City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Jan. 15 City Council meeting. All council members were present.



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.

•Roger Butow told the council that the mural on the side of Hobie Sports is an ad, not public art.

"It is a sign, space was sold," Butow said. "I believe the Arts Commission was duped. I think all of us were snookered."

Butow first brought the matter to the attention of the council via emails, calling the information distressing for city officials, but even more so for him. He said he also had spoken with the police department and city manager about a course of action.

•Walker Reed presented some reusable shopping bags to the council in gratitude for the passage of the plastic bag ban, which became effective Jan. 1.

•Lee Winocur Field announced that UC Irvine professors and other qualified teachers will be conducting some Osher Lifelong Learning Institute courses at the Susi Q. Courses will include Modern American Women Writers and Science Salon, a discussion group. Most of the courses will be held at the Woodbridge Onken Classroom. The six-class courses cost $100.

For more information call (949) 451-1403; for help with enrollment, call (949) 824-5414.

•Arts Commissioner Pat Kollenda reported on upcoming arts and cultural activities in town.

•Lynn Steg thanked the city for Treasure Island Park but said something should be done about skateboarders and cyclists on park pathways from which they are banned. She suggested signage.

•Taylor Greene urged more water conservation efforts in the Laguna Canyon Road islands. Councilwoman Toni Iseman informed him that the Beautification Council is working on it, as well as she and Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson, as part of the Village Entrance Project.

Iseman said she would like to see rebates for the use of gray water.

However, City Manager John Pietig said there is no way to get gray water from the treatment plant in South Laguna to city parks, but other conservation improvements have been installed.

•Margaret Butt suggested the city should do a better job of cleaning up Lang Park. She said she sweeps around the park and leaves piles for the city staff but they don't collect it.



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 she would again be out of the office Jan. 18. She was scheduled to attend the first League of California Cities' Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting.

The council authorized Parisi's participation on the committee and approved up to $800 in annual travel-related expenses associated with her participation and a transfer of $800 from the treasurer's outside service budget to the treasurer's training, travel and dues budget account.

•Iseman congratulated the Laguna Beach Woman's Club and the American Association of University Women for a program conducted by UCI Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders Institute at the club to educate the public about current research on Alzheimer's.

The councilwoman also commended the Planning Commission on the success of the downtown walking tour at which ideas for potential changes and improvements to the Downtown Specific Plan were aired.

She announced attending a meeting for elected officials with Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Allison Macfarlane in San Juan Capistrano. Macfarlane was asked to have San Onofre cured before it was reopened.

•Councilman Steve Dicterow said that since the last City Council meeting, he had participated in 11 events and/or meetings as a City Council representative, and he held nine meetings with various citizens in town on topics unrelated to any of the Jan. 15 agenda items.

•Pearson said she worked with the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau and Assistant City Manager Christa Johnson to submit a presentation regarding economic development in town, including the information that Laguna is the only city that uses the arts as an economic engine, generating more than $49 million a year.

A report on a proposed Economic Development Plan was pulled from the agenda to allow time for a review by the council's Business Assistance subcommittee.

Pearson also said that the Chamber of Commerce has developed a central calendar for all the events happening in Laguna Beach, and she encouraged everyone to place all events on the central calendar to avoid conflicts.

Pearson said she and Iseman are very close to presenting the Village Entrance proposal to the council and public. She led the audience in singing "Happy Birthday to You" to a blushing City Attorney Philip Kohn.

•The Downtown Walking Tour had about 50 more participants than the tour held four years ago, according to Mayor Kelly Boyd, who attended both. Boyd said major topics for the Downtown Specific Plan would be discussed at the Jan. 30 Planning Commission meeting.

•Pietig postponed item No. 11, approval of a celebration of public art in Heisler Park on May 19, due to a conflict with the annual Charm House Tour, always scheduled the Sunday after Mother's Day. Pietig said the Arts Commission would choose another date.



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:

•Rejection of claims filed by the law offices of Edward R. Danoff Jr., on behalf of Gloria L. Colon and Nikos Trikaminas; by Adler Law on behalf of Lori Clinton; by Rachel Watt and two claims filed by Jessica Costa, one including five minors.

Colon is asking for $1 million in damages. Colon claimed she stepped in a hole and fell while delivering mail. Trikaminas is asking for $100,000 for loss of consortium.

Clinton is seeking damages of more than $1 million for a traffic accident in which a northbound vehicle lost control, crossed into the southbound lanes and impact her vehicle. Her claim cites the failure to properly guard lanes of travel on a state highway within county unincorporated territory.

Watt claims she drove her vehicle into an angled parking space in front of Wells Fargo Bank and damaged the bumper on the curb. Damage was estimated at between $200 and $400.

Costa and five minors are asking for damages in excess of $166 million, alleging harassment. Costa also filed a claim for $1,205 for towing, impound fees, stress and time. The vehicle was parked in a public garage with expired registration and five delinquent parking citations.

•Feb.12 set for council interviews and appointments to the Recreation Committee and the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee.

Feb. 5 is the deadline to submit applications to the City Clerk's office.

•Appointment of Dicterow as the City Council representative to the Orange County Library Advisory Committee and Councilman Robert Whalen as the alternate.

•Approval of one-time discounted parking at the ACT V lot from $7 to $3 when sold as part of the Festival Season Passport, to be reimbursed by the festivals, based on the number of passports sold.

•Approval of competition guidelines for a temporary sculpture installation in the red telephone booth on Forest Avenue.

•Approval of the deaccession of Jorg Dubin's sculpture "Wave Point" and the installation of "Quintet" as described by Dubin to satisfy the Art in Public Places requirement for the property at 690 S. Coast Hwy.

Deaccession is the term used for the removal and sale of a work of art from a museum collection, preferably using the funds to acquire a new piece.

"Wave Point," which was installed in 2003 and has suffered damage, cost $6,000. "Quintet" will cost $7,000. The exchange was recommended by the Arts Commission.

•Adoption of amendments to the definitions in the city code related to extended care facilities and a request for California Coastal Commission certification of modifications to the Local Coastal Program.

•Purchase of three propane-fueled replicas of California-style trolleys, costing $529,173.

•Approval of the 2013 Patriots Day Parade; "No Parking" signs on Ocean Avenue, along the parade route and assembly areas; "bus parking only" signs on outbound Laguna Canyon Road between Forest Avenue and Woodland Drive; closure of designated streets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and use public address systems.

Pulled for discussion:

•Temporary closure of Oak Street and Brooks Street between Temple Terrace and Catalina Streets on Halloween each year; provision by the city of the necessary barricades and assistance with traffic control; approved 5-0.

•Approval of competition guidelines for the installation of a sculpture and mural to satisfy the Art-in-Public Places requirement for the construction of the Lifeguard Headquarters and the appropriation of $60,000 from the Art-in-Lieu Fund to establish a budget of $103,000 for the project; approved 5-0.



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

Draft Legislative platform approved 5-0

The council adopted a state and federal legislative platform that allows the mayor and/or the city manager to submit letters on legislation that affects the city, if time is of the essence.

Sometimes the League of California Cities requests letters of support or opposition to legislation from members, of which Laguna is one. The requests do not always coincide with the city council's meeting schedule, which can limit the city's ability to influence legislation, according to Assistant City Manager Christa Johnson.

Adoption of the platform enables the city to more actively participate, she told the council.

Additions to the draft platform made by council members included support for legislation that would increase funding for mass transit systems and local transit projects, for legislation that would require public utilities to underground power lines in high risk areas and legislation that funds undergrounding.

Brakes put on Goff Street parking ban 5-0

Public Works Director Steve May was directed to work with an El Camino Del Mar resident who wants parking prohibited for about 115 feet on the westerly side of Goff Street and his neighbors who don't.

The proposal was pulled by Pietig from the August agenda to allow more time to work out a solution with neighbors.

"But we were not successful," Pietig said.

This time, a loading zone has been added to the proposal. However, if no progress is made, May was directed to report back to the council for reconsideration.

Designation of Treasurer's liaison approved 3-2

The council revised the city's investment policy to state that the city treasurer will appoint the liaison/deputy treasurer, subject to the council's approval, if circumstances require timely action and the treasurer is not available.

The approval was opposed by Whalen and Pearson who had previously voted for a motion that the council would designate a staff member as liaison, which failed for lack of a majority.



These hearing are required by law to be legally noticed. Any court challenges may be limited to issues that are raised at the hearing or in written correspondence received by the city at or before the hearing.

Mozambique appeal continued 4-0, Whalen recused

The council continued an appeal of a Planning Commission approval of rooftop deck , furnishings and the elevator that accessed the deck.

Whalen recused himself from the hearing because he was a commissioner when the project came before the commission.

The council wanted a reconsideration of the size of the elevator, which the fire department preferred, and a demonstration of the impact of umbrellas and heaters on neighbors' views.



Any action taken must be reported publicly

•Conference related to negotiations with the police employees, municipal employees and marine safety employee associations and unrepresented management employees.

•Conference with legal counsel on existing litigation: Pahos/Stephens vs. Laguna Beach.

•Conference with legal counsel on anticipated litigation related to a sewer spill on Summit Drive and enforcement of view preservation regulations.

Any action taken must be reported publicly. None was announced.



The council will next meet for its annual retreat at 9 a.m. Saturday at South Coast Water District. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 29 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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