Special meetings, leaf blowers, and summer reading

Strategic planning meeting update

“The Council will be holding a Special Council meeting on Tuesday, September 20th at FS [Fire Station] 48 at 9:00 AM, for a Strategic Plan workshop,” wrote City Manager Jill Ingram in an August 16 email.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m looking forward to it. I was able to write seven stories in a row based on last year’s meeting.

Canceled meetings

This week’s Planning Commission meeting was canceled.

The regular August 22 Seal Beach City Council meeting was canceled. The August 24 Recreation and Parks Commission meeting was canceled, according to the city website.

However …

Special meeting set for August 29

A special Seal Beach City Council meeting has been scheduled for Monday, August 29 to consider possibly overruling a land-use decision of the county airport commission.

The hearing was continued to Aug. 29 at the request of District Four Councilwoman Schelly Sustarsic.

“I requested a continuance of the Public Hearing to consider an Overrule of the Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) decision of inconsistency with the Seal Beach Housing Element Update,” she wrote.

“I had been unable to access the staff report for the August 8th City Council meeting on the Prime Gov site of the City’s website all weekend and I was concerned that the public would not be able to read the material that would be discussed at the public hearing,” she wrote.

“The city had posted the meeting agenda, which is all that is legally required.  However, I know that the state Housing and Community Development (HCD) department considers public input to be essential in the Housing Element process.  I want our residents to have access to all relevant information in a timely manner.  This Public Hearing has now been continued (rescheduled) to a Special City Council Meeting on Monday, August 29th from 7:00 pm -9:00 pm,” she wrote.

The reason for this county agency finding of inconsistency is a proposed site plan for the Old Ranch Country Club property that has not been approved.

The approval process for the development project is a long way off. The city recently hired a consultant to work on the environmental impact report for the proposal.

The Housing Element of the city’s General Plan is another issue altogether. The state government mandates that cities update the Housing Elements of their General Plans. These updates include mandatory planning for additional housing.

However, the mandatory planning does not provide a means for actually getting the housing built. This time around, the city of Seal Beach must plan for 1,243 residential units. That’s citywide.

Slip and fall update

In a Friday, Aug. 12, email, the city of Seal Beach advised me that more time was required to process my request for emails related to minimize trip and fall injury liability exposure in Seal Beach.

Leaf blower news

A resident recently asked me if the city is looking at an ordinance concerning the operation of gas-powered leaf-blowers in Seal Beach.

According to an August 8 email from Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos, “The City is not aware of any specific complaints and are not currently looking at revising our noise ordinance.”

As it turns out, revising the noise ordinance for leaf blowers may not be necessary. Late last year, State law change to phase out gas powered leaf blowers. Leaving leaf blower ban is scheduled to start in 2024.

Summer reading

I recently started reading “Arbitrary Lines,” a book that advocates the abolition of the zoning as we know it. I’m not quite a third of the way through the book so it’s too soon to write a review. However, I’m learning quite a bit about the history of zoning. My interest in the subject dates back to 2005 when I began covering the seal Beach Planning Commission for the Sun.