Many callers in the January 25, 2022, City Council Zoom meeting warned the City Council about the intensification of use and parking. One resident said, “The changes in the parking element of the Downtown Specific Plan will enable developers to intensify use without properly mitigating the impacts it creates.” Apparently, the residents are better informed than Councilman Peter Blake.
Councilman Peter Blake exposed his ignorance about intensification of use at about 1:57 (see video online on the City website) into the meeting. After being corrected, he still voted to approve the revised Downtown Specific Plan. Revisions that relax parking and height requirements, and are destined to aggravate parking, congestion, traffic, and the livelihood of surrounding businesses.
Councilman Peter Blake: “Marc, I’d like to clarify something. It keeps being said that a retail place could turn into a restaurant without modifying the parking. Everything I know says that that’s false. If you’re a retail location and you decide that you want to open a restaurant at that retail location, you’re going to have to come up with parking, right?”
Community Development Director Marc Wiener: “So, under–with the updated downtowns specific plan, it’s going to require three spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. of commercial floor area, regardless of the use.”
Measure Q was written when the decades old Downtown Specific Plan was in effect. By voting Yes on Q, voters can restore these protective standards.
Gene Felder, Laguna Beach