Laguna Beach City Government Evaluates Itself: How Did They Do?

The city manager's office releases a list of accomplishments in 2012 in the areas of public safety, public facilities, and community development, among other categories. What do you think?

Every year, the Laguna Beach City Manager's office sends out a list of what they deem to be "key accomplishments." Below is the 2012 version, sort of a municipal year-in-review. What do you think of some of these? Did the city have a good year? Could they have done a better job? Let us know in the comments section below ...


Public Safety

Developed a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program and completed two classes in May and December.  A total of 53 community members have graduated.

Placed a new fire engine into service.

Completed fuel modification in Oro Canyon to improve fire protection.

Used grant funds and a small City contribution to install new cabling, furniture, phones, computers and “9-1-1” lines in the dispatch center.

Updated Alert OC notification system to pre-identify geographic areas with potential for flooding.

Restarted the Citizens Academy program after a two-year hiatus.

Implemented a new traffic control program for heavily impacted weekends outside of the summer season.

Updated flood damage protection information on the City website.

Implemented Fire Department mobile inspection software which operates on iPads.

On-line reporting system to report minor crimes was implemented.

The City received approval from the Office of Traffic Safety for a grant totaling $122,000 for staffing and equipment to enforce drunk driving violations.

Adopted a Social Host Ordinance regulating the provision of alcoholic beverages to juveniles.


Public Facilities

Broke ground on a new Lifeguard Headquarters and Public Restroom facility for North Main Beach.

Opened new passive parks on Park Avenue and Laguna Canyon Frontage Road.

Completed the reconstruction of the Main Beach Lift Station.

Implemented an emergency erosion control plan for the burn area above Ruby’s and St. Catherine’s school and adjacent to the Mobile Home Terrace Park.

Completed temporary improvements to the burn dump site off of Phillips Road to handle storm flows until the site can be permanently remediated.

Completed structural repairs to the Glenneyre Street parking structure.

Installed bike racks at over 30 locations in the downtown area.

Upgraded network cabling in City Hall greatly improving the speed and reliability of the computer network.

Implemented a back-up and recovery plan for City network and hardware systems.

Constructed a storage area at Heisler Park for the Junior Lifeguards program.

Constructed a slope stabilization wall behind City Hall.

Replaced or added guardrails at 16 locations in the Diamond/Crestview neighborhood.

The Circle Way beach access was upgraded with new stairways, landscaping, storm drain and a low flow diversion system.

Revisions were approved for the Canyon Acres floodplain map which mitigated the need for most properties to purchase mandatory flood insurance.

City undergrounding assessment district policy was updated to improve the certainty of the process and mitigate potential losses for the City.

Repairs were made to the Dorn Court and Bluebird Drive hillsides to protect sewer pipes damaged due to slope damage caused by the December 2010 storms.

Replaced the current telephone system with a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system which will be more reliable, provide better service and be easier to maintain.

Installed new directional signage in, and on, City Hall to help direct customers to services.

Water Quality staff worked with the Irvine Cove Community Association to identify grant funding and to construct an urban water diversion unit to project the Irvine Cove Beach and the ocean.

Conducted a comprehensive cleaning of the Laguna SOCWA wetwell which is responsible for pumping one million gallons of sewage each day.

Replaced the City Hall roof, except over the Recreation Building.

Completed the Art-in-Public Places installations in Heisler Park.

Purchased $215,000 of Rule 20-A credits from other cities at a discounted price of $113,000 to be used for utility undergrounding on Laguna Canyon Road.

Expanded the underground utility district on Laguna Canyon Road through the entire Big Bend area using Rule 20-A credits purchased this year and in prior years.


Community Development

Launched a comprehensive effort to develop a coordinated parking management plan for the downtown, Laguna Canyon Road, and adjacent areas.

Updated ordinances regarding residential care facilities and short-term lodging units.

Completed an update of the Land Use Element that was approved by the Coastal Commission.

Adopted a revised Artist Work/Live ordinance which added additional incentives to promote artist work/live units and is awaiting Coastal Commission approval.

“Open for Business meetings” were continued for another year.

Temporary Use process was modified to allow administrative approvals for minor projects.

Updated the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance.

Updated the public notice provisions of the Zoning Code to require noticing of tenants within 100 feet of a project site.

Amended the Real Property Report ordinance to extend the validity time periods from three to six months.

Passed a “Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting Ordinance”.

Completed a lengthy update of the Native Vegetation Protection ordinance.

Adopted and obtained State Certification of a new Housing Element for the City.

Worked extensively with the Design Review Board (DRB) to improve communication between the Board and staff, enhance staff reports, and have planners attend DRB meetings.



Acquired the McGraw (2 acres) and McGehee (57 acres) properties with Proposition 12 funds and preserved them as open space.

Obtained $318,000 grant to be used for the purchase of three trolleys.

Completed an update of the 2007 citizen survey which showed highly rated City services.

Received a $50,000 grant to help defray expenses at the Alternative Sleeping Location.

Streamlined the City Hall automated attendant phone system to better serve customers.

Retained a grant seeking firm to assist with identifying funding sources for City projects and programs.

Completed the installation of interpretive signs in Heisler Park.

Prepared and distributed a brochure to local hotels, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau regarding Marine Protected Areas.

Adopted an “anti-puppy mill” ordinance.

Adopted a Plastic Bag ordinance to prohibit most establishments from distributing plastic grocery bags which took effect on January 1, 2013.

Conducted Brown Act Training for interested members of the City Council and city boards, commissions and committees.

Reduced the cost of undergrounding utility poles for 724 homeowners by refunding the bonds of 7 assessment districts into a single bond issue.

Paid off assessment district bonds early for the following assessment districts:  Arch Beach Heights (366 homeowners); Ocean Way, Driftwood and Marilyn district (67 homeowners); Legion, Short, El Camino Del Mar and Los Robles (35 homeowners).

Published the findings of the Arts and Economic Prosperity Report.

Presented 19 free concerts, three films and six Artist Open Studio events.

Completed the installation of an artist designed bench on Ocean Avenue.

Improved the on-line business license process to allow for the renewal of all flat fee and gross receipt license through the City Website.

Secured public parking at the Boat Canyon Center (Pavilion’s) parking lot to augment the City’s peripheral parking program during the summer season.

Hosted a special community event to honor Laguna Beach’s own Annika Dries, Gold Medalist at the 2012 London Olympics.

Distributed over $239,000 in Community Assistance Grant funds to 32 local non-profit organizations.

Upgraded online recreation brochure on City’s website to a new interactive format.

GPS was installed on City buses and trolleys to allow customers to track bus and trolley routes on-line.

Added City bus routes and schedules to Google Transit planning tool.

Implemented transit service to the Community Center.


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