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Laguna Beach city news City of Laguna Beach, California

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2021

Sand - NOT SHORELINE OR WATER - to Reopen Friday Morning

On Friday, October 8, 2021, at 7:00 a.m., the sand - NOT THE SHORELINE OR OCEAN WATER - will reopen to the public at all City and County beaches within the City of Laguna Beach.

Approaching the shoreline or entering the ocean water for any activity (swimming, surfing, wading, diving, SUP, skim boarding, kayaking) is NOT permitted at this time due to the oil spill.

"I am very pleased that our City team has come up with a plan to open the sand so that our residents and visitors can walk and relax on our beautiful beaches," said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. "The Coast Guard advises that we must keep the water closed for health reasons until the water quality can be fully analyzed. I ask everyone to cooperate with this restriction and stay out of the water. We will be working with state and federal officials to open the water as soon as it is safe."
Oil spill residue may be present. Please use caution and avoid contact with any trace of oil. If you see oil-contamination or oil tar balls on beaches, do not attempt to pick them up or touch them. Please call the Marine Safety non-emergency line at (949) 497-0310.

We will continue to monitor the beaches for the next few weeks. There may be intermittent isolated beach closures if there is any sign of oil appearing on beaches.

Future re-opening of the ocean water will be done in consultation with the US Coast Guard and Orange County Healthcare Agency, along with other partners, with the priority being the health and safety of the community.
WEATHER: An incoming storm is anticipated this weekend, and it's swell and winds are NOT expected to bring oil to our beaches. However, you may see large vessels or ships off our shores - they are simply waiting to access nearby harbors for shelter from the storm.

Laguna Beach City Council Signs Letter to Support End of Offshore Drilling

Today, all members of the Laguna Beach City Council, along with elected officials representing the areas most impacted by the oil spill, signed a letter supporting State Senators Dave Min (Irvine) and Josh Newman (Fullerton) asking the Orange County Congressional Delegation to end all offshore drilling, including drilling under current leases, in Federal waters along California’s Coast.

This Week's City Council Action:

Local Emergency Declared in Response to the Offshore Oil Spill

At its meeting Tuesday, the Laguna Beach City Council declared a Local Emergency in response to the offshore oil spill. This allows the City Manager to make critical decisions related to the spill - like securing labor, equipment and materials needed for services related to the oil spill, and measures for containing and limiting the public's exposure.

Police Officers Recognized for Saving Man Having Heart Attack

On Tuesday, the City Council made a proclamation recognizing Sergeants Cornelius Ashton and Darrel Short, Officer Samantha Krakower, Dispatchers Steven McDowell and Lizette Diaz, and Laguna Beach Paramedics for their extraordinary life-saving efforts in saving an Australian tourist from a heart attack last month.

Ordinance Adopted for Defensible Space Amendments to the City's Municipal Code

Tuesday, the City Council adopted an ordinance updating the guideline that establishes 'Defensible Space Zones' around existing structures, provide requirements for foliage thinning and create a documentation procedure for vegetation compliance. Defensible space is essential to reducing risk of structure ignition during a wildfire and providing adequate safety for firefighters protecting the structure. The guidelines will be used for home sale inspections as required by Assembly Bill 38 and as needed on private properties with existing buildings. Approximately 85% of the residential properties in Laguna Beach are within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone. As approved, the ordinance states the Defensible Space Guideline may be amended from time to time by resolution by the Council.

'Art in Public Places' Approved for Taco Stand

At its meeting Tuesday, the City Council approved the installation of the tile mural “Laguna Honors its Artists” by Mike Tauber, to satisfy the Art in Public Places for The Taco Stand restaurant remodel located at 699 South Coast Highway.

The Next Regular Meeting of the City Council is Tuesday, October 19.

Mayor Whalen Discusses Oil Spill Response

Today, Mayor Whalen gives us the latest update on the response to the offshore oil leak, and why the City of Laguna Beach joined the chorus of officials calling for an end to off shore drilling.

Update on Mission Hospital Generator Diesel Leak

Clean up efforts continued this week at Tutuava Beach, after a recent diesel fuel leak from nearby Mission Hospital generator. The City is actively engaged with the hospital and all regulatory agencies to ensure this hazard is mitigated appropriately.

Hospitals are regulated by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), not our local agencies. This means our Fire Department does not have direct authority over the hospital. However, our Fire Marshal is involved, along with multiple other oversight agencies, in demanding safeguards such as containment structures be put in place to prevent this from happening again.

Laguna Beach Participates in Joint Regional Emergency Exercise

This week, a joint OC agencies (Harbor Region) tabletop exercise was held simulating a large scale event that affects multiple areas/jurisdictions.

Members of the Laguna Beach Fire Department, Police Department, and Public Works Departments attended representing the City.

Police Department Joins Students at Top of the World Elementary During National Walk to School Day!

Wednesday was National Walk to School Day! These lucky Top of the World Elementary students were escorted to school by Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert, and Officers Jeremiah Kennedy, Ashley Krotine and Fred Yeilding. There is high traffic around our schools at the beginning and end of each day. Do your part as a driver by slowing down in school zones and carefully observing crosswalks and school bus activity on streets.

New Code Enforcement Officer Now Working Weekends to Better Serve YOU!

Meet George! George Lopez joins our Code Enforcement team as a Contract Code Enforcement Officer. George will be working in coordination with the Police Department, and will be predominantly responding to leaf blower, weekend construction, and other similar public nuisance types of calls happening over the weekend. How can a complaint be made? Residents can report any complaints by contacting the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 949-497-0701. George is looking forward to working with the community!

Initial Study for Update to City's Housing Element Now Available on City Website

The Initial Study/Negative Declaration for the City’s Housing Element Update is now available on the City’s website for public review.

The Housing Element assesses current and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community and includes policies for providing adequate housing and action programs for that purpose.

For questions, please contact So Kim, Assistant Director of Community Development at (949) 497-0736 or skim@lagunabeachcity.net.

Two Exotic Fruit Flies Found in Laguna Beach

Two separate Exotic Fruit Flies were found in Laguna Beach in late September by trappers working for The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Pest Detection Branch which does all the Fruit Fly trapping throughout Orange County.

The pests were both identified as Peach Fruit Flies. This is an exotic insect originating in Asia.

Important California crops at risk include pome and stone fruits, citrus, dates, avocados, and many vegetables, particularly melons and tomatoes. The CDFA’s trapping staff is setting additional traps to survey for the pest and estimate potential infestation levels.

For more information, please call the CDFA’s Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899.
Thanks to our Public Works crews for getting the Promenade on Forest ready for Fall! Stop down and see our pumpkins, fall flowers, hay bales and decor this weekend!

This Weekend's LIVE Music at the Stage on Forest!

  • Friday, October 8: Beth Wood
  • Saturday, October 9: Andrew Corradini
  • Sunday, October 10: Jason Feddy
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