In this edition of the City Manager’s newsletter, learn about our response to Tropical Storm Hilary, check out the upcoming community workshop for our new aquatics facility, read about the patio that will be part of our library transformation, and find more Santa Ana news and events.
Night out in our beloved DTSA
Photo Credit: Consuelo P.
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City Manager’s Highlights
Responding to Tropical Storm Hilary
Heavy rain during the peak of summer? Last weekend brought bizarre weather to our beautiful city thanks to Tropical Storm Hilary passing over Southern California. During the storm, our dedicated Public Works team was in full action. Up to 40 City employees and contractors helped fill and load free sandbags for the public, assisting over 1,100 Santa Ana households, distributing 11,000 sandbags and over 200 tons of sand.
Throughout the storm, our staff was monitoring our water, sewer and flood-control systems. The good news is that no major flooding was reported and there were no impacts to City services. In the aftermath of the storm, our team attended to over 70 reports of fallen trees, tree limbs, and minor flood-related requests. Staff continued to actively clear debris and fallen trees from our neighborhoods this week.
The Santa Ana Zoo was also busy extending a helping hand during the storm. The Zoo welcomed 250 ducklings and 28 raccoons that had to be evacuated from the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, some of the nearly 1,000 animals that the organization had to evacuate due to their coastal location. Following the storm’s passing, these rehabilitated animals have now made their journey back home to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center.
Sign up for AlertOC
To stay informed about future natural disasters and other emergencies, sign up for notifications through AlertOC, a mass notification system for Orange County residents and businesses. AlertOC uses voice, text, email and TTY device messages to alert the public about emergencies that may require immediate life-saving actions. Sign up for alerts by visiting the link below.
City launches landlord rental registry
We have launched a new Rental Registry where landlords are required to register their rental units, update rental unit information, update tenancy information, submit notices, and pay the City’s rental registry fee (if applicable) pursuant to the City’s Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction Ordinance. The registry, which opened Aug. 15, is available through an online portal on our website. To offer as much support as possible, we are providing a detailed webpage with numerous resources for landlords, weekly virtual workshops, staff and computers at the Santa Ana WORK Center, a dedicated email address (email@example.com), and a helpline at (714) 667-2209.
For more information about the Rental Registry, please visit the links below.
Help us design a new aquatics facility at Memorial Park!
Exciting transformations are underway for Memorial Park & Pool! We are planning a much-needed, brand new aquatics center at Memorial Park and we want our residents to share their ideas by taking our survey and joining a community design workshop. This project, known as Memorial Park & Pool Reimagined, is a collaboration with ELS Architecture + Urban Design and SWA Group.
Community Design Workshop
- Thursday, Sept. 14
- 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- Jerome Center, 726 S. Center St.
City Hall gets new reception desk
Introducing City Hall’s brand new reception desk in our main lobby! We have aimed to enhance community engagement by improving our accessibility to Santa Ana residents with dedicated and knowledgeable front desk staff. This update is part of a larger effort to create a more welcoming and efficient environment for residents and visitors coming to do business or access programs at City Hall. Our wonderful reception team is eager to help you!
Apply to join our Environmental Justice Action Committee
Santa Ana residents and local non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply to the Environmental Justice (EJ) Action Committee. The EJ Action Committee will develop ongoing EJ community engagement for disadvantaged EJ communities and host quarterly roundtable meetings with local stakeholders to guide and evaluate implementation of environmental justice policies. This is part of the City of Santa Ana General Plan Environmental Justice policy implementation of Land Use Element Policy 3.25. The application deadline is Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. The City will review applications and select the resident representatives in early October 2023.
Help OCTA develop strategies for sustainable transportation
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is developing a plan that will provide recommendations that shift away from driving alone and expand access to alternative travel options. Potential strategies include carpooling, telecommuting, bikeshare, mobile trip planning apps, and more. OCTA wants to hear your ideas!
Join a Zoom webinar to learn more about how you can help OCTA develop strategies to encourage alternative modes of travel in OC on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. You can also complete a survey by Sept. 18 for a chance to win one of two $50 gift cards. Make sure to sign up to receive project updates and meeting invitations below.
City Hall closed, no street sweeping on Labor Day
Santa Ana City Hall will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4, in observance of Labor Day. There will be no street sweeping, and trash pickup will be delayed one day. City Hall is also closed on Friday, Sept. 1, for its regular closure on alternating Fridays. Regular City Hall hours will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Street closures and permitted events
Here are the locations of upcoming permitted events and road closures so you can plan accordingly. Please drive slowly and safely in construction zones and around crowded events.
Tales of the City
Main Library patio transformation
The Main Library is undergoing a major transformation to preserve and enhance library facilities and services for the entire community. Over the next two years, the Main Library will be reimagined with a new interactive children’s learning area, modern building mechanicals, a complete restoration of its Italian marble façade, and a return to the building’s original design intention and layout. This restoration project will breathe new life into the Main Library, preserving its mid-century charm while introducing modern amenities and improved accessibility.
Included in the project scope is a complete renovation of the Library’s east patio, transforming it into a vibrant, welcoming, and accessible community and event space for everyone. The space will include amphitheater-style covered seating, outdoor reading areas, and new landscaping. The outdoor space will be an extension of a new large community room that will be used for Library programming, meetings, and events. Modifications to the existing landscape and replacement of several trees are necessary to provide the community with safe and accessible outdoor spaces.
Accessibility to the existing patio has been limited for years and the space has not been available to serve a community in need of safe and accessible public spaces. This is due to safety hazards caused by a large Ficus Drupacea Tree (“Ficus Tree”) that is planted adjacent to the building.
Those hazards include:
- Excessive fruit droppings (1.5 to 2.5 inches in size), creating tripping hazards.
- Large tree leaves (6-10 inches) that shed heavily, creating tripping hazards.
- Fruit droppings that attract wasps.
Multiple city staff have been injured due to falling fruit and debris from the tree. The City has attempted to treat the tree to mitigate falling fruit and debris, but this was unsuccessful.
The Ficus Tree’s location next to the Library is also concerning from a facility maintenance standpoint due to:
- Uncontrolled buttressing root system that can reach up to 30 feet in diameter and potentially impact the building’s already leaking foundation.
- Overgrown tree canopy that may damage the Library’s exterior marble façade and roof.
- Increased landscape maintenance and cost to clean and remove debris and fruit.
Protecting the Library facility, which opened in 1960, is particularly important as it has been determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Library’s exterior marble façade is explicitly noted as one of its historical character-defining features, and will be fully refurbished in this restoration project. Removing the Ficus Tree will help protect the restored marble façade and the building’s structure from future damage.
It is important to note that the historic landscape design for the Library included very few trees. In the east garden, no trees that exist today are original. In fact, the Ficus Tree was planted nine years after the Library opened. Therefore, the decision has been made to remove and replace the tree to create a safer space for all who want to enjoy the new east patio. While several trees will be replaced, the large street trees outside the fence along Ross Street will remain to create a mature tree canopy.
FAQs Regarding this project and the Ficus Drupacea Tree
Question: Is the Ficus Drupacea tree the largest in North America?
Answer: No. Larger specimens exist, including a specimen in Fort Myers, Florida, that is approximately 105 feet tall or about 40% taller than the tree at the Santa Ana Public Library.
Question: Is the tree being removed to create five parking spaces?
Answer: No. The project will create a new outdoor community reading garden, youth activity area, and community event space.
Question: Is the tree ancient or hundreds of years old?
Answer: No. The tree was planted nearly a decade after the building was completed in 1960.
Question: Will any of the trees being removed be replaced?
Answer: Yes. The City is committed to replacing every tree in the space.
City Council Meetings
At their Aug. 15, 2023, meeting, the Santa Ana City Council:
- Heard a report from the Police Department on addressing public intoxication
- Adopted a resolution ending the water supply shortage
- Approved an agreement with ELS Architecture and Urban Design for architectural design services of the Memorial Park and aquatics facility renovation
- Changed the name of a segment of Mabury Street and Elk Lane between Fourth Street and Chestnut Avenue by Santa Ana Zoo to Zoo Lane
City Council meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, with the closed session beginning at 5 p.m. or earlier. The open meeting session begins at 5:30 p.m. Meetings have both in-person and virtual participation and attendance and are live streamed on the City’s YouTube channel and our TV channel, CTV3 (channel 3 on Spectrum.) If you’d like to provide public comments on agenda and non-agenda items, you can email, attend in person, or join the Zoom webinar online or by phone.
This month, the City Council will have an extra meeting on Aug. 29. The Council voted to schedule this special meeting and cancel the regular meeting on Sept. 5 because it is the day after Labor Day.
Libraries of Things Open House – August 26
In partnership with the American Heart Association and OC Health Care Agency, we will be adding Blood Pressure Kits to the Library of Things Collection. In celebration of this important community resource, the Library of Things Open House will be showcasing health-focused items.
- Saturday, Aug. 26
- 3-5 p.m.
- Newhope Library, 122 N. Newhope St., Santa Ana
Chicano Heritage Festival – August 27
The City of Santa Ana’s Chicano Heritage Festival is back! Join us for a day full of celebrating our community’s Chicano culture. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. This second annual special event will include festivities and a day of live music celebrating Mexican-American culture. A car cruise will begin at 10:30 a.m., departing from Santa Ana College’s Parking Lot 7, 1530 W. 17th St.
- Sunday, Aug. 27
- 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- El Salvador Park, 1825 W. Civic Center Drive
OCTA Transportation Planning Webinar – August 31
Join a Zoom webinar to learn more about how you can help OCTA develop strategies to encourage alternative modes of travel in Orange County.
- Thursday, Aug. 31
- 5:30 p.m.
- Virtual meeting on Zoom
Garage and Yard Sale Weekend – September 2-3
Garage sales for residential properties are permitted on the first full weekend of March, June, September, and December of each year. No permit is required. Sales may only occur on Saturday and/or Sunday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. Go to the link below to learn more about the yard sale rules and regulations.
- Saturday, Sept. 2, to Sunday, Sept. 3
- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day
Celebrate National Grandparents Day – September 7-9
Celebrate National Grandparents Day at Santa Ana Public Library! Join us for stories, crafts, an X-STREAM activity, and an ice cream social with stations featuring crafts, games, and other activities. Open to grandmas, grandpas, and any other special “Grands” in your life.
X-STREAM Lab: Grandparents Day Mugs
- Thursday, Sept. 7
- 6-7:30 p.m.
- Main Library, 26 Civic Center Plaza
Tiny Tots Storytime
- Thursday, Sept. 7
- 10:30-11:15 a.m.
- Newhope Library, 122 N. Newhope St.
Ice Cream Social
- Friday, Sept. 8
- 4-5 p.m.
- Newhope Library, 122 N. Newhope St.
Super Saturdays Storytime
- Saturday, Sept. 9
- 10:30-11:15 a.m.
- Main Library, 26 Civic Center Plaza
Fiestas Patrias – September 16 & 17
Get ready for two full days of celebration as we commemorate the independence of various Latin American countries and our Latino and Hispanic communities in Santa Ana. This event will take place on Flower Street between Civic Center Drive and Santa Ana Boulevard. In addition, the Fiestas Patrias Parade is back for the first time since before the pandemic.
Fiestas Patrias Festival
- Saturday, Sept. 16, 12-11 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 17, 12-10 p.m.
Fiestas Patrias Parade on Main Street
- Sunday, Sept. 17, 3-5 p.m.
Report issues with the mySantaAna app
The mySantaAna mobile app puts the power of the City of Santa Ana government in the palm of your hand! Download the app to quickly and easily report issues such as potholes, graffiti, downed trees and much more.
Who do I call at City Hall?
Important phone numbers:
- City Hall main line: (714) 647-5400
- Code Enforcement: (714) 667-2780
- Graffiti Hotline: (877) 786-7824
- Emergency Water Services: (714) 953-8026
- Public Works dispatch (street sweeping, trees): (714) 647-3380
- City utility services
- Southern California Edison: Call (800) 447-6620
- Southern California Gas: Call (800) 207-8567
- Trash pick up: Call (877) 328-2074