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Free Trolleys and Fee Hikes Reduce Congestion

Fee Hikes Aim to Discourage Downtown Parking Banking on the success of last summer’s efforts to tame congestion, the City Council signed off on similar measures for the upcoming festival season. These include rate hikes for parking meters and lots taking effect in July to...

GOP Presses for Skatepark

Laguna Beach parents have been fighting for a skatepark in town for so long that the kids of early advocates are now adults. Initiatives and petitions have flared up and died down, and now Laguna Beach Republicans have taken up the torch. Fletcher Berryman, the newly elected...

Main Beach Closed to More Public Art

Upon discovery of an overlooked exclusion discouraging permanent art installations in Main Beach Park, the City Council Tuesday reversed last month’s approval for the installation of a sculpture within its prized “window to the sea.” Staff will work with the Arts Commission to...

Council Approves First Complete Street

Pedestrians, bicyclists and cars will soon share Laguna Beach’s first complete street following a City Council decision Tuesday, March 17, to allow separate lanes for each on Monterey Drive, one of the town’s few one-way streets. The issue came up after residents complained...

Trolley Ridership Rocks Expectations

Over 7,000 people hopped on Laguna Beach’s free trolleys for their inaugural non-summer run last weekend, according to Deputy City Manager Ben Siegel, an amount that far exceeds the minimum ridership of 1,800 required to ensure continued grant funding for the service....

Ranch Makeover Contested in Lawsuit

Two months after the California Coastal Commission granted a coastal development permit to allow Laguna Beach resident Mark Christy to continue renovation of The Ranch, a neglected hotel and golf course in Aliso Canyon, the project has hit another potential snag. Lawyers...

Where Some See a Blessing, Others See a Curse

Ross St. Clair, grandson of Aubrey St. Clair, the renowned Laguna Beach architect who designed such prominent structures in town as the City Hall, the Fire Department and Laguna Beach Water District, is all for preserving his progenitor’s legacy. Yet he now finds himself in...

Laguna’s Greeters Inspire Novice Filmmaker

Former Canadian ice hockey pro Martin Yewchuk moved to Laguna Beach from Calgary to fulfill his self-described goal of becoming “a famous Hollywood producer who makes films that change how people view the world.” Little did he know that his first film subject would...

Council Vows to Limit Scrutiny of Appeals

After revisiting the public appeal process to challenge decisions made by the Design Review Board, the City Council decided Tuesday to maintain the current approach, but with a renewed determination to follow the letter of the law. Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow asked for a...

Canyon Planning Takes Center Stage

Even as urban planners presented their progress in scrutinizing downtown planning guidelines and reviewing land use issues in Laguna Canyon, the City Council Tuesday also heeded suggestions from an increasingly well organized group of canyon residents, who want a seat at the...

Taming Congestion Proves No Easy Trick

The groundhog may be a harbinger of an early thaw in colder climes, but here the ring of free trolleys has for years served as the local warm weather indicator that signals the unofficial start of summer. That is about to change. Thanks to the city winning a state transportation...

City Clerk Performs Laguna’s First Civil Wedding

Gustav Eriksson and Sheila Olsen met downtown at Nick’s restaurant on Feb. 19, 2012. “I was eating dinner alone, and Gustav walked in and sat right next to me,” Olsen said. They struck up a conversation and it was love at first sight. Next week, they will become...

Study Reveals Canyon Road Hazards

A particularly violent crash and bang shattered a bucolic morning for Laguna Beach dog park patrons last August. Several people ran out to Laguna Canyon Road to see what happened as the rest converged on the gate amid confused canines, necks craned, awaiting feedback. Minutes...

Zur Schmiede Seeks Coastal Commission Post

A little known entity last week nominated Laguna’s newest City Council member Robert Zur Schmiede to be considered for appointment to the California Coastal Commission as the representative to the south coast region, which includes Orange and Los Angeles counties. A...

Thriving Economy Buoys City Budget

A boom in fees for building permits and plan checks last year, the most in the past seven years contributed to an unexpected surge in the city’s spending power by $4.3 million, according to a midyear budget analysis. The city’s triumvirate of key income sources –...