Monday, February 03, 2014

City Council Agenda Preview

On Tuesday, February 4, 2014 the Costa Mesa City Council will meet in open session beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, preceded by a closed session starting at 4:30 in the 5th floor bunker conference room.  The full agenda can be found HERE.

The open session looks to be a long one, particularly if residents present themselves in Public Comments to address one or more of the current hot button issues swirling around town over the past couple days - Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger's announcement that he will ask our City Attorney to set up a meeting with the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife to discuss the illegal Decomposed Granite path, and the recently-released 1,051 report on the 60th Anniversary Celebration finances.

On the relatively short Consent Calendar - about half the size of recent consent calendars - we find some interesting items on #3, Warrant #2508, HERE.

  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - Legal services for housing issues - $27,683.34
  • Harbinger House - a permit refund (?) - $10,000.00
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - 2014 Memberships - To What? - $3.095.00
  • Management Partners - Two entries.
  •    Senior Center Org. Review - $3,313.00
  •    Senior Center Reorg. Report - $16,457.00
  • White Nelson Diehl Evans, Annual Audit - $8,323.00
  • City of Huntington Beach - Helicopter Service, Nov. 2013 - $38,185.00
  • Next Level Information Technology, Inc - Interim IT Director Services, 12/13 - $19,760.00
  • City of Mission Viejo - IT Tech. Staff, 12/12 - 12/31/13 - $2,160.00
  • FTOG, Inc - Interim Buyer, 1/6 - 1/17/14 - $3,510.00
  • Intellibridge Partners, LLC - Purchasing Assistance - $6,595.50
Under New Business there are three (3) development-oriented issues.
Number 1 is Urban Master Plan Screening Request for a potential 33-unit live/work project at 765 W. 16th Street, HERE.  The staff is looking for feedback to determine if 1) Does it meet the Council's expectations for projects within the Urban Plan areas? and, 2) Does the Council have any comments on any requested deviations?
The staff is looking for direction on this one - a proposal to build 28 detached residential units on a piece of property on the southwest corner of Harbor Boulevard and Hamilton Street.  See image below.  The units proposed are a combination of live/work and traditional single family units.  You can read the staff report HERE.
The staff is looking for the Council to accept or deny a General Plan amendment to change the land use designation from General Commercial to High Density Residential to facilitate development of a 28-unit single-family detached residential project at 1239 Victoria Street.  Read the staff report, plus attachments, HERE.

New Business #4 is a proposal, HERE, by CEO Tom Hatch to completely makeover the Development Services Department.  This is a VERY significant re-vamp of that organization and, according to the staff report, is necessary due to the significant increase in workload (and customer complaints) and a change in state law affecting the way CalPERS annuitants might be used as temporary contractors.  In a nutshell, the proposal eliminates three contractors and has a net increase of eight (8) Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions, taking the department to 35 people.  This proposal includes among the additions a new Assistant Director of Development Services to help Development Services Director/Deputy CEO Gary Armstrong manage the department.  The cost for this change would be over $700,000 annually.  The charts provided in the staff report show quite dramatically how the staff of this organization has been sliced in nearly half since 2009 while service demands have increased significantly.

New Business #5 is an update to the Open Space Master Plan of Parks and Recreation, HERE.  This document has not been updated since 2003 and was based on the 2000 census date.  Updated data from the 2010 census is now available and several projects have been completed, so it's time for another look at this plan.  The staff report indicates the need to hire a consultant for an estimated $200,000 through the 2014/2015 fiscal year.  You can read the Scope Of Work for that assignment HERE.

The final item on the agenda, New Business #6, is recommendations by the Pension Oversight Committee on Pension Cost Reductions, HERE.  The proposals included in the staff report seem well-vetted and workable.  According to the Conclusion on Page 4 of the report, by implementing the recommendations gross annual savings of $489,776 can be achieved by prepaying the annual contribution for the Miscellaneous and Police Plans.  Using that savings plus the $1,000,000 budgeted in the last two years to make additional payments to the Fire Side Fund (see the report for a description of that fund) can completely pay down the liability on that fund seven years early, saving over $12 million.  The report says this plan is self-sustaining and could free up $500,000 in the City budget for other purposes.  Take some time to digest the report and the attachments.

This meeting has all the earmarks of a long one... My prediction - we will be in Council Chambers until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.  Bring a blanket, pillow and snacks....

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Anonymous sk said...

The Libert Cassidy Whitmore membership covers some free phone time with an attorney for general questions or to determine if you need to open a case matter. Most agencies are members of Libert Cassidy.

2/03/2014 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

The word around OC is that the council majority and its minions on the planning commission have made Costa Mesa an "easy lay" for developers. If you doubt this, take a look at Harbor/Mesa Verde Drive or Harbor/Bernard.

Government by the developer, for the developer.

2/03/2014 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

When driving back to the OC from our hide-out in the Santa Cruz mountains, I feel almost physically revulsed by the wall-to-wall concrete of the LA Basin. At the current rate of high-density (and high-rise)development in Costa Mesa, our little home here will soon be overwhelmed by more concrete jungle.

2/03/2014 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous seedling said...

wow-- 28 homes in that place?! The maps look like theres no guest parking aside form 2 garage/2 diveways (if it even fits on the proper driveway)-- that community would be a nightmare to live in! Wanna throw a baby shower and have guests park!? Good luck!

Im sick of how city leaders act as though youth football/sports is the panacea for attracting young families and they build these micro neighborhoods where everybody is living on top of eachother. You know what young families want? SPACE, **SAFETY**, QUIET, **GOOD SCHOOLS**, AMPLE PARKING--

2/04/2014 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Nothing like building a new ghetto in place the one already there. That is a lot of car trips on and off Harbor Blvd. Not likely safe, but why would they care?

2/04/2014 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Doesn't this group know anything except live/work airspace only boxes? Its like living in a key rack in a hotel. No originality, nothing new.

The ones on 18th Street look the Great Wall of China. One huge block wall. The sunlight doesn't even reach the ground between them. They look just the the projects in New Orleans.

Come on guys, you can do better. What's with the high density BS anyway? This is what happens when a carpetbagger moves to town.

2/04/2014 06:29:00 PM  

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