Friday, April 19, 2024

City Council Has Many Items to Consider: Grants, Historic Preservation, Restaurant Parking

Mayor Proclaims Lori Stucki Day

Mayor Bailey honored Lori Stucki, on her retirement, by proclaiming December 4, 2018 in her honor for her 26 years of dedication to the Recreation Department. Starting in May 1992, she has served as a Senior Aquatics Instructor, Pool Manager and Aquatics Supervisor and has mentored more than 2600 young staff during her tenure. She has been involved on professional association boards including the California Parks and Recreation Society, the San Diego Aquatics Council, as well as consulting with communities on new pool construction. The Mayor called her a “Jill of all trades” for managing the pool and boat house operations. She is an icon in the community for water sports, instruction and safety. Her commitment to public safety includes serving on various committees, lifesaving training and her dedication to the more than 12,000 swimming lessons she has taught or supervised during her career. She was well represented with a large group of friends and coworkers.

Community Grant Process

This is in response to Councilmember Sandke’s request for a review of the Community Grant Process. City staff provided the following analysis:

  1. Timing of the grant awards – Currently, grant applications are due by July 15 and then the Council makes decisions in August and funds are dispersed in September.
  2. Observing the cap – Staff recommended establishing a reasonable budgetary limit.
  3. Funding a percentage of the General Fund – Use one percent of the General Fund as a guideline and capping expenditures at $1 million.
  4. Funding examples – Assumptions were made based on a recent multi-year financial forecast of the General Fund through 2023.
  5. Maintaining the purpose of the grants will make it clear what form the contract between the City and the organization should take.
  6. Move specific services outside the grant process.
  7. The City Council will be presented with an Arts Master Plan that will be decided on by a Community Arts Foundation.

Grant categories include:

  1. Special events
  2. Services
  3. Seed money for starting a new program
  4. One-time purchases
  5. Historic preservation
  6. Mental Health and Social Enrichment for family and youth g. Parades, e.g., 4th of July, Holiday
  7. Historic Preservation and Education
  8. Flower Show
  9. Cultural Arts
  10. Memorial Day event

The eligibility requirements for receiving City grant funds include:

  1. Based in Coronado
  2. Benefit to residents of Coronado
  3. Must be a registered non-profit organization as approved by the IRS and State of CA
  4. Contributes to at least one of the community elements in the mission statement

Eligible uses of City grant funds include:

  1. Event Production, e.g., Parades, Festivals, Shows, Workshops
  2. Service provided
  3. One-time purchases
  4. Special projects
  5. Seed money for longer term ventures
  6. Efforts directly related to the activities described in the grant application

Updated Reporting Requirements

Examples of eligible activities: Contributes to at least one of the community elements in the mission statement, as examples:

  1. Economic Development: e.g., Chamber of Commerce Snow Mountain, Holiday Parade and other shop local activities, Main Street Downtown Goes Ghostly, MotorCars on Main Street, and other shop local activities.
  2. Social Services: e.g., SAFE Coronado Student and Family Counseling services, SAFE anti-drug, anti-drinking and driving, and anti-bullying educational workshops and programs.
  3. Arts: e.g., Community Band uniforms, Friends of the Library Book Fair, Meet the Author events, theater.
  4. Community Pride: e.g., City of Coronado 150th Anniversary events, Flower Show, Memorial Day Ceremony, 4th of July Parade, Holiday Parade, Median Gardens, Military appreciation events.
  5. Sense of Place: e.g., Historical Association Tours, Coronado Museum of History and Art Exhibits, Median Gardens.

Councilmember Donovan questioned what the right percentage is of the General Fund for Community Grants. During public comment Rita Sarich, Coronado Mainstreet, had some revisions including upping the percentage of the general fund to two percent. Sue Gillingham, Chamber of Commerce, supports a higher percentage cap, but not a forced reduction schedule, and wants multi-year contracts addressed. They would like to see another community forum for input. Several other members of the public also felt that the one percent funding goal is based on other cities and said Coronado has a large budget reserve and the percentage could be raised.

There was much discussion among the Council and each Councilmember had changes to this Grant Process modification. Councilmember Downey proposed that any eligible non-profits can apply and cultural arts fall under a separate jurisdiction. Councilmember Donovan recommended removing several additional restrictions and recommended public input. Councilmember Sandke wanted to include economic development and adopt a five-year plan. This motion passed with Mayor Bailey and Councilmembers Downey and Donovan voting yes. There was an additional motion that directed staff to hold public forums on this issue and it passed unanimously.

Counter-Oriented Establishments and Parking Requirements

Rich Grunow, Community Development Director, gave a report to define counter-oriented eating/drinking establishments and parking regulations. Currently full-service and counter-oriented eating and drinking establishments are subject to the same standards with a parking ratio of one space per 100 square-feet, with some exceptions. This came to the Council for lease/parking issues with Yogurt Escape but will be beneficial for other businesses as well.

The following options were mentioned:

  1. Direct staff to develop a department policy to treat counter-oriented eating and drinking establishments as retail uses for the purposes of parking. If this option is pursued, staff would recommend limiting the allowable customer area to 250 square feet or less.
  2. Amend the Zoning Ordinance, Specific Plan, and Local Coastal Program to add a definition for counter-oriented eating and drinking establishment with a modified parking requirement.
  3. Declare all currently existing counter-oriented eating and drinking establishments to be legal non-conforming but require any new establishments to provide required parking.
  4. Keep existing standards and continue to require the same parking requirements for full-service and counter-oriented eating and drinking establishment

Rita Sarich, Director, Coronado Mainstreet, supports option number three, and Sue Gillingham, Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce referenced Senate Bill 946, which would limit city authority over sidewalk-type vendors as a potential future threat. Three other people also spoke up with regards to the importance of maintaining a business mix, so we don’t end up with all restaurants and no businesses.

Mayor Bailey commented, “Our economy is changing. It’s difficult to conduct a brick and mortar shop in the age of Amazon. I want to see a vibrant Orange Avenue District. I am in favor of adjusting with the times and making it as easy as possible for our downtown district to thrive.” All the Councilmembers concurred with wanting to keep a vital downtown but had much discussion on how to frame this motion. Councilmember Sandke made a substitute motion to try to move this issue forward,“To declare all existing counter-oriented establishments to be legal non-conforming without a parking requirement and that staff is directed to develop policy options on how to treat counter-oriented establishments.” The motion was approved by the Mayor and Councilmembers Sandke and Donovan.

Historic Alteration Permit and Ordinance Amendments

Tricia Olsen, Associate Planner, presented the zoning standards exception for a garage storage space remodel at 532 Marina Avenue.  A Historic Alteration Permit was granted unanimously.

She also presented the new amended portions of the Historic Preservation Program, which incorporates recommendations from the City Council Subcommittee spearheaded by Councilmembers Downey and Donovan, with the addition of minor City staff additions. This was unanimously approved.

On June 19, 2018 the subcommittee reported on the results of their work with staff and outreach to the community. Two public workshops were held with attendance of approximately 60 Coronado residents. The workshop presentation was posted on the City’s website and comments were accepted through June 30. At the regular City Council meeting of July 17, 2018, the subcommittee reviewed the summary of residents’ feedback, shared their proposals, and offered recommendations on immediate amendments to the City’s Municipal Code and Historic Preservation Program:
  1. Modify Criterion A to read: It exemplifies or reflects special elements of the City’s military, cultural, social, economic, political, aesthetic, or engineering history.
  2. Specify that designation under Criterion B, for association with a person or event significant in local, state, or national history, can only be used for one property. In other words, one significant individual should not be used to designate multiple properties.
  3. Modify Criterion C to read: It possesses distinctive characteristics of an architectural style, and has not been substantially altered.
  4. Add the following new definition to clarify Criterion D with regard to “notable work”: “Notable work” means an important or remarkable example from the body of work of a professional trained as a builder, designer, architect or landscape professional. The subcommittee noted that the definition presumes that all works by the professional are not presumed to be “Notable works.” “Notable works” is a subset of all works.
  5. Reduce the number of designation criteria required to be met in order to be designated as a Historic Resource from two to one.
  6. Allow property owners to apply for a Determination of Historic Significance and a Mills Act Agreement with one application, and one public hearing by the Historic Resource Commission. Note that a second public hearing would still be required for the Mills Act Agreement as the City Council is the final decision maker for those applications.
  7. Modify the current process for determining historic significance to combine the nomination and Notice of Intent to Demolish review processes into one Determination of Historic Significance Review, with a flat fee to be paid by the property owner and a Historic Research Report to be prepared by a third-party consultant selected by the City of Coronado.
  8. Solicit and select historic research consultants to prepare Historic Research Reports for Determination of Historic Significance applications submitted to the City of Coronado.
  9. Solicit and select historic research consultants to prepare a Citywide historic context statement and historic survey for the City of Coronado.
  10. Continue with current avenues for Historic Preservation Program outreach and visibility.
  11. Update the Historic Preservation Program Fee Schedule to reflect subcommittee recommendations.
At that meeting, the City Council directed staff, with a vote of 4-0 (Councilmember Sandke was absent), to move forward with all of the above recommendations with the exception of reducing the number of designation criteria to be met for historic designation from two to one. The subcommittee also made the following recommendations for future amendments to the Coronado Municipal Code and changes to the Historic Preservation Program, regarding the Citywide historic context statement and historic survey:
  1. Prepare Citywide historic context statement and historic reconnaissance survey of structures that are 50 or more years old to identify potentially historic resources.
  2. Once adopted by the City Council, this survey would replace the current process of Determinations of Historic Significance in association with demolition or partial demolition of structures that are 75 or more years old.
  3. No action will be taken by the City regarding homes listed on the historic survey unless a property owner nominates the property for historic designation or submits a project to the City that includes demolition or partial demolition of the structure that is visible from the street right-of-way.
  4. Properties that are not identified as potentially historic in the survey would not require a Determination of Historic Significance review in association with demolition or partial demolition.
  5. Properties that are not identified as potentially historic in the survey could still be nominated for historic designation, by the property owner, if they wish.
  6. Update the context statement and survey every 10 years. These subcommittee recommendations will be addressed in future staff reports and are not included in the currently proposed amendments to the Coronado Municipal Code.

Parker Pump Station

Jim Newton, Principal Engineer and Katie Odiorne, Project Manager, gave a report and video presentation on the Parker Pump Station Rehabilitation Project. The existing features, operations and station deficiencies were highlighted. “It is a critical piece of infrastructure for the country club area as all the sewer and storm water flows from that neighborhood passes through it,” said Newton. There are major structural deficiencies in this station with cracks in the walls, roofs, shoring, and other areas. They looked at rehab versus reconstruction of the station and it was determined that reconstruction was the best course of action. There will be public outreach on the design with an estimated 12-month time frame for design. A motion was unanimously approved for an additional $614,000. The necessary long-term solution of rebuilding this pump station will cost approximately $10 million.

New Police Cruisers

City Manager Blair King presented that the City currently has 10 black and white pursuit vehicles, with nine being general fund funded and one grant funded. There are 45 sworn officers and there are not enough vehicles on each shift. “We are asking for patrol cars now due to the availability of competitive pricing based on our purchasing program which allows us to piggyback on other good bids,” he said. The vehicles are $36,000 each with additional outfitting costing $30,000. Monies will come from the Vehicle Replacement Fund and was unanimously approved.Coronado Aquatics Center

Roger Miller, Director of Recreation and Golf Services, gave a presentation on soliciting an updated Aquatics Operation Plan, which would include looking at expenses, data collection, community expectations, seasonal variances, goals, and expectations. Counsilman-Hunsaker has been identified as a qualified vendor for this project for operational expertise, revenues and expenses, forecasting and economic impacts. This will be a four-step procedure including: analysis, facility inventory, staffing and expenses, and presentations.  This process should take approximately 60 to 90 days to complete at which time presentations will be made.

The Aquatics Center’s current cost recovery is just under 30 percent, with the City subsidizing more than $800,000 annually. Councilmember Sandke pointed out that residents have approached him about maintenance issues and wanted to ensure that those will be addressed. It was discussed that the Coronado Swim Association and Legacy Swim Academy have given proposals to use the pool on a regular basis. Several people spoke on behalf of having the Coronado Swim Association use the pool as a win-win situation. The Council unanimously approved this expenditure.

New Mower for Golf Course

Roger Miller, Director of Recreation and Golf Services, gave a presentation on the need to purchase a new mower for the golf course. He pointed out that the need is for a rough golf course mower, which is used for the “rough,” the largest portion of the golf course. This would be a replacement mower for one purchased in May 2006, which as of May 2017, had over 9,560 hours or approximately 478,000 conversion calculated miles on it. “That’s a testament to the maintenance department and we are at the point where it is just worn out,” he commented. This expenditure will be taken from the Golf Enterprise Fund and was unanimously approved with Councilmember Benzian absent.

Oral Communication

Topics covered in oral communication included what can be done about noisy leaf blowers, HRC review of the new Spreckels Park sign, the management of the Coronado Senior Association, and the Coronado Swim Association asked the City to consider letting it use the city pool.

Private Improvements within a Public Easement of 121 Alder Street

Ed Walton, City Engineer, addressed concerns raised by area residents on approving an encroachment permit allowing the property owner at 121 Alder Street to construct a retaining wall with a drainage pipe within the four-foot wide public easement in the back.  He said that the City looked at the issues of drainage, access, and public utilities and felt that all concerns had been addressed. This was unanimously approved.


Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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