Print

Inside City Hall

Dear Laguna Beach Community,

Once again, the threat of wildfire knocks at our door with this week’s Coastal Fire. First, I would like to thank our Laguna Beach Firefighters, Police Department, City Manager Shohreh Dupuis and everyone on the City’s Emergency Operations Team for their quick actions and response to protect the life, safety and property of our residents. Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Laguna Niguel whose homes were destroyed or damaged in this fire and extend whatever support we can offer during this time.

This week’s Coastal Fire and February’s Emerald Fire are two major fire incidents that have happened dangerously close to the City of Laguna Beach in just the span of a few months, and it goes to show you the impact that climate change is having on our weather and fire behavior. We are extremely fortunate that the winds didn’t shift during the Coastal Fire, but we have also prepared ourselves well. The City’s new Helipod water refilling tank on the fire road was put into action to fight the Coastal Fire from the air and solidifies the Helipod as an excellent firefighting tool in our Wildfire Mitigation and Safety Plan arsenal.  Again, our sincere thank you goes out to all the firefighters who responded, not only from Laguna Beach but also from our neighboring cities all over the region. 

Inside City Hall Sue Kempf

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf

This serves as a good reminder that it is critical that people in Laguna Beach register to receive emergency alerts. I urge you to sign up for both the County’s notification system at www.alertoc.com and to also sign up for Nixle, the City’s notification system by texting 92651 to 888-777. During emergency incidents like these, we also post the latest information to our social media accounts, Nextdoor, and our City website, at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

In other news, we are pleased to inform the community that Orange County’s 2022 Point in Time Count of the Homeless report was released this week and shows a significant 60% reduction in the number of unsheltered homeless individuals living within the City of Laguna Beach since 2019. 

Under the leadership of City Manager Shohreh Dupuis, this is a result of the great efforts of our Police Department and our Community Outreach Officers working out in the community with the homeless on a daily basis, and our partnering with the Friendship Shelter and County services to connect unsheltered individuals with the help they need. It is wonderful to see that the efforts in Laguna Beach over the last two years to help the homeless population and connect them to services is paying dividends for us now.

During this week’s City Council meeting, we had a good discussion about exploring the possibility of building a parking structure Downtown in the church-owned parking lot behind the Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church. The Council approved a MOU with the church and next steps will be finalizing a lease agreement with the Church, projecting costs, and flushing out some of the details. While there is much more refinement to happen, I am excited about this first step in exploring the opportunity to provide more parking in the Downtown area and look forward to community feedback as there will be plenty of time for residents to weigh in further on the possible project. 

Stay safe and vigilant this weekend, and again our thoughts remain with our Laguna Niguel neighbors and firefighters on the frontlines of the Coastal Fire.

In Community Spirit, 

Sue Kempf 

Mayor of Laguna Beach