City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Sept. 4 City Council meeting. All council members were present.



Mayor Jane Egly presented a proclamation to Dave Thomas and Kevin Mundt commemorating the 20th anniversary of AREO, a gift and home décor shop on Ocean Avenue.

An open house was to be held Sept. 8 to celebrate the anniversary.

Egly commended AREO for it success, thoughtful service to its customers and generosity to Laguna's charities and nonprofits.

Thomas and Mundt expressed thanks to their loyal customers.



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.

•Thasa Zuziak thanked the council for organizing a very special party for Olympic Gold Medalist Annika Dries, a Laguna Beach resident.

Zuziak said more than 350 people attended the event at the community pool at which Dries signed autographs for two hours.

"That night when we were looking at pictures, [Annika ] said 'It was so much more than I could ever have dreamed of,'" Zuziak said.

Zuziak commended Director of Community Service Ben Siegel, Recreation Supervisor Tom Toman, Pool Manager Adam Gufarotti and his staff for their effort.

City Manager John Pietig said the staff was so enthusiastic about hosting such an event, Gufarotti had even deflated and painted American flags on several water polo balls.

"They would have had a Navy fly-over if it didn't conflict with the city's noise issues with planes," said Pietig, who also commended staff.

Egly said one of the highlights of her very busy month was meeting the gold medalist and showed off the memory banner from London, autographed and presented to the city by Dries. The banner will be displayed at the community pool.

•Bruce Hopping said that while serving in the South Pacific in World War II the ability to swim had saved his life several times. Hopping said the city should require all Laguna Beach children to learn to swim, free of charge in the community pool.

•Jonathan Paul stated the stability of his house at 31885 Circle Drive is threatened by any proposed construction of a patio on the edge of an unsafe cliff on the property below his home.

Paul distributed a geotechnical report by Applied Geotechnical that listed the patio as an area of serious concern and read statements from the report. He said the consultant for the owner of the property below his warned of more problems unless proper measures were taken.

Three bluff failures have been reported, the most recent on Aug. 3, 2011, Paul said.

Paul provided photos and documents supporting his position. He said any further construction on the patio was unsafe and should be opposed by the city.

Pietig said city staff has been working on project for the past year, but has not been able to get an agreement between the property owners on the appropriate action.

Community Development Director John Montgomery said the patio and the house are unfinished and all permits have expired. Staff is reviewing an updated geotechnical report and peer review.

"Any action must be based on accurate information," Montgomery said. "We would not allow the project to continue if it is not safe."

•High Society founder Scott Graham announced that a benefit on behalf of "Let it Flow" to raise money to build water wells in Ethiopia will be held Oct. 4 at Mozambique Steak House.

Graham said "Let It Flow" is a nonprofit organization that provides sanitation and clean water to underprivileged communities around the world.

The benefit will be organized by High Society and will feature appearances by skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, skateboarder Nyjah Huston and Top Chef Dave Martin, Graham told the council.

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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 announced that the League of California Cities' Revenue and Taxation Committee has been asked to evaluate and comment on resolution, fines and forfeitures and Proposition 31, the California Forward Initiative, "The Government Performance and Accountability Act"; and Proposition 30, The Governor's Tax Initiative, "The School and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012," both on the November ballot.

•City Clerk Martha Anderson announced that interviews and appointments of five residents to the Housing and Human Services Committee would be held Oct. 2. Deadline to submit applications to the city clerk's Office is 5 p.m. Sept. 25.

•Pietig announced the council will meet with the Arts Commission at 4 p.m. Sept. 18.

Included on the agenda:

1. Overview of arts commission programs

2. Cultural arts plan

3. Arts and economic prosperity report

4. Future projects

A joint meeting with the Planning Commission has been rescheduled to Nov. 10.

•Councilman Kelly Boyd told Police Chief Paul Workman that the Police Cadets did a great job directing traffic downtown during the Labor Day weekend.

"I am telling you so you can tell them," Boyd said. "They get better every year and they are fun to watch."

•Councilwoman Toni Iseman, the city's Vector Control representative, reported that Orange County has reported fewer positive findings of West Nile virus due to the vigilance of residents and the aggressive elimination of mosquitoes.

She encouraged residents to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

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•Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson encouraged folks to buy tickets to the Bluegrass concert at Aliso Creek Inn scheduled for Saturday. For tickets or more information, visit Laguna Beach Live! at

She also announced that she organized a meeting with the Orange County Transportation Authority chair and city staff to see if there are ways to help the city obtain money for trolleys, senior transportation and the Village Entrance Project.

She and Iseman had met to discuss the Village Entrance Project, and she was very pleased to announce that they agreed on everything discussed.

• Mayor Jane Egly announced that the city had been awarded two grants related to traffic and circulation.

A Caltrans grant was awarded for the update of the transportation element. The Orange County Transportation Authority awarded a grant for a city-side pedestrian safety assessment.

The grants total about $400,000.

Egly credited the grants to the efforts of efforts of Principal Planner Scott Drapkin and Planning Manager Ann Larson.

•Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger reported meeting with Pietig, Director of Public Works Steve May, Complete Streets committee member Chris Prelitz and Egly to discuss a plan for Glenneyre Street, followed by another meeting to discuss the city's energy usage.

•Egly announced that September is Disaster Preparedness Month. The county will be conducting a regional emergency test at 10 a.m. Thursday.

She also announced that anyone who would like their cell phone number as well as their home number listed with the county's automatic alert system could do so by logging into

Since the last council meeting, Egly made an appearance as the guest conductor of the Laguna Community Concert Band. She also attended the Miracles For Families graduation at the Friendship Shelter. Participants learned to "stop fighting and start talking," a tactic appreciated by Egly who preaches civility in public service.

She said the Miracles For Families inspires healthy relationships for individuals, parents, couples and youth.



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:

Set Oct.16 for interviews and appointments of three residents to the Board of Adjustment/Design Review Board for terms from Feb.1, 2013, to Jan. 31, 2015. Deadline to submit applications to the city clerk's office is 5 p.m. Oct 9.



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

Canyon sidewalks sidelined, 5-0

The City Council delayed until December a decision on proposals for a sidewalk and bikeway along the easterly side of Laguna Canyon Road. City staff will spend the interim working with Caltrans to determine options in improvements.

"The canyon ambience doesn't suggest concrete sidewalks," said Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger. "My suggestion is to work with Caltrans on what would comply with the state Complete Street requirements, but be more in character.

"It is important for [Public Works Director Steve May] to determine options before we get too far into this."

The continued item also included directions to staff to work with Southern California Edison on options to underground all overhead utilities along Laguna Canyon Road.



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

Appeal denied

The Council denied the appeal of the Design Review Board approval of a 491-square-foot addition to the living area of a home at 2950 Rounsevel Terrace.

Rollinger and Iseman voted against the denial.



•Conference with legal counsel regarding consideration of whether to initiate litigation related to the Heritage Fields development in Irvine

•Conference with legal counsel regarding pending litigation, with reports from the city manager and city attorney on pending civil litigation and tort claims

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



The council meets next at 4 p.m. Sept. 18 with the Arts Commission. 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 on the city's web site

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

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