At the top of this week’s public meeting agendas are Huntington Beach’s introduction of an ordinance lifting the city’s ban on state-approved fireworks and an effort in Santa Ana to ban smoking in parks.
Huntington Beach has prohibited so-called “safe and sane” fireworks since 1987, and Mayor Don Hansen says the time has come to legalize them. Supporters cite fundraising opportunities for nonprofits, improved fire resistance of buildings and allowing personal choice on a holiday that celebrates America’s independence.
The proposal, however, has been met with alarm from the city’s police and fire chiefs, who say that despite the “safe and sane” designation, the fireworks do cause injuries and fires.
Police Chief Ken Small said that allowing the state-approved fireworks “would lead to a significant increase in the use of illegal fireworks” and would be putting the city’s police officers “in an absolutely untenable position” on the Fourth of July.
While Huntington Beach considers lifting a ban, Santa Ana is looking to impose one — a prohibition on smoking in city parks. The city points to studies showing that secondhand smoke is a carcinogen and a “significant health hazard” for children, the elderly and people with heart and respiratory diseases.
Here’s a broader sample of items on this week’s agendas:
Huntington Beach City Council, Tuesday, Jan. 17
• An ordinance allowing a two-year trial of the sale and use of state-approved fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.
• During the 4 p.m. study session, a review of the city’s financial performance and long-term fiscal outlook by Finance Director Lori Farrell.
• Resignation of Christina Ryan Rodriguez from the Human Relations Task Force and appointment of six people to the panel.
• Project plans and a $2.4-million construction contract with Hardy and Harper for the Center Avenue, Magnolia Street and Springdale Street Rehabilitation Project.
• Permits for a T-Mobile cell phone tower at Huntington Harbour Mall.
• Request that the proposed Banning Avenue-19th Street and Garfield Avenue-Gisler Avenue bridges be removed from the Orange County Master Plan of Arterial Highways.
• Existing litigation: Pacific Mobile Home Park LLC v. City of Huntington Beach; Keith Bateman v. City of Huntington Beach; Hillcrest Contracting Inc. v. City of Huntington Beach et al. (consolidated with Griffin Dewatering Corp. v. Dorsey Dean Allison et al.); MCP v. Vadnais et al.
Santa Ana City Council, Tuesday, Jan. 17
• A city ordinance banning smoking in city parks, Eddie West stadium and the Santa Ana Zoo.
• New City Council ward boundaries.
• Purchase of $333,221 in replacement police squad cars.
• Purchase of portable radiation detectors for $103,000.
• Employment and appointment of a city attorney.
• Existing litigation: Steve Critchfield v. City of Santa Ana; Andres Junior Ramirez et al. v. City of Santa Ana.
• Exposure to litigation involving an unspecified case and initiating litigation involving an unspecified case.
• Labor negotiations with Santa Ana Police Officers Association, Santa Ana Police Management Association, Santa Ana Firemen’s Benevolent Association, Santa Ana Fire Management Association, Service Employees’ International Union (full-time employees and part-time civil service employees), Confidential Association of Santa Ana and Santa Ana Management Association.
Costa Mesa City Council, Tuesday, Jan. 17
• Formation of a Costa Mesa Housing Authority to assume the housing functions of the city’s redevelopment agency.
• An audit firm’s findings about the city’s payroll policies and procedures.
• A new community room for the Villa Venetia and Pine Brook Village apartment complexes.
• Refund of the $1,220 fee charged a homeowner for appealing approval of extended hours for a Target store.
• Labor negotiations with Costa Mesa City Employee Association, Costa Mesa Firefighters Association, Costa Mesa Police Officers Association, Costa Mesa Police Management Association, Costa Mesa Fire Fighters Management Association, and Costa Mesa Division Managers Association.
• Existing litigation: Costa Mesa Employees Association v. City of Costa Mesa et al.; Trinity Herbal Cooperative v. City of Costa Mesa; City of Costa Mesa v. D’Alessio Investments LLC; Orange County Directors Association v. City of Costa Mesa; Newport Mesa Patients Association and Tri-County Patient Care Association v. City of Costa Mesa; Newport Mesa Patients Association v. Colleen O’Donoghue.
Lake Forest City Council, Tuesday, Jan. 17
• Street sweeping contract.
• Proposal for the development of 151 attached homes in the Foothill Ranch Auto Center.
• Transfer of affordable housing responsibilities from the city’s redevelopment agency to the Lake Forest Housing Authority.
• Discussion of potential video recording of council meetings.
• Existing litigation: City of Lake Forest v. Moen et al.; City of Lake Forest v. Pharmer’s Choice Collective et al.; City of Lake Forest v. World Cann Wellness Center; City of Lake Forest v. Charles Cafe; City of Lake Forest v. Alexander S. Rados as Trustee of the Alexander S. Rados Trust et al.
• Property negotiation for parcel number 612-163-03.
La Habra City Council, Tuesday, Jan. 17
• A $163,000 construction contract for an “alley improvement and beautification” project.
• Designation of the La Habra Housing Authority as the successor agency for the housing responsibilities of the city’s redevelopment agency.
— NICK GERDA
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