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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Feb. 7 City Council meeting. All council members were present.

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COUNCIL AND STAFF CHAT

Council members and staff report on events they have attended, people with whom they have met and other items of public interest.

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•City Clerk Martha Anderson announced that three residents will be appointed to two-year terms on the Recreation Committee and four residents to two-year terms on the Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee. Applications are due in the city clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

•Councilman Kelly Boyd reported that he had received several phone calls from residents living near the Spencer Treatment Center on South Coast Highway. The residents are concerned about cars parked on their streets for what they consider lengthy periods relating to the center. He asked staff to look into it.

•Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger attended the Soka University exhibition of Ron Chilcote’s photographs of the Greenbelt, which will run through the first week in May. Rollinger said the exhibit is a reminder of why Lagunans spent so much time and effort saving the Greenbelt.

•Mayor Jane Egly said she’d spent considerable time since the last council meeting on water issues.

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She was impressed with information on how to inform people on the way their actions affect the water, presented at a session at Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park’s new Watershed Learning and Resource Center.

She attended a meeting of the South Coast Water District Advisory Board and learned from Laguna Beach County Water District General Manager Renae Hinchey that Laguna had achieved a 26% reduction in water usage in November and an 18% reduction in December.

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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:

•Participation in a program that makes the city eligible for community block grants, which have been earmarked in the past for cold weather shelters and for other federal funding.

•An agreement to administer Measure M2 funds for the Irvine Cove Community Assn.'s Storm Water Diversion Project to divert debris and runoff to a nearby sewer lift station. Homeowner associations are not eligible to directly receive M2 funds, requiring city participation, which will cost the city nothing.

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•Acquisition of the McGraw property with California Coastal Conservancy funding, provided the Planning Commission finds the acquisition consistent with the city’s General Plan. The property will be leased to the county as part of its park system.

Pulled for discussion:

•Increase rates for ambulance service to non-residents. Approved 5 to 0.

•Set March 20 for appointments of five residents to the Heritage Committee and two residents to the TechComm Committee and March 13 as the deadline for submittal of applications to the city clerk.

•Postponement of council action on proposed changes to the Mills Act application process until April 17 so that the Heritage Committee can hold a public meeting to better inform interested folks on the changes. The Mills Act is a state program that reduces property taxes on eligible properties in return for proper maintenance.

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REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS

Items require separate discussion and citizen input, if desired, before the council makes a determination.

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General plan amendments approved, 5-0

The council adopted an ordinance that approves General Plan Amendment 08-03, Local Coastal Plan Amendment 08-03 and Rezone 09-01, updating the Land Use Element, including the California Commission’s suggested modifications.

Massage rules amended, 5-0

The council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance regulating massage practitioners and establishments in Laguna that will bring the city into conformance with state law.

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PUBLIC HEARINGS

Street name changes approved, 5-0

The council agreed to residents’ requests to change Sorce Lane to Castle Rock Road and Clarisa Avenue to Castle Rock Way.

Staff was directed to change the numerical addresses of the properties on the streets, to contact the affected public or private agencies and confirm that the approved changes are implemented in a timely manner and are correct.

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NEXT MEETING

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 28, in City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

—Barbara Diamond


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