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Thousand Steps Graffiti Madness; El Toro Road Sidewalk Construction

And what foreign countries have been downloading Laguna Beach's trolley app? All this and more in City Manager John Pietig's weekly update ...

Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig's weekly update:

Thousand Steps Beach Graffiti - Due to numerous citizen complaints about graffiti on a wall located at Thousand Steps Beach, representatives from the Police Department met with concerned neighbors in the area.  Reporting procedures and tips for being an alert witness were discussed.  On this past Saturday, one of the neighbors observed a man placing graffiti on the wall and called the police as instructed.  An 18 year old Laguna Beach man was arrested for vandalism.

Department of Energy Grant Awarded - The City has been awarded a $16,000 grant to replace inefficient fluorescent bulb fixtures with high efficiency lighting fixtures.  The grant will replace 70 fixtures in 14 of the City's sewer lift station facilities.

El Toro Road Sidewalk Construction - The City of Laguna Woods will begin construction of improvements on El Toro Road next week. The work will involve the addition of a through lane and sidewalk on the inbound side of El Toro Road from Aliso Creek Road to Canyon Hills Drive. The main purpose of the project is to improve operation of the intersection at El Toro Road and Aliso Creek Road. The project will include a refuge merging lane on El Toro Road for vehicles turning out of Canyon Hills Road. The project is funded by the City of Laguna Woods and grant funds obtained by Laguna Woods. The project was approved by the Design Review Board in January 2011. An agreement between the Cities of Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods, which allows for the construction with the Laguna Beach City limits, was approved by the City Council on March 6, 2012. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Festival Season Trolley Ridership - The total Festival Season trolley ridership for this past summer was almost identical to the prior year with $581,667 riders. A new smart phone application developed by the Visitors Bureau was introduced during this festival season that allowed users to see where the trolleys were located based on the GPS tracking added to the trolleys this summer. The “app” included other useful visitor information. The “app” was downloaded by more than 4,000 people from all over the world.  The top ten countries outside the United States downloading this “app” were; Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Germany, China, Australia, Italy, Switzerland and India.

Planning Commission Seeks Input From Downtown Business Owners - On Wednesday, September 19, the Planning Commission conducted its first workshop for the potential amendment of the Downtown Specific Plan.  The workshop included interactive sessions which generated meaningful discussions regarding the need for changes and improvements to the Downtown Specific Plan.  The Planning Commission is hoping that more downtown business owners will attend the next workshop, which will be scheduled at the September 26, 2012 Planning Commission meeting.  For more information contact Carolyn Martin at (949) 497-0398 or email cmartin@lagunabeachcity.net.

Joint City Council/Planning Commission Meeting – The Planning Commission agreed to date change the Saturday, September 22, 2012 meeting to Saturday, December 8, 2012. It will be held from 9:00 a.m. to Noon (as previously scheduled). This meeting will be held at the Laguna Beach Community & Susi Q Center.

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