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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the March 2 City Council meeting.

Census coming

U.S. census representative Rich Dixon made a plea for resident participation in the census.

“Forms are going out and [everyone] should get them by the 15th," Dixon said. “If you fill it out and mail it in, you have done your civic duty for the next 10 years."

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For more information, visit www.census2010.gov or call (866) 872-6868.

‘Music’ restoration approved

In arts-related items, the council:

?Approved $20,000 for the restoration of Nancy Mooslin’s “Music of the Spheres," a public art installation at Fred Lang Park. The 12 metal hoops, designed to create a chime, were removed from the park in November on the recommendation of the Public Works Director Steven May. May said the sculptures were compromised by rust and deterioration. In January, the Arts Commission recommended the restoration of the sculptures, which required council approval. Mooslin will provide the restoration service.

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?Approved Arts Commission recommendations to install a sculpture by Jorge Fernandez near the parking lot of Sea Cove Drive and South Coast Highway in South Laguna and the replacement of an existing bench with rocks.

?Set March 30 as the deadline to apply for an unexpired term on the Arts Commission. The appointment will be made at the April 6 council meeting.

Bluebird speed limit increased

Bluebird Canyon Drive residents asked the city to find a way to enforce the 25 mph speed limit. A survey conducted in November showed that 85% of the drivers travel on Bluebird Canyon Drive between Oriole Drive and Cress Street at 37 mph or less. The study and provisions of the state vehicle code prohibited radar enforcement of the 25 mph speed limit.

So the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee recommended and the council approved raising the speed limit to 30 mph, to which some residents objected, while some supported at a committee meeting.

“During the meeting, there were voices raised for and against the raising of the speed limit, but all the residents agree on one thing: We want cars to go slower on our street," the Wallsteins wrote to the council, opposing the increased speed. “In addition, we ask for a commitment by the PTC to consider alternative ideas to effectively reduce the speed"¦and to increase pedestrian safety."

WHAT IT MEANS

The speed limit will be increased to 30 mph, which can be enforced by radar. The council asked the committee to take a look at the possibility of installing speed bumps and to ask for more police attention to the area.

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Broadway grant application

The council voted 5-2 to approve a grant application for the Transportation Enhancement Program for the Broadway Gateway Beautification project, to be split 75/25. Project costs are estimated at $660,000, including $110,000 for the design. Staff proposed a request for 74% funding.

WHAT IT MEANS

The goal is to get funding to improve the looks of Broadway between Forest Avenue and the Bus Depot. The additional 1% to be paid by the city would give the project three points on the scoring criteria. If not approved, the city will pursue other grants for the project.

Mobile park fence denied

The council denied on a 5-0 vote the request of a Sarah Thurston Mobile Home Park resident to build a 6-foot-tall fence in the unimproved right-of-way at Laguna Canyon Road and Woodland Drive.

WHAT IT MEANS

The fence will be built on the resident’s property.

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Airport restrictions favored

The council voted unanimously to continue support for restrictions adopted by the Corridor Cities Coalition to protect residents impacted by John Wayne Airport.

Mayor Elizabeth Pearson, Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman and City Manager Ken Frank met with Newport Beach officials regarding support for the restrictions, which are important to Laguna Beach because many of the flight paths are over the city.

More food, less auto service at gas station

The council approved 5-0 a proposal to convert existing service bays and office/retail space at the Chevron station at 604 S. Coast Hwy. into a food and retail mart. Exterior renovations, new signs and a reduction in parking requirements also were approved.

WHAT IT MEANS

Parking may be reduced by the council when the proposed use promotes alternative modes of transportation and the use is to be of equal or less intense than the previous use.

Two mini car/golf cart spaces with electrical charging units provided the basis for the reduction from 16 required on-site spaces to 14.

Canyon subdivision

A proposal to sub-divide a parcel at 2745 Laguna Canyon Road was approved unanimously.

WHAT IT MEANS

The subdivision creates three artist live/work condominiums.

"” Compiled by Barbara Diamond



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