Ongoing and upcoming local issues: City to re-issue notice of Farmer’s Market event permit application

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Editor’s note: If you have a question about a city issue—or a suggestion for filing a Public Records Act request—email Associate Editor Charles M. Kelly at editor2@sunnews.org.

Farmer’s Market/street fair and public notices

Some people in town continue to object to the Farmer’s Market/street fair proposed for Seal Beach’s Main Street. The city has re-issued the notice informing the public that an application for a special event permit has been filed with the city. You can find the notice on page 20 of the print edition of this week’s Sun.

The Sun sent the following message to the city: “A legal notice published in the Aug. 1 Sun, apparently sent to the Sun last week, informs the public that the city had received an application for a Special Event Permit for an Old Town Seal Beach Certified Farmers Market on Main Street between Central Avenue and Ocean Avenue.”

Note, the notice was apparently sent to the Sun on Wednesday, July 24.

“According to the notice, ‘The Director of Community Development must receive all comments, written or other, on the above-requested Special Event no later than 5 calendar days following the date of this letter.’

“The letter is ‘Date this 24th day of July 2019.’”

“My question: Given that the publication date of the legal notice was Aug. 1, eight days after the date of the letter, is this notice consistent with legal notice requirements?”

On Friday, Aug. 9, Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos said, “With respect to your question about the special event public notices, the City accepts comments for five days after the date of publication. Please note that is what the Municipal Code requires, and the published notice in the future should not reference five days from the date of the letter.”

On Monday, Aug. 12, Gallegos confirmed that the city would be re-issuing the notice.

More on San Gabriel River trash on the city’s beaches

Last week, the Sun reported that Planning Commissioner Robert Aguilar plans to meet with State Sen. Tom Umberg to discuss the problem of trash going into the San Gabriel River and ending up on the sands of Seal Beach.

Augilar’s meeting was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 16.

District One Councilman Kalmick lauded his efforts. Kalmick’s comment, however, reached the Sun too late for inclusion in last week’s article. Since it contains additional information on the subject, here’s what Kalmick had to say:

“No, I wasn’t aware of Mr. Aguilar’s plans. I would definitely want to talk to Robert to see if we can coordinate efforts in some way. As the City’s representative on the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority I have discussed the San Gabriel River situation with the director and staff of the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, which is the governing body of the Wetlands Authority. Council Member Massa-Lavitt is our representative on the Conservancy. The Conservancy has the ability to work with both Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as the 43 upstream cities that line the San Gabriel River. I’ve met with our City’s consultant John Hunter, and reviewed the efforts to install catch basins in all of the storm drain systems that drain into the river. There is currently a State mandated order for Los Angeles County to phase in a catch basin system over the next 9 years. Seal Beach recently received a grant of some $160K to install catch basins in our storm drain system. This project is currently underway. And I have contacted the field representatives of our State Assemblyman Tyler Diep, and Michele Steel, Vice Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. And I too spoke with Tom Umberg at the pier dedication and planned to meet with him. We need to get these folks interest focused on the dilemma we face as the lone recipient of the trash outflow from the river. And the Save Our Beach group who do such an amazing job of organizing the beach cleanup efforts is working on organizing an outreach program to bring our story to the upriver cities.

“So, I laud Mr. Aguilar’s commitment and hope to hear about his plans and share ideas as we move forward.”

Local Coastal Plan workshop set for Aug. 21

As the Sun reported last week, the next Local Coastal Plan community workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Marina Community Center, at 151 Marina Dr.

“Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) are planning documents used by local governments to guide development in the coastal zone, in partnership with the Coastal Commission,” according to the city’s website.

“After an LCP is certified, the city will have coastal development permitting issuance authority within the coastal zone (except for tidelands, submerged lands, and public trust lands),” according to the city’s website.

The Coastal Commission website elaborated on that point. “After an LCP has been finally approved, the Commission’s coastal permitting authority over most new development is transferred to the local government, which applies the requirements of the LCP in reviewing proposed new developments. The Commission retains permanent coastal permit jurisdiction over development proposed on tidelands, submerged lands, and public trust lands, and the Commission also acts on appeals from certain local government coastal permit decisions,” the Coastal Commission website said.

Police drone

In response to questions from District Councilwoman Schelly Sustarsic prior to the July 22 City Council meeting, Manager Jill Ingram explained by email that a payment of $4,443.53 was made to P&H Foto & Electronics for the purchase of a drone for the SBPD.

Drones are also known as UAVs or “unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Sgt. Michael Henderson, the department’s public information officer, said, “We are currently in the infancy stage of our UAV Program and are solely using this equipment for training and experimentation purposes during special events and tactical callouts.”

Sidewalk vendors

State law mandated last year that cities allow street vendors to operate, compelling city governments to establish permitting regulations.

The Sun asked if the city had received any applications since the year began.

“The City has not received any sidewalk vendor permit applications,” said Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos in a July 30 email to the Sun.

Park questions

The Sun recently asked if there been any discussions recently about building a skate park or building a dog park in town. The answers to both these questions were identical.

“None at this time,” said Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos.

Parking fee update

The Sun has requested an update from the California Coastal Commission on the status of the city’s application for permission to increase beach parking fees. The Sun will report on the answer as soon as possible after it is received.

Street names

The Sun recently asked, “Does the city have jurisdiction over the names of city streets? If so, how were the names selected?”

On Aug. 5, Gallegos answered:

“The City does have jurisdiction over the names of the streets but typically the streets are requested when a developer starts a new development such as Shea Homes. If you look at street names in the various districts in Seal Beach – they all have a theme. The Hill has nautical names or places, College Park West are names of colleges, and Pollege Park East are named after types of trees and flowers.”

Leaking trash bags

• Gallegos told the Sun on Monday, Aug. 5, that the city was looking into reports that trash collectors had dragged bags along the sidewalk on Main Street. (This is a follow up to the Aug. 1 On-Going article on this subject.)

City staffing issues

Gallegos told the Sun on Aug. 5 that the city of Seal Beach is in the process of filling and recruiting personnel to fill positions on city staff.

City looking at Census

committee

City officials recently met with Census Bureau officials. Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos said the city is looking at the possibility of forming a Census committee made up of residents and officials to ensure that Seal Beach is counted.

Public Records Act requests

The Sun has filed the following California Public Record Act Requests:

• A copy of the Jan. 28, 2013, staff report to the City Council meeting of that date, for Item “A,” Seal Beach Pier Report/Fishing.”

• A copy of the settlement agreement between the city of Seal Beach and Ruby’s Inc., concerning a lawsuit filed in 2013.

• A copy of the complaint filed by the city of Seal Beach against Ruby’s Inc. in or about the month of March 2013.

• The application for a special event permit to hold a Farmer’s market (which some critics call a street fair) on Main Street.