City Administrators Weekly Report

July 20, 2009

CITY ADMINISTRATOR

The first meeting of the newly appointed Charter Review Commission is scheduled for Wed., July 22 at 6 p.m. in the Lower Level of City Hall.  The Commission is made up of 15 citizen members with a vast variety of backgrounds.  The Council approved the formation of the Commission in April of this year.

The City Charter was originally adopted in 1937.  The last review of the Charter was in 1984; nearly 25 years ago. The last amendment to the Charter occurred in 1990 with the adoption of Local Measure C (Section 612).
Along with staff, the Commission will be supported in its efforts by Cal State Fullerton Professor Raphe Sonenshein who will be facilitating the process.  Dr. Sonenshein has served as a principal consultant to citizen charter review commissions in Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, Riverside, and Culver City. 
CITY TREASURER

Quick Tip of the Week – “Well Done!”

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
WALT DISNEY

FDIC Coverage Extended to 2013

In May 2009, Congress passed legislation extending the $250,000 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) deposit insurance coverage limit through 2013. Deposit coverage was increased from $100,000 in October 2008 to calm depositors withdrawing deposits from banks due to fears about the U.S. banks’ stability.  The increased coverage limit was scheduled to expire at the end of 2009 and fall back to $100,000.  For detailed information about FDIC insurance coverage limits, go to www.myfdicinsurange.gov or call the FDIC toll-free at 877-275-3342.

COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

HB Reads BOOKFAIR -- Sunday, July 26 – Saturday, August 1, 2009   
As a reminder from last week, Barnes & Noble at the Bella Terra Mall is hosting a “Bookfair” as fundraising support for Huntington Beach Reads One Book.  Funds are used to purchase copies of the featured book for local high school students, host readers’ events, and to bring authors to Huntington Beach.  Tell the cashier you are participating in the Bookfair for Huntington Beach Reads One Book and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to the program.  This applies to any book, CD, or DVD you purchase during the Bookfair.  HB Reads will announce the next featured book in August 2009.  Help support HB Reads by making your purchases during July 26 to August 1.  For more information, go to www.HBReads.org or call 714-374-1645.
U. S. Open of Surfing

The US Open of Surfing, which features surfing, skateboarding, and BMX competition will be held on the beach on the south side of the Pier from July 17-26.  In addition to sporting events, there will be a festival area with sponsor/vendor booths and music.  The main days of the event are July 23-26.  For schedule information, visit their website at www.usopenofsurfing.com.  Concurrently, on Thursday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m. the Surfing Walk of Fame will honor its latest inductees at a ceremony in front of Jack’s Surfboards at PCH and Main.  

Huntington Beach Senior Services

Meals to the Home – On Monday thru Friday, Huntington Beach Senior Services volunteers deliver meals to qualified seniors living in Huntington Beach who are unable to shop and cook for themselves.  The meals--breakfast, lunch and dinner, are freshly prepared in the Community SeniorServ kitchen and they meet all daily nutritional requirements.  If you or someone you know are in need of meals, please call Mary Siegel, Senior Services Aide, at 714-374-1715 msiegel@surfcity-hb.org.  If you are interested in volunteering for the Meals to the Home program, contact Diane Swarts, Volunteer Coordinator 714-374-1544 dswarts@surfcity-hb.org.

Monsters, Minotaurs, Aliens, and Even Dragons

The Huntington Beach Art Center’s popular Art at the Beach Summer Camp for kids ages 6-12, still has room available for the week of July 27-31.  The theme of this exciting week is “Monsters, Minotaurs, Aliens, and Even Dragons.”  Campers will delve into how artists and cultures have depicted their worlds and creatures in ways very different from our traditions. From jungle animals to Martians in outer space, to the mythological worlds of the Greek and Romans, artists have always had a unique outlook on our world. Dragons will be made as a way of bringing the British mythology to life.  To register for Art at the Beach, please call the Huntington Beach Art Center at 714.374.1650 or see registration information in the back of the Sands Community Brochure, or online at  http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Coming soon to The Strand is G by GUESS, a retail store selling “fashion for the next generation.”  G by GUESS features young, hip, and trendsetting apparel and accessories.  The store will be located on 5th Street adjacent to Forever 21.   G by GUESS is expected to open in December 2009.  For more information on G by GUESS log on to www.gbyguess.com.    G by Guess earned first place in the annual Retail Store of the Year design competition, an honor bestowed by trade publication Chain Store Age.  The Store has been praised for its urban and nightclub-inspired aesthetic; the G by GUESS look was applauded for being chic, as well as “stylish”.   

FIRE

Oxygen Cylinders Cause Explosion

On July 13 at 2:39PM, the Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire to find a smoldering pile of trash on the Hawes School property that had been dumped from a disposal truck. The truck driver stated that he saw smoke and heard an explosion before he dumped the load. He also reported that there was at least one additional explosion as an oxygen cylinder ruptured. It was determined that there were five cylinders involved and possibly three that ruptured.  It appears someone had dumped the oxygen cylinders in the trash cans.  The Fire Department worked with the Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s bomb squad to mitigate the situation and relieve the pressure from any remaining cylinders. Ten homes were evacuated for precautionary measures during this process.

Two killed in Apartment Fire

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on July 19, the FD responded to an apartment fire located at 6401 Warner Avenue.  Neighbors told firefighters that there were at least two people in the involved apartment.  It took 50 Firefighters approximately 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.  After the fire was extinguished, Firefighters found two victims that had died in the fire.  Neighbors and bystanders had tried to break in to the apartment to assist the victims, but were unable due to the intensity of the fire.  There were a total of four apartments affected by the fire of which three are now uninhabitable.   Red Cross was on-scene to assist.  The investigation is being conducted by Huntington Beach Fire, Huntington Beach Police, Orange County Fire Authority, and an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent.  There were no other injuries to civilians or Firefighters. 

PLANNING

Downtown Parking Study

A Downtown Parking Study has been prepared for the Downtown Specific Plan Update (DTSP) project.  The City of Huntington Beach is soliciting public input on the Downtown Parking Study for a one-week period commencing Monday, July 20, 2009, and ending Monday, July 27, 2009.  The Downtown Parking Study evaluated the existing parking conditions within the City of Huntington Beach Downtown Parking Master Plan Area and makes recommendations on parking development in order to improve the parking environment Downtown.

Any person wishing to comment on the Downtown Specific Plan Parking Study may do so in writing by Monday July 27th by providing written comments to Jennifer Villasenor, Associate Planner, City of Huntington Beach Planning Department, 2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA  92648. .  Comments on the Parking Study can also be made during the Downtown Specific Plan Study period; this comment period is intended to focus specifically on the Downtown Parking Master Plan.  A copy of the study is available on the Planning Department website,
http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/planning/major/DTSP.cfm.

Downtown Specific Plan

Draft Environmental Impact Report No. 08-001 for The Downtown Specific Plan Update has been prepared and will be available for public review and comment for forty-five (45) days commencing Monday, July 20, 2009 and ending Wednesday, September 2, 2009.  A copy of Draft EIR No. 08-001 is on file with the Department of Planning, City of Huntington Beach City Hall, 2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, California.  Draft EIR No. 08-001 is also available for review in the City Clerk’s office, City Hall, 2nd Floor, 2000 Main Street; the Main Street Branch Library, 525 Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, the Rodgers Senior Center, 1706 Orange Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 and on the Internet at
http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/CityDepartments/planning/major/DTSP

A public comment meeting will be held during the review period to take comments related to the adequacy of the environmental issues analyzed within the Draft EIR.  The comment meeting will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2009, beginning at 6:00 PM in Room B8, City Hall – Lower Level 2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648.  Any person wishing to comment on the request may do so in writing during the forty-five (45) day comment period by providing written comments to Jennifer Villasenor, Associate Planner, City of Huntington Beach Planning Department, 2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA  92648.
Draft Environmental Impact Report No. 08-001 for the Downtown Specific Plan Update analyzes the potential environmental impacts associated with a City-initiated proposal to update Specific Plan No. 5 – Downtown Specific Plan (DTSP).  The project proposes to reconfigure the existing 11 Specific Plan districts into 7 districts, modify development and parking standards, incorporate design guidelines and provide recommendations for street improvements, public amenities, circulation enhancements, infrastructure and public facility improvements and parking strategies.    
The project also proposes revised parking requirements and modified parking ratios, the elimination of the Downtown Parking Master Plan concept, a Cultural Arts Overlay in the northern portion of the DTSP area on the site of the existing Main Street Branch library, a Neighborhood Overlay on 1st and 2nd Street between Walnut Avenue and Orange Avenue, and the elimination of the Resource Production Overlay in District 8 of the existing DTSP, although provisions for continued oil recovery remain in the proposed DTSP Update. 

Goodell Property

A Recirculated Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) has been prepared for the Goodell Property pre-zoning and annexation project.  The Recirculated Draft MND No. 08-017 analyzes the potential environmental impacts associated the pre-zoning and annexation of approximately 6.2 acres of property located at the terminus of Bolsa Chica Street, south of Los Patos Avenue, in an unincorporated area of Orange County on the upper bench of the Bolsa Chica Mesa, adjacent to the City of Huntington Beach.  Recirculation is required because new information has been obtained, which necessitated revisions to the document.  New mitigation measures in the topical areas of biological resources and cultural resources were incorporated. 

The Recirculated Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration will be available for public review and comment for thirty (30) days commencing Monday, July 27, 2009, and ending Tuesday, August 25, 2009.  A copy of the Recirculated Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration is on file with the Planning Department, City of Huntington Beach City Hall, 2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, California.  A copy of the Recirculated Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration No. 08-017 is also available for review at the Central Library, 7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach, California, the City Clerk’s Office, 2000 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Huntington Beach, California and on the internet at:
http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/planning/Environmentalreports.cfm.

Subsequent to the comment period, a public hearing will be scheduled before the City of Huntington Beach Planning Commission.  The public hearing is tentatively scheduled for late Summer/early Fall 2009.  For more information, please contact Jennifer Villasenor, Associate Planner at 714-374-1661 or via email at jvillasenor@surfcity-hb.org.

POLICE DEPARTMENT

National Night Out – Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The three things criminals hate most are lights, sounds, and crowds. On National Night Out, we want you to gather your neighbors and friends, turn on your porch lights, and step outside. This will create the three elements criminals hate most and send a clear message that they should avoid operating on your street.
On National Night Out people nationwide will join together with neighbors, friends, businesses, and police to send a signal to criminals that we will not tolerate crime in our communities. National Night Out is a central point of focus for our community to rally together to fight crime. It is also an essential component to our Neighborhood Watch Program creating an opportunity within a neighborhood to celebrate and come together. National Night Out is a demonstration of the positive value of a strong community and police partnership based on a mutual concern for the safety of our neighborhoods. With each porch light that is left on, and each streetlight that illuminates a neighborhood, a beacon of hope is sent to good, honest citizens and a strong message sent to perpetrators that crime will not be tolerated.

There are many activities you can do with your neighbors to show unity, share crime prevention tips, and help keep criminals out of our backyard. Here are just a few suggestions:

  1. • Host a Neighborhood Watch Block Meeting
  2. • Have a Block cookout with games, etc.
  3. • Have programs and crafts for children to do with a crime prevention theme.
  4. • Sit outside with your neighbors – make plans and set goals to improve your neighborhood. Focus on one project you can work on as a neighborhood over the next 6 months or year.
  5. • Conduct a disaster preparedness drill, and be sure everyone has a 3 to 5 day survival kits.
  6. • Host a Crime Prevention art contest, 1 entry per household, and display them in front of your home.

Remember to turn on your porch lights (between 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.), lock your doors and windows, and step outside to talk with your neighbors and friends. Working together we can send a message to criminals that they are NOT welcome in Huntington Beach.

PUBLIC WORKS

Huntington Beach Keeps on Conserving

The Huntington Beach Public Works Utilities Division announced today that water demand in the City has hit a new low.  Given the continued drought conditions and water delivery curtailments planned for 2009/2010, this is good news indeed.  Water demand for the City and Sunset Beach, which the utility also serves, came in at 31,630 acre-feet (10.3 billion gallons) for water year from July 2008 to June 2009.  This represents a 12% reduction compared to usage 10 years ago and a 19% reduction over 20 years ago; and this is with an ever increasing population.  “I think it demonstrates that the citizens of Huntington Beach have done and are doing their part to conserve” said Utilities Manager Howard Johnson.  “We’ve been stepping up our efforts to get the word out and people have listened. Our web page has been greatly enhanced, we’ve added a full time Water Conservation Coordinator, enhanced our conservation programs and we’re at public events plugging the message.”  Anyone with questions, comments or suggestions on water conservation can call the Utilities Division at 714-536-5921 or visit our web page at www.surfcity-hb.org/hbwater.





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