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Mailbag: Benefits of Village Entrance plan are obvious

July 03, 2013

I do not understand the bitter and undeserved comments regarding the Village Entrance project financing recently approved by the City Council.

I believe this is another key moment in the history of Laguna Beach that will be seen by future generations as a step in the right direction, exhibiting leadership, foresight and the courage to do the right thing.

It is no secret that the main concerns of residents in Laguna Beach are parking and congestion. In addition to that, more than 1,700 apartments and 5,000 homes will be built off Laguna Canyon Road within the next 10 to 15 years.

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Why is it not easy to understand that capturing that traffic before visitors circle aimlessly looking for places to park, exacerbating the problem, is absolutely necessary?

Furthermore, the financing plan puts the burden on those who will be using the parking facility — not the residents who bear the brunt of dealing with congestion. Finally, it is the most appropriate use of parking funds when it comes to municipal finance.

The Village Entrance financing plan is it a visionary step, taking into consideration future Laguna Beach generations. I cannot say that about the naysayers, who seem concerned with keeping the status quo.

Kristine Thalman

Executive director, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce

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A few questions to add light to Village Entrance

Some residents seem confused about the value of the proposed $50 million, 600-space Village Entrance parking garage.

Here are some questions that might help them to clarify their thoughts.

Can we add parking spaces faster than car makers can make cars? Can we add new parking spaces faster than builders can build new housing on the other end of Laguna Canyon Road?

If we add more parking, will this generate more business for our merchants in the winter time? If we add more parking, will it alleviate auto congestion in the summer time?

Michael Hoag

Laguna Beach

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Money for parking facility doesn't make sense

The City Council mentioned finding a location for a skate park that made sense. I'm not sure we should throw $40 million to $60 million into a parking facility that for 42 weeks out of the year will be enjoyed by Laguna's skateboarding community.

Thomas Heenan

Laguna Beach

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Current view ordinance works well

I am very concerned about the language of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Ordinance, and fear that the intent is focused exclusively on restoring views and removing trees.

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