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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...

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...