Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

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

Released: August 4, 2016

Coast Royal Utility Undergrounding Improvements - On August 8, construction of underground utility improvements will begin in the Coast Royal neighborhood along Monterey Street, Brooks Street, Pedro Street, Holly Street, Ceanothus Drive, Alta Loma Drive, and Ocean View Street.  Portions of streets will be closed and may have restricted access during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Detours will be provided and traffic impacts should be anticipated. Affected residents have been notified by mail.  Construction is scheduled to be complete by February 2017.  Utility companies would then install underground facilities and remove overhead wires and poles by May 2018.

Draft Historic Preservation Ordinance - The City of Laguna Beach will hold a public workshop with the Heritage Committee on Thursday, August 25, 2016, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers (505 Forest Avenue).  The workshop will be held to discuss and receive public comment on the most recent revisions of the Historic Preservation Ordinance (Municipal Code Section 25.45).  The workshop information, a revised draft of the proposed Ordinance and other workshop information will be posted by August 18, on the City website: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/preserve/historicresources.htm.

National Night Out Event - The Police Department hosted a community event at the Laguna Terrace Park in recognition of National Night Out.  Each year, on the first Tuesday in August, communities across the nation host National Night Out events in order to build greater Police and Community partnerships to prevent crime.  For the past three years, the Police Department has been working with residents at Laguna Terrace Park to host these National Night Out events.  This years’ outing included a visit by members of the Laguna Beach Fire Department who gave tours of their fire engine and handed out fire prevention materials.   

New Paramedic - Firefighter Tyler Swets, who has been with the City for the last eight years, will graduate from the Saddleback College Paramedic School on Friday, August 5.  Tyler will be assigned to the paramedic engine company downtown at Fire Station One upon completing his licensing requirements with the State.  Congratulations Tyler! 

Communication Equipment Maintenance - T-Mobile is scheduled to perform node site maintenance work at seven locations throughout the City from Monday through Thursday, August 8 to 11.  The seven work sites include four on Coast Highway, and others on Grandview Street, Lower Cliff Drive, and Ramona Avenue.  The work on Coast Highway is scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., and the City street work is scheduled to occur between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  The work will not require any travel lane closures, and will be limited to the shoulder.  The duration of work per site will be 2-3 hours.

Reminders:

Summer Breeze Bus Service - The City of Laguna Beach in partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority is offering a new FREE bus service from a peripheral parking lot at the corner of Limestone and Laguna Canyon Rd, near the SR133/I-405 interchange in Irvine to Laguna Beach summer destinations.  The “Summer Breeze Bus Service” runs every Saturday and Sunday, thru August 28, 2016 from 11 a.m. to midnight.  The service is offered every 30 minutes and runs along Laguna Canyon Road stopping at the Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Bus Station where riders can also connect with the free Laguna Beach Trolley.  For more information visit www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Emergency Access Improvement Program Community Presentation - The City will hold a community presentation on a proposed Emergency Access Improvement Program designed for the streets off of Alta Vista Way, commonly called the alphabet streets.  The presentation will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at the Susi Q Community Center at 380 Third Street.  The focus of the presentation will identify the need for improved access for emergency vehicles and will identified areas where new parking restrictions could be imposed.  The public is invited to attend.


DeWitt Property Habitat Restoration Project’s $500K grant

The DeWitt property, located between Anneliese School and Phillips Road, was purchased by the city in 1991 when Laguna Canyon was annexed. Not many Laguna residents had heard of the hilltop parcel (which had been a burn dump decades before) until the December 2010 flooding of Laguna Canyon Creek.

Debris that had been compacted at the dumpsite broke loose when runoff from the rainfall broke down the hillside. Old broken glass, rusted cans, medical containers and sundry other stuff spewed down into people’s yards on Phillips Road. The city cleaned up the mess.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Leslie LeBon

Runoff from DeWitt property in Dec 2010

The city completed a stabilization that will prevent a recurrence of the runoff. 

Last week, the city included the following in the City Manager’s update memo:

The City is happy to announce that the DeWitt Property Habitat Restoration Project has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the California Natural Resources Agency in accordance with the California River Parkways Act of 2004.  

Preparing the grant application was a collaborative effort between the City of Laguna Beach, Laguna Canyon Foundation, and Laguna Greenbelt Inc. Laguna Canyon Creek is one of two remaining soft-bottomed creeks in the region.  

The project will include removal of invasive species, creek area repair and planting native plant and tree species. The project will also include interpretive trail signs to educate visitors on the riparian habitat along the creek.  

A nature trail connecting the creek to a wildflower meadow and a formalized connection to access Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park is also planned. The grant, combined with $125,000 from the City, and $5,000 in private donations, will make for a comprehensive restoration effort of the DeWitt property.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

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

Released: July 28, 2016

$500,000 California River Parkways Grant - The City is happy to announce that the DeWitt Property Habitat Restoration Project has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the California Natural Resources Agency in accordance with the California River Parkways Act of 2004.  Preparing the grant application was a collaborative effort between the City of Laguna Beach, Laguna Canyon Foundation, and Laguna Greenbelt Inc.  Laguna Canyon Creek is one of two remaining soft-bottomed creeks in the region.  The project will include removal of invasive species, creek area repair and planting native plant and tree species.  The project will also include interpretive trail signs to educate visitors on the riparian habitat along the creek.  A nature trail connecting the creek to a wildflower meadow and a formalized connection to access Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park is also planned.  The grant, combined with $125,000 from the City, and $5,000 in private donations, will make for a comprehensive restoration effort of the DeWitt property.

Anita – Seaview Storm Drain Improvements- Work has begun on construction of the storm drain along Anita Street, Avalon Avenue, and Seaview Street, between Catalina Street and Temple Terrace.  Portions of streets will be closed and restricted to local access only during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Detours will be provided and minor traffic impacts can be anticipated.  After Labor Day, the second phase of the project will continue construction of the storm drain along Anita Street between Catalina Street and Gaviota Drive.  The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.  For questions, please contact Tom Sandefur at (949) 497-0792.

Emergency Access Improvement Program Community Presentation - The City will hold a community presentation on a proposed Emergency Access Improvement Program designed for the streets off of Alta Vista Way, commonly called the alphabet streets.  The presentation will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at the Susi Q Community Center at 380 Third Street.  The focus of the presentation will identify the need for improved access for emergency vehicles and will identified areas where new parking restrictions could be imposed.  The public is invited to attend. 

Laguna Beach County Water District Pipe Replacement Projects- Laguna Beach County Water District (LBCWD) will be conducting a pipe replacement project of existing waterlines in various locations: Osgood Court, Ruby Street, and Nido Way.  The project includes the replacement of both the water main pipelines, and private service laterals.  The project began on July 25, 2016, and is expected to be completed in September.  Any questions can be directed to David Youngblood at LBCWD at (949) 494-1041.

Firefighters on the Move - Fire Captain Patrick Brennan will retire from the Fire Department on August 1, 2016.  Patrick began working for the City in 1987 and was promoted to Fire Captain in 2005.  During his career Patrick responded to many of the major incidents, not just in the City, but also throughout the State of California.  Patrick worked for several other fire agencies before his employment with the City and will retire with over 40 years of service to the community.  We wish him well in his retirement.  In addition, the Department will be promoting Firefighter Pat Cary to the position of Fire Engineer effective August 15, 2016.  Pat is a Paramedic and has served the City since being hired in 2011.  Pat’s new assignment will be on Engine 4 serving South Laguna.  Congratulations Pat!

Reminders:

Summer Breeze Bus Service - The City of Laguna Beach in partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority is offering a new FREE bus service from a peripheral parking lot at the corner of Limestone and Laguna Canyon Rd, near the SR133/I-405 interchange in Irvine to Laguna Beach summer destinations.  The “Summer Breeze Bus Service” runs every Saturday and Sunday, thru August 28, 2016 from 11 a.m. to midnight.  The service is offered every 30 minutes and runs along Laguna Canyon Road stopping at the Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Bus Station where riders can also connect with the free Laguna Beach Trolley.  For more information visit www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Laguna Beach Neighborhood Trolley Hours - The Neighborhood Trolley Program continues to operate its expanded hours on Friday - Sunday.  The Top of The World, Bluebird Canyon, and Arch Beach Heights neighborhood trolleys is operating Monday – Thursday from 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Friday from 6:30 a.m. – midnight, Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – midnight, and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Mainline service is continuing as normal in North Laguna and South Laguna. The Neighborhood Program operates on a 30 minute frequency with fixed stops, as well as offering a flag down service anywhere along the route.  For real-time trolley scheduling information the Neighborhood Trolleys are now viewable on the Trolley Tracker via the Visit Laguna Beach app.  For more information regarding the Neighborhood Trolley Pilot Program or to view the schedules visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolley or call 949-497-0746.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

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

Released: July 25, 2016

Laguna Canyon Planning Study – Community Workshop #2 - The City of Laguna Beach and MIG consulting team will continue their efforts on the Laguna Canyon Planning Study Project.  Community members are invited to participate in a Community Workshop on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at 6:00 p.m., at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center (380 3rd Street).  The purpose of the workshop is to review MIG’s draft report of initial recommendations for modifications to existing planning documents, including the Laguna Canyon Annexation Area Specific Plan, Sarah Thurston Park Specific Plan and zoning for the areas outside of the specific plans.  The focus will be on establishing standards for defining key descriptive terms such as rustic, rural and small scale, and potential modifications to zoning districts and development standards.

New Fire Captains - The Fire Department is proud to announce the promotions of Fire Engineer Crissy Teichmann and Fire Engineer Dan Conroy to Fire Captain.  Crissy has been with the City since December 2000 and has been an Engineer since 2006.  Prior to working for the City, Crissy worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Firefighter and the City of Garden Grove as a Fire Prevention Inspector.  Dan began his career with Laguna Beach as a Reserve Firefighter in 2003 and was hired full-time in September 2007.  Both Crissy and Dan are state licensed Paramedics. Congratulations Crissy and Dan! 

Passing of Former Fire Chief - James (Jim) Reed, who served as the City’s fourteenth Fire Chief from 1999 – 2002, passed away on July 12, 2016.  Chief Reed was well known in the California Fire Services as he also served as Fire Chief for the cities of Newport Beach, Pismo Beach, Upland, Covina, Arcadia, Alameda and finally Fullerton, where he retired in 2006.  Services for Chief Reed will be held on Friday, July 22, at 12:00 p.m. Fairhaven Waverly Chapel in Santa Ana. 

Photography Contest Winners - The winners of the City of Laguna Beach’s “My Laguna” 2016 Photo Contest are: In the Beach Life category: Charlie Dickerson and Dave Munday; in the Built Environment Category: Rob Blayden and Adam Casper; in the Community Life category: Walter Hill and Dan Skaggs; and in the Parks and Open Space category: Nicholas Hoffs and Tom Swimm. Each will be awarded $100. The winning photographs are on display at: http://www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/community/photo_contest_2016_winners.htm. The photographs have been promoted on the City’s social media channels, and will be presented at an upcoming City Council meeting. The contest ran through June 1, 2016. The juror, Laguna Beach photographer Rob Gage, reviewed 94 submissions from 38 photographers who live, work, or exhibit in Laguna Beach. Rob Gage was an advertising photographer for more than 40 years and is currently exhibiting at the Festival of Arts.

Reminders:

Summer Breeze Bus Service - The City of Laguna Beach in partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority is offering a new FREE bus service from a peripheral parking lot at the corner of Limestone and Laguna Canyon Rd, near the SR133/I-405 interchange in Irvine to Laguna Beach summer destinations.  The “Summer Breeze Bus Service” runs every Saturday and Sunday, thru August 28, 2016 from 11 a.m. to midnight.  The service is offered every 30 minutes and runs along Laguna Canyon Road stopping at the Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Bus Station where riders can also connect with the free Laguna Beach Trolley.  For more information visit www.lagunabeachcity.net.

 

Laguna Beach Neighborhood Trolley Hours - The Neighborhood Trolley Program continue to operate its expanded hours on Friday - Sunday.  The Top of The World, Bluebird Canyon, and Arch Beach Heights neighborhood trolleys is operating Monday – Thursday from 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Friday from 6:30 a.m. – midnight, Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – midnight, and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Mainline service is continuing as normal in North Laguna and South Laguna. The Neighborhood Program operates on a 30 minute frequency with fixed stops, as well as offering a flag down service anywhere along the route.  For real-time trolley scheduling information the Neighborhood Trolleys are now viewable on the Trolley Tracker via the Visit Laguna Beach app.  For more information regarding the Neighborhood Trolley Pilot Program or to view the schedules please visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolley or call 949-497-0746.

New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in the Glenneyre Parking Structure - Two new Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are now operational in the Glenneyre Parking Structure.  Rates for the stations are $3/hour during summer months and $2/hour during winter months (4 hour limit).  Station locations and information can be found at https://na.chargepoint.com/charge_point

Parents’ Night Out - On Friday, July 29, 2016, the Laguna Beach Community Services Department will be hosting its summer Carnival themed Parents’ Night Out.  This event will give parents the opportunity to enjoy some adult time to see a movie, have a nice dinner out on the town, or catch up with friends while their children enjoy “kid time” in a safe, fun-filled environment. The cost is $20 for Laguna Beach residents and $25 for non-residents with sibling discounts available.  Registration is required for this event by visiting: https://secure.rec1.com/CA/city-of-laguna-beach/catalog/index?search=parents. The registration deadline is Wednesday, July 27, 5:30 p.m. If you have questions regarding Parents’ Night Out, contact Program Coordinator, Patty Quilter, at (949) 464-9535.

Red Phone Booth Temporary Art Installation - The Arts Commission is currently accepting proposals for a temporary art installation. The booth is located on Forest Avenue and the Commission is seeking imaginative, whimsical and colorful proposals. The winning design will be on exhibit for 24 months and will receive an honorarium of $3,500. The deadline for proposals is Monday, August 15, 2016. Complete guidelines and application is available at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com. This project is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.


Planning Commission unimpressed with MIG interim report

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Planning Commission was underwhelmed Thursday by the draft report presented by MIG, consultants on the city’s plans to update the Downtown Specific Plan.Expected information was missing and much included information was not acceptable to the commission.

“The consultants have a long, long way to go,” said veteran Planning Commissioner Anne Johnson. “We need to be looking to the future, not through a rear view mirror.”

The report was billed as an analysis of urban design and a graphic, illustrative plan and criteria to increase building heights. The commissioners were less than impressed, although they all praised the concept of a scramble system for pedestrian and vehicular travel.

“This report is not the be-all and end-all,” said Greg Pfost, director of the city’s Community Development Department. “What is important tonight is to get feedback on concepts.”

It has been said that folks should be cautious with their wishes.

 “I am disappointed in the content of the report,” said Commissioner Roger McErlane.” I was expecting what works and what doesn’t work in the downtown.”

Commission Chair Sue Kempf opined that commissioners are thrown off their game when they get something for which they are not prepared. 

It’s even worse when the unexpected doesn’t meet expectations.

“The plan (presentation) is somewhat generic,” said Kempf. “We need a more thoughtful job.”

All of the commissioners expressed antipathy for proposed “Gateway” treatments, including an overhead arch at Broadway and Forest Avenue. MIG may be unaware that a contender for a previous design contract of the Village Entrance was adversely viewed after proposing a similar plan. 

“Gateways are not needed, nothing flashy,” said Commissioner Susan Whitin, in her lengthy comments on the shortcomings of the report.

McErlane, Johnson and members of the audience also opposed the gaudy gateways.

Residents viewed the MIG report with the same enthusiasm as the commissioners.

“This draft document is disappointing,” said former Planning Commissioner Becky Jones. “It contains no analytics examination of the suggested ‘opportunities’ and doesn’t address several important planning issues.”

One of the things Jones wants to hear about is improvements to “aesthetically challenged” areas such as the least attractive surface parking while still preserving function and capacity.

However, just the mention of a parking structure at the Village Entrance was enough to raise the hackles of the soft spoken Barbara Metzger, also a former Planning Commissioner.

“I was dismayed to see (in the report) a huge parking structure at the Village Entrance,” said Metzger.

Norm Grossman, another former Commissioner, said the report seemed to be limited in scope.

“There was no discussion of the Central Bluffs,” said Grossman. “We should look at the downtown as a whole, rather than just Forest and Ocean Avenues and Broadway. And the homeless population needs to be considered.”

Next step in the process will be refined, recommended changes to the Downtown Specific Plan for review by the commission. Additional meetings will be held on key topics such as parking.

When MIG completes its recommended revisions, the document will be presented to the commission for review before presentation to the City Council.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

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

Released: July 14, 2016

Downtown Specific Plan Update – Urban Design Presentation and Discussion - The City of Laguna Beach and consultant MIG will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan Update on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue).  MIG will provide a presentation on the topic of Urban Design for discussion with the Planning Commission.  The focus will be on MIG’s urban design height analysis and massing study, evaluation of building heights, vision graphics and overall illustrative plan for the Downtown, including potential areas for public realm and streetscape improvements.  An urban design-related memo prepared by MIG is available to view on the City’s project webpage under the MIG Deliverables section (see link below).  If you have questions, or for more information, please contact Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit:

http://www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/planning/mjrplanginitv/downtown_specific_plan_amendment/default.htm

New EV Charging Stations in the Glenneyre Parking Structure - Two new Electric Vehicle Charging Stations will be available on July 18, 2016, in the Glenneyre Parking Structure.  Rates for these stations will be $3/hour during summer months and $2/hour during winter months (4-hour limit).  The following link can be used to locate the new charging stations once they become operational - https://na.chargepoint.com/charge_point.

Summer Breeze Bus Service - The City of Laguna Beach, in partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority, has started a new, FREE bus service from a peripheral parking lot at the corner of Limestone and Laguna Canyon Rd., near the SR133/I-405 interchange in Irvine to Laguna Beach summer destinations.  The “Summer Breeze Bus Service” is running every Saturday and Sunday, thru August 28, 2016 from 11 a.m. to midnight.  The service is offered every 30 minutes and runs along Laguna Canyon Road stopping at the Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Bus Station where riders can also connect with the free Laguna Beach Trolley.  For more information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Laguna Beach Neighborhood Trolley Hours - The Neighborhood Trolley Program will be offering expanded operating hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays starting Friday, July 15.  The Top of The World, Bluebird Canyon, and Arch Beach Heights neighborhood trolleys will operate Monday – Thursday, 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m. – Midnight.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Midnight.; Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Mainline service will continue as normal in North Laguna and South Laguna. The Neighborhood Program operates on a 30-minute frequency with fixed stops, as well as offering a flag down service anywhere along the route.  For real-time trolley scheduling information, the Neighborhood Trolleys are now viewable on the Trolley Tracker via the Visit Laguna Beach App.  For more information regarding the Neighborhood Trolley Pilot Program, please visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolley or call 949-497-0746.

Parents’ Night Out - On Friday, July 29, 2016, the Laguna Beach Community Services Department will be hosting its summer Carnival themed Parents’ Night Out.  This event will give parents the opportunity to enjoy some adult time to see a movie, have a nice dinner out on the town, or catch up with friends while their children enjoy “kid time” in a safe, fun-filled environment. The cost is $20 for Laguna Beach residents and $25 for non-residents with sibling discounts available.  Registration is required for this event by visiting: https://secure.rec1.com/CA/city-of-laguna-beach/catalog/index?search=parents. The registration deadline is Wednesday, July 27, 5:30 p.m. If you have questions regarding Parents’ Night Out, contact Program Coordinator, Patty Quilter, at (949) 464-9535.

Reminders:

Anita/Seaview Street Storm Drain Improvements - On July 18, work will begin on construction of the storm drain along Anita Street, Avalon Avenue, and Seaview Street, between Catalina Street and Temple Terrace.  Portions of streets will be closed and restricted to local access only during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Detours will be provided and minor traffic impacts can be anticipated.  After Labor Day, the second phase of the project will continue construction of the storm drain along Anita Street between Catalina Street and Gaviota Drive.  The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.  For questions, please contact Tom Sandefur at (949) 497-0792.

Red Phone Booth Temporary Art Installation - The Arts Commission is currently accepting proposals for a temporary art installation. The booth is located on Forest Avenue and the Commission is seeking imaginative, whimsical and colorful proposals. The winning design will be on exhibit for 24 months and will receive an honorarium of $3,500. The deadline for proposals is Monday, August 15, 2016. Complete guidelines and application is available at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com. This project is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

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

Released: July 7, 2016

Olympic Sendoff PartyCome meet and have your photo taken with Laguna Beach residents Aria and Makenzie Fischer, the dynamic sister duo who will be going to the Rio Olympics this summer to compete on the US Women’s Water Polo team. Show your support for these talented athletes and let them know that the community is excited to watch them compete this summer. The event will be held on Wednesday, July 13, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in front of City Hall. If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact Adam Gufarotti, Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0304, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Anita/Seaview Street Storm Drain Improvements – On July 18, work will begin on construction of the storm drain along Anita Street, Avalon Avenue, and Seaview Street, between Catalina Street and Temple Terrace.  Portions of streets will be closed and restricted to local access only during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Detours will be provided and minor traffic impacts can be anticipated.  After Labor Day, the second phase of the project will continue construction of the storm drain along Anita Street between Catalina Street and Gaviota Drive.  The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.  For questions, please contact Tom Sandefur at (949) 497-0792.

Reminders:

Summer Breeze Bus Service - The City of Laguna Beach in partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority is offering a new free bus service from a peripheral parking lot near the SR133/I-405 interchange in Irvine to Laguna Beach summer destinations.  The “Summer Breeze Bus Service” will run every Saturday and Sunday, starting next Saturday, July 9, 2016, to August 28, 2016 from 11 a.m. to midnight.  The service is offered every 30 minutes and runs along Laguna Canyon Road stopping at the Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Bus Station where riders can also connect with the free Laguna Beach Trolley.   Summer 2016 Recreation Registration - Registration for the summer quarter recreation activities is underway.  A wide variety of summer camps, programs and classes are being offered for all ages.  Register for activities online at www.lagunabeachcity.net (click on Recreation Classes), by mail-in, or drop-off to the Community Services Department at 515 Forest Avenue.

Red Phone Booth Temporary Art Installation - The Arts Commission is currently accepting proposals for a temporary art installation. The booth is located on Forest Avenue and the Commission is seeking imaginative, whimsical and colorful proposals. The winning design will be on exhibit for 24 months and will receive an honorarium of $3,500. The deadline for proposals is Monday, August 15, 2016. Complete guidelines and application is available at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com. This project is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.


Updates from the Laguna Beach City Manager’s office

The City Manager’s office prepares a memo for Council members weekly with notes covering many subjects. This is based on the report sent out on June 30.

Summer Breeze Bus Service: The City of Laguna Beach in partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority is offering a new free bus service from a peripheral parking lot near the SR133/I-405 interchange in Irvine to Laguna Beach summer destinations. The “Summer Breeze Bus Service” will run every Saturday and Sunday, starting next Saturday, July 9, 2016, to August 28, 2016 from 11 a.m. to midnight. The service is offered every 30 minutes and runs along Laguna Canyon Road stopping at the Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Bus Station where riders can also connect with the free Laguna Beach Trolley. From more information, please see the attached brochure.

4th of July Trolley Service - Laguna Beach Transit will be offering a Modified 4th of July Holiday Trolley Service on the Coastal and Canyon routes, with the service ending at 7:00 p.m. in lieu of 11:30 p.m. Normal Summer Festival Trolley Service will resume Tuesday, July 5 operating continuously from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Please contact the Transit Division at 949-497-0746 for information regarding the 4th of July Trolley Service.

Fire Captain Retirement – Fire Captain Steve Rening has retired from the Fire Department effective June 25 after 33 years of service to the City. Steve was hired full-time on January 7, 1983, and also served several years before that as a volunteer Firefighter. Steve’s father, Walter, was also a Firefighter for the City and was hired in 1953. As the Fire Department prepares for our centennial celebration in 2019, it is important to recognize and honor the service of the Rening family to the City for over 50 years.

Nyes/Oro Fuel Modification Project - The Fire Department recently completed the Nyes/Oro Canyon Fuel Modification Project in Arch Beach Heights. The project encompassed approximately 22 acres of land which was modified by hand crews who removed dead and/or dying vegetation, invasive plants, rubbish, and trash from the area. The goal of the project was to create a modified area of reduced fuel, or vegetation, between the homes and the open space. The area would create defensible space so Firefighters would have a greater chance of success when protecting homes from a wildfire, or even prevent a house fire from spreading into the open space.

Reminders!

Public Art Dedication - On Wednesday, July 6, at 5:30 p.m. the City of Laguna Beach will dedicate the artist-designed bench installation “The Love that Binds” by artists Jose Calderon and Roberto Delgado at Crescent Bay Point Park. The benches have been created from travertine stone with handmade tile inserts which depict Laguna Beach, its people and places. This installation has been funded by Laguna Beach resident Norman Powell.

Red Phone Booth Temporary Art Installation - The Arts Commission is currently accepting proposals for a temporary art installation. The booth is located on Forest Avenue and the Commission is seeking imaginative, whimsical and colorful proposals. The winning design will be on exhibit for 24 months and will receive an honorarium of $3,500. The deadline for proposals is Monday, August 15. Complete guidelines and application is available at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com. This project is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 


2016 – 17 Budget is approved with last minute funding

By BARBARA DIAMOND

On Tuesday the City Council approved the 2016-17 budget, which starts on July 1 with a $1,099,885 general fund that allows increases in spending due to better-than-expected revenue.

Increased revenue will be spent on 29 items ranging from new hires to a one-time $500,000 appropriation to expand the fuel modification zone to include Hobo Canyon. 

Last minute requests for money or support that had not arisen at the Budget Workshop were tacked on to the expenditures outlined in the agenda bill.

Radio station KX 93.5’s request for $20,000 over and above its application for a $23,500 Community Assistant Grant, and Laguna Greenbelt’s plea for $15,000 to monitor the open space crossings for Laguna’s wildlife were approved. 

Mayor Steve Dicterow offered to write a letter to the recalcitrant owner of the Community Garden property in South Laguna, as requested by the South Laguna Civic Assn., which has been unable to make contact.

South Laguna issues are raised

South Laguna resident John Thomas complained that his area of town has been neglected by city government. He asked for a crackdown on inappropriate and/or illegal activities on beaches, day and night. 

 “I’ve lived here 25 years, and this is not an exaggeration, over the past three years, the number of people coming to South Laguna beaches has dramatically increased and the nature of those coming has changed, and not for the better,” said Thomas.

However, South Laguna Beaches are tended by county-hired lifeguards and beach trash collectors.

“The City does coordinate with South Laguna lifeguards and park rangers,” said City Manager John Pietig. 

Thomas also read a letter signed by Association President Greg O’Loughlin noting that it is long past time for the city to fill in the gaps that exist in the sidewalk along Coast Highway. 

Pietig said money has been set aside in the 10-year capital improvement plan for the sidewalk project. “It has slowed down because of the Cal Trans commitment for sidewalks,” he said. 

Cal Trans has jurisdiction over the highway. Even if the city moved ahead on a project by itself, it would need Cal Trans to sign off on the design, according to City Engineer Christina Templeton. 

“It would be faster if we coordinated with Cal Trans,” she said. 

“And it might be done before ten years,” Templeton added.

The complete modifications to the budget for fiscal year 2016-17 are available for review on the City’s website, www.lagunabeachcity.net.

 

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