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NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | August 1, 2013
A broad-based group of opponents to the proposed Village Entrance project declared war this week. The opening salvo is the website http://www.letlagunavote.com which came on line Wednesday, created by the opponents who have been quietly meeting to gauge and promote support for their cause. "A small group met on Saturday and we decided to see if there are others out there concerned about the project," said former Councilwoman Verna Rollinger, a member of the opponents' core group.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | November 14, 2013
The parking structure has been removed from the proposed Village Entrance Project. The Laguna Beach City Council decided to forego a structure near Laguna Canyon Road and Forest Avenue after listening to nearly three hours of public comment at a workshop Tuesday night in council chambers. Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson made the motion to proceed with a project that includes a landscaped pathway and doesn't entail debt, contrary to a previous proposal - approved by the council at a special workshop in June - that included a four-story parking garage and pedestrian park for an estimated $42.3 million, including $29 million in borrowing.
NEWS
By Billy Fried | June 13, 2013
Tuesday's City Council debate of the Village Entrance project was buzzing in impassioned discourse. Dozens spoke eloquently for and against the $50 million parking structure, local luminaries from business, arts and politics. They made emotional pleas (to considerable applause) that either the council should slow down and let the public decide, or the council should speed up because the timing was never better to finally realize the additional parking so desperately needed. Some even intoned that this was the council that had "the stones" to get it done.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | May 4, 2007
A couple of alternatives presented to the Laguna Beach City Council Tuesday for the Village Entrance project sounded almost too good to be true. The council was impressed by proposals that included a smaller parking structure at the Village Entrance that still accommodated 580 vehicles, wouldn't require an expensive relocation of the sewer lift station and would create more green space for the park, but voted to have the concept analyzed by the project planning team before endorsing it. "Speaking off the cuff, this does need study to verify the numbers, but it is an interesting idea," said architect Alan Pullman, principal of Studio One Eleven, which won the design contest for the project.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | September 26, 2013
In less than an hour Wednesday afternoon, Laguna Beach resident Paul Merritt gathered 25 signatures to kick-start his push to put the Village Entrance project on the ballot. Merritt, clipboard in hand, approached walkers and drivers in a corner of the Ralphs parking lot off Cleo Street. "We do want parking, just not a four-story," Merritt told one man in reference to the city's proposal, which calls for a 500-space parking structure and a pedestrian park at Forest Avenue and Laguna Canyon Road.
NEWS
By Billy Fried | July 25, 2013
"We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there 'is' such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action. "  - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A turning point came in last year's presidential debates when Mitt Romney accused Barack Obama of weakening our defense by funding fewer naval ships then we had in 1916.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | November 7, 2013
The Laguna Beach City Council voted to spend $5.3 million on a piece of land along Laguna Canyon Road but did not authorize testing soils for possible environmental contaminants near the proposed Village Entrance site at its Tuesday meeting. The council voted 4 to 1 for the city to accept title to the property at 725 Laguna Canyon Road after several residents said the price was too high and accused the council of making a deal in secret. Councilwoman Toni Iseman dissented. The 3.8-acre plot of land south of Tivoli Too could handle 65 to 75 parking spaces, according to Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson, who first announced the city would enter escrow to purchase the private parcel - currently an open field - during the Oct. 15 council meeting.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | November 21, 2013
Facilitator Delia Horwitz did her best to keep the audience focused on the proposed Village Entrance Project at a special workshop last week, but comments calling for an urban planner and answers to how peripheral parking might address traffic concerns cast the project as part of a larger citywide planning effort. The City Council nixed the project's proposed parking structure at the Nov. 12 workshop, but kept the proposal for landscaping in the general area of the Lumberyard and Forest Avenue parking lots.
NEWS
September 1, 2011
The Aliso Viejo City Council approved the expansion of Soka University of America's parking area at its Aug. 17 meeting. The four-level, 274,143-square-foot Lot B parking structure will have 677 spaces. The structure will start below ground and have two levels above ground. Construction is expected to begin in November and is estimated to take around a year, said Wendy Harder, director of Community Relations at Soka University. Parking Lot A will also be expanded, with 254 more slots added.
NEWS
May 12, 2006
The Government Affairs Council of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce recently reviewed the proposal for the Environmental Impact Report for the Village Entrance Project. After consideration of the city's proposal for this area and the information provided by the Laguna Art Museum regarding its proposal to relocate the museum to the site at no cost to taxpayers, the group prepared a policy statement. The statement reads: "The Government Affairs Council (GAC) of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce is strongly in support of a project to include a 580-space public parking structure in the Village Entrance Project.
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NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | January 30, 2014
Laguna Beach city staff will seek direction from the council Tuesday regarding the scope of the Village Entrance Project and related issues. In November, the council approved a proposed landscaped pathway that meanders through the Forest Avenue parking lot north to Tivoli Too. An earlier plan for a parking structure was dropped. Questions remain, however, including what to do with the sewer digester building in the parking lot and whether to re-landscape the Laguna Canyon Road median sooner rather than later, Deputy City Manager Ben Siegel said.
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NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | December 26, 2013
Laguna Beach had its share of tragedies and challenges in 2013, from the death of police officer Jon Coutchie in September to Mayor Kelly Boyd announcing in February that he has cancer. Two men driving to work were killed when another car hit them head-on on Laguna Canyon Road in April. Hundreds of malnourished sea lion pups inundated the Pacific Marine Mammal Center - scientists are still trying to figure out why so many pups washed up on county beaches. A debate on whether school should start before Labor Day riled some parents, who argued successfully for the calendar to stay the way it is. The Planning Commission approved part of a project to revitalize and shore up a 2-mile underground tunnel that houses a sewer line in South Laguna, and newly appointed Mayor Elizabeth Pearson made a stirring announcement in November that she would not favor a parking structure as part of the Village Entrance project.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | December 19, 2013
Elizabeth Pearson didn't want to run for a third term on the Laguna Beach City Council in 2010 but she had a greater purpose in mind. She wanted to see the Village Entrance project move closer to fruition, as the development was one of her primary campaign issues. The City Council selected Pearson, 61, as mayor at its meeting last week, almost a month after she announced at a special workshop that she would not support a parking structure at the Village Entrance site - where Forest Avenue and Laguna Canyon Road intersect.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | December 5, 2013
Festival of Arts officials want to spruce up their front yard, so to speak, with a revamped facade and landscaping. Festival board President Fred Sattler repeated the words "old" and "tired' when describing the facility's exterior facade, which needs an upgrade, he said. Sattler presented preliminary designs for a revamped exterior with landscaping and a more welcoming pedestrian environment at the festival's annual meeting in November. The festival is home to a summer fine art exhibit and the Pageant of the Masters, a 90-minute stage show of "living pictures" - art re-creations of classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look like their counterparts in the original pieces.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | November 21, 2013
Facilitator Delia Horwitz did her best to keep the audience focused on the proposed Village Entrance Project at a special workshop last week, but comments calling for an urban planner and answers to how peripheral parking might address traffic concerns cast the project as part of a larger citywide planning effort. The City Council nixed the project's proposed parking structure at the Nov. 12 workshop, but kept the proposal for landscaping in the general area of the Lumberyard and Forest Avenue parking lots.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | November 14, 2013
The parking structure has been removed from the proposed Village Entrance Project. The Laguna Beach City Council decided to forego a structure near Laguna Canyon Road and Forest Avenue after listening to nearly three hours of public comment at a workshop Tuesday night in council chambers. Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson made the motion to proceed with a project that includes a landscaped pathway and doesn't entail debt, contrary to a previous proposal - approved by the council at a special workshop in June - that included a four-story parking garage and pedestrian park for an estimated $42.3 million, including $29 million in borrowing.
NEWS
November 14, 2013
Re: "A Tasteful Display," Coastline Pilot, Nov. 8. Bravo Megan Hartshorne, registered dietitian and Laguna Beach Unified School District nutrition consultant. From one dietitian to another, I am so happy and excited to see her in our school district exposing our children to The Harvest of the Month events. The Comice pears you served the children during recess at Top of the World Elementary School looked delicious. And I am glad people are learning about jicama. It's a vegetable to know.
NEWS
By Billy Fried | November 7, 2013
The Laguna Beach City Council voted Tuesday to purchase the property adjacent to the Village Entrance project for $5.3 million. The purchase was fiercely demonized by opponents of the parking structure. Accusations of overpayment, reckless spending, insider deal making and nefarious scheming echoed throughout the chambers. But why? Why fight this purchase? The council extended an olive branch to find a workable solution, and opponents treated it like poison oak. It's time to stop the enmity and mistrust.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | November 7, 2013
The Laguna Beach City Council voted to spend $5.3 million on a piece of land along Laguna Canyon Road but did not authorize testing soils for possible environmental contaminants near the proposed Village Entrance site at its Tuesday meeting. The council voted 4 to 1 for the city to accept title to the property at 725 Laguna Canyon Road after several residents said the price was too high and accused the council of making a deal in secret. Councilwoman Toni Iseman dissented. The 3.8-acre plot of land south of Tivoli Too could handle 65 to 75 parking spaces, according to Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson, who first announced the city would enter escrow to purchase the private parcel - currently an open field - during the Oct. 15 council meeting.
NEWS
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.
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