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SH City Council approves using grant for food delivery and ADA compliance

Council also reviewed measures M and N on March 5 ballot that may change election date

The+pictured+map+of+Signal+Hill%E2%80%99s+planned+View+Park+was+shown+during+the+Feb.+12+Signal+Hill+City+Council+meeting+to+indicate+what+part+of+the+site+is+owned+by+the+City+of+Long+Beach.++
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SH City Council approves using grant for food delivery and ADA compliance

The pictured map of Signal Hill’s planned View Park was shown during the Feb. 12 Signal Hill City Council meeting to indicate what part of the site is owned by the City of Long Beach.

The pictured map of Signal Hill’s planned View Park was shown during the Feb. 12 Signal Hill City Council meeting to indicate what part of the site is owned by the City of Long Beach.

Courtesy City of SH

The pictured map of Signal Hill’s planned View Park was shown during the Feb. 12 Signal Hill City Council meeting to indicate what part of the site is owned by the City of Long Beach.

Courtesy City of SH

Courtesy City of SH

The pictured map of Signal Hill’s planned View Park was shown during the Feb. 12 Signal Hill City Council meeting to indicate what part of the site is owned by the City of Long Beach.

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During its Feb. 12 meeting, the Signal Hill City Council agreed to use an annual community-development grant to continue distributing groceries to seniors and to build an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant ramp at Legion Drive and East Hill Street, near the civic center.

The council also took a step toward developing the planned View Park by agreeing to a right-of-entry contract with the City of Long Beach for use of its land at the site.
Looking back to 2018, the council reviewed last year’s conditional-use permits (CUPs) and recognized several volunteers who participated in municipal events.

CDBG funds
After conducting a public hearing, during which the council received no comments, it approved using a $67,036 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Los Angeles Community Development Commission (CDC) to continue its senior food-distribution program and make ADA improvements at a corner leading into the civic center and Signal Hill Park.

Community Services Manager Alison Dobay said the funds must prioritize helping low-income households, seniors and the disabled, including making public facilities ADA-compliant.

The CDC stipulates that a maximum of 15 percent of the funds can be used for public-service projects, according to the staff report.

So, the council agreed to use $9,298 of the grant– to offset the approximate $20,000 annual cost of the City’s biweekly grocery distribution– to exactly 35 low-income senior residents, as it has done for the past several years.

The City has historically used the remaining 85 percent of the annual CDBG grant for such projects, such as street improvements and installing ADA-compliant rubberized surfacing at Calbrisas Park, according to the staff report.

The council agreed to allocate $57,738 of the current funds to improve the northwest corner of Legion Drive and East Hill Street to also be ADA-compliant.

Park development
The council authorized City Manager Charlie Honeycutt to accept a right-of-entry permit by the City of Long Beach for property it owns on the west side of Cherry Avenue, south of Burnett Street, where Signal Hill is considering the creation of View Park. 

Honeycutt said that the public-works department is completing designs for the park to include a walking trail, seating area, electronic message board and offer views. The park site contains one active and one idle oil well and sits on a slope.

The right-of-entry permit allows Signal Hill to access the land for six months, renewable for another six months, while the two cities negotiate use of the property. The permit also allows Signal Hill to mitigate stormwater runoff on the land, as per the city’s vacant-parcel ordinance.

CUP review
Scott Charney, community-development director, reviewed 2018 activity for the City’s conditional-use permits (CUPs), which the council received and filed, and three institutional permit requests for 2019 that the council approved.

Charney said that 2018 ended with 52 active CUPs in the city, one more than the previous year.

“They are subject to potential revocation,” Charney said. “So, we inspect the properties both to verify compliance with the conditions of approval contained in the CUP and also just to observe site-maintenance conditions. We’re happy to report that all sites are in compliance at this time.”

Charney reviewed various issues that had arisen last year, such as noise around a recycling center at Towne Center West, debris around a Food 4 Less grocery store and obstruction of parking at a Wells Fargo stand-alone ATM near the Costco gas station, but said all are being handled.

He also said that Signal Hill Petroleum, the owner of the property occupied by Majestic Golf Land, has terminated its lease with the driving range as of Dec. 31, 2018, in anticipation of future development, though no formal plans have been submitted to the City.

Charney also reviewed three institutional permit requests for 2019– from Courtyard Care Center, Las Brisas Child Care Center and Cole Vocational Services.

Charney said all three were found to have valid licenses and to comply with licensing requirements and building, police and fire codes and that any deficiencies have been addressed. The council agreed to adopt a resolution granting all three institutional permit requests.

Photos by Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune
Brad Pollak, director of the Long Beach Small Business Development Center, promoted the center’s services during the Signal Hill City Council’s “small-business spotlight” on Feb. 12.

Small businesses
Brad Pollak, director of Long Beach Small Business Development Center (SBDC), presented on the facility’s services during the council meeting’s “small-business spotlight.”

Pollak said the SBDC is situated on the Long Beach City College campus and offers free services for small-business owners. He added that the SBDC is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which began in 1953 to provide economic and business advising to help create jobs after World War II.

Pollak said that SBDC advisors– all business owners themselves– help those starting a business with fundamentals such as planning, strategizing marketing and sales, understanding finances and applying for loans.

He added that the SBDC also helps existing businesses with operations, effective hiring, retaining employees and seeking loans.

“It is a tremendous resource for small businesses,” Pollak said, referring interested individuals to the center’s website at longbeachsbdc.org.

During the Feb. 12 Signal Hill City Council meeting, Mayor Tina Hansen (right) recognized Big E Pizza, owned by Jimmy Eleopoulos, as the city’s Celebrated Business Sponsor of the Year for 2018.

2018 volunteers
On behalf of the council, Mayor Tina Hansen awarded several volunteers with major sponsor certificates of appreciation for their participation in Signal Hill events during 2018.

“We put on these big events because we have volunteers,” Hansen said.

The mayor began by recognizing Big E Pizza as the city’s Celebrated Business Sponsor of the Year for 2018, awarding its owner, Jimmy Eleopoulos, with a certificate of appreciation.

“Big E Pizza has donated to our concerts-in-the-park series, many city community meetings and plays a huge role in the annual police-awards dinner,” Hansen said.

She then presented Jessie Nelson Middle School’s Interact Club with a Valued Volunteer Organization of the Year award for 2018, granting a certificate to several students from the club, two of its advisors and the school’s principal.

Hansen said the club introduces teens to volunteering and community service through participation in the city’s major special events and mayor’s clean-up program.

“Seeing middle-schoolers that are out helping out their community is everything,” she said.

Jakarta Robinson, a junior at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, received the council’s award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year for 2018, but Hansen also had words of appreciation for Robinson’s parents.

During the Feb. 12 Signal Hill City Council meeting, Mayor Tina Hansen (right) recognized Jakarta Robinson (second from right) as Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year for 2018. Also pictured are Robinson’s parents.

“It’s the parents that teach […] volunteerism at the home,” she said. “You teach community service in the home. And you’re the ones that get them where they need to be.”

Finally, Hansen recognized three Community Volunteers of the Year for 2018– Terry Rogers, Judi Williams and Chuck Pearce.

During the Feb. 12 Signal Hill City Council meeting, Mayor Tina Hansen (right) recognized Terry Rogers as one of the Community Volunteers of the Year for 2018.

“[Rogers] selflessly gives her time to numerous boards and commissions and nonprofit organizations throughout Signal Hill,” Hansen said. “If there’s an event, this person’s going to be there.”

Hansen said that Williams and Pearce, a married couple, are always on hand to help with any municipal event.

“I just want to thank the city,” Williams said in accepting the award. “Of all the places I’ve volunteered, this is the best. You care for your community.”

Ballot measures
Honeycutt presented information on two competing charter amendments– Measure M and Measure N– that Signal Hill residents will vote on during the municipal election on March 5.

Honeycutt said that the measures stem from a State law– Senate Bill (SB) 415– that requires Signal Hill to consolidate its voting date to a statewide voting date.

Since there are two statewide election dates– a primary election in March and general election in November– the council had agreed to let voters decide which election date to choose.

Voters can choose Measure M to consolidate to the March statewide primary-election date in even-numbered years, or Measure N to consolidate to the November statewide general-election date in even-numbered years, Honeycutt said.

Honeycutt noted that Signal Hill’s current voting schedule is March in odd-numbered years and that consolidation must be implemented by November 2020.

He also said that if Measure M passes, the next municipal election after 2019 would coincide with the statewide primary-election date of March 2022. This would extend by 12 months the terms of three council members– Robert Copeland, Edward Wilson and Lori Woods– whose terms expire in March 2021.

If Measure N passes, then the next municipal election after 2019 would coincide with the statewide general-election date in November 2020, effectively shortening those councilmember terms by four months.

Honeycutt said that if both measures pass, then the one with the highest number of affirmative votes would prevail.

If both measures fail, then the municipal election will remain as it is– in March of odd-numbered years– in defiance of State law. As previously reported in the Signal Tribune, the council recognizes the legal implication of that possibility but are willing to stand by the voter decision.

“We’ll see what the State thinks about that,” Honeycutt said. “We are a charter city, so there’s a potential that the State law under SB 415 will not apply.”

Both Honeycutt and Hansen advised residents to read the ballot guide to get a better understanding of the effects of each of these measures.

“There’s an impartial analysis and then proponents, opponents,” Hansen said. “Each of the councilmembers [were] involved in writing different pieces of it, so please take a moment and read through it.”

At the end of the meeting, Hansen also urged residents to vote on March 5.

“Every vote absolutely counts in our city,” she said. “There are so many people all around the world that would give anything to get a ballot mailed to their home. […] I encourage everyone to use your right to vote.”

The next Signal Hill City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7pm in the council chamber at 2175 Cherry Ave.

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SH City Council approves using grant for food delivery and ADA compliance