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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

May 14, 2010

The following is from the Laguna Beach City Council meeting of May 4. Present: Councilwoman Verna Rollinger, Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman, Mayor Elizabeth Pearson. Absent: Council members Kelly Boyd and Jane Egly.

City bonds upgraded

City Treasurer Parisi announced that the Moody's and Fitch recalibration of the municipal bond ratings in April was good news for Laguna. Last year, Standard and Poor's upgraded Laguna bonds to AAA.

Changes made by the rating agencies include a state of California upgrade that has contributed to a 26 basis point reduction in the interest rate paid on the state's general obligation bonds according to the Bond Buyer. Lower interest expense will assist the state in meeting its obligations without tapping into local funds, Parisi said.

Parisi thanked the City Council for assistance with the 2008 campaign requesting that the rating agencies evaluate the debt of municipal entities on the same basis as debt issued by industry, which has resulted in better ratings for municipal debt, she said.

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McQuaid sculpture approved

The council unanimously approved the installation of a glass sculpture and raised steel platform by artist Jason McQuaid at 883 S. Coast Hwy. to satisfy the Art in Public Places requirement, as recommended by the Arts Commission.

The sculpture, 10 feet by 2 feet, includes glass orbs housed within a one-half-inch tempered glass case, standing on a steel platform and surrounded by rocks. It will be internally lighted, which signs are not allowed to do.

Arts Manager Sian Poeschl said the commission did not discuss the issue of internal lighting.

"This is not a sign, it is art," Poeschl said.

The estimated value is $25,000.

Homeless meters OKd

The council approved unanimously the Installation of painted parking meters at the ACT V parking lot, Forest/Laguna Canyon parking lot, and the Broadway Bus Depot for contributions for services to Laguna's homeless population; and approval of the expenditure of $1,800 from the budget established for the Alternative Sleeping Location.

Variance approved for road

The council reviewed and approved 3 to 0 a Design Review Board denial on April 6 of a project in Bluebird Canyon for a single-family residence, which included a variance for a driveway with a turnaround required by the fire department.

A decision was delayed for further staff evaluation of the possibilities of reducing the amount of hardscape.

After the review staff advised the council that the turnaround is the minimum necessary.

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