Council to address downtown issues

Reallocating police funds to pay for a downtown video surveillance system, establishing a downtown task force and requiring new developments to include charging stations for electric vehicles are some of the topics set to be discussed at Monday's Huntington Beach City Council meeting.

Downtown is a continuing concern for the council. Council members recently passed an ordinance that places stricter laws for new bars and restaurants in the area.

Three items on the agenda aim to improve the district's living and business conditions.

One is a resolution asking police to formally protest requests for liquor licenses that allow for alcohol to be purchased and taken off-site, such as at convenience stores.

To help curb criminal activity downtown, city staff is asking the council to approve the reallocation of $150,000 from the police department's budget to pay for the installation and maintenance of video surveillance systems in specific locations around the area.

Police are looking to install cameras in places known for high crime activity, such as underneath the pier and alleys near Main Street, said Councilman Joe Carchio.

"I don't want to invade in anyone's privacy, and I don't think that we're going to do that," he said. "We're only going to put those cameras in problem areas."

Carchio also is behind an agenda item that requests the creation of an ad-hoc committee that would look into other issues and concerns of concern in downtown.

The committee will consist of four representatives from the downtown residential neighborhoods, three representatives from restaurants or bars and one representative each from Business Improvement District, Marking and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and a downtown business owner.

Looking to make Huntington Beach a more electric car-friendly city, Councilman Joe Shaw is asking the director of planning and building to prepare a resolution that sets a minimum amount of charging stations in new residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Shaw said on Thursday that the agenda item aims to bridge the gap between a pending state assembly bill that would require such charging stations and the city's requirements.

Also, Shaw's item from the previous meeting — restructuring the members on the Community Services Commission — will have its first reading Monday night.

The proposal increases the number of members to 12, with seven appointed by council members and five representing each school district with the city.

"I feel like this commission is particularly responsive to the city and the issue that are facing our parks," Shaw said.

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