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Volume 15, Issue 22  | March 17, 2023Subscribe

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County approves $22M transfer agreement for South Laguna beaches

The county unanimously approved a $22 million agreement this week in the next step in the process of the city assuming ownership of county-controlled beaches and coastal property in South Laguna.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors, also acting as the OC Flood Control District, voted 4-0 (Don Wagner was absent) on Tuesday (Dec. 6) to approve the cooperative transfer agreement with City of Laguna Beach for transfer of county and FCD-owned properties and all associated operations, maintenance and services of the coastal properties.

The county will pay $22 million to the city, which includes an initial payment of $2 million to be made within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement. The remainder will be paid upon execution of the agreement and once all the transfers outlined have been completed.

After long negotiations between the city and county, the teams were able to come up with a mutually beneficial agreement for the 1.2 miles of coastline, said OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.

“The transfer creates a win-win situation for both the county and the city,” she said.

The city gets to gain control to maintain and operate the properties to their standards, while it benefits the county to no longer have to maintain the very expensive coastal park areas, she explained. While $22 million seems like a lot of money to pay for the transfer, in the long run the county will break even in six to eight years due to the escalating cost to maintain the properties, Bartlett said. 

“We’ll save a substantial amount of money down the road that we can then invest in our other parks projects,” she commented.

County approves $22M transfer West Street Beach

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Orange County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement this week to transfer control of all county-owned beaches, including West Street Beach, to the City of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach City Council unanimously agreed on September 20 in favor of pursuing a deal with Orange County to assume ownership of county beaches and coastal properties.

On November 15, council unanimously approved the $22 million transfer agreement with the county for the identified parcels, easements, leases, licenses, permits and memorandum of understandings, as assignable, for city ownership, maintenance and operations of the identified coastal properties. 

Properties include Aliso Beach (and the associated Orange County Flood Control parcel) parking and concessions, Camel Point Beach, Laguna Royale Beach, Table Rock Beach, Thousand Steps Beach, West Street Beach, all beach access points, amenities, parking lots and coastal areas and county easements in other beach areas within the city. The agreement also covers capital improvements and maintenance responsibility.


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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