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Grossman Ousted from Planning Commission

Norm Grossman will end 26 nearly consecutive years on the Planning Commission, when his current term expires June 30 after the City Council rejected his reappointment Tuesday. Council members appointed Susan Whitin to fill a seat vacated recently by Linda Dietrich and Roger...

Council Debates Conflict of Interest Issue

General contractor Ken Fischbeck’s demolition work on the historic Heisler Building may proceed despite his earlier involvement in approving another project there as a member of the Heritage Committee, the City Council decided Tuesday. Since Fischbeck is working on the...

Vision Maps Beautifying Laguna Creek

Locals driving out Laguna Canyon Road may appreciate its natural beauty, yet few probably consider the largely hidden Laguna Canyon Creek since shrubs and man-made obstacles obscure nearly the entire watercourse. Near Anneliese’s School, for example, beyond a weed-choked...

Entrance Moves Ahead Despite Controversy

The City Council Tuesday approved hiring RBF Consulting to lead the design process for a village entrance park, a project that has been a source of controversy for years. Tuesday’s decision proved no different. The vocal public denounced the move that the Council pushed...

Sewer Fixes Require Rate Hikes, Debt

The City Council endorsed a 10-year plan Tuesday for capital improvements to the city-run sewer system, funded by rate increases of up to 4.75 percent annually over the next 10 years and a $10 million loan. A jump in fees, which now average about $48 a month, could take effect as...

Water Cutbacks Deeper Than Expected

Water districts that keep the taps running in Laguna Beach face a state-mandated 25 percent reduction in water use from last September’s levels, which means even tighter restrictions for residents than anticipated, district officials informed the City Council Tuesday....

Study Targets Aliso Creek Estuary

Where seawater mixes with freshwater at the mouth of Aliso Creek lies a six-acre remnant of what was once a broad estuary, which restoration advocates say has the potential to provide habitat for several threatened species and serve as a link between the protected greenbelt and...

Zur Schmiede Misses Coastal Commission Appointment

Roberto Uranga, a Democrat from Long Beach, has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission, effectively dashing hopes that Laguna’s newest City Council member Rob Zur Schmiede might win the seat. California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los...

Historic Building Reaps Parking Benefits

As property owners weigh the pros and cons of having historic status bestowed on their structures, Sam Goldstein, owner of the historic Heisler Building at the corner of South Coast Highway and Laguna Avenue, is definitely reaping the benefits. Current home to Tommy...

Big Bend Undergrounding Hits Road Block

A plan to improve the safety and beauty of Laguna Canyon Road by burying utility poles underground hit a roadblock Tuesday due to the projected costs and necessity of road closures. Design for the project to place the utility wires beneath the ground along the Big Bend section of...

Task Force Tackles Canyon Road Blocks

When a task force began a review of six alternatives for improving safety and access on Laguna Canyon Road last week, it became clear that they will need to clear a few hurdles before reaching a consensus. Their goal is to evaluate the pros and cons of five road configurations, A...

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...