Friday, September 03, 2010

Council Meeting Promises Some Entertainment

FUN ON TUESDAY AFTER LABOR DAY(AMENDED)Tuesday, September 7th, the Costa Mesa City Council will return from a long Labor Day weekend to deal with some sticky issues at their council meeting beginning at 6:00. Actually, the closed session will commence at 5:00, so if you want to address either of the two closed session items - labor negotiations with the bargaining units and real property negotiations dealing with the Fairgrounds - be there promptly at 5. (NOTE: With all the late requests for continuances and items withdrawn, this could be a short meeting. Don't blink!)

FIXING THE SANITARY DISTRICT FLEET - AT COST
At 6:00, though, the regular meeting will commence and a review of the agenda provides some fodder for contemplation. For example, in the Consent Calendar - items which may be lumped together for a single vote - item #6 tells us the City proposes to perform fleet maintenance and repair services on Costa Mesa Sanitary District vehicles. Reading that staff report we learn that the city will not make a profit since the Sanitary District will provide the parts and our staff will perform the labor "at cost". Interesting.

FARMING OUT OUR DRUNK WOMEN
Item 7 is an agreement with the Huntington Beach Police Department to house at their facility the dozen or so female "drunk in public" arrests Costa Mesa makes each year, apparently because we lack facilities to house them. I've called the PD for more information because we just spent millions of dollars to renovate our Police Facility, so I wonder why this need was not anticipated since we've had such an agreement since 1993! Unfortunately, there was nobody available today to talk about it. Such is life in the land of budget cuts.

MORE "FAIRGROUNDS" DISCUSSION
Then, the council will morph into the Orange County Fairgrounds Authority (OCFA) for a meeting during which they will consider - again - two items dealing with the lease with Facilities Management West. There's no reason to believe there will be new information, but there is no staff report attached to the agenda as of noon on Friday.

The council will then reappear as itself and start with the meat of the meeting.

GARCIA RECYCLING MAY BE CONTINUED
Public Hearing #1 will be the appeal by Garcia Recycling of the Planning Commission's revocation of it's conditional use permit for a recycling facility on West 19th Street. We assume there will be significant public input on this issue. The staff report was so long that it required six segments, individually downloaded! The Staff is recommending continuation of this issue until the meeting of October 5th.

NEIGHBOR APPEALS SCHOOL USE ON RED HILL
Next is the appeal of the Planning Commissions approval of a conditional use permit by a continuous neighboring business of the proposed school site on Red Hill. (NOTE: Late Friday a request from the appellant was received requesting a continuance to as far out as January. No word if the request will be considered.)

TRIANGLE SQUARE LED SIGNS
Then comes the biggie of the evening - the appeal by Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece of the Planning Commission's recent approval of huge LED light displays on the foundering Triangle Square retail center. Two signs, one 15X20 feet on the corner of Newport Blvd. and Harbor Blvd, facing outbound Newport Blvd. traffic and the second, and most controversial one, on the corner of 19th Street and Newport Blvd., facing the traffic emerging from the 55 Freeway ditch onto Newport Blvd. This sign, proposed and approved at 10X96 feet - nearly 1,000 square feet - that will wrap around the building just below the dome and will spill illumination more than 200 degrees around the corner. The image shown here was provided by a concerned resident, giving an idea of just what such a sign might look like.
INCREASE IN OVERALL SIGNAGE ALLOWANCE
In addition to being a huge distraction to drivers coming off the freeway, this particular sign will be in addition to the 2400 square feet of signage approved for the center, driving the approved total signage to just over 3400 square feet.

APPLICANT REQUESTS CONTINUANCE FOR A MONTH
My understanding is that several residents plan to attend and speak to this issue, even thought the applicant has requested a continuance until October 5th.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY URGENCY ORDINANCE
After some housekeeping issue, the final two items on the agenda, for which there are no staff reports available, might generate some interest. The first, New Business #1, is an urgency ordinance dealing with medical marijuana dispensaries, but no staff report is available, so we don't know why the urgency ordinance is necessary and what it will accomplish. I expect we'll see City Council Candidate Susan Lester speak on this one, since this is the only plank in her campaign platform.(NOTE: Late Friday this item was pulled from the agenda. No word about reasons for removing it, or why it was on the agenda as an "urgency item" in the first place!)

A BUMP IN THE BIA TAX
Finally, the council will consider a resolution permitting an increase in the assessment for the Business Improvement Area (BIA), raising the assessment from 2% to 3%. Apparently the BIA doesn't have enough cash to promote Costa Mesa properly, so want to dip into the pockets of visitors for just a little more. You will recall that a 2% increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) will appear on the November ballot.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!
Have a great Labor Day holiday. Posting of comments may be delayed over the weekend.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Flo Martin said...

My son's home is within spitting distance of the Photoshopped Triangle Square LED signs. His front window on Church St. faces what would be this horrible sign. Yuk!

9/04/2010 12:57:00 AM  

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