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Laguna Beach to consider standardizing fines for littering and drinking in public

Laguna Beach Police Chief Robert Thompson is bringing an agenda bill to Tuesday's Laguna Beach City Council meeting.
Laguna Beach Police Chief Robert Thompson is bringing an agenda bill to Tuesday’s Laguna Beach City Council meeting that addresses the penalties for littering and drinking in public.
(Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Police Department Twitter page)

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Laguna Beach City Council will consider adopting an ordinance that calls for bringing the penalties imposed for littering and drinking in public on par with those levied for other violations of the city’s municipal code.

The standard penalty for a violation of the municipal code in Laguna Beach is $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second violation within a 12-month period, and $500 for each additional offense within that time frame.

The agenda bill, submitted by Laguna Beach Police Chief Robert Thompson, aims to repeal sections of the municipal code pertaining to drinking and littering, for which there are lesser fines.

In Laguna Beach, a first offense for littering is $25, it is $50 for a second, and then $100 for any further violations. For drinking, the first offense is $30, the second is $60, and any that come after are considered to be misdemeanors.

If the ordinance passes, the fines associated with littering and drinking would be consistent with those handed out for other violations of the Laguna Beach municipal code.

There will be a second reading for an ordinance that will repeal a section of the Laguna Beach municipal code that previously criminalized the use of certain speech characterized as “profane, vulgar or boisterous” at City Council meetings. The council unanimously approved the repeal at its last meeting.

Also on the consent calendar is an agenda item for the council to consider applying for recertification as a Tree City USA community.

Laguna Beach just received news of its recognition as such a community by the Arbor Day Foundation, making it the third year in a row that the city has appeared on the Tree City USA list.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the recently established hybrid format, allowing members of the public to participate in public comment sessions in person should they choose to do so.

Those who speak before the council in Council Chambers are required to wear a face covering, and they are to exit through the front door after speaking on their subject of interest.

Access to the City Council meetings is still available online. To tune into Tuesday’s meeting, go to lagunabeachcity.zoom.us/j/96634159517.

The meeting can also be viewed on Cox cable channel 852.

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