Urban Forest, Beekeeping, and Korean Business Convention Funding Highlight Council Agenda

Three items of council business highlight the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 26, at 4:00 p.m.: An Urban Forest update and master plan process; a discussion of residential beekeeping regulations requested by Councilmembers Larry Agran and Kathleen Treseder; and a request by Vice Mayor Tammy Kim for the City to fund a sponsorship of the Korean World Business Convention in Anaheim.

Item 4.1—Urban Forest Update and Master Plan Process

The City Staff is recommending that the Council approve a budget adjustment in an amount not to exceed $400,000 for an Urban Forest Master Plan study with the goal of planting and maintaining more trees in Irvine. The money would come from the Irvine Recovery Fund. The recommendation is in response to a Council action on May 9, directing staff to: “1) prepare an analysis of the current state of the City’s Urban Forestry Program; 2) develop recommendations for the scope of a Request for Proposals to create an Urban Forest Master Plan; and 3) identify funding sources for preserving and expanding Irvine’s tree canopy ….”

According to the staff memo, there are approximately 550,000 trees within Irvine’s boundaries, of which the City is responsible for about 68,000. The remainder are owned and maintained by private parties, with the Irvine Company being responsible for about 200,000 trees. Staff proposes development of a comprehensive, long-range plan to accomplish a number of objectives, including:

  • Establishment of a feasible urban tree canopy goal;
  • Assessing the carbon offset from the current and projected tree inventory; and
  • Establishing a list of implementation measures to maintain the heath of city-owned trees, expand plantings on public and private land, and expand citywide canopy coverage.

Item 4.2—Consideration of a Request by Councilmembers Agran and Treseder to Discuss Residential Beekeeping Regulations

In their memo to City Manager Oliver Chi, Agran and Treseder noted that on May 10, 2022, the Council adopted an ordinance to provide for new regulations for residential beekeeping. They are requesting a staff presentation on the program’s first year. In response to concerns raised about the cost of permit fees, they are requesting the Council to “support modifying the procedures and regulations on residential beekeeping ….”

Item 4.3—Consideration of a Request by Vice Mayor Kim to Allocate Unused Irvine Recovery Plan Funds and Approve a $50,000 Sponsorship Request for the 2023 World Korean Business Convention Event

Kim’s memo to Chi transmits a request from the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County (KACCOC) for Irvine to sponsor the World Korean Business Convention (WKBC) to be held in Anaheim on October 11-14. Kim states that the convention will attract more than 3,000 participants from about 60 countries, and that “WKBC has played a pivotal role in lifting small to mid-sized Korean businesses into the global marketplace and creating synergies and partnerships between domestic and overseas Korean businesses.”

Kim states that about $150,000 remains in Irvine Recovery Plan (IRP) funds, allowing the City to spend $50,000 on the sponsorship.  According to a report by the U.S. Treasury Department: “The City of Irvine … has been allocated $56 million of American Rescue Plan Act … – State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds … to address the impact and recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic and address opportunities needed to prepare for future such events …. As of June 30, 2022, the City has received its complete allocation of $56 million.” The City’s website states that IRP funds have been used for grants to (1) nonprofit organizations to operate programs serving vulnerable populations; (2) nonprofit organizations to operate small business assistance programs; and (3) emerging nonprofits to operate such programs.

(Also, in Item 3.5 on the Consent Calendar, Kim is requesting Community Service Partnership Grants of $5,000 for the KACCOC Foundation and $1,000 for Working Wardrobes.)

Great Park Board Meeting at 3:00

Prior to the Council meeting, the Great Park Board will hold its regular meeting at the special time of 3:00 on Tuesday. The major item on the agenda is a presentation providing Great Park Framework Plan Design Updates. There are no action items on the agenda.

How to Participate

Irvine residents may provide public comments at both meetings by attending in person at City Hall or via Zoom. Residents may also submit ecomments. Instructions are here.