The Coronado City Council meeting on February 21 kicked off with an introduction to the new Regional CEO for Sharp Coronado Hospital, Scott Evans. Coronado resident and member of the Sharp Coronado Hospital Board and Coronado Hospital Foundation Board, Mike Woiwode, presented on recent accomplishments the hospital has made, such as the moved and renovated Intensive Care Unit leading into the work on expanding the Emergency Department and entrance.
Woiwode reported that Sharp HealthCare will be exercising their ten year option to continue to operate the hospital through 2034 at this time, before introducing Evans, giving background on his past work as a pharmacist and in leadership roles at USC’s Tech Medical Center before joining Sharp.
Evans explained that the recent organizational shift, which has seen former CEO of Sharp Coronado Hospital, Susan Stone, become the Regional Chief Nursing Executive and Vice President of Health System Operations, and Evans step into the role of CEO for their new Regional grouping of community-focused hospitals that include Coronado, Chula Vista, and Grossmont, is meant to help keep Sharp hospitals financially sound and strategically designed to continue to provide quality care long-term to San Diegans.
During oral communications Coronado resident, Bill Huck, invited the community to an event at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club on March 16 to support the Suncoast Market Co-op in Imperial Beach. The “Here Comes the Sun” festival will begin at 5 p.m. and feature food, games, live music and dancing, and proceeds will go towards helping the new Co-op get started, which has been created by the IB community to serve the community and help reduce food insecurity.
City Manager Tina Friend then mentioned some events in the City in conjunction with the Coronado Public Library with a variety of upcoming author visits. Bonnie Garmus and Edward Zuckerman were recent guests in town, while Rebecca Makkai, John Sayles, and Kristin Hannah will be hosting events in March. For more details, visit https://coronado.librarycalendar.com/.
Moving to the first item on the agenda, the Council heard a request for a historic alteration permit for the property at 1144 Isabella Avenue (often referred to as the “Baby Del”). The request had previously been met with approval by the Historic Resource Commission, but necessitated zoning exception requests and so, needed further approval by the City Council.
The proposal included removal of non-historic additions to the property, restoration of the roof cresting, additions to the first and second floors as well as the basement and attic, as well as new elements such as a gazebo, roof deck, and wrap-around porch, among other restorations.
After discussion, the Council approved the historic alteration permit, agreeing that the proposed exceptions are in line with enhancing the property while preserving its historic character for future use.
City staff then introduced the new ordinance relating to the Density Bonus law which amends portions of Coronado’s municipal code. The law grants the new Density Bonus when five or more units contain the following percentages:
5% of units for very low income households
10% of units for lower-income households
10% of units in a condo project or planned development for moderate income
10% of units for transitional foster youth, disabled veterans, or homeless persons
20% of units dedicated to full-time college students for low income students
100% of units are affordable (with a maximum of 20% moderate)
Senior citizen housing or mobile home park that limits residency based on age
The project donates at least one acre of land to the City for very low income units
The bonus would be applied in a sliding scale according to how many units in a development meet the applicable guidelines above, wherein the higher percentage of units dedicated to low income housing, the larger the bonus. The maximum Density Bonus has also increased from up to 35% in 2021 to up to 50%, or 80% if all units in a development are affordable housing (affordability units must retain affordable status for 55 years).
The bill (AB2345) also reduced the percentages that must be reached in order to get concessions (relaxations on standards such as height limitations, reduction in setbacks, etc.): 17% of low income units now grants two concessions while 24% of low income units grants three.
Proposed amendments to the municipal code reflect these and future changes through adjustments in the language to be in accordance with State law.
Councilmember Casey Tanaka asked if In-Lieu fees would count towards the Density Bonus, which City Attorney Johanna Canlas confirmed did not count towards this particular law, which specifically looks at onsite affordable housing.
The council unanimously passed a motion to approve staff’s recommendation to adopt the proposed municipal code amendments updating regulations to the Density Bonus, noting the City’s little choice in the matter.
Councilmember John Duncan then raised a Policy No. 2 request for future consideration of an electric mini-shuttle program, the Oz, which has previously be proposed for the City to review via public comment at council meetings. The initiative is one of a variety of proposals in the City’s climate action plan and Duncan commended the work that has been done by Coronado citizens in exploring this option.
A variety of community members including members of the Emerald Keepers spoke in favor of the request during public comment on the item, noting its potential applicability to serve Coronado residents as a more environmentally friendly transportation option.
In discussion council members generally were in favor of the request and learning more about the potential pros and cons of the initiative, with Councilmember Tanaka noting that it was an option he felt was an appropriate use of staff’s time in further investigating.
Mayor Richard Bailey also noted the electric mini-buses wouldn’t necessarily have to supplant the current free summer shuttles the City currently partners with SANDAG, as suggested by some of the public comments. He commented that they could be an option that served in conjunction with that program to fulfill different City needs, to the general agreement of the other council members.
While supportive of learning more through the request, Councilmember Carrie Downey further noted that the item should also be viewed in the context of the other initiatives of the City’s climate action plan for consideration of how each piece might fit all together.
Councilmember Mike Donovan took that further and was not in favor of the request, not because he doesn’t support learning more about the initiative, but more as an order of operations for the process of the Climate Action Plan.
“We asked staff to put together an implementation plan, which would include prioritizing the projects so that we get the biggest bang for our buck,” Donovan mentioned. “For example, is this a better idea than putting solar panels on all of our City buildings?…Unless we follow our process this may not be the most efficient use of our staff time and our dollars.”
City Manager Friend also made note that the implementation plan for the Climate Action Plan is expected to come before the Council in late spring or early summer, and that any change to the free summer shuttle in conjunction with MTS would not be possible at this point for summer of 2023. “It takes a while, and there’s a lot of nuance and detail to figure out,” she described of programs plans such as the shuttle, wanting to ensure expectations on that timeline were realistic.
The Council approved the request in a four to one vote, Councilmember Donovan voting against the motion.
The next City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 7, at 4 p.m. To learn more, please visit the City’s website at https://www.coronado.ca.us/449/Agendas-Minutes.
VOL. 113, NO. 9 - Mar. 2, 2023
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