City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the July 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.

•Festival of Arts President Fred Sattler announced that this summer marked the beginning of a two-year celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. He said the Festival and Pageant have attracted millions of visitors to the city since 1932, bolstering revenue for local businesses, contributing to the city's tax base and awarding more than $2 million in scholarships.

The Festival has contributed to the city's history, as well as its economy, via lease payments that paid off the bonds for the purchase of Main Beach Park, city grants to local nonprofits and most recently a review of the Downtown Specific Plan.

"Residents have no doubt noticed the significant improvements we have made to the Festival grounds, which are a benefit to the entire community and make Laguna Beach an even more appealing destination," Sattler said.

•Kathryn Doe said that she has lived in Laguna for 31 years and is a candidate for the City Council. She needs signatures on her nominating papers and would appreciate support. She said she would be available to discuss issues.

•Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristine Thalman announced that Morgan Bixquert, Leo Rousseau and Gauthier Vandermeeren from France and McKenna Nokes of Laguna are interning at the chamber this summer.

All four have been distributing a two-page survey to businesses on a map put together by the Visitors and Conference Bureau. The survey was developed in conjunction with Asst. City Manager Christa Johnson. Results are expected by the end of August.

•Bruce Hopping announced that he was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1956 in Melbourne, Australia, again in 1960 in Rome, a member of the Far East Air Force during the war in the Pacific and a 50-year Emeritus Patron of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Hopping considers the Heisler Park veterans' memorial a disgrace and urged the Arts Commission to invite designs for a sculpture to truly honor veterans. He asked for recognition of Stuart Saffer, reported that the city's water fountain at Forest and Glenneyre wasn't working and the water was not fit to drink, and asked that his Kalos Kagathos Foundation's mural for Thalia Street be commissioned.

•Builder Pat Galos said the city's code enforcement is out of control, enforcement officers are overstepping their bounds and the city should find better things to do with its money and personnel's time.

Enforcement in Laguna is complaint-driven — meaning somebody complained about a violation before action was taken.

Galos suggested the council members should read an article by Leslie LeBon, a local architect and former member of the Design Review Board.



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

•Treasurer Laura Parisi announced that levies were discontinued for Assessment Districts 95-5 (Legion and Short streets, El Camino Del Mar and Los Robles) and 95-2 (Ocean Vista, Driftwood and Marilyn drives). The 102 homeowners in these districts will save from $580 to $956 a year beginning with their 2012-13 property tax bills.

•Councilwoman Toni Iseman congratulated the Laguna Art Museum on the Clarence Hinkle exhibit. She also complimented the Chamber of Commerce on its program, "To Catch a Thief," which featured valuable information from Police Officer Zack Martinez.

Iseman expressed appreciation for the excellent quality of service that customers are receiving at the Community Development counter and applauded Public Works on its well-organized shuttle service.

Director of Public Works Steve May said folks can use an app to tap into the city's GPS system to find out the location of the buses and get an estimate of how long a wait might be expected.

May attributed the app to Deputy Director of Public Works Ken Fischer and to the Visitors Bureau.

•Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson congratulated the Visitors Bureau and the Arts Commission on the exhibit at John Wayne Airport featuring art in Laguna Beach, highlighting the Festival of Arts, the Sawdust, the Playhouse and the Laguna Art Museum.

"When you come off a plane, the first thing that you see is all the wonderful things to do in Laguna," Pearson said.

She also lauded the Festival's Jazz Saturdays and thanked FOA for the tickets given to nonprofits for the Pageant preview night, which are used as fundraisers.

Pearson warned residents that city parking stickers are not valid along Laguna Canyon Road during the festivals and announced that "The Marvelous Wonderettes" would continue at the Playhouse through the first week of August.

•Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger added that the apps mentioned by May could also be used for restaurants and to find other useful information. She thanked the Visitors Bureau and staff. Rollinger said it was her pleasure to cut the ribbon for the huge John Wayne Airport exhibit that depicts Laguna's past and present, as well as featuring its major arts organizations.

•Mayor Jane Egly reminded locals that the Music in the Park concert series has started, with about a month to go.

Egly congratulated Lester Sabet, the new president of the Laguna North community association, which is becoming more active.

Among her activities since the last council meeting, Egly attended the opening of refurbished Inn at Laguna; the dedication of the new pocket park on Laguna Canyon Road; No Square Theatre's performance of George and Ira Gershwin's music at the Veterans Memorial Building; the Board of Realtors' Taste for Charity at which funds were distributed to non-profits including No Square Theatre, First Thursday Art Walk, Sally's Fund, Friendship Shelter, Laguna Beach Community Clinic, Glenwood Housing Foundation and Laguna Beach Live!.

Egly also expressed appreciation for the survey that highlighted the importance of the arts to Laguna's economy.



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:

•Denial of claims filed by Mark Landon, Emil Treeson and Dale Ira Haviland Jr.

Landon alleged that a police officer deprived him of his livelihood by ordering him to turn off his amplified music. No amount was claimed.

Treesom claimed he tripped on a broken sidewalk at Treasure Island Park and chipped two front teeth, requiring crowns, and fracturing a third tooth that had to be pulled and replaced with an implant. He filed a claim for $3,465.

Haviland estimated his claim at millions of dollars for injuries he said he suffered when a tree fell on him at Main Beach.

•Approval of a request to remove 459 High Drive from the city's Historic Register.

The owner applied to have the house put on the register in November 2011, but in April requested the house be removed because she had not realized the extent of involvement and believes the process infringes on her privacy.

•Formal notification to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the city supports removal of the Laguna Beach Dudleya from Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

Laguna Greenbelt Inc. and Laguna Canyon Foundation had no objections to the removal.

•An $837,400 contract awarded to Orion Construction Corp. for construction of Rockledge Sewer System Improvements and a contract not to exceed $39,500 with DMR Team to provide construction services for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the project.

•Installation of "Warriors United" and Colors of the Canyon" on Broadway and contracts with artists Cheryl Ekstrom and Marsh Scott to create and install the works

Pulled for discussion:

•Second reading of an ordinance that amended the municipal code related to second residential units and a request for California Coastal Commission certification. Approved 4-1, Iseman opposed.

Iseman opposed the ordinance because it lacked Design Review Board oversight. Resident Chris Prelitz also opposed the lack of oversight.



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

Weed abatement assessments, approved 5-0

The council approved the addition to property owners' tax bills of city-expended funds to remove weeds from their properties The total amount came to $14,592.39, with $1,168,95 the highest individual assessment and $202.15 the lowest, including labor, debris removal and administration fees.

Commission gets building height limit request, approved 5-0

Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger's request to re-adopt the 36-foot height limit on buildings in town was referred to the Planning Commission for consideration.

The specific verbiage was eliminated when an ordinance was adopted in 2008 that set heights for every zone in the city.

State law requires the Planning Commission to consider zoning ordinance amendments before the council can take action.



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

Sewer, refuse fees placed on county tax roll, 5-0

Laguna Beach residents are assessed for sewer service and trash collection on their annual property tax bill.

The council confirmed the assessments and authorized the assessments to the county for place on the 2012-13 county tax roll.

Appeal denied, 5-0

The council affirmed an administrative denial of an application to convert two units to short-term lodging at 240 Jasmine St.

The 1,200-square-foot duplex would have required a variance from the usual standards allowable density.



•Conference with real property negotiators on the price and terms of the Festival of Arts grounds.

The festival is represented by the president of the board. The city is represented by Rollinger and Pietig.

•Conference with real property negotiators on the price and terms of a proposed facility use agreement with the Laguna Beach Unified School District. District Supt. Sherine Smith represents the district, Pietig the city.

•Conference with legal counsel regarding pending litigation.

Rowden, Begin and Aguilasochov each versus the city of Laguna Beach

Any action taken by the council in closed session must be reported publicly. None was announced.



The council meets next at 5 p.m. Aug. 7 in closed session. The public meeting begins 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

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

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