HB Tomorrow’s February 2017 Newsletter

Below is HB Tomorrow’s February Newsletter. Become a member and have these newsletters delivered to your inbox!

HB Tomorrow Newsletter
February 2017

Dear HB Tomorrow Members,

We are only a month and a half until spring and HB Tomorrow’s annual membership meeting, which will be held March 30 at 6:00 p.m. at the Central Library. Please send your questions for the Mayor and City Manager via email, Facebook, or website.

Here are some updates on items affecting our city.

Poseidon’s Fee-Waiver Request Denied by Coastal Commission
At its January 2017 meeting in San Luis Obispo, the Coastal Commission denied a waiver of the coastal-development permit application fee of $286,649 submitted by Poseidon Water.  The basis of the denial was the cost to the Commission in an enormous amount of staff hours required to review upcoming plans, as well as the fact that Poseidon hasn’t expressed any financial hardship.
Poseidon had withdrawn its permit application in 2013.  They submitted the permit application again in September 2015, but a new desalination amendment adopted on May 6, 2015 significantly changed the permitting landscape, and even by September, it was still in the draft stage and not law.  This new desal amendment gave the Regional Board primary authority to determine whether a project has the best available site, design, technology and mitigation measures possible. Therefore, the Commission staff could not require evidence of conformance with the desal amendment as a permit filing requirement and deemed the application incomplete.
Poseidon finally submitted their permit application even though the Commission staff has more suggestions, one of them regarding the need for more data on sub surface intakes.  Poseidon denied that particular suggestion.  The Coastal Commission is most likely to require a number of extra assessments before the final decision is made on the project.   
In other Poseidon news, its Huntington Beach project was reportedly named on a list of the new Trump administration’s priority projects.

Beach-Edinger Projects:

Sonic Drive-In project: The popular drive-up/drive-thru burger joint will be located at the corner of Beach Blvd and Ronald Drive. There is the restaurant and small retail space along with a drive-up window and 15 covered parking spaces under which people can park their cars and enjoy food brought directly to them. Currently in the Planning Dept. but moving along.
Beach Blvd. Chrysler Dealership Expansion:  Plans are to add 3,000 square feet to the existing 1,800 square foot showroom.  This project is currently in the Planning Dept.
Marriott Springhill Suites Hotel: This project is at the corner of Edinger Ave. and Parkside Lane. It involves building a 4-story hotel with 128 rooms on the site of the former Big O Tire shop.  This project is currently under construction.

Beach-Warner Project:
The movie theater is now closed and so is the Chili’s restaurant.The new project will include the construction of two new retail buildings at the corner of Warner Avenue and Beach Boulevard, new mixed-use buildings along both Warner and Beach and two new parking structures. The existing 15-story, 196,000 square-foot office building will remain, along with the retail/restaurant building along Warner Avenue, the restaurant on Beach; and the 6-story, 863 stall parking structure on Sycamore and Ash. All other existing buildings will be demolished and replaced with new development.

It seems the city continues to bet on retail, despite concerns that that sector is likely to see a downturn as competition from e-tail continues apace. HB Tomorrow intends to question city leadership at our March annual meeting:  what is our city’s historical, current, and projected retail mix, what do the city manager and council deem to be an ideal mix, and mix do our neighboring cities have?

Mobile Home Affordable-Housing Proposal:

The GSMOL Legislative Action Team is working with our Legislative Activist (Lobbyist) and a few Legislators to solidify the final wording of Bills related to affordable housing, enforcement of laws, funding for rehabilitation and park purchasing, and a Mobile Home Residents and Senior Protection Act of 2017. They must be in by the 17th of this month.  Of course amendments will be made once they reach the various Committees in the Assembly and Senate.

More info will be available after the February 17th.

HB Tomorrow is watching this issue.

Non-Toxic Huntington Beach Proposal:
HB Tomorrow’s Board continues to  urge the City Council to consider supporting a proposal to transition away from toxic pest control to safer and more water-conscious and cost-saving organic measures.

Just this month, a Fresno judge ruled that the state may require Monsanto to label its popular Roundup product as a possible carcinogen. Roundup is among a number of toxic chemicals Huntington Beach uses in our parks and public areas where children, adults, and pets are exposed.
Zoning Medical Marijuana Dispensaries:
The California Supreme Court granted review in January of a published opinion in Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 103. The opinion holds that a zoning ordinance regulating the number and location of medical marijuana dispensaries was not a “project” subject to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.), and therefore the city was not required to conduct an environmental analysis prior to enacting the ordinance.
The state high court is expected to decide the following questions: (1) Is the enactment of a zoning ordinance categorically a “project” within the meaning of CEQA?  (2) Is the enactment of a zoning ordinance allowing the operation of medical marijuana cooperatives in certain areas the type of activity that may cause a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change to the environment?
The decision could affect how the city may limit the placement of dispensaries.

Homeless Problem:

Who is working with young homeless stressing education? Two local groups support homeless minors & those to age 24 willing to go to school or seek to support themselves in two age groups here in Huntington Beach. If they work with a person here, it may be necessary to house them in another city where weekly rents in sober living homes cost less, but they offer bus passes and other means to help the person until they are able to be placed in housing  and able to finish high school then support themselves after high school if they do not continue their education. Both seek volunteers and welcome referrals.

Robyne’s Nest (Facebook: robynesnesthb) robyne@robynesnest.org is an all-volunteer organization without an office that works with students of the Huntington Beach Union High School District with the aim to keep them in school to graduation as many students face homelessness when they turn 18 and are not eligible for foster care or their parent/guardian no longer receives funds for their care. The student must keep passing grades and be drug free and willing to work toward graduation from high school. If they are still homeless, they might transition into the other program which is for 18-24 year olds.

Build Futures www.BuildFutures.org (kathy@BuildFutures.org) uses a structured program to
connect youths 18-24 to services and resources to obtain long term independence. It is a 501c3 with a good success rate. As with Robyne’s Nest, youths must stay on track avoiding drugs and overuse of alcohol.

Various & Sundry:
— California Policy Center published an interesting report showing the increases in compensation, even adjusting for inflation, for city, county, and state employees.

If you are interested in joining the Board of Directors of HB Tomorrow, please email info@hbtomorrow.org.

If there are any issues affecting Huntington Beach that you would like to see addressed, please send us an email at info@hbtomorrow.org.

Please take a moment to renew your membership here.

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