Public Trail Requires Renewed Pressure

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The long-envisioned trail from South Laguna to the picturesque Woods Canyon has become a distant memory, it seems. Mark Christy, and lead partner at the Ranch at Laguna Beach, increased the number of rooms from 64 to 97 at the vintage hotel, yet he will not provide comment on a public trail that would create a much-needed access point from South Laguna to Woods Canyon (per “Rebirth of Reimagined Ranch,” Jan. 6 edition).

Christy’s “faux offer” to create a trail down a steep embankment across parcels that he doesn’t own does not appear to have been a genuine solution; rather his brilliant way of postponing and ultimately getting away with not putting in a trail.

I’m still in disbelief that our planners in Laguna Beach, an environmentally focused outdoor community, allowed this to happen. While the Ranch is already approved, we need to keep our planners and Christy accountable by demanding a feasible, public trail.

David Fabian, Laguna Beach


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  1. They should open the course to hiking/biking in the late afternoon when golf business is slow. There is unbelievable beauty back in that canyon.

  2. @OutdoorLover – that’s the very least they can do. They knew going in that they would need to put in a trail but they managed to have the city in their pocket and get away with not putting it in.

    Just because they do some good things like host fundraisers doesn’t mean they can get away not doing the right thing by putting in a trail.

  3. Thank you for bringing this very important issue to light. I have been wondering about the status of the trail, especially when seeing the large number of new “No Trespassing” signs during a recent hike in Woods Canyon. What ever happened to the public access trail?

  4. Boycott The Ranch. The trail should be up and usable by now. Shameless dodge by March Christy needs to be corrected by the city of Laguna Beach, the Coastal Commission and the rest of us!

    We went to the restaurant with friends from Europe, sat for nearly an HOUR for to finally get breakfast, the order being taken by the hostess, and no one else ever came by to check u on us……..HORRIBLE service and mediocre food=never to return.


  5. You might want to review public hearings held on this issue. Instead of complaining, participate in the process. Attend council, planning commission and design review meetings. Boycott ignorance!

  6. The Forrest to the Sea trail has been a vision of the OC Parks for more than 40 years. The 0.75 mile segment through The Ranch will complete a 19 mile trail from the Santa Ana Mountains to the beach. A floating easement and $250,000 stipend for development were conditions of the Coastal Commission approval for The Ranch. My family spoke at the Coastal Commission meeting and has met with Mark before and after approval of the Ranch. We have collected more than 100 signatures in support of the trail (in under 4 hours) from cyclists at Aliso Woods and submitted this to our county supervisor, Lisa Bartlett’s office. There is tremendous support by cyclists and hikers but no political will. David is right – we need people to speak up and put pressure on the city and the Ranch to make this happen.

  7. Some of us rely on our planners to implement a 30 year vision for a trail. You could have used parking as leverage and you didn’t. In my mind, you failed us.

    The agreement negotiated included $250K for the “investigation” of a feasible trail although Mark Christy only allowed easements in the most infeasible locations. Some of us had hope that something could be worked out but that doesn’t appear to be the case – it appears to have been a ploy to dupe you and the rest of Laguna Beach @LindaDietrich.


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