Planned Boat Launch Ramp Closure ...

The Glorietta Bay Boat Launching Facility will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, April 11 and 12, to repaint stripes in the parking lot. Notification signs will be posted, and clean-up will be conducted the day before. Click www.portofsandiego.org/recreation/go-boating-on-the-bay.html for information on alternative boat launch ramps in San Diego via the Port of San Diego website.

Despite the fact the Coronado City Council meeting of Tuesday, April 3, 2018, ran for two hours and 21 minutes, there was no single, standout issue discussed. Instead several points of interest came before the council, all of approximately equal weight. The Council took the following actions:

• A Consent Calendar item was pulled by Councilmember Carrie Downey relating to the regulations of candidates for elective office in Coronado. Specifically, Downey wished to increase the number of words allowed for a candidate’s statement in balloting materials, which in prior Coronado elections was limited to 200 words. The state of California allows for a minimum of 200 and a maximum of 400 words. Downey requested the limit be raised to 250 words in Coronado. Mayor Richard Bailey suggested the upper limit of 400 words be allowed in Coronado, and a motion to that effect was passed 5-0.

• The ‘feel good’ moment of the meeting came with approximately a dozen young scooter enthusiasts in attendance, as the council pondered the addition of $29,500 to the FY 2018-19 city budget to retrofit the city’s skateboard facility. Five of the students, addressed the council on behalf of the proposed expenditure and upgrade. The skateboard park was built in 2001 and currently can’t accommodate scooters. In the intervening decade and a half, scooters have become popular modes of transportation. When the motion passed the council by a unanimous vote, a mini-celebration erupted among the students. City Manager Blair King noted the ordinance will receive a second reading at the April 17 council meeting. Since the expenditure is part of the budget year that begins July 1, 2018, the improvements to the skatepark won’t be completed until early July.

• Councilmember Bill Sandke thanked Dr. Perry and Judith Mansfield for a $2,500 donation for an original oil painting of John D. Spreckels, which will be added to the city’s Public Art Collection. The council unanimously voted to accept the donation from the Mansfields.

• During the Oral Communications portion of the agenda, local business owner and resident Rich Brady urged the city council to be proactive in their approach to funding Coronado SAFE. The next speaker, Floyd Ross, concurred with Brady’s remarks. 

• As part of the Blair King’s remarks to the council, he noted the city’s Administrative Services Department was the recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association Award for financial reporting for the 2016-17 Fiscal Year. King acknowledged the contributions of Director Jim Krueger and his staff. King also noted that the Coronado Public Library, under the supervision of Director of Library Service Christian Esquevin, had been awarded the Congress of History Award for contributions to preserving the history of the region. In addition, Candice Hooper was given the Mary Ward Memorial Award for historic archives and records management, from the same organization.

• After a brief review of the issue during a Public Hearing, the council agreed to approve the issuance of multi-family housing revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $7 million for affordable housing projects in the city. The locations of the housing will be 406-430 Orange Avenue; 445-451 Orange Avenue; 560-566 G Avenue and 840 G Avenue. Krueger noted during a brief presentation that the city of Coronado was not financially liable for the bonds, which will be paid for by rental fees paid to the housing authority. Approval of the resolution passed unanimously.

• Responding to the request from the city council for a report on the city’s Historic Preservation Program, City Associate Planner Tricia Olsen provided a summary on the subject. Councilmember Mike Donovan echoed a sentiment previously expressed by Susan Keith that an independent third party should evaluate whether a property more than 75 years old should be deemed historic. He said, “That is one area we could improve upon. We should have a third-party evaluation provided to the city and the (property) owner to make sure the property is researched properly.” Donovan went on to volunteer to be part of a sub-committee that would report back to the council and would, “Take a fresh look at how we apply the (historic) criteria and a fresh review of historic preservation that would include input from the public.” Later Downey agreed to be part of the sub-committee along with Donovan. She said when the city’s three-year financial commitment to the Coronado Historical Association was concluded, they would be the group she would like to see involved in supplying historic research information on homes, pending the execution of a contract for payment. A motion to create the two-person sub-committee passed 5-0.

• The council heard a staff presentation regarding a draft ordinance to regulate recreational, unmanned aircraft systems in the city, otherwise known as drones. King noted there had been approximately 15 complaints from the public on this general topic and without an ordinance in place, the city doesn’t have the ability to legally respond to complaints. The proposed ordinance would introduce hobby areas throughout the city that would allow drone flights, possibly including Tidelands Park, Coronado Cays Park, the Coronado High School Track and Field area; and the Coronado Middle School field. The concept was agendized for the April 3 meeting for discussion purposes, with an ordinance to be brought back to the city council at a future meeting. The staff recommendation to review the proposed ordinance passed 5-0.

• The Coronado Cultural Arts Commission’s Annual Report for 2017 and Work Plan for 2018 were passed unanimously. Prior to the final vote, both Donovan and Downey expressed reservations about placing large public art pieces in open areas throughout the city that might adversely impact sight lines. Contract Arts Administrator Kelly Purvis noted the Commission has a sensitivity to open spaces and view corridors and that any final approvals for outdoor art projects would rest with the city council.

• The final topic of the meeting dealt directly with everyone’s favorite state agency Caltrans. The staff report reviewed the status of several recommendations from the 2015 Fehr & Peers Traffic Report prepared for the city, which included numerous traffic control and calming recommendations. Aside from the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Fourth Street and Alameda Boulevard which has a projected completion date of early Fall 2019, with an associated cost of $380,000, Caltrans has nixed virtually all other traffic measures sought by the city. Since most of the Third and Fourth Street Corridors, in addition to most of Orange Avenue are state routes and under the jurisdiction of Caltrans, their approval is needed to make the improvements. During the course of the interaction between the staff and the council, King said of the suggested improvements, “We’re (the staff) spinning our wheels trying to get these things done. We have reached the limit of what we can do on bulbouts. Some of the other projects won’t be accomplished unless there is relinquishment.”

A draft of a Caltrans report on relinquishment, where the city would assume control of the state routes listed above, is expected in July 2018. Neither King, City Public Services Director Cliff Maurer nor City Engineer Ed Walton have been contacted by Caltrans for input on the subject. That fact led King to wonder aloud about the Caltrans approach by saying, “We assume they are working on this in a cone of silence.” By a 5-0 vote, the council adopted the staff report regarding the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Fehr and Peers Traffic Report, essentially taking a wait-and-see approach on future relinquishment developments that may be coming from Caltrans.

The next meeting of the Coronado City Council will be held Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 4 p.m. City Council meetings are held at City Hall, located at 1825 Strand Way in Coronado.

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