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Fire Code Thwarts Dream Home

Five years after purchasing what he had been assured was a buildable lot in Canyon Acres, Jae “Randy” Song finds he must either give up his dream of building a home on the property or risk his family’s financial stability by suing the city of Laguna Beach. The...

Residents Explore Changing Downtown

“Do you think this preliminary idea for Cliff Drive merits further exploration?” reads a poster taped to a wall. Hand-written yesses filled the relevant column underneath the query, while the “no” and “maybe” columns remained pristine. The...

Festival’s Interior Makeover Moves Ahead

If all goes according to plan, patrons entering the Festival of Arts grounds next season will find the experience more user-friendly, with better situated and redesigned gallery spaces, wider garden-lined paths to access them, and more places to sit and rest along the way. These,...

Stand Up Paddle Rules Under Scrutiny

A year-old ordinance regulating commercial stand-up paddleboard operators has yielded frustrations for city enforcement officials and SUP operators alike. The former complain of overtaxed lifeguards and legion code violations, while the latter claim persecution by overzealous...

Stand Up Paddle Rules Under Scrutiny

A year-old ordinance regulating commercial stand-up paddleboard operators has yielded frustrations for city enforcement officials and SUP operators alike. The former complain of overtaxed lifeguards and legion code violations, while the latter claim persecution by overzealous...

Appeal Halts Cutting of Fire Breaks

A plan to thin brush on land deemed “extremely dangerous” in Nyes and Oro Canyons was stymied last week by an appeal to the California Coastal Commission, even as the city was breathing a collective sigh of relief over a wildfire July 3 contained to a few acres. That fire...

Council Opens Tap on Water Reuse

With residents hauling buckets to their yards with water captured in warming showers and state parks and beaches this week turning off their outdoor showers, the City Council Tuesday approved more citywide water conservation measures, including a temporary moratorium on new pool...

View Committee Clears its First Dispute

Laguna’s fledgling View Restoration Committee settled their first case on Monday, July 6, effectively restoring the view of Pinecrest Drive homeowners Roxane and Robert Simon. Despite a failed mediation between the Simons and vegetation owner Roy Henderson, the parties...

Court Ruling Affirms Local Couples

Friday, June 26, “was probably one of the most thrilling days of my life,” said former Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Gentry, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affords same-sex couples the constitutional right to marriage. “Most of my generation of gays...

Demand for Grants Strains Supply

Thanks to the city’s community assistance grant program, the public interest law firm Seaside Legal Services will receive $3,000 to assist locals without means on civil matters. Others, such as the Trauma Intervention Program, received nothing. “I’m...

Angling for Entry Ideas on Foot

“Think about the feeling of this area,” Susan Harden told about 40 people, urging them to absorb how they react to Laguna Beach’s most contentious downtown real estate as they walked towards the Laguna Canyon art festival sites. The unusual field trip to the corner of...

Retirement Prompts Department Shuffle

Two city departments will undergo reorganization at the end of the year due to the pending retirement of the longtime public works department director. The City Council signed off on the transition last week when approving the city budget. Public Works Director Steve May will...

New Laws Require More Sewer Inspections

Homeowners planning remodels or repairs over $100,000 will have to add a video inspection of their private sewer pipe to their to-do list, under a revised sewer ordinance approved by the City Council Tuesday. It takes effect in August. To reduce sewer spills from private lines,...

Forest Closure Kicked to the Curb

Merchants effectively succeeded in lobbying to postpone a trial closure of lower Forest Avenue, though the City Council did vote Tuesday to temporarily transform six parking spaces on Forest and Ocean Avenues into outdoor dining areas for 60 days beginning in mid-September. Whole...

Permits for Short-term Rentals Still on Hold

Anyone hoping to earn some extra cash by renting out space in their home this summer to short term visitors will have to make other plans if they want to go about it legally. The City Council Tuesday voted 4-1, with Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow dissenting, to extend for 90 days a...