City Council Minutes - 09/18/2007back
REGULAR MEETING OF THECITY COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF CORONADOCoronado City Hall
1825 Strand Way
Coronado, CA 92118
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Mayor Smisek called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m.
1. ROLL CALL:
Present: Councilmembers Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and
Also Present: City Manager Mark Ochenduszko
City Attorney Morgan Foley
City Clerk Linda Hascup
2. INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. John Roemer, Coronado Baptist Church, provided the invocation and Mayor Smisek led the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. MINUTES: Approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 4, 2007, were approved as submitted. The reading of the minutes in their entirety was unanimously waived.
MSUC (Downey/Tanaka) moved that the City Council approve minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 4, 2007, a copy having been provided Council prior to the meeting, as submitted.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
4. CEREMONIAL PRESENTATIONS:
4a. Proclamation: Fire Prevention Week. Mayor Smisek presented the proclamation to Coronado Fire Chief Kim Raddatz. Chief Raddatz announced the September 29th Fire Station Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
5. CONSENT CALENDAR: The City Council approved, adopted and/or accepted as one item of business Consent Agenda Items 5a through 5d.
MSUC (Downey/Tanaka) moved that the City Council approve the Consent Calendar Items 5a through 5d.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
5a. Approval of Reading by Title and Waiver of Reading in Full of Ordinances on this Agenda. The City Council waived the reading of the full text and approved the reading of the title only.
5b. Approval of Warrants. The City Council ratified payment of warrants Nos. 10060308 thru 10060818 audited and approved by the Audit Committee, provided there are sufficient funds on hand.
5c. Authorization to Execute a Contract with eGov Strategies for Website Design and Hosting Services. Through most of the spring months of 2007, staff of the Administrative Services Department and the City Manager's Office worked with the City's current website design and hosting company on implementation of a new design developed by Southwest Strategies, the City's public relations firm. For a number of reasons, the implementation of the new design was not able to be accomplished with the current provider. Subsequently, staff issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a firm to provide the City's website design and hosting needs.
The City sent the RFP to four website design and hosting companies deemed to have the appropriate experience and capabilities to handle the overhaul of the website. Of the four companies, the City received proposals from Northlink and eGov Strategies LLC.
City staff analyzed the proposals submitted based on the criteria outlined in the RFP. Although both firms are qualified, the proposal from eGov Strategies is recommended because the firm has more relevant experience with public agencies and presented a more favorable cost proposal. The City Council: (1) approved the selection of eGov Strategies to perform website design and hosting, and (2) directed staff to finalize the terms and execute a two-year agreement, and (3) directed staff to increase the FY 2007-08 Information Systems operating budget by $12,000 during the mid-year budget adjustment process.
5d. Adoption of Resolution by the City Council Adopting Findings in Support of Its Decision that the Single Family Residence Addressed as 901 Tenth Street and Located in the R-3 (Multiple Family Residential) Zone does not Meet the Criteria to be Designated a Coronado Historic Resource. The adoption of this resolution memorializes the findings and action taken by the City Council at the September 4, 2007 meeting determining the residence at 901 Tenth Street did not meet the criteria to be deemed a Historic Residence. The City Council adopted A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CORONADO ADOPTING FINDINGS IN SUPPORT OF ITS DECISION THAT THE SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE ADDRESSED AS 901 TENTH STREET AND LOCATED IN THE R-3 (MULTIPLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL) ZONE DOES NOT MEET THE CRITERIA TO BE DESIGNATED A CORONADO HISTORIC RESOURCE. The Resolution was read by Title, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived and adopted by Council as RESOLUTION NO. 8242.
6. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS:None.
7. CITY MANAGER:
7a. Update on Council Directed Actions and Citizen Inquiries. City Manager Mark Ochenduszko provided an update on the Red Bull Air Race coming up this week. He informed the public that the races will run from Wednesday, the 19th through the 22nd, with air races on Saturday. He expects significant crowds in Coronado. The paid viewing areas are in San Diego. Even though Coronado is not being advertised, the City has a lot of waterfront. Police and Fire departments will be involved at the same staffing levels as the 4th of July. He pointed out that even though the City does not have any permitting authority for this event staff has been in contact with the Red Bull organizers throughout the planning stages expressing the concerns of the City and trying to assure that there is as little impact as possible on Coronado. The phone number at the Port District to call with complaints is 619 400 4750.
Mayor Smisek explained that there is a private VIP viewing area next to Il Fornaio. That is a private paid function.
Councilmember Monroe commented that additionally this week the Navy is going through a Homeland Security drill this week, culminating on Thursday with a full drill. The traffic getting on and off of North Island will probably be backed up.
8. PUBLIC HEARINGS:
8a. Public Hearing: Review of Proposed Revisions to Draft General Plan Housing Element in Response to the Informal Comments Received from California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Staff, and Authorization to Initiate Public Review of the Draft (as Revised) and its Negative Declaration Under the California Environmental Quality Act (PC 1-07, City of Coronado). Tony Pena, Director of Community Development, provided the staff report. He explained that the last time the City Council reviewed the draft element was in March. The City Council authorized staff to work with the State HCD, the approval authority and a good second draft was arrived at. He explained that the original draft housing element that the City Council reviewed in March was provided in the agenda packets along with the information in the staff report. Attachment E of the staff report contains the results of the work done with HCD and the City Council's prior comments. The information in Attachment E, once it is approved by the City Council, will be incorporated into the main draft document with the help of SANDAG. That final draft can then go to the State for final review. At the same time, the Planning Commission will receive a copy as will the City Council. Before the City Council can adopt the new element, public hearings will be held at the Planning Commission level. Staff recommendation is to allow this to go forward to HCD and SANDAG to produce the draft for this purpose.
Mayor Smisek opened the public hearing.
Suzanne Ramirez, 449 D Avenue, stated her surprise to see this on the agenda. She is involved with Prop J. Prop J is presently pending before court. She is not aware that anyone associated with Prop J has seen any of the papers from HCD. She asked that the City make this available on the website. There is potential for impact on the lawsuit and the effect of the election. She asked for full disclosure on this and for packets of information to be available as soon as possible.
Mayor Smisek closed the public hearing.
Mr. Pena advised that all of the information is available on the City's website, at the Public Library, and at City Hall through Community Development and the City Clerk's office. This is very preliminary in the process and when the City receives comments back from HCD, then the City will initiate the formal adoption process which will include a CEQA review with a Negative Declaration as proposed, public hearings before the Planning Commission and then the City Council. There is ample opportunity for the public to participate and comment.
Councilmember Monroe commented on the difficult format of the draft document and the proposed changes at this step. He asked if the document that will go out for public review, will include the recommended changes. It is difficult to see what the final document will look like at this point and he is uncomfortable sending a document to the public for review while the City Council might be changing it.
Councilmember Downey said that she met with Mr. Pena on this. She agreed that when this is done again, maybe it could be done in a different order. She suggested that perhaps a red-lined document and a perfect document can be provided for comparison, however she is sufficiently comfortable that she and other people can understand it, and the proposed changes. She and Mr. Pena discussed the possible effect of Prop J, keeping in mind that this process may have to be done all over again once the result of Prop J is known.
Councilmember Ovrom understands that the City is telling the State that the City is building out the R-4 to what the R-4 allows and that there won't be any smaller properties. It is likely implied that there will be some increased density in R-3.
Mr. Pena responded by saying that there will not be a wholesale increase in density per se in R-3. There was a lot by lot survey completed to show how much density could be increased by natural potential development. That is satisfactory at this point. Coronado is on the edge of not having enough opportunities to accommodate additional housing. In the next five year segment, Coronado will have a difficult time with HCD for getting enough potential density in the City. R-3 will not necessarily change to a higher density per se in the zoning ordinance.
Mr. Ovrom commented that what people see in the zone is not built out now. As a matter of policy, what the City is saying in this document, is that the City has an expectation that, over time, that will be built out. The City will not restrict that up to the max.
Councilmember Tanaka referred to the use of 'potential'. The City is not saying to the State that it hopes it will meet all that potential. This is to simply let the State know that the potential exists. He does not want to see the City state that its policy is to increase density.
Mr. Pena explained that this is very similar to the conversations that took place with HCD. HCD wants cities to encourage growth, maximum density, etc. Coronado responds by saying that it is already doing that by virtue of the fact that the zoning ordinance allows a certain number of units per acre and the City is not preventing anyone from achieving those.
Mr. Tanaka is aware that the City has to deal with HCD and that it needs HCD's approval. What is relevant to him is that the City Council not start saying that its policy goal is density. It isn't.
Mr. Pena commented that staff is aware of the City Council's feelings on density. The City is not being bound by any kind of a statement like that.
Councilmember Monroe mentioned some lots in R-4 where a house could be deemed historic. He asked if there is anything in this that plays the R-4 density issue against the historic preservation issue. The interplay between the City's historic ordinance that freezes things in the R-3 and R-4 zone and the density requirements the State puts on the City.
Mr. Pena does not feel that there is any friction there that HCD is aware of that would prevent the City from achieving its historic resource goals. Mr. Monroe is concerned that the HRC goals might affect the density goals. Mr. Pena agreed that is true on an incremental basis.
Mr. Tanaka added that there is the possibility that HRC could grant a density bonus. There are some instances where there is a single family residence that will have a rentable unit in the back. There may be instances where density is lost in one spot but gained in another because that is one of the incentives. Mr. Pena added that the CDA will probably grant density bonuses along with the Planning Commission for certain projects. He feels that the City has enough ammunition to show the State that it is on the same page but it will be achieved a bit differently. There is a certain quality of life in Coronado that some other communities may not have in the State. Coronado has had a hard time impressing the State of the uniqueness of Coronado's situation. One of them is the HRC program.
Mr. Ovrom added that there are comments in the document that say that the code is deficient with regards to allowing manufactured housing in the R-1 zones.
Mayor Smisek commented that this is in the very preliminary stages.
MSUC (Downey/Ovrom) moved that the City Council direct that SANDAG be authorized to incorporate these revisions into the draft, make the revised draft available for public review and that its Negative Declaration per the CEQA be circulated for the requisite 30-day public review period.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
9. ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS:
10. COMMISSION AND COMMITTEE REPORTS:
10a. Report from the Port Commissioner Concerning Port Activities. Port Commissioner Robert Spane reported on the following items:
The Port Commissioner will be holding their next meeting in Coronado on October 9 at 9:00 a.m. and invited the City Council and public to attend.
The Peohe's pier project was approved and the last Port Commission meeting. It is approximately a $1 million project. Once it is done, future issues will be under the control and responsibility of the Ferry Landing organization. It will take about 6 months to complete it.
Adm. Spane chairs the Environmental Committee of the Port and one of their issues is to improve the habitat of the Bay. One of those projects is osprey nesting. The Port has put up poles for osprey nesting around the East Bay and are hoping to do so in Coronado with the City's approval.
Adm. Spane advised that the Red Bull Races will take place this week.
Councilmember Downey commented that the facilities for the Red Bull Races are already being installed. She wanted to make sure that people know that the noise is from the races and not from the City or the Port. She also asked who will regulate the use of the pier at Peohe's, whether it will be the Ferry Landing or the Port. Admiral Spane explained that the Port is in the process of developing a 'dine & dock' policy. There are 'dock to dine' facilities throughout the Port. Whatever that policy is, Peohe's dock will have to comply. The same situation will exist for the Marriott pier which, at this time, has a different policy.
11. CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS:
11a. Council Reports on Inter-Agency Committee and Board Assignments.
Councilmember Downey attended the Third Street Gate opening, chaired the SANDAG Environmental Mitigation Committee meeting, attended the MainStreet Garden Party and thanked Councilmember Monroe for ensuring that she is the alternate for the SANDAG Energy Working Group to file comments in the state for the San Diego region.
Councilmember Ovrom attended a League of California Cities meeting in Sacramento, a meeting of the South County EDC, the Tunnel Commission and the MainStreet Garden Party.
Councilmember Tanaka met with Cara Clancy to view 901 Tenth Street, with Chief Scanlon met with Deborah Justin and some of her neighbors on Pomona to discuss traffic issues on Pomona, attended the public outreach meeting for Rotary Plaza, the CIP budget meeting, met with David Spatafore, attended the Stockdale Gate ceremony, met with Janice Rhea to discuss the Rotary Park Plaza plan, briefed the Chamber Board, and attended the MainStreet Garden Party.
Councilmember Monroe attended the San Diego Planning Commission meeting and appeared before the San Diego City Council regarding the Bayshore Bikeway. He attended a SANDAG Transportation meeting and a meeting of the SANDAG Policy Board. Mayor Cheryl Cox, Ron Morrison and Jim Janie were all very appreciative that Councilmember Downey wanted to be an alternate to the Energy Working Group. Steve Castenada is the primary and wanted to remain so, but he was very open to work with Ms. Downey as alternate. Gary Gallegos asked Mr. Monroe to meet with transportation planners to see if, in the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan, the current goals are measurable enough to see if what is being done will make any difference on the highways. He attended the MTS Board meeting where there was discussion about putting in a super loop in the golden triangle area. There will be 16 stations over 8 miles of travel so that people who go around there will have a shuttle going both ways. The golden triangle has been the step child of transit because it is in between North County Transit and the MTS area. The plan that was brought before them, while it has a lot of queue jumping and things to keep buses moving rapidly, had 16 stations (actually 32 because there is one on each side of the tracks at 16 locations) worth about $500,000 each. He went to Oceanside with the FACT Board, attended the MainStreet Garden Party, and a Navy Complexes meeting with Mayor Smisek.
Mayor Smisek met with Hospital Foundation members, Marcia Hall, her staff, the City Manager, and Rachel Hurst to discuss finances over at the Hospital, met with the Golf Course committee to discuss the priorities for repairing sand traps and the new carpeting that will go into the Clubhouse, and the Golf Course's 50th Anniversary celebration that will take place on October 13. He attended the Navy Complexes meeting where it was announced that Red Bull will not be using North Island as originally planned because of the security exercise that will be going on this week. There will be some traffic rerouting through the City on Thursday specifically with some carryover on Friday and Wednesday afternoon. It is probably the main gate that will be affected. He attended the MainStreet Garden Party and met with members of the CHA Board.
11b. Approval of the Proposed Trellis and Public Art Design for the Previously Approved Glorietta Bay Marina Support Facility Building at 1715 Strand Way. Todd Stands, 1651 Pentecost Way, San Diego, artist, addressed the proposed artwork for the new Marina building. He spoke about aspects of the design and how the City's history was brought into play.
Mayor Smisek thanked Mr. Stands for his patience throughout the process.
Councilmember Monroe talked about the design and said he is very excited about this project.
Councilmember Tanaka added comments. Mr. Stands had a very difficult job to please all of the entities working together on this project.
Doug St. Denis, 1504 Park View Place, Public Art Subcommittee, feels that Coronado is so fortunate to have an artist like Todd Stands to work on this project. It took more than a year and it was confusing at times, but it is exactly the words that the Public Art subcommittee came up with before this started - fun, original, interactive, exciting, something that would capture the spirit of the site.
Councilmember Downey asked who the naval officer in the last photo shown by Mr. Stands.
Joe Ditler, CHA Executive Director, provided the information that the photo was of the conductor of the Coronado Orchestra, Henry Ohlmeyer, wearing the uniform of the day. He helped to provide a lot of gayety at Tent City in the early 1900s. He also congratulated Mr. Stands on this project.
MSUC (Monroe/Tanaka) moved that the City Council approve the design of the trellis and public art as recommended by the Council CIP subcommittee, the Design Review Commission and the Public Art subcommittee.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
11c. Approval of the Conceptual Traffic Circulation and Plaza Design for the Coronado Rotary Plaza Project. Ed Walton, Principal Engineer, Engineering and Project Development Department, provided the staff report. He explained that this project was originated in the Business Area Development Plan (BADP) from 1993. It has lain dormant for several years and was revitalized this year when it was put into the Capital Improvement Program to be designed and constructed this fiscal year. Once staff had the authorization to move forward with the design, it retained the services of Harrison Associates, teamed with Linscott Law & Greenspan, a traffic engineering firm, Partierre Landscape Architect, and Ackerman Group, with three main goals in mind: First, to improve pedestrian safety; Second, to improve traffic circulation; and Third, to enhance the overall ambience of the area. The best concepts were brought to the City Council in May, 2007. The City Council directed staff to proceed with Option 2 until there was a fatal flaw discovered with that option. Since that time, in a public outreach program, staff has met with individual residents, business owners, and civic groups to let them know about the project and show what is proposed. Presentations were made to MainStreet, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Coronado Rotary Club. On August 23 there was a public meeting. Numerous comments have been received, reviewed and incorporated into the refined plan.
The number one comment was regarding the loss of parking. Everyone is very concerned about parking in the area. The original concept had about 16 parking spots that would have been lost. Public input made it very clear that parking is sacred in this area so parking was brought back into the plan. Diagonal parking can be provided on the south side of Isabella Avenue and more parallel parking spaces were added on Isabella Avenue. Staff looked at the existing diagonal parking along the median and found that those parking spots varied in width from 8' to more than 10' wide. If they are standardized, more parking can be gained there as well. The plan now shows no net parking loss. Another thing that was mentioned was doing something about the metered parking limits. Staff is recommending that once the traffic circulation and layout is decided the City Council refer this to the Traffic Operations Committee to see if there can be a better accommodation with the metered parking time limits. There could be some short term parking, 12 or 15 minute zones, at key locations to help out the merchants in the area.
Another comment was about what will happen to the Flower Lady. In the current plan space is being retained for her. The design team thinks this is a very good asset to the neighborhood, providing visual character to the area and even as somewhat of a police presence when she is in operation.
There was also concern expressed over the bulb-out near Tenth Street - that it was protruding out too far. Staff agreed, pushed it back and created a right turn lane, which is a good traffic calming technique.
There were several questions about what would happen to the existing bus stop. It will be retained at its present location as MTS desires.
Mr. Walton moved on to discuss traffic circulation. People were concerned about having two-way traffic on one side of Isabella. Some people expressed that they would like to continue to separate the traffic with two one-way sides Isabella. The design team looked long and hard at that and they just couldn't overcome the design flaws that were seen with that. It is clear that this proposed plan improves pedestrian safety in that it the vast majority of pedestrian crossing has been reduced and the exposure of pedestrians to vehicle traffic has been eliminated. He introduced John Keating from Linscott Law & Greenspan, and Pat O'Connor, the landscape architect.
John Keating, Linscott Law & Greenspan, registered traffic engineer and registered civil engineer, explained that they started by looking at some of the existing deficiencies of the system. From a traffic point of view they came up with three major issues. One is the excessive pavement in the area. Second is the number of conflict points. Third is the excessive pedestrian exposure. The challenge was to come up with something that cleaned up the circulation in the area. This plan minimizes the number of openings between Orange Avenue, Park Place, and Isabella Avenue. It reduces the conflict points to two simple ones that are removed from Orange Avenue and from the major pedestrian areas.
Mr. Keating went on to discuss what was being called the 'Steiner Plan'. He explained that the fatal flaw of this plan is the wrong way movement on Isabella. There is no way to correct it. He highlighted some of the traffic engineering features of the staff plan. The bulb out was reduced at Tenth Street and a right turn lane was created there. There is a large radius at the Tenth Street traffic signal - 30'. He summarized by saying that this plan meets or exceeds accepted traffic engineering practices. It is much safer than the current geometry. It is very logical. Nothing is being taken away as far as the ability to get where people and traffic need to go. There is very good sight distance at the conflict points. It has been designed with traffic calming and tight geometry that will help keep speed slow.
Councilmember Ovrom went back over the history of the project and asked how other options were not brought forward. Mr. Keating explained that with the one plan, there were conflicts at Isabella and Park right in front of the liquor store and with the other plan there was no access from Orange to Park. Mayor Smisek added that the City Council decided in May when it was given the opportunity to choose between two parking options to provide two separate spaces instead of one single, longer space because of the access to Park. Mr. Ovrom asked about the traffic flow option in the Steiner Plan. Mr. Keating said he is still not comfortable with the potential for wrong way movement in the Steiner Plan.
Councilmember Tanaka referred to Mr. Walton's comment that the diagonal parking along Isabella is irregular. He asked what the width of all the new spaces will be. Mr. Walton explained that Institute of Traffic Engineering standard is 8½ foot wide parking spaces. Assistant City Manager Jim Benson added that a diagonal parking spot at 8½ feet wide is easier to enter than a perpendicular spot at the same width.
Pat O'Connor, Partierre, explained that the design for Rotary Plaza is a blank slate. He is looking forward to sitting down with the residents and the business community once the curbs and gutters are defined, and working on the detailed designs for the space. He has been giving thought to how people get through the space and then, once they get through the space, what they do when they get there and what kinds of activities can occur. There are a couple of givens. Obviously the Star Pine needs to be protected, preserved, and even enhanced. The clock is a local landmark and he is willing to say that it can probably be put back exactly where it is and in the same orientation. There are other amenities, such as the bench, that he will work with Rotary on, the landmark that no one can see but that should be made more prominent in terms of why the tree is there, and the flower stand. He said that activities such as the flower stand are really vital as they attract people to these outdoor spaces. There is room on this site for another amenity, for something special. There could be public art, a water feature, or both, an historical artifact, and a few trees with benches. He asked that people try not to lose sight of what Rotary Plaza was initially conceived to be. The vision at that time, as well as in the Downtown Specific Plan, was for it to be a pedestrian space, a destination. It should be a place for people to come to, an attractive amenity downtown and a great source of pride for the City of Coronado.
Councilmember Downey asked about the bus stop. There is red curb there now. She had heard a question about whether there could be a shelter if the bus stop was moved. Right now there is not an intention to have a shelter, but will remain a place where the bus stops, as it is now. Mr. Walton explained that there is nothing planned right now.
Heinz Steiner, 1007 Flora Avenue, presented his optional proposal. He showed the pros and cons of the staff proposal and his proposal. He said that his proposal would be much faster and would cost a fraction of the City's proposal. There is no need to add phone lines or sewer connections and no added utilities. There is plenty of power to light the tree at Christmas and plenty of water for the grass. His plan leaves sufficient room for enhancing ambience. His proposal makes no changes to the median. He suggests that the City keep one grand vista and leave Isabella Avenue just as it is. He thinks that the City should spend tax money on intelligent planning instead of a concrete plaza and new pavers under parked cars in a median that is perfectly fine.
Councilmember Monroe discussed the bus stop issues with the two proposals.
Council discussion ensued. Assistant City Manager Jim Benson provided some additional information and description of what is in the proposed plan. Mayor Smisek added that there has not been any decision made about whether the area will be hardscape or landscape. Direction from the subcommittee was to head much more in the direction of grass and park land.
Mr. Ovrom suggested that parking in that area isn't as big an issue at this time of year as it is during the summer. He asked Mr. Benson if that were the case. Mr. Benson commented that he observed three parking places on Isabella available at noon. Mr. Ovrom said he noticed six spaces available at 1:00 pm. He also asked about traffic patterns in each direction on Isabella. Mr. Walton responded that the traffic counts from Isabella indicate that there is slightly more traffic heading towards the beach, but it is fairly evenly split.
Ms. Downey asked if staff had looked at this with the idea of making this a complete one-way going up so that one could not access Orange onto Park. She isn't sure that would work if there really is an equal amount of traffic in both directions. Mr. Benson responded that staff looked at that and heard a lot of concern about it.
Bob Lindsay, 1117 Isabella Avenue, spoke in support of the proposal presented by Mr. Steiner regarding traffic flow; however, he is concerned over the addition of more diagonal parking which he considers to be less safe than parallel parking. Traffic entering Isabella from Orange may be traveling about 25 mph. In a situation caused by a vehicle backing out from diagonal parking as proposed by Mr. Steiner could be dicey. Similarly, the City's proposal for diagonal parking on both sides of eastbound Isabella by Central Liquor doubles the collision hazard in that area. Isabella is the main connector between Central Beach and the Central Business District. The City's proposal for eastbound Isabella narrows and complicates the flow onto southbound Orange. The bus parking now works reasonably well but the City's proposal cuts it down considerably by pushing the Plaza out into Orange Avenue and it won't work as well as it does now. He questioned the logic of the metered parking spaces and believes that needs to be looked at. He said he has been surveying Isabella every few hours for the last few days and there has been no problem finding a parking space in the 1000 block of Isabella at any time.
Lew Barnum, 1710 Avenida del Mundo, a member of the Coronado Rotary Club, said that Rotary is very eager to be a part of the discussion because they want it to be a very nice area to celebrate the fact that there is a Rotary Tree there and a Rotary Clock which was donated during the 100th year of Rotary internationally. There is a Rotary bench and Rotary is thinking of, in the future, having a tribute to Mr. Coronado, Jim Vernetti. He doesn't like Mr. Steiner's plan completely, but he prefers it to the City's. He does not think the two-way change, the change that requires cars coming down Isabella towards Orange needing to turn left to get to Orange Avenue is a good one. He doesn't like the fact that traffic exiting the parking lot at Washington Mutual onto Isabella would be allowed to make a left turn. The amount of space to the end of the first block of Isabella where Flora goes off to the left, Tolita and E go off to the right, is not a problem and he doesn't feel it is a problem for tourists. He thinks there more people who can think outside the box should get together with the very talented traffic engineers, landscapers, and Mr. Steiner. They can come up with the best of all of this. He thinks it could be made a little bit smaller in concrete or increase the amount of landscaping area.
Ms. Downey asked Mr. Barnum what he likes better about Mr. Steiner's proposal. He responded that he thinks the traffic works better in Mr. Steiner's proposal. He also thinks that an all grass park would not be exactly what he would envision. He understands the possibility of another kiosk would be considered and he thinks that some grass needs to be there.
Heather Street, 1033 Encino Row, asked whether the entrance to or an exit off of a state highway can be changed, what the difference is in pedestrian traffic between the two sides of the park, and whether the proposed, complicated driving pattern would cause more pedestrian accidents than the current situation.
Liz Forsyth Lovell, 1032 Flora Avenue, stated she would like to see something done with Rotary Park. The main thoroughfare for people to get to the beach and back onto Orange Avenue is on Isabella Avenue. She is interested in what was adopted in the Downtown Specific Plan - signage to the beach, signage to where parking is. She is confused that the City is not pulling back to look at the entire area - Isabella to the beach, Star Park, and areas adjacent to the Hotel Del - that is being addressed. The entire area has been heavily impacted with Hotel Del construction because there are not any parking spaces at the Del. Isabella is also the widest street in Coronado, other than Pomona, which doesn't have a designated line in the middle of it to tell people it is two-way. There has not been any discussion if that is an alternative for a parking plan. There was discussion about having to have the flashing lights in the walkway so that pedestrians can be seen when they are in the walkway. This could also be an enhancement for the area that makes it interesting. She commented that it is very tough to be in business in Coronado and the business owners would like to see some help with this. When the Hotel Del master plan is completed it may change how traffic flows. She referred to the numerous traffic studies that have been done and would like to see better traffic control that can address the next 20 or 30 years.
Nick Nicklaus, Park Place Liquor property owner and Shores resident, said that the current operators have recently spent $150,000 in renovating the business. He is really concerned about the accessibility to his property. The most critical requirement for this type of business is accessibility. If this plan is implemented it restricts the ability to enter and exit the property off Park and Isabella. He said that he has been told that there were six accidents, but not information on the frequency, the type, or the severity of those accidents. He has been here for 22 years and has yet to hear of an accident or a pedestrian incident. If this plan is implemented he is sure there will be a loss of business and possibly a reduction in property values. The current layout of the streets and crosswalks has been in place for many years and he is sure that some improvements can be made, but things are working as they are and probably should be left in tact. Both plans have their merits. He added that many of the City's constituents oppose the City's plan. This plan affects people's lives and businesses, and it should be rejected, or modified to the point where everyone is happy.
Diane Edge, said she has dental practice at 1012 Isabella. She thanked the engineers for all the work and the communication they have provided. She also thanked Mr. Steiner for the amount of work he has done. She is even more conservative than Mr. Steiner. She would like the Plaza to be even smaller. She has incidents where she brings the Police Department down and the Fire Department down because when people walk into her office their blood pressure gets a little high and she has to call 911. She likes the fact that in this area, as it is right now, the trucks can go where they want to go and there is a lot of flexibility. Maybe the freedom does cause some problems, but she has been there for over 20 years and she really likes the flexibility it offers. She said that the diagonal parking proposed in both plan probably won't work - it is too dangerous. The only times they really have a problem are the summer months.
Rita Sarich, 1013 Park Place, Executive Director of Coronado MainStreet, advised that the MainStreet Board unanimously approves of the City's plan.
Susan Heavilin, 1044 Isabella Avenue, spoke in favor of the Steiner proposal. She feels that the City proposal is confusing. The diagonal parking on both sides of the street is dangerous. She does not like the idea of pavers at all. Ms. Heavilin addressed other situations that exist in the area and problems with some of the proposed changes.
Chris Ackerman, 765 C Avenue, MainStreet Board member, former member of the BADP, spoke in favor of the plan and said that there has been quite a bit of misinformation about the project. He explained that this proposal is the result of 15 years of effort by countless numbers of people and a process of distillation to come up with what all the experts feel is the safest for pedestrians and vehicles, and to create a nice space. There seems to be a lot of misinformation on this. Isabella being a two-way street is the same as about every other two-way street in town. There are a lot of minor issues that have not been decided yet. This plan improves a very unsafe intersection and provides a public amenity that is going to be a bonus for businesses in the area. It meets the criteria for bus stops. There is a full lane for the bus to park in. Access to the liquor store will be unimpeded. The alternative plan has a fatal flaw in that when one travels on Orange Avenue towards the Hotel in the vicinity of Isabella and Park Place, there are two lanes of traffic coming into and out of one side of the street.
Mildred Dale, 1068 Isabella, expressed concern over the proposed plan showing parking right across from the driveway coming out of the bank. The other parking concern she has is the diagonal parking on both sides of the street. People drive down Isabella Avenue very quickly. As it is now, it is very tight.
Marilyn Rohan, Flora Avenue, was concerned that she would not be able to access Orange Avenue from Isabella Avenue. Mayor Smisek showed her how she would be able to do that.
Ethel Coszan, 1141 Isabella Avenue, thinks that the majority of people are for improvements to Rotary Plaza and really appreciates all of the work that has been done to receive input from the residents on Isabella and neighboring communities. She thinks the City should be hearing that this is not the ultimate plan; that there still can be improvements. The conflict point at Isabella going onto Orange Avenue or coming off of Park Place in relatively close proximity could be helped if hardscape is used that will minimize some of the problems that would be there. The conflict point that is created by having a two-way section of Isabella Avenue would be a lot worse. There will be conflicts here no matter what and she realizes that this proposal reduces them from 4 to 2. But she really believes that the two-way strip on Isabella Avenue is going to cause a lot of problems and the parking will cause problems as well. Perhaps the Plaza could be made smaller so that there could be parking on the one side of it.
Janice Rhea, 1010 Park Place, owner of Domani Salon, asked why the median is being changed at all. The plan shows that parking in the median is being shortened. She agrees with Mr. Steiner on the point that the original median should not be changed. The whole parking issue can be avoided by keeping the median where it is. She asked if the park really needs to be that deep or big, what its use would be, and who is going to sit there and eat lunch. She said it is on a highway at a bus stop and asserted that no one is going to hang out there. She feels that separating Park Place and Isabella Avenue is not a bad idea. The businesses in the area make 50% of their income during the 2 ½ months of summer. The parking needs to be accommodated for all of the seasons.
Mayor Smisek commented that he's seen this process since it began. The proposal has to deal with pedestrian safety, ambiance, and improving the traffic circulation. Traffic circulation was dealt with as the number one priority of those three issues. The traffic engineers have provided information that the City proposal is the best one for a traffic circulation plan. The parking was cut back to help with the conflicts but now has the parking has been put back in. The ambiance is something that the business area group had as their main focus. There was a large group that looked at this. There was a lot of citizen input. The City has gone out of its way to solicit input. The initial plan that came out and was then modified based on input. The integrity of the Park has been maintained. He is concerned about coming out of Washington Mutual and being forced to make a right turn. That is going to serve as another traffic generator. With respect to the liquor store, this plan gives very good access and makes it a safer. He does not think the City is going to come up with anything that would be superior to what exists in this plan.
Ms. Downey mentioned a couple of refinements that could be made to the plan. She asked about the parking and agreed with speakers that it would cause traffic to back up as people wait for others to park. She suggested making the Park a little bit smaller, take away the two spaces at the entrance to Isabella that have been questioned for safety, and put in two parking spaces at the west side of the park. These spaces could be 12-minute spaces to accommodate Flower Lady customers.
Mayor Smisek responded that this is a refinement that can be worked out with the traffic engineers.
Mr. Ovrom commented that he is aware that staff has been working very hard on this project. He doesn't feel the need to get this done by Memorial Day. The design and process could be divided so that some of it could be done before Memorial Day and some after. The City Council stated that one of the goals was to slow down traffic because it is safer. Secondly, that the pedestrian areas were to be made shorter. Those issues have been worked out very well. The parking has been addressed as well. He does have concerns however. He feels that the Orange Avenue area of the proposal could be trimmed down some if that is needed. He agrees that the City needs to make sure that the parking regulations and parking meters should support the turnover of those spaces in front of businesses so the businesses can have the expectation that there will be some turnover. The central argument seems to flow around whether there should be a two-way street on the one side of Isabella in the City's plan, or the one-way sections as presented by Mr. Steiner. Mr. Ovrom said that although he likes the one-ways each way in Mr. Steiner's plan, as a public official he does not feel he can support a traffic solution that is not in accordance with accepted traffic engineering as that puts some liability on the City he does not feel would be wise to accept. He thinks the plan still needs some work. He wishes there was a better way to do this than the two-way street on the side of Isabella, but he hasn't seen one yet.
Councilmember Tanaka began by addressing the goals of the project. For him there are two main goals. One is aesthetic improvement. He cannot believe anyone would suggest that it be left as it is. Rotary Plaza, as it is today, is incredibly ugly. There are only two things that beautify it - the tree and the flower lady. He finds it amazing that people would argue against a park. The whole point is to create a space that would be inviting. Orange Avenue is inherently an appealing street. This is the potential to create a public resource that anyone could use. He also doesn't think it is possible to make it smaller.
Mr. Tanaka said that the second goal is to have a good circulation plan. That is the foul up of this plan for him. The more he looks at this traffic circulation plan the less he likes it. The fatal flaw to it is the two-way traffic where it is now. He thinks it is counterintuitive and it is not the right place for it. One thing that surprised him was how much outcry came from the business community in this area. He heard that they prefer the current traffic circulation model that exists. His goal was to improve the traffic circulation, but he prefers how traffic is routed now. He does not like this plan anymore. He would like to know how to use the existing traffic circulation plan that everyone is used to and enhance that area. He likes some elements of the alternate Steiner plan. It does enhance the Park area, but it fails on aesthetic grounds. His plan has better traffic elements that Coronado people have become used to. He likes the one-way coming into Isabella off of Orange. The Park has been made too big and too much parking would be lost. The blue space would have to be pushed back to restore the parking that would be lost. He also likes that there is two-way traffic between.
He would like to see this move forward, but he is at odds with the City's proposal. He liked Ms. Downey's suggestion about the parallel parking in front of the bank. He agreed with the metering suggestions as well. One big mistake he thinks the City made was that it should have consulted with all those businesses first before putting together a conceptual design. He does not agree with Mr. Steiner's bus stop issue. Flashing crosswalks are still a goal of his. It is intuitive to him that all of the City parks are surrounded by one-way traffic. He would prefer a traffic routing system that is similar around Rotary Park. He thinks this needs to be planned better and he doesn't see the rush.
Mr. Benson commented that this was presented to Caltrans and they agreed that something needs to be put in place that is better than what exists now. From a traffic circulation standpoint, what exists now is very confusing. They have no objection to the way the traffic off of the side streets interfaces with Orange.
Councilmember Monroe never felt that this project was dormant. Other things were prioritized over this and now it is time for this to get on the list. He pledged to a number of people to really listen today and he has tried to do so. The areas that Mr. Ovrom talked about already have had adjustments been because the City has listened. Mr. Steiner's two island concept, while it may help the traffic in a couple of areas, does not help pedestrian safety, and it does not enhance the area. He thinks that would lose on two of the three objectives. He clarified that there is no plan to limit the exit from the bank to a right turn only. When the City's traffic engineer stands before the City Council and says that there is a fatal flaw, those are serious words to him. Mr. Monroe questioned the use of pavers in the parking areas. Mr. Benson provided an explanation for this and how enlarging the green area would be in keeping with water quality issues. Mr. Monroe mentioned the flashing lights in the crosswalks and said he is concerned when he hears comments from people that they couldn't get any information about the six accidents. Mr. Benson responded by saying that people asked for the actual accident reports. The City is precluded from sharing accident reports because of confidentiality. He advised that he is familiar with the accidents and can say that there weren't any serious ones. A summary could be provided of the information. Mr. Monroe asked if he could be provided with an accident summary with information for the last three years. He added his request for wi-fi for this space. That will bring people and will make it a gathering point. Other communities do this.
Councilmember Downey, Councilmember Tanaka, and Mayor Smisek voiced their support of Mr. Monroe's request to have wi-fi in the plan.
Mayor Smisek recalled that the City Council is being asked to approve the traffic circulation plan and conceptual plaza design. He would like to see this project go forward.
Mr. Ovrom explained that he would not be able to support such a motion. This needs to go back to staff one more time. He agrees with Mr. Tanaka that he would like staff to look at that one plan to see if there is any way to get the traffic engineers to improve it. If they can't, they can come back and tell the City Council that it cannot be done with reference to the safety standards that are expected. Mayor Smisek explained that has been looked at already by the traffic engineers and they have said that they just can't make that work. Mr. Monroe added that was what the statement by the traffic engineer referenced as the fatal flaw.
Mr. Monroe feels that the worst thing that could be done would be to send this off with a 3-2 vote. It is the way government works sometimes, but it is not desirable.
Mr. Tanaka disagreed that a 3-2 vote would be the worst thing. The entire country is a 2.6 to 2.4 vote on a lot of issues. This Council is not an acrimonious group and could have a 3-2 vote and he wouldn't feel any less about those who voted the other way. He would simply say that he disagreed about the traffic circulation. Mr. Tanaka said he doesn't believe he could accept this with respect to the traffic circulation. He does not think the voters are going to be very happy with this traffic circulation plan. They are going to, more often than not, say that they were happy with the old way. The circulation plan in the proposal doesn't fit with the way he drives in Coronado.
Mayor Smisek suggested that the only way one could go with Mr. Tanaka's idea would be to eliminate the entry into Park Place from Orange Avenue. Ms. Downey said she had asked that question an hour previously. That is the only way this could be done. Mr. Tanaka would almost prefer that to this. Mayor Smisek thinks that the Park Place residents would not be happy with that. It would also hurt the liquor store a lot.
Mayor Smisek would like to get this to where the City could get started with construction and then if the City needs to fine tune things later on, that can be done.
Ms. Downey agrees conceptually that one park in the middle is the way she is going and she agrees that traffic flow is two-way vice the one-ways, but she doesn't know that she wants to start construction until there is a decision about putting parking at the bottom of the park. She is not 100% sure that the size of the park is the right answer. She could support a motion conceptually but she still thinks there is a need for refinement in terms of the parking in front of Washington Mutual or by the park. She doesn't know if there is a finished conceptual.
Mayor Smisek agrees that Ms. Downey's concerns need to be shared with engineering and they will need to do studies in those areas before they will actually start drawings.
MSC (Smisek/Monroe) moved that the City Council approve the traffic circulation plan and the conceptual plaza design and directed staff to proceed with refinement of this plan.
AYES: Downey, Monroe and Smisek
NAYS: Ovrom and Tanaka
12. CITY ATTORNEY: No report.
13. COMMUNICATIONS - WRITTEN: None.
The City Council agreed by consensus to continue the closed session to the October 2 meeting.
14. CLOSED SESSION:
14a. CLOSED SESSION: CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL - EXISTING LITIGATION
AUTHORITY: Government Code §54956.9(a)
NAME OF CASE: James Scott and JoAnne Scott v City of Coronado, et al. (Joe Pinsonneault and Caylee Pinsonneault Real Parties in Interest)
Case No. 37-2007-00068318-CU-WM-CTL
15. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 6:03 p.m.
Approved: October 2, 2007
Tom Smisek, Mayor
City of Coronado
Linda K. Hascup
MINUTES OF THE
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCYCITY OF CORONADO City Hall Council Chambers Coronado, CA 92118
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The Community Development Agency regular meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m.
1. ROLL CALL:
Present: Members Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
Also Present: Agency Executive Director Mark Ochenduszko
Agency Attorney Morgan Foley
Agency Secretary Linda Hascup
2. MINUTES: The minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 4, 2007, copies having been delivered to each member of the Community Development Agency prior to the meeting, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived, were approved as submitted.
3. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS: None
a. Executive Director: No report.
b. Agency Secretary: No report.
c. Agency Treasurer: Approval of Warrants - The Agency approved Warrants No. 90003553 through 90003600 as audited and approved by the Audit Committee, provided there are sufficient funds on hand.
d. Agency Attorney: No report.
5. PUBLIC HEARING:
a. Public Hearing: Consideration of the Mid-Term Review of the Five-Year Implementation Plan for the Coronado Community Development Project and Adoption of an Amendment to the Plan. Redevelopment Law requires the Agency to adopt implementation plans every five years (each an "Implementation Plan" or "Plan"). The Agency adopted the first Implementation Plan (1994-1999) on December 6, 1994, and reviewed and amended that Plan on December 2, 1997, as required by Redevelopment Law. The Agency adopted the second Implementation Plan (1999-2004) on December 7, 1999. The current Implementation Plan (2005-2010) was adopted January 4, 2005 and amended August 15, 2006. Pursuant to Redevelopment Law, a public hearing must be held, no earlier than two years and no later than three years after adoption, for the purpose of reviewing and evaluating the progress of the Plan and making any necessary revisions to the Implementation Plan (the "Mid-Term Review"). The purpose of this report is for the Community Development Agency Board to consider the Mid-Term Review of the current Implementation Plan, and approve a recommended amendment to the Plan at a noticed public hearing.
As required by Section 33490 of the California Community Redevelopment Law (Health & Safety Code Sections 33000 et. seq.) a redevelopment agency's implementation plan contains (1) specific goals and objectives of the agency for its Project Areas, (2) specific programs, including potential projects and estimated expenditures, proposed to be made within the next five years, and (3) an explanation of how the goals, objectives, programs and expenditures will eliminate blight and implement affordable housing requirements as proscribed by law. The Mid-Term Review of the Agency's Implementation Plan reviews and evaluates the progress of the Plan since 2005. Additionally, a brief amendment to the Plan is proposed to reflect additional affordable housing projects that are currently underway.
The Mid-Term Review of the 2005-2010 Implementation Plan describes the current status of Agency projects, including a discussion of progress in meeting the objectives of the Agency's housing compliance plan. Agency staff worked with the City's Capital Project Coordinator to reflect City project timelines and worked with the Coronado Unified School District Assistant Superintendent who provided input on the status of the District's projects utilizing Agency funding.Agency staff has also reviewed the Agency's progress in meeting affordable housing requirements, including inclusionary housing obligations, unit production and affordability requirements and targeting of expenditures. During the Mid-Term Review period, the Agency continued working toward meeting affordable housing requirements. An amendment to the Implementation Plan is proposed to describe current affordable housing projects that had not yet been identified when the Implementation Plan was prepared in 2005.
On August 3, 2007, the Mid-Term Review and amendment was considered by the Citizens' Advisory Committee. Following review and identification of suggestions to clarify particular sections of the report, the Citizens' Advisory Committee voted to recommend approval of the Mid-Term Review and adoption of the proposed amendment.
Agency Chairman Smisek opened the Public Hearing to the public. No comments were made.
MSUC (Ovrom/Downey) moved to receive the mid-term review of the Agency's 2005-2010 Five-Year Implementation Plan, and approve an amendment to the Plan following a noticed public hearing.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka, and Smisek
6. AGENCY BUSINESS: None.
The Agency agreed by consensus to continue the Closed Session to the October 3, 2007 meeting.
7. CLOSED SESSION:
a. CLOSED SESSION: CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATOR
AUTHORITY: Government Code §54956.8
PROPERTY: 820 Orange Avenue, Coronado
AGENCY NEGOTIATORS: Mark Ochenduszko, Executive Director, Rachel Hurst, Assistant Executive Director, Jim Benson, Assistant City Manager, Andrew Potter, Senior Administrative Analyst, and Morgan Foley, Agency Attorney
NEGOTIATING PARTIES: John Siegel and Robert Siegel
UNDER NEGOTIATION: Price and Terms
8. ADJOURNMENT: The Agency adjourned at 6:05 p.m.
Approved: October 2, 2007
Tom Smisek, Chair
Linda K. Hascup, Agency Secretary