how best to save the five trees and make the neighborhood safer.

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CONSENT CALENDAR

Consent calendar items are approved unanimously in one motion unless a member of the City Council, staff or public "pulls" the item, which then requires opening it for public comment and a separate vote.

Among the items approved unanimously:

•A public hearing was set for Feb. 7 on the proposed change of Clarisa Avenue and Sorce Lane to Castle Rock Road and to change the existing non-uniform neighborhood address assignment to a two digit system.

Staff was directed to prepare the necessary public noticing.

•Acceptance of state-funded 911 equipment.

The state grant was based on the volume of 911 calls in Laguna Beach on a system that is more than seven years old.

•Appointment of Deputy Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse to a one-year term on the Orange County-City Hazardous Material Emergency Response Joint Powers Authority Board.

•Discounted parking at the ACT V lot from $7 to $3 when sold as part of the 2012 Summer Festival Passport program.

•A request by the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce to use the Glenneyre parking structure for the Community Expo event with amplified sound on Sept. 27, without fees.

•Set the Feb. 28 council meeting to interview and make appointment to the Recreation and Parking, Traffic and Circulation committees.

Deadline to submit applications to the city clerk is 5 p.m. Feb. 21.

•Permission for the Patriots Day Parade to be held on March 3, and for the parade committee to post "no parking" signs on Ocean Avenue, the parade route and assembly areas; post "bus parking only" signs on outbound Laguna Canyon Road between Forest Avenue and Woodland Drive; close designated streets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and to use public address systems.

Pulled for discussion:

•Acceptance of grant funded training and signing the Urban Area Security Initiative Transfer Agreement between the city of Anaheim and the city of Laguna Beach, pulled by Kathryn Doe for explanation.

It was approved 5-0.

•Adoption of a resolution for an application for the CalRecycle Beverage Container Recycling Grant to buy up to 10 Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors and a companion single-stream recycling unit.

"I pulled this because I love the name," Egly said.

It was approved 5-0.

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REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS

Items require separate discussion and citizen input, if desired, before the council makes a determination.

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Municipal Code amendments, 5-0

Proposed adoption of California Coastal Commission-approved amendments regarding split-zoned parcels, appeal procedures and the reasonable accommodation ordinance for various municipal code provisions previously approved by the City Council on July 20, 2010.

A resolution was approved asking the commission to certify the Local Coastal Program Implementation Plan Amendment 2010-04A-C.

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Taxi-cab regulations, 5-0

The council adopted the Orange County Taxi Administration Program ordinance, which brings the city in line with the rest of the county on rules for taxis and cars for hire.

Taxis are vehicles that carry no more than eight people, excluding the driver.

The owners must have a business license issued by the city and be insured. Drivers must have a driver's permit, a taxicab permit and a city business license or a company permit.

Passage of the ordinance requires a second reading.

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NEXT MEETING

The council will hold its annual retreat at 9 a.m. Saturday at the South Coast Water District offices 31592 West St,

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held Feb. 7, beginning with a closed session at 5 p.m. The public meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

Meeting agendas are available by 4 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the meeting in the City Clerk's Office in City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Agendas are also published on the city's website.

—Barbara Diamond

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