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Public Access

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NEWS
April 29, 2005
I am writing this to thank every person, past and present, who has made it possible to enjoy public access to our beautiful beaches and bluffs in the city of Laguna Beach. Recently, the Laguna Beach schools had their spring break. My husband and high school son decided to take a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C. I decided to stay in Laguna to have my own quiet L.B. retreat. Over the course of the week, I frequented the numerous art galleries in town searching for that special painting of our beautiful city to hang over the fireplace.
NEWS
September 5, 2003
Barbara Diamond A winding public pathway leading to the ocean was formally dedicated in North Laguna Tuesday, the culmination of years of wrangling. "Nothing is easy in Laguna," Mayor Toni Iseman said. "I thank everyone who made sure we did this right." The linear park adjacent to the gated Smithcliffs homes was required as a condition of development by the county and the California Coastal Commission. At some point it was blocked off from the public, raising the hackles of a group of residents who worked to get it reopened.
NEWS
October 29, 2004
Lost among the statewide propositions concerning Indian gaming and the greater national race for the presidency of the United States is a little known proposed amendment to the state's Constitution known as Proposition 59. While it has been overshadowed by bigger and sexier campaigns, the truth is this initiative strikes a blow against those who would deny the people's right to know what government is doing. Proposition 59's passage would strengthen the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act and make it the state constitutional right for the public and journalists, acting on behalf of the public, to access governmental meetings and governmental documents.
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 | August 18, 2011
The City Council accepted petitions Tuesday that supported public beach access through private property at Rockledge, but refrained from making any comments on the emotionally charged issue. City Manager John Pietig advised the council to button its lips because of a lawsuit filed by a Rockledge resident against his neighboring property owner, Mark Towfiq, and the city. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version misspelled Mark Towfiq's last name. However, officials listened to speakers for and against prescriptive rights to gain access to the ocean, referring to public rights acquired over private lands through use. "Thirty-two residents and visitors to Laguna Beach have signed Coastal Commission, staff-approved affidavits, certifying that they have used the property for access to their coastline," speaker Fred Talarico said.
NEWS
April 19, 2002
Barbara Diamond The city picked up another pocket park Tuesday. City officials unanimously agreed to accept ownership of the small blufftop park and an access road that was carved out of the old Smithcliffs estate when the 10.4-acre site was approved for development by the California Coastal Commission in 1991. A gate to the park, allegedly welded closed at an unknown date by the Smithcliffs Homeowners Assn., will remain locked for 90 days while the association and McKnight Drive residents discuss the issue with the city and try to come up with some solutions to their concerns about the public path.
NEWS
By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com | March 24, 2011
At Tuesday's City Council meeting, the board voted 4 to 0, denying Rockledge neighbors' appeal on the development at 2425 S. Coast Hwy., a 7,692-square-foot home. The neighbors appealed the project due to the size, historical significance of the current home, safety and public access. The council took the Design Review Board's recommendation to go forward with the project with two requirements. The property owner and applicant, Mark Towfiq, must move the setback two feet to the south, which will increase the space between 2425 S. Coast Hwy. and its neighbor to 15 feet.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | July 22, 2010
The City Council voted Tuesday to explore ways to connect Top of the World and Arch Beach Heights by a pathway — but it won't go through the gated community of Sommet du Monde. A road in the gated community would have provided access from TOW to the fire road between the two hilltop neighborhoods for the use of bicyclists, hikers, moms with strollers and school children. However the proposal didn't sit well with six Sommet du Monde property owners, who made it clear that they would not open their private road to the public without a battle.
NEWS
August 11, 2011
Many of you have signed the petition and/or seen the posters around town about restoring a public coastal access to Rockledge. It's the longest stretch of public shoreline in Laguna Beach that doesn't have a public stairway. Kayakers and paddle boarders can get there easily, but the rest of us have to climb on the cliffs and rocks that separate it from Victoria Beach and Moss Cove. Even lifeguards must swim or paddleboard a great distance to get there. And despite illegal plucking of tidepool creatures, the Marine Refuge enforcement officer can't get there at all. Ever since the Old Coast Road was built, Laguna residents could go to Rockledge and see and enjoy the tide pools, cliffs and sunsets.
NEWS
By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com | March 10, 2011
For as long as many can remember, the track at Laguna Beach High School has been open to the public, even during school hours. But that changed six months ago when the board of education voted to end the public use of school grounds during instructional hours, citing safety concerns. At Tuesday's school board meeting, about 10 people spoke against the closure, citing health and emotional reasons, as well as the need for the community to congregate. "I've relied on that track for 14 years as a part of my training," said runner Leslie Lebon.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | August 18, 2011
The City Council accepted petitions Tuesday that supported public beach access through private property at Rockledge, but refrained from making any comments on the emotionally charged issue. City Manager John Pietig advised the council to button its lips because of a lawsuit filed by a Rockledge resident against his neighboring property owner, Mark Towfiq, and the city. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version misspelled Mark Towfiq's last name. However, officials listened to speakers for and against prescriptive rights to gain access to the ocean, referring to public rights acquired over private lands through use. "Thirty-two residents and visitors to Laguna Beach have signed Coastal Commission, staff-approved affidavits, certifying that they have used the property for access to their coastline," speaker Fred Talarico said.
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NEWS
August 11, 2011
Many of you have signed the petition and/or seen the posters around town about restoring a public coastal access to Rockledge. It's the longest stretch of public shoreline in Laguna Beach that doesn't have a public stairway. Kayakers and paddle boarders can get there easily, but the rest of us have to climb on the cliffs and rocks that separate it from Victoria Beach and Moss Cove. Even lifeguards must swim or paddleboard a great distance to get there. And despite illegal plucking of tidepool creatures, the Marine Refuge enforcement officer can't get there at all. Ever since the Old Coast Road was built, Laguna residents could go to Rockledge and see and enjoy the tide pools, cliffs and sunsets.
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 Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com | March 24, 2011
At Tuesday's City Council meeting, the board voted 4 to 0, denying Rockledge neighbors' appeal on the development at 2425 S. Coast Hwy., a 7,692-square-foot home. The neighbors appealed the project due to the size, historical significance of the current home, safety and public access. The council took the Design Review Board's recommendation to go forward with the project with two requirements. The property owner and applicant, Mark Towfiq, must move the setback two feet to the south, which will increase the space between 2425 S. Coast Hwy. and its neighbor to 15 feet.
NEWS
By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com | March 10, 2011
For as long as many can remember, the track at Laguna Beach High School has been open to the public, even during school hours. But that changed six months ago when the board of education voted to end the public use of school grounds during instructional hours, citing safety concerns. At Tuesday's school board meeting, about 10 people spoke against the closure, citing health and emotional reasons, as well as the need for the community to congregate. "I've relied on that track for 14 years as a part of my training," said runner Leslie Lebon.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | July 22, 2010
The City Council voted Tuesday to explore ways to connect Top of the World and Arch Beach Heights by a pathway — but it won't go through the gated community of Sommet du Monde. A road in the gated community would have provided access from TOW to the fire road between the two hilltop neighborhoods for the use of bicyclists, hikers, moms with strollers and school children. However the proposal didn't sit well with six Sommet du Monde property owners, who made it clear that they would not open their private road to the public without a battle.
NEWS
September 7, 2007
Gated communities benefit the public As a former homeowner in Three Arch Bay and now a resident and property owner along the Intra-Coastal waterway in South Carolina, I note the issues of public access are equal irrespective of which coast you live near. It is important to note that in all cases, those who are privileged to live on the water pay dearly for that privilege. And in most cases, that payment continues each and every year through property taxes. My comments are not a complaint about taxes, but a suggestion that in most cases, they are dismissed in the discussion.
NEWS
April 29, 2005
I am writing this to thank every person, past and present, who has made it possible to enjoy public access to our beautiful beaches and bluffs in the city of Laguna Beach. Recently, the Laguna Beach schools had their spring break. My husband and high school son decided to take a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C. I decided to stay in Laguna to have my own quiet L.B. retreat. Over the course of the week, I frequented the numerous art galleries in town searching for that special painting of our beautiful city to hang over the fireplace.
NEWS
October 29, 2004
Lost among the statewide propositions concerning Indian gaming and the greater national race for the presidency of the United States is a little known proposed amendment to the state's Constitution known as Proposition 59. While it has been overshadowed by bigger and sexier campaigns, the truth is this initiative strikes a blow against those who would deny the people's right to know what government is doing. Proposition 59's passage would strengthen the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act and make it the state constitutional right for the public and journalists, acting on behalf of the public, to access governmental meetings and governmental documents.
NEWS
September 5, 2003
Barbara Diamond A winding public pathway leading to the ocean was formally dedicated in North Laguna Tuesday, the culmination of years of wrangling. "Nothing is easy in Laguna," Mayor Toni Iseman said. "I thank everyone who made sure we did this right." The linear park adjacent to the gated Smithcliffs homes was required as a condition of development by the county and the California Coastal Commission. At some point it was blocked off from the public, raising the hackles of a group of residents who worked to get it reopened.
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