Amid the holiday hustle and bustle, the Coronado City Council will hold its last meeting of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 21. Like a good Christmas tree, the agenda offers a little something for everyone—a few annual reports, some repair and remodel projects, and a code change here and there.
Highlights include a proposed ordinance change that will increase parking fines by $3, encroachment requests from three restaurants, and a PowerPoint presentation on the new Smart Meters by SDG&E.
If the ordinance change is adopted, fines for cars and bicycles will increase to $24.50 from $21.50 for each violation. Penalties for oversized and nonmotorized vehicles, such as trailers, will increase to $81.50 from $78.50.
The money is needed to cover an increase in administrative costs imposed by the state on cities as part of this year’s budget, which was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Oct. 8 and went into effect Dec. 7.
The extra revenue will be placed in the Trial Court Trust Fund. In April 2009, the City Council raised parking fines by $3 to help subsidize the State Court Construction Fund.
The city keeps $12 from the penalties for cars and bicycles and $69 for oversized and nonmotorized vehicles, part of which goes to cover the city’s administrative cost. Last year the city netted $25,254 from parking fines.
Many Coronado residents have already received notices about the Smart Meters SDG&E plans to install. Tuesday night, the City Council will get a preview of the new technology.
These new digital meters simultaneously convey usage information to SDG&E and to its customers. Unlike existing meters, Smart Meters have a computer chip that registers energy use every hour at residences and every 15 minutes at businesses. Consumers can then use this information to make changes that save money and reduce carbon footprints.
Over the next several months, SDG&E plans to replace all electric meters in Coronado with digital ones.
Sapori, Coronado Firehouse Bar & Grill, and Nicky Rottens Bar and Burger Joint have all requested permission to expand their restaurants into the public right of way. All want to offer outdoor dining to their patrons, along with a few amenities, such as a wrought iron fence, a balcony and a few potted plants. The three sit next to each other on the 100 block of Orange.
Sapori and the Coronado Firehouse Bar & Grill have conditional encroachment permits and have already made many of the improvements. Nicky Rottens is still in the development stage. First the owner’s plans must be approved by the city’s Design and Review Commission. But the owners already know they need more space and have filed for a permit.
Nicky Rottens plans to add three awnings, a fenced-in outdoor seating area and a finished ground elevation.
Sapori added a balcony, an awning, three raised landscaped planters and an outdoor dining area enclosed by a wrought iron handrail. All three encroach several feet onto the sidewalk.
The city staff has recommended some modification to their plans. Principally they want the owners to shrink the size of the dinning area from 8 feet to 5 feet and to trim the width of the raised planters by 6 inches, bringing their height to 6 feet.
The Coronado Firehouse Bar & Grill, which sits on the site of Coronado’s first firehouse, built a wrought iron railing, a balcony and a tiled roof overhang. Like Sapori, the Firehouse will have to move its dining area back to 5 feet.
These reductions are necessary because the City Council wants to be sure there is enough room to plant trees along the curb sometime in the future.
The city’s Strategic Plan “encourages the revitalization of downtown businesses to better serve residents and visitors and to improve the city’s sales tax base.” If the council doesn’t approve the plans, the owners will have 90 days to remove the fences and balconies from the public right of way.