The city’s approved Village Entrance plan, which is ready for groundbreaking next week, results in a loss of 110 existing parking spaces at the entry of the Festival of Arts.
Why wasn’t the California Coastal Commission and the FOA Board concerned about the city’s planned loss of 110 parking spaces and another 18 spaces in front of the FOA’s remodeled entry?
Why aren’t City Council members and the city manager concerned with the loss of all these close parking spaces for patrons of the art festival and farmers market? They approved the design and doubled the budget!
The distance proposed to the handicapped parking spaces is another 150 to 220 feet further than exists from FOA grounds, just for a park buffer. That’s not convenient or good site planning for the patrons—did the FOA Board of Directors approve of that?
The latest FOA remodel removed 18 entry handicapped/ticket spaces replaced with two handicapped spaces. We just keep going backwards. Now the city condones 128 fewer parking spaces where they’re needed the most for tourists and residents close to FOA, City Hall, and Saturday Farmers Market. The city plans just 350 vehicle and eight motorcycle spaces. Currently we have 397 spaces plus 63 existing/proposed at 725 Laguna Canyon Road—totaling 460 existing spaces plus dozens of motorcycle spaces. That’s 110 fewer spaces in a $5.3 million parking lot that will profoundly impact our city, residents and businesses.
You’d think our city manager and City Council members would be sensitive to loss of parking revenue, city employees’ parking, FOA patrons, and residents of Laguna who use these lost 128 parking spaces. Where are they going to park? I personally looked for handicapped space for my sister when we attended pageant last week, circled for 20 minutes looking for a space, found one at the post office—a 10-minute walk.
The city just appears to want to build something and stop the criticism for not producing a supposedly needed Village Entry monument to our city over the last decade, no matter the cost or lost parking. I suggest we scrap yet another folly in flawed design and wasted tax dollars until the plan is revised to give us a net gain in parking. It’s sure to crush downtown with drastically worse shortage of parking and circulation of cars looking for spaces the city approved to lose. Will residents be happy with this plan at the groundbreaking ceremony?
Bryan Menne, Laguna Beach