Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hank Panian, Fees, Development And More

The Costa Mesa City Council meets for their first, of many, meetings in September on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 for another very interesting gathering.  There's plenty on the agenda to draw a crowd.  Read the full agenda HERE.

Right off the top there will be the presentation of the Mayor's Award to Costa Mesa icon, Hank Panian - a man who has dedicated much of his adult life trying to make Costa Mesa better.  I'm really looking forward to this one.

There are a few interesting items on the Consent Calendar - those items that are considered "routine" and can be voted upon with one vote and no discussion.  That's not likely to happen this time.

Item #3 is Warrant #2541, HERE, which shows disbursements we've made for the past several weeks.  As always, I'll give you just a little taste of some of the money we laid out recently.  These are in order as they appear, so you can read along if you wish.

  • Bingo West $4 - $15,306.78 - apparently for a Bingo Console (for where?  The Senior Center?)
  • Clean Street - $57,799.98 - Street Sweeping Svcs, June. 15
  • Jones & Mayer - $143,811.48 - Legal Svcs, various (two full pages listed!)
  • Kabbara Engineering - $22,614.50 - Engineering Svcs.
  • Keyser Marston Associates, Inc. - $7,125.00 - Consulting
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $8,802.34 - Legal, Personnel Matter
  • City of Huntington Beach - $22,540.00 - Helicopter, Jun.2015
  • Civil Source - $17,658.00 - Temp. Staffing
  • Moore Iacofano Goftsman Inc - $20,426.75 - Gen'l Plan Update and Env. Rprt
  • FTOG Inc - $2,775.00 - Special Project Consulting, 7/20-7/31/15
  • Government Staffing Services Inc - $7,665.00 - Temp Svcs.
  • Interwest Consulting Group Inc - $12,045.00 - Sr. Bldg Inspct. Svcs Jun 15
  • Samys Camera - $1,419.12 - GoPro Camera and gear
  • Scientia Consulting Group Inc - $5,590.00 - On-site Tech Support 6/28-7/11
  • Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau - $187,048.05 - BIA Receipts, Jun 15
  • Safe Moves - $40,154.18 - Bicycle Education Svds Jun 15
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $10,714.50 - Legal, General
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $13,548.00 - Legal, Various
  • Easton & Easton LLP - $150,000 - Settlement Bailey v City
  • Mary Goggin - $30,000 - Settlement M Goggins v City
  • Government Staffing Services Inc - $11,712.50 - Temp Svcs
  • White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP - $7,950.00 - Audit Svcs FY 2014/2015
So, once again legal costs and settlements cost us over $250,000 this time around.

Item #7, HERE, is a contract through the City of Sausalito, for parking ticket citation processing with Data Ticket, Inc.  Our contract has expired and, according to the staff report, this is the most cost effective way to perpetuate the agreement with Data Ticket.  Last year it cost us just over $60,000, but the revenue resulting from the citations was a net $700,495.

Item #8, HERE, is VERY interesting.  It's the request by the Police Department for an increase in the FY 15/16 budget of $372,705 for a total this year of $654,985 for the following:
  • Purchase of 8 vehicles replacing 10 that were leased
  • Six front line patrol vehicles will be replaced by six purchased vehicles
  • Two new pick-up trucks will be purchased for Park Ranger use
  • One new vehicle has been purchased for the Chief of Police
There are four (4) Public Hearings on the agenda Tuesday night.  #1, HERE, is the delayed hearing on amendments to Title 8 and Title 13 of the Municipal Code related to vaping in public facilities and regulation of smoking lounges.  If approved as recommended this will:

1 - Add a definition and create zoning regulations specifically pertaining to smoking lounges.
2 - Add a definition f or "smoking/vaping retailers" to preclude the establishment of lounge uses as part of a retail store.
3 - Prohibit vaping in specified public places by modifying the current prohibition of smoking in public facilities.
4 - Consider the existing two, legally-established smoking lounges as legal nonconforming uses, which may be subject to discontinuation or closure in the future under specific circumstances.
5 - Create standards to allow several zoning districts where new smoking lounges may be permitted by right or conditionally permitted.
6 - Create operational and development standards to address various potential issues.
7 - Planning Commission recommended changes to distinguish between tobacco and electronic cigarette/vaping products.

The council can either (1) continue the meeting to address additional changes to the draft ordinance.  If they do that it must be considered by September 15, 2015 because the current moratorium will expire November 5, 2015; OR (2) Direct staff to modify the ordinance and forward to City Council for consideration.  This would require the moratorium to be extended.

Public Hearing #2, HERE, is the first reading of the Capital Asset Needs Ordinance, which codifies the policies established last March.  If approved this will allocate a minimum of five percent (5%) of the General Fund Budget to capital expenditures and plan a goal of an additional one and one-half percent (1.5%) dedicated to a Capital Facilities Account.  If this were in place for the current budget it would have resulted in just over $5.5 million and $1.6 million, respectively.

Public Hearing #3, HERE, is the vacation of right-of-way at 970 West 16th Street, where a new development is planned.

Public Hearing #4, HERE, is a vacation of a flowage easement at the same address for the same project.

Old Business #1, HERE, is the second reading of an update to the Park in-lieu fees and Impact Fees (Park Fees), which includes application of those fees to apartment projects for the first time.

New Business #1, HERE, may draw a crowd.  This is the General Plan Screening request for a proposed 28-unit residential project at 440 Fair Drive, near the corner of Fair and Harbor Blvd.  I suspect more than one or two of the College Park neighbors will show up to talk about this item.

New Business #2, HERE, is the delayed discussion of how to allocate the nearly $25,000 in fees paid by Matt Leinart Flag Football for inaccurately portraying their organization last year.  Normally, such funds go into the General Fund, but there are those - Councilwoman Katrina Foley - who suggested they should be split and allocated to Costa Mesa and Estancia High Schools for athletic equipment.

New Business #3, HERE, is the designation of the voting delegate and voting delegate alternate for the 2015 League of California Cities Annual Conference.  Presently Mayor Steve Mensinger is designated as the voting delegate and Councilwoman Sandra Genis is the alternate.

New Business #4, HERE, is the request for refund of appeal fees for two items - ZA-15-01 involving the Solid Landings facility on West 19th Street and PA-14-41, involving the proposed Farmer's Market at the corner of Orange Avenue and Bay Street.  The appellants, Ann Parker and Carrie Renfro respectively, have requested the refund of the fees they paid for their successful appeals.  Parker's is $690.00 and Renfro paid $1,220.00.

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Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

440 Fair Drive is not just any development. Developer is a long term friend of Jim. More 3 story boxes with rooftop decks. I visualize cars parked all along the adjoining streets. Check out Steve Sheldon Watch

8/30/2015 08:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...

Hank Panian is my neighbor, mentor, and friend. Hank and his wife, Barbara, were among the first people to welcome our family to College Park. He has provided us with an insight into the history of Costa Mesa. His lifelong contributions to Costa Mesa are humbling: he served on Mesa Water, OCC history teacher, and even served on many city commissions, including the FIRST Charter commission in 1971. Here is a link to Hank's well written commentary about Measure V- Righeimer's first attempt to bring a charter to Costa Mesa without considering the history of Costa Mesa:,0,4893334.story

In my opinion, this reminder embarassed the council majority. After this subtle and eleoquent history lesson, Wendy Leece nominated him to the Charter Commission while the council majority stacked the rest of the commission.

The Panian family has been a blessing to Costa Mesa. Hank and his wife have volunteered their help throughout their lifetime, are Historical Society members, and among the city's first CERT members. Their children continue their service legacy and serve overseas as missionaries with their families. Hank is also a published author.

I am happy to see that the trend of the "Mayor's Award" has returned to citizens with actual long-term contributions to the City, as opposed to those with "personal trainer" type relationships to a select few.

8/31/2015 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Yes, this award and the last one were both very well deserved. The cynic in me wonders if Mister Mayor is trying to become more electable.

8/31/2015 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

Beautifully written Teresa! Amen to it all. Hank is a treasure, a very kind, thoughtful and brilliant man.

PS I hope your neighborhood is spared another assault on quality of life!

8/31/2015 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Casual, it was evident that Steve Sheldon is a friend of Righeimer. He's got an "in". Therefore, you watch, that development will get the red light all the way through the process. The process being how many amendments they can grant to the General Plan, and how many variances can be handed out. For all practical purposes, we have no General Plan. Jim Righeimer is raping this city for profit.

8/31/2015 07:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

Coffee, did you mean green light? I wish it would get the red light. Maybe it won't pass. Looks to me like Mr Mensinger is already electioneering. The entire population of College Park is a lot of voters to piss off.

9/01/2015 12:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

This is a developer's playground now. They get whatever they want. Visit Long Beach if you want to see Costa Mesa's future. And don't forget to re-elect Stevie the Wonderdog in 2016. Tired of all that open space between Wilson and Adams? No problem. Just a few more contributions and Costa Mesa's Penn and Teller will make it disappear.

9/01/2015 06:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I wonder sometimes if people complain just to have something to do? It cost more money to fight all of this than it does to go with the flow and add a positive to the project. 440 Fair was great place to see your doctor, then go right to the pharmacy and the surgical supply. College Hospital really was a hospital. Now 440 is a dump. I have worked in the guts of the place and on the roof. What a toilet. Let's keep it that way, and watch a few million bucks go down the toilet bowl, with the property. Let's have more hookers and drug sales there. The place reminds me of being in the ghetto of Thailand.
If Jim was such a good friend of Sheldon, he would not have had every business in 440 run out of town and cost his friend millions in lost revenue. Get with the program. Do you want drugs and hookers, or cramped housing with the nuevo riche, mini-yuppie doodles coming to town? I take the cracker boxes and kids. Gentrification is all around you in today's world. Better get used to it.

9/01/2015 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Heart, you are correct. I did mean GREEN but I guess at the time, I was seeing RED. Some of the voters in College Park don't even know about it yet. Its time they all wake up. Its time this city wakes up.

9/01/2015 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

At 440 Fair- Is there a middle ground, like 10 houses instead of 28?

9/01/2015 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...

I also wonder... do those who complain that "others are complaining" just need a soapbox to grandstand and wax nostalgic?

Gentrification occurs when the entire area is blighted. I am pretty sure the long-term neighbors along Carnegie and on the cul-de-sacs who have maintained their houses in good condition and the new homeowners who have put in improvements do not feel that the neighborhood is in need of "gentrification". Parts of College Park is nearing high $700's again. This is a neighborhood where neighbors are friendly, there are fewer rentals to owners (as opposed to the City in general) and the families are growing. In many cases, there are second and third generations that have moved into the neighborhood because they enjoyed growing up here.

Why is this landlord allowed fill his building with massage parlors instead of those successful doctors, pharmacy and surgical supply business of the former "Wellness Center"? Why are they allowed to have this when the motels are being code-enforced out of business? Why not replace the roof and remodel the bathrooms? The "Neighborhood Commercial" use was established over fifty years ago, and used to serve the community. Does it cost more money to go through the process of amending the General Plan and changing the zoning as opposed to maintain the property? I guess it depends on who is paying (and who has already been bought).

By replacing the useful tenancy with low quality tenancy and not maintaining the property, it allows the vacuous to think that the ONLY cure must be HIGH Density Residential. There are other categories: Medium Density and Low Density.

Along with a the Hotties Pizza, the tatoo parlor is also doing well. I am sure they would rather be neighbors with: a mail center with UPS or FedEx drops, a computer learning center (for actual learning not all night gaming), barber/hair stylist, surgical supply, chiropractor, weight loss counseling, accupuncture, incubator office space...

9/01/2015 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Couldn't it be argued that it was part of Sheldon's plan to let the building deteriorate and to acquire less than top notch businesses in order to make the switch to high density residential seem desirable? If you look at the plan, there is no guest parking. Nearby streets will be clogged with cars from this development. Does anyone think that neighbors will let each other park in their driveways, especially since that would block garage access?

According to Costa Mesa's own rules, rooftops don't count as open space. Open space has to be on the ground. I wouldn't call this gentrification by a long shot. Not with a view of the car dealer from your rooftop patio.

Why should anyone have to fight it? Sheldon is asking for a variance. In the real world he would have to fight to get the changes approved. Of course, politics in CM is not based on logic or reason.

9/01/2015 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Resident said...

Ken Nyquist, you should know that will fall on deaf ears here. Replace a source of constant neighbor complaints and replace with homes? Silly man...

9/01/2015 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

If the plan was to build homes consistent with the rest of College Park, I don't think anyone would be complaining.

9/01/2015 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous breaking bad said...

Casual Viewer you are correct. CM Resident is dishonest. It's not complaining about homes at all. It's the types of homes that is being raised. But from his comments he would rather settle for cramped density than nice family homes with yards that Costa Mesa should be holding out for with our strong brand. Funny isn't it. The brand doesn't seem so strong when you have to sellout for the lessor of 2 evils and pass up what would be really nice.

9/01/2015 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

Right, like they did in Mesa Verde. It was very amazing when I thanked the Council for any influence they might have had there, and Jim said something like, "we went with the underlying zoning of the neighborhood". The developer came back with a project that didn't need any variances or modifications except to change institutional(church)/commercial to R-1.

The project was compliant with lot sizes, setbacks, square footage...technically even parking, although it really isn't enough to accommodate guests. It was a very similar type location with residential on one side and commercial on the other. In this case the developer was encouraged to fit in with the neighboring residential.

9/01/2015 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

College Park, ALL single residents, solud community of individual homes. MesaVerde didn't have their area ruined with the ugly three stories, but 10 homes, on nice lots not these crammed together HD models...College Park deserves the same consideration as Mesa Verde home of Mensinger and Riggy.....attn: out of towners, you are out of the loop and have been ensnared in the wrong side of the political web, last year you had nothing good to say about current majority, this year you are slobbering all over the boys, make up your mind.

9/02/2015 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Anyone wanna bet me that Righeimer doesn't own part of this development also?

9/02/2015 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

WMC - how do we go about finding out if the RIGmeister has any interest in this development? Conflict of interest ??!? Is anyone surprised??!?

9/02/2015 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Disgusted, if I knew that, he'd be in jail by now.

9/03/2015 07:00:00 PM  

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