City Council Wrap-Up

The following is from the Nov. 3 City Council meeting.

Karger proclamation

The city presented gay activist Fred Karger with a proclamation of support for his efforts to oppose Proposition 8, which made a state law banning same-sex marriages, and his subsequent efforts to require the names of donors of more than $100 to be made public.

“He has been subpoenaed by solely because of his activism," said Mayor Kelly Boyd in making the presentation.


Laguna Beach was one of the first cities to oppose Proposition 8, Boyd said, and it supported follow-up litigation when the proposition was passed.

“This means a lot to me," said Karger, who also was active in the effort to save the Boom Boom Room.

Arts Commission vacancy filled

Gerard Basil Stripling was appointed to fill out an unexpired term on the Arts Commission, which ends June 30.



Stripling will replace Joan Corman, who resigned from the commission in September.

Design/development rule changes

An amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance and the Local Coastal Program was approved unanimously.


Changes include limiting the hauling of graded materials on city streets to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; subjecting additions of more than 10% to design review; changing the public noticing period for review to 28 days; exempting elevator shafts from the definition of gross floor area; eliminating variances needed to develop legal, non-conforming building sites; and amending regulations for adding to or enlarging existing legal, non-conforming structures.

‘Green’ building code tentatively adopted

The council gave tentative approval on a unanimous vote to mandatory provisions of the California Building Code earlier than required, despite requests from local builders and architects to delay its decision.


“We should look at this a little more," said contractor and designer Gregg Abel.

Staff recommended the early adoption. Community Development Director John Montgomery said the ordinance just codifies the city’s current practice.


The provisions will be implemented before the state mandate goes into effect to get a jump on energy savings and environmental protection, staff said. A second reading of the amendment, scheduled for the December council meeting, will be required before the passage. If passed, the ordinance would take effect 30 days later.

Mills Act review process approved

The council unanimously approved a proposal to allow staff to require a historic analysis report on Mills Act applications. The act is a program to preserve historically or architecturally valuable properties, and gives tax breaks for the owners.


Staff will be permitted to directly contact qualified historical resource consultants for the preparation of substantive reports, costs to be paid by the property owners. Mills Act homeowner Ken Fischbeck said the applications can be done without the expense of a consultant.


“The [tax] savings are so substantial the owners can afford a consultant," said Councilwoman Toni Iseman.

Home to stay on Historic Register

The City Council supported on a 3-2 vote a Heritage Committee recommendation denying the request of a property owner to have a 1930s cottage on Glenneyre and Diamond streets removed from the Historic Register.

The owner, who wants to demolish the home, bought it in 2001. The home was placed on the register in 1997 by the previous owner.

Boyd and Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson voted to allow the removal. Boyd said the home had been so altered that it was no longer qualifies, if it ever did, for historical status.


The property owner has the option to have an environmental impact report prepared to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act provisions for substantial alterations or demolition of structures deemed to be historic or of significant environmental impact, to be reviewed by the Design Review Board.

Otherwise, the property owner will not be able to demolish the structure, for which an application was submitted in March 2008, and build a new home on the site.

"” Compiled by Barbara Diamond