Ongoing and upcoming local issues: Military owns Arbor Park

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Seal Beach uses location as a dog park

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.

About dog parks in Seal Beach

Seal Beach operates a dog park.

The park is located on Lampson Avenue, just outside the Seal Beach city limits.

Background: The Seal Beach Recreation and Parks Commission is expected to discuss options for dog areas in Seal Beach at the commission’s Wednesday, Oct. 23 meeting. Potential locations for another dog park include Zeoter Park, Marina Park and the beach.

In the article “City parks commission to consider dog areas,” (Sun Newspapers, Thursday, Oct. 3), the Sun reported that Seal Beach has one dog park, Arbor Park. Shortly after the article was published, a reader came into the Sun office and showed an editor a map of Seal Beach.

Arbor Park is physically located outside the Seal Beach city limits. The park overlaps both the Army Airfield on the Joint Forces Training Base and the Navy Golf Course.

Greg Smith, public affairs officer for Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, advised the Sun by email that the propery belongs to the Army Corps of engineers.

On Friday, Oct. 11, Recreation Manager Tim Kelsey, said the city of Seal Beach has a long-term lease with the United States goverment to use Arbor Park. Kelsey, speaking off the top of his head, identified the Army Corps of Engineers as the proerpty owners.

Kelsey said the park is managed by the city of Seal Beach, maintained by the city of Seal Beach, and governed by the city’s Municipal Code.

“I’ve heard a great deal about the lack of any area in Old Town for dog owners to take their pets,”,” wrote District One Councilman Joe Kalmick in a Sept. 28 email to the Sun. “Currently many dog owners are using the grass area where the original school buildings were taken down some years ago. This is against our ordinances and is often in conflict with children playing in the same area,” wrote Kalmick.

“A suggestion was made to – on a trial basis – allow dogs on Zoeter Field during certain hours. This would be predicated on pet owners picking up after their dogs. If the self policing compliance wouldn’t work, the experiment would end. Staff with input from the Parks and Recreation Commission is reviewing the idea,” wrote Kalmick.

Pier update

“Staff is beginning to focus on the next phase of the pier base rehabilitation projects,” wrote District One Councilman Joe Kalmick in his September newsletter to his constituents. (It arrived in the Oct. 1 email.)

“Through the Capital Improvement Project budget, there are several items that are being looked at. The concrete facia, upgrades to the bathrooms, handrails going down the ramps, and ADA ramps to access the park from the parking lot are some of the potential projects,” Kalmick wrote.

“Workshops are also being planned to look for a consensus as to what should be at the end of the recently reopened pier,” Kalmick wrote.

Council extends ‘subsidy’ for Energy Tubulars

Following a public hearing, at which no members of the public actually spoke, the Seal Beach City Council voted 4-0 to approve an agreement to extend a “subsidy” (basically a sales tax rebate) for Energy Tubulars.

District One Councilman Joe Kalmick recused himself and left the council chambers prior to the vote.

Energy Tubulars makes pipes for the petroleum industry.

Energy Tubulars will agree to remain in Seal Beach and the city will pay the company “financial assistance,” equal to 20 percent of the sales tax revenue generated by the business, according to the staff report by Finance Director/Treasurer Victoria Beatley.

Beatley told the council that the financial assistance is now called an “economic development subsidy,”

The Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 council vote extended the agreement between Energy Tubulars and Seal Beach to Oct. 31, 2024.

The original agreement was approved in 2007.

According to Beatley, there is currently no other business in Seal Beach that receives a subsidy.

“Energy Tubulars is the only one that is currently active. There was another one that expired with no payments,” wrote Beatley in an Oct. 15 email to the Sun.

Asked if staff was looking at other subsidy agreements, Beatley wrote, “With regard to your last question, there is no active pursuit. There has been discussions in the past.”

In December 2009, the City Council unanimously approved an agreement to provide Amonix Incorporated, a solar panel manufacturing company, with financial assistance “(f)or every quarter during those five years that Al produces $25,000 or more in sales and use tax revenue for the City, the City would pay AI an amount equal to 30%of all sales and tax revenue generated during that quarter,” according to the staff report by then-“Development Services” Director Mark Persico.

“Development Services” is now called the Department of Community Development.

Strategic planning

“Staff is working on a new date for our next Strategic Planning Workshop,” Kalmick wrote in his newsletter. “We will update when a firm date is decided. I would encourage attending the workshop, as this is where the City Council and City Staff review the past goals set and propose new short and longer term goals for the City.”

Beach parking fees

Roughly two years ago, the city of Seal Beach applied to the California Coastal Comission for permit to increase beach parking lot fees. In an Oct. 7 email to the Sun, Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos, “The permit was deemed complete by the Coastal Commission and we are awaiting a response from them.”

Council OKs grant for mental health education for city jail personnel

The Council this week accepted a grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections to provide a grant to fund mental health education for the Seal Beach Police Department Detention Center’s personnel.

According to the staff report prepared by Sgt. Dave Barr, “The current grant funding will afford all of our correctional personnel the opportunity to attend relevant mental health courses and receive the most current mental health training curricula to help address the issues and challenges associated when interacting with the mentally ill and those suffering with a mental health crisis. Conservative estimates indicate roughly 15-20% of individuals arrested and/or incarcerated in custody facilities suffer from a serious mental health condition. The Seal Beach Police Department made 927 arrests in 2018 and is projected to make 1,000 arrests this year.”

Red Car

The Red Car Museum was open this past Saturday, Oct. 12. A sign inside the doorway requested donations to the Red Car’s restoration fund. (A Sept. 10 post on the Seal Beach Historical Society/Red Car Museum Facebook page asked “Want to make a cash donation to help us restore the Red Car?”)

The metal at the base of the Red Car has been worked on recently and has been improved since the Sun last reported on the Red Car.

The Sun emailed the Seal Beach Historial Society on Sept. 30.

“What’s next for the Red Car Museum improvement project? Do you believe the city of Seal Beach has been fair to the Historical Society,” the Sun asked.

The Sun will update readers on the answer as soon as it is received.

Local Coastal Plan

The Sun recently asked about the status of the Seal Beach Local Coastal Plan project.

Seal Beach doesn’t currently have a California Coastal Comission-approved LPC.

“It is on target to have the first portion of the project (the draft Land Use Plan) submitted to the California Coastal Commission by the end of the year,” wrote Assitant City Manager Patrick Gallegos in a Sunday, Oct. 13, email to the Sun.

A Local Coastal Plan is important to anyone with property in the “Coastal Zone” as defined by the California Coastal Commission, because a city with an approved LCP can theoretically streamline the application process for property development.

“Prepared by local government, these programs govern decisions that determine the short- and long-term conservation and use of coastal resources,” according to the California Coastal Commission website.

While each LCP reflects unique characteristics of individual local coastal communities, regional and statewide interests and concerns must also be addressed in conformity with Coastal Act goals and policies. Following adoption by a city council or county board of supervisors, an LCP is submitted to the Coastal Commission for review for consistency with Coastal Act requirements.

Main Street parking signs and rules

In an Oct. 7 email to the Sun, Seal Beach Police Sgt. Michael Henderson, the department’s public information officer, confirmed that “A parked car has to be moved 150 feet every two hours to avoid a citation.”

“Regarding the four-hour limitation, the car cannot be moved back to the original spot within four hours. After four hours – the car can be moved back to the original spot,” Henderson wrote.

“There was a sign in front of the Post Office that created some confusion – this sign has been removed,” Henderson wrote.

Tell the Sun what you think of the parking signs on Main Street. Email editor2@sunnews.org.

Public Records Act requests

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

• Crime statistics for the month of September.

• Information about property reported stolen in September. The city also determined that more time was needed to respond to this request.

• A copy of the special event permit application for the so-called Turkey Trot race/event on Main Street. (The Seal Beach City Council was expected to receive an update on the Turkey Trot at this week’s council meeting.)

• A copy of the request for proposals for the Main Street Revitalization project and responses to the RFP.

Records released

• Crime statistics for the month of August.

• Information about property reported stolen in August. The city also determined that more time was needed to respond to this request.

Ongoing and upcoming local issues: Military owns Arbor Park