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NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | August 14, 2008
Two locals have been tapped to produce a video documenting the city’s public art collection and the artists who created it. The City Council approved at the Aug. 5 meeting a recommendation of the Arts Commission to award a contract to Aperture Films to film the documentary, starting this summer. The commission expects the project to be an continuing celebration of the arts community, an audio/visual record of the city’s artistic history to which new artists and their works will be added.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | February 21, 2008
California Coastal Commission’s changes to the city’s proposed biological report requirements in its Certified Local Coastal Program got the City Council’s goat Tuesday. All other changes were approved, but the council declined to accept the commission modifications to the city’s Design Review Ordinance that required an applicant to submit a professionally prepared biological report “for any proposal to clear native vegetation on undeveloped parcels and undeveloped portions of developed parcels that are located within or adjacent to areas designated as moderate-, high- or very high-value habitat on the city’s Biological Values Maps and any other areas that contain environmentally sensitive habitat resources.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | June 12, 2009
Asked to either support or oppose the new waste water permit requirements proposed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego, the City Council did neither. The council voted unanimously June 2 to send a letter signed by the mayor that included a complimentary paragraph written by the city’s Environmental Committee on the board’s efforts to reduce urban runoff and improve water quality, along with suggested amendments and a statement of concern about the costs of enforcing runoff prohibitions, but with no outright endorsement or rejection of the proposed permit, known as MS4. “If we help create this law and one person violates it, the city will get fined,” Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson said.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | July 18, 2008
Building heights in Laguna won’t get higher under proposed changes to the city’s code. The City Council is scheduled to hear at Tuesday’s meeting changes to the height regulations recommended by the Planning Commission, a complex undertaking. “Our city codes are so convoluted because of the topography of the city,” Planning Commissioner Norm Grossman said. “It took us at least four months and a half-dozen hearings to make the changes.” Grossman said the changes tighten and clarify the height restrictions and the number of allowable stories.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | April 9, 2010
A City Council majority reinforced Tuesday its preference for a marine reserve that stretches along the entire coast of Laguna except for the immediate vicinity of the ocean outfall at Aliso Creek. The council voted 4 to 1, Councilman Kelly Boyd opposed, to reiterate its position and its opposition to modifications recommended by the Blue Ribbon Task Force to allow fishing on the southern 1.3 miles of the city’s shoreline. The council’s decision was to be communicated to the city’s marine protection officer, Laguna’s representative at Fish and Game Commission meetings Wednesday and Thursday in Monterey.
LOCAL
By Barbara Diamond | April 17, 2009
Preserving the older homes and buildings that charm residents and visitors to Laguna is a labor of love for the city’s Heritage Committee. It is the committee’s job to advise the Design Review Board, the Planning Commission and the City Council on the historical and architectural value of existing buildings or the merits of proposed changes. The committee also is responsible for recommending buildings for placement on the city’s Historical Register, which requires following the guidelines for rehabilitating the structures in return for significant construction and financial perks.
LOCAL
By Laura Rico, UC Irvine | February 16, 2009
Graduate student Sara Kirker first noticed how the service industry affects the environment while working as a waitress at a resort in her native Hawaii. “Food preparation has a huge impact on the environment,” says Kirker, who is pursuing a master’s in urban and regional planning at UC Irvine. “Switching to ceramic cups from paper and buying locally grown foods can really make a difference.” When she moved to Southern California, Kirker vowed to learn how local businesses were reducing their resource consumption and show them ways to be more environmentally friendly.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | July 1, 2008
The city’s Housing and Human Services Committee wants sub-division developers to actually build the affordable housing units required by law. The City Council will review the recommendation at today's 6 p.m. meeting. Under the current requirement in the city’s Municipal Code, developers of sub-divisions of three or more units may pay an in-lieu fee rather than must build affordable housing units equal to 25% of the project. “I am discouraged about the whole prospect of affordable housing in Laguna Beach,” Planning Commissioner Anne Johnson.
NEWS
By Ashley Breeding | April 30, 2009
Laguna Beach’s oldest public sculpture — and one of the community’s favorites — has been restored. Ruth Peabody’s 1933 “Boy and Dog” sculpture, at Jahraus Park and believed to be the oldest public artwork in the city, will be rededicated by Mayor Kelly Boyd at 5 p.m. Thursday after a three-month renovation project. A reception following the rededication will be during the Artwalk at the Marion Meyer Contemporary Art gallery, 354 N. Coast Highway.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | October 9, 2008
Three cottages slated for demolition got a new lease on life Tuesday. The City Council granted a reprieve for the cottages when last-minute offers were submitted to move them from a city-owned parcel at Big Bend to private property and restore them, just as the temporary use permit for the relocation was due to expire. The cottages had languished at Big Bend since they were relocated in March 2007 from Third Street to make way for the Community/Senior Center. “Needless to say, I am thrilled — speaking for myself and I am sure the Heritage Committee will be, too,” committee member Bonnie Hano said.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | April 24, 2014
Laguna Beach Unified School District trustees are sticking with their goal of getting a bid for a more extensive tennis court repair project after hearing the city's proposal for a less-expensive solution. Trustees met with City Council members and district and city staff Tuesday to discuss the state of six tennis courts on district property across Park Avenue from Laguna Beach High School. The city and district share the courts through a joint-use agreement, which requires the city pay 70% for improvements and the district 30%. The percentages align with the hours the courts are available for public and high school use. Residents say the court surfaces are unsafe because they are slippery, dirty and cracked.
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NEWS
April 21, 2014
There's still time for Laguna Beach residents to do their part in hopes of continuing a winning trend. Laguna is seeking its third straight victory as most water-wise city in the Wyland Foundation's National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation. The Mayor's Challenge is a friendly nationwide competition in April to see which city can be the most water-wise. Mayors and civic leaders nationwide challenge their residents to conserve water, energy, and other natural resources on behalf of their city.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | April 17, 2014
The Laguna Beach Arts Commission has recommended a piece by two local artists who have a track record of creating public art to commemorate two police officers who died in the line of duty. Commissioners voted Monday to recommend a work by Gerard Stripling and Michele Taylor, titled "Eternal Legacy," to the City Council, which will make the final decision. Though the vote Monday was unanimous, Commission Chairwoman Pat Kollenda said the decision was difficult. "They were all terrific, with lots of thought and a great amount of heart," Kollenda said about the other artistic entries.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | April 10, 2014
Laguna Beach Planning Commissioner Linda Dietrich's comments during a public hearing on a proposed artist live-work project in September did not constitute a conflict of interest, according to a memo sent by City Atty. Phil Kohn to city staff and the council Wednesday. Resident Roger Butow, writing on behalf of the Laguna Canyon Property Owners Assn., claimed a statement by Dietrich indicated she could have a bias toward a 30-unit artist live-work project, which the council approved last week on a 3-2 vote that denied an appeal by the association.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | April 8, 2014
Jon Madison wants to take the next step. After 14 years on the Laguna Beach Heritage Commission, he recently entered the race for one of three open seats on the City Council. The owner of Madison Square & Garden Cafe on North Coast Highway said he originally thought about seeking a spot on the Planning Commission after Chairman Robert Zur Schmiede announced he would run for a council position. But the 25-year resident decided the five-member council needs the perspective of another business person.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jennifer Lane | April 3, 2014
What started in 2011 as a food truck business is about to open its second stand-alone restaurant in two years. Slapfish, which is run by Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude, is branching out from its Huntington Beach restaurant and opening at 211 Broadway near Coast Highway in Laguna Beach at the end of April, bringing its sustainable and ecosystem-friendly seafood with it. "We want to bump up the seafood scene and bring fun, sexy seafood to Laguna...
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | March 24, 2014
Flexibility is a big word for Michele Hall, whether that means teaching yoga or listening to a new perspective on a citywide issue. Hall, 47, hopes to do more of the latter as a Laguna Beach City Council representative. She plans to run for one of three open council seats this fall. The former president of the Laguna Beach Republicans has lived in the city most of her life and is no stranger to politics, though she has never held elected public office. Hall was born in Orange and spent her early years in Texas.
NEWS
March 20, 2014
Re: " Out of the Blue: Chase away Chase, too many banks," Coastline Pilot, March 14. I don't think columnist Billy Fried has given a fair description of Chase bank in Laguna Beach. It's amazing to have a bank in South Laguna and downtown Laguna. Convenience for locals is, I am sure, the big picture. Zpizza's Sid Fanarof didn't renew his lease, and in not doing so his landlords did their job and put another tenant in the vacant and available space at the Albertson's shopping center.
NEWS
By Rhea Mahbubani | March 18, 2014
Anybody stepping into One Laguna should feel, well, connected. Exposed brick and hardwood interiors, outfitted with surfboards, art, motor suits and other memorabilia, are juxtaposed with 17 touch screens of different sizes. Details and images of Laguna Beach's recreational offerings lie at a visitor's fingertips. One Laguna functions as a digital visitors bureau in a 5,000-square-foot building owned by Firebrand Media LLC to show off all that the city has to offer. It includes a radio station owned by Firebrand and shares space with the Laguna College of Art + Design's gallery, called LCAD on Forest.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | March 6, 2014
The Laguna Beach City Council determined that more public input is needed before it makes any recommendations to Caltrans about possibly increasing speed limits along six sections of state-owned Coast Highway. The council voted unanimously Tuesday night for the city's Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee to discuss the topic and then bring the matter back to the council. City staff sought the council's input on whether to boost speed limits by 5 mph along six sections of Coast Highway, primarily in north Laguna, although one stretch calls for boosting the speed limit from 40 mph to 45 mph from Hinkle Place to Catalina Avenue in South Laguna, a city staff report said.
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