City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Dec. 6 City Council Meeting. All members were present.

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EXTRAORDINARY BUSINESS

Retired Fire Capt. Bobby Scruggs was honored for 30 years of service to Laguna Beach and its residents.

He joined the Fire Department in 1981. He was promoted to engineer in 1983 and to captain in 1992. He retired in June.

Scruggs said he is enjoying his retirement, but his wife was not as much.

City Manager John Pietig came down from the dais to personally thank Scurggs for his service and wish him well.

"I have been a part of just about every disaster in Laguna, so hopefully it will quiet down now that I am retired," Scruggs said.

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PUBLIC COMMENT

Bruce Hopping said that his Kalos Kagathos Foundation had made substantial contributions to the community over the last 40 years. He thought that Councilman Kelly Boyd planned to issue a proclamation recognizing him and his foundation. He asked when that might occur, as he was 90 years of age and not getting any younger.

COUNCIL AND STAFF CHAT

Councilwoman Elizabeth Peason announced a meeting on economic development assistance with the new Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kris Thalman, Assistant City Manager Christa Johnson, Iseman and Planning Commissioners Linda Dietrich and Anne Johnson.

"Over the past two years, the Planning Commission has not turned down a single application," Pearson said.

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CONSENT CALENDAR

The council unanimously agreed with the city claims adjuster's recommendation to deny of a claim filed on behalf of Leah Rogers, who said she fell on the sidewalk in the 300 block of North Coast Highway, and Community Recovery Coordinator Robert Burnham's recommendation to deny claims filed by Chubbs Inc., also known as Dog Ranch Bed and Breakfast, and Meowskers, both at 20401 Sun Valley Drive and related to the Dec. 22 flooding.

The council adopted a resolution to declare Dec. 15 A Day without a Bag to encourage the use of reusable bags for all stores.

Harris & Associates won by unanimous vote a contract not to exceed $438,000 for the construction management services for the Lifeguard Headquarters and Public Restroom project of Main Beach. The company's application was one of more than 20 received.

Bert Gross, representative for Four Leaf, one of the four finalists, asked the council to reconsider its decision because the company misunderstood the process.

Pietig said the company was respected, but the other applicants appeared to have a better grasp on what the city wanted.

The council tabled a staff recommendation not to buy a South Laguna parcel, which staff opined was of no benefit to the city because of size, location, topography and other considerations.

The item was tabled for further investigation of the county's obligation regarding the use of the parcel. Pearson and Boyd opposed tabling the motion.

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REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS

Proposed underground assessment district 4-0, Iseman rescued due to proximity of her property to the district

The council declined a staff recommendation to request up-front, good-faith contributions from property owners in a proposed district to pay for a portion of the design and assessment engineering costs.

The recommendation was prompted by the cost to the city when the homeowners in a previously proposed district decided not to proceed. The city was not reimbursed for its $112,000 up-front contribution.

Council members rejected the staff recommendation because the request for the $1,000 contributions came after the process creating the district had begun and the property owners felt blindsided.

However, the council instructed staff to come back with recommendations for design costs and the percentage of proponents need to proceed with a district.

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Assessment District Bonds refund 5-0

The council approved City Treasurer Laura Parisi's recommendation to refinance seven assessment district bonds into a single bond at a cost not to exceed $125,000.

Refinancing will save property owners in the districts a total of $279,980 or $39,000 a year.

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Coastal Commission modifications approved 5-0

The council gave initial approval to modifications to the Municipal Code required by the California Coastal Commission. The modifications are related to split-zoned parcels, appeal procedures, reasonable accommodation provisions to require completeness review and to mitigate adverse impacts to Coastal Zone impacts.

City staff had no concerns about the modifications, which require changes to the zoning ordinance. A second reading is required for passage.

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NEXT MEETING

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 10, beginning with a closed session at 5 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

— Barbara Diamond

Twitter: @CoastlinePilot

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