Sunday, April 10, 2011

"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 Upc
oming Budget
2 - Potential Revisions to City Sign Regulations
3- Mandatory self-Certification Program Regarding the Legal Use of Apartment Garages

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Anonymous Max said...

That's a good point about Righeimer. Why are his charities more important? He doesn't seem to have the ability to chose what's best for Costa Mesa, only what's best for himself or his carpet bagging political career.

Having said that, Mercy House looks like a fine organization. If it was someone more honest I probably wouldn't have an issue with a council person having a conflict of interest like that.

4/10/2011 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Max, based on what I know of Mercy House I have no problem with them being in the mix. However, if Righeimer is on the Board he should be ineligible to engage in any discussions about that organization or vote on issues that benefits the organization financially.

4/10/2011 11:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Pentagon Hexagon said...

Stop attacking Triangle Square, the pinnacle of Costa Mesa redevelopment. You know that some cities only got Walmarts or auto malls from redevelopment, but Costa Mesa would not settle for something so unimaginative.

Costa Mesa received an unforgettable icon that will soon serve as an important part of the approach lights for SNA and LAX.

4/11/2011 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Byrne / American Collective said...

Thanks for the mention Pot Stirrer. The presentation will be pretty simple on it's surface. We will bring material for anyone who is interested in medical data, and contact info to continue that educational process with anyone who would like to address issues the that surround cannabis with Sue and I in private. This presentation will be mostly based on other municipalities and how some have failed miserably at this cannabis ordinance thing and others have succeeded in making in a benign issue that also brings in revenue. Currently the city is wasting tons of needed dollars without bringing in any taxes or fees. We aren't looking to put up LED signs or lay anyone off. We are just excited to be able to bring some solutions to the table and appreciate the chance to do so.

4/11/2011 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Max said...

The LED mega billboard signs will no doubt have half naked women advertising rockstar and vodka drinks. It's the owners of Sutra that are driving this. What else would the content of their advertisements be?

Even if they advertised something else, they still hurt people's eyes and are obnoxious.

Costa Mesa will have zero control of the content of the messages and Sutra could easily resale the advertising space at the expense of Costa Mesa's image.

Our planning commission would be making a huge mistake if they approve these mega annoying billboards.

4/11/2011 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous high times said...

If taxing medical cannabis outlets would help the City who cares this is the 21st Century after all looked what alcohol does.....maybe gary can sell that out of his place too when the Bell 4 meet oops I mean get together to eat

4/11/2011 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous GetRealEstate said...

Triangle Square was one of the biggest developer treats and taxpayers treatments in the City. It is unsuccessful. A failure. A monument to the use of "free" federal taxpayer money via the Redevelopment Agency. A developer build, take $$$ and run. Relocation of most of the former occupants of the original property were given a lot of sweet $$$ if they knew the right people that is. Triangle screwy is not much more than a site for another re-developement.

4/11/2011 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger feral390 said...

Did anyone else notice on the planning commission agenda the city wants to spend $130,000 on mobile computers for code enforcement officers and building inspectors?
Who came up with this brainstorm?
I'm certain I've heard the city has a budget crisis, but we can afford luxuries like this ?
Maybe that $130,000 could be spent on parks or youth programs and code enforcement and the inspectors can use pens and paper.
And if they are going to be outsourced or lost to lay-offs anyhow maybe the new contract firm can foot the bill for the computers.
The council and commissioners have their priorities way out of order.

4/11/2011 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous question said...

Are study sessions open to the public?

4/11/2011 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Yes, study sessions are open to the public. They are typically held in Conference Room 1A on the first floor of City Hall, very near the City Clerk's office. It's a small venue that can accommodate around 15 observers. When a larger crowd is expected they've transferred the meetings to the council chambers. Study session tomorrow starts at 4:30 p.m.

4/11/2011 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

feral: that is an IT investment that is long overdue. It takes waaay tooo long to conduct business. Time to upgrade IT rather than spend it on pensions. Of course it requires vision to appreciate what an IT upgade can bring, don't know if you have it.
Council should also quit giving out agendas on paper to councilmembers and get them IPADS and have agendas and other info on them. It would save a lot of money and paper and ALL past agendas, minutes, committee notes, etc. would be at their fingertips. Savings estimated at 6700 dollars per year. Ipads only 800 bucks each. Again, it's a vision thing so many will be outraged at the idea.

4/11/2011 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

As goofy as Genis and her takes on issues are I believe she was the one dissenter on council when it came to approving triangle square.

4/11/2011 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Sweeeeet... said...

I'm sooo stoked. I can smoke a bowl, get some Chick-fil-A to take care of the munchies, and then go trip out on the signs at triangle square. What a city! We will for sure know we have made it when there are "What happens in Costa Mesa, stays in Costa Mesa" promotional commercials.

4/11/2011 06:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Went to Triangle Square Pentagram the other day to see a movie. They still have them there. The big bar on the top deck is closed, newly since I was there.

When does Triangle Square Pentagram get reclassified from "Shopping Mall" to "Urban Decay"? Will it be enough that all the businesses close, or must there be graffiti scrawled on the walls? Ain't hardly nuthin' left there.

4/11/2011 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous adam henry u said...

Oh yes IPADs what a wonderful idea doucheyoursix. Save money, foresight... can you actually say that without laughing?

4/11/2011 07:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Danniel Stephens III said...


On City payroll as a consultant?? Easy to pick out... shut the hell up!

4/11/2011 08:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Chet Donnelly said...

I don't get what happened to Triangle Square. Everyone has "theories" as to what's wrong with it. Bad parking, etc, etc.

But if it's so bad why was it PACKED for a good 8 years from 1992 to 2000? I mean every damn parking space was filled. Bands playing, people eating, lines at movies, etc.

WTF happened that all of a sudden it just went to SH*T??

What is different about it now that wasn't the same then? I mean if there was food there again like there used to be i'd go all the time.

Something else must have happened with the leases or something. Because for years everything was just fine there.

4/11/2011 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Chet, I remember that too. I remember seeing No Doubt play on the second floor of the courtyard back in the day. It boasted 100 percent occupancy for a long time and there was always something fun going on over there almost every night. It was Costa Mesa's Funzone. It was definitely more family oriented back then.

What a lot of people don't know is that it was mismanaged for a long time. Apparently it ended up in the portfolio of a Taiwanese investor for quite a while. They alienated pretty much all of their tenants with poor service and bad negotiation skills. They would have been smart to give certain tenants highly reduced or free rates just like South Coast Plaza does.

If the current owners bought it for the right price, they could bring it back to what it used to be. You just wouldn't be able to command the high rents the Taiwanese owners thought they could get.

I'm surprised the current owners let so much of it sit vacant. Giving a tenant free rent is better then letting something sit vacant for that long. At least Sutra, The Yardhouse, and that Sushi place still seem to do pretty good.

4/12/2011 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger feral390 said...

Checkyoursux...actually the council having ipads is a good idea although I've never seen that brought up before so you must have some inside knowledge. My issue was spending $130,000 on mobile computers for a staff of 8 inspectors/officers. Please explain in detail how that will help them work more efficiently. Take me through the process from complaint origin to investigation to enforcement to closure. If it is more efiiceient I am 100% behind it, if not it's just a waste of money that would be better spent elsewhere.

4/12/2011 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous GetRealEstate said...

Triangle Disaster could rent some of the vacant 70% to CMPD for a substation to process the pot heads, alcoholics and high underage children and drifters who stagger out of sin city square. It could be profitable as a shopping center for porno and drugs. Very profitable stuff. A great sales tax revenue generator and budget balancer for our business quality leaders on the Council. A magnet commercial center the envy of other fussier cities. Truly fitting for a new city logo: "Sin of the harbor area".

4/12/2011 07:19:00 AM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

Adam Henry: I say that easily without laughing but I am definitely laughing at you and your comment. Many local governments are switching to ipads for agendas to save money and paper. Like I said in my post, many may be outraged because this is a vision thing and they don't possess any vision, just extrememly argumentative natures like you and Daniel Stephens. No, I have nothing to do with the city Daniel, just a resident. Ask yourselves: why would a suggesstion of IPADS put you two over the top and into attack mode? What is wrong with you?

4/12/2011 07:56:00 AM  
Anonymous question 2 said...

Thank you feral.
$200,000 consulting service for the world most expensive mouthpiece
$50,000 to re-color the web page
$130,000 mobile computers to replace pencils and paper
$477 car allowance and $1,476/mo helth insurance for the exec (info from here:
$$$$ remodel the ceo office with new furnitures and big screen TV (free cable TV to watch soap opera all day?)
And last but not least; drumroll, please:
$3.5 mil/year to operate IT (headed by a man w/o IT degree, was an operator pushing the computer on/off buttons)
Now I do believe they have a budget crisis!

4/12/2011 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Chet Donnelly said...

GetRealEstate, quit huffing paint. That stuff is bad news.

4/12/2011 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous GetRealEstate said...

Guess you would know Chet. I don't. Never did, never would. Get help or a life. Contrary views are still allowed in American. Hate is not.

4/13/2011 02:46:00 PM  

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