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NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | June 2, 2006
Opponents of the "Mar Vista" project have executed a successful end run around the city and scored a victory with the California Coastal Commission. The commission instructed staff members at its May meeting to prepare a full public hearing on the validity of an appeal of the project. Commission staff is aiming for the June 14 to 16 meeting. The city has issued a coastal development permit among other approvals of the project. "City staff still takes the position that the project is not appealable," Development Department Director John Montgomery said.
NEWS
July 8, 2005
The state Senate Rules Committee's refusal to reappoint Councilwoman Toni Iseman to the California Coastal Commission is, as she says, a personal defeat for her. But it is much more than that. Iseman was the only Orange County resident sitting on this very powerful panel, which oversees all development along the state's 1,100-mile-long coastline, an area of some 1.5 million acres, including 15 counties between the Oregon and Mexican borders. The Iseman case points up two problems with the Coastal Commission.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | August 14, 2008
At long last, Charles and Valerie Griswold will be allowed to build a home on the Bay Drive property they have owned since 1965. The California Coastal Commission approved the project on Aug. 7, which should close the book on one of the sorriest chapters in Laguna’s history of neighborhood conflicts. “We are absolutely thrilled,” Charles Griswold said. “It has been a long time coming.” The project has been in the works since 1997, a woeful history of plan reviews and revisions, a building permit revocation and reinstallation, further marred by accusations of fraud and dishonest conduct and litigation.
NEWS
By Cindy Frazier | February 22, 2010
A 15-year-old lot line adjustment has become the latest kink in the works for Laguna Terrace Park tenants who want to buy the land on which their mobile homes are parked. The California Coastal Commission voted Friday that City Council approval last month of a subdivision to divide the park into 158 parcels to sell to park dwellers was appealable to the commission. At the heart of the issue is the commission’s refusal to recognize a 1995 lot line adjustment in the area of the South Laguna property that split it off from a larger parcel that includes the sensitive Hobo Aliso Canyon area.
NEWS
July 1, 2005
Councilwoman Toni Iseman was notified June 22 that she would not be reappointed to the California Coastal Commission, a position she had held for more than two years. Iseman was one of the state Senate's four appointees, two of whom must be elected officials. Iseman's seat was filled by Manhattan Beach City Councilman Jim Aldinger, who will serve as the commission's South Coast representative. Iseman's replacement came on the heels of sharp criticism from leaders of the Sierra Club and the Surfrider Foundation, who declined to endorse her reappointment, questioning her commitment to the environment, based on their "report card" of commissioners' votes.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | August 29, 2008
Thousands are expected to return to Del Mar on Sept. 22 for the appeal of the California Coastal Commission?s rejection of an extension of the 241 Toll Road though an ecological preserve and a state beach. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct the appeal in the O?Brien Hall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where the Coastal Commission hearing drew an estimated crowd of more than 3,500. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department charged with the conservation and management of coastal and marine resources.
NEWS
November 2, 2006
Many are cheering, and some jeering, a recent California Coastal Commission decision that opens up thousands of potential development projects to possible state review through the appeals process. The issue at hand is watercourses, or streams. The Coastal Commission decided that they will take appeals of city-issued permits for all projects that are within 100 feet of a stream or "drainage course." It appears the commission is seeking to end-run the city's local coastal plan jurisdiction by changing the rules in mid-stream, as it were.
NEWS
April 15, 2005
After some give-and-take on both sides, Laguna Beach may one day finally have its long-sought Village Entrance and bona fide Arts District -- and the city hopefully can provide improved conditions for its hard-working employees. With the City Council's approval of a plan for the Act V remote parking lot project -- see that story on page 1 -- all systems are "go" for a project that began a decade ago with the Village Entrance Task Force. This citizens' group met for months in the mid-1990s to craft a complicated plan to move some city facilities eastward in order to make room for a welcoming area in town for the thousands who flock to Laguna for the arts, the beaches and the scenery.
NEWS
April 30, 2010
What a disappointment for beachgoers, after the concessionaire of the ill-fated Sand Café was effectively warned off a plan to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at Aliso Beach year round. After spending the money to build a new snack bar/restroom facility farther from the water ? leaving more space open for sunbathers near the shoreline ? the county is apparently back to square one in finding an operator for the brand-new, never-opened eatery. And the public is on the verge of again being denied a common and necessary beach amenity for the third year in a row. The concessionaire, who signed on after a lengthy bureaucratic process, is ready to throw in the beach towel.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | March 11, 2010
Laguna’s beaches will still be closed from 1 to 5 a.m., but more activities will be allowed if the City Council gives final approval to changes in the curfew ordinance proposed at the March 2 meeting. Restrictions on beach activities approved by the council in November and the city’s position that the curfew did not require a coastal development permit had been challenged by the California Coastal Commission. City and commission staffs worked together to make revisions in the ordinance that both agencies could support.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Billy Fried | October 8, 2013
For years Laguna Beach has been held back from making meaningful changes to its infrastructure by the notion that the California Coastal Commission will not allow the city to remove parking without replacing each and every spot, thereby safeguarding fair beach access for all. This made perfect sense when it came to development along the beach in the 1970s and '80s that relegated access to the privileged few. But it doesn't make sense for today's cities...
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NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | February 7, 2013
Property owner John Meehan has submitted a construction project to the Design Review Board with no idea when it will be permitted, if ever. His plans may be thwarted depending on a decision by the California Coastal Commission. That board voted 10-2 Wednesday to hear the appeal of a City Council decision to permit the demolition of a South Laguna home and other buildings on the property owned by Meehan, preventing him from demolishing structures to make way for new construction. The commission overrode its staff recommendation that the appeal did not raise substantial issue that would warrant a de novo hearing, which would mean the inclusion of information from all previous proceedings.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | March 29, 2012
City officials are on edge about a California Coastal Commission staff concept that will have enormous impact on development along the bluff-top edges in Laguna, as well as other coastal communities. The commission staff is considering a definition of a major remodel that would accumulate all additions to bluff-top structures that increased square footage 50% or more dating back 75 years as the threshold to require a property owner to conform to contemporary setbacks. Affected residents would have to bring their property up to the municipal code, which would mean, essentially, removing parts of the home that don't conform to limitations on height, square-footage and more.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | December 8, 2011
Years of preparations and months of negotiations by the staffs of Laguna Beach and the California Coastal Commission paid off Wednesday when the commission approved the city's updated land use element. The land use element is the centerpiece of the city's general plan, a blueprint for the physical development of the city. The element is one of the major tools used to determine how the city will look and function in upcoming years, according to city staff. The update has been in the works for about five years.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | August 4, 2011
A sign on the gate at Camel Point Drive and Coast Highway gives no hint that the public has access to the beach through the gated community. However, OC Parks officials are investigating the lack of coastal access signage — brought to their attention by Laguna Beach resident Roger Carter — which they said could inhibit the public. "I went to the county because the beaches, stairs and access ways in South Laguna belong to the county," Carter said. "There is no [beach access]
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | January 27, 2011
The City Council will get a different perspective this week on what it approved in June for the new Lifeguard Headquarters, public restrooms and sewer lift station on Main Beach. Stakes will outline the footprint of a conceptual plan that is 50% larger than structures the city's general plan allows on the beach. The proposal required a revision to the city's Local Coastal Program, which was granted this month by the California Coastal Commission. Commissioners accepted the city's premise that the project was worthy of special consideration because it provides the significant public benefit of beach and bluff restoration.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | August 26, 2010
The California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing Sept. 15 in Eureka to determine whether the city's approval of a coastal development permit to sub-divide Laguna Terrace Park is valid. The Laguna Terrace property owner has petitioned the Orange County Superior Court to block the commission from assuming control of the project. "I haven't decided yet whether to ask the court to prohibit the September hearing, but I don't think it would make any difference because if the court rules in our favor, it would nullify any action taken by the commission," said James Lawson, general manager of the upscale mobile home park in South Laguna.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | July 22, 2010
Residents of Laguna Terrace Park applauded Tuesday night when the City Council gave conditional approval to subdivide the property so tenants would eventually be allowed to own the land under their mobile homes. The council voted 4 to 1 to adopt a resolution that conditionally approves a modified tentative tract map of the property and the coastal development permit, which is expected to be challenged by the California Coastal Commission. City Manager Ken Frank explained the tract map would creative individual parcels.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | June 24, 2010
Lifeguard project to go to Coastal Commission Council revises previous plan in effort to pass muster with panel, but seeks to keep restrooms part of Main Beach facility. A smaller version of the Lifeguard Headquarters project on Main Beach will be submitted to the California Coastal Commission for approval. The City Council voted at the June 15 meeting for revisions to a previous plan, hoping that reductions on both levels of the structure will pass muster with the commission, which had voted to limit the footprint to 2,000 square feet or less, despite its own staff support for a larger version.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | May 18, 2010
The City Council expedited a task on the Planning Commission’s To Do List and pared the Design Review Board’s seats to five, among other actions taken at joint meetings Saturday. Joint meetings are held to review the past year’s accomplishments, set some goals for the upcoming year and air some differences. Mayor Elizabeth Pearson directed staff on behalf of the council to move forward on parking management in the Downtown Specific Plan area, which Commission Chairwoman Ann Johnson successfully lobbied to have split from the review of the plan, which she said could take a year, optimistically.
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