Among this week’s issues in local government are a final approval of the Poseidon desalination plant and approving an extra 4,600 homes at the Orange County Great Park.

A long-awaited California Coastal Commission hearing is coming to Newport Beach on Wednesday, where its top decision makers are slated to approve a controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Its proponents argue it will provide a reliable water supply choice that will protect against shortages and ultimately cost less than imported water.

Opponents claim that the project’s math doesn’t pencil out and that it will destroy marine life.

Up for approval Tuesday is the project’s coastal development permits and how to handle an appeal of the project’s coastal development permit approval by the city of Huntington Beach.

Among staff’s recommendations is that the project be changed to have a “subsurface intake design” that doesn’t hurt sea life.

And on Tuesday, Irvine City Council members plan to vote on approving an extra 4,600 homes at the Great Park, nearly doubling the total to about 9,500 units.

In exchange, the developer, Five Point Communities, would build more than half of the park: 688 acres out of about 1,300 acres total.

It comes as the council majority complains about a lack of progress in building the long-awaited park, even after a previous administration spent more than $200 million on it.

In other water news, residents of Garden Grove and the Santa Margarita Water District are set to see their water bills increase, amid a jump in costs passed on by the region’s main water agency: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, also known as MWD or Met.

It’s projected to amount to 90 cents per month for the average residential customer in Garden Grove, and $2.82 per month for SMWD customers, which includes much of Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch and Talega.

SMWD’s finance committee will also talk about the district’s sole-source contracts, 19 of which have been awarded since 2007.

Additionally, Costa Mesa City Council members are set to discuss how to use $7.1 million in leftover capital improvement money from last fiscal year.

Also, Irvine school board members work toward picking a replacement for board President Gavin Huntley-Fenner, who recently announced his resignation.

And finally, Anaheim City School District board members plan to discuss district elections amid an ongoing lawsuit claiming that the city of Anaheim’s at large election system disenfranchises Latino residents.

Here’s what’s up for debate this week across Orange County:

Monday, Nov. 11

Mission Viejo Planning and Transportation Commission – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

Orange County Business Council Infrastructure Committee – 7:30 a.m.

  • Discussing how to advocate for an infrastructure system that meets the needs of Orange County residents and businesses.

MWDOC Public Affairs and Legislation Committee – 8:30 a.m.

  • Discussing the 7th Annual Orange County Water Summit.
  • Discussing unspecified “issues related to legislation, outreach, public information issues and [Metropolitan Water District of Southern California].”

Laguna Niguel City Council Special Meeting – 4 p.m.

  • Interviewing applicants for the Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission and public safety committee.

Orange City Council – 4:30 p.m.

  • Increasing a contract with Chattel Inc. by $30,000 for four months to oversee property tax abatement contracts with developers, field inquiries about historical preservation and change of design standards in Old Towne Orange.
  • Discussing the end of Councilman Denis Bilodeau’s appointment to the Orange County Vector Control District on Dec. 31.
  • Appointing Mike Merino to fill the vacant Planning Commission seat, at the request of Councilman Bilodeau.

Closed Session

  • Discussion of a recent federal appeals court ruling that Orange’s enforcement of a gang injunction is unconstitutional.

Costa Mesa City Council Study Session – 3:30 p.m.

  • Training on “effective communications in local government.”

Costa Mesa City Council Study Session – 4:30 p.m.

Anaheim City School District Board Study Session – 4:30 p.m.

  • Discussing the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula and the Local Control Accountability Plan.

Irvine City Council – 5 p.m.

Garden Grove City Council Study Session – 5:30 p.m.

  • Discussing proposals for a 2014 Tet Festival at Garden Grove Park from the Vietnamese Community of Southern California, and the Vietnamese American Community and Hand to Hand Relief Organization.

Santa Ana Unified School District Board – 6 p.m.

  • Opening a bidding process for districtwide vehicle fleet management services.
  • Adopting a textbook for high school advanced placement Spanish language and culture.
  • Approving an unspecified “letter of commitment” with the Orange County Bar Foundation.
  • Approving or denying a charter petition for the proposed 21st Century Global Academy.

Anaheim City School District Board Regular Meeting – 6 p.m.

  • Presentation on possible boundary changes for 2014-15.
  • Update on district elections.

Garden Grove City Council Regular Meeting – 6:30 p.m.

Laguna Hills City Council – 7 p.m.

Rossmoor Community Services District Board – 7 p.m.

  • Rejecting an unspecified legal claim against the district.
  • Making unspecified changes to the policy on parkway and median tree maintenance.

Wednesday, Nov. 13

California Coastal Commission (in Newport Beach) – 8 a.m.

Orange County Water District Water Issues Committee – 8 a.m.

  • Scheduling a hearing on whether to exempt Big Canyon County Club from paying replenishment and basin equity assessments for groundwater.
  • Discussing the state’s groundwater work plan and water action plan.

Orange County Board of Education – 8:30 a.m.

  • Discussing the initiation of litigation for between one and five unspecified cases.
  • Legislative update.
  • Roundtable discussion of the new common core curriculum standards and the state’s open meetings law.

Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission – 8:30 a.m.

  • Prioritizing the remaining “unincorporated islands,” pockets within cities that have yet to be incorporated.
  • Appointing a new commissioner to replace recently resigned Lake Forest Councilman Peter Herzog.

Orange County Transportation Authority Finance and Administration Committee – 10:30 a.m.

  • Discussing an internal audit of the bus advertising contract with Titan Outdoor which found that “controls to ensure compliance with contract terms related to safety and subcontractors should be improved.”
  • Approving an early payment of $26 million into the Orange County Employees Retirement System, given a 7.25-percent early payment discount offered by the retirement agency.

Community Associations Institute, Orange County Regional Chapter Board – 12 p.m.

  • Agenda not available online.

Oversight Board of the Garden Grove Successor Agency – 2 p.m.

Irvine Unified School District Board Special Meeting – 4 p.m.

  • Choosing final candidates to interview for the seat that’s set to be left open by the upcoming resignation of board President Gavin Huntley-Fenner.

Laguna Niguel City Council Special Meeting – 4 p.m.

  • Interviewing applicants for the Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission and public safety committee.

San Clemente City Council – 5 p.m.

  • Public hearing on the draft Centennial General Plan, draft environmental impact report, draft bicycle and pedestrian master plan and draft climate action plan.

MWDOC Administration and Finance Committee – 5 p.m.

  • Approving appraisal services for leasing the Doheny ocean desalination test project.
  • Discussing unspecified “issues regarding district organization, personnel matters, employee benefits, finance and insurance.”

Orange County Sanitation District Administration Committee – 5:30 p.m.

  • Allowing the general manager to gather bids and choose a consultant for a districtwide classification and compensation study.
  • Receiving the district’s comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year 2013.

Westminster City Council – 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 14

Orange County Water District Administration and Finance Issues Committee – 8 a.m.

  • Discussing the district’s investment portfolio and differences between the budget and actual revenues and spending for the first fiscal quarter.

Orange County Transportation Authority Transit Committee – 9 a.m.

Orange County Business Council Latino Educational Attainment Committee – 9 a.m.

  • Discussing ways to boost Latino educational achievement.

Transportation Corridor Agencies Board of Directors – 9:30 a.m.

  • Agenda not posted online.

Friday, Nov. 15

Santa Margarita Water District Board Finance Committee – 7:30 a.m.

  • Increasing water rates by an average of $2.82 per month for single-family homes, due to cost increases by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
  • Discussing the agency’s sole-source contracts, 19 of which have been awarded since 2007.

Fourth District PTA Advocacy Roundtable – 10:30 a.m.

  • Agenda not posted online.

Orange County Water District Property Committee – 12 p.m.

  • Agenda not posted online.

Adam Elmahrek and Brendan Wiles contributed to this report.

You can reach Nick Gerda at, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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