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CSC Minutes February 11, 2002

Regular Meeting
Fullerton Main Library Meeting Room
6:30 p.m.

Public comment will be allowed on items on this agenda at the time each item is considered.

Persons addressing the Commission shall be limited to 5 minutes unless an extension of time is granted by the Chairman, subject to approval of the Commission. When any group of persons wishes to address the Commission, it shall be proper for the Chairman to request that a spokesman be chosen to represent the group.

Public comments will also be allowed on items NOT on the agenda, but within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission, prior to approval of the minutes, and will be limited to thirty minutes and not to exceed five minutes per person. No one will be heard twice. Any public comments not received at the beginning of the session may be heard at the end of the session. NO action may be taken on off-agenda items, except as provided by law.

CALL TO ORDER:

Chair Russell called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

FLAG SALUTE:

Commissioner Miller led the flag salute.

ROLL CALL:

Present: Miller, Spencer, Dalton, Han, Swanson, Russell,
Absent: Hewett

Commissioner Swanson arrived at 7 p.m.

STAFF PRESENT:
Susan Hunt, Director
Judy Peterson, Community Services Manager
Randy McDaniel, Park Projects Specialist
Mark Reimann, Equipment & Supply Assistant
Lyman Otley, Building & Facilities Superintendent
Virginia Viado, Associate Planner Marko Espinosa, Planning Intern

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

The following Fullerton resident, from Friends of Coyote Hills, expressed the group's desire to see the remaining 510 acres of Coyote Hills turned into a wilderness park for Fullerton.

Connie Spencer
Friends of the Coyote Hills
1318 E. Glenwood Avenue

PRESENTATION:

Manager Peterson introduced Mark Reimann, Community Services Equipment and Supply Assistant, to recognize him for his accomplishment of winning the City of Fullerton General Employee of the Year award. She commended him for all that he does for Community Services, and how he always makes the department look good. He showed his plaque to the Commissioners, and thanked them for recognizing him.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Minutes

    Commissioner Miller MOTIONED to approve the Minutes, as written,with the following correction, noted by Chair Dalton:

    On page 2, under ACTION ITEMS - Selection of New Officers - former Chair Russell nominated Chair Dalton for Chair; and Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the Motion, not Commissioner Russell.

    Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the Motion to approve the Minutes, as written, with the exception of the above correction.

  2. San Gabriel and Los Angeles Rivers Watershed and Open Space Plan

    Virginia Viado, Associate Planner in the City of Fullerton's Development Services Department, introduced her Planning Intern, Marko Espinosa, who presented this item.

    The purpose of this agenda letter is to recommend that the City Council adopt a resolution approving the San Gabriel and Los Angeles Rivers Watershed and Open Space Plan, "Common Ground: from the Mountains to the Sea," prepared and adopted by the Lower Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC).

    In October 1999, the RMC was established by the State Legislature and charged with the task of developing a parkway and open space plan to establish policies and priorities emphasizing "river-related projects, without infringing on water quality, water supply, and necessary flood control." The Plan that was produced, titled "Common Ground from the Mountains to the Sea" first describes the history and current condition of the watershed; and then identifies a vision, guiding principles, strategies, and opportunities for future development. The Plan recognizes the importance and validity of both natural and man-made systems in our region. The vision is summarized as "Restore balance between natural and human systems in the watersheds."

    The Plan provides an approach to future improvements in the region, but does not adopt specific projects or impose specific obligations or development plans. The Guiding Principles identified in the Plan are summarized as follows:

    Land: Grow a Greener Southern California. This principle is detailed as the effort to create, expand, and improve public open space throughout the region; improve access to open space and recreation for all communities; improve habitat quality, quantity and connectivity; connect open space with a network of trails; promote stewardship for the landscape; and, encourage sustainable growth to balance environmental social and economic benefits.

    Water: Enhance Waters and Waterways. This principle is detailed as promoting efforts to maintain and improve flood protection; establish riverfront greenways to cleanse water, hold floodwaters and extend open space; improve the quality of surface water and groundwater; improve flood safety through restoration of river and creek ecosystems; and, optimize water resources to reduce dependence on imported water.

    Planning: Plan Together to Make It Happen. This principle is detailed as promoting efforts to coordinate watershed planning across jurisdictions and boundaries; planning; involving the public through education and outreach programs; and, utilizing the Plan in an ongoing management process.

    Approval of the Plan does not impose any costs to the City. To the contrary, the Conservancy is expected to bring significant State dollars into the region for open space, environmental education, water quality, and habitat restoration projects. The next of these funding opportunities consists of $15 million in Proposition 12 State Park Bonds, which is expected to use the Open Space Plan as one of the tools for project evaluation. An example of likely future opportunities can be seen in AB 1602 State Park Bonds, which will appear on the March 2002 ballot and will, if passed, earmark $40 million for the Conservancy.

    Developments and issues in the City of Fullerton that are relative to, and which may benefit from, the Plan include:

    • Laguna Lake Restoration
    • Union Pacific Railroad Right-of-Way Trail Project
    • Ralph B. Clark and Ted Craig Regional Parks
    • East and West Coyote Hills Coastal Sage Scrub habitats
    • Storm water runoff to Coyote Creek (a tributary to the San Gabriel River)

    The Plan was approved by the RMC on October 17, 2001, and will take effect when it has been approved by a majority of the cities representing a majority of the population in the Conservancy area, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Central Basin Water Association, and the San Gabriel Valley Watermaster. Several cities within the watershed area have already reviewed and approved the Plan. To date, the cities of Brea and Los Alamitos are the only cities in Orange County that have approved the Plan. RMC staff has indicated that additional cities in watershed areas are scheduled to review and approve the Plan within the next few months.

    Commissioner's Questions and Comments:

    Commissioners asked questions and commented as follows: has this gone to other Orange County cities; has it been turned down by any city; what are the negatives to adopting the Plan, if any; will the Conservancy truly be a funding source; having discussed Laguna Lake Restoration in the past few months, mention was made about getting additional funding for the Project - was the City considering this type of funding as necessary to go forward and, without it, the project would be in jeopardy, or, is the Project funding sufficient without it; in Section A. 2. of the staff report, you say this will take effect if it has been approved by the majority of the population in the area - what exactly will take effect; this Plan appears to be an important item in terms of open space and a water source; it is an opportunity to help us lobby open space improvement for the City, and other cities as well; if there are any negatives, it does not seem apparent; who will staff the watershed; if the Commission needed something, could they go to this group; and, cities could compete against each other for this funding.

    Commissioner Miller MOVED to support the Plan, as written.

    Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the Motion.

    AYES: Miller, Spencer, Han, Swanson, Russell, Dalton
    NOES: None

    The Motion passed unanimously.

INFORMATION ITEMS:

  1. Prop 40 Clean Water, Clean Air, Coastal Protection and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Act 2002

    Director Hunt introduced Chuck Buck, 330 West Malvern, Chair of the Orange County Sierra Club

    Chuck Buck, Chair of the Orange County Group of the Sierra Club, presented his views on this item, in order to educate the Commission about its importance before the March 5, 2002 Primary Election. Prop 40 is a General Obligation Bond, which means the money to pay it off comes out of the General Fund which, if passed, will generate a fund of $2.6 billion to support acquisition and development of State and local parks recreation areas, preserve open space and wild life habitat, improve water and air quality, protect coastal areas and beaches from pollution and unnecessary development, preserve the natural ecosystem, and preserve important historical and cultural sites in California.

    Mr. Buck gave a breakdown of the dollar amounts that would be allocated to improvement of the various areas where need; e.g., improvement of State parks, park land acquisition, etc. Fullerton is scheduled to receive a per-capita amount of $620,000 for park acquisition and development, as well as $373,563 under the Roberti Z'Berg-Harris Open Space Recreation Grant. If passed by the voters on March 5, 2002, the City would be eligible for approximately $993,563 in confirmed funds, with no application process. The funds would be used on one of the many park projects approved but unfunded at this time.

    In closing, Mr. Buck noted that, as a Fullerton resident since 1964, he knows that Fullerton residents have always had a strong policy of developing and encouraging parks. He mentioned that Prop 40 funds could possibly make the Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve an accessible resource for communities; as well as West Coyote Hills for natural wilderness space and wildlife habitat. He asked if the Fox Theatre fell under the historical preservation funds area, since it has such unique architecture from the 20's and 30's. Some of the organizations that support this proposition are: the League of Women Voters, the Audubon Society, California Chamber of Commerce, California Historical Society, the VFW, the AARP, and, the League of California Cities. He encouraged the Commission to recommend Prop 40 to the City Council if there is time before the election.

    Commissioners' Questions and Comments:

    Commissioners asked questions and commented as follows: would the City of Irvine be competing for the same funds for their El Toro Park - who are we up against; an inquiry was made as to whether or not Mr. Buck had plans to take this item directly to the City Council, and Mr. Buck indicated he had spoken to the City Council During public comment; in looking at the guidelines for Prop 40, it shows that we get a large amount of those funds, based on a per-capita population, but also some of it goes to RMC and historical parks; and Hillcrest Park could qualify, therefore, this proposition would be particularly helpful to Fullerton; how do we get this on the agenda; can the Commission as a group decide to support this proposition, or can the Minutes reflect that the Commission is in favor of this proposition; and, one Commissioner was not in favor of the proposition moving forward to the City Council with a Commission recommendation, and asked why this proposition was coming to the Commission as an Information Item, with only the "yes" information and not the "no".

  2. Landscape Maintenance Division Monthly Maintenance Report

    Superintendent Otley was on hand for any questions regarding both the Landscape Division Monthly Maintenance Report, and the Building and Facilities Division Monthly Maintenance Report.

    Commissioners Questions and Comments:

    Commissioners asked questions and commented as follows: just as the flyer was being passed out, Chair Dalton inquired about the Arbor Day festivities information; how will the medians on Bastanchury, east of Harbor Boulevard, be landscaped once they are created.

  3. Building and Facilities Division Monthly Maintenance Report

    Superintendent Otley was on hand for any questions regarding both the Landscape Division Monthly Maintenance Report, and the Building and Facilities Division Monthly Maintenance Report.

    Commissioners Questions and Comments:

    There were no questions from the Commissioners.

  4. Report on City Council Agenda Items

    Director Hunt made herself available for any questions from the Commission.

    Commissioners Questions and Comments:

    Commissioners asked questions and commented as follows: was the Laguna Lake Restoration Project approved at the February 5, 2002 City Council meeting; and, congratulations were given to Park Projects Specialist McDaniel for all his hard work on this project.

  5. Commissioner Comments

    Commissioners commented as follows: Commissioner Miller commented on the Nixon Library tour he suggested that the tour be at the beginning of May, when all the flowers are out and the gardens will be at their best; also, there will be an exhibit there from China; he suggested picking a Saturday during that month.

    Commissioner Miller MOVED to adjourn the meeting.

    Commissioner Russell SECONDED the Motion.

    The meeting adjourned at 7:23 p.m.

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