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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 –...

Animal Lover Leaves Legacy to Local Rescuers

Laguna’s abandoned pets and stranded pinnipeds are better off today because of a $720,000 donation from the estate of Enid Patricia Greaves, a 49-year Laguna Beach resident who died last year. Known to her friends as “Paddy,” Greaves herself benefitted from the...

Friendship Shelter Joins County Agencies to Snag HUD Funds

Even as Friendship Shelter continues to press city officials for a proposed housing project in the Canyon for Laguna’s chronically homeless, the local non-profit recently secured $600,000 as their share of a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban...

Local Activist’s Plea Finally Succeeds

After years of imploring city and school officials to ensure that all local children learn to swim, 50-year Laguna Beach resident Bruce Hopping got his reward Tuesday when the City Council approved a free pilot program to begin this summer. While the city’s Community Services...

Licensing Now Easier for Dog Owners

Owners of the 7,375 dogs currently on the record books in Laguna Beach should be overjoyed to learn that they will soon be able to obtain a 12-month license for their pets year around, instead of ones previously issued that coincided only with the calendar year. A change approved...

Coastal Commission OKs Two Laguna Projects

Two Laguna Beach projects stymied for months by appeals to the California Coastal Commission can now move forward. The Commission approved coastal development permits last week for Mark Christy’s makeover of the 84-acre Ranch in Aliso Canyon and for sculptor Louis...