City OKs Laguna Terrace reconfiguration

Laguna Reef Hotel and mobile home park agreement on lot line change gets approval from City Council.

January 20, 2011|By Barbara Diamond,
  • The entrance to the Laguna Terrace mobile home park.
The entrance to the Laguna Terrace mobile home park. (KYLE BURLINGTON,…)

On reconsideration, city staff decided that a lot line adjustment requested by the owners of Laguna Terrace Park and Laguna Reef Hotel meets city code and is not appealable to the California Coastal Commission.

The City Council voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday to approve the reconfiguration Laguna Terrace Park property after staff reversed its previous opinion that the lot line adjustment was appealable.

The approval allows the hotel to acquire a parcel it has traditionally used as a parking lot by agreement with the mobile home park owner, who is entangled in a legal battle with the commission to block its claim of jurisdiction over the proposed subdivision of the property from a tenant-based park to owned lots.

"The last time we heard this I objected to moving forward on this at all because of all the things we have pending that this might be impacted by," said Councilwoman Verna Rollinger, who voted against the approval.


"I remember sitting here two weeks ago listening to the staff telling us this was appealable and the city attorney saying that the ultimate appealablity would be determined by the Coastal Commission and the city did receive a letter from the Coastal Commission on Jan. 14, which says the application would be appealable, and I think we should concur."

The application was first presented to the council at the Jan. 4 meeting. Community Development Director John Montgomery said the council continued the hearing to see if reconciliation between the staff and applicants' positions could be reconciled. The city attorney also participated.

"Two weeks ago, you sent us away to come to an agreement and that is exactly what we did," park Manager James Lawson said Tuesday.

City staff did an about-face after looking at a commission decision on another property in Laguna, Montgomery said.

The staff recommended at Tuesday's meeting approval of the adjustment, finding it consistent with the city's municipal code and the required findings for a coastal development permit and not appealable.

Montgomery said the commission disputes the city's contention that the adjustment is not appealable.

The commission claims jurisdiction over the mobile home park, based on its position that a land split in the late 1990s never was sanctioned by a commission coastal development permit.

Unwilling to submit to the commission's jurisdiction, the park owner filed a petition in the courts to block the commission from interfering with the proposed conversion to a resident owned park. The court was also asked to prohibit the commission from challenging a coastal development permit that the City Council approved and declared unappealable, a decision that the commission also disputes.

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