City News

City Council Highlights: May 8

City Council Highlights: Regular Meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council, May 8, 2018. Click here for complete recap of this public meeting. 

City Congratulates State Champion Laguna Beach Pateadores Girls Soccer Team With Proclamation

At the May 8 regular meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council, the Laguna Beach Pateadores Girls 2005 Team was awarded a Proclamation by the City for becoming 2018 State Soccer Champions.

“This group of dedicated and talented athletes has proudly represented the Pateadores Soccer Club, but mainly the City of Laguna Beach with great distinction. This is a major achievement,” stated Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd in his proclamation.

The Pateadores were crowned 2018 Final Champion of the Cal South State Cup Tournament, a challenge that hosted 128 teams.  The soccer team is entirely comprised of Laguna Beach girls and is coached by Earl Alexander. The parents, families, and friends have been integral in the team’s success.  

“Coach Earl Alexander is to be commended for his dedication to the Laguna Beach Pateadores and the development of these outstanding soccer players,” read Mayor Boyd’s proclamation.  “Ably supported by all the parents, but especially Enich Harris and Chris Boyd.”

When asked to explain the team’s name, “Patedores,” Coach Earl Alexander told the City Council it means “kickers” in Spanish.

The Pateadores club was established in 2016.  Find out more at www.pateadores.org or www.facebook.com/PateadoresLaguna.

Council Approves Tree Removal Ordinance

At its regular meeting on May 8, the City Council reviewed a Tree Removal Permit Process for privately maintained trees.

 Want to trim or remove your tree? First you need to find out within which category it falls.

 Tree permit categories include: 

  1. Trees listed on the City’s Heritage Tree List 
  1. Trees on a landscape plan that were approved through Design Review 
  1. Trees privately maintained but located in the public right-of-way 

If your tree falls in any of these three categories, you need to get a City permit and approval before you may remove it. 

Once you start the permit process, you will need approval to remove your tree either from the Community Development Department or the Design Review Board (if it was part of a prior landscape plan.) Then, there is a notification process for the removal of trees. Depending on what type of tree you want to remove, your request will be posted on the City website and be given to neighbors, the City Council and City Manager. Also, all requests for the removal of privately maintained trees in the public right-of-way will be posted on the tree and marked with a yellow ribbon. 

You will also have to provide a plan for a replacement tree for the location submitted with your permit application, and the replacement tree size and type will be subject to City approval. There is also a provision in the ordinance to protect nesting birds. 

Fines: As part of the Tree Removal Permit Ordinance, fines were set for the illegal removal of trees depending on the type, size of tree and offense.  

The permitted removal of all trees and subsequent tree replacement is at the property owner’s expense. Please call the Community Development Department at (949) 497-0712 or stop by City Hall for more information on the Tree Removal Permit process.

City Council Reviews Draft Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance

At its regular meeting Tuesday May 8, the Laguna Beach City Council spent considerable time reviewing Planning Commission and staff recommendations for a draft ordinance amendment to the Laguna Beach Municipal Code and an amendment to the City’s Local Coastal Program relating to Accessory Dwelling Units, also referred to as the “Second Residential Unit Ordinance.”

An Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, is a second dwelling on a property, and can be a back house, guest room, granny flat or in-law unit. The City is making revisions to its ordinance because of a new California State law that took effect in January. The law encourages the development of these units across the state to help ease the widespread housing crunch. Laguna Beach City leaders are deciding the best way to implement this law in the City while maintaining emergency access to neighborhoods, ensuring resident safety and also creating ways to monitor such units.

At the meeting, the Council spent considerable time further analyzing some issue areas in the ordinance, and asked Staff to come back at a later meeting to define areas of the City where streets with restricted access may not be permitted to host an ADU for safety reasons. The issue will be heard again in July.

Options to Buy South Laguna Community Garden Land Discussed

Also at its meeting May 8th, the City Council extended the funding earmark for the South Laguna Community Garden; and talked about the next steps in trying to acquire the land the Community Garden sits on.

Since 2009, the South Laguna Civic Association has maintained and operated the garden on privately owned parcels in South Laguna, but the SLCA does not own the land. SLCA has been raising money to try and buy the land and asked the City for funding assistance. The City agreed, and earmarked money toward the purchase of the land through June of 2019. To date, the City currently has $500,000 set aside to try to help the SLCA buy the land which is valued at around $1 million dollars, but the property owner has not been responsive about a possible sale.

Instead of trying to appeal to the property owner, who lives in Saudi Arabia, to try to get them to sell the land to the City, the City considered making the owner an offer for purchase. As a first step at their May 8th meeting, the Council decided to get a formal appraisal and do an environmental assessment on the property. The Council also voted 3-2 to extend its commitment to help the SLCA with funding to purchase the property until the year 2021.