Our Laguna: What the city accomplished in 2010 — a lot

February 03, 2011|By Barbara Diamond

The city annually issues a list of accomplishments for the calendar year. Of the 51 accomplishments in 2010, only one — the establishment of a permanent shelter for the city's homeless population — was included in the Coastline Pilot's list of the Top 10 Stories of the Year, which was more about people than projects. Our top story was the Dec. 22 flood, which happened after the city's list was issued.

Also spotlighted by us — not in any order:

•City Council election;

•Travails of Laguna Terrace Park renters trying to buy the land under their mobile homes;

•Public outcry about the proliferation of cell towers, over which the city has little control;

•City finances, including the budget, early retirement of the half-cent sales tax that established a disaster fun and helped pay bills for the Bluebird Canyon restoration not covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's $34 million reimbursement;


•Marine Reserve designation for virtually all of Laguna's coastline, with Kelly Boyd the only council member opposed;

•Immigration sweeps;

•Restoration of the Coast Inn; and

•Speedboarding — which may be a Top 10 story again this year.


Here's what former City Manager Ken Frank — whose retirement made him the Newsmaker of the Year — thought were the city's key accomplishments through Oct. 29, 2010.


Community Development

•Adopted many specific recommendations proposed by the Business Assistance Task Force, which is co-chaired by the dynamite duo of Toni Iseman and Elizabeth Pearson.

Recommendations included extending free parking in the downtown lot and urging residents to "shop local" and landlords to reduce rent.

"I saw a list of 34 businesses that were approved last year, not all of which were due, of course, to the Business Task Force, but I don't think it has been fully recognized for what it has done," City Councilwoman Verna Rollinger said.

"The city is always being criticized as being anti-business and I don't think that is true — and 34 approvals show that."

•Adopted numerous changes to the zoning code regarding procedures, definitions, setbacks and nonconforming structures.

•Adopted an enhanced booklet of design review principles and guidelines.

The booklet shows illustrations of what the Community Development Department, headed by John Montgomery, considers good design.

•Instituted a comprehensive customer service effort in Community Development.

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