Seal Beach council cancels PCH parking contract

Assistant City Manager Sean Crumby

The Seal Beach City Council unanimously agreed to cancel a contract to rent a parking lot on Pacific Coast Highway at the agency’s Monday, Nov. 14 meeting.

The contract, which would have rented the small parking lot at 1300 Pacific Coast Highway for $1 year, was originally approved in September.

The parking lot is not being used, according to the staff report by Assistant City Manager Sean Crumby.

“After execution of the agreement, concern was raised by some residents in the area of the parking lot,” the Crumby report said.

On Monday, Oct. 10, Councilwoman Ellery Deaton asked to have the question of the Pacific Coast Highway parking lot placed on a future agenda to consider canceling the contract.

Crumby told the council that the lot currently had seven parking spaces.

He said the city would have to add handicapped parking, which would eliminate one of the parking spaces.

Crumby said canceling the contract would not have much of an impact on Old Town area parking.

During the public comment segment of the meeting, three 10th Street residents urged the council to cancel the contract because the property is a toxic clean up site.

Crumby confirmed that the lot is a clean up site.

The council voted unanimously to rescind the contract.

Lighting for Main Street

That same night, the council also agreed to hire a consultant to look at lighting Main Street.

The council authorized hiring Fehr and Peers to prepare a street light study for Old Town’s iconic street. The cost: $29,925.

According to Crumby’s staff report, the trees planted on Main Street in the 1990s have matured and are now reducing the effectiveness of the lights on Main Street.

Three Chamber of Commerce representatives urged the council to approve the proposal.

“We’ve been talking about this item for some time,” said Seth Eaker, former Chamber president.

He said he wanted to move the process along. He also said lights were not just to make the streets look pretty, but a safety issue.

Chamber spokesman Esther Kenyon said she had been walking on Main Street and felt apprehensive while walking past alleys on Main Street.

“Bright lights are inviting,” she said.

Current Chamber President Nat Furguson said he endorsed the council taking this step.

Councilman Gary Miller asked about the legality of using the city’s in lieu parking fees to pay for the lighting study.

“For the record, it is legal,” said City Attorney Quinn Barrow.

Barrow said he was comfortable with spending the in lieu parking money on lighting.

City raises car charging fee

When Seal Beach first established charging stations for electrical cars in April, the city had to absorb the cost of the electricity.

“At that time, cities were not allowed to charge the cost of electricity from electrical vehicles,” Crumby wrote in his staff report. “Since then the Public Utilities Commission has ruled that due to the number of charging stations expected, cities can now recover this cost.”

A customer can charge an electric car for two hours at a Seal Beach station. The fee for the service will be $3.37 an hour.

Interim chief gets six month extension

The city of Seal Beach will ask the California Public Employees Retirement System to extend Interim Police Chief Robert Luman’s temporary job for another six months.

According to the staff report by Assistant City Manger Crumby, state law allows retired public employees to take temporary jobs that last no more than 960 hours. The Crumby report said that Luman was expected to reach 960 hours on Dec. 31.

The council approved making the request to CalPERS. The council also authorized the city manager to amend the city’s current agreement with Luman to extend his contract another six months.

The extension was a Consent Calendar item and was approved unanimously without discussion.

Other business

• The San Gabriel River Bike Trial project was scheduled for Monday night’s agenda, but was moved to the December meeting at the request of city staff.

• The council issued proclamations thanking 40 public and private agencies—federal, state, county and local agencies—for assisting Seal Beach on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Following the special presentation, the council went into recess so a group photograph could be taken.

Seal Beach council cancels PCH parking contract