Council OKs design contract for Main Street update plan

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The Seal Beach City Council this week approved a contract (“professional services agreement”) with Rabben/Herman design office, for design services for the Main Street Improvements Program.

The item was on the Consent Calendar. Items on the Consent Calendar are voted on collectively, without discussion by the council unless pulled for separate discussion.

No items were pulled from this week’s Consent Calendar. No members of the public commented on the issue during the meeting.

During a telephone interview on Monday, Oct. 14, Seal Beach resident Jim Caviola, who represents District One on the Tree Advisory Board, indicated that he didn’t see the point.

“There’s not a better-looking town in the whole area,” Caviola said.

The agreement is for $130,465, according to the staff report prepared by Deputy Public Works Director/City Engineer Iris Lee.

“The Fiscal Year 2019-20 CIP includes the Main Street Improvements Program (ST2009), which includes a Main Street Revitalization Project that aggregates the community’s vision of Old Town’s focal point,” according to Lee’s report.

“The study segment will span from Pacific Coast Highway to Ocean Avenue, and provide visual continuity to the Pier,” according to Lee’s report.

The scope of work described in the Hondo/Herman proposal, which was part of the agenda package, included:

• Visiting Main Street. “Existing and possible new gathering spaces, cross walk locations and other opportunities would be identified,” according the Rabben/Herman proposal.

• “Prepare an Existing Tree Inventory Plan, which documents all salvageable trees that could be retained and incorporated into the new design. The plan will locate and describe each worthwhile tree, identifying it with a number and noting its height, spread, caliper and special comments,” according the Rabben/Herman proposal.

• Hold three workshops. The first workshop would be to get public input on the project. The second would present the first “Concept Plan.” The third workshop would “be formatted to share the progress of the design and explain when issues arose, or decisions were made that might not follow the stated community desires. These issues may be code requirements, operational or safety, cost or City Council directive.”

• Prepare a cost estimate for the project.

In an Oct. 13 email to the Sun, Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos said signage would be part of the project.

“Small town in flavor, more natural than ritzy, Main Street is like that pair of old burnished topsiders,” said the Rabben/Herman proposal for design services.

“Should the revitalization result in Main Street looking like a new pair of topsiders or a new pair of clean white Nike sneakers?” the document asked.

“How can a new design keep the desired character? What does Main Street look like when all of the mature ficus trees are removed? If the mature ficus trees are removed Main Street will look completely different,” the proposal asked.

The Mainstreet Revitalization Project previously came before the council during the June 5 budget workshop on the city’s “capital improvement program,” which is basically the city’s construction and maintenance program.

According to the “Proposed FY 2019/2020-2023/2024 5 Year Capital Improvement Program,” the project would “solicit input from the community to generate a Main Street revitalization design for a phased-out construction approach. Improvements may include a combination of pavement rehabilitation, landscape/hardscape improvements, and outdoor furnishings.”

According to Deputy Public Works Director Lee’s staff report, the city on July 2 submitted a request for proposals to six firms. On July 30, the city received five proposals.

The Sun has filed a California Public Records Act request for the request for proposals for the Main Street Revitalization Plan and responses to the RFP.