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City News

City Council Highlights: June 26

Tree Removal Permit Process Gets Final Approval

At its regular meeting on June 26, the Laguna Beach City Council passed a second reading of a Tree Removal Permit Process for privately maintained trees. The process will go into effect for Laguna Beach residents in approximately 30 days.

Want to trim or remove your tree? First you need to find out if it falls within any of these three categories:

 

  1. Trees listed on the City’s Heritage Tree list;
  2. Trees on a landscape plan that were approved through Design Review;
  3. 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. Applications for a permit are available at City Hall. 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.)

 Additionally, prior to approval of the permit application, there’s a notification process to interested parties. Depending on what type of tree you want to remove, your request will be posted on the City website and noticed to other interested parties. All requests to remove trees you maintain in the public right of way will be posted on the tree and the tree will also be marked with a yellow ribbon. The permitted removal of all trees and subsequent tree replacement is at the property owner’s expense.

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 number of offense within a 12-month period, and they are as follows:

  • Unpermitted removal of trees with a trunk measuring six to 12 inches around is a $1,000 fine for the first offense, $3,000 for the second offense and $5,000 for the third offense within a 12-month period. 
  • Unpermitted removal of trees with a trunk that measures up to 24 inches around is a $3,000 fine for the first offense, $7,000 for the second offense and $10,000 for the third offense within a 12-month period.
  • Unpermitted removal of trees with a trunk over 24 inches around is a $5,000 fine for the first offense, $12,000 for the second offense and $15,000 for the third offense within a 12-month period.

It’s always better to ask before you trim a tree that could be protected or need a permit. Please call the Community Development Department at (949) 497-0712 or stop by City Hall for more information on the Tree Removal Permit process. Remember: Call Before You Cut!

 

City Passes Proclamation Supporting Ability Awareness Project

 At its regular meeting on June 26th, the Laguna Beach City Council passed a proclamation of support for the Ability Awareness Project, a non-profit organization with a mission aimed at educating bullies, victims of bullying and people who may witness bullying about its harmful and lasting effects.

The founder of the Ability Awareness Project and the Kinder World Foundation, Shadi Pourkashef, gave a presentation to the City Council Tuesday with a goal of encouraging respectful behavior and treatment of one another. The presentation and proclamation were brought forward at the suggestion of Councilmember Steve Dicterow.

 Pourkashef started the Ability Awareness Project in 2013 after her son experienced peer bullying at school. She realized she needed to dig deeper into the issue of bullying, and started the Ability Awareness Project with the help of a behavioral psychologist. The non-profit’s goal is to ensure that everyone is respectful and kind to one another, and to eliminate feelings of social isolation caused by bullying. Bullying-related suicide is the third leading cause of death among children and teens.

 By raising awareness of bullying and its widespread effects, Pourkashef says she helps not only those who are bullied but also those who do the bullying. She says bystanders have a huge impact on the outcome, and need to understand their role while staying safe. Her mission is to build a united, interconnected world that is free of bullying.

 

 Call of the General Municipal Election to Be Held on November 6th

At the regular City Council meeting on June 26th, the City of Laguna Beach officially called a General Election to be held on November 6th, 2018 at which time three candidates will be elected to each serve a four year term on the City Council.

Are you interested in running for office? Potential candidates can pick up election materials from the City Clerk’s office (by appointment) beginning July 16th. August 10th is the deadline to collect the necessary signatures needed to earn a spot on the November Ballot. All election services are provided according to the California Elections Code. The last day to register to vote in time for the November election is October 22nd.