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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

May 28, 2010

The following is from the Laguna Beach City Council meeting of May 18.

'Bed' tax extended

City hotels and motels are voluntarily assessed 2% of their hotel "bed" taxes to be used to fund art organizations and programs that bring tourists to Laguna Beach. The assessment must be approved annually and a public meeting held to hear any protests of its continuation.

There was no opposition, and the council unanimously approved the continuation of the district for another year, although with estimated revenue reduced from $1.5 million to $1.3 million due the economy.

WHAT IT MEANS

The reduced estimate means 13% less funding for the Laguna Beach Visitor's Bureau, the Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Playhouse and Laguna Art Museum. There will be no impact on the Special Arts Commission Programs or Cultural Arts Grants, which are spent a year in arrears, until fiscal year 2010-11.

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Arch Beach Heights Park bid

A new bid for construction of the revised plan for Arch Beach Heights was unanimously approved. A $309,950 contract was awarded to Green Horizons Landscape and Maintenance. The project includes improvements to the already-funded pedestrian trail proposed for construction on portions of the unimproved rights-of-way known as Cortez Avenue and Palo Alto Street. The city manager was also authorized to acquire additional land for open space at a cost of $40,000, plus up to $5,000 in expenses.

WHAT IT MEANS

The improvements include concrete stairs, a decomposed granite pathway, landscaping, irrigation and fuel modification and connect to the existing sewer lift station access road on Alisos and Oro rights-of-way, which will also serve as part of the trail.

Abandonment of easements

Restoration of public facilities after the 2005 landslide included some minor relocations to improve public safety or to accommodate new facilities such as the Bluebird Canyon storm drain. Easements were granted by the landslide victims, but the city is obliged to abandon those no longer needed.

The council approved a resolution that initiates the process of abandoning old and unnecessary rights of way in Bluebird Canyon and a small portion of Flamingo Road right-of-way.

WHAT IT MEANS

A hearing will be scheduled on the proposed abandonment. Notice of the hearing will be published or posted by the City Clerk.

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