Updates from the City Manager

Laguna Beach City Manager Ken Frank issues a few notes and updates for the benefit of the City Council on Fridays each week. The July 16 updates follow.

Summer Meeting Schedule – Just a reminder that the City Council modified its meetings for the summer as follows:

July 20

August 17

August 31

September 21

Farmers Market Expansion – Local vendors will join the weekly Orange County Farm Bureau Farmers Market starting [July 17]. The added area is called “Laguna Lane” and is adjacent to the northwest corner of the current market with space for 6 additional local vendors.

Business Task Force – This week, the City staff met with members of the Business Task Force, including Councilmembers Iseman and Pearson.  We discussed the recommendations, which were approved by the City Council and the current status of implementing each recommendation.

Downtown Sidewalk Washing – From May through September, downtown sidewalks are pressure washed monthly by the City’s contractor. The July washing will begin next week. The process normally takes two weeks because the work can only be done during early hours before the sidewalks fill with pedestrians. During the fall and winter months the washing is done about every other month, depending upon rain. Each washing costs $10,000, and the annual program cost is $90,000.

Energy Efficiency Grant Approved – Last December the City submitted an application for a State Energy Efficiency block grant. The final approval and grant agreement was received this week. The grant amount of $131,000 was determined by a population based formula. The grant will be used to replace the City Hall air conditioning units with high efficiency units and to replace lighting at several City facilities with energy efficient lighting. The program also includes lighting motion sensors throughout City Hall.


City of Laguna Beach

Key Accomplishments

July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

••••

Community Development

Obtained Coastal Commission certification for amendments to the South Laguna Village Zone, parking code changes and sign ordinance amendments.

Extended development entitlements by 12 months to help with the financial crisis.

Adopted an omnibus ordinance with changes to grading, design review, nonconforming lots and existing nonconforming variances.

Prohibited marijuana dispensaries in the City.

Reduced fees when no inspection is needed for an occupancy permit.

Adopted a new in lieu housing fee program.

Adopted an ordinance accelerating the effective date of the green building code.

Approved a water efficient landscape ordinance.

Adopted major changes to the Land Use Element and zoning map.

Adopted many specific recommendations proposed by the Business Assistance Task Force.

Public Facilities

Replaced the benches at Main Beach Park.

Restricted left turn movements on Coast Highway at Anita, Brooks and St. Anns.

Constructed a new sidewalk at the foot of Nyes Place.

Rebuilt the retaining wall on Third Street.

Rehabilitated the City owned streetlights in Victoria Beach.

Improved the trail between Old Top of the World and the fire road.

Completely rehabilitated the sewer pump station at Glenneyre and Calliope (Bluebird), including new electrical, pumps, motors and wetwell.

Undergrounded the utilities on Lookout Drive and Poplar Street.

Approved a concept to replace the lifeguard headquarters building, public restrooms, and sewage lift station at Main Beach.

Approved the conceptual plans to renovate the animal shelter.

Improved the community swimming pool by replacing shower heads and metal doors.

Replaced over 500 parking meters in the Downtown with credit card parking meters.

Added a parking ticket machine at Lang Park.

Upgraded the fuel station behind City Hall to meet new Air Resources Board regulations.

Installed “smart irrigation controllers” at 15 City facilities.

Created 15 new parking spaces on Cliff Drive by making it a one-way street.

Reconstructed all of the alleys north of Boat Canyon.

Adopted a 20-year plan for improvements to the sewer system.

Replaced the alarm system at all of the 25 sewer pump stations.

Installed a quick-connect emergency power device at the Irvine Cove pump station.

Public Safety

Updated the Police Department’s policy manual through an online program involving other police agencies.

Reorganized the Police Department to provide Lieutenant Watch Commanders on busy shifts.

Conducted a pedestrian safety program along Glenneyre.

Created a new fuel modification zone protecting houses below Quivera Street in Arch Beach Heights.

Obtained grant funds to replace old portable radios.

Initiated a program for funding of firefighter training through Santa Ana College.

Received a State grant to replace emergency extrication equipment.

Installed a new roof on Fire Station 4.

Achieved a Class 3 fire protection rating from the Insurance Services Office.

Upgraded the computers in patrol cars.

Completed a multi-year effort to scan old paper reports into the computer system.

Created a civilian supervisor position to oversee Parking and Animal Services.

Miscellaneous

Afforded residents the option of purchasing parking permits online.

Created an entirely new City website with online access to meetings of the City Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Board.

Participated in the Statewide process to establish a marine preserve off the Laguna Beach coastline.

Entered into a new lease with the Friends of Hortense Miller Garden.

Accepted the donation of 90 acres of open space on the ridgeline above South Laguna.

Acquired the Verizon property on Laguna Canyon Road.

Purchased the Bunn parcel at the end of Canyon Acres for open space.

Modified the lease with Laguna Beach Seniors to pay for their share of utilities and cleaning in exchange for greater City access to space in the evenings.

Opened an alternative sleeping location on Laguna Canyon Road, which immediately eliminated encampments in beaches and parks.

Adopted several ordinances to ensure that beaches and parks are used as intended, including restrictions on: the storage of personal belongings, camping and sleeping, loitering, traversing bluffs and landscaping, and the use of beaches and parks between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Participated successfully in the process to preserve our community hospital as a nonprofit entity with an acute care facility and emergency room under the ownership of Mission Hospital.

Initiated a free, all day parking lot, ten months of the year for downtown employees and visitors.

Purchased the Hopkins Trust parcels on Bluebird Canyon Drive for open space.

Acquired four lots in Arch Beach Heights to add to the view park.

Relocated the emergency homeless shelter from the Act V lot to 20652 Laguna Canyon Road (Verizon parcel).

Extended the summer trolley service to serve Three Arch Bay.


Updates from the City Manager

Laguna Beach City Manager Ken Frank issues a few notes and updates for the benefit of the City Council on Fridays each week. The July 9 updates follow.

Traffic Alerts – The City is trying out a new service to inform the community via email when there are significant traffic delays on highways or heavily traveled streets due to accidents or major construction projects. To access the service, users can login to: http://www.lagunabeachcity.net/services/traffic_alerts.asp and enter their email address. Users can also decide to stop receiving the messages at any time by logging in and opting out of the service.

No No Left Turn Sign – At our request, Caltrans has removed the “No Turn” sign on Broadway in front of the pink commercial center between Ocean and Broadway. Instead, they installed a No U-Turn sign closer to Beach.  This will eliminate one of the problems after the implementation of the one way traffic on Cliff.

Cottage Visitors – We have had some visitors get through the fences for the three cottages being stored temporarily at Big Bend.  One of the homes appears to have been entered.  We are resealing the buildings.

Two New Recreation SupervisorsKristin Bruhagier has worked as a part-time Marine Safety Senior Lifeguard Supervisor since 2005.  She has a Bachelors degree from UC Irvine and a Masters degree from New York University (NYU).  Kristin was a NCAA swimmer while attending UCI and she also was swim coach for youth swim and water polo teams. Kristin lives in Huntington Beach. Tom Toman has been with the City since 2006 as a Public Works Technician and Intern where he has assisted with summer festival transit, nuisance abatement, service requests and other Public Works programs. Tom was a NCAA basketball player at Florida Southern University and has a Bachelors degree from Saint Louis University. Tom lives in Laguna Beach.

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