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Environmental Committee presents its wish list

Panel recommends City Council move forward on bicycle lanes, fuel independence measures.

March 10, 2011|By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com

The Environmental Committee offered a wish list to the City Council at the March 1 meeting

Committee Chair Chris Prelitz presented the list to satisfy the council's request at its retreat for five-minute reports that would keep the community apprised of activities and proposals.

"What's happening in the Middle East and our dependence on imported foreign oil make it very clear that we need to start thinking long term to assure a viable future for Laguna Beach," Prelitz said. "Hundreds of cities started this transition because it just makes good sense.

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"We have earthquake and fire preparedness. It is inevitable that we'll have rising fuel prices and less supply — it is a finite resource. The sooner we start, the cheaper the transition will be."

Prelitz also said the committee considers street safety and water conservation two of the most urgent issues facing the city.

"Personally, I am passionate about having Glenneyre Street be restriped to have safe bike lanes for local commuters — electric bikes solve all the hill challenges," Prelitz said.

Other recommendations included:

•Investment in cost-saving sustainability measures, which the committee advised is one way the city can be environmentally and economically responsible at the same time;

•Vision 2030 and the Mayors Climate Protection Plan implemented;

•Stronger California Green Building Code implementation, from the current lowest of three tiers; and

•Investment in water security infrastructure and incentives by providing reclaimed water to Laguna.

"You can last 30 days without food — but only three days without water," Prelitz said.

The committee also would like to see more collaboration between city commissions and boards.

"We have done some," Prelitz said. "We'd love to see more."

He encouraged the council and the public to come to committee meetings the fourth Monday of the month in the Community Center, 380 Third St.

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