"We felt we were betrayed by the city of Laguna Beach," said Wayne Baglin, festival board president.
Councilwoman Verna Rollinger came up with the compromise: Install a shutter system on the lot side of the tile screens to be closed if light or sound afflicted the pageant.
The property owners agreed to install the shutters and close them if there were complaints about noise or lights. The owners also agreed to forgo use of a pedestrian gate at the bottom of one of the lots during the pageant except in an emergency.
"Who is going to enforce those?" Baglin said. "We are creating problematic issues when we should be eliminating issues that will affect neighborliness."
Baglin and a phalanx of festival officials came to the council meeting to air their concerns about the effectiveness of the screens on the Design Review Board-approved plans for a 2,865-square-foot home at 502 Olive St. and the 2,993-square-foot home at 545 Poplar St.
The board voted 3 to 2 in favor of the Olive Street project and 4 to 1 in favor of the Poplar Street proposal. The lone dissenting vote was based on potential impacts on the Irvine Bowl.
Festival officials were unanimous in their view of the proposals.
"Both light and sound can come through," Baglin said. "We don't want our audience disturbed in times of darkness and silence."
"We need to protect the festival and the property owners, who should be sound-proofed for their own protection. We don't want to bother people who live there and we don't want us to be bothered."
Property owner Mark Christie pointed out that windows emit light and when opened during warm summer nights also emit sound, and neither of these were restricted.