City Council wrap up

The following is from the March 1 meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council.

Arts Commissioner Patricia Kollenda announced Alliance for Arts activities, which can be reviewed at She also announced that No Square Theatre's benefit production of "Maimed" raised $20,000 for artists whose property and belongings were damaged in the December deluge.

The council unanimously denied a claim filed by the law offices of Edward J. Deason on behalf of Susan Perrine, of Laguna Niguel

Perrine claimed she was crossing Pacific Coast Highway at Cress Street on July 2, 2010, and tripped on a hole and raised sidewalk, fell forward and struck her head on a concrete planter, causing serious and permanent head injuries. The claim, as of the filing date, was for $5 million.

NovaPro Risk Solutions recommended denial of the claim against the city, based on Caltrans jurisdiction of the area in which the accident took place.

The council voted 5-0 to comply with a request by the board of directors of the Laguna Beach Colony Estates to rename Atelier Lane and part of Shreve Drive in the Treasure Island Specific Plan area.


The privately owned Atelier Lane and the portion of Shreve Drive in the estates, also privately owned, will be renamed Montage Way. The numerical addresses on the renamed streets will also be changed to 1 through 27.

Sewer lift station plan

City staff proposed a modification of the design of the Main Beach Sewer Lift Station controls, generator and other infrastructure. The council voted twice on the recommended action at City Manager John Pietig's request to ensure the understanding that the approved modifications did not pertain to the lift station itself. The measure was approved unanimously.


The lift station had already been approved and all of the modifications were consistent with the previous approval, Pietig said.

Council direction confirmed

The council voted 5-0 to confirm that property owners at 815 Quivera Street have with the City Council direction to plant a tree to make a privacy screen between their home and their neighbor's.


The property owners were allowed to remove opaque glass from their kitchen window as long as the tree is maintained.

The city upheld the decision of Community Development Department Director John Montgomery to deny a permit for a three-bedroom home with a detached guest house on Virginia Park Way. The council voted 4-0; Boyd recused himself from the discussion because of a family connection to the owner.

Dr. Eleanor R. Fraser applied for the permit and appealed the denial by Montgomery.

"I am retired and I need the supplemental income," Fraser said.

Fraser said the property had been rented out to short and long-term vacationers from 1991 to 2009 without complaints or protests from the neighbors.

Neighbor Ben Simon said 100% of the neighbors opposed the use of the home as a rental unit. No neighbor spoke in favor of the permit. Safety, parking and noise were cited as reasons for the opposition.

Elaine Bashier said she has two young sons and would not be comfortable with strangers in the neighborhood.

Fraser said there was more danger from sex offenders living nearby than from vacation renters who were carefully vetted and overseen by a property manager who lives in the guest house.


Fraser said if she had known what a stir her application would cause she never would have applied for it.

"Probably, I will sell the home," she said. "What if I sold to a family with two teens who want to start a rock band?"

Condo conversion remanded to planners

The council split 3-2 on how to deal with a proposal to subdivide an apartment building into two condominiums, each with two units, one of which has a separate guest room. Three council members said the appeal was premature.


The council majority voted to send the application for the conversion back to the Planning Commission.

Addition approved

The council approved 4-0 an addition to the lower level of the home at 699 Temple Hills Drive that is within the existing envelope.

Rollinger recused herself because she owns property within the noticing area.


The council decision reversed a Design Review Board denial of the proposed 412 square-foot addition, which the owner will now be allowed to build.

—Compiled by Barbara Diamond

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