"Sign" Of The Times, Pot Mongers & More
Monday, April 11, 2001 finds us with another Planning Commission meeting here in good old Costa Mesa. At the meeting in City Council chambers that begins at 6:00 p.m. there are four Public Hearing items on the, including a discussion of plans for a Chick-Fil-A restaurant and a Fresh and Easy market in that stretch of Harbor Blvd. near McDonald's.
The interesting part of the evening, though, will be under "Business Items", where the three items are:
1 - Technological Efficiencies for Consideration in Preparation of the Upcoming Budget
2 - Potential Revisions to City Sign Regulations
3- Mandatory self-Certification Program Regarding the Legal Use of Apartment Garages
LED SIGNS COMING?
Item 2, which was requested by Planning Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick (who apparently will be absent from the meeting) would seem to be the one with the potential for the most public outcry, since it includes section F - Removal of electronic changeable copy LED signs a prohibited sign and create development standards. You can read that staff report HERE. Currently electronic changeable copy LED signs are prohibited, but can be allowed through a planned signing program. You will recall the public outcry when the new owners of Triangle Square - our municipal oxymoron - attempted to have a couple LED signs placed on their building, including one 10 ft. X 96 ft. that would cast Las Vegas-style illumination into surrounding residential neighborhoods. They withdrew their request following public outcry. This item, based only on the skimpy staff report, looks to open up this issue for city-wide application. Do we really want Costa Mesa to look like the Westminster Mall, with its eyeball-searing sign along the freeway?
CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION TUESDAY
Tuesday the City Council will hold a Study Session in Conference Room 1A in City Hall at 4:30 p.m. The agenda includes three items:
1 - Medical Marijuana Management Presentation
2 - I-405 Improvement Project
3 - 2011-2012 Community Development Block Grant Public Service Grant Recommendations
PEDDLING DOPE IN COSTA MESA
The first item has no staff report - a presentation will be made by local pot merchant Jeff Byrne and a northern California lawyer for marijuana interests, Max Del Real.
WIDENING THE I-405
The second item, which involves a discussion of widening the I-405 Freeway from basically Costa Mesa north to the I-605, has a long staff report, HERE. Two of the alternatives discussed involve no additional lanes in Costa Mesa, but two others do. The conversation should be interesting.
CDBG FUND DISTRIBUTION
The third item has a staff report which includes an interesting PowerPoint presentation, HERE. Basically, the city's Redevelopment and Residential Rehabilitation (3R) Committee takes requests for CDBG funds, applies a qualification matrix to them, then recommends distribution to the City Council. The council is not obligated to stick to the recommendations and, in fact, we don't even know precisely how much money will be available yet for distribution.
RIGHEIMER AND MERCY HOUSE
As an aside, I've asked City CEO Tom Hatch to address the fact that Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer is a member of the Board of Directors of Mercy House, one of the applicants. It seems to me that he has a very significant conflict of interest and should be prohibited from any discussions or votes on any issue involving Mercy House. I just sent the question to Hatch and have no reply yet.