This letter was address to council members.
On June 16 the City Council unanimously approved two parklets proposed by the city’s Downtown Specific Plan consultant over the objections of nearly everyone who spoke on this agenda item.
Your original plan to identify locations in the downtown to foster small, informal community gatherings was a good one. What you ended up approving was turning over our street parking spaces to four restaurants and or bars for their exclusive use.
This proposal is unfair to our other businesses. It also takes away public parking with no benefit to the public in return. If you ask restaurants to invest in the construction of these venues, they will push to make them permanent. Sometimes a good intention can take a wrong turn. It is our retail shops, not our restaurants and bars that could use some support.
Village Laguna suggests a re-evaluation of this proposal. The city needs to craft a proposal that benefits our residents and retail establishments. Other cities have done it. We can too.
Johanna Felder, Laguna Beach
The author is president of Village Laguna.