Catching Up - Planning, Visioning and Waste
Did you miss me? I've been taking a breather for a couple days, recovering from football overload last weekend. So, let's catch up on things that have been going on in our little slice of heaven.
SHORT PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MONDAY
Monday the Costa Mesa Planning Commission held its first meeting of the year and, as I told you earlier, had a very abbreviated agenda. They knocked that meeting out in less than an hour! They shoved the three items involving problem motels off into the future sometime; continued a request for a conditional use permit for a liquor license until their next meeting on the 27th; revoked two CUPs for the same license at a different location and approved an ATM kiosk on 19th Street. The meeting probably could have been wrapped up in much less than an hour, but Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick apparently had a case of "Righeimeritis" - he just loves to hear himself talk!
Tuesday evening the City Council and Planning Commission met in a joint study session in the Emergency Operations Center to hear information from the staff and consultants on the General Plan Visioning exercise, and to hear the public offer their views.
BRINGING OFFICIALS UP TO SPEED
FEW RESIDENTS ATTENDED
This meeting was attended by nearly 60 people, including staff, consultants, council members, planning commissioners and residents. Unfortunately, as far as I could tell, only 16 residents made up that group.
Seven people stepped up to address the group, 6 of which were residents. The other was the head of the Building Industry Association. Most of those have attended several of the previous General Plan meetings and offered their views.
There were some interesting moments. Councilman Gary Monahan, for example, said, "I'm not a big visioning person because things change." He said he wasn't sure we needed a "cultural section" of the Vision section.
Wendy Leece spoke next and took exception to Monahan's comment about the "cultural section", since we are, after all, The City Of The Arts. She suggested, among other things, that a reference to Education in Costa Mesa be mentioned, as well as churches and service organizations.
Steve Mensinger agreed with much of what had been said earlier, and cited the need to retain and nurture the individual neighborhood identities. He also stressed the need for preservation of historical sites and information. He cracked me up when he said, "The community is like a business.", and again stressed the need to attract younger families.
view from 40,000 feet". He stressed the need to get ahead of traffic issues - things planned from the 1980s and 1990s just didn't happen. He also agreed with others that "walkability" and "bikeability" are important, they are not "more important" - as others had said - than car transportation. I was amused when he was in the midst of downplaying the importance of bus transportation in the city just as an active member of the community and occasional columnist for the Orange County Register came walking in late - having missed his bus!
Commissioner Jeff Mathews offered the profound statement that "We have to be very smart and careful as we go forward." That was it...
Colin McCarthy expressed concern that the individual statements prepared by the staff and consultants used "passive verbs". He's looking for more forward-looking language. He thought the work product was "great".
Jim Fitzpatrick told us "I get excited about visioning and good planning." He then launched into praise for his Broadway Project. I thought he might pull a muscle as he patted himself on the back.
CMTV ON THE SCENE
The entire meeting was videotaped by CMTV and will be available in the playback roster soon. In addition, there was a contemporaneous transcription of most comments which, it appeared, might be soon available for public review. It was a worthy effort and ended in an unbelievable 65 minutes!
HOUSING ELEMENT VOTE NEXT WEEK
Next action on the General Plan is the vote by the City Council on the required Housing Element at its meeting on January 21st. If they miss that window it could mean that we will be required to review and revise the Housing Element in four years instead of eight.
More on the plan by the Costa Mesa Sanitary District to change the way we will be required/requested to handle our so-called "organic" waste in the future with a plan that will add twice as many trucks to our streets, make us handle food scraps differently and cost more than $500,000 annually. You will recall I wrote about the latest Workshop, conducted last Saturday, HERE. Well, the Sanitary District Board announced late Tuesday that its meeting of January 23rd has been relocated to the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue (Lions Park) because of the anticipated public interest in the issue. The board will discuss the possible implementation of the new plan at that meeting, which will begin at 5:30 p.m.
BARRY ON THE CASE
Incidentally, the last workshop was recorded by Barry Friedland and is now available for viewing on his Costa Mesa Brief YouTube channel, HERE. I've given old Barry (he hates it when I refer to him as such) a bad time because of the one-sided political nature of his site, but this is one for all to see and I applaud him for his growing skill at putting together some pretty good video.
Labels: Colin McCarthy, Costa Mesa Brief, Costa Mesa Planning Commission, Gary Monahan, General Plan, Jim Fitzpatrick, Jim Righeimer, Problem Motels, Rob Dickson, Sandy Genis, Steve Mensinger, Wendy Leece