Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

The City Manager’s office prepares a memo for Councilmembers weekly with notes covering many subjects.

Released: January 21, 2016

Sewer Line Construction Third and Forest Pipeline Project- For the upcoming three weeks, the Contractor will continue construction on the Third Street hill.  The construction includes jacking a steel casing through the hill and inserting the new sewer pipe in the casing. 
Traffic Impacts:  Because the jacking and receiving pits are so large and deep, traffic safety will require the Third Street hill, from Park Avenue and Mermaid Street, to be closed, in both directions, 24-hours a day until completion of this phase of work.  The hill closure will be from Wednesday, January 27 to February 12.  Further, the westbound lane on Mermaid Street, from Second Street to Glenneyre Street, will also be closed.  Police traffic control will be present during peak periods to assist downtown traffic flow.  For more details see the Coastline Pilot page 2.  For questions concerning construction please call the project hotline at (949) 464-6686 or visit the Construction Projects section of the Water Quality Department website: www.clbwq.net.

Southern California Edison (SCE) Construction on South Coast Highway - SCE is progressing with the removal and replacement of three deteriorating subterranean vaults along southbound South Coast Highway between Mountain Road and Bluebird Canyon Drive. The work requires the outside travel lane to remain closed 24 hours per day. Please direct any questions to Justin Van Tassel, SCE Project General Supervisor, at (951) 217-4363.  Concerned residents may sign up to receive traffic alert email messages on the City’s website viahttp://www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/citygov/textalerts.htm.

Downtown Specific Plan Update - Joint City Council and Planning Commission Study Session - The City of Laguna Beach and MIG consulting team will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update with a Joint City Council and Planning Commission Study Session on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers.  The study session will focus on Parking. For more information, contact Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321 or at her email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

First Friday Flicks at the Forum - First Friday Flicks at the Forum starts on February 5, 2016, at the Forum Theatre located at the Festival of Arts grounds at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. The first screening will be the 2015 film “The Wolfpack.” This coming of age story follows the six Angulo brothers who have spent their entire lives locked away from society. All they know of the outside world is gleaned from the films they watch obsessively and recreate meticulously. For years this has served as a productive way to stave off loneliness — but when one of the brothers escapes, everything changes.  This film is rated R with a running time of 90 minutes. This program has been funded through the generosity of Laguna Beach residents Steve Chadima and Mark Porterfield.

City Hall Exhibition - The current exhibition at City Hall, 505 Forest Avenue, features the works by candidate of the Laguna College of Art + Design MFA program. Titled “Pacific Currents” the exhibition has be co-curated by Peter Zokosky, chair of the MFA programs in Drawing and Painting and Andrea Harris-McGee, LCAD gallery director.  The exhibition runs through March 11, 2016, and can be viewed Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cultural Arts Funding - The Arts Commission is currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations with functioning cultural programming based in Laguna Beach. The deadline to submit the application is February 1, 2016. For additional information contact Siân Poeschl, Cultural Arts Manager (949) 497-0722 ext. 4. Applications must be submitted on-line at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com.

Forest Avenue Banner Program - All Laguna Beach non-profit organizations interested in participating in the 2017 Forest Avenue Banner Program are encouraged to submit their email address to Patty Slowsky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in the Community Services Department by Friday, February 5, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. Detailed and revised banner information will then be emailed out to all participating non-profits on Monday, February 8. 

Alta Laguna Park and Boat Canyon Park Restroom Fumigation - The restrooms at Alta Laguna Park and Boat Canyon Park will be closed all day on Wednesday, January 27, for fumigation.

Reminders:

The January Planning Commission, Design Review and View Preservation meetings will not broadcast live on the City’s Cable Channel (852) on the City Website - The City Council Chambers audio/visual and broadcast system is undergoing a significant upgrade.  The January 4 View Restoration and January 6 Planning Commission meetings were not broadcasted live over the City’s Cable Channel (852) or the City website. These meetings were videotaped and made available the following day for viewing on the City website. The same will apply to the upcoming January 14 Design Review Board meeting and the January 20 Planning Commission meeting.

Historic Preservation Workshops - The City is in the process of holding a series of workshops with the Heritage Committee that will focus on different topic areas related to historic preservation with the purpose of formulating a revised Draft Ordinance and Historic Inventory Update.  The next workshop will be held on Monday, January 25, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to discuss the potential of incorporating an opt-out provision into the Ordinance.  The City Attorney will also be present to discuss this topic as it relates to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  For more information or information about past meetings please visit: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/preserve/historicresources.htm.

Community Assistance Grants – The City of Laguna Beach is now accepting applications for 2016-2017 Community Assistance Grants. The Community Assistance Grant program is available to non-profit and/or public organizations that provide special services to residents of Laguna Beach. The objective of this program is to assist local organizations in funding new projects and/or expanded services within our community. Organizations applying for Fiscal Year 2016-17 Community Assistance Grant funds will find additional information and may download the application from the City’s website: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/community/grants/.  To be considered for a grant, applications must be received by Friday, February 26, 2016, at 5:00 p.m.

2016 Banner Competition - The Arts Commission is currently accepting banner designs for the annual competition. The banners are displayed on lampposts through the City and are a celebration of the community. The competition is open to Orange County artists 18 years of age or older. Artists may submit one proposal to the scale of 4” x 16”. Winning artists will be awarded $2,200 to paint their design on a provided banner which measures 4’ by 16’. The deadline for proposals is Friday, March 11, 2015. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. Applications and

information for this competition is available at:

http://lagunabeach-rod.civicasoft.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=15082.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

The City Manager’s office prepares a memo for Councilmembers weekly with notes covering many subjects.

Released: January 14, 2016

Downtown Specific Plan Update - Joint City Council and Planning Commission Study Session - The City of Laguna Beach and MIG consulting team will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update with a Joint City Council and Planning Commission Study Session on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers.  The study session will focus on Parking and Circulation.  MIG will provide a review of related policies within the existing Downtown Specific Plan, an overview of their evaluation and preliminary recommendations for updating policies for consideration.  Additional meetings will occur during the winter and spring to review other key topics including, but not limited to Land Use and Urban Design.  This session and future meetings play an essential role for MIG to obtain input from the community and direction from the City Council and Planning Commission, and to identify the City’s priorities for the future of the Downtown.  For more information, contact Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   

Community Assistance Grants – The City of Laguna Beach is now accepting applications for 2016-2017 Community Assistance Grants. The Community Assistance Grant program is available to non-profit and/or public organizations that provide special services to residents of Laguna Beach. The objective of this program is to assist local organizations in funding new projects and/or expanded services within our community. Organizations applying for Fiscal Year 2016-17 Community Assistance Grant funds will find additional information and may download the application from the City’s website: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/community/grants/.  To be considered for a grant, applications must be received by Friday, February 26, 2016, at 5:00 p.m.

2016 Banner Competition - The Arts Commission is currently accepting banner designs for the annual competition. The banners are displayed on lampposts through the City and are a celebration of the community. The competition is open to Orange County artists 18 years of age or older. Artists may submit one proposal to the scale of 4” x 16”. Winning artists will be awarded $2,200 to paint their design on a provided banner which measures 4’ by 16’. The deadline for proposals is Friday, March 11, 2015. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. Applications and

information for this competition is available at:

http://lagunabeach-rod.civicasoft.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=15082.

New Personnel Services/Risk Manager – I am pleased to announce that Elvie Balderrama has been hired as the City’s new Personnel Services/Risk Manager.  Elvie is a seasoned Human Resources professional with a long tenure of public service beginning her career with the City of El Monte, then the City of La Habra and most recently, as the Human Resources Manager at the City of Irwindale.  She starts work on Monday, January 25.

Police Department welcomes its Newest Officer - Police Recruit Kyle Milot graduates from the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy this evening.  His graduation is the culmination of six months of rigorous training, which has prepared him for the next phase of his law enforcement career.  Next week, Kyle will begin field training and will be assigned to a series of experienced Police Corporals who will teach him about our community and the high expectations for Laguna Beach Police Officers.     

New Paramedic Unit - On Tuesday, January 19, the fire engine at Station Three, located at 2900 Alta Laguna Blvd., will be upgraded to a Paramedic Assessment Unit (PAU).  Presently, the Fire Department has paramedics at Fire Stations One (Downtown) and Four (South Laguna).  As the Top of the World neighborhood, where Station Three is located, is somewhat isolated from the other two paramedic units in the City, this addition will enhance the Department’s ability to provide advanced life support services in a reduced amount of time.  This is especially important for the community as two schools are also located in Station Three’s response area.  The Department was able to utilize existing personnel who are state licensed paramedics for this service enhancement. 

Firefighter and Reserve Firefighter of the Year - The Fire Department is proud to announce the 2015 Firefighter and Reserve Firefighter of the Year.  Fire Engineer/Paramedic Alex Pacheco, who has been with the Department for nine years, was nominated by his peers for the work he has done this past year as the Reserve Firefighter Coordinator.  Reserve Firefighter Jeff Terzo, who has been with the Department for one year, was nominated by the Reserve Committee for his contributions to the Department this past year.  Both will be recognized by the Laguna Beach American Legion on Thursday, January 21, 2016, and by the Mission Viejo Elks Lodge on February 20, 2016.

Sewer Line Construction Third and Forest Pipeline Project - In the previous week, construction of the sewer pipeline continued on Third Street, from Loma Place to approximately the Laguna Beach Community Clinic. For the upcoming week, the Contractor will continue to trench and install the pipeline on Third Street up to Mermaid Street.  Traffic Impacts:  The northbound lane on Third Street will be closed from Park Avenue to Loma Place. The westbound lane on Mermaid Street, from Second Street to Glenneyre, will also be closed. Lane closures are expected only between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. For more details or questions concerning construction please call the project hotline at (949) 464-6686 or visit the Construction Projects section of the Water Quality Department website: www.clbwq.net.

Reminders:

Historic Preservation Workshops - The City is in the process of holding a series of workshops with the Heritage Committee that will focus on different topic areas related to historic preservation with the purpose of formulating a revised Draft Ordinance and Historic Inventory Update.  The next workshop will be held on Monday, January 25, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to discuss the potential of incorporating an opt-out provision into the Ordinance.  The City Attorney will also be present to discuss this topic as it relates to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  For more information or information about past meetings please visit: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/preserve/historicresources.htm.

Holiday Tree Recycling - Waste Management will collect and recycle holiday trees on the regular collection days through Saturday, January 16. Trees must be cut to lengths less than four feet. Decorations, tinsel, metal ornaments, and metal stands must be removed from the trees. Flocked trees will be collected, but cannot be made into compost due to their chemical content. After January 16, non-flocked trees can also be recycled by cutting them up and placing them in the green waste carts. 

Holiday Transit Operations- Mainline Transit service will run from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18.

The January Planning Commission, Design Review and View Preservation meetings will not broadcast live on the City’s Cable Channel (852) on the City Website - As of  January 4 through January 22, 2016 the City Council Chambers audio/visual and broadcast system is undergoing a significant upgrade.  During this time, the January 4 View Restoration and January 6 Planning Commission meetings were not broadcasted live over the City’s Cable Channel (852) or the City website. These meetings were videotaped and made available the following day for viewing on the City website. The same will apply to the upcoming January 14 Design Review Board meeting and the January 20 Planning Commission meeting.

2016 Cultural Arts Funding Applications - The Arts Commission is currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations with functioning cultural programming based in Laguna Beach. The deadline to submit the application is February 1, 2016. For additional information contact Siân Poeschl, Cultural Arts Manager at (949) 497-0722 extension 4. Applications must be submitted on-line at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com.


City finances are well ahead of budget projections

By MICHELE HALL

At its January 12, 2016 meeting, the Laguna Beach City Council discussed and dissected the Mid-Year Budget Update. The news was good according to the staff report: revenues and responsible spending resulted in a General Fund increase of approximately $4.8 million over the budget estimate. Hotel taxes were up 7.8% from the prior year, sales tax revenues increased by 4%, property taxes increased by 6.2% and the Community Development Fee Revenue increased by 1.5%. Regarding City expenditures, it was noted that responsible department spending and position vacancies kept department costs under budget adding $1.6 million. 

Moreover, the Capital Improvement Fund added over $850,000 to the balance due to higher than expected revenue in hotel and real property transfer tax. In fact, the Transient Occupancy Tax (or hotel bed tax) was higher than expected at $270,000. The Parking Fund also saw an increase in expected revenue in both parking meter and parking lot activity contributing an additional $378,000. 

Overall, the City is in good shape financially as its’ major revenue sources are projected to reach or even possibly beat budget projections for the year.

With the increase in projected revenue, the Council had more freedom to make changes and modify the General Fund adopted budget of 2014-15. Twenty new requested costs, most of which were one-time (not on-going) were introduced by city staff for the Council’s vote. Several items were of interest including item 4 which added an additional $300,000 to the Open Space Fund and item 8 which provided $30,000 to Critter Busters to initiate a year round coyote trapping program.  It was item 8 that garnered the most debate at Tuesday night’s meeting with many residents voicing their opinions on this matter.

When public comment was opened, the majority of residents spoke in favor of the trappings. Many testified that they had definitely seen an increase in coyotes, especially in the last year and a half. Resident James Mordick, who lives on Caribbean Way in Mystic Hills has started a neighborhood program of deterring the animals with the use of a 1 watt LED blinking red light called “NightGuard.” 

“I have personally purchased over 200 of these lights and have installed over 150 in my neighbor’s yards with their permission,” Mordick said. “They are non-lethal, they cost only $20 and last 3-5 years.” Several of Mordick’s neighbors confirmed that since the lights had been installed in their neighborhood, there had been a decrease in coyote sightings. 

Not everyone was in favor of the trappings, however. A few locals, including a homeowner from Laguna Canyon, encouraged residents to be smart and not leave food or water out for the coyotes. According to those opposed to the program, coyotes are a part of the open space that Laguna fought so hard to save and should not be killed. 

Most who spoke in favor of the trappings had had some kind of an encounter with a coyote. Coyotes have now been seen walking down roads in the middle of the day, have entered back yards with 6-foot surrounding fences, have yawned at honking cars with flashing lights, and have even entered homes through doors left open. Many testified that they had lost beloved pets to coyotes. Both sides agreed that there has definitely been an increase in coyote sightings and encounters.

When it was time for the Council to discuss item 8, Mayor Dicterow began the dialogue reporting that he has had at least six incidents with coyotes over the last 6 months while out walking his daughter’s eight-pound Pomeranian. During each encounter, Dicterow was able to scare the coyotes off by picking up the dog and running towards the coyotes. Dicterow said he was not in favor of the program and didn’t believe that killing the animals was the solution.

Councilwoman Iseman stated that she has lived in her house since 1973 and described how for years there used to be a plethora of animals in her backyard including squirrels, rabbits, opossums, raccoons, skunks and deer. “They’re all gone…all of this low-hanging fruit isn’t there anymore. It’s barren. The problem is that there are no predators for the coyotes. We have a situation… what’s going to happen now that this low hanging population is gone? The third generation coyotes are smart. Living in fear is not ok.” Iseman said.

Councilman Boyd also had an incident with a coyote a year and half ago when a coyote jumped his back fence and grabbed his dog. Boyd said: “I’ve lived in my house for 17 years. For the first 14 ½ years we let the dogs out through the doggy door and I never saw a coyote. In recent months I’ve seen 3 or 4. We’re at this point, we have to take the next step.” 

Councilman Zur Schmiede agreed with Boyd and Iseman. “The number one job of the city council is public safety,” Zur Schmiede stated. “There is a significant change in the coyote population in our town. This is a responsible thing to do.”

In the end, the Mid-Year Budget was approved which included $30,000 to be paid to Critter Busters for the year round program of trapping coyotes.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

The City Manager’s office prepares a memo for Councilmembers weekly with notes covering many subjects.

Released: January 7, 2016

Police Citizen Academy to Start Thursday, January 7 - The Police Department’s 13 week Citizen Academy starts this evening and will take place every Thursday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Twenty-four community members are signed up to take this current class.   

Historic Preservation Workshops - The City is in the process of holding a series of workshops with the Heritage Committee that will focus on different topic areas related to historic preservation with the purpose of formulating a revised Draft Ordinance and Historic Inventory Update.  The next workshop will be held on Monday, January 25, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to discuss the potential of incorporating an opt-out provision into the Ordinance.  The City Attorney will also be present to discuss this topic as it relates to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  For more information or information about past meetings please visit: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/preserve/historicresources.htm.

Sewer Line Construction Third and Forest Pipeline Project- Due to weather constraints, the project has been delayed in the last few days.  For the week of January 11, weather permitting, the Contractor will continue to install pipeline on Third Street from Loma Place to Mermaid Street.  Traffic Impacts The northbound lane on Third Street will be closed from Park Avenue to Loma Place.  Additionally, the westbound segment of Mermaid will be closed, between 2nd Street and Glenneyre.  Westbound Mermaid traffic will be rerouted to Forest Avenue via 2nd Street.  All of the lane closures will be limited; 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  For more details or questions concerning construction please call the project hotline at (949) 464-6686 or visit the Construction Projects section of the Water Quality Department website: www.clbwq.net.

Holiday Tree Recycling - Waste Management will collect and recycle holiday trees on the regular collection days through Saturday, January 16. Trees must be cut to lengths less than four feet. Decorations, tinsel, metal ornaments, and metal stands must be removed from the trees. Flocked trees will be collected, but cannot be made into compost due to their chemical content. After January 16, non-flocked trees can also be recycled by cutting them up and placing them in the green waste carts. 

Holiday Transit Operations- Mainline Transit service will run from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18.

Reminders:

Homeowners’ Flood and Fire Insurance - The State of California Department of Insurance is recommending that homeowners take the time to review their flood and fire insurance coverage or consider purchasing coverage if they don’t have it. Flood damage is often not covered by traditional homeowners’ insurance. Learn more at www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/ and www.cfpnet.com.

The January Planning Commission, Design Review and View Preservation meetings will not broadcast live on the City’s Cable Channel (852) on the City Website - As of January 4 through January 22, 2016 the City Council Chambers audio/visual and broadcast system is undergoing a significant upgrade.  During this time, the January 4 View Restoration and January 6 Planning Commission meetings were not broadcasted live over the City’s Cable Channel (852) or the City website. These meetings were videotaped and made available the following day for viewing on the City website. The same will apply to the upcoming January 14 Design Review Board meeting and the January 20 Planning Commission meeting. All City Council meetings scheduled during this period will be broadcast.

Heisler Park Scenic Overlook and Artist Designed Bench Competition - The Arts Commission is currently accepting request for qualifications from professional, practicing artists for a project in Heisler Park near Monument Point. Artists are invited to submit images of previous installations and their public art resume. The honorarium for this project is $50,000. The deadline for submissions is January 16, 2016. Guidelines and application is available at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com.

2016 Cultural Arts Funding Applications - The Arts Commission is currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations with functioning cultural programming based in Laguna Beach. The deadline to submit the application is February 1, 2016. For additional information contact Siân Poeschl, Cultural Arts Manager at (949) 497-0722 extension 4. Applications must be submitted on-line at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com.


Historic Inventory Resource Update Workshop Jan 25 

The City of Laguna Beach will hold a public workshop with the Heritage Committee on Monday, Jan 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the City Council Chambers (505 Forest Avenue). The workshop will be held to discuss incorporating an opt-out provision into the draft Historic Preservation Ordinance. The City Attorney will also be present to discuss this topic as it relates to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

The City of Laguna Beach is in the process of updating the property ratings for the properties listed on the City’s 1981 Historic Inventory based on an updated field survey that was recently conducted by Ostashay and Associates Consulting, a historic preservation firm. An update to the current Historic Preservation Ordinance is also being considered. Public workshops were held on March 18, 2013, March 15, 2014, Dec 8, 2014, April 28, 2015 and Sept 15, 2015 to discuss the current field survey and other historic preservation topics as they relate to the Historic Preservation Ordinance. 

At the workshop held on Sept 15, 2015, it was determined that the City would host a series of workshops with the Heritage Committee to focus on several topics to be considered in the draft Historic Preservation Ordinance update. On Oct 19, a workshop was held to discuss historic preservation incentives and on November 16, 2015, a workshop was held to discuss historic property ratings. 

The next workshop (as mentioned above) will be held on Monday, January 25, at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers to discuss incorporating an opt-out provision into the draft Historic Preservation Ordinance. Additional workshops are scheduled on March 1, to discuss incorporating a Structure of Merit program into the Ordinance and on March 21, to discuss the defined processes to modify a historic structure. 

A copy of the previously reviewed draft ordinance, the draft inventory and information about the upcoming workshops and past workshops relating to the Historic Inventory Update can be found at: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/preserve/historicresources.htm

For additional information or questions, please contact Martina Speare, Senior Planner at (949) 464-6629 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Downtown Specific Plan update – City Council and Planning Commission joint study session on Jan 27

The City of Laguna Beach and MIG consulting team will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan Update with a Joint Study Session on Wednesday, January 27, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue). 

The study session will focus on the following key topics: Parking and Circulation. MIG will provide a review of related policies within the existing Downtown Specific Plan, an overview of their evaluation and preliminary recommendations for updating policies for consideration. Additional meetings will occur during the winter and spring to review other key topics including, but not limited to Land Use and Urban Design. This session and future meetings play an essential role for MIG to obtain input from the community and direction from the City Council and/or Planning Commission, and to identify the City’s priorities for the future of the Downtown. 

For more information on the Downtown Specific Plan Update please contact: Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/planning/downtown_specific_plan_amendment/default.asp.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

The City Manager’s office prepares a memo for Councilmembers weekly with notes covering many subjects.

Released: December 30, 2015

Reminder: City Hall Closed on Friday New Year’s Day - City Hall will be closed this Friday for the New Year’s Day holiday. Essential public safety services will be operating.

Holiday Transit Operations - Both Mainline Transit and Weekend Trolley service will not be offered on New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1.  Regularly-scheduled service will resume on Saturday, January 2. 

Holiday Trash Collection Schedule and Tree Recycling - Residential and commercial trash collection will be delayed one day for customers normally serviced on Friday. Customers will receive service on Saturday, January 2.  Waste Management will collect and recycle holiday trees on the regular or rescheduled collection days through Saturday, January 16. Trees must be cut to lengths less than four feet. Decorations, tinsel, metal ornaments, and metal stands must be removed from the trees. Flocked trees will be collected but cannot be made into compost due to their chemical content. After January 16, non-flocked trees can also be recycled by cutting them up and placing them in the green waste carts.

No Holiday Street Sweeping - Due to the New Year’s holiday, there will be no street sweeping on Friday, January 1.  Additionally, there will not be parking enforcement for those streets posted for street sweeping on this day.

Sewer Line Construction Third and Forest Pipeline Project - Construction of the sewer pipeline in front of the Fire Station and on the Loma Place/Forest Avenue intersection was completed on December 28th. For the upcoming week, the contractor will continue to trench and install the pipeline on Third Street from Loma Place to Mermaid Street. Traffic Impacts:  The northbound lane on Third Street will be closed from Park Avenue to Loma Place. Lane closure is expected only between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. For more details or questions concerning construction please call the project hotline at (949) 464-6686 or visit the Construction Projects section of the Water Quality Department website: www.clbwq.net.

The January Planning Commission, Design Review and View Preservation meetings will not broadcast live on the City’s Cable Channel (852) on the City Website - From January 4 through January 22, 2016, the City Council Chambers audio/visual and broadcast system is undergoing a significant upgrade.  During that time the January 4 View Preservation, January 6 and 20 Planning Commission Meeting, and January 14 Design Review Board Meeting will not be broadcast live over the City’s Cable Channel (852) or the City website.  However, the meetings will be videotaped and made available the following day for viewing on the City website.

Retirement of Sergeant John Falk - On December 31, 2015, Sergeant John Falk wraps up a 30-year law enforcement career!  John came to the Laguna Beach Police Department in 1989 after spending four years with the Sunnyvale Public Safety Department where he was cross-trained as a police officer and firefighter.  With this unique skill set, he was put in charge of several public safety programs such as; First Aid, CPR and hazardous exposure incidents.  Over the years, John trained several employees, who in turn, used their skill sets to save the lives of many people.  John was also instrumental in getting defibrillators placed in each of the police vehicles so officers could take immediate action in the field.  His lifesaving impact will be felt long after his retirement.  John will be greatly missed, but is ready to “kayak off into the sunset” and enjoy his well-deserved retirement.

Reminders:

Homeowners’ Flood and Fire Insurance - The State of California Department of Insurance is recommending that homeowners take the time to review their flood and fire insurance coverage or consider purchasing coverage if they don’t have it. Flood damage is often not covered by traditional homeowners’ insurance. Learn more at www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/ and www.cfpnet.com.

Field Maintenance and Park Closures - Annual maintenance and turf renovations at Riddle Field has begun. The field will remain closed through January 31, 2016. Maintenance at Moulton Meadows Field has also begun. The field will re-open on January 4, 2016. If you have any questions, please call Alexis Braun, Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0762.  

Heisler Park Scenic Overlook and Artist Designed Bench Competition - The Arts Commission is currently accepting request for qualifications from professional, practicing artists for a project in Heisler Park near Monument Point. Artists are invited to submit images of previous installations and their public art resume. The honorarium for this project is $50,000. The deadline for submissions is January 16, 2016. Guidelines and application is available at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com.

2016 Cultural Arts Funding Applications - The Arts Commission is currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations with functioning cultural programming based in Laguna Beach. The deadline to submit the application is February 1, 2016. For additional information contact Siân Poeschl, Cultural Arts Manager at (949) 497-0722 extension 4. Applications must be submitted on-line at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

The City Manager’s office prepares a memo for Councilmembers weekly with notes covering many subjects.

Released: December 23, 2015

Holiday Trash Collection Schedule and Tree Recycling - For the next two weeks, due to the holidays, residential and commercial trash collection will be delayed one day for customers normally serviced on Friday. Customers will receive service on Saturday, December 26 and Saturday, January 2. Waste Management will collect and recycle holiday trees on the regular or rescheduled collection days at no charge between Saturday, December 26, and Saturday, January 16. Trees must be cut to lengths less than four feet. Decorations, tinsel, metal ornaments, and metal stands must be removed from the trees. Flocked trees will be collected, but cannot be made into compost due to their chemical content. After January 16, non-flocked trees can also be recycled by cutting them up and placing them in the green waste carts.

No Holiday Street Sweeping - There will be no street sweeping on Friday, December 25, and Friday, January 1, 2016. Parking restrictions for street sweeping will not be enforced on these days.

Holiday Transit Operations- Both Mainline Transit and Weekend Trolley service will not be offered on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Sewer Line Construction Third and Forest Pipeline Project- For the remainder of this year, the contractor will trench and install the pipeline on Park Avenue, from Third to Bent Street.  Traffic Impacts:  Park Avenue will be closed from Third to Bent Street and the Third Street hill will be closed from Mermaid to Park Avenue.  Street closure is expected only between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  During this time, traffic will be detoured to Legion and South Coast Highway.  For more details or questions concerning construction please call the project hotline at (949) 464-6686 or visit the Construction Projects section of the Water Quality Department website: www.clbwq.net.

Heisler Park Scenic Overlook and Artist Designed Bench Competition - The Arts Commission is currently accepting request for qualifications from professional, practicing artists for a project in Heisler Park near Monument Point. Artists are invited to submit images of previous installations and their public art resume. The honorarium for this project is $50,000. The deadline for submissions is January 16, 2016. Guidelines and application is available at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com.

2016 Cultural Arts Funding Applications - The Arts Commission is currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations with functioning cultural programming based in Laguna Beach. The deadline to submit the application is February 1, 2016. For additional information contact Siân Poeschl, Cultural Arts Manager at (949) 497-0722 extension 4. Applications must be submitted on-line at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com

Reminders:

Homeowners’ Flood and Fire Insurance - The State of California Department of Insurance is recommending that homeowners take the time to review their flood and fire insurance coverage or consider purchasing coverage if they don’t have it. Flood damage is often not covered by traditional homeowners’ insurance. Learn more at www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/ and www.cfpnet.com.

Field Maintenance and Park Closures - Annual maintenance and turf renovations at Riddle Field has begun. The field will remain closed through January 31, 2016. Maintenance at Moulton Meadows Field has also begun. The field will re-open on January 4, 2016. If you have any questions, please call Alexis Braun, Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0762. 


City Council appointed committees have 16 openings 

Lisette Chel-Walker CMC, City Clerk

The City Council is accepting applications for the following Committees, Commissions and Boards: Recreation Committee, Design Review Board, Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee, Heritage Committee, Arts Commission and the Environmental Sustainability Committee.

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, at 6 p.m., by the City Council in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach. All applicants will be interviewed. Applicants may be contacted by City Council members prior to the interviews and appointments so please be prepared to make a brief statement about your desire to serve on a committee.

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on one of these committees should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or on-line from the City’s website, www.lagunabeachcity.net and file by Tuesday, January 5, 2016, at 5 p.m. Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

Number of positions that will be open and details for the following Committees, Commissions and Boards: (The City Council may reduce the number of committee members at their discretion.)

Two (2) two-year terms on the Recreation Committee with terms beginning April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2018. The Recreation Committee is a seven-member body that directs their efforts in the area of providing for the recreation and park needs of the community. Meetings are generally held on the second Monday of the month. 

One (1) two-year term on the Board of Adjustment/Design Review Board with a term beginning April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2018. The Board of Adjustment/Design Review Board is a five-member body appointed by the City Council for the purpose of considering requests for variances from the zoning code. The members also sit as the City’s Design Review Board. Board members serve a two-year term and are compensated in the amount of $324.00 per month. The Board meets bi-monthly generally on the second and fourth Thursday of the month.

A substantial time commitment of approximately 10 hours per week is necessary to be a Board member. In addition to the bi-monthly meetings, Board members are expected to visit the sites and review the plans of projects prior to the meeting. The Board acts on an average of 14 items per meeting. It is desirable to have or be able to acquire certain skills or aptitudes, such as the ability to understand and conceptualize architectural drawings, and to visualize building mass and volumes based upon on-site staking plans. Experience in the building trades, architecture, historic preservation, landscaping, planning and/or real estate would be an asset. 

Four (4) two-year terms on the Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee with terms beginning April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2018. The Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee is a ten-member body that acts in an advisory capacity on matters pertaining to parking, traffic, circulation, transit, the Parking Management Plan, and traffic complaints. Meetings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of the month.

Three (3) two-year terms on the Heritage Committee with terms beginning April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2018. The Heritage Committee is currently a nine-member body reduced to seven members by the City Council on March 17, 2015. The Heritage Committee serves in an advisory role on matters pertaining to historic preservation such as placement of a structure which is not on the Historic Resources List on the Historic Register; removal of a structure from the Historic Register; creation of a special designation plaque program; alterations to “E” rated structures; and demolition of historic structures in a commercial zone. Meetings are generally held on the third Monday of the month.

One (1) term on the Arts Commission to complete the term of Arts Commissioner Ken Auster who will retire from the Commission on November 30. The one term will begin immediately through June 30, 2017. 

The Arts Commission is a seven-member commission appointed by the City Council. Four of the seven members must be actively participating in the arts. The Commissioners are compensated in the amount of $113.00 per month. The Arts Commission has the power and duty to act in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all matters pertaining to the artistic aspects of the City. Additionally, commissioners recommend to the City Council the adoption of such ordinances, rules and regulations as they may deem necessary for the administration and preservation of the fine/performing arts of the community. One of the major projects of the Commission is the City’s Art-in-Public-Places Program. Commission meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m. Meeting and preparation time may exceed several hours per week.

Five (5) terms on the Environmental Sustainability Committee; two (2) one-year terms beginning April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017; and three (3) two-year terms beginning April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2018.

The Environmental Sustainability Committee is a seven-member advisory body to the City Council. The purpose for the Committee is researching, reviewing and advising the Council on items related to protecting the environment and improving the community’s future sustainability. The Committee receives its work assignments from the City Council. Committee members typically work in subcommittees to research issues and policies and prepare recommendations for approval by the Committee for submission to the City Council. A personal time commitment of 10-15 hours per month may be necessary to accomplish tasks. Regular meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings may be two or more hours, and often require a great deal of preparation time. 

Save the date in the event that you are selected to serve on a Committee Commission or Board – training will take place on Wednesday, February 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

 

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