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City looks into annexing Bolsa Chica

Council members also approve social host ordinance and respond to the demise of the Sunset Beach Junior Lifeguards.

March 06, 2013|By Anthony Clark Carpio

The Huntington Beach City Council gave city staff the green light Monday to update its report on the possible annexation of the remaining portions of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands and uplands.

In a 5-1 vote, with Councilman Dave Sullivan dissenting and Councilman Jim Katapodis absent, the city agreed to spend around $5,000 to update the study.

"We have a huge pension problem over our head. The magnitude is going to be massive," Sullivan said. "We cannot afford to take this on. It's protected by government agencies. I'm satisfied with the county's stewardship of it and anything that happens becomes our problem. And I don't want to even waste the $5,000 to study the matter any further."

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According to a staff report, a study to annex the remaining portions of Bolsa Chica was prepared in 2009 but the City Council didn't pursue the land.

Now that the city has annexed Sunset Beach, bringing in Bolsa Chica would make Huntington Beach whole, Councilman Joe Carchio said.

"In San Bernardino County, the city of Redlands has a famous doughnut hole similar to this, but a little bit different," Mayor Pro Tem Matt Harper said. "It's a developed area in the unincorporated area in the middle of the city of Redlands and it presents quite a challenge in terms of governance because the priorities of the board of supervisors don't always match the priorities of the city council, in terms of that area."

Harper added that the city has gotten leeway from Bolsa Chica's supervisors but thinks that might change later down the road and wants to see the unincorporated land part of Huntington Beach.

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Social Hosting Ordinance

In other action Monday, the City Council adopted a social hosting ordinance allowing police to fine those who knowingly serve alcohol to underage partygoers.

In a 4-2 vote, with Harper and Councilwoman Jill Hardy dissenting and Katapodis absent, the council approved a law that those serving alcohol to teens in private residences can be fined a flat fee of $250, but administrative fees can push fines to $750 for first-time violators.

Harper voiced his opposition of the ordinance, asking city staff if there was any documentation from PTAs or student organizations supporting the changes. When city staff said there weren't any, Harper said the silence spoke for itself.

Though Huntington Beach High School PTA President Gina Gleason spoke during public comment in support of the ordinance, it wasn't enough for the mayor pro tem.

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