Load Full Website

Minutes – November 19, 2008

Minutes – November 19, 2008




November 19, 2008

2:00 P.M. ­


Mayor Hack called the Regular Meeting of the City Council of the City of Laguna Woods to order at 2:00 p.m.



Councilmember Ross led the flag salute.


COUNCILMEMBERS:    PRESENT: Bouer, Robbins, Ross, Ring, Hack


STAFF:                             City Manager Keane; City Attorney McEwen; City Clerk Condon






Moved by Councilmember Robbins, seconded by Councilmember Ross and carried unanimously to approve City Proclamation 5.1.
5.1          Proclamation – Henry Frydman – 100th Birthday.



Moved by Councilmember Ross, seconded by Councilmember Robbins, and carried unanimously to approve Consent Calendar Items 6.1 – 6.5.


6.1          City Council minutes from the regular meeting of October 16, 2008

Approved City Council minutes from the regular meeting of October 15, 2008.


6.2          Approved the reading by title of all ordinances and resolutions. Said ordinances and resolutions that appear on the public agenda shall be determined to have been read by title only and further reading waived.

6.3          Treasurer’s Report

Received and Filed October 2008 monthly and First Quarter, Fiscal Year 2008-09 quarterly  Treasurer’s Reports.


6.4          Warrant Register

Approved the November 19, 2008 Warrant Register in the amount of $954,694.25.


  1. Accepted project completion of a contract with Elite Bobcat Service, Inc. for the El Toro  Road/Aliso Creek Road Phase 1A Project.
    Released contract retention in the amount of $38,569.52 withheld per government code 35 days following recordation of Notice of Completion with the County of Orange.
  1. Exonerated project posted bonds 35 days following recordation of Notice of Completion with the County of Orange.


7.1          General Plan Housing

City Manager Keane advised that state law require that housing element of the General Plan be updated every five years.


Diana Gonzalez from Hogle Ireland, the consulting firm that prepared the Housing Element, provided an overview of the Housing Element and explained what the Housing Element does and does not do. The draft element is at the state Housing and Community development Department for review. There is zoning or land use changes in the current draft.


City Manager Keane recommended opening the public hearing, accepting comments and then continuing the public hearing until January 21, 2009.

Mayor Pro Tem Ring advised he is a member of a SCAG policy committee which reviews and makes recommendations on the Regional Housing Needs Analysis (RHNA) allocation. He discussed housing and transportation issues and also advised that the Housing Element needs to consider where people who work in the City could reside.


Mayor Hack advised he is also a member of a SCAG policy committee which reviews and makes recommendations on transportation issues. He discussed recent state legislation that seeks to reduce the greenhouse effect by locating housing projects along transportation corridors.


The Public Hearing was opened.


Cheryl Walker, OC Register, asked if the City received credit in housing allocations for its current low income units. Cty Manager Keane advised there are two components of RHNA. One is existing  construction and the other is new construction. The City has always met the need for  affordable existing construction and does receive credit for that.


Cheryl Walker, asked if the shelters that some churches have for emergency housing  for transients counted toward transition or emergency shelters. City Manager Keane advised that the requirement is to identify areas where future shelters could be constructed.


Cheryl Walker also questioned if the LWV golf course could be emergency shelter. Cty Manager Keane advised that we are not looking at temporary shelters for victims of disasters, but emergency shelter for people who are homeless.


Mary Hall, resident, questioned if Section 8 Housing was in Laguna Woods. City Manager Keane advised that it was a county program. She advised that the Fountains is certified Section 8 and individual homeowners in the Village may also participate with the County.


Bob Tucker, resident, questioned what it would take to designate the City as built out. City Manager Keane advised that when we first became a City that might have been possible. However, at the request of the property owner of record, the Golden Rain Foundation, some open space property in the City was rezoned for  future development.
Bob Tucker, resident, questioned that if there is no development anywhere do we need to meet the Housing Element requirements. Mayor Hack advised that we do not have to build anything; we need only meet the RHNA requirements if something is constructed.  City Manager Keane advised that there are other property owners, such as the shopping center, who could decide to remove retail and build residential.


Bob Tucker, resident, questioned where the emergency shelter was designated. Cty Manager Keane advised that no area has been identified, but that there are areas which we will take a look at and come back and change the zoning ordinance to comply.


Cris Trapp, PCM on behalf of GRF, questioned that if even if an area has been identified for emergency shelters a developer would not be required to build an emergency shelter.  City Manager Keane stated that the City must only identify zones where shelters can be constructed, but there is not requirement to build them.


Moved by Councilmember Robbins, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Ring and carried unaimously to continue the Public Hearing until January 21, 2009.




8.1          Advisory Committees: Reorganization

City Manager Keane advised that there are currently six citizen committees – Planning, Community Services, Human Relations, Transportation, Landscape and Water Quality. She advised that many of them do not meet consistently due to a lack of agenda items. In some instances responsibilities overlap and multiple committees are asked to review a single concept or project. In an effort to improve efficiency, staff suggested that Council-appointed advisory committees be restructured and consolidated into three areas: Land Use and Design Review, Community Services, and Public Safety.


Mayor Hack stated that we are a City with a small staff and this would be a more effective use of staff time. Mayor Pro Tem Ring concurred with Mayor Hack’s statement.


Councilmember Ross stated she initially was concerned with the elimination of the Human Relations Committee, but after talking with staff and the OC Human Relations Commission, she felt the issue was adequately covered by placing its duties with the new Public Safety committee.


Mayor Hack recommended that if residents were interested in serving on a committee they should obtain an application from staff.


Moved by Councilmember Robbins, seconded by Councilmember Ross and carried unanimously to adopt revisions to Administrative Policy 2.1, modifying the number and purpose of City Council Advisory Committees.



City Manager Keane advised that there were six dedicated volunteers who walked the community in the area that interfaced with the wildlife area over the past weekend. She recognized Shari Horne who has patrolled more times than any of our volunteers.


9.1          Inclusionary Housing Regulations

City Manager Keane recommended that the proposed ordinance be introduced and approved and that a public hearing be schedule for December 10, 2008. She advised that an  inclusionary ordinance would require any new residential development, consisting of five or more units, to provide 15 percent of its newly constructed units to low and/or moderate income individuals. People who live or work in the community would have first priority for any new housing. The ordinance contains an in-lieu fee option and provisions for the City Council to make exceptions. In lieu fees could be used to construct housing, provide rent subsidiary, or for building rehabilitation.


Mayor Pro Tem Ring questioned what the income levels were and City Manager Keane provided the information and advised it was relative to Orange County median income.


Councilmember Ross questioned how many homes where being funded in the CDBG energy efficiency program this year.  City Manager Keane advised that the list was opened up this year and staff is currently  viewing the 300 plus applications. The City expects to complete to fund improvements to 50 homes.


Mayor Hack recommended that since Councilmember Elect Rhodes would not be at the December 10 meeting, that the public hearing and approval be moved to January 21, 2009 so that Councilmember Elect Rhodes could be in attendance at the public hearing.


Cris Trapp, PCM on behalf of GRF, requested an amendment to section 13.25.050 Residential Development, item 2 which shows percentages. GRF would like to have the following language inserted at the beginning of the paragraph – So long as the Regional Housing Need Assessment in the Housing Element is not at least 15% of the dwelling units…, and then the remainder of the paragraph would continue.  City Manager Keane advised that the ordinance relates to affordable housing and that although it is intended to assist the City in meeting the RHNA requirement it is intended to be broader than just RHNA. She advised that Council has the ability to make exceptions to the proposed requirements on a project by project basis.


Mayor Pro Tem Ring indicated the RHNA numbers can float and there is a current law suit that may change the RHNA allocation.


Ms. Trapp, requested that Section 13.25.050 (c) (1) and (2) be modified to reduce the number of bedrooms from four to three.  City Manager Keane advised that this Section does not require the building of 4 bedroom units, rather it only requires affordable four bedroom units if market rate four bedroom units are constructed in a project.


Ms. Trapp, stated that there has been a recent court case on the items in Section 13.25.080 Density Bonus, and would like the City to take it into consideration. Also, under (b) expedited processing – the process is not listed and would appreciate that being more defined. City Manager Keane advised they would review the lawsuit, but that she and the City Attorney believe that this ordinance is in conformance with current case law.


Ms. Trapp requested that Section 13.250.121 Trust Fund have a cap set on the administrative or related expenses. City Manager Keane advised they would take a look at the request, but that she believed it might not be in the best interest of the City to set such a limit. State law governs how any development fee must be spent.


City Manager Keane recommended that the introduction and approval of the first reading be continued until the December 10, 2008 meeting so that staff could review the questions that were raised and make any necessary adjustments to the draft ordinance. The public hearing and approval would be scheduled for the January 21, 2009 meeting. The only action Council would take today would be to schedule the public hearing for January 21, 2009.


Mayor Pro Tem Ring questioned whether Section 13.25.060 (e) (4) (i) should state the latest available figures. City Manager Keane advised that this section only refers to a formula staff would need to use before it brings a fee resolution to the City Council for adoption; it does not set the actual fee.


Moved by Councilmember Ross, seconded by Councilmember Robbins and carried unanimously to calendar a public hearing to discuss a proposed ordinance establishing affordable housing regulations for 2:00 p.m. or soon thereafter on January 21, 2009.



City Attorney McEwen advised that due to the recent fires and the fact that Orange County has had two major fires during the last two years, he felt it would be appropriate to briefly review the Brown Act rules that apply to cities during emergency situations. He briefly discussed what an emergency was and the procedures required to declare an emergency and/or to hold a special or emergency council meeting.



11.1        Transportation Corridor Agencies (Mayor Hack)

Mayor Hack advised the TCA was awaiting a response on the comments from the Secretary of the Commerce on the extension of the 241.


11.2        Southern California Water Committee (Mayor Hack)

Mayor Hack stated that a drought has been declared and that it is probable that water usage may be allocated.   Orange County was proactive in taking waste water and reclaiming it. He advised he will be attending two meetings on the Delta and the flow of water to Southern California.


11.3        Vector Control District (Councilmember Bouer)

Councilmember Bouer reported that there has been a large decrease in West Nile Virus activity and vectors in our community and there have been no new dead birds.
11.4        Library Advisory Board (Councilmember Robbins)

Councilmember Robbins advised that he is disturbed that the Board of Supervisors is considering cutting part of the County Budget and stated he will be getting together with the Head librarian to discuss the issue. Councilmember Robbins also discussed the recent CA Joint Power Insurance Authority seminar that he attended on November 5-7 and provided a brief overview of the meetings he attended.


11.5        Orange County Fire Authority (Councilmember Ross)

Councilmember Ross advised that the OCFA did a magnificent job during the recent fires. Battalion Chief John Jones, OCFA, presented a brief overview of the fires. Mayor Hack thanked OCFA for the well planned emergency coordination that exists between the counties and regions.


11.6        Laguna Canyon Foundation (Mayor Pro Tem Ring)

Mayor Pro Tem Ring advised that they met and focused on year end funding and wanted to encourage people to donate. He stated grants were only for specific items and contributions supported the rest of the items. Councilmember Elect Rhodes stated the Foundation has been instrumental in completing many projects and encouraged people to make contributions to the Foundation.


11.7        Coastal Greenbelt Authority (Mayor Pro Tem Ring)

Mayor Pro Tem Ring advised that the meeting tomorrow had been cancelled.


Mary Wall, resident, discussed the recent robberies and encouraged the City to pay for more lighting in the community. City Manager Keane advised that the City could only legally pay for lighting on the main streets. She advised that in the second half of the year the City will complete Phase 2 of its re-wiring project and will review the current street lights.


Ms. Wall also questioned the distribution of the Section 8 applications. City Manager Keane advised that the program is administered by the County; when the County opens the program for new applicants, applications are available at City Hall.


Cheryl Walker, LW Globe, requested that when thefts reach a threshold, that the press be notified so they can get the word out. She also stated that there are many transformers along the perimeter walls of the Village and requested that no more transformers be placed along the wall and to have additional patrols in the area.


Cheryl Walker, LW Globe, questioned if furniture in the Linear Park will be mobile like the plastic chairs currently located in the dog park. City Manager Keane advised that the program is administered by the County; when the County opens the program for new applicants, applications are available at City Hall.

Kay Margason, resident, advised she has requested that all the LW Village boards and security committee meet to discuss security and requested that the City join in.


City Manager Keane advised that sometimes the Sheriff is the last to know about problems, as residents don’t call 911, they call the Village Security instead.


Mayor Hack advised that it sounds like what is needed is more interface between the community and the Sheriff.


Kay Margason stated that the people working at the gates are not able to call 911.




Mayor Pro Tem Ring announced that George Portlock recently passed away.


Councilmember Hack suggested that the meeting be adjourned in Mr. Portlock’s honor.


Councilmember Bouer welcomed Marty Rhodes to the Council and congratulated Brenda Ross and Milt Robbins on their re-election.







The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m. in honor of George Portlock. The next meeting will be at 2:00 p.m. on December 10, 2008 at the Laguna Woods City Hall, 24264 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, CA