City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the April 17 City Council meeting:



The public is allowed to speak on any subject not on the agenda. Speakers generally are limited to three minutes, but the time can be adjusted by the council.

•Laguna Beach High School students Garrett Burk, Barrett Thornton, Chloe Jackson, Briana Boyd and Nathanial Colburn urged the public to participate in the Laguna Beach Police Department's Prescription Drug Takeback Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The students are active in the campaign to educate teens and parents about prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse issues.

•Katherine Doe announced that rental assistance vouchers were available from the Orange County Housing Authority. She said the Section 8 housing was opened recently for the first time in seven years and suggested that low-income families, disabled veterans and senior citizens investigate their opportunities.

•Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts Chairman Wayne Baglin reported that the annual Art Star Awards event, which was attended by Dana Gioia, past president of the National Endowment for the Arts, was sold out. He said competition was stiff for the seven different awards that were presented.

Baglin proclaimed the recent Laguna Dance Festival spectacular. Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger and Councilwoman Toni Iseman concurred.

Baglin also announced upcoming cultural events, including the world premiere of "Tickled Pink" at the Laguna Playhouse, No Square Theatre's "Berlin on Broadway" on April 27 and 28, the First Thursday Art Walk on May 3 and the Arts Commission's Friday Sunset Serenades beginning May 4 at Heisler Park.

He thanked the council for its continued support of the arts in Laguna.

•Rick Gold reminded everyone that May is Heritage Month in Laguna. The Heritage Committee will be putting on several events, including an opening ceremony May 3 at Madison Square and Garden Café. There will be guided walking tours downtown throughout the month.

•John Blauner spoke of the medical fallout from low-level radiation after Fukushima. He urged tighter controls over nuclear power facilities.



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

•City Treasurer Laura Parisi commended Bank of America, which was named Corporate Patron of the Year at the Art Star Awards.

•Councilman Kelly Boyd announced that his eighth annual spring golf tournament will be held on May 14 at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. The event will benefit six charities.

To enter, contact Boyd or Maggie at (949) 494-3027.

•Rollinger reported that she was among a group of about 45 citizens who met with the chairman of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Rollinger said she was grateful that the chairman took the time to meet with folks who are concerned about San Onofre.

She also announced said she would be bringing a social host ordinance to the next meeting and asked that it be heard early in the evening, as there would be a number of students in attendance.

•Mayor Jane Egly said she had been asked by the Planning Commission to announce that a subcommittee will host a kickoff for Mobility Element hearings from 4 to 6 p.m. May 7, followed by a series of public meetings.

Egly urged residents to go to and take the pledge to help reduce water use. Egly also recommended a city brochure titled, "Changes in Lawn Watering Regulations Will Require Your Help."



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:

•Installation of "Streamline Bench" at 237 Ocean Ave. and the relocation of the existing city-owned bench and trash receptacle

•Adoption of a resolution of intent to extend the Business Improvement District encompassing all of the hotels and motels in Laguna Beach to June 30, 2013.

The council will hold a public hearing May 12 to consider the extension of the hotels' uber bed tax over the regular amount, which is voluntarily contributed to the city to fund art-related programs and activities that bring tourists to Laguna.

Hotel operators have the option of protesting the extension at the meeting.

Estimated revenue for the fiscal year 2011-12 will increase from $1,330,000 to $1,475,000.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson recused herself from the vote due to her employment at the Laguna Playhouse, one of the major recipients of BID funding.

•Set June 5 as the meeting to interview and appointment of three residents to the Arts Commission and three residents to the Planning Commission, and set 5 p.m. May 29 as the deadline for submitting applications to the city clerk.



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

Mills Act process modified, 5-0

The council directed Community Development Director John Montgomery to implement modifications to the Mills Act process that were recommended by the city's Heritage Committee.

The agreements, which jumped from 28 in 2009 to 41 this year, concerned the committee.

A reduction in property taxes is a major incentive to enter into the agreements. The agreements cost the city $123,076 in property tax revenue in 2011.

Committee recommendations included the new requirement that interiors be inspected, which members of the public felt imposed on their privacy and questioned how the state could retroactively alter existing contracts, according to the staff report. Property owners with contracts will be notified.

An application fee of $235 and a historic consultant review deposit of $2,000 were also approved by the council.

Contractor Ken Fischbeck said that recommendations by architects and residents were not considered at public meetings held by the committee. His comments were disputed by committee member Rick Gold and former Mayor Ann Christoph.

Pocket parks construction approved, 5-0

The council augmented the budget to build the Park Avenue View Park and a small Laguna Canyon park with a transfer of $98,000 from the Diamond Crestview Guard Railing Project.

A $120,242 contract was awarded to America West Landscape for the construction of the parks, both designed by Bob Borthwick.

Temporary use permit amendments, 5-0

The council approved California Coastal Commission modifications to an ordinance amendment adopted by the City Council in 2010 to streamline the temporary use permit approval process for short-term events of five or fewer days.

"This came out of the Business Improvement Task Force," said Pearson. "It has taken 'til now to get it this far."

Changes to the city's zoning ordinance and local coastal program were finally approved in January by the Coastal Commission, with modifications that included a stipulation that a coastal development permit must be obtained for uses that require the permit.

The modifications required approval by the council and are subject to a second reading.

Pet sale ordinance

A hearing was continued to May 1 on a proposed prohibition of the sale of dogs and cats, and a requirement for a license and annual inspection of commercial animal rescue shops.

TechComm Committee dissolved, 5-0

The council voted to dissolve the TechComm Committee and to send letters to the three remaining members to thank them for their service.

"It began as a subcommittee to deal with the cable contract," said Pearson, who recommended dissolution. "But over the last two years, the committee has struggled with its role. The members did not feel they were making a contribution."

The committee was not consulted in the debate on cell facilities and the related ordinance undergoing review — a responsibility Pearson said the Planning Commission should assume.

With staff and funding limited, resources should be redirected from committees that are not needed, she said.

Helium-filled balloons not grounded, 5-0

The City Council chose Plan B instead of banning the sale of helium-filled balloons.

Plan B consists of educating the public of the dangers to the environment of helium-filled and Mylar balloons that escape and end up on beaches and in the ocean.

Egly, who sponsored the consideration of a ban, acknowledged that the public might be getting tired of the council banning things.

"Some council members are getting tired of the council banning things," said Boyd.

Egly jokingly threatened to bring before the council a ban on chocolate.

Consent calendar reopened, 5-0

The consent calendar was reopened after the public hearings so a member of the audience could comment on a lot line adjustment at 22542 Allview Terrace and a coastal development permit that had been approved.

Neighbor Wayne Wright said he and the owner of 22542 Allview Terrace had a lot line dispute, which he understood had been resolved 20 years ago. He requested that the lot line adjustment be delayed for 60 days to allow him and his neighbor time to mutually come to an agreement on how to mitigate their differences.

However, his request came too late to be considered. He had failed to pull the item from the consent calendar when afforded the opportunity. Consent calendar items not pulled for discussion are approved in a single vote.



Abatement programs approved, 5-0

Abatement of street sweeping, intersection visibility obstruction and weeds that have become a public nuisance was approved.

The hearing was an opportunity for any property owner to protest the inclusion of his or her property in the programs.

Only one protest was presented, and the council instructed staff to work with a Bluebird Canyon resident who distributed photographs he said showed no obstruction to street sweeping by a hedge on his property.

Property owners who do not comply with the city request for abatement have the job done for them and they are billed along with their property taxes.

Hedge-height appeal denied, 3-2

The council upheld Montgomery's decision on height of a hedge at 1724 Ocean Way, which he based on a recommendation by the city's landscape consultant.

Rollinger and Iseman voted against the denial.



The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. May 1, in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

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

—Compiled by Barbara Diamond from information provided by the City Clerk's Office

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World