Park Plaza not a good plan

I vote no. It messes up traffic circulation. If you come from the north and try to get to the parking structure your only choice is Forest Ave, which is always congested, or to drive up to Legion and try to make a left turn. The light at Legion backs up traffic on Coast Hwy.  

Not a good plan. The park only seems to benefit one restaurant. I would rather see more benches if the city wants places for people to sit.

Larry Lewis

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza is tacky

No to the tacky looking Park Plaza. I have been a regular user of the Library for the last 60 years and now it is difficult to get to and find a place to park. In summer when traffic backs up from upper Park Avenue trying to get to Coast Highway, there is no way to turn into the library as cars are backed up beyond Glenneyre. On Coast Highway turning left onto Forest, or turning right onto Forest backs up, even when the lower Park section was open for traffic. Just what we do not need is losing parking spaces.

I agree with the sentiments expressed by Roger Butow.

Robert Leedom

Laguna Beach

Undergrounding is not worth the cost

Cosmetically pleasing as undergrounding may be, it is not worth the cost. Recently the City emerged from a bond issue that tapped permanent residents for the past 20 years on exactly the same issue: undergrounding.

An issue de jour promoting undergrounding, power lines cause fires, should be applied to a real problem here in Laguna: trees! Hiding under such excuses as ‘takings’ and aesthetics, trees are the source of genuine harm with exfoliation and view blocking. The trees most flagrantly errant are palms and eucalyptuses, neither of which being indigenous to Laguna Beach yet a gutless City Council refuses to undertake remedial programs such as that in Palos Verdes to mitigate their tree problem.

Insofar as undergrounding is concerned you need look no further than the experience of other Southern California cities in which vault fires, flooding and the effects of landslides and earthquakes have caused significant power disruptions. Undergrounding shall result in significant power disruption is simply a matter of time.

Finally, it is apparent that any such measure will probably pass since most voters are renters or ‘home owners’ for a nominal seven years with little or no vested interest in the community and to whom the cosmetic and superficial appeal. But the permanent residents get stuck with another couple of hundred dollars tacked onto their property taxes for the next 20 years.

John Kountz

Laguna Beach

In support of undergrounding

Has anyone met with someone on the Del Mar City council to inquire about their successful underground transformation? Del Mar is a town much like Laguna, and the residents are extremely happy with the results they achieved. The city is more beautiful than ever without the electrical poles and wires – and so much safer now that the utilities are out of harm’s way. Just taking a drive through Del Mar makes one aware of how much more open and pleasing the vista is minus the utility lines, connections, power boxes, and poles. I don’t know how much time it took to accomplish such results, or what the cost was to the city, but I imagine that information is readily available upon inquiry.

We have lived in Laguna for over forty years, and we are totally in support of the proposed undergrounding in our own town. It is our fervent hope that this project will be accomplished within the next few years.

Thank you for the opportunity to express our thoughts and feelings on this issue.

Linda and Mike Hogan

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza restricts flow of traffic

This is perhaps the most idiotic concept of a “park “ I have ever seen.

In a city replete with beautiful parks and spectacular beaches, why would we further eliminate parking spaces and restrict the flow of traffic?

Douglas Ammerman

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza not very attractive

Interesting topic.  I voted no on this issue for several reasons:

Major inconvenience for those living on Park Avenue having to drive to Legion to make a left turn to go home.

Not a very attractive place to eat when you have the back door for businesses/restaurant kitchens opening to the street...noisy and smelly.

Not very attractive to look at dumpsters by the library parking.

Who is on clean up duty?

Claudia Redfern

Laguna Beach

Not in favor of Park Plaza

No [I am not in favor]! Takes much needed parking, as well as an alternative route from PCH. 

Kathy Rosenberger

Laguna Beach

Alternative location for Park Plaza?

[Plaza] Park is relatively dark and narrow. It also provides a route around much of the bottleneck in the village and on Coast Highway.

It appears that a more natural and desirable location for the “plaza” would be Forest Avenue between Coast Highway and Glenneyre. It is wide, relatively sunny and is already difficult to utilize as a thoroughfare because of the large amount of foot traffic at the intersection of Forest and Glenneyre.

Ed Schlatter

Laguna Beach

Yes to Park Plaza – if improved

I vote yes to make this permanent if it is landscaped beautifully and attired with artistically suitable tables and chairs and possibly an “Art in Public Places” sculpture is added.  

Mary G Schmidt

40-year resident, Laguna Beach

Park Plaza a good idea if better parking solutions are found: some ideas

Since the Plaza at Park Ave was installed I’ve heard mixed feelings but most people I’ve talked to feel it has caused more of a traffic problem. I truly understand why some want to have more of a pedestrian friendly and park like atmosphere for the downtown but we first need to find a way for less cars looking for parking to achieve this.  

If we could get the amount of volunteers and nonprofit groups to spend more time and energy on getting the cars to park out of town or at the parking lot at the end of Laguna Canyon we might see a change where more Plazas could be all over the downtown area.  There could be a Free Parking festival one day out there offering free rental bikes for people that would like to ride down the canyon and if they wanted to turn in the bikes somewhere in town and take a trolley back to the parking lot there could be that option.  

I know most of you think this is too dangerous, all the more reason we need a pedestrian walking trail and a bike path on Laguna Canyon Road going all the way out to Irvine. The marquee sign along the road could say, “You could be riding a bike not sitting in your car in traffic” [or] “Turn around and go park at the Free Parking lot and ride a Trolley for free.”  

My point is before we do more Plazas around downtown, closing streets and taking up parking spots, let’s work on getting less cars driving into Laguna. 

Liza I. Stewart

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza not a good idea

I am against this park. Very few people use the park, we lose eight parking spaces, and causes traffic congestion.

Andy Turner

Laguna Beach

Keep Park Plaza

Yes, the experiment has gone well...keep it!

Diane Valentino

Laguna Beach

Two reasons to vote no on Park Plaza

I voted against the Long Term Pedestrian Plaza at Park Avenue for two reasons. One, every time I go past the so-called Pedestrian Plaza, I see either nobody or very few people sitting on the tables.  

Two, and the biggest reason, I’ve lived in Laguna for 44 years and each year traffic is exponentially worse. Blocking off that critical street only exacerbates the problem. It boils down to a quality of life issue and the average citizen of Laguna should have a greater say than the merchants.

Scott Whitlock

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza might work in the summer

It does not seem to be used when we drive or walk by. Maybe it would work in the summer??

Anne Polkingharn

Laguna Beach

In favor of Park Plaza

I’m in favor of making it permanent.

BJ Peterson

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza a wonderful idea that needs tweaking

If they make this a permanent “structure” could they at least move the barricades to make it more appealing and enjoyable for those to eat outside? And will they expand to Forest Ave? This is wonderful idea, just needs a few tweaks to make it aesthetically appealing.

Tricia Lam

Laguna Beach

In favor of Park Plaza for a pedestrian-friendly town

Yes, I am in favor of the parklet and eventually closing Forest Ave, permanently or maybe on certain days/nights. Let’s make our city a pedestrian friendly town! 

Rona Gromet

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza makes driving in Laguna worse

I vote NO! on The Park Plaza. Please do not permanently close this street for pedestrians. Park plaza is a great driving shortcut through town for the locals. It’s already hard enough to drive and park around here. Please don’t make it worse. There are plenty of wonderful areas in this town for pedestrians already.

Philip Gough

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza: money best sent elsewhere

I have close to 40 years [living] in Laguna, that small street is a vital access road to Park Ave, the high school and residential streets above!

Money would be better spent on cleaning up Main Beach cobblestone areas, maybe [adding] picnic tables & umbrellas during the warm months.

Also, common sense dictates this city needs a parking structure across from the festival grounds.

Laguna is not Portofino! The volume of traffic on PCH will only increase.

Pat Galez

Laguna Beach

Yes to Park Plaza

I am in favor of the park!

Patricia Callaghan

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza: A Sense of Community Can’t Be Manufactured

Lately, there’s been a concerted attempt to remake Laguna Beach, progressed by a very vocal minority. First, they wanted to close off Forest Avenue to traffic, disregarding one obvious fact: Downtown parking and vehicular circulation would become an even bigger nightmare than it already is. Ideas are easy, implementation and adverse impacts entirely different beasts.

Although Park Plaza isn’t as disruptive, it’s a reflection of a mindset, of a discomfort being pushed by a few unhappy campers, none of them long term residents: they want to change us into the image of what they think that we should be.

As a retired general contractor (I’m now an enviro-analyst) it’s typical of people with what we as builders called “Remodeling Syndrome.” New residents from out of town bought their dream home, then within a year or two decided it needed revamping.

Humorously, they often remodeled many times subsequently, never quite satisfied, as if there was still something not quite right. The people who lobbied heavily for the Plaza seems to be of the same ilk: There’s something wrong, something missing in our lives that their tweaking could fix. They know what would be best for us.

They’ve unfortunately called those who don’t want what they do as Flat Earth types, xenophobic, afraid of change. It apparently never occurred to them that we understand what they cannot: “Community” isn’t just things, it’s also a place in the heart, a sense of time and place, the guts of a town’s character. We like where we live, warts and all, natives who’ve stayed along with those of us who moved here primarily because of its non-urban feel.

Community can’t be manufactured by putting up some chairs and tables in what’s basically an alley, sequestered in an asphalt and concrete compound. So near to PCH that the noise and air pollution hardly stand a chance of becoming social change drivers. Coughing and yelling don’t equal Laguna in my opinion. Creating such simulated environs isn’t a field of dreams, unless your dreams are urban in nature.

Laguna Beach is not irreparably broken, no it’s not perfect, but it still has some of the same funky coastal surf vibe that drew me here from northern OC and my native Long Beach.

Ironically, not one of the proponents is a professional land use analyst or planner. Just people with an itch to change, an itch to fix what’s not even broken.

Roger E. Bütow

45-year Laguna Beach resident

Park Plaza Blocks Traffic

City Council

“Don’t be cruel”

Please re-open up Park Avenue to help with traffic. Anyone who has to get across town gets jammed and if you are working or driving kids the traffic is rotten.

We have plenty of open space across the street.

The light in the canyon has made driving there a nightmare and now the city is making town more congested.

Peter Davidson

Laguna Beach

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