Seal Beach residents met with a couple of city officials to discuss local issues ranging from animal control to vacation rentals.
Councilwoman Ellery Deaton, Seal Beach Police Commander Steve Bowles, and City Clerk Robin Roberts hosted the meeting on Wednesday, May 17 at Javatinis Espresso on Main Street. Five Seal Beach residents attended.
The meeting began with a discussion of the pier.
“We will rebuild it to the standard it was before, so that it can hold a restaurant,” said Deaton, whose district includes the pier. “We don’t plan to put a restaurant on it, but if I’m still here, we’ll want to know what the community wants and go from there.”
Bowles explained three options that will be considered regarding animal control. Seal Beach may renew the current contract with Long Beach, which would allow for three hours a day of patrol time, or contract with Long Beach for full time animal control. Seal Beach used to have their own animal control within its Police Department.
“We could have our own again,” Bowles said. “But it’s probably a better overall business model to contract.”
He mentioned that Long Beach has an interactive online map which allows people to report animal issues, and that this technology would not be available to Seal Beach if the city no longer contracted with Long Beach.
In related news, at this week’s City Council meeting, Bowles said he expected to have a report on the city’s animal control options ready for the council in July.
“We have a lot of complaints about animal control,” Deaton said. “It’s not efficient or responsive. Long Beach is great, but we need more than that.”
The meeting concluded with a discussion of vacation rentals. Currently, some homes are rented for vacations illegally, meaning they do not have a business license and do not pay taxes as rentals. This bothered a concerned citizen who owns several rental houses and claimed that the existence of illegal rentals was unfair to those who do pay their taxes on legal vacation homes.
Bowles encouraged those who are aware of illegal vacation homes to report them. Deaton added that the city does have a way of knowing which rentals are illegal, but refrained from elaborating, citing concerns of affecting an investigation.