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Council to consider items related to the pandemic

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City Council Agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is dominated by pandemic-related items.

Among the agenda items to be considered in the regular order of business: 

--An update regarding the phased reopening of city beaches and coastal accesses

--An urgency ordinance extending the prohibition on carrying or possession on city streets, sidewalks, pubic property, or public facilities items and articles generally considered a weapon or reasonably capable of being used as a weapon while attending or participating in a demonstration rally, protest, or other public assembly 

--Consideration of reopening certain city facilities and canceling scheduled events, programs, and services related to COVID-19 

--An economic recovery and business development plan with eight recommendations:

1. Staff is recommending the group working under the direction of Assistant City Manager Shohreh Dupuis on the plan be directed to purse a CDBG-CV grant [formerly Community Development Block Grant] and work with the Chamber of Commerce to raise funding for the implementation of the plan and divert the $250,000 of previously allocated funding in the Capital Improvement Program for the Downtown Action Plan to this plan if sufficient funding cannot be obtained from the grant.

2. Direct the working group to develop and implement guidelines for the business community in conjunction and consistency with the county and Governor’s plans for the phased reopening of the California economy.

3. Direct staff to return to the council on June 16 with modifications to the business and parking regulations proposed in the Downtown Specific Plan Update and recommendations from the Retail Market Study to modify and streamline the new business permitting process.

4. Authorize the working group to proceed with developing and implementing a Summer 2020 pilot program to close lower Forest Avenue for an outdoor dining and entertainment program that would support local businesses while providing safe outdoor dining opportunities for the public.

5. Award a contract not to exceed $35,000 to Walker Consultants for a parking structure study.

6. Retain a local business consultant to identify target businesses for the downtown and all other commercial areas.

7. Establish a Cultural Arts Invigoration Task Force led by Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl, with Arts Commissioner Suzi Chauvel and members of Visit Laguna Beach, the Sawdust Festival, Festival of Arts, and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance to collaborate on strategy, programming, and funding opportunities.

8. Authorize staff to apply for potential grants for cultural arts programming or economic development.

Council meetings are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and can be watched on Cox Cable Channel 852 or on a computer at www.lagunabeachcity.net. Click on Agendas, Minutes, and Meetings and wait for the video sign to come on for the May 12 meeting.

Comments may be submitted on any agenda item or on any item not on the agenda by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (there is an interactive public communications form on the front page of the City’s website or an email or Word document will also be accepted).

Written comments may be provided up to 12 p.m. Tuesday, May 12 (the day of the meeting). Please note that while these comments will be provided to the City Council at 3 p.m. on May 12, the Council members may not have sufficient time to review them prior to the meeting.

If you would like to listen to and comment over the phone during the designated public comment period, call (669) 900-9128, and wait for instructions to dial the Zoom ID, which is 94371581970#.

Let the city know you want to comment on an item that is being discussed by pressing *9 on your phone. When you hear “your phone is unmuted,” you may proceed with your comment. The time for comments may be limited, so the city recommends you prepare your remarks accordingly.

You can also click on the link here from your computer or smart phone to participate in the meeting via Zoom.

You may also listen live on KX FM 104.7 either on a radio or online at www.kxfmradio.org.