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Mailbag: Imagine the equivalent of a Walmart

October 31, 2013

Translating flat design drawings into how a final development project will feel, inside and out, is often challenging for clients.

As a design professional, I often search for similar size structures to help convey the size, mass and scale of the finished project. When friends asked about the size of the proposed parking structure at the Village Entrance, I crunched some numbers and looked for something similar. Here's what I came up with:

The Village Entrance parking structure would be 47,000 square feet x 36 feet tall = 1,692,000 cubic feet.

An average Walmart is 75,000 square feet x 22 feet tall = 1,650,000 cubic feet.

So, the parking structure would be about the same size volume as a Walmart, only 14 feet taller. Just imagine taking the back third of a Walmart off and placing it on top, and you've got a pretty good idea of the mass and scale of what is being proposed.

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If anyone is interested, the City Council is asking for public input for improving the Village Entrance Project. A workshop is set for 6 p .m. Nov. 12 in council chambers. 

Chris Prelitz

Laguna Beach

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Residents don't oppose live-work

Part of me wants to scold columnist Dave Hansen for his "Breaking Bad" description of my neighborhood in a recent column ("Live and let live-work," Coastline, Oct. 11). Instead, I'll just comment on some of the issues his column raised.

As for the "Breaking Bad" reference, it's not like we have meth labs or shooting ranges, and the site Hansen describes with rusting cars and cow rugs is in fact owned by the project-proposing developer/artist. To improve this appearance by replacing his dusty lot and cowhide-selling "little swap meet" with a 30-unit complex, however, seems an extreme pendulum swing in the wrong direction.

It's misleading to say seven years have been spent developing the project as if it's always been 30 units. When first presented in 2011, it was five to eight units and we didn't object.

Then after the 2011 moratorium on new artist live-work and a change in definition to artist work-live by the city, plus the inclusion of affordable housing and other requirements, the project went from eight to 30. So, somehow, once the moratorium ended and the city got involved with a new artist work-live ordinance, it got so big and unwieldy as to be unacceptable to our association.

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