Hotel Laguna gets temporary permit approved, no reopening date announced

The renovated restaurant at Hotel Laguna overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Courtesy of Laguna Beach Co.

Hotel Laguna received a temporary certificate of occupancy from Laguna Beach Sept. 9, apparently clearing the last barriers that prevented the hotel lobby and restaurant’s reopening.

A senior city official previously said he expected the hotel to reopen by Aug. 31 but a planned reopening event has yet to be scheduled. The Laguna Beach Co. didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment on Monday.

“The Hotel Laguna remodeling project has passed all Building, Fire and Health Department inspections,” according to a city blog post posted last week.

The Orange County Health Care Agency also approved the hotel’s plan check on Sept. 9, according to county records.

The document signed by Building Official Dennis Bogle is an administrative action and doesn’t require additional approvals by the Planning Commission or City Council. It does not grant public accommodation in the hotel’s guest rooms on second and third stories. Such activity would acquire additional approvals by city officials before occupying, according to the document.

Councilmembers reviewed the project and heard public comments at their Aug. 24 meeting. In the wake of public scrutiny of a June 29 closed session meeting about the historic hotel, the City Council voted 3-2 (Councilmembers Toni Iseman and George Weiss opposed) to concur with city staffers’ approvals to reopen the hotel lobby and restaurant.

Hotel Laguna LLC, an arm of the Laguna Beach Co. controlling the historic hotel’s lease, is allowed up to 180 days for elements within the California Coastal Commission’s purview to be processed and approved.

Separately, a city council-ordered structural assessment by IDS Group determined the building to be structurally sound and safe.

“We see no compromise of the gravity load resisting structural integrity of the building,” Said Hilmy, principal at IDS Group, wrote in a letter. “The gravity load resisting system remains intact due to the added steel beams and strong walls.”


  1. Static gravity loads are trivial compared to the seismic response to an earthquake, particularly if a structural wall was removed (compensated by steel framing). Did IDS Group check structural integrity for seismic loading?


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