Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 22. We are Carol Cormaci and Vince Nguyen bringing you this week’s TimesOC newsletter. Together we’ve aggregated the latest local news and events for you.
Those of you who live or own a business in Laguna Beach and find yourselves festively minded on occasion, take notice: If balloons are your party accessory of choice, you have only until the end of this year before an ordinance goes into place that will prohibit their presence on public property. Additionally, they’ll be banned from being released into the air and from being disposed of, except where they are contained with a lid.
Also, Laguna Beach merchants that currently stock the party staple will not be allowed to sell them within city limits once the law goes into effect.
Yes, the clock is ticking on the life of balloons in Laguna Beach, our colleague Andrew Turner writes, after the City Council, on its second reading Tuesday night, continued to support unanimously the new ordinance they approved in late January.
Violations of these restrictions can result in fines of up to $100 for a first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for each successive violation within one year, Turner reports. The ordinance allows for the city manager to revoke the business license of any recalcitrant retailer who commits four or more party balloon violations within a year.
The City Council’s decision on the matter has the solid endorsement of environmentalists.
“We shouldn’t utilize artificial stuff like single-use plastic balloons,” Turner quotes Hoiyin Ip, co-chair of the Sierra Club California zero waste committee as telling the City Council. “This is horrible in terms of the impact to wildlife and biodiversity. I hope this will change the way people think.”