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CITY COUNCIL WRAP UP

The following is from the June 19 meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council.

PUBLIC COMMENT

  • Land planner and landscape architect Bryan Menne asked the council to consider the construction of a parking facility under the lawn bowling area of Heisler Park and underneath Las Brisas restaurant. Menne estimated the Heisler Park project would take about a year. It would be half buried and barely visible and the benefits would outweigh possible California Coastal Commission concerns, he opined.
  • Charlie Divona asked the council to help him get rid of pampas grass on a neighboring lot. He said the clumps were 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide and he had been told the plants posed a fire danger to his home. Divona said the municipal code allows the city to remove weeds that are a nuisance from parcels when the owner of the property fails to do so.
  • Resident Ganka Brown said the non-native pampas grass will not propagate if eradicated before the plumes open. She also noted that non-native eucalyptus trees are prevalent throughout town, as is overgrowth that sometimes blocks safety signs.

    COUNCIL/STAFF CHAT

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  • Treasurer Laura Parisi said she would be out of the office to attend the California Municipal Treasurers Assn. Board meeting June 22 and 23 and some of this week to attend the League of California Cities Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting in San Jose.
  • Caltrans installed a significant message board in front of the GTE building on Laguna Canyon Road without California Coastal Commission permission, Frank alleged. The sign is part of the governor’s “Go California” program and will include Amber Alert information. “We will be working with them,” Frank said.
  • Councilwoman Jane Egly announced the Great Park Board of Directors increased its wildlife corridor construction budget and enhanced features from Irvine Boulevard to the Borrego Flood Control Channel. Speakers at the hearing included Laguna Canyon Foundation officials Michael Pinto and Mary Fegraus, Laguna Greenbelt Inc. President Elisabeth Brown and Laguna Canyon Conservancy President Carolyn Wood.
  • CONSENT CALENDAR


    Editor’s note: Consent calendar items are approved in one motion unless a member of the council, staff or public “pull” the item, which then requires opening it for public comment and a separate vote.Approved without comment:

  • Minutes of the adjourned and regular meeting of June 5, the minutes of the joint council/ Arts Commission meeting, also on June 5, and the adjourned regular meeting of June 12, a budget workshop.
  • General warrants of $1,680,594/07 and $152,551.12, both disbursed on May 31; and the June 7 payroll of $556,084.35.
  • City treasurer’s report for May, two weeks after the April report, showing a portfolio of cash and investments with a current market value totaling $64,539,237.54, down from the previous month’s total of $67,289,826.16
  • Resolution extending the Bluebird Canyon Emergency Declaration, which is valid for only 21 days and must be renewed
  • Authorization for the city manager to execute contract extensions for fiscal year 2007-08 with Curbside Inc. for hazardous waste collection and with J&S; Sign Co. for paint and striping services, at a cost not to exceed $60,296.
  • Pulled for discussion:

  • Proposed purchase of 160 parking meters from Tri-State Meter Inc. for $74,476 was reduced to 80 meters for $38,000.
  • Iseman asked the council to delay the whole deal for a year because she thinks the city will change to credit card-capable or multi-space-meters, if they prove effective, but settled for half a loaf.

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    Frank offered the compromise in order to replace the oldest meters this fiscal year.

  • A $22,809 bid for overexcavation and recompaction was awarded to Salsbury Engineering and a $567,775 bid for concrete caissons was awarded to Calex Engineering Co., both for work at the community/senior center, for which the city is acting as general contractor. Approved 5-0
  • Bruce Hopping objected to the proposed purchase and installation of a Ray Vac pool heater from Commercial Aquatic Services for $27,514. He said heated water increases the probability of contamination. Approved 5-0
  • Adoption of a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter a Clean Beaches Initiatives grant agreement with the state to secure funding for Phase II of the Heisler Park Protection and Preservation Project.
  • The city was asked to submit a detailed application for the $1 million grant, which included filing an application with the State Water Resources Control Board, acknowledgment that the city will fund the operation and maintenance of improvements 20 years after completion of the project and authorization of the city manager to act for the city. Approved 5-0.

    CENTERS’ DESIGN MODIFICATIONS 4-0, Kinsman recused

    The council approved modifications to the design of the community/senior center that included natural lighting in the kitchen, bamboo cabinetry throughout the building, concrete siding to replace proposed cedar siding and the installation of conduit for future solar heating.

    Architect Charlie Williams estimated that sustainable design strategies points were at about 28, two points above the requirement for certification.

    Kinsman recused herself because she owns property within the noticing area of the project.

    RV PARKING 5-0

    The council unanimously approved the first reading of amendments to the zoning ordinance and the local coastal program that would close a loophole that allows recreational vehicles to park in the front yards of properties zoned for two- or three-family homes.

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    Under the proposed amendments, owners of RVs 20 feet or longer and more than 6 feet high may be parked in a rear yard provided the owner obtains an administrative use permit and complies with conditions.

    WAY TO GO 5-0

    After hearing impassioned testimony on both sides of the issue, the council reaffirmed its decision to accept from the county the pedestrian easement between Pedro and Monterey Streets in South Laguna.

    “I believe it is a community asset,” said former Mayor Ann Christoph.

    Once given away, it would be gone forever, she warned.

    Gordon Mayo said he lives one house from the trail and had never seen anyone use it.

    “The intent was beach access,” said real estate broker Russell Singer, who opposed the city acquisition. “West Street is a much safer way to get to the beach and just as quick.”

    David Montaigne testified that the path "” although reduced from its original 60-foot width to 15 feet, according to Christoph "” benefits the neighborhood.

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    GREEN CURB APPROVED 5-0

    The council approved the installation of a 66-foot, green-curbed zone on the south side of Brooks Street by the Old Pottery Place for metered, 30-minute parking between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., but unrestricted other times.

    The installation required the modification of a condition of approval in the conditional use permit for the redeveloped site, which required three parking spaces on Brooks Street for passenger loading and unloading, typically a white curb for un-metered, 2 to 3-minute parking.

    Three other changes to the conditions were requested by the applicant and approved: a change in the location of the plates on the building façade; and retention or replication of “Pottery Shack” tile signage and removal of the gazebo.

    The Heritage Committee recommended places for the plates and agreed that the signs were no longer relevant. The committee and the Design Review Board also agreed that the gazebo was not historic and need not be retained, a condition of approval.


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