City Manager’s Updates

Wayfinding Signage Pilot Project Survey – The City is conducting a Wayfinding Signage Pilot Project in the downtown and outlying areas in an effort to help residents and visitors find their way around the City. The community’s feedback will assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the ten recently installed pedestrian-oriented wayfinding signs and the ease of finding local attractions. The City truly values its residents’ opinions and would like to know what they think of the new wayfinding signs, and what they can improve before implementing a citywide program. 

Text LAGUNA to 565-12 to take a short survey or visit http://bycell.co/kdxo.

City Managers Updates Thalia

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

The City would like to know what the community thinks of the new wayfinding signs around town

Fire Station Upgrades – Questions have been raised about upgrades to fire stations. In 2005, the City completed a review of all City facilities, except the Corporation Yard since it was already programmed to be moved to ACT V. Improvements were made to fire stations, including raising the garage doors at Fire Stations No. 1 and No. 4 to allow taller fire trucks to fit in the stations, and multiple improvements to the interior of the fire stations. Fire Station No. 4, located at 31646 2nd Avenue in South Laguna, received additional analysis as part of the review. The station was seismically retrofitted in 1981 but will eventually have to be replaced. The study reviewed options to modify the station and plan for a new station in 10-15 years; replace it at its current location; or to acquire land, build a new station with public parking nearby and then sell the old fire station. In the end, the decision was made to increase the height of the garage doors, get another 10-15 years of useful life out of the fire station, and then plan to replace the station. The current capital improvement program for the City includes the accumulation of $7.1 million by the end of fiscal year 2020/21 to replace Fire Station No. 4 and make improvements needed to other City facilities at that time. Planning for the design of a new fire station is expected to be one of the priorities identified in the strategic plan that the new Fire Chief is working on for consideration by the City Council after the first of the year. 

Since the study was completed, and because of the priorities established at the time, the City constructed a new Corporation Yard, relocated the Parks Nursery from Olive Street, built a new Lifeguard Headquarters facility with new public restrooms at Main Beach, renovated the Animal Shelter, and made other improvements to various facilities.

Police Department Staffing – In 2009, the Police Department had 47 full-time sworn police officers. As of today, the Police Department has a budgeted sworn staffing level of 52; however, there are currently 55 sworn officers. The additional officers are available because the City Manager has authorized the Police Chief to over hire in order to prepare for anticipated retirements, as long expenditures are kept within the existing department budget. The City has also recently added a Community Outreach Officer, dedicated two officers to foot patrol in the downtown, added four full-time Beach Patrol Officers, added three full-time jailers and have year-round traffic control personnel. With these enhanced staffing levels and grants, the City has also maintained or increased traffic enforcement. The staffing levels in the Police Department today reflect the highest levels in the City’s history.

Annual Composting Class – The City’s solid waste hauler, Waste Management, will offer the last of four free composting classes planned for 2018 on Saturday, Sept 22, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Bluebird Park, located at 798 Bluebird Canyon Drive. Compost and worm bins will be available for purchase during the class at a discounted price. 

For more information, visit the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling or contact the Waste Management class instructor, Lisa Ryder, at (310) 874-2499.

Street Resurfacing – Beginning Sept 24, streets will be slurry sealed in the Laguna Canyon area and the area bounded by Thalia Street, Temple Terrace, Cress Street and the coast. The slurry seal work will take approximately three weeks and affected residents and businesses will be notified at least seven days prior to any road closure. 

For more information, visit the project website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/slurrysealor call (844) LAGUNA4 or (844) 524-8624.

Why doesn’t Laguna Beach have a reclaimed water system like surrounding cities? 

In October 2015, the Laguna Beach County Water District initiated a study to evaluate the feasibility of developing a recycled water project for irrigation purposes. With recycled water alternatives between 3 to 11 times greater than LBCWD’s current costs of imported water, the best and most economical option was to partner with neighboring agencies like El Toro Water District to take any extra capacity from their recycled water treatment facilities. Established communities like Laguna Beach have very little new development and must rely on grants or its ratepayers to pay for the installation of recycled water systems. One of the biggest factors in deciding who will receive grant funding is what the cost of the water supply will be. To construct this proposed system in Laguna Beach would require $35 million or more to build the distribution system to irrigate these areas. This proposed recycling project would result in a cost seventeen times greater than the District’s current cost of $1,000 an acre-foot for its imported water supply and twenty-three times greater than its current cost of $600 an acre-foot for groundwater.

Upcoming Historic Preservation Ordinance Meeting Sept 29 A special City Council meeting on the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance will take place on Saturday, Sept 29 at 1 p.m. in City Council Chambers. The purpose of this special City Council meeting is to clarify legal requirements surrounding the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance and provide direction to the Historic Preservation Task Force. 

The meeting will be broadcast live on cable channel 852 and streamed online at www.lagunabeachcity.net

City Managers Updates sign

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The City will hold a special council meeting on the Historic Preservation Ordinance on Saturday, Sept 29 at 1 p.m.

Artist Living, Working or Shared Space Survey – Artspace in partnership with the City will be accepting survey information from Artists and those who work in the creative industry through Monday, Sept 24.

Have your voice heard, visit http://www.artspace.org/CreativeSpaceLagunafor more information. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund the survey.

Council Chamber Banner and Holiday Palette Competitions – The Arts Commission is accepting design submissions for new banners in the City Hall Council Chambers and the annual Holiday Palette Competition. Submissions are open to artists who live, work, or exhibit in Laguna Beach and are 18 years of age or older. The deadline is October 1, before 5 p.m. 

The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund the program. For guidelines and application visitswww.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art/opportunities/

“The Art of Relevance” Marketing Workshop – On Friday, Oct 5 the City of Laguna Beach, in partnership with the National Arts Marketing Project, invites artists to attend a free marketing workshop downtown. Lunch will be provided. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this event. 

Register at https://lagunabeachart.eventbrite.com.

Fallen Officer Remembrance Ceremony – Please join the City and community this Friday at 5:30 p.m. for the annual Remembrance Ceremony to honor and never forget the lives of Officer French and Officer Coutchie.