City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Nov. 15 City Council Meeting. All members were present.

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EXTRAORDINARY BUSINESS

Laguna Board of Realtors President Gary Boison Check presented a $6,987.26 check to the city for the installation of air conditioning in the holding pens at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter.

The funds were proceeds from the annual Pet Parade and Chili Cook-off, hosted by the board's Charitable Assistance Fund.

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PUBLIC COMMENT

•Marian Pack spoke again about safety issues associated with the aging San Onofre nuclear plant. She urged the council to follow San Clemente's lead and send letters to California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking that the plant's license not be extended for another 20 years when it reaches its 40-year permit period in 10 years.

Councilwoman Verna Rollinger said that she would like an agenda item exploring actions taken by San Clemente and actions Laguna could take to be better informed on what to do in an emergency.

The Disaster Preparedness Committee is looking into emergency plans and will shortly submit a full report, according to Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson. Mission Hospital is the designated disaster center, Pearson said.

Pearson said she is pleased with the committee's work and what they are doing to ensure adequate information on what needs to be done before, during and after a disaster and the organization of neighborhoods.

•Gallery owner Mark Chamberlain said that Faye Chapman and Alan Boinus had approached him some time ago to put on an exhibit at BC Space in recognition of the city's participation in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

The result was an exhibit featuring Chapman's photographs of Laguna's homeless population, along with works by other artists, to run through Dec. 22.

Donations of $361 raised at the show were presented to the city with the hope of opening the Alternate Sleeping Location for the homeless on really cold days, Chapman said.

Chapman also thanked the artists who contributed bowls to the Hunger Bowl fundraiser, the restaurants that filled them and the buyers, which included Councilman Kelly Boyd and Deputy City Clerk Lizette Chel.

Boinus asked for donations of coats and socks to the Laguna Relief & Resource Center. Chapman said women's shoes are also needed.

•Fred Talarico distributed CDs showing a video of construction at 2425 S. Coast Hwy. and expressed dismay about the project. He said nothing has been done to address safety concerns or the removal of public parking due to construction vehicles.

Boyd said that Caltrans had issued a permit that would be available the following day for parking related to the construction.

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Consent Calendar

Consent calendar items are approved unanimously in one motion unless a member of the city council, staff, or public "pulls" the item, which then requires opening it for public comment and a separate vote.

Among the items approved unanimously:

•Adoption of a resolution to submit the Open Space Parcel Tax Initiative measure to the voters in the Nov. 6, 2012, General Municipal Election.

•A five-year lease for the Friends of Hortense Miller Garden for the operation and maintenance of the property and house.

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Complete Streets Proposals funded

The council approved a $295,000 allocation to fund six proposed Complete Streets projects. Complete Streets is a concept that proposes to minimize the role of the automobile in Laguna Beach, emphasize a pedestrian-oriented environment and promote the notion that city streets should be safe for use by everyone — cyclists, bikers, walkers and four-wheel vehicles.

A city task force came up with 80 recommendations after 33 months of research and meetings, from which 24 were proposed to the city staff, including the North Laguna Bike Route, which has been implemented.

"The staff selected six, with only two from the top 10," task force chairman Les Miklosy said at the council meeting.

Each item was voted separately so that Boyd could participate on proposals that he was not prohibited from by residential or business proximity to the project — items 2 and 3. All items were unanimously approved:

1. $10,000 for the installation of GPS tracking equipment in the city's Summer Festival Trolleys

2. $100,000 set aside for unspecified pedestrian improvement projects in the Temple Hills neighborhood

3. $15,000 to install bike racks in two downtown areas, pending input on and approval of the sites

4. $100,000 for pedestrian pathway improvements on Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road, with specific staff recommendations to be brought to the council at a later date

5. $50,000 for the preparation of a preliminary study of a pedestrian and bicycle pathway from Top of the World to the Arch Beach Heights Fire Road

6. $5,000 to hire a transportation planning consultant to evaluate the feasibility of implementing "complete streets" elements on Glenneyre Street.

A $15,000 contingency fund was set aside as a contingency for the completion of the projects.

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Noticing of public hearings extended, 3-2

The council approved an ordinance amendment that requires residents and tenants in a 100-foot radius of proposed development project be notified of a public hearing.

Attorneys Gene Gratz and Larry Nokes spoke against the amendment. Both said the noticing puts an additional financial burden on applicants and tenants are more mobile than property owners.

Council members Pearson and Boyd voted against the amendment.

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Next Meeting

The council's next regularly scheduled meeting will be held Dec. 6, 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.

— Barbara Diamond

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