Moraga's Town Council meets Wednesday night and continued discussions about noise and whether there will be room for dogs to run at Rancho Laguna Park are on the agenda.
Wednesday's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School auditorium at 1010 Camino Pablo in Moraga. In addition to declaring Sept. 24 as Arbor Day in Moraga, the council is expected to affirm its decision to rescind an ordinance it had attempted to pass late in 2008 - exempting the Town from the limitations imposed by its own sound ordinance.
Town staff had called the move necessary to prevent "nuisance lawsuits" by homeowners critical of the impact amplified sound from public, town-sponsored events was having on their neighborhoods, but a number of residents (including this writer) criticized the move for the precedent it set at the time.
The ordinance was eventually reviewed by an appellate court in connection with a lawsuit brought against the town by a Moraga woman and, in its decision for the woman, the court ruled that the language of the ordinance had been too broad.
Although town staff initially indicated that a second attempt at an exempting ordinance might be made in future, officials have since been quoted renewing their commitment to be being good neighbors and finding ways to mitigate sound in the neighborhoods.
Also on the agenda Wednesday will be the Town's first pass at finding a "can't we all get along" solution to various interests - all with their eye on future use of Rancho Laguna Park.
The Town is expected to authorize payment of a $7,000 fee for a preliminary design from Callander Associates of San Mateo - contracted to find a way to accomodate sports teams, dog owners, and families all seeking use of the popular local venue.
Some residents were not happy to see the park carved up to include at least one soccer field in a first-pass design offered by Callander, and a group called Lamorinda Dogs expressed dismay that they were being asked to rein in their dogs and move into a "spatially separate" enclosure away from other park users.
Residents watching the issue are starting to ask where the $100,000 needed to replace a play structure removed because it had decayed beyond safe use will come from, not to mention pay for the significant work needed to prepare an area of the park for use as a soccer field or enclosed dog run.
Perhaps they'll get the answers they seek Wednesday.