Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 10, 2012

Pat Bates's Picture

Welcome to this edition of the Fifth District Report, an electronic newsletter keeping you updated about the events taking place in Orange County and in the Fifth District. It is my hope that you find this distribution informative and I would encourage you to contact me regarding any thoughts, comments, or concerns you may have.













Don Hughes:
Chief of Staff

Kristen Thornton:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Ray Grangoff:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Sabrina Ross:
Policy Advisor

Brian Probolsky:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 6 Issue 5

Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Second Quarter Budget Report

The Board received a presentation on the FY 2011-2012 Second Quarter Budget Report. We continue to live within our means and are managing challenges related to program cuts and realignments.

While property tax revenue has declined nearly 6%, we have seen an upward trend in sales tax revenue. The FY 2012-2013 budgeting process is already underway, with public budget hearings scheduled for June 12 and 13 this year.

We were also fortunate to have received a $75,000 donation for the Laguna Niguel Library Expansion Project from the Friends of Library.

To view the FY 2011-2012 Second Quarter Budget Report, please click here. To view the PowerPoint presentation received by the Board, please click here.

Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones

State Government Code requires that CAL FIRE, California’s State Fire Agency, periodically review Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone areas and make updated recommendations as needed. Utilizing the latest and best fire modeling methods CAL FIRE has reevaluated wildfire hazards and identified Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones in the State.

Since this review process began in 2007, the County of Orange, cities and municipalities, and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) have been involved in a comprehensive and extensive stakeholder comment and review process to provide feedback.

CAL FIRE released the final new Local Responsibility Areas (LRA) Map in December 2011. The map impacts areas newly reclassified as very high fire hazard. These changes affect new construction and require buildings constructed in areas identified as Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones to be built using fire-resistive features identified in the California Building Code and California Residential Building Code.

To that end, the Orange County Board of Supervisors this week introduced an ordinance for adoption of the 2011 Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones, with the final hearing and adoption scheduled for the February 28 Board meeting.

Next steps include public notification with additional public feedback to be reviewed prior to final adoption. Discussion by individual cities is also underway, as local City Councils consider adoption of the revised fire maps affecting their respective jurisdictions.

For more information, please click here and here.

San Clemente Senior Apartments

The Board of Supervisors approved a financing proposal to assist in the financing, construction and development of a 76-unit multifamily rental housing development, known as San Clemente Senior Apartments, located in the City of San Clemente.

The San Clemente Senior Apartments will provide housing for low income seniors. The project will consist of 61 one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units. 15 units will be set aside for a population eligible for Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) services; and an additional 12 units will be set aside for persons with long term chronic health conditions.

For more information, please click here.


Measure M Promises Stay On Track

The Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee (TOC) determined the Measure M program is being delivered as promised to Orange County voters for the 21st consecutive year. TOC members found that the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is proceeding in accordance with the ordinances voters first approved in 1990 and renewed in 2006.

The independent, 11-member oversight committee monitors OCTA’s use of Measure M funding, approves all changes to the plan, and conducts annual public hearings on the expenditure of funds generated by the county sales tax program.

During the past 20 years, the original Measure M half-cent sales tax has been responsible for funding more than $4 billion in transportation improvements.

Since 1990, hundreds of local projects have been completed that help residents travel throughout the County every day, as Measure M has funded all freeway projects promised to the voters, widened streets, synchronized signals, improved intersections and launched Metrolink commuter-rail service in Orange County.

Measure M funding included:
  • $1.75 billion to upgrade every Orange County freeway
  • $1.3 billion for city street and road projects
  • $1 billion for Metrolink service and senior and disabled bus fare stabilization
Renewed Measure M is expected to generate nearly $15 billion to fund transportation improvements through 2041. Freeways will receive 43 percent of the funding, streets and roads receive 32 percent, and transit and rail receive 25 percent of the half-cent sales tax dollars.

Expect Delays Due To West County Connectors Project

Motorists traveling on the southbound San Diego Freeway (I-405) can expect delays due to construction work beginning this week as part of the West County Connectors project.

The southbound I-405 to eastbound Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22) connector will narrow from three lanes to two. This configuration will remain through the next 12 months to allow crews to finish construction on the new SR-22 / I-405 carpool connector.

Crews also will work on relocating the southbound I-405 Bolsa Chica Road off-ramp. Currently, commuters can access this off-ramp from the southbound I-405 / eastbound SR-22 connector. Upon relocation, motorists will access the southbound I-405 Bolsa Chica Road off-ramp from the southbound I-405 mainline.

Off-Ramp to Close for Riverside Freeway Project

Construction crews will close the Lakeview Avenue off-ramp on the eastbound side of the Riverside Freeway (SR-91), beginning February 13 as part of the SR-91 Westbound and Eastbound Lane project.

The Lakeview Avenue off-ramp will close for six weeks as crews safely and efficiently realign the ramp and make room for a new lane. The project will involve realigning a total 15 ramps throughout the project route.

Three ramps have been completed, but the closure of the eastbound Lakeview off-ramp is the first full closure and is expected to cause delays. Motorists are encouraged to plan their commutes accordingly and identify any available detail routes.

For more information on detours, please click here or contact Gloria Roberts of Caltrans at (949) 724-2695 or Fernando Chavarria of OCTA at (714) 560-5306.

Response to Draft 2012 Regional Transportation Plan

Every four years, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) prepares a long-range regional transportation plan (RTP) for the six-county region of Southern California. The 2012 RTP is the first plan that includes requirements of SB 375 – legislation that mandates reduction of “greenhouse gas.”

The Draft RTP has been released and, in its current form, raises significant concerns for our local agencies, as it includes policies that affect our local government land use authority. Many of the RTP proposals include mitigation measures that local government would be required to impose on infrastructure and land use development.

Additionally, the plan embraces the concept of a new Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax to finance deficits in long-term transportation infrastructure funding, without consideration for local governments that already have voter-approved taxes to finance their respective transportation improvement programs, such as Orange County’s M2 sales tax measure.

Among the many responses to be sent from concerned local agencies, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) Boards of Directors voted to send a letter to SCAG, expressing concern with the RTP.

For more information, please click here.


Inappropriate Use of Computers at Orange County Libraries

In response to the growing number of complaints of incidents involving adult patrons using computers at Orange County Public Libraries (OCPL) for the purpose of viewing pornography on the Internet, I have directed County staff to bring forward an agenda item for Board approval that would install filters on all OCPL computers.

Staff is currently drafting language for this agenda item that would preserve an adult patron’s First Amendment right to access pornography on an OCPL computer, while protecting children and other patrons from being exposed to offensive material and potentially dangerous behavior.

It is my expectation this item will come before the Board of Supervisors for approval within the next month. Please be assured that I will continue to keep you posted on this issue as additional information becomes available.

Learning from the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

As County Health Officer, Dr. Eric Handler has unique responsibilities during any disaster that would impact Orange County. That’s why he was invited to participate in a Federally sponsored trip to Japan to see first-hand the devastation caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Dr. Handler said his experience has reinforced his belief that everyone who lives in Southern California should be prepared to take care of their own needs for a seven-day period in the event of an earthquake or other major disaster. He also learned the critical importance of communications in the coordination of resources. Finally, he saw that you can’t do it alone and must rely on partners for support and help in the days following a disaster.

The Information, Collection, Analysis and Dissemination Team on which Dr. Handler served will be producing a “lessons learned” report that will help local emergency managers improve their preparedness in critical areas like evacuation, mass population care and shelter, and disaster recovery.

For more information, please click here.


Rental Assistance Waiting List Opens Next Week

FINAL REMINDER: Beginning Wednesday, February 15, applications for the Waiting List for housing assistance will be available online or at participating cities as well as branches of Orange County Public Libraries.

Applications can be submitted three ways, including:
  • Online at www.ochousing.org, beginning 12:01 AM on February 15 through 11:59 PM on February 29; or
  • Fax to (714) 667-6544, beginning 12:01 AM on February 15 through 11:59 PM on February 29; or
  • Mail to Orange County Housing Authority, P.O. Box 22005, Santa Ana, CA 92702 and postmarked from February 15 through February 29.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online, which will provide immediate confirmation. For more information, please click here, here and here or call the Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA) Waiting List Information Line at (714) 480-2740.

CFCOC Application Deadline Extended

The deadline for candidates to submit an application to serve on the Children and Families Commission of Orange County (CFCOC) in the category of Education and Early Intervention has been extended to Wednesday, February 15 at 3:00 PM.

To be considered, a completed application and resume must be mailed, hand delivered, or faxed to:
Children and Families Commission of Orange County
17320 Redhill Avenue, Suite 200, Irvine, CA 92614
Attention: Kelly Pijl
Fax: 949-474-2243
The recruitment is open to new applicants and current members to fill one Commission member position for 2012 in this category. Candidates must have relevant expertise or experience as described in the application package which can be obtained online.

For more information, please contact Kelly Pijl at (714) 834-5186.


Orange County Public Libraries eReader Open House

Orange County Public Libraries (OCPL) will host an eReader Open House at the Rancho Santa Margarita Branch Library on Tuesday, February 21 from noon to 2:00 PM, which will provide patrons with “hands on” experience with multiple e-reader devices.

This is an excellent opportunity for residents who may have a new e-reader device but aren’t sure how to effectively download e-books. Additionally, for those who may want to purchase an e-reader but aren’t sure which, they can come and try each of them out, as OCPL staff will be on hand to assist. This event is FREE of charge and open to the public.

For more information, please click here. For information on other eReader Open House events, please click here.


The Toll Roads: 2012 Spring Native Habitat Tours

As reported in my newsletter last week, The Toll Roads is hosting its 12th annual Native Habitat Tour series. Don’t miss your opportunity to hike through the significant areas of open space protected through regional open space planning efforts, including Orange County’s public toll road system.

This year’s tour series will focus on The Toll Roads’ sustainability efforts that come from extensive long-term environmental planning and restoration over time. These guided hikes offer a glimpse into Orange County’s habitat areas that few people have ever seen. Reserve your spot now!

For more information, please click here.


Celebrate Spay Day USA with OC Animal Care

Please join OC Animal Care in celebrating Spay Day USA on Saturday, February 25. Come to the shelter from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to see the wonderful animals available for adoption. All adopters who find their forever friend will receive a free spay or neuter for their new pet.

For more information, please click here.


Laguna Niguel: Magical Parlor Show & Family Fun Night

Bring the whole family Friday, February 10 to an amazing show filled with magical fun and audience participation, right under your nose. This incredible performance from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Crown Valley Community Park is filled with jaw-dropping tricks that will blow you away. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: World Class Music

Dana Point Symphony's inaugural 2012 season begins Friday, February 10 at 7:30 PM, with works by Mozart and Brahms. Each performance will showcase a 50-piece orchestra, international soloists, and exhibits by visual artists from Dana Point and the surrounding area. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: 2012 Taste of San Juan

Enjoy samples of premium menu items from local eateries at the 2012 Taste of San Juan on Wednesday, February 15 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, featuring great food, music and dancing. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: The White House Garden

San Clemente’s Casa Romantica presents the only west coast showing of The White House Garden, a Smithsonian travelling exhibition capturing the history and beauty of one of the oldest continuously maintained landscaped gardens in America, on display through February 26. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Met with representatives of Mission Hospital and the City of Laguna Beach to discuss provision of County services and assistance to the homeless.
  • Attended the Orange County Business Council (OCBC) Annual Installation and Awards Ceremony.
  • Participated in the California Association of LAFCOs (CALAFCO) meeting in Irvine.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Cpl. Christopher Singer of Lake Forest; and Dr. Richard McCullough of Mission Viejo.
My office also provided certificates of recognition for:
  • The ribbon cutting ceremony for Residence Inn by Marriott in San Juan Capistrano.
  • Eddie Northen upon completion of his term as Chairman of the Orange County Business Council.
  • Members of the Finalist Team from Tesoro High School for the 31st Annual Mock Trial Competition in Orange County.
  • Outstanding contributors and supporters of the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial.
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.

Please feel free to contact my office with your concerns, comments or questions at (714) 834-3550. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Supervisor for Orange County's Fabulous Fifth District.

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