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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

May 12, 2011

The following is from the May 3 meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council.

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Construction of the Main Beach Sewer Lift Station will cost about $1.45 million more than had been budgeted, an estimated total of $3.4 million.

Replacing the existing degenerating 80-year-old plant is more expensive than anticipated because of price increases in the subterranean prefabricated lift station, shoring, upgrading from concrete to polyethylene for the wet-well and bypass manhole, consolidation of overlapping sewer lines on South Coast Highway and coordination of construction traffic and utilities.

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The increase was recommended by city staff to permit the construction of a wet-well and dry-well design that will better control less attractive qualities of the facility such as odors and waste-material exposure to the public, according to a report by city Project Manager Wade Brown.

The design will also make maintenance more efficient and improve emergency responses, Brown said.

WHAT IT MEANS

The council approved the concept of a $450,000 transfer from the 2011-12 Capital Improvement Program and $1 million from projects that have been deferred or reclassified for this fiscal year.

Staff is to return to the council for the purchase of the pre-fabricated station after the design and cost are finalized.

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Council upholds board, 5-0

Neighbors appealed the Design Review Board's approval of a 6,122-square-foot home and attached garage proposed for the parcel at 18 Lagunita Drive.

They claimed the structure was substantially bigger than adjacent buildings and differed from the pattern of development in the enclave. They also said that staking did not clearly define the outline of the proposed home, among other complaints. Staff responded to all of the objections and the council unanimously upheld the board's approval.

The design was also approved by the Lagunita Community Assn. before it went to the board.

WHAT IT MEANS

The property owner will be allowed to build the home as approved by the board, replacing a dilapidated and partially demolished home on the site, with an agreement to make the driveway permeable, elicited by Councilwoman Verna Rollinger.

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Board denial overturned, 5-0

The council approved the expansion of elevated decks at 157 Bluebird Canyon Drive, overturning the Design Review Board's denial of a variance.

The council gave its approval after a neighbor withdrew his opposition to the decks when the applicant offered to slice off a corner.

WHAT IT MEANS

The neighbor said he could live with the modified deck and Steve Kawaratani, a representative of the applicant and freelance columnist for the Coastline Pilot, provided the legal justifications for the variance.

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Addition remanded to board 4-1

The council returned to the Design Review Board a proposal for a 700-square-foot addition to a single-family residence and construction of a second single-family home with an attached four-car garage at 377 Hawthorne Road.

The board had split 3 to 2 on the project after a fourth hearing.

Changes to that proposal, in line with board requests, were approved by a council majority, which also added a condition that no vegetation was allowed to grow higher than the roofline. Rollinger opposed returning the project to the board.

— Compiled by Barbara Diamond

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