City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Laguna Beach City Council meeting of Dec. 7.

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Retiree Condon honored

Public Works employee Anthony Condon was honored by retiring City Manager Ken Frank and outgoing Mayor Elizabeth Pearson for his 20 years of service to the city.

Condon works in the Parks Department and is now primarily responsible for the landscaped areas downtown.

"He is unique," Frank said. "He has found a way to live in Laguna Beach which is difficult for our employees. But it is a blessing for us to have employees who care about the city and are close enough to respond in an emergency.

"We have a gift for him. I guess it is no surprise that it is a tool kit."

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Also on the consent calendar, the council approved the purchase of a chopper pump for the operation of the SuperOxygenation System installed at the Laguna SOCWA Lift Station.

The Chopper pump will replace the current pump which cannot handle the increase in discarded wipes and disposable mop covers.

Dave Shissler, city director of water quality, reported that the situation is so dire, wastewater agencies are seeking legislative help, but for immediate relief the chopper pumps are needed.

The pump will cost $14,000. An appropriation of $22,000 was approved to cover the cost of the pump and its installation.

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Council assignments

With each election, council representation on organizations and committees is reviewed and some are changed — principally those permanently assigned to the mayor or mayor pro tem.

As mayor, Toni Iseman automatically will represent the council on the Business Improvement District, Festival of Arts Board of Directors, the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities, the county City Selection Committee, the Southern California Assn. of Governments and the South Orange County Assn. of Mayors.

She also will continue to partner with Pearson in efforts to improve water quality in Aliso Creek, the Village Entrance and the Long Term Business Assistance Task Force.

Iseman added representation on the League of Coastal Cities Coalition to her other duties, but relinquished her assignment as liaison to the Housing and Human Services Committee to Councilwoman Verna Rollinger.

Rollinger also volunteered to fill the request by the Laguna Canyon Foundation for an alternate and joined Mayor Pro Tem Jane Egly on the Complete Streets Act Task Force.

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The council approved on the second reading amendments to the city code relating to commercial and recreational vehicles parking on city streets or lots. The vote was 4 to 1; Councilwoman Verna Rollinger opposed.

WHAT IT MEANS

Large vehicles must be moved after five hours within a 24-hour span. Moving the vehicle just a few feet will not be acceptable.

There will be exceptions. And adequate notice will be given of the new regulations before enforcement of the code, which includes citations and impounding.

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The council voted 4 to 1 to support a Planning Commission approval of another candy store downtown, which had been appealed by the Diane Jordan-Smith Trust, owner of Peppertree Lane which includes Rue du Chocolat. Rollinger voted "no."

Verdun Chocolatier Inc. is located a couple of blocks from Peppertree Lane, and about 200 feet away from another chocolate shop on South Coast Highway owned by Cosima Qazi. "There isn't enough foot traffic to support two chocolate shops in the same block," Qazi said.

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The council unanimously agreed to amend a conditional use permit to allow indoor seating, which requires more parking spaces than a take-out, and a reduction in parking requirements in return for outdoor seating at 397 S. Coast Highway, currently the Pizza Lounge. The restaurant will pay $60,000 in lieu of the three parking spaces it cannot provide.

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Quivera Street appeal granted

A Design Review Board approval of modifications to a prior condition was unanimously overturned with strings. The property owners, who appealed the board decision, must restore opaqueness to their kitchen window, possibly with removable frosting, to restore privacy for their neighbors. The window must stay opaque until and if a recently planted tree alleviates the neighbor's privacy concerns and the council approves the installation of clear glass.

Compiled by Barbara Diamond

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