Another Busy Week Ahead In Costa Mesa
Even with the cancellation of the Pension Oversight Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, it's going to be another busy week for the staff in Costa Mesa this week. That committee has been meeting practically every week with nothing to show for it except a Bankruptcy Workshop. That makes me nervous.
ANOTHER PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Monday, September 9, 2013, sees another brief - and probably unnecessary - meeting of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission which is held in City Council Chambers beginning at 6:00 p.m. You can read the agenda HERE. The agendas on recent meetings have been so sparse that having two each month seems like bad time management.
ONLY ONE REAL ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Led by the ever-dynamic Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick, the commission has only three items besides the Code Enforcement update, HERE, on the agenda. Of those items, all Public Hearings, the first one - a review of the conditional use permit for the recycling facility at the Stater Brothers Market on Newport Blvd. - will be continued until November. The second one - the beleaguered project by developer Peter Zehnder on Santa Ana Avenue - will be removed from the agenda and re-noticed for a public hearing at a future date.
7-STORY MIDRISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING
The third one, HERE, is the final master plan for a midrise residential project at 580 Anton Boulevard. This project involves the demolition of 21,349 square feet of The Lakes Pavilions Retail Center and the construction of a maximum of 250-unit midrise residential building consisting of seven stories above grade and one subterranean level. It is proposed to have five stories of residential and three of parking and would supercede a previously-approved master plan for a 26-story high-rise residential project consisting of twin towers.
THROWING THE DOOR OPEN TO DEVELOPERS
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 the City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint study session in the cozy confines of Conference Room 1A on the first floor of City Hall from 4:30 - 6:30. The purpose it to vet the draft of the Small Lot Ordinance (SLO) that staff has prepared. You can read the staff report HERE. This is also known as the "Detached Townhome Ordinance", and amends the Municipal Code to allow detached "townhouses" or small lot single-family residences with less than 3,000 square feet of lot area. This proposal includes more than a dozen changes in variances presently required for any similar project. It seems to me that, based on the recent complaints I heard at General Plan meetings with developers, this change will codify many of the things about which they complained and make it easier for them to carve out development opportunities in Costa Mesa - a virtually "built-out" city. I suspect we might see one or two members of the public attend this early meeting to provide guidance to the council and commission.
CHARTER COMMITTEE MEETS WEDNESDAY
On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 the Costa Mesa Charter Committee will meet once again in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) adjacent to the Police Department beginning at 6:00 p.m. to continue with their discussions about the creation of a charter for Costa Mesa. You can read the agenda HERE.
AN INTERESTING AGENDA
Facilitated by Dr. Kirk Bauermeister and Dr. Mike Decker, this meeting will review, among other things:
- Transparency - Review of Charter Language, HERE
- Preamble - Review of the Charter Language, HERE
- Prevailing Wage, HERE, as a part of the discussion of Public Contracts, including Openness, Retention and Firewall.
- If time allows they will also tackle Governance, including Districting, Equal Representation, Polarization, Local Control, Minority Compensation and Firewall.
Members of the public are always welcome and are encouraged to use the 2-minutes each allotted to express their views to the committee, to help them form their opinions on issues for which they have not already slammed the door to their minds. I encourage those who can make it to attend this meeting and watch the "sausage" of government being made. Sometimes it's not a pretty sight.
OR, LEARN ABOUT BIKEWAY PLANNING
Also, in another wonderful bit of scheduling, at the same time on the same date - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 from 6 - 7:30, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) will hold what is being billed as a Bikeways Workshop in the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue - at Lions Park. You can hear "bikeways strategies" and learn more about feasibility studies for bikes in our city. Read the flyer HERE. Actually, this is a great idea - Costa Mesa is virtually flat and should be a perfect place for enlightened implementation of safe bicycle travel. I'm sorry there is this conflict of scheduling so those of us interested in the future of the city - the Charter - and transportation within it - Bikeways - can't attend both meetings.
LAND USE GENERAL PLAN WORKSHOP
On Thursday, September 12, 2013 we have a similar scheduling screw-up, but this one can be blamed specifically on Mayor Jim Righeimer. From 6-8 p.m. at the Neighborhood Community Center there will be another General Plan Update Land Use Workshop. You can read about it HERE.
ANOTHER CAMPAIGN STOP FOR THE MAYOR
Then, also beginning at 6:00 p.m. there is the Meet The Mayor event at the Strickland residence, 2302 Pacific Avenue, to discuss what has been broadly billed as "Fairview Park Issues". Observers may recall that, during the most recent city council meeting last week, Righeimer practically jumped off the dais looking for someone to host a meeting where Pacific Avenue neighbors and other interested parties could join him to discuss the proposed improvements to that segment of the park. Specifically, those would be the large new parking area with 10 (easily expanded to 42) parking spaces; the "tot lot", which is actually a pretty good sized playground without a restroom within 75 yards of it, and improvements at the Canyon Drive entrance, too. I find myself wondering just where all the potential visitors to this meeting will park, since one of the major complaints by neighbors has been the inadequacy of parking on that narrow street. Once again, I will attend the General Plan meeting and miss this one. Don't worry, though - Righeimer's personal videographer, Barry Friedland, will certainly be there to record the event "unedited". Read all about old Barry HERE.
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