Live-work proposal back before commission

Backers of project say they have made changes after comments at earlier meetings.

January 02, 2014|By Bryce Alderton
  • This latest design shows sculptor Louis Longi and architect Horst Noppenberger's proposed live-work facility, meant to house 30 artists, along Laguna Canyon Road. The applicants propose to remove an additional three units from the top of the building to reduce the project's mass and scale. Longi and Noppenberger are scheduled to publicly present changes to the proposal at the Jan. 8 Planning Commission meeting.
This latest design shows sculptor Louis Longi and architect… (Horst Architects )

For the third time in less than four months, a sculptor and architect intent on creating a facility for artists in Laguna Canyon will present their project to the Planning Commission and public.

Louis Longi and Horst Noppenberger heard comments about their proposed artist live-work project from the public and planners at two previous meetings. They will present their latest rendition at Wednesday's commission meeting.

"We made a lot of changes [since the November meeting]," Noppenberger said in a phone message. "We took three units off the top and relocated them to the back of the building to reduce the appearance of mass and scale. We removed all decks with the exception of a couple of outdoor communal work spaces."

Residents and commissioners were concerned about the project's size and look, claiming the proposed facility is too big for that area of Laguna Canyon.

Relocating the three units brings to four the number that Longi and Noppenberger propose moving to break up the visual continuity of the west side, a key to reducing the appearance of mass and scale, Noppenberger wrote in a Dec. 12 letter to planning commissioners and city staff.


The proposed facility is planned for 20412 and 20432 Laguna Canyon Road, near Canyon Animal Hospital, Laguna Koi Ponds and the Sun Valley residential neighborhood.

The proposal calls for two buildings — one 11,000 square feet of livable area and the other 7,000 — contained on a 36,750-square-foot lot, Longi wrote in an email. Individual units would range from 500 to 1,600 square feet.

An exterior work space connects both structures, according to Noppenberger's letter.

The public has raised additional questions about the facility's ability to handle floodwaters in the event of a torrential rainstorm and the cost to artists.

Eight of the 30 units would be dedicated to low-income artists, whose average monthly rent would be $916, city planner Carolyn Martin said during the Nov. 13 meeting.

The figure is based on 60% of the 2013 median annual income for a one-person household in Orange County, which is $36,630, Martin wrote in a follow-up email.

The remaining 22 units would be market rate, according to Martin.

The proposed facility sits within a 100-year flood zone and satisfies requirements for such a location, according to the project's hydrologist.

Coastline Pilot Articles Coastline Pilot Articles