Due to several important issues addressed by the Coronado City Council at their Special Meeting of March 31, 2020, and their regularly scheduled meeting of April 7, 2020, for the past two weeks we have run shorter meeting recaps that ran the day following the meeting in this publication. There were several other actions taken by the Council of importance to the Coronado Community that should be noted in the following re-cap.
During their April 7 session, the Council passed a resolution confirming the closure of Coronado Beaches as of April 3 for the length of the current public health emergency. This action was previously ordered by City Manager Blair King, who is also the City’s Director of Emergency Services. The motion passed unanimously.
The resolution includes a list of parking restrictions throughout Coronado with the goal of reducing exposure of the public and city staff to the COVID-19 virus. The following parking restrictions went into effect at midnight April 4, 2020, and like the beach closures, will be in place until the public health emergency has subsided. The locations include:
Boat Ramp Parking Area
Strand Way from south end of City Hall to Rendova
Cays Park Parking Lot
First Street and D Avenue Parking Lot (posted as no parking in the lot, but not blocked off in order to allow residents access to the garage)
Parking Lot on Strand Way next to the Coronado Yacht Club
Golf Course Parking Lot
Bayshore Bikeway Parking Lot (Bird Sanctuary).
Ocean Boulevard, Beach side only
All streets adjacent to Sunset Park (Ocean Boulevard, Ocean Drive)
Mullinex Drive, both sides (Permit parking for Hospital Staff is allowed)
Attu Avenue adjacent to the State Park
Cays Boulevard south of Grand Caribe Causeway, to Mardi Gras Road southbound
Cays Boulevard northbound from Mardi Gras Road to Grand Caribe Causeway
Grand Caribe Causeway from the Fire Station to the cul-de-sac
Grand Caribe Causeway at the roundabout at Grand Caribe Island
In Other City Council Actions:
At the Special City Council meeting held Tuesday, March 31, the Council approved by a 5-0 vote, a city employee emergency furlough relief plan. The motion was for a package not to exceed $60,000 and came at the request of City Manager King. According to King, the first source for the funding for the relief plan will be unspent allocations from FY 2019-20.
April 7 via the Consent Agenda, the City Council approved the expenditure of $100,000 to purchase a new method to check out and inventory books at the Coronado Public Library, called the Bibliotheca RFID System. The new system, which includes tags containing a microchip and antenna for every book, is considered to be more user-friendly for library patrons, and replaces the current bar code system. The tags, which operate at 13.56 MHZ, can be read at a distance, and multiple tags can be read simultaneously during checkout.
The City Council approved the final version of the Fiscal year 2020-21 Community Grant program documents. It should be noted that with the City’s General Fund being adversely impacted by the dramatic downturn in Transient Occupancy Tax and Sales Tax revenues, the allocation for Community Grants will decline to an estimated $788,000 in FY 2020-21 from $1 million in FY 2019-20. The Council’s policy calls for 1.65 percent of General Fund Revenue or $1 million, whichever amount is less, as the funding level for Community Grant awards.
As noted last week, the City Council unanimously approved the following motion regarding loans to local businesses, which will be finalized in a more detailed motion during the Council’s meeting of April 21, 2020: “The Council approves in concept the Coronado Business Lifeline Loan Program; factors include businesses having to apply for Federal loans first; there will be a tiered system that prioritizes small businesses which will receive loans; the program will be capitalized at $2 million; individual loans will be maximized at $20,000; and the City staff will bring back any additional recommendations they have at the April 21, 2020, City Council meeting.” That motion passed by a 5-0 unanimous vote. Other measures taken by the Council to assist the Coronado business community included: All parking enforcement in the commercial area be suspended during the duration of the locally declared COVID-19 Emergency; the City will establish curbside restaurant pick-up locations on Orange Avenue; and fees associated with the Business Registration Program will be suspended for calendar year 2021.
By a 5-0 vote, the City Council overturned a previous decision by the Historic Resource Commission, relating to the commercial property located at 1113 Adella Avenue. The Commission had ruled that two of the four criteria for a historic designation had been met, prompting the historic designation and causing the owner to appeal the decision. After the property Owner Janice Howard and Attorney Carrie Downey made a 10-minute remote video presentation, the historic designation was reversed. Some Councilmembers thought one of the four criteria for historic designation may have been met, but no Councilmembers thought as many as two criteria had been achieved. During consideration of the issue it was noted this would have been the first involuntary designation of a commercial property in Coronado.
The City of Coronado is the landlord for three commercial ventures in the City including the Bluewater Grill, the Feast & Fareway Restaurant at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course, and the Coronado Flower Lady flower cart on Rotary Plaza. According to the City Staff report on the agenda item, which was moved to the Consent Calendar, “Bluewater Grill submitted a request to abate monthly rent payments for the concession at the Boathouse restaurant until the end of the pandemic; Feast & Fareway submitted a request to abate both rent and loan payments for a three-month period; and the Coronado Flower Lady is the only City commercial use permit holder who remits a monthly payment for the use of City property for commercial purposes. The Council authorized City Manager King to execute amendments to the agreements with Bluewater Grill and Feast & Fareway that would waive and forbear required payments to the City and waiving of the Commercial Use Permit fees for the Coronado Flower Lady would be waived for the duration of the health crisis.
Finally, although not part of the agenda of either previously referenced City Council meeting, King said the following in a note from his on-line weekly report, “The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is expected to announce that it will keep the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge lane configuration static with three lanes heading out of Coronado due to low traffic volume during this health emergency. Caltrans says traffic has been reduced on the Bridge by about 60 percent. This change is not expected to impact traffic heading into or out of Coronado.”
The next meeting of the Coronado City Council will be held Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at 4 p.m. City Council meetings are held at City Hall, located at 1825 Strand Way in Coronado.