City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Laguna Beach City Council meeting of Jan. 18.


The council unanimously approved additions to sections of the municipal code that included a new definition of "major remodel," and what staff called clarification of other items, including the definition of "kitchen." Conflicts in the code with the new definition of major remodel will be amended.


Under the proposed new definition of "major remodel," three thresholds would individually trigger the designation:

•Demolition, removal or reconstruction of 50% or more of the existing, above-grade exterior wall area.

•Demolition, removal and/or reconstruction of 50% or more of existing floors, not including decks, combined with the roof framing system, not including eaves.

•One or more additions to the existing structure within any consecutive three-year period that increases the square footage by 50% or more.

Additions to existing buildings that do not create a structure that exceeds 1,500 square feet are exempt.

Exemptions also include replacement or upgrades to meet earthquake, flood-proofing, energy or state building code requirements, filling in existing window and door openings, foundation repair and replacement of roof coverings that add no expansion.

The definition does not include interior walls.


Council priorities that were discussed at the annual retreat were listed and approved 5 to 0, including a couple of additions by Councilwoman Verna Rollinger.

Rollinger asked to have her goals of funding for sidewalk studies, regular reports from city committees on accomplishments and future projects, a report on climate protection activities and a viable Village Entrance project added to the priorities — all issues she brought up at the retreat that had been omitted from the list presented at the meeting.


The list includes the long- and short-term issues, projects and priorities council members want to see accomplished, not in any particular order.


Senior transportation project proposed

The city will partner with Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. to identify and provide information on transportation to Laguna Beach seniors.

Reaching seniors who need transportation is a major challenge, according to Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson, who sponsored the proposal.

The project, approved unanimously, will be funded by savings of $13,050 due to a decrease in the use by seniors of Sally's Fund transportation service.


The money will be used to purchase a list of senior (older than 65) households and send them a series of mailings and to develop a list of telephone numbers that seniors may call for specific transportation needs.


Road extension denied

The council denied 5 to 0 a request to extend Inez Street about 275 feet, the 800 block with the 700 block of Diamond Street, with access for private use related to a new building site.


The road extension was necessary to make the proposed building site legal. The denial means no home can be built.

—Compiled by Barbara Diamond

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