City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Sept. 6 City Council meeting.


City competes for most license plates sales

Mayor Toni Iseman announced that the city is competing with Dana Point for the most sales of the whale tail license plates designed by Laguna Beach artist Bill Atkins.

"The Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau is encouraging us to get the most sales in California," Iseman said.

Proceeds from the sales will be used to fund environmental educational programs.

Promotional decals for the license plates will be placed on city buses. The plates can be purchased at


Oro Canyon fuel modification approved

The council approved in March a fuel modification program for Oro Canyon and learned this month that the California Coastal Commission had received no appeals within the stipulated 10-day appeal period.

Most of the parcels within the project area are covered by the Arch Beach Heights Specific Plan. Modification will extend from parcel boundaries to about 150 feet into the undeveloped portion of the canyon.

Hand crews will conduct the modification without goats or tractor-type equipment.

All dead dying material and invasive plants such as pampas or fountain grass, artichoke thistle and castor bean will be removed.

Native vegetation will be limbed up, leaving a canopy to assist in erosion control.

Mulch will be applied to the entire modification area to minimize erosion as well as prevent the regrowth of undesirable vegetation.

A qualified biologist will supervise pertinent phases of the project.


$4 million approved for sewer lift station

City staff shaved as much as it could from the cost of constructing the Main Beach sewer lift station without compromising the project, but the total will still be higher than originally budgeted.

The City Council approved an increase from $3.7 million to $4 million for the project, which included a $2.24 million contract for construction on the site and the purchase of a pre-manufactured lift station for $647,000 to replace the existing decrepit and smelly facility.

"It is at the top of our list for reconstruction," said Water Quality Director David Shissler. "It is 80 years old and all of downtown drains into it. It also had a building on top of it."

Shissler was referring to the inadequate and deteriorating lifeguard headquarters, also due for reconstruction.

"Lifeguards are doing backflips tonight," Shissler said.

The increase is funded by a state-approved $700,000 transfer to the sewer project of unused state Special Biological Significance grant money awarded to the Heisler Park renovation. To qualify for the $700,000, the council authorized City Manager John Pietig to execute an amended grant agreement.

Construction will impact Main Beach and Coast Highway. The basketball courts will be used to stockpile dirt and materials. Highway lane closures will occur for short periods and pedestrians will be detoured.

Work will be underway from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the boardwalk, the path to Heisler Park and access to the lifeguard headquarters and restrooms will be open.

Relocation of utilities was scheduled to begin Monday. On-site construction will start Oct. 11. The pre-fabbed lift station is to be delivered Dec. 16, and the project is expected to be completed by May 2012.


Appointment to the PTC, 5-0

Thomas O. Berge was appointed to the Parking, Transportation Committee for one term to end March 1, 2013. Berge, a former Planning Commissioner in San Gabriel, has lived in Laguna Beach for 15 years.

He is a real estate appraiser with no prior involvement in civic or community activities.


Smoking ban at Forest Lane adopted, 5-0

The City Council approved an ordinance that bans smoking in public at the south end of Forest Lane — the alley between Forest and Ocean avenues.

According to the Police Department, the area has become a gathering spot for smokers, which annoys some of the public.

The ban will go into effect Oct. 7.


Undergrounding district proposed

Property owners were given the opportunity to comment on a proposed underground utility assessment district for Allview Terrace and Allview Place. The district must be approved by a bare majority of the property owners.

Ballots will be counted at the final public hearing Oct. 4.


Next meeting

The council's next regularly scheduled meeting will be Sept. 20, beginning with a closed session at 5 p.m. The public meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

Meeting agendas are available by 4 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the meeting in the City Clerk's Office in City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Agendas are also published at by 5 p.m. the Friday before the meeting.

For more information, call the City Clerk's Office at (949) 497-0705.

—Barbara Diamond

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