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Council hosts joint meeting with school district officials

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Representatives of the city and the school district met January 22 to discuss mutual interests.

The council got down off the dais to meet on the same level with district officials to jointly discuss the cooperative police involvement with students, participation of students, the expansion of adult education programs and the city’s activities to promote World Kindness.

Corporal Cornelius Ashton updated the officials on his role as the School Resource Officer, a relatively new designation. Ashton was appointed last fall to the position, which he said allows the police department to participate in the areas of student safety, education and intervention. 

Council hosts Ashton

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Corporal Cornelius Ashton

“I was nervous the first day of school,” Ashton admitted. “But when I walked through that door, I was embraced by parents, teachers and staff.”

He has since made 54 presentations, student mental health being one of the most important, he said. 

Ashton spends most of his time at Laguna Beach High School, but he also visits the other city schools, dealing with a student population of 3,000.

“His genuine interest comes through all the time,” said board chair Jan Vickers.

 District Superintendent Jason Viloria reported that in addition to Ashton’s position, the district recently hired a Student Services Director, Social Emotional Support, and two specialists.

Adult Education

The school district and the city agreed in principal on a proposed joint venture to expand the Adult Education program

Assistant Supervisor Jeffrey Dixon reported that the district had received a $90,000 state grant, $30,000 of which was used to staff evening classes – mostly English as a Second Language.

Expansion could include holding weekend classes at the Susi Q and Community Center on Third Street, posited Assistant City Manager Christa Johnson. 

“We are very excited about this,” said Johnson. 

The partnership requires approvals of the consortium. 

Mayor Bob Whalen cautioned that the participation should be approved before the city got too involved. 

If the proposal comes to fruition, the city would spread the word by fliers and the quarterly brochure mailed to all residences.

Classes would be free, a major selling point with the council. 

Kindness

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow reported on the city’s World Kindness activities, in which he encouraged the district to participate with the city.

Council hosts kindness

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow on World Kindness Day

He supports the development of a program that would involve student liaisons to city committees. 

Vickers said the board would support Dicterow’s proposal. Board member Dee Perry suggested a leadership program for students, starting with middle school. 

Miscellaneous Comments

Whalen, who has a particular interest in the arts, asked about the shape of the school’s collection.

“The collection is insured, but it is costly to maintain,” said Viloria. “We have contacted the Laguna Art Museum to determine if it has any interest in borrowing district art.”

Whalen suggested applying for a cultural arts grant to reduce maintenance costs.

“It might be beneficial for (City Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl) to talk to the district about local art and history,” said Whalen. Iseman suggested that students be urged to learn about Laguna’s “vibrant” history. Perry agreed it was important. 

Vickers said students could start interviewing locals to gather oral histories.


City Manager’s Updates

2nd Street Tree Well Improvements and Tree Health Enhancements – Beginning on Monday, Jan 28, the Public Works Department will be starting a project to enhance all of the tree wells on 2nd Street between Forest Avenue and Mermaid Street. Concrete and hardscape treatments surrounding the tree roots will be removed and an ADA compliant permeable surfacing will be installed. 

The work will alleviate any girdling of the tree trunks, will enhance the air and water permeability of the tree wells, and will remove potential tripping hazards. The project is expected to be completed by Friday, Feb 8. 

For questions about the project, contact Public Works Deputy Director Dale Shuck at (949) 497-0735.

Kit-Lit Writing Contest – Laguna Beach Literary Laureate Suzanne Redfearn, in partnership with Catmosphere Laguna Foundation, is holding a cat-themed writing contest open to Orange County residents ages 16 and older. Selected winners will have their work published. 

Submit your cat-themed literary work to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by February 1. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund the Literary Laureate program.

City Managers cats

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Catmosphere Instagram

Cat lovers with a passion for writing can enter to have their work published

Friday Flicks at the Forum – On February 1, the Arts Commission will kick off the 2019 season of Friday Flicks, held at the Forum Theater located at Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. The first film, Leaning into the Wind – Andy Goldsworthy (2017), has a running time of 97 minutes and is rated PG. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the screening starts at 7 p.m. This event is free and funded by Laguna Beach residents Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima. 

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cultural Arts Grants – The City of Laguna Beach is currently accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations for cultural programming based in Laguna Beach. 

Applications must be submitted online by February 4 at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach provide funding.

LCAD MFA at City Hall – The City of Laguna Beach is proud to host the Laguna College of Art & Design Master of Fine Arts exhibition program in the first floor hallway gallery at City Hall from January 22 through March 8. City Hall is located at 505 Forest Ave and is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and every other Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed alternate Fridays). For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


City Council seeking applicants for Committee, Commission and Board positions, deadline today

The deadline to apply for open Committee, Commission and Boards positions, as appointed by Laguna Beach City Council, is today, January 22.

Five two-year terms on the Recreation Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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. 

Three two-year terms on the Board of Adjustment/Design Review Board are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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 $392 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 Design Review 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 two-year terms on the Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. The Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee is a seven-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 two-year term on the Heritage Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. The Heritage Committee is currently a five-member body that acts in an advisory capacity to the Design Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council on matters pertaining to historic preservation such as the review of modifications to a historic structure, placement of a structure on the Historic Register, and creation of a special designation plaque program. Meetings are generally held on the third Monday of the month.

Four two-year terms on the Environmental Sustainability Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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 Environmental Sustainability 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 generally held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings may be two or more hours, and often require a great deal of preparation time.

Three two-year terms on the View Restoration Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. Members of the View Restoration Committee adjudicate view claims submitted by property owners to restore pre-existing views that are alleged to be significantly impaired by vegetation. 

The five-member committee of local residents appointed by the City Council conducts public hearings to review claims, hear testimony, and determine significant view impairment. The Committee may approve a view restoration order and establish a maintenance schedule for the subject vegetation on the property. The View Restoration Committee generally meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. 

One two-year term on the Orange County Mosquito & Vector Control District (OCMVCD) is open with a term beginning immediately through December 31, 2020. The appointed resident will serve as a Trustee on the OCMVCD Board, which generally meets on the third Thursday of every Month at 3 p.m., at the OCMVCD headquarters in Garden Grove.

One three-year term on the Measure LL Audit Oversight Committee is open with a term beginning immediately through January 31, 2022. Members of this Committee review annually the expenditures of the Measure LL Fund and provide a subsequent public report to the City Council as to whether the Measure LL funds have been expended on items of the type described in Resolution No. 16.068 or the other items described in the Measure LL ballot measure. This is a seven-member 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 online at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/council/committees/default.htm and file by today, Tuesday, Jan 22 at 5 p.m. The application on the City’s website is interactive and you are encouraged to fill in the application online. 

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, Feb 5 at 6 p.m., by the City Council in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave. 

Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the January 22 deadline.


City Manager’s Updates

Holiday Transit Service Schedule – On Monday, Jan 21, the Neighborhood and Coastal trolley services will be provided similar to the Sunday schedule, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

For detailed schedule information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolleyor call (949) 497-0766.

City Managers ride

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Our free trolley is as charming as helpful

Holiday Street Sweeping Schedule – On Monday, Jan 21, street sweeping will only occur in commercial areas. For more information, contact Senior Fleet Maintenance Supervisor Austin Comp at (949) 464-6637.

Village Entrance – The City’s contractor, CS Legacy, will be starting the next phase of the construction of the Village Entrance Project on Tuesday, Jan 22. The work will require the closure of Lot 11 located at the intersection of Laguna Canyon Rd and Forest Ave. 

Lot 10 located next to the Art-A-Fair is substantially complete and will be opened to the public prior to the closure of Lot 11. This closure is expected to be in place until May. 

For more information, view the Village Entrance website and newsletter here.

Sign Up for Dog Park Closure Alerts – The Laguna Beach Dog Park will be closed Wednesday for maintenance and will be inspected on Thursday morning to see if it can be reopened. When it rains, the City often closes the Dog Park due to wet and muddy conditions. The City now sends out text alerts when the Laguna Beach Dog Park is closed and reopened.

To sign up, text LBDOGPARK to 888-777. Closures (and reopenings) are also posted at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Prepare Your Property for Rain – Clean out your rain gutters and downspouts and keep the area clear. Work with neighbors to solve drainage problems and to avoid diverting debris onto another property. Many hillside lots have private terrace drains that convey runoff to a safe and proper point of disposal. A terrace drain is made of concrete and typically crosses several different properties before its water enters a City-maintained drainage facility.

The maintenance, cleanup, and repair of these private drains are required to be conducted by property owners. In some cases, drains may cross multiple properties and maintenance may be difficult to coordinate between the respective owners. As a result, drains may not receive adequate attention and poor performance during high demand events becomes likely. Residents are encouraged to look for vegetation, debris, cracks, and missing sections that can improve performance when fixed. All efforts to fix poor performing locations will help to mitigate hillside instability, erosion, and flooding that can occur during large storm events.

City Managers rain

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

All the rain lately has been a good reminder to prepare your properties and businesses

Place Your Sandbags Like A Pro – According to the Army Corps of Engineers, sandbags work best when they are filled two-thirds full and folded at the top. The best way to place a sandbag is to first remove any debris from the areas where bags are to be placed, then place the bags lengthwise and parallel to the direction of water flow. 

Fill the low spots first before placing bags the full length of the area to be raised. Fold the open end of the bag under the filled portion. Place succeeding bags with the bottom of the bag tightly and partially overlapping the previous bag. To eliminate voids and form a tight seal, compact and shape each bag by walking on it. This flattens the top of the bag and prevents slippage between succeeding layers. Continue the process as each layer is placed.

Erosion Control – As there are many building sites currently under construction in the City, it is important for these building sites to install and maintain all required erosion control devices to ensure that during any rain event, erosion and water runoff are managed effectively to avoid damage to the subject property as well as neighboring properties.

Laguna Food Pantry Helping Unpaid Federal Employees – The Laguna Food Pantry has issued a priority alert to Federal employees and their families facing financial hardship during the government shutdown. The Laguna Food Pantry is located on Laguna Canyon Rd and is open Monday - Friday from 8 - 10:30 a.m. Their facility serves about 500 families each week and collects and gives away about 4,000 lbs. of food every weekday. For more information, visit www.lagunafoodpantry.org.

Southern California Edison Pole Replacement – Southern California Edison (SCE) will be replacing a utility pole at 668 Ramona Ave. The work will occur on Monday, Jan 28 during the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. A crane will be used for the pole replacement and will be staged at the adjacent Holiday Inn parking lot. Residential and emergency access will be maintained to the end of Ramona Ave during the work. 

For questions or concerns, contact Robert Watters, Production Specialist with SCE, at (626) 543-0331.

Moulton Meadows Park Restroom Floor Coating – Due to inclement weather, the project to rehabilitate the public restroom floors at Moulton Meadows Park will be postponed until Monday, Jan 21. The restrooms will be closed for four days to apply the floor coating and to allow it to dry. During the work, two portable restrooms and a handwash station will be provided for public use. 

For questions about the project, contact Deputy Public Works Director Dale Schuck at (949) 497-0735.

City Hall Restroom Renovations – On Wednesday, Jan 23, construction work to rehabilitate City Hall’s first floor main restrooms and convert the former City Clerk’s office to Community Development office space will begin. Three parking spaces will be periodically restricted in front of and behind City Hall to support the rehabilitation effort. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.

For any questions, contact Project Manager Tri Nguyen at (949) 497-0741 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Address Visibility & Identification to Assist First Responders – All residents and businesses should make sure their address is visible from the front of their property. Having a clearly visible address helps first responders locate your property during an emergency. Address visibility is a State Fire Code, which the City of Laguna Beach has adopted below:

505.1 Address identification. New and existing buildings shall be provided with approved address identification. The address identification shall be legible and placed in a position that is visible from the street or road fronting the property. Address identification characters shall contrast with their background. Address numbers shall be Arabic numbers or alphabetical letters. Numbers shall not be spelled out. Each character shall be not less than 4 inches (102 mm) high with a minimum stroke width of 1/2 inch (12.7 mm). Where required by the fire code official, address identification shall be provided in additional approved locations to facilitate emergency response. Where access is by means of a private road and the building cannot be viewed from the public way, a monument, pole or other sign or means shall be used to identify the structure. Address identification shall be maintained.

Friday Flicks at the Forum – On February 1, the Arts Commission will present the 10th season of Friday Flicks, held at the Forum Theater at Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. The first film will be Leaning into the Wind, a documentary following land artist Andy Goldsworthy on his exploration of the world (2017 – rated PG). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the film screening starts at 7. This event is free and is funded by Laguna Beach residents Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima. 

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cultural Arts Funding – The City of Laguna Beach is currently accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations for cultural programming presented in Laguna Beach. The deadline to submit an application is February 4. Applications must be submitted online at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach provide funding for this program.

Emergency Kit Backpacks Available for Purchase – A Laguna Beach specific Emergency Kit Backpack is now available for purchase. The kit includes the following: AM/FM hand crank radio with flashlight and cell phone charger, 4-in-1 gas and water utility shut off tool, glow sticks, bio-hazard bags, nitrile gloves, N95 mask, 54-piece first aid kit, duct tape, emergency poncho, solar blanket, and a personal hygiene kit.

Additionally, the kit contains emergency plan templates and disaster-specific information. Each red backpack features an official City of Laguna Beach Seal. You can purchase the Laguna Beach-specific Emergency Kit Backpack for $50 on the City’s website via https://bit.ly/2DlnFGyor in person at the Community and Susi Q Center, 380 Third St, during normal business hours. No profits are being made from the sale of this backpack. Let’s get prepared!


City Council seeking applicants for open seats, deadline is Jan 22

City Council is seeking applicants for open appointed Committees, Commissions, and Boards.

Five two-year terms on the Recreation Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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. 

Three two-year terms on the Board of Adjustment/Design Review Board are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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 $392 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 Design Review 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 two-year terms on the Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. The Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee is a seven-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 two-year term on the Heritage Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. The Heritage Committee is currently a five-member body that acts in an advisory capacity to the Design Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council on matters pertaining to historic preservation such as the review of modifications to a historic structure, placement of a structure on the Historic Register, and creation of a special designation plaque program. Meetings are generally held on the third Monday of the month.

Four two-year terms on the Environmental Sustainability Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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 Environmental Sustainability 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 generally held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings may be two or more hours, and often require a great deal of preparation time.

Three two-year terms on the View Restoration Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. Members of the View Restoration Committee adjudicate view claims submitted by property owners to restore pre-existing views that are alleged to be significantly impaired by vegetation. 

The five-member committee of local residents appointed by the City Council conducts public hearings to review claims, hear testimony, and determine significant view impairment. The Committee may approve a view restoration order and establish a maintenance schedule for the subject vegetation on the property. The View Restoration Committee generally meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. 

One two-year term on the Orange County Mosquito & Vector Control District (OCMVCD) is open with a term beginning immediately through December 31, 2020. The appointed resident will serve as a Trustee on the OCMVCD Board, which generally meets on the third Thursday of every Month at 3 p.m., at the OCMVCD headquarters in Garden Grove.

One three-year term on the Measure LL Audit Oversight Committee is open with a term beginning immediately through January 31, 2022. Members of this Committee review annually the expenditures of the Measure LL Fund and provide a subsequent public report to the City Council as to whether the Measure LL funds have been expended on items of the type described in Resolution No. 16.068 or the other items described in the Measure LL ballot measure. This is a seven-member 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 online at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/council/committees/default.htm and file by Tuesday, Jan 22 at 5 p.m. The application on the City’s website is interactive and you are encouraged to fill in the application online. 

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, Feb 5 at 6 p.m., by the City Council in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave. 

Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the January 22 deadline.


City offering free sandbags to residents for winter storms

With a series of winter storms underway, the City is offering prefilled sandbags at no cost to residents and business owners of Laguna Beach who may need them to protect their property. 

Pre-filled sandbags are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as of Friday, Jan 11, on a first-come, first-served basis (limit 10 per resident with ID). These sandbags are not for private contractors or commercial purposes.

City offering sandbags Mary

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Free sandbags are available for residents and business owners to safeguard against possible flooding

Sandbags can be picked up at either of the following two locations: 

--ACT V Parking Lot – 1900 Laguna Canyon Rd

--Aliso Beach Inland Parking Lot – 31118 Coast Hwy

Additionally, the City offers free, unfilled sandbags at the four fire stations. The unfilled sandbags cannot be filled with sand from Laguna’s beaches or playgrounds. For locations where sand can be purchased, click here. 

The City is also doing its part to protect the community by cleaning and inspecting the Laguna Canyon Channel, maintaining public terrace drains and manholes, and conducting outreach including workshops and mailers to property and business owners. The City encourages residents to protect their homes from flooding by remembering the following tips: 

--Clear out rain gutters and pick up litter and loose objects on your property. Anything loose can be washed away. 

--Sand bag flood prone areas. 

--Check your own yard drains to make sure they are not clogged. 

--While not required, flood insurance is recommended for flood prone properties. 

Visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/police/emergprep/ for further information about Emergency Preparedness and for video footage from past Laguna Beach disasters. 

For more information, contact Jordan Villwock, Emergency Operations Coordinator, at (949) 497-0389 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


City Council is seeking applicants for open seats

City Council is seeking applicants for open appointed Committees, Commissions, and Boards.

Five two-year terms on the Recreation Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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. 

Three two-year terms on the Board of Adjustment/Design Review Board are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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 $392 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 Design Review 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 two-year terms on the Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. The Parking, Traffic & Circulation Committee is a seven-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 two-year term on the Heritage Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. The Heritage Committee is currently a five-member body that acts in an advisory capacity to the Design Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council on matters pertaining to historic preservation such as the review of modifications to a historic structure, placement of a structure on the Historic Register, and creation of a special designation plaque program. Meetings are generally held on the third Monday of the month.

Four two-year terms on the Environmental Sustainability Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. 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 Environmental Sustainability 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 generally held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings may be two or more hours, and often require a great deal of preparation time.

Three two-year terms on the View Restoration Committee are open with terms beginning April 1, through March 31, 2021. Members of the View Restoration Committee adjudicate view claims submitted by property owners to restore pre-existing views that are alleged to be significantly impaired by vegetation. 

The five-member committee of local residents appointed by the City Council conducts public hearings to review claims, hear testimony, and determine significant view impairment. The Committee may approve a view restoration order and establish a maintenance schedule for the subject vegetation on the property. The View Restoration Committee generally meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. 

One two-year term on the Orange County Mosquito & Vector Control District (OCMVCD) is open with a term beginning immediately through December 31, 2020. The appointed resident will serve as a Trustee on the OCMVCD Board, which generally meets on the third Thursday of every Month at 3 p.m., at the OCMVCD headquarters in Garden Grove.

One three-year term on the Measure LL Audit Oversight Committee is open with a term beginning immediately through January 31, 2022. Members of this Committee review annually the expenditures of the Measure LL Fund and provide a subsequent public report to the City Council as to whether the Measure LL funds have been expended on items of the type described in Resolution No. 16.068 or the other items described in the Measure LL ballot measure. This is a seven-member 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 online at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/council/committees/default.htm and file by Tuesday, Jan 22 at 5 p.m. The application on the City’s website is interactive and you are encouraged to fill in the application online. 

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, Feb 5 at 6 p.m., by the City Council in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave. 

Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the January 22 deadline.


City Manager’s Updates

Be Coyote Aware – January is coyote courting and mating season and coyotes require more food during this time. Also, seasonal weather changes in January may increase coyote activity and coyote sightings. This will be especially true if we experience more rainfall than normal this month. Keep your pets indoors in the evening and at night, secure the lid to your garbage cans and dumpsters, do not leave food or water outside – not for your own pets and not for wild animals – and harvest your garden and fruit trees as soon as your vegetables and fruit are ready. 

If you see a coyote in a residential area, please call Laguna Beach Animal Services at (949) 497-0701. You may also report coyote sightings to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City Managers Coyote

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Ryan Moran

Be alert for coyotes during the month of January

Moulton Meadows Park Restroom Floor Coating – Beginning on Monday, Jan 14, the public restroom floors at Moulton Meadows Park will be rehabilitated. The restrooms will be closed for four days to apply the floor coating and to allow it to dry. During the work, two portable restrooms and a hand wash station will be provided for public use. 

For questions about the project, contact Dale Schuck, Deputy Public Works Director, at (949) 497-0735.

Orange County Point In Time Count – On January 23 and 24, Orange County will be conducting a crucial count and survey of homeless individuals and families, called the 2019 Point In Time Count. The results of this count can affect Orange County’s approach to fighting and ending homelessness. This count happens every two years and helps track the need for homeless programs and anticipates funding decisions to address those needs. The biggest effort and need for volunteer workers will be on January 23 from 5 to 9 a.m. Volunteers will be deployed across Orange County to conduct counts and assessments. 

Find out more at www.everyonecountsoc.org or contact the Friendship Shelter at (949) 494-6928 for more information.

Free 2019 Kids Crafts Workshop – The Laguna Beach Public Library is hosting a Kids Crafts Workshop Saturdays in 2019. This free family-friendly event is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children 12 years and under are encouraged to come to the library to make fun and creative seasonal projects. Adult supervision is recommended. 

The Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre St.

Recreation Committee Program Scholarships Available – The Recreation Committee developed a scholarship program designed to assist in providing recreational opportunities to families in Laguna Beach. Program policy information and the application can be found on the Community Services’ webpage here, or contact Alexis Braun, Sr. Community Services Supervisor, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for more information.


The City of Laguna Beach invites the community to pledge to #BeAGreeter in 2019

Be a greeter and don’t bully people. Include them. Don’t exclude. 

The City of Laguna invites residents to join in the #BeAGreeter movement by taking the City’s Greeter Pledge and standing up to bullying.

Laguna Beach has a long history of greeting one another. For over one hundred years, Laguna has had official and unofficial greeters welcoming residents with a wave and a smile. Neighbors greet one another at our community gatherings, Hospitality Night, the Patriots Day Parade, and the Brooks Street Surfing Classic Contest.

Here are some ways you can be a greeter and encourage kindness in our City: 

Take the Greeter Pledge, which says, “I pledge to follow the Greeter Principles by being friendly, welcoming, open-minded, and respectful. I will greet people with a smile. I will have the compassion not to be a bully, and the courage not to be a bystander. I will make a positive difference in my community.” 

Pledging also asks the question, “How will you make a positive difference in your community?” and “How will you work to end bullying?”

Here are some examples of how to #BeAGreeter:

Paint a rock with a reassuring message and place it somewhere in town people will find it (in a park, on a trail, at a playground). Take a photo of it for Instagram and include the hashtag #RockOnLB. The #RockOnLB movement encourages people to leave rocks painted with inspiring messages along the path of life. You never know when a kind word could make a world of difference in someone’s day.

The City rock

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Paint an inspiring message on a rock as a gesture of kindness this year

Exemplify the Principles of a Greeter in your everyday life: Be friendly, welcoming, open-minded, respectful, and greet people with a smile. 

Include people, don’t exclude. Practice being a good upstander and spread compassion wherever you go – remember, kindness is contagious!

After you take the pledge, stop by the Community and Susi Q Center to claim a free #BeAGreeter sticker, available while supplies last. Put it on your car, water bottle, laptop or surfboard and spread the word about the #BeAGreeter mission. 

For more information about taking the Greeter Pledge, go to www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/community/be_a_greeter.htm.

For information about #RockOnLB, go to www.litlaguna.com/ROCKONLB.

For more information about Ability Awareness Project, visit  www.kindandsafeschools.org. The group’s mission is to build a united interconnected world, free of bullying, and their vision is to ensure that everyone is respectful and kind to one another and that no one suffers from social isolation and bullying.


Council to appoint new Planning Commissioner today

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City Council will pick Sue Kempf’s replacement on the Planning Commission at a special meeting beginning at 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, Jan 7.

Eleven applicants have applied for the position, including two City Council candidates in the recent election: Jorg Dubin and Allison T. Mathews. Stephen L. Ball, Jeff Feldman, Steven Goldman, Ernest Hackmon, Casey Hensel, Caroline Parker, Kavita Reddy and James Walker Reed also applied.

Applicant Chad Edgley will be out of town on Tuesday and unable to attend the hearing. 

The council will interview all applicants at the hearing before selecting Kempf’s replacement.

Commissioners review and advise the City Council on items related to the development and modification of land uses within the city limits. The commission meets on the first and third Wednesday of the month. But appointments to subcommittees, as well as visits to proposed projects, require extra time. 

The commission evaluates and recommends action on the development and amendment to the Laguna Beach General Plan, city ordinances, subdivision regulations and special projects related to land use planning.

The board has been a training ground for City Council members, including past mayors Elizabeth Pearson and Cheryl Kinsman and most recently Mayor Bob Whalen and former Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede.

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