City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the May 21 Laguna Beach 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.

•Morrie and Barbara Granger announced that a fundraiser for the South Laguna Community Garden will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. June 7. Revelry at the garden will include libations and a silent auction.

•Kathryn Doe encouraged residents to pay close attention to the news and to be better prepared for a disaster.

•Arnold Hano backed Councilman Robert Whalen's recent complaint about the length of time it takes to complete utility undergrounding projects. Hano said that the estimated six years is too long.

•Bruce Hopping recommended the city install mobile skateboard facilities and register skateboarders to ensure they know the traffic laws.



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

•Whalen said he enjoyed participating in the Spring Classic Golf Tournament, sponsored by Mayor Kelly Boyd, to raise funds for several local nonprofits.

He announced that the Boys & Girls Club fundraiser held recently at the Montage Resort set a fundraising record and that the Laguna Art Museum board of trustees has two new members, including Keith Swayne.

Whalen is on the board of the club and represents the city on the museum board.

•Councilwoman Toni Iseman cited an article in the Los Angeles Times to illustrate her request for an inventory of all utility poles in town to make sure they are active and not overloaded. Iseman said the article stated that Southern California Edison had agreed to pay $37 million to resolve concerns about overloaded utility poles that sparked fires that burned more than 3,836 acres.

She also said undergrounding utility poles is imperative in light of the disaster in Oklahoma, where folks were unable to contact loved ones because above-ground poles were destroyed in the recent tornado.

•City Treasurer Laura Parisi announced that Bank of America's community assistance group had allocated $35,000 to $50,000 to the Laguna Art Museum and the art festivals.

She also reported that the time has come to issue a request for proposals from banks to service the city.

The council agreed she should issue full requests this year, although City Attorney Philip Kohn said council approval is not required.

Parisi also reported that the Treasury Oversight Committee for Orange County, of which she is a member, had granted her a full student subscription to the Fixed Income Academy. She said she planned to complete the series of courses related to investments and bonds.

•Councilman Steve Dicterow reported that Arch Beach Heights neighbors who attended a meeting sponsored by Dicterow and Mayor Kelly Boyd overwhelmingly opposed the notion of a skateboard facility at Moulton Meadows Park.

"It was disappointing, but it highlights a critical concern," he said. "Probably every neighborhood will have the same reaction."

Nonetheless, Dicterow said, he and Boyd would persevere.

He does not support a skate park in Laguna Canyon or Main Beach, as has been suggested in the past. He thinks the visibility of the facility would attract outsiders, which is counter to the purpose of providing a skate park for Laguna residents.

Dicterow also said cutting down the trees downtown was not a gut-wrenching issue for him, but in the future he will be more sensitive to agenda items that matter greatly to people in town.

"I don't know if the results would have been any different, but we could have communicated it better," Dicterow said. "We seem to be moving away from being united."

He said he is seeing divisiveness on issues such as view preservation, as well as the skateboard park.

•Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson said the Temple Hills Neighborhood Assn. supports the installation of sidewalks along Temple Hills Drive, for which funding has been budgeted.

Pearson attended the dedication of the public art on Broadway Street. She thanked city arts commissioners for their dedication and for selecting public art.

She recommended people attend the "Pianist of Willesden Lane," scheduled to run for two weeks starting Wednesday at the Laguna Playhouse.

Pearson said the gut-wrenching one-woman show features a noted pianist whose mother tried to protect her from the Nazi regime.

•Boyd also attended the Broadway public art dedication. He encouraged the public to look at the new booklet created by cultural arts manager Sian Poeschl that features the Laguna Beach public art collection.



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 a $33 million claim filed by Kathryn L. Doe. Details of the claim were not on the agenda.

•Purchase of two portable speed-advisory trailers at a cost of $28,000 to replace the three that no longer function and cannot be repaired.

•The five-year agreement with Orange County district attorney to continue to prosecute local ordinance violations.

•Temporary installation of "I Need to Make a Phone Call," a Michael Graham sculpture incorporating the red telephone booth on Forest Avenue, to be exhibited for 24 months.

•Lifeguard services on specified days for the Irvine Cove gated community between May 24 and Sept. 29.

The community association will pay the city $28,000 and provide liability insurance for the services.

•A contract with the County of Orange and/or the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that extends Laguna's participation in the Community Development Block Grant program for fiscal year 2013-14.

Pulled for discussion:

•Four foreclosures for delinquent assessments.

Whalen pulled the item because he objected to the mediation being held in Riverside. The city attorney was asked to look into getting the mediation moved; approved 5-0.



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

Frontage Road sidewalk, approved 4-1

The council approved a $35,951 contract with Golden State Constructors to build an extension of the sidewalk on Laguna Canyon Road that preserves three existing trees in the public right of way.

Whalen cast the "no" vote.



The public, by law, must be notified of these hearings. 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.

Parking reduction granted, 5-0

The council adopted a resolution that reduces the parking requirement by three spaces at 1050 S. Coast Hwy., where food service will include outdoor seating, which the city encourages.

Project safety to be reviewed, 5-0

The council voted 5-0 to continue the request for changes in a landscape and hardscape design at 405 Nyes Place that includes grading and a retaining wall until the original design is reviewed for safety by the city's geotechnical consulting firm at the expense of the applicant.

Conditional approval upheld, 5-0

The Design Review Board's denial of changes to a previously approved plan at 397 Weymouth Place was upheld.

Requested changes included new landscaping, a 42-inch glass guard rail and air conditioning.

Revisions approved 3-2

Addition of a spiral staircase to the rear of the structure at 2887 Terry Road and the relocation of a spa from ground level to the deck were approved on a split decision, with Iseman and Whalen opposed.

The conditions of approval included a 10 p.m. curfew for spa use and no more than three verifiable complaints to police about violations within a 12-month period.

An earlier motion by Iseman, seconded by Whalen, failed for lack of a third vote.



Any action taken must be reported publicly.

•Labor negotiations with Laguna Beach Police Employees, Municipal Employees and Marine Safety and the Orange County Professional Fire Fighters Assns., as well as and unrepresented management employees

•Conference with legal counsel related to anticipated litigation on three claims — damage at 998 and 1017 Skyline Drive and at 741 Summit Drive.

•Three items of real property negotiations:

Price and terms of lease of the Festival of Arts Grounds; possible purchase of property at 497 Ocean Ave.; and possible purchase of property represented by Driftwood Properties.

No announcement was made.



The next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, in the City Council chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

Meeting agendas are available by 4 p.m. on the Thursday before the meeting in the city clerk's office in City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Agendas are also published on the city's website:

Compiled by Barbara Diamond from information provided by the city clerk's office.

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