Residents poured complaints into the ears of the City Council at the Nov.19 meeting about the city's handling of water and mud flows on private property, which were rebutted by the city manager.
North Laguna resident John Kreber complained that overgrazing by goats had stripped the hillside near his Panorama home, and dirt from what he called a shoddy repair of the fire road had cascaded down the hill.
He blamed the Laguna Beach County Water District for an impasse, which has prevented a solution from being implemented, even at the property owner's expense.
"We are in the same place we were last year," Kreber said.
City Manager Ken Frank explained that six claims were filed last year against the district for mud and silt flow. Three of the suits have been settled, three are still in litigation, which Frank said precluded him from further comment.
Rimrock over a (rain) barrel
In another rain-related issue, architect Kirk Saunders said water from a plugged drain on Temple Hills Drive is pouring onto Rimrock Canyon Road
"I have been told it's a private drain, and I question that, but even if it is a private drain, the rain isn't," Saunders said.
He told the council he had been told to get it fixed himself, but he doesn't know to whom he should go.
The city has no easement to access the drain and has never maintained it, according to Frank. He said he had previously suggested that the Rimrock homeowner form an assessment district (as another neighborhood did) to handle the drainage problem when they got together to repair their private road, but they didn't follow his recommendation.
Numerous contractors can be hired to handle these problems, Frank said.
"We have 1,000 situations like this in the city," Frank said. "We could make the street city-owned, if the property owners fix it and grant an easement."