City of Coronado

The Coronado City Council meeting on Oct. 5 began with two ceremonial proclamations; Rideshare Week and Fire Prevention Week. Rideshare Week was honored from Oct. 4-8 to promote sustainable transportation such as car or vanpools and other transit which can help reduce traffic congestion and decrease gasoline consumption and carbon emissions.

Coronado is recognized as a Gold Tier Diamond Award recipient by the SANDAG iCommute program, and program consultant, Erika Saari, was there to receive the proclamation. “I’m here on behalf of the SANDAG iCommute program to receive it and also congratulate you for being a part of our program, and for keeping with our goal of maintaining an environmentally friendly San Diego for all of us in the community, and for the planet.”

Fire Chief Mike Blood was in attendance to receive the 2021 Fire Prevention Week (October 3-9) proclamation, which this year had a focus on the sounds of fire safety. Fire Chief Blood expanded upon that, encouraging all members of the community to be aware of your safety alarms at home and what the sounds of each are an indication of.

“When a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm sounds, respond immediately by exiting your home as quickly as possible,” Blood stated. “And know the difference between your smoke alarm and your CO alarm. Your smoke alarm will chirp three times and a CO detector will chirp four times.” Blood also encourages residents to check their alarms on a monthly basis and replace batteries twice a year. To learn more about proper safety alarm upkeep, what to listen for, and other fire safety tips, the public can visit fpw.org or firepreventionweek.org.

Following the opening proclamation, the Council moved to address Consent Calendar items, including the appointment of Glen Crawford to the Civil Service Commission and the appointment of Paul Schutz to the Cultural Arts Commission.

A period of oral communications from the public followed in which Rita Sarich, former Director of Coronado MainStreet, introduced Karla Robles as the new Executive Director of the non-profit organization. “I look forward to supporting and developing projects that enhance our community even more but most importantly, working with everyone here towards creating a more vibrant and sustainable future,” said Robles in taking on her new role. “I’m eager to learn. I’m very open to listening to any ideas. My door is always open.”

One resident brought forward their concern with SB 9 and SB 10, which Councilmember Mike Donovan later reported on the League of California Cities (now Cal Cities) would be redoubling their efforts on conveying the importance of local control for each city.

Another resident addressed the council regarding the Cays Park Master Plan and a new survey they had conducted about use of the park space. This community member has been collecting signatures from a Change.org petition they created in support of building paddle tennis courts in the existing tennis court space of the park so as not to disrupt the existing profile of the park. These documents were left with the city clerk to be reviewed by the appropriate staff for consideration in future public input meetings for the Cays Park Master Plan.

City Manager Tina Friend gave her report next where she covered three small updates beginning with addressing concerns regarding the oil spill in Orange County. Friend says the spill is being tracked and monitored very carefully and that at this time no oil is expected to reach Coronado’s shores. The city manager also thanked the city’s public safety officials at the Fire and Police Departments for their quick responses during last week’s thunder storm.

“We had lots of activity in Coronado; flooding, power outages, yellow lights flashing along Orange Avenue, and lightning strikes that hit a couple of trees and ignited fires. Our public safety worked exactly like it’s supposed to work,” Friend stated, citing the coordinated efforts between departments and communication from them and councilmembers contributing to Coronado’s response systems to working as they should.

On a final note, Friend recognized the Fire and Police Department personnel wearing pink badges this month in honor of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “The public can request their own patches from respective agencies as well. Thank you for your support in this initiative,” she added.

The city council then moved on to the agenda items for the meeting, beginning with a presentation from Tricia Olsen (Associate Planner of the city’s Community Development Department) for review of Mills Act applications properties. Eight new applications were submitted to and reviewed by the Historic Resource Commission (HRC) in 2020, which Olsen detailed with their recommendations for the Council.

The eight application would have an estimated first year fiscal impact of $24,718 and owners of the eight properties would begin receiving Mills Act benefits on their property tax savings beginning in 2022 should they be approved, with the requirement that restoration work takes place within the first ten years after the contract is in place. The eight properties on the list for Mills Act applications for historic restoration in Coronado include: 745 A Avenue, 1101 Star Park Circle, 455 B Avenue, 1024 Encino Row, 770 F Avenue, 1135 Loma Avenue, 1901 Monterey Avenue. and 735 Guadalupe Avenue.

Councilmember Casey Tanaka made a motion to approve the city staff’s recommendations on the Mills Act applications, with the exception of 735 Guadalupe. On this property application Tanaka proposed to approve it with the HRC’s recommendation on that property instead, citing that page 49 of the report states that restoration to the original porch was recommended but not required and the HRC’s approach in this instance would be more desirable for the property owners. Donovan seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

A report on the PAWS Coronado Animal Care Facility followed, presented by Teresa Leighty, president and chairman of the organization’s board, and Mikaela Boudreau, Operations Manager at PAWS. The report began with covering PAWS’ recent activities in responding to an outbreak of leptospirosis in San Diego and adding that vaccine to their vaccine core series given to all dogs at PAWS. The organization has also been experiencing an extended kitten season which has led to robust numbers of volunteers at their kitten nursery and amount of kittens PAWS has conserved.

In the 2021 Fiscal Year 226 animals were taking into care by PAWS and adopted or transferred, 69% of which required more than standard intake care, and 61% of which were adopted by persons outside of Coronado which PAWS works on outreach towards in the greater San Diego area and beyond to find suitable homes for animals in their care. In regards to the operations of PAWS, 80% of costs are covered by the city agreement in place and the remaining 20% (estimated to be around $70-80,000 annually) is covered by PAWS, about $45,000 of which is going to advanced care each year.

PAWS is currently working towards being able to offer additional and more expansive services to create a more robust adoption process to include pre-adoption counseling, additional services for the adoption process itself, and post-adoption support when needed in special cases to address an uptick in animals needing expanded specialty care.

Leighty also explained the organization’s goals to expand upon the following:

Medical services – PAWS now offers low-cost access to rabies vaccine and microchipping services to Coronado residents

Pet training – subsidized training coming soon for specialized cases in Coronado

Community partners – PAWS has partnered with the Coronado Library, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, and most recently the CHS Puppy Club which Leighty says was, “Fortuitous as we want to partner more with the school system so it was a great opportunity for us to do that.”

Family enrichment – PAWS would like to support Coronado’s pet friendly community and work with local businesses and organization to offer more activities and opportunities for pets and their families to connect in the community

The PAWS Board of Directors also identified the following three topics to bring to the city council’s attention, specifically:

Medical services are limited with the current Animal Care Facility; almost no surgeries are able to be performed in the facility at present meaning that spay and neutering, dental care, and other basic health services have to be outsourced to facilities outside of Coronado. Outsourcing these procedures amounts to about 20% of costs annually and PAWS would like to explore potential opportunities and options to upgrade the Animal Care Facility that would enable them to perform these routine operations in-house to save on costs, decrease the amount of time animals need to stay at the facility due to long waits for outsourced care appointments, and decrease animal stress with having to transfer them which can create situations for potential liability issues

PAWS is looking to ways to update their infrastructure to improve quality of life for their shelter population and better prepare them for forever homes

PAWS would like to increase their interaction with the community to promote education on essential animal care and welfare topics

In addressing the potential to update and/or expand the Animal Care Facility, Mayor Bailey encouraged PAWS to put together a business case to bring before the Council for consideration at a later date as it may be something the Council might want to consider on how they can partner with the organization to make that happen. Afterward a motion was made and passed to receive and file the report.

Jesse Brown of Coronado’s Community Development staff then presented city council with a letter for authorization to be sent to the San Diego Association of Governments regarding the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of SANDAG’s 2021 regional plan.

The proposed plan looks to improve mobility options in San Diego, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address traffic congestion, advance technology for transportation services, and improve regional transportation infrastructure. The plan would include introducing mobility hubs around San Diego; facilities for flexible fleets and transit leaps (ride hailing zone, electric vehicle charging stations, micro mobility parking areas, parcel delivery lockers, sidewalk delivery bots, etc.).

The Village region of Coronado has been identified by SANDAG as a potential spot for a mobility hub and the letter that has been drafted readdresses concerns Coronado has with that proposed placement that have been sent to SANDAG previously as the Village is incorrectly labeled in the proposed plan as a significant job center whereas most jobs on the island stem from the Navy bases, especially with transit to and from North Island.

The drafted letter also addresses a concern about the lack of analysis related to water supply and demand, and requests updated language related to the city’s climate action planning efforts as well as that certain maps be updated to show the correct location of the Bayshore Bikeway and city’s multi-family zoned properties.

Councilmember Bill Sandke wondered if a statement could be added to the letter that strongly suggests that if a mobility hub were to be placed in Coronado that the only place it would be effective would be with placement around North Island, which may have its own logistically issues, and not in the Village. Donovan also wondered if the city could push for a face to face meeting with SANDAG personnel given that previously submitted communications have not appeared to be taken into consideration with the 2021 regional plan.

After further discussion in which Brown mentioned the city would be willing to follow-up with further discussion given that this letter is specific to the EIR section and councilmembers agreed that further action is needed as SANDAG will be looking to approve the plan by the end of the year. Bailey made a motion to direct staff to send the comment letter and to bring back a resolution in opposition to what is currently being proposed at a future council meeting. Tanka seconded the motion which carried unanimously.

In the final item for discussion, Kelly Purvis of the Cultural Arts Commission discussed the proposed installation of “The Knot” sculpture donated by the Woods Family Trust at Glorietta Bay Promenade Park. In discussion with Jody Wood Esquer, daughter of Jim Wood who created the piece, the Cultural Arts Commission has recommended the piece be installed at Glorietta Bay Promenade Park for its relevancy to many wedding ceremonies that take place at the location where it would be available for many residents and visitors to view without blocking any pathways or creating other disturbances to infrastructure.

On a more personal note, Esquer added that Wood had at one point been in charge of the welding department during his Navy career at the Amphibious Base where he used to weld pieces at night. “He was just enamored by the ocean so he would make fish swimming through seaweed, sandpipers, seagulls,” Esquer recalled. “’The Knot’, to me, is the perfect situation [at Glorietta Bay Promenade Park] because it faces the Amphib Base, it does have the connection with tying the knot, and it’s also in front of government offices. …I just want to thank you all for this consideration.” The Council made a motion to approve the installation at the recommended site which carried unanimously.

Coronado City Council is set to meet again on Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.coronado.ca.us/government/city_council.

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