City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Jan. 19 City Council meeting.

Storm nearly cancels meeting

City Manager Ken Frank gave a brief update before the regular agenda on the effects of the storm that struck earlier in the day, so severely that cancellation of the meeting was considered.

Frank reported that there was no major damage, although some flooding occurred in private homes and yards. There were several mudslides "” the worst being on Panorama Drive "” and quite a few fallen tree limbs. El Toro Road was closed briefly, but no major injuries were reported.


Dangerous driving is decried

During public comment, Kevin Spencer commented on the rash of bad driving in the city, including excessive speeds, failure to yield the right-of-way and driving while using cell phones.

“I saw three drivers by the high school cross the double yellow lines," Spencer said.

He suggested making Laguna a safe driving town.


“Parents don’t need to drive 80 miles an hour to drop their kids off at school," Spencer said. “We should make it public policy that driving dangerously is not socially acceptable."

Third Street Center rental policies set

The council unanimously approved rental fees and availability for the Community, Game and Laguna rooms and the Art Studio for days and times when city- and Laguna Beach Seniors Inc.-sponsored classes, programs and events are not in session.

A $150 security deposit will be required and will be forfeited if the room is damaged or left in an unclean condition, as well as the renter being barred from future rentals.


Fees to rent the meeting rooms were set at $30 an hour for local nonprofits, school, civic or athletic organizations; $50 an hour for nonresident nonprofits or Laguna Beach residents; $75 an hour for Laguna commercial organization; and $100 an hour for nonresidents.

Rooms will be rented only when the centers are open and other activities are scheduled to avoid additional staffing cost to open, close or supervise the facility and utility costs.

The fees are the same as charged for Lang Park facility rentals.


More parking in Coast Real

The Public Works Department proposed creating additional parking in Coast Real, including Holly Street, during the next street repaving project.


Including the additional spaces in the resurfacing project will be simple, Public Works Director Steve May reported to the council. The spaces will be added only where no structural improvements such as retaining walls are required.

Bike Task Force name changed

The council approved, 5 to 0, Councilwoman Jane Egly’s proposal to change the groups’ name to the Complete Streets Act Task Force.

“We’ve heard from attorneys, read a gazillion articles and we are not a Bike Task Force," Egly said. “We are really a Complete Streets Task Force."



The new name more accurately reflects the goals of the group, which is to make city streets safe, attractive and healthy for all users, Egly said. The goals are in line with the state’s Complete Streets Act, with which the city must comply, including a requirement adoption of a bike plan.

Repaving of Coast Highway

The council approved unanimously Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman’s recommendation to petition Caltrans to improve the resurfacing of Coast Highway, which has been criticized by city officials and residents.


More disruption, but the road is rougher and noisier than it was before the resurfacing project. Also the condition of a least one pedestrian crosswalk is so bumpy, it could lead to trips and falls, Iseman said.

"” Compiled by Barbara Diamond