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Commission Takes Up Plan for Dealing With Disasters

La Cañada Flintridge officials want residents not only to increase their understanding of the risks from natural disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes, but also to contribute to the city’s long-term strategies to diminish their impact.
Officials sought feedback on the draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan — authorities’ blueprint for protecting citizens and property from natural or human-caused events — during a Public Safety Commission meeting on Monday in the City Council chambers. Commissioner Marilyn Smith, drawing attention to especially contemporary concerns, asked municipal staff members if there had been a consideration to include a terrorist attack or active-shooter incident under the plan.
“Terrorism is an existing hazard,” Division Manager Arabo Parseghian said in reply. He added that a management analyst, Christina Nguyen, would look into the question about an active shooter. According to a city statement, the mission of the plan is to defend residents, the environment, private property and others from hazards through advocating a sound public policy.
LCF has a plan in place, but it must be updated every five years and is set to expire next June 4, officials said. After public review and feedback, the plan is sent to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for approval.
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, a national program for pre-disaster relief, requires LCF to have an approved plan to obtain federal funds for projects that aren’t contingent upon a presidential declaration of disaster for, according to a statement.
A planning and development team with eight city staff members started the update last spring. More than 20 service providers and community groups were asked to be on a Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee for the plan’s update, with the public also invited.
Two new hazards — drought and excessive heat — have been included in the plan as well as other updates, including a section on floods.
The topics discussed on Monday night in a slide show given by Nguyen included wildfires, earthquakes and floods. No members of the public gave comment.
Parseghian said the city has to give FEMA an update on which goals were completed and which were not.
He added reasons for some projects not being completed were budgetary, some were misidentified and some were not as important as previously thought. LCF will also start to incorporate the mitigation plan into city plans which was not a regular practice previously.
More feedback from residents is needed and the next meeting is scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the council chambers. Those who can’t attend are asked to submit feedback on the draft before Nov. 6 at lcf.ca.gov/public-safety/lhmp.
Citizens can view, download and give comments at the LHMP public review draft online.
Those with questions can email lhmpcomments@lcf.ca.gov.
Adoption of the plan by the City Council is scheduled for spring 2019.


The commission discussed motorized scooters and electric bicycles, described as shared mobility devices, because the City Council previously asked it to look at options for potential regulations.
Carl Alameda, director of administrative services, said a number of Lime scooters appeared in a private parking lot in late September but disappeared within two days.
“Their presence made it to the attention of City Council and it is something they wanted to start thinking about what we’re going to do about those if they do come into the community,” Alameda said.
He described the business model for using such bicycles this way: Bikes are left on private parking lots, sidewalks or public parks; someone with a phone that is registered online can scan a code on the bike to unlock it. A rider then pays a flat fee plus a rate per mile to use the bike.
“The [Americans With Disabilities Act] issue and pedestrian and user safety are the issues we’re concerned about,” Alameda said.
Staff members initially recommended a pilot program for the vehicles because there are no rules for them to operate in the city.
However, the commission decided to not to create a pilot program and voted instead to tell the City Council to keep current California Vehicle Code regulations and require any shared mobility device business owner to obtain a license.
The CVC, officials noted, states that riders must follow the same rules as bicyclists and be at least 16, and that e-bikes should not be left on the sidewalk blocking pedestrians.
A lengthy debate addressed minimum operating requirements, insurance, maintenance and speeds within pedestrian areas. Commission member Thomas Schafer said he didn’t think LCF provided a strong business template for the bicycles because of how quickly they were removed.


The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported there had been 113 service call responses in LCF in September, with 66 medical calls and 42 people being transported via ambulance.
Maria Grycan, a community service liaison for the department, said there were two hazardous condition incidents in September with a power line down in the 1500 block of Alta Park Lane and defective wiring in the 4100 block of Pembury Place.
In 2018, there have been 713 medical service calls compared with 786 last year. A single cooking fire that caused no damage was reported last month, compared with four fires the previous month in 2017. Overall, there have been 29 fires this year, an increase from 16 for the same period last year.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department reported there were no homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults in September; eight residential burglaries and 10 larceny thefts were reported.
There were also two narcotics incidents and four identity theft and fraud cases, said Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Matejka.
In the first nine months of 2018, there have been no homicides, one rape and one robbery compared with no homicides, one rape and four robberies in the same period last year, according to Sheriff’s Department statistics. Residential burglaries are also down, with 43 reported this year and 60 in the corresponding period last year.


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