I, like several others, worked on planning a village entrance long ago. At that time it started out primarily to provide parking and reduce downtown congestion caused by cars circulating around town trying to find summer parking. Of course now we are congested year round as the populations swelled in nearby towns.
However, as I recall we could never move forward because many on the committee wanted to put the emphasis on a pretty village entrance park with parking only secondary. Many compromises were considered but none ever agreed to. With the current plans, I am dismayed by the projected costs, especially since it involves bonds, which are just another form of delayed taxes.
Considering the cost and importance, I agree with Mayor Kelly Boyd that it should be put to a vote by residents. I don’t know what portion of the large projected costs are dedicated to providing parking spaces and how much for other village entrance stuff. But, if it’s put to a vote by the people, we should be provided with a cost breakdown and perhaps three options. One option being emphasis on a parking structure, another option being for parking plus whatever else is desired by the committee, and the last option of forgetting the whole thing.
Let the voters have visibility and choices.
I recall long ago that I was in favor of a multi-level parking structure that had parking plus ocean view restaurant(s) and shops on the top level with a pedestrian bridge across the 133 to the Festival grounds. To gain maximum parking the building should exceed the height limitations some, but since it was up against the hillside it would not even be noticeable.
Oh well. That didn’t fly either.
Dave Connell, Laguna Beach