Laguna Beach California 2019 Year In Review

Laguna Beach California City Hall Courtesy of SouthOCBeaches.com
Laguna Beach California City Hall Courtesy of SouthOCBeaches.com

The City of Laguna Beach California Key Accomplishments for 2019

Wildfire Mitigation and Fire Safety Plan
The City Council approved the Wildfire Mitigation and Fire Safety Report.

Fire Department’s 100th Anniversary
2019 marks the Laguna Beach Fire Department’s 100th year serving the Laguna Beach Community.

Fuel Modification Program
The Fire Department completed all studies and has applied for permits to conduct additional fuel modification. The City is currently pursuing projects totaling $5.2 million, of which, approximately $4.2 million will be grant funded.

Fire Department Strategic Plan
The Fire Department completed a strategic plan for the department.

Repeat Offender Program
The Police Department worked with the District Attorney’s office to prosecute individuals who repeatedly commit nuisance crimes.

Interagency Agreement with OC Sheriff at El Morro
The City received approval from the Sheriff to provide all police services at El Morro Elementary School.

School Resource Officer
The City and the Laguna Beach Unified School District agreed to expand the School Resource Officer program by one officer with the City and the District splitting the costs.

ASL Security Enhancements
The Police Department implemented new procedures to further increase participants’ safety at the City’s Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL).

Orange County Catholic Workers for Homeless Services Agreement
The City proactively reached a settlement agreement with OC Catholic Workers, thereby avoiding costly and time- consuming litigation. The provisions of the agreement reiterate many policies and practices already in place with the City.

Stop the Bleed Program
Junior Lifeguards were certified in Stop the Bleed. The program prepares participants to save lives by raising awareness of basic actions that can help stop life- threatening bleeding.

Beach Wheelchairs
Marine Safety received a grant for two beach wheelchairs.
The wheelchairs are available during operational hours at the Marine Safety Headquarters.

Animal licensing
Completed installation of a system that allows on-line license renewal.

FACILITIES AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

Village Entrance Project
Phase One of the Village Entrance construction was completed in June.
The work included reconstruction of Parking Lots 10 and 11, and installation of trails and landscaping along Laguna Canyon Road between Art-A-Fair and Forest Avenue.
Construction of Phase Two is underway and scheduled to be completed before Summer 2020.

Utility Undergrounding Program
The Coast Highway Underground Utility District 2019-1 was formed and will place the overhead utilities underground along Coast Highway from Arch Street to Agate Street.

Assessment District 2014-1 (Crestview Drive) was approved
Improvement of City Facilities and Local Infrastructure – The City completed the design and construction of several projects to improve City facilities and local infrastructure:

Repaired and resealed 28 streets in the Coast Royal and South Laguna neighborhoods.
Completed design of Coast Highway intersection improvements between Broadway and Legion Street.

Installed a curbed roundabout median island with landscaping at the five-way intersection of Catalina Street, El Camino Del Mar, and Los Robles.

Completed design and obtained entitlements for significant repairs and capacity enhancements to Laguna Canyon Channel between Beach Street and the Main Beach Park boardwalk outlet.

Replaced safety surface at Moulton Meadows Park Playground and restored fall protection capabilities to a safe level that meets standards.

Assessed nine miles of the gravity sewer system.

Completed five-point repairs and lined 30,100LF (approximately 160 locations) of gravity sewer mains.

Completed construction of the Bluebird SOCWA Odor Control facility at the corner of Glenneyre and Calliope.

The Water Quality Department, in coordination with Laguna Canyon Foundation and Laguna Greenbelt, completed 75% of the native habitat restoration along the five-acre parcel at Laguna Canyon Road between Philips Street and the Anneliese School.

Worked with OC Flood to remove trees in Laguna Canyon Channel near Forest Avenue and reinforce the channel before the winter rains

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Updates to the Downtown Specific Plan
The Planning Commission reviewed the Draft Downtown Specific Plan and recommended approval to the City Council.

Community Development Department Action Plan

City Council and California Coastal Commission approved Phase 1 Permit Streamlining Code Amendments;

The City is commencing with Phase 2 Permit Streamlining Code Amendments;

The City acquired a new permit tracking software system that will be implemented over the next six months; and, Staff participated in the Lean Six Sigma process to improve the development review process.

Parking Ordinance Update
The City Council amended the City’s parking ordinance to address commercial properties.

Short-term Lodging
The City Council adopted a revised short-term lodging ordinance that addresses Coastal Commission concerns with the previous draft ordinance.

TRANSIT & PARKING

New Laguna Beach Trolley App
The City launched a new Laguna Beach Trolley App to provide more accurate predictive arrival, schedules, smoother tracking of vehicles, and posted detours and delays.

Neighborhood Trolley Services
The City Council added a new Weekday Coastal Service from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and modified the hours of the other three Neighborhood Routes (Top of the World, Bluebird Canyon, Arch Beach Heights) from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The North and South Laguna Routes were canceled.
The City will conduct extensive outreach and marketing of the service along with the marketing of the new app to increase ridership by October 2020.

City Received Awards for Parking App
The City’s Laguna Beach Parking App has been named as OC Weekly’s “Best App for 2019” and won awards from the California Public Parking Association; the WTS Advancing Women in Transportation Orange County Chapter; and the American Public Works Association – Southern California Chapter.

Summer Breeze Bus Service
The City continued to offer free bus service and free parking from a peripheral parking lot near SR-133/I-405 interchange in Irvine to Laguna Beach summer destinations. Ridership increased by 14% from 2018.

MISCELLANEOUS

Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
The City received an award for its easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

Balanced Budget
The City Council adopted a balanced budget for Fiscal Years 2019-20 and 2020-21 while maintaining a 20% General Fund Reserve.

Adult Education Program
The City, in partnership with the Laguna Beach Unified School District, started an Adult Education Program dedicated to promoting educational opportunities for adult learners.

Community Recreation Amenity Improvements
Various improvements were made to City facilities including the Community Pool, Lang Community Center, Community & Susi Q Senior Center, the Main Beach Basketball and Moulton Meadows Tennis Courts.

Community Services Program Scholarships
The Learn-to-Swim Program funded 23 children’s enrollment fees.

Ask Laguna Mobile App
The City released a mobile app called “Ask Laguna.”

Public Arts Events
The City presented 16 concerts, three film screenings, eight writing workshops by the Literary Laureate, and a chalk art workshop. All events were free to the public.

Public Art Restoration
The Arts Commission continued its maintenance of public art by renovating and cleaning 18 pieces in the City’s collection.

Cultural Art Funding
In 2019, 18 organizations received grants totaling $220,600 for arts programming in Laguna Beach.

Recycling Events
The City and Waste Management hosted several recycling events, including a paper shredding and E-Waste event celebrating America Recycles Day, Compost Giveaway Event, Hazardous Waste Collection Event, and offered four free composting classes.

Tree City USA Recognition
The City was recognized as a first-year Tree City USA Community by the Arbor Day Foundation and hosted a tree planting ceremony on March 8 proclaimed by the City Council as Arbor Day in Laguna Beach.

New City Arborist
The City hired a new City Arborist to lead the City’s Urban Forest Management Program and Tree Care Services.

For more information please visit The City of Laguna Beach

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