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Laguna Beach


City Manger’s Updates

City Updating Guidelines for Landscape and Scenic Highways – The City of Laguna Beach is updating its guidelines that help preserve, enhance and sustain landscape and scenic corridors essential to the City’s unique character. These guidelines will help the community define the City’s landscape goals, policies and programs for years to come. The updated Highways Document contains landscape guidelines for our two scenic highways, Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway, and our 38 neighborhood landscape areas. 

The City of Laguna Beach City Council will review the Landscape and Scenic Highways Element (LSHE) and the Resource Document (LSHRD) on Tuesday, Nov 13 at its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue). 

For more information, or to view a copy of the public review draft of the LSHE and LSHRD click here. 

City Managers Updates street

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Coast Highway along Main Beach

Local Regulations Related to the Placement of Campaign Signs – There is a daily effort by the City’s Code Enforcement Division to monitor public property in the City and remove campaign signs that are placed on public property. Public property includes parks, medians, and the public right of way. Campaign signs posted on private property are allowed with the permission of the property owner. The theft or destruction of campaign signs is a crime and will be prosecuted. 

If you see signs placed in violation of the Municipal Code, call the City’s Code Enforcement Division at (949) 497-0301 and they will investigate promptly. Please do not attempt to rectify the situation yourself. 

Help Keep Your Sewer Lateral Clean – A private sewer lateral is the pipe that drains your sinks, bathtubs, toilets and showers from your home or building to the City’s sewer main line. Proper maintenance of a private sewer lateral is important because they can clog with roots and grease and can cause a backup inside your property or spill from the line. 

Property owners are responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of their property’s sewer lateral from the home including the point of connection with the City’s sewer main line. It is recommended that all homeowners have their sewer laterals video inspected on a periodic basis to ensure they are functioning properly. 

Additionally, when the City becomes aware of potential problems with a private lateral or a significant remodel project is completed the lateral will need to be video inspected. Private developments and apartment projects need to inspect their lateral every five years. Contact a plumbing company participating in the City’s program for a video inspection and lateral assessment. 

No matter the company you choose, be sure your plumber contacts the City’s Plumber’s Hotline before they begin work at (949) 464-6616. Be sure to request a copy of the lateral video inspection. 

Council Chamber Banner Competition Winners – Congratulations to local artists Kelly Goldstein and Al Esquerra on having their designs selected by the Arts Commission. Each artist will paint their design on 10’ x 3’ banners that will be installed in the City Hall Council Chambers mid-November. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program. 

To view the winning designs, click here. 

Holiday Palette Competition Winners – Congratulations to local artists Marcel Mead, Michael Munroe, Kelly Goldstein and Dedre Sines on having their designs selected by the Arts Commission for the annual Holiday Palette Competition. Each artist will paint their design on a 3’ x 4’ wood palette that will be displayed on the lampposts outside City Hall this holiday season. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program. 

To view the winning designs, click here. 

Juried Fine Art Exhibition and Reception – Now through November 30, residents are invited to see the selected works of the City’s 2018 Juried Fine Art Exhibition in the first-floor gallery of City Hall, 505 Forest Avenue. The exhibition is open to the public during normal City Hall business hours. The public is also invited to attend a special reception and awards ceremony from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov 1. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program. 

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

Call to Artists – Red Telephone Booth – The Laguna Beach Arts Commission is accepting proposals for the Red Telephone Booth temporary art installation site on Forest Avenue. The selected design will be installed for a 24-month period. The deadline for submission is January 7, 2019, and the honorarium is $5,000. This program is unded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

Apply online at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com

Upcoming Community Meetings on Proposed Odor Elimination Project at Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station – The Water Quality Department is proposing a project to eliminate the sewer odors at the “Glenneyre Dip.” To prevent odors, City Staff proposes to install a Biological Odor Control Unit, called the IBOx, at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station site. In addition to the new odor control facility, the project includes replacing the existing staircase from Glenneyre Street to Galen Drive and adding a decomposed granite path with guardrails around the lift station facility. 

The City is scheduled to present this plan to the Design Review Board on November 8. The public is encouraged to participate in this upcoming meeting to learn more about the proposed project.

Upcoming Community Safety Event to Commemorate 25th Anniversary of Laguna Beach Fire – On Saturday, October 27 the City is hosting a Community Safety Event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fire Station 1 at City Hall. The Fire, Police and Marine Safety Departments will join other City staff members to discuss how to prepare you, your family, and your property for various disasters and better understand the City’s preparations to protect the community. Residents will also learn about how to sign up for important public safety notifications. 

The event will feature informational booths, Fire Engine tours and tours of Fire Station 1, a Laguna Beach Fire Goat petting zoo, information on the “Ready-Set-Go” home wildfire protection initiative, emergency information and resident resources, CERT program information and much more. This Saturday also marks the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire.

For more information on the event, contact Firefighter Pat Cary at (949) 497-0700.


Council to hear a request to remove C-rated structure from the Register

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Heritage Committee has recommended the City Council deny a request to remove the C-rated property at 337 Hawthorne Street from the Historic Register.

Removal from the Register is subject to Council review and approval by the committee. In June, the Heritage Committee opined that the structure should remain on the Register because it meets the criteria of a historic resource.

The Hawthorne Street property was built in 1927 with a detached garage and recommended by the committee for inclusion in the Register in 2008 at the request of the owner. The committee also recommended approval of development that included a reduction in garage from four vehicles to three – a perk of being on the Register. 

However, the Design Review Board did not approve the project, which was appealed to the City Council and returned for further review by the board. 

In 2011, the board approved a project that added 700 square feet to the existing 1,409-square-foot home, construction of a four-car garage and a 663-square-foot second unit above the garage.

A new owner bought the property in 2013. The Real Property Report on file at City Hall provided the information that the structure was on the Register. 

In June of 2016, a permit was issued for the construction of the garage and the unit. In 2017, a permit was issued for the addition to the house. 

Three months later, the owner submitted a request to remove the property from the Register.

The Municipal Code states that a decision to remove a structure from the Register shall take into consideration payment or restoration of any utilized benefit or incentive. However, neither the applicant nor the previously approved project utilized any historic preservation benefit, specifically the parking reduction.

The property owner says the DRB’s decision not to reduce the parking requirement is a breach of contract and voids it.


City Manager’s Updates

Thalia Street Partial Lane Closure – On Thursday, Oct 25, the Laguna Beach County Water District (LBCWD) will have the southbound lane of Thalia partially closed between Wilson and Wendt Terrace from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a water service upgrade. A flagman stationed at the worksite will accommodate both directions of traffic. “No Parking” signs will be placed in the immediate construction area on Tuesday, Oct 23.

For questions, contact the LBCWD at (949) 494-1041.

3rd Street Lane Closure – On Tuesday, Oct 30, the Laguna Beach County Water District (LBCWD) will have the downhill lane of 3rd Street hill closed between Mermaid Street and Park Avenue from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a water meter installation needed for the City landscaping of the planter boxes. Advance warning and traffic control measures will be in place along with a flagman stationed at Park Avenue as additional precaution.

For questions, contact the LBCWD at (949) 494-1041.

Animal Shelter Lift Station Upgrades to Meet Growing Demands – The City’s Water Quality Department and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) have collaborated to successfully upgrade the wastewater pumping facility that supports both the Animal Shelter and the PMMC. The upgrade to the station eliminates difficulties handling peak flow capacities, greatly improves reliability, and allows for superior monitoring of the station’s operations. The City Council and the PMMC Board of Directors split the cost of the facility upgrades.

Upcoming Community Meetings on Proposed Odor Elimination Project at Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station – The Water Quality Department will be holding a community meeting on Thursday, Oct 18 at 6 p.m. at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station (located at the end of Galen Drive near the corner of Calliope and Glenneyre Street) to discuss a project to eliminate the sewer odors at the “Glenneyre Dip.” To prevent odors, City Staff proposes to install a Biological Odor Control Unit, called the IBOx, at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station site. In addition to the new odor control facility, the project includes replacing the existing staircase from Glenneyre Street to Galen Drive and adding a decomposed granite path with guardrails around the lift station facility. The City is scheduled to present this plan to the Design Review Board on November 8. The public is encouraged to participate in these upcoming community meetings to learn more about the proposed project.

Upcoming Community Safety Event to Commemorate 25th Anniversary of Laguna Beach Fire – A Community Safety Event commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire (which burned approximately 16,000 acres and destroyed or damaged over 400 homes in the City) will be held on Saturday, Oct 27, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Fire Station 1 (located at 505 Forest Avenue next to City Hall.) This community event will involve many of the City Departmentsthatplay an important role in providing emergency response to the City’s residents and visitors during and after a natural disaster. The event will feature informational booths, fire engine tours and tours of Fire Station 1, the Laguna Beach Fire Goats, information on the “Ready-Set-Go” home wildfire protection initiative, emergency information and resident resources, CERT program information and much more. 

City Managers Updates fire

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo from the archives

The devastation from the 1993 fire reminds us to get prepared for emergencies

Supervisory Leadership Institute Graduation – This week Sergeant Cota graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute (SLI). SLI is an intensive leadership development program that is designed to stimulate personal growth, leadership, and ethical decision-making for California law enforcement front line supervisors. Congratulations Sergeant Cota.

Leaf Collection Program – The City’s annual Leaf Collection Program for 2018 has started and will run through February 28. During this period, residents may place unlimited amounts of tied bagged leaves at the curb next to their green waste cart. 

Click here for more information.

Final Call for Cookie Recipes – The entry period for the Community Services Department’s second-annual Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest ends next Friday, Oct 26. Each participant is asked to submit their cookie recipe and the story behind their family’s recipe. The winner’s story and recipe will be published in the Winter 2019 Community Services brochure, to be mailed Citywide. 

Entry forms are available online at https://goo.gl/forms/11NB1UMqT7PCXpy22 and at the front desk of the Community and Susi Q Center. For more information, contact Adam Gufarotti, Senior Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0304.


City Manager’s Updates

20th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational Happening this Week – The 20th annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational is happening this week through Sunday around the City. Headquartered at the Festival of Arts grounds, the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational features 50 of the nation’s top award-winning plein air artists who are dedicated to painting the landscape and preserving Laguna’s plein air painting legacy and tradition. 

During the 9-day plein air art festival, the invited artists can be seen painting in and around Laguna Beach parks, coastlines, and the canyon. The first Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational was presented in 1999. 

For more information, visit www.lagunapleinair.org

City Managers Updates artist

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Laguna Beach makes the perfect setting for the Plein Air Painting Invitational

Bluebird SOCWA “Glenneyre Dip” Odor Control Upgrade Project Update – 

The Water Quality Department has been working on a project to eliminate the sewer odors at the “Glenneyre Dip”. Staff is scheduled to present the revised project scope to the Design Review Board (DRB) on November 8. Staff has addressed the comments from both the public and DRB in the two previous hearings on June 14, 2018, and July 26, 2018. The public is encouraged to learn all about the project and to attend and participate in the hearing. 

For more information about the project, contact Hannah Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

LitLaguna Workshop Series – The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Department and the Literary Laureate Program present a series of writing workshops for aspiring writers who want to learn more about the craft of writing. 

The series will be held at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street. Class size is limited. 

For dates, topics or to register, click here.

City to Partner With Health Care Agency to Exercise Emergency Response at Irvine Great Park – The City of Laguna Beach is one of seven South County cities partnering with the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) to exercise a Point of Dispensing (POD) emergency preparedness event at the Great Park in Irvine on October 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. to practice rapid distribution of medicine in the event of a public health outbreak. 

In a real emergency, PODs can save lives by getting needed medication and supplies to our community quickly and efficiently. If a widespread disease or other emergency were to occur, it may be necessary for local health departments to activate PODs to distribute large amounts of vaccinations, antibiotics, and other medicines to a large number of people. 

Participants will receive a commemorative tote bag, local emergency planning materials, information about the AlertOC emergency notification system, and a holiday pumpkin while supplies last. The exercise will help communities prepare for general health emergencies, and is a partnership of several local entities, including the Orange County Health Care Agency, Medical Reserve Corps and the cities of Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and San Clemente. 

Visit www.AlertOC.org to learn about and register for OC’s mass notification system. 

Village Entrance Project Parking – In recent newspaper articles and at City Council candidate forums, questions have been raised regarding the number of vehicular parking spaces that will be provided by the Village Entrance Project. The purpose of this weekly update is to provide some background and information about the project.   

On November 12, 2013, the City Council decided to abandon a project to build a $42 million four-level parking structure at the Village Entrance site and instead chose a design that provides for surface parking, pedestrian pathways, enhanced landscaping and lighting, and improved traffic circulation. As part of this decision, the City Council decided to acquire a property adjacent to the project, positioned for development, and commonly known as the Christmas Tree Lot (725 Laguna Canyon Road). The lot was specifically acquired by the City Council to offset the anticipated loss of surface parking spaces resulting from the new design approach for the Village Entrance. The current project design was then approved in January 2018 after 16 public meetings over the last five years and the appeal period concluded in February 2018. Construction has started and will be complete in about two years, with the project being open for parking during the intervening summer seasons. The current project costs $11.1 million, which is a substantial reduction from the $42 million cost of the parking structure alternative.

When the Village Entrance project is complete in June of 2020, it will provide a total of 370 vehicle parking spaces, along with eight motorcycle and 104 bicycle parking spaces. Per parking codes, this is the equivalent of 387 parking spaces and encourages the use of motorcycles and bikes to relieve congestion on roads. In addition, the recent relocation of City employees to other buildings has reduced the employee parking need by 10 parking spaces and increasing the spaces available for public parking during the day.


LBHS cheer squad invites future cheerleaders to Laguna Beach Cheer Clinic this Saturday

Future cheerleaders, both boys and girls, from the ages of kindergarten through eighth grade, are invited to join the LBHS cheer squad at the Laguna Beach Cheer Clinic at LBHS Dugger Gym this Saturday, Oct 13. Attendees will learn cheers, chants, dance with the LBHS cheerleaders and perform at the LBHS versus Ocean View home football game on Friday, Oct 19.

LBHS cheer group

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

(L-R) Back row: Tanya Tran, Kelsey Bailey, Eden Pfanner, Chloe Gabora, Emma Diver, Sophia Pfanner, Izzy Lyons, Ariana Bonni, Alina Dziuk, Lucy Becker

(L-R) Front row: Captains Cirrafina Biele and Kali Russell

Not pictured: Alex Lemus, Nina Seidensticker, Kaylie Rozell

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The fee for the clinic is $50, which includes all instruction, a Laguna Cheer T-shirt, hair bow, pom-poms, snack and water. The price is $55 for sign-ups on the morning of the clinic.

LBHS Dugger Gym is on St Ann’s Dr, and LBHS cheerleaders will be there to direct attendees.

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.

Register online at www.lbhsathletics.com. Navigate to the cheer section.

For questions, contact Cheer Boosters at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


LBUSD Updates on One Billion Acts of Kindness and Dyslexia

One Billion Acts of Kindness

The Board reviewed and adopted Resolution #18-12: One Billion Acts of Kindness. Launched in 2016 by the OC Department of Education, the initiative seeks to improve school climate, promote character and rally communities for greater civility through one billion acts of kindness. 

The initiative also supports improved student behavior by reducing bullying, reducing suspension rates, and increasing attendance. LBUSD is committed to creating a positive learning environment for all students and staff. Annual climate survey data indicates that students feel safe on campus, welcomed by other students, and are respected by both students and staff. 

Every Student, Every day Study Session: Dyslexia and Our Journey

On August 14, 2017, the California Superintendent of Public Instruction released “the California Dyslexia Guidelines,” as required by Assembly Bill 1369 and California Education Code. The Dyslexia Guidelines is a long-awaited document meant to define dyslexia and identify responsive, research-based interventions. 

Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Dr. Alysia Odipo, Director of Special Education Irene White, and staff led a Board Study Session on LBUSD’s journey to provide guidelines, raise awareness, and increase understanding of the characteristics of dyslexia.

LBUSD Dyslexia Study

Courtesy of LBUSD

LBUSD Board Members learning more about dyslexia and making District Guidelines

Study outcomes were to distinguish between fundamental truths and myths of dyslexia; understand how impairments of phonological nature are involved in dyslexia; and learn about District’s plan for identification and support.

The study showed that dyslexia isn’t about reversals and isn’t about faulty eye movements. The phenotype of dyslexia is about the inability to sound out words; unexpected comprehension difficulties; long term vocabulary challenges; and unexpected poor reading that is due to a problem in language, not in vision.

A critical point the Board learned is that early identification and intervention is the key. Strategies learned benefit all students, and later intervention does not produce the same benefits.

LBUSD Board Members hand on

Courtesy of LBUSD

LBUSD Board Members learn hands on about dyslexia

Per the California Educational Code, educational services for dyslexia are evidence-based, multisensory, direct, explicit, structural, and sequential. 

LBUSD Direct focus areas of dyslexia are Screening and Assessment, Instruction, Training, and Parent Partnerships.

For more information, please visit www.lbusd.org.


City Manager’s Updates

6th Annual Flood Prevention Device Practice Installation Day – The Code Enforcement Division has notified Laguna Beach property and business owners located in the flood hazard zone of the upcoming 6th Annual Flood Prevention Device Practice Installation Day scheduled for Monday, Oct 22. This is a voluntary educational emergency preparedness training event encouraged by FEMA. 

All people employed to work in a business located within areas of special flood hazards are requested to be trained by the business owner on how to install the flood prevention devices and be provided a copy of the flood contingency measures plan.

Bluebird SOCWA “Glenneyre Dip” Odor Control Upgrade Project Update – 

The Water Quality Department has been working on a project to eliminate the sewer odors at the “Glenneyre Dip”. Staff is scheduled to present the revised project scope to the Design Review Board (DRB) on November 8. Staff has addressed the comments from both the public and DRB in the two previous hearings on June 14 and July 26, 2018. The public is encouraged to learn all about the project and to attend and participate in the hearing. 

For more information about the project, contact Hannah Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lane Closures on Coast Highway – On October 8 and 9, Caltrans will be conducting subsurface utility investigations on South Coast Highway near Broadway. Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., one northbound lane will be closed on October 8 and one southbound lane will be closed on October 9. 

For additional information, contact Bob Bazargan, Caltrans Project Manager at (949) 279-9358.

City to Partner With Health Care Agency to Exercise Emergency Response at Irvine Great Park – The City of Laguna Beach is one of seven South County cities partnering with the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) to exercise a Point of Dispensing (POD) emergency preparedness event at the Great Park in Irvine on October 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. to practice rapid distribution of medicine in the event of a public health outbreak. 

If a widespread disease or other emergency were to occur, it may be necessary for local health departments to activate PODs to distribute large amounts of vaccinations, antibiotics, and other medicines to a large number of people. The Great Park POD exercise will offer both a walk-up option and a drive-thru option. During the event, participants will be directed through the exercise by local police and fire authorities and will be asked to complete a brief intake form, proceed to a nurse or nursing student who will distribute exercise materials, then be directed through the exit station. 

Participants will receive a commemorative tote bag, local emergency planning materials, information about the AlertOC emergency notification system, and a holiday pumpkin while supplies last. The exercise will help communities prepare for general health emergencies, and is a partnership of several local entities, including the Orange County Health Care Agency, Medical Reserve Corps and the cities of Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and San Clemente. 

For more information about this one-day event, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/PODEvent.

Take the Trolley to the Classic Car Show – Why hassle with parking at the Classic Car Show this Sunday, October 7? Take the Neighborhood or Coastal Trolley to the event. 

For schedules and times, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net\trolley, use the Trolley Tracker on the Visit Laguna Beach mobile app or call (949) 497-0766. 

City Managers Updates Trolley

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Trolley is a fun and free way to get around Laguna Beach

Construction Work in Front of City Hall – Two parking stalls in front of City Hall will be closed between October 9 and 12 to allow for modifications that will bring the handicapped parking space into compliance with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Brooks Street Crosswalk Improvements Requiring a 10-minute Closure of Coast Highway – Caltrans is finalizing the installation of the in-road warning lights and flashing beacons at Brooks Street crosswalk on Coast Highway. To install the flashing beacons, South Coast Highway has to be closed for 10 minutes on Thursday, Oct 4 around 11:30 a.m. Traffic will be detoured away from South Coast Highway during that time.

If you have any questions regarding this project, contact Mark Trestik, Acting City Engineer at (949) 497-0300.


City Manager’s Updates

Upcoming Historic Preservation Ordinance Meeting, Sept 29 – A Special City Council meeting on the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance will take place this 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 broadcast live on cable channel 852 and streamed online at www.lagunabeachcity.net 

National Preparedness Month – Week 4September marks National Preparedness Month and the City of Laguna Beach encourages its residents to get prepared. For the week of Sept 24, it is recommended that you build an emergency kit, and have supplies on hand to keep everyone warm, safe, fed and hydrated until help arrives. Create or purchase a 72-hour survival and first aid kit and locate a place to store your food and water. 

Visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/getprepared for an easy to use template.

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. Design 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 5:00 p.m. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

For guidelines and application, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art/opportunities/.

City Managers Updates art

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Public Invited to Meeting on Plan for Regional Water Board Trash Provisions – The City of Laguna Beach Department of Water Quality would like to invite the public to a workshop detailing the draft municipal plan to comply with a San Diego Regional Water Board Trash Provision Order. 

The meeting is being held on Wednesday, Oct 3 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers to discuss the draft plan to comply with these provisions.

Construction Work in Front of City Hall – Two parking stalls in front of City Hall will be closed between October 9 and October 12 to allow for modifications that will bring the handicapped parking space into compliance with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest – Residents are invited to participate in the Community Services Department’s second-annual Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest as we prepare to enter the winter holiday season. Each participant is asked to submit their cookie recipe and a brief story that explains why it is their family’s favorite recipe. Five finalists will be selected to bake a sample batch for a taste-test on November 5. The winner’s story and recipe will be published in the Winter 2019 Community Services brochure, to be mailed Citywide. 

Entry forms are available online here and at the front desk of the Community and Susi Q Center. Submissions are due by October 26. For more information, contact Adam Gufarotti, Senior Recreation Supervisor at (949) 497-0304.

Sunset Serenades – The concluding Sunset Serenades features a sing-a-long with musician Jason Feddy to the hits of the Beatles. The concert will be held on Friday, Sept 28 from 5:30 p.m. to sunset at the Heisler Park Amphitheater, on the corner of Cliff Drive and Jasmine Street. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

“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. This event is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

For more detailed information and to register, visit https://lagunabeachart.eventbrite.com.

Call-for-Artists “Red Telephone Booth” – The Arts Commission is currently accepting artist proposals for a temporary art installation. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. The deadline is January 7, 2019. The honorarium is $5,000. 

To apply, go to https://lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com/.

City Managers Updates booth

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Stacia Stabler

The Red Telephone Booth on Forest Ave is one of the City’s temporary art installation locations and it’s time for a new piece to be installed

Brooks Street Crosswalk Improvements Requiring a 10-minute Closure of Coast Highway – Caltrans is finalizing the installation of the in-road warning lights and flashing beacons at Brooks Street crosswalk on Coast Highway. To install the flashing beacons, Coast Highway has to be closed for 10 minutes on Thursday, Oct 4, at around 10 a.m.  Traffic will be detoured away from South Coast Highway during that time. If you have any questions regarding this project, contact Mark Trestik, Acting City Engineer at (949) 497-0300.


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

Click on photo for a larger image

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

Click on photo for a larger image

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. 


Historic Preservation Ordinance hearing moved again

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Historic Preservation Ordinance hearing has been moved again, this time to 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept 29, to avoid conflict with Yom Kippur.

City Manager John Pietig was directed at Tuesday’s council meeting to find a date with no conflicts between Sept 18 and Oct 30. 

“The conflict was brought to our attention a couple of days earlier,” said Community Development Director Greg Pfost on Thursday. “When we scheduled the date we were not thinking of Yom Kippur.” 

However, on Tuesday, Village Laguna President Johanna Felder raised the issue during the Public Comment Period of the council meeting. 

She said the attorney hired by the Laguna Beach Preservation Coalition could not attend because of Yom Kippur.

Mayor Kelly Boyd said he had checked with Councilman Steve Dicterow, a practicing Jew, if the hearing would be problem.

Dicterow said he had checked with his rabbi and was told that civic duty took priority over the holiday.

“I think there would definitely be mixed responses from the rabbis in the area,” said Councilwoman Toni Iseman on Thursday.

Felder noted that the meeting date had been changed from the original date of Sept 11th to the 18th at the request of Boyd, because he was scheduled for a medical procedure and would not be available on the earlier date. 

Pietig said the council would have a good couple of hours on the 18th to conduct the hearing before Yom Kippur began that evening and recommended sticking to the schedule. 

He said staff had done everything it could to accommodate the community and the people on the Preservation Ordinance Task Force, who could not move forward until the council gave them direction. Putting off the hearing delayed any task force action. 

“This is not in the spirit of Laguna Beach,” said Iseman. “I feel it discriminates against an element of the community.”

Pietig took exception to Iseman’s comment.

“I resent the implication,” he said. “That was not our intent.”

Iseman said that is how it is perceived and a new date should be selected, which Council voted 5-0 on. She suggested moving it to Oct 30.

Pietig was able to come up with a date a month earlier. 

The hearing will be broadcast live and streamed online on Saturday, Sept 29 at 1 p.m. at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

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