Ongoing and upcoming local issues: dog parks, etc.

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East coast residents hear that Seal Beach is a good place to live

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.

New York Times discovers Seal Beach

The New York Times recently published a glowing portrait of Seal Beach in the newspaper’s real estate section.

The article quoted local sources describing Seal Beach a a friendly place, but not as well known as neighoring cities such as Huntington Beach.

15 First Street restauarant lease expected to be on Jan. 27 council agenda

The lease for the city-owned restaurant building at 15 First Street is expected to be on the next Seal Beach City Council agenda. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 27. The agenda has not yet been posted.

However, the assistant city manager confirmed a recent social media post by businesswoman Rosie Ritchie that the lease would be discussed at the next council meeting.

“We anticipate that the City Council will consider at its next meeting an amendment to the lease to address some circumstances that have changed since the original lease was signed,” wrote Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos in a Jan. 21 email to the Sun.

Ritiche, one of the parties in the not-yet-opened Beach House restauart business venture, said they were looking forward to the project moving forward.

Dog parks and dog licenses in Seal Beach

The Seal Beach Recreation and Parks Commission was scheduled to discuss possible locations for a second dog park in town at the commission’s Wednesday, Jan. 22, meeting. Details were not available by the Sun’s editorial deadline.

Proposed locations for another dog park included Zeoter Park, Marina Park and the beach.

In September 2019, the Seal Beach Recreation and Parks Commission discussed the need for and potential locations of a second dog park in Seal Beach.

The remaining 2019 commission meetings were cancelled.

As of Jan. 6, there were 2,266 renewed dog licenses in Seal Beach and 790 outstanding licenses, according to information recently provided to Seal Beach officials by Long Beach Animal Control Services.

Ocean Place

Mayor Schelly Sustarsic emailed staff questions about some of the checks listed in the agenda package for the Jan. 13 meeting.

One of the listed items was a check for $54,827 issued to the Ardurra Group for Ocean Place services. “What are these? Will the city be rembursed for these?” Sustarsic asked.

City Manager Jill Ingram’s answer: “These fees are fully-reimbursable by Shea homes for plan check and inspection services for the Ocean Place project.”

Asked and answered

• Did insurance cover the building that burned down at the end of the pier? Apparently it did.

In a recent Sun news survey about the year ahead, a participant named Marc Moore asked about the insurance reimbursement for the restaurant building that used to stand at the end of the Seal Beach Pier.

“Yes, the insurance covered the former Ruby’s structure at the end of the pier,” wrote Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos in a 10:10 a.m., Jan. 17 email.

“Final figures have not been confirmed but we are working with the insurance company to do so,” he wrote in a 10:19 a.m. email.

Asked

The Sun on Jan. 17 asked Assistant City Manager Gallegos:

• What’s the status of the CRC oil payments issue?

• Has the city heard anything about a project to build multiple bungalows for “visitor serving use” in the vicinity of the Shea Homes Ocean Place project?

As of Tuesday, Jan. 21, “We have not received an application for any type of development on the visitor serving site within the Shea development,” wrote Gallegos.

Sun looking at beach area parking fees

The Seal Beach city government has applied for a Coastal Development Permit to increase beach parking lot fees. The process began about two years ago.

It is not yet known when the issue will come before the California Coastal Commission. The commission’s first 2020 meeting is scheduled to be held in Long Beach, but the agenda has not yet been posted.

The CCC web page for “future agenda items” did not mention anything related to Seal Beach as of Monday, Jan. 20.

On Monday, Jan. 13, the Sun emailed the California Coastal Commission to request an update on the Seal Beach application for a permit to increase beach parking fees. We’ll update you when we get a reply.

In August 2013, MIG-Hogle Ireland completed a study of beach parking fees for the city of Seal Beach. The Sun recently emailed the communities compared in the 2013 study to ask if the beach area parking fees have been changed since that time. The Sun also asked if they had been required to apply to for Coastal Development Permits from the California Coastal Commission to raise those fees.

The city recently released that study to the Sun in response to a California Public Records Act request.

The Sun emailed the questions on Thursday, Jan. 16, to Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, the County of Orange and the the State of California.

As of Friday, Jan. 17, two cities had replied: Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.

The Sun will update the story as soon as enough information is available to report something.

Seal Beach officials to meet with Rep. Rouda

“Myself, Mayor Sustsarsic and City Manager Ingram are meeting with Congressman Harley Rouda tomorrow afternoon,” Kalmick wrote on Monday, Jan. 20.

“His office is offering the opportunity to meet with the Congressman and bring forward issues that impact our city. We are going to reinforce his commitment to bring sand replenishment to Surfside that had [been] promised by law since 1962. We are also going to seek help at the federal level to make some substantive efforts to prevent the trash and debris that comes down the San Gabriel River and ends up on our beach,” Kalmick wrote.

Main Street revitalization project continues

“Our consultant for updating our downtown Main Street area is beginning their work and will be pointing toward community involvement in the process,” wrote District One Councilman Joe Kalmick.

The Seal Beach City Council on Oct. 14, 2019, approved a contract with Rabben/Herman design office, for design services for the Main Street Improvements Program.

The Main Street project was previously discussed during the June 5, 2019 City Council budget workshop. 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.”

District One: swimming pool likely to spark ‘spirited discussions’

“While there’s nothing new specific to District 1 aside from the beginning of construction on the NWS of the new wharf, the latest presentation on the costs for a new municipal swimming pool will certainly lead to many new spirited discussions about how we want to proceed,” wrote District One Councilman Joe Kalmick in a Jan. 20 email to the Sun.

As reported in the Jan. 16 print edition of the Sun, a 50 meter pool would cost more than $22.7 million and a 40 meter pool would cost more than $21.1 million, according to a Monday, Jan. 13, slide presentation to the City Council on Monday, Jan. 13.

District Two: Coffee with a Cop

District Two Councilman Thomas Moore will host a “Coffee with a Cop” event from 5:30-7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Peets Coffee in the Shops at Rossmoor (which is actually in the city of Seal Beach), according to a Jan. 20 email from the councilman.