(Los Alamitos, 9/29/2013) A special meeting of the Los Alamitos City Council has been called for this Monday, September 30, 2013, at 6 pm, with two items on the revised agenda:
First, in open session, the Council will act on the request for a three hour parking limit at Laurel Park, now that the Traffic Commission has weighed in with their recommendation, as the Council requested at their last meeting.
Then, the Council will move into closed session to confer with Mayor Pro Tem Graham-Mejia and Interim City Manager Korduner, the City’s Labor Negotiators with the potential City Manager Candidate.
It would appear that the selection process is down to one candidate, and the only remaining issues relate to the contract. Any reportable action taken will be reported at the conclusion of the closed session, and should be up here Tuesday morning. Click here for our Highlands’ Guy’s column discussing the history and responsibilities and qualifications of a City Manager .
(If you get the word before I do, please report it in a comment under this post. Use the “name” “New City Manager Update” to make it easier for people to identify the topic.)
Laurel Parking Restrictions
At their meeting last Wednesday, Los Alamitos Traffic Commissioners voted unanimously for a three hour parking restriction to open up parking spaces currently being taken by Medical Center Employees who don’t want to ride the employee shuttle from Cottonwood Church.
In a special Traffic Commission meeting that lasted a little less than an hour, the commissioners heard from City Engineer Dave Hunt, Parks & Rec Director Corey Lakin, and Chief of Police Todd Mattern.
The Commissioners considered a variety of options to resolve the complaints of park users who repeatedly found the lot filled with “the same cars” of LAMC employees even when nobody was actually using the park.
After weighing the pros and cons of a variety of options the Commissioners eventually returned to the initial staff recommendation of a three hour restriction 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Commissioners added a “semi-sunset” clause to bring the matter back to the Traffic Commission after two years to review whether the restriction is still needed. The Construction is scheduled to be completed in 18 months, but the new parking structure will charge fees for patients or other visitors, but not employees, so the parking situation may be different two years from now.
Council Member Grose had expressed concerns about a restriction over two hours, but City Engineer Hunt discovered four hour restrictions in several parts of Old Town West, so restrictions in excess of two hours are hardly unprecedented.
There was, however, concern that Section 10.24.040 of the Municipal Code limited the Council to restrictions of no more than two hours. The City Engineer told the Commission that the Municipal Code might need to be amended, but the City Attorney apparently determined that was not meant to apply to regulation of parking in City parking lots.
In addition, California Vehicle Code section 22519 gives the City the ability to regulate parking, stopping or standing of vehicles on off street parking facilities owned or operated by the City by ordinance or resolution. So the Agenda Report includes a resolution to establish the restrictions, which could be implemented as soon as the signs are in place.
Lot Safety Issue Agendized for 10/9
At the Traffic Commission meeting several Commissioners expressed concerns about the safety hazard created by cars backing out of the lot when it’s full, since the lot has no turn-around.
Commission Chairperson Johanna Schleuter noted that to comply with Brown Act open-meeting requirements only agendized items could be discussed at Commission or Council meetings, so that safety item will be agendized for the October 9th 7 pm Traffic Commission Meeting.
City Engineer Hunt fast-tracked the issue for City Council consideration due to the time urgency and the fact that ultimately the code required Council action, but the Council wanted the Traffic Commission to weigh in. I was impressed with the process and with the efforts of our volunteer Traffic Commissioners, and the wise and unanimous recommendation they made back to the Council.
Los Alamitos City Government at it’s finest, with appointed community volunteers and elected Council Members and City Staff experts working together to arrive at an optimal solution.
As always, your perspective is appreciated, as well as your reporting on the meeting itself if you attend. Special Council Meetings are not usually televised.