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Sounding Off: No. 9 on list — annexation

September 23, 2010|By Ken Frank

Editor's note: Laguna Beach City Manager Ken Frank is retiring in December after 30 years with the city. In this column, he shares what he sees as the "top 10" most significant accomplishments of the city administration during the past three decades.

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No. 9 on the list is the annexation of neighborhoods that belong in the city. Adding these neighborhoods to the city affords a higher level of public service to these residents and enables the city to control unwanted development in those areas.

Much of Laguna Beach was laid out and developed outside city boundaries in unincorporated Orange County. Over the years, these areas have gradually been added to the city. Annexation of these parcels increases the efficiency of our city and county governments because the county does not have to serve isolated pockets. During the last three decades, there were six neighborhoods annexed to Laguna Beach, all of which are within the Laguna Beach School District.

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South Laguna in 1987 was the largest annexation, adding almost 5,000 residents to the city along with a fire station and a neighborhood park. Later, a community park was located on the former site of Aliso School. More recently, Treasure Island Park was opened to the public.

About 100 properties in Old Top of the World joined the city in 1986. That neighborhood had been developed with septic tanks so the neighbors annexed to the city, which extended sewer service to Old Top of the World. Today you can actually smell the eucalyptus trees!

Laguna Canyon has been annexed in stages. The most recent annexations included the Big Bend, Castle Rock and Sun Valley areas and the city's remote parking lot on Laguna Canyon Road. Sewer service was also extended to most of these properties.

Allview Terrace and Smithcliffs — both in North Laguna — were also added to the city, leaving Emerald Bay as the only county island within the Laguna Beach boundaries.

KEN FRANK is the Laguna Beach city manager.

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