Council hopes to discuss fire ring ban with AQMD

Officials at the South Coast Air Quality Management District will postpone its hearing regarding the removal of beach fire rings in Orange and Los Angeles counties after the city of Huntington Beach received a letter from the California Coastal Commission.

The district decided to delay the consideration of the fire ring ban until June 7, from May 3, so long as Huntington Beach could provide it with documented correspondence from the Coastal Commission, as earlier reported by the Daily Pilot.

Mayor Connie Boardman said Monday that the city received the letter confirming the delay from the commission last week and plans to invite AQMD board members to Huntington Beach for public testimony.

"We'll be talking to some of the AQMD board members and keep touching base with them," she said. "I know that AQMD board member [Miguel] Pulido was interested in hearing from people in Huntington Beach and we're working on setting that up."

Huntington Beach council members sounded off about their opposition to the proposed ban during Monday's council meeting.

"This is an issue that goes beyond whether or not it's the right thing to do," said Councilman Joe Shaw, who placed a sticker on his iPad that said "Keep Your Mitts Off Our Pits." "It's a tradition that's been around for many years."

Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Harper suggested that the council persuade AQMD members to re-evaluate the issue, he said.

Two AQMD members, Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry and Chino Mayor Dennis Yates, have constituents who wouldn't be able to use fire rings should the district consider banning them, Harper said.

"I'm sure that they really don't want to be known as the AQMD directors that took away fire rings from Southern California," he said. "It's not just about what the impact is on our city. It's the impact that it has regionally."


Massage parlors

In other news Monday, the Huntington Beach City Council passed its massage parlor ordinance in a unanimous vote.

The new regulations will closely comply with state law in an effort to crack down on illicit massage parlors.

The ordinance went through multiple changes to ensure that legal businesses would not be discriminated against.

Twitter: @acocarpio

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