CAL FIRE’S new fire safety map, which presented a difficult problem at the last city council meeting, never made it to the vote for adoption at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
Before the matter came to a vote, Mayor Paul Glaab opened the proceedings by announcing that he had second thoughts about the consequences of adopting the map following Councilman Robert Ming’s objections and negative vote at the last meeting.
CAL FIRE’S map, if it was adopted by the council, would require that builders in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone of Laguna Niguel comply with extra building codes and requirements to prevent possible fires.
Ming argued at the last council meeting that these extra requirements could cause an unfair financial burden for property owners that were not in place when they had originally bought the property.
The council decided not to vote on the ordinance at all due to the fact that the fire safety zones map and the associated regulations it will impose constitute an unfunded state mandate. An unfunded state mandate is a law or regulation that imposes new requirements on local governments, yet provides no money for fulfilling the requirements. Since there has been no funding set aside by the state’s legislature for the requirements that would be established by the map, it is not necessary for the council to adopt the map or the associated ordinances.
“This could change come July,” City Manager Tim Casey says. “If the state funds this program in the next fiscal year then we may have to revisit the matter.”
Councilman Joe Brown suggested that the approximately three dozen current property owners in the area that may potentially be affected by these regulations in the future be informed of the possible building requirements. The rest of the council agreed, so property owners will be given a list of fire-resistant building standards and encouraged to voluntarily incorporate them into their building plans.
The City Council also:
- Heard from pickleball enthusiasts who turned out in droves to support the conversion of two tennis courts to pickleball courts. The council approved the measure and according to Casey, while there is no construction date set, construction will start within a few months.
- Contributed $2,000 to the Grad Nite Committee
- Adopted the resolution for the 2013 Federal Transportation Improvement Program
The City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the at City Hall, 30111 Crown Valley Pkwy.