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Quality of Life, Seacoast Lighting, Tidelands, Youth Panels on Agenda

The meeting to discuss potential changes to Seacoast Drive aesthetics, quality of life and new committees will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

To consider pedestrian-scale lighting and other changes to Seacoast Drive, the creation of new committees to advise the city and hear a presentation about the region's quality of life, the Imperial Beach City Council will meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. for a special meeting.

A presentation will be delivered by a representative of the Equinox Center about the 2013 Quality of Life Dashboard.

The dashboard surveys residents about 14 important topics like jobs, water quality and affordable housing [see attached PDF].

This is agenda item 1.1.

Following suggestions made by local residents, WiLDCOAST, Surfrider Foundation and others, the city will consider reviving its Tidelands Advisory Committee (TAC).

The committee was first formed in the 1990s and became inactive in 2011, said Assistant City Manager Greg Wade. 

As director of the Community Development Department, Wade would sit on the committee but would not have the power to vote.

The committee may be made up of five "local stakeholders" like a representative from the California Fish and Game or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Suggestions that the committee re-emerge have persisted since a meeting was held Jan. 23 to discuss the adverse impact of sand replenishment on the local environment and private property.

In the agenda packet for the Feb. 27 meeting [see attached PDF], City Manager Gary Brown urges the City Council to consider the following questions:

  • Are there important topics on which Council wishes to receive TAC recommendations?
  • Does the TAC  fact finding and public meetings duplicate what City Council and staff already do?
  • Will the TAC provide an additional, valuable forum for public learning and input?
  • Will there be adequate City staffing available for the TAC?
  • Will the TAC unnecessarily slow down projects?

"The TAC may in some ways duplicate the work of City Council, but it can add value by exploring specific topics in more depth and more extensive interaction with the public," the staff report said.

Committee members would advise the city on matters related to the coast, Imperial Beach's local coastal plan and port master plan issues.

Appointments to TAC would be made by Mayor Jim Janney and approved by the Imperial Beach City Council.

This is agenda item 6.1.

Both Councilmembers Bobby Patton and Brian Bilbray discussed the idea of a youth committee when running for office last fall.

The idea of a youth committee will be explored at the meeting Wednesday. City Council will decide whether to appoint two council members to an ad-hoc committee to explore the idea and report back to council at a later date.

The committee would focus on ways young people can contribute to the community and ways to improve youth services.

This is agenda item 6.3.

At a Jan. 30 workshop meeting, consultants hired by the city gave a presentation on ways to improve Seacoast Drive including more lighting for pedestrians, increased advertising, gateway signs and parklets or mini parks.

City Council requested at the workshop meeting that the consultants continue to work with city staff and make formal recommendations.

Based on that collaboration, potential improvements and staff comments will be discussed at the meeting Wednesday. Here are those changes block by block based on staff comments.

City staff estimate that changes could cost from $50,00 to $400,000

From Palm to Dahlia avenues on Seacoast Drive:

  • The block may not require lighting improvements due to lighting from buildings and the port parking lot.
  • Consider creating a small plaza and gathering place.
  • Consider a gateway sign at the Palm Avenue and Seacoast Drive intersection.
  • Consider widening the parking lot on the east side of the street.

From Dahlia to Donax avenues:

  • Remove bushes and add up-lighting on east side.
  • Encourage property owners to install building lighting.
  • Add sidewalk where bushes are removed.
  • Widen sidewalk on east side of street.

From Donax to Daisy avenues:

  • Widen sidewalk on east side.
  • Install pedestrian-scale lighting on both sides of street.

From Daisy to Date avenues:

  • Create 7-foot-wide sidewalk.
  • Plant palm trees with up-lighting adjacent to vacant lot.
  • Construct attractive fence along vacant lot.
  • Work with property and business owners in commercial building to install additional exterior lighting.

From Date to Elm avenues:

  • Widen sidewalk.
  • Construct ADA compliant driveways.
  • Install up-lights or pedestrian-scale lighting.

From Elm to Evergreen avenues:

  • Widen sidewalk on east side.
  • Install lights.
  • Enhance bus stop lighting on east side.

Evergreen to Elder avenues:

  • Install pedestrian-scale lighting.
  • Widen sidewalk.
  • Elder to Elkwood avenues:
  • Widen sidewalk.
  • Install more lights where feasible.

Elkwood to Ebony avenues:

  • Widen sidewalk where feasible.
  • Install points of light.
  • Construct ADA-compliant driveway approach.

Elkwood to Ebony avenues:

  • Coordinate with Port of San Diego for street end easements
ibsandyshores February 26, 2013 at 04:17 AM
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT RE: Item 6.1 The statement that Patton and Bilbray discussed the idea of forming a Youth Committee is inaccurate. During the campaign, Councilmember Patton advocated for the formation of a Youth Committee - similar sentiments echoed by former Councilmember Jim King - NOT Councilmember Bilbray. Councilmember Bilbray, in a public forum, referred to Sport Park/youth services as "a luxury" the City could not afford. His campaign material never even mentioned youth at all. See the video of the actual of the actual discussion, here on Patch, at: http://imperialbeach.patch.com/articles/video-imperial-beach-city-council-forum#video-11502048
Pop Quiz February 26, 2013 at 05:19 AM
Everyone of those beach improvements will remove parking and narrow streets. This council is out of control. Who thinks a single lane down palm avenue is a good idea? After these improvements we will have horrible traffic and no parking. Time to shut down this ridiculous "walking city" BS. I have walked in this town for 50 years. Never needed a 7' wide sidewalk!
Dante Pamintuan February 26, 2013 at 04:36 PM
The demographics of Imperial Beach is changing. More young families with strollers, more pet owners, more pedestrians and wheelchair access are contributing factors to a pedestrian friendly environment. I hope we can continue this walk friendly "vision" for our unique one of a kind beach front. It's really what sets us apart from Coronado, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Less cars and more bicycles and walking might improve the quality of lifestyle for many IB'ers. Now if we can encourage the MTS bus drivers to slow down in Imperial Beach then Seacoast Drive would even be more pleasant to walk around. Simple ideas don't have to cost much. It just takes courage from our City reps to do the right thing. The BEST is before us.
JOhn February 26, 2013 at 05:25 PM
What waste of money taking palm down to one lane for 3 blocks. The sidewalks work just fine. I live over there and the traffic is already becoming bad. The lane to turn towards the beach off of 75 was backed up all the way to 9th during the early evening. From the City who claims to be broke we are going to waste a couple of hunred thousand. I walk to the beach all the time there was no need for this project. It's called getting your priorities straight and get your heads out of your asses.
IBD February 26, 2013 at 05:26 PM
In a budget crisis we really need more lighting? How will that stimulate anything? The businesses that are open at night have plenty of lighting. As for Pedestrains, there is ample lighting. We dont have money for the kids programs and they are worried about lighting. I have heard estimates on the lighting projects. I think it much cheaper to give out grants to businesses that improve lighting if we do anything at all. On the ADA well it is the law.
someonewhowasconsideringmovingtoimperialbeach February 26, 2013 at 06:10 PM
If the kids are bored they will find things to do on their own...the board better 'find' some money for more law enforcement
Serge Dedina February 26, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Excellent points and well argued Dante--I approve improving areas for walking and biking around our city and agree about the speed of the MTS buses. Additionally there is a critical need to improve pedestrian crosswalks on Palm Avenue at 9th and 13th streets. These are very dangerous intersections-especially for many of the disabled folks who cross there as well as for children and seniors.
Pop Quiz February 27, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Are there more children now in IB then in the 1960's baby boom? Does IB have a higher rate of pedestrian/vehicle collisions than other cities our size? Our unique one of a kind beach front will suffer as the current regime reduces traffic flow and parking. The traffic calming corners currently force bicycles and joggers to interact with vehicles. They also force all 40' transit bus too swing into oncoming traffic (the bus going slow does not not change vehicle length or physics. It is called "off tracking"). Palm avenue is a great example of very bad planning. It will (fact) cause more traffic resulting in more pollution and stress. The working/commuting residents of IB will spend more on fuel. They will sit in dirtier air while in traffic longer and these facts will diminish their quality of life. The few people that work in town should consider all members of the community when enforcing their narrow vision on the working people of this town. We are ruining this town with one stupid idea after another. How nice it would be to have all the "investors" and Del Mar want to be's move somewhere else. We don't want your traffic, paid parking or sidewalk hemorrhoids. The sand project ruined the surf and peoples homes. The traffic calming has made life more dangerous. The hotel wants to take our free beach parking. 9th and Palm is a blast crater. Progress ? You think that is the BEST? We disagree. This group is building for the big pay off and a quick exit.

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