Packed Council Agenda Tuesday
A JOYOUS INDEPENDENCE DAY
I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day holiday weekend, and you made it through the fireworks unscathed. We certainly had a perfect weekend for it. As I type this M-80s are going off all around us... welcome to downtown Falloujah! Now back to business...
PACKED AGENDA TOMORROW!
The Costa Mesa City Council meets for the first time in this fiscal year tomorrow, Tuesday, July 5, 2016 beginning at 5:45 in City Council Chambers at City Hall. They have a full agenda to consider, with more meat on it than most. Read it HERE.
DON'T FORGET THE VOTING DISTRICTS OPEN HOUSE FIRST
Before we get into the agenda a little reminder. From 4:30-5:30 in Conference Room 1A there will be an Open House at which the Voting Districts created by consultant David Ely as a result of consultation with council members and several workshops with residents will be on display for your consideration. Ely is an easy man to understand and has all the answers, so please make it a point to attend this Open House so you can understand the issues and how he arrived at the various map choices he will present to the council later that evening.
MORE LAW SUITS
The regular meeting will be preceded by a Closed Session at 5:00. The public is NOT invited to these meetings. There are three items on the agenda for our litigious council majority to consider - The Kennedy Commission case involving the Costa Mesa Motor Inn; existing litigation with Solid Landings and others and anticipated litigation - nothing new there, it seems like we always have "anticipated litigation".
The Consent Calendar has eleven (11) items listed. As you know, in theory these all can be considered as a group and voted upon without discussion. That seldom happens anymore. If anyone - a council member, staff member or member of the public - pulls one for discussion it will be trailed to the end of the meeting. History shows us that about half the time the council manages to out-wait residents, who just get too tired to wait until midnight to discuss some of these items.
NEED FOR PLANNING CONSULTANTS
The only one that caught my eye this time is #11, HERE. This is a professional services contract for planning consultants, not to exceed $199,000. If you read that staff report you'll find the need is due to a high-level vacancy - an Assistant Director (Claire Flynn?) - at a time when the city sees before it a stampede of sober living-related issues. It's going to be a long summer!
Public Hearing #1, HERE, is a change to segments of the municipal codes regarding portable signs, and is primarily aimed at campaign signs. It re-defines them as "non-commercial portable signs", and changes the restrictions on their display. If the council approves the staff recommendation such signs may be displayed for six weeks prior to an election. Read the staff report.
VOTING BY DISTRICT MAPS
Public Hearing #2, HERE, is the aforementioned District Elections Mapping Process. Consultant David Ely will present to the council a report on the methodology of his creation of the four (4) individual maps for the council's consideration. His efforts are a result of many meetings with very small groups of individuals plus a series of four (4) community workshops attended by just over 100 individuals in total. He will present two (2) five district maps; one (1) six district map (which also requires a directly-elected mayor) and one (1) seven district map. The council MUST select one map to be presented to the voters in November based on a settlement agreement of a lawsuit. Read the staff report. Each of the maps is part of one of the attachments, HERE, and includes all the numbers of how the map was formed.
CITY MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVE
Old Business #1, HERE, is the consideration of the City Initiative Ordinance Regarding Medical Marijuana Businesses. This is intended to be an alternative to the other two Medical Marijuana initiatives that will appear on the ballot in November. It defines the kinds of Medical Marijuana businesses that may operate in the city, and where, specifically.
PROTECT FAIRVIEW PARK INITIATIVE...
Old Business #2, HERE, is an interesting issue. This one asks the council to authorize the placement on the November ballot the initiative generated by the Fairview Park Preservation Alliance - they MUST do this. There are several resolutions for them to consider. However, item number 3 under Recommendations says: "Provide special council with direction on an alternative measure to be placed on the November 8, 2016, ballot."
...AND AN ALTERNATE
In the staff report there is an analysis that implies that the existing initiative would basically prohibit many of the elements in the current Fairview Park Master Plan from being implemented without a vote of the people. So, the staff recommends an alternative measure - for the sake of simplicity I'll call it the "Anti-Protect Fairview Park" initiative" - which re-defines the issues that would require a vote of the people. I have no idea what the reaction will be from the sponsors of the original initiative, but I suspect we'll be hearing from them Tuesday. Read the staff report.
THE "ANTI" SMART GROWTH INITIATIVE
Old Business #3, HERE, is another doozy! This is a "Proposed City Council Sponsored Measure Addressing Future Development And Development-Funded Open Space And Recreation", and is designed to directly compete with Costa Mesa First's Smart Growth Ordinance, which will appear on the November 8th, 2016 ballot. They're calling this one the "Measure for Sensible Community Development and Development-Funded Open Space and Recreation."
WILL KEEP IN PLACE PRO-DEVELOPER RULES
If adopted this measure would protect most of the pro-development plans already in place, including the recently-approved General Plan. See the staff report for specifics.
A NEW FEE
If adopted it will impose a fee - the Open Space and Public Park Impact Fee, which would be applicable to all new development north of the 405 Freeway and West of Fairview Drive. Coincidentally, this is precisely where the proposed Medical Marijuana businesses would be located. Imagine that!
ANOTHER STACKED COMMITTEE
And, if adopted it would create an Open Space & Recreation Advisory Committee (yet ANOTHER committee!) to advise the council on expenditures of the new Open Space and Public Park Impact Fee. Here's how that committee would be constructed:
1 - the mayor
2 - one councilmember chosen by the city council
3 - one representative from youth football chosen by the city council
4 - one representtive from youth baseball chosen by the city council
5 - one representative from youth soccer chosen by the city council
6 - one representative chosen by the NMUSD trustees and
7 - one member from an environmental group chosen by the council
The term "stacked deck" should immediately leap into your head.
Finally, New Business #1, HERE, is a General Plan Screening request for the Emulex Property at 3333 Susan Street. Gee, by golly... Guess where's that's located?
STEP UP AND SPEAK UP!
Oh, yes... I will not be attending this meeting... still sorting out this darn health thing. I'll watch and report, one way or the other. In the meantime, you SHOULD attend and ASK QUESTIONS! Don't let them intimidate you!