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Laguna Beach


Community Development Department continues to provide limited services

While Laguna Beach City Hall is closed for the safety of the public and staff due to COVID-19, the Laguna Beach Community Development Department continues to provide limited services to the community. 

Regular public services including issuing permits, building inspections, preparing items for public hearings, and fielding code enforcement calls will continue to the best of the City’s ability.   

In compliance with state guidelines on telework and social distancing, City staff is working from home if possible. Minimal staff remains working at City Hall while abiding by state guidelines allowing for six feet of social distancing separation. 

Available Community Development Services:

--Drop-off cabinets for clans and permit applications: The City has placed several secure drop-off cabinets at City Hall in front of the Community Development Department where plans and permit applications can be dropped off and picked up.

Community Development door

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Submitted photo

Drop-off sites remain outside  

--Send plans via US Mail or email: The City is accepting applications and associated plans via US mail and email (for minor projects). 

--Email applications and plans to the following:

--Building Permit Applications: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--Zoning Plan Check and Residential Resign Review Applications: 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--Permits and Commercial Design Review Applications: 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--Mail applications and plans to: 

City of Laguna Beach Community Development Department

505 Forest Avenue

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Payments for Permits: Payment can be made over the phone by credit card or by check. For phone payments or general questions about Planning Department Operations, please call (949) 497-0712.

While the City is not able to meet with you at the counter, staff will be available by phone, email, and video conferencing. Depending on the applicant’s request, the City will transmit permits, approved plans, and correction letters either by US mail or by scheduling a time for pick up in front of City Hall, while maintaining social distancing requirements.   

The City will also offer some other City Services online. You can complete the following transactions without coming to City Hall, by clicking the links below:

Get or renew your business license (click here)

Get a parking permit (click here)

Get an animal license (click here)

Pay a parking ticket (click here)

You can also contact the City by phone, and by email. Click here for a directory of all City employees. For questions about City services, please call (949) 497-3311 during regular business hours. 

The situation is fluid and information provided in this statement is subject to change. The City encourages everyone to get their information from official sources, including the resources listed below.

Additional Resources

The City is constantly communicating with its community partners, and also regularly updating additional information on COVID-19 on its website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/coronavirus.

The Orange County Public Health Care Agency COVID-19 Health Referral Hotline is 1 (800) 564-8448.


City of Laguna Beach declares local emergency in response to COVID-19

Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s guidance this afternoon regarding measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) to citizens, and especially those age 65 or above, or with compromised immune systems, the City of Laguna has declared a Local Emergency. This proclamation allows the City to promptly take the actions necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare within the City and also allows for future reimbursement by the county, state, and federal governments. The emergency declaration must be ratified by the City Council within seven days.

The City is also taking the following actions, effective immediately: 

Emergency Services

--Police, Fire, and Marine Safety services will continue and 9-1-1 will be operating as usual.

City Facilities 

--City Hall and the Community and Susi Q Senior Center will be closed to the public through March 27; however, City operations will continue to operate with available staff. For questions, please call (949) 497-3311 during regular business hours. 

--All City events and all recreation classes and programs planned for the remainder of March are canceled. AgeWell lunches are canceled; Meals-on-Wheels will assist those in need.

City Meetings 

--The March 17 City Council meeting agenda will be pared down to minimal business items. The following items are removed from the agenda by the City Manager: 

1. Interviews of candidates for the Design Review Board (Item #1); 

2. Award of a contract to study possible future parking structures in and around the downtown (Item #7); 

3. A presentation regarding Lean Six Sigma efforts (although recommendations to purchase software may still be considered) (Item #20); 

4. Extraordinary Business Items regarding the Orange County Human Relations Commission and Department of Motor Vehicles/Donate Life Month proclamations.

--The public is strongly advised not to attend the City Council meeting and may email public comments regarding agenda items to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Laguna Beach City Council meeting is available to view live on the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net or live on Cox cable channel 852.

--The March 24th Special Meeting of the City Council regarding the Downtown Specific Plan is canceled.

--All City Commission, Committee, and Board meetings are canceled through the end of March. This includes Planning Commission and Design Review Board meetings.

--The March 31 City Council meeting will be limited to minimal items or canceled.

“The City is closely following recommendations from the federal, state, and County level to ensure that we take all prudent steps to minimize, as best we can, possible impacts to Laguna Beach residents and visitors from COVID-19,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “Today the Governor requested that all persons age 65 or over self-isolate at home and I encourage everyone to comply with this request to the maximum extent possible. All of us need to take actions to contribute to the safety, security, health, and well-being of everyone in Laguna Beach and I am confident that our residents will do just that.”

“These actions are necessary to help keep our community and our employees safe,” said Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig. “The decision to make these changes was made after much deliberation and in response to local, county, state, and federal agencies guidance to slow the spread of the virus.”

Click here for the “City’s Proclamation of the Existence of a Local Emergency.”

Additional Resources

--The City is constantly communicating with our community partners, and also regularly updating additional information on COVID-19 prevention on the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/coronavirus.

--Find the complete updated list of changes to operations and community cancellations at www.lagunabeachcity.net/coronavirusclosures. If you are a nonprofit community partner with a cancellation, please email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

--The Orange County Public Health Care Agency COVID-19 Health Referral Hotline: 1 (800) 564-8448.

Orange County Health Care Agency information webpage

California Department of Public Health COVID-19 information webpage

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 information webpage


Council to meet by phone, public to comment via email

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The agenda for the March 17 City Council meeting has been purged of controversial items and limited to items requiring action.

Four of the five council members will be at home on the phone to conduct the city’s business under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. City Councilman Peter Blake is expected to be in the council chambers as he not considered to be in the high-risk groups due to age or health issues.

City officials suggest members of the public also should stay home, watch the meeting on the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net, and email their comments or requests for information to council members or to City Clerk Lisette Chel-Walker, also not in the at-risk group, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The email should contain the agenda item number on which the sender wishes to comment.

Some of the chairs in the council chambers have been removed to create space between them to help folks who do attend the meeting to avoid contact. Health officials are recommending six feet of defensible space. Those who do attend should not shake hands, or hug, and are advised to wash their hands before and after the meeting. 

Three items of expected high interest to the public have been removed from the agenda: 

1. Interviews and appointment to the Design Review Board

7. Award of the contract for the Downtown Parking Structure Study

17. Laguna Canyon Road improvements, property transfers, amendment to the county Open Space Agreement, and property enrollment in the Natural Communities Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan

Only two items of regular business will be heard: the introduction of an ordinance to streamline the permitting process for the installation of electric charging stations. The proposed ordinance meets the requirements of Assembly Bill 1236, approved by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The council also will review the impacts of public health measures on future council, commission, committee, and board meetings.

Staff is recommending the council review its tentative agendas and list of policy items through the end of April and consider postponing items of significant public interest in order to minimize large gatherings, which are being discouraged by health authorities. 

The special council meeting scheduled for March 24, at which the Downtown Specific Plan and the Urban Economist Report was to be reviewed, was previously postponed.


City Manager’s Updates

New Business Announcements – The City of Laguna Beach would like to welcome some of our new businesses to the City: Beej Studios, located in the Laguna Shores Building at 419 N Coast Hwy, offers yoga, meditation, acting for the camera, and sound and art classes. Classes are offered in both individual and small group settings. 

Authentic Art Gallery located at 350 Broadway St (formerly Laguna Rug Gallery) is under new ownership and now offers art as well as high-quality handmade carpets and rugs.

Welcome to all of our new Laguna Beach businesses!

Sandbag Availability – The City of Laguna Beach is providing pre-filled sandbags to residents and business owners from two locations. These sandbags are not for contractors. Sandbags are available at the Act V parking lot – 1900 Laguna Canyon Rd, and Aliso Beach East parking lot – 31118 Coast Hwy. Sandbags are also available at Laguna Beach’s four fire stations. They are free; however, you must provide your own sand. It is not permitted to fill them with sand from Laguna’s beaches or playgrounds. 

For local locations of where you can purchase sand, visit 

www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/
police/emergprep/sandbags.htm
.

Register for Emergency Alerts Go to www.AlertOC.com to register your cell phone numbers, text numbers, and email addresses into the mass notification system. It is recommended that you register your work and home addresses separately to ensure you receive proper notifications for each location. 

AlertOC is a critical link for residents and businesses to immediately learn of any required actions in an emergency. You should also register for Laguna Beach’s Nixle Community Alert system for local weather-related information, traffic-related information, and urgent safety messages in the City. 

To sign up, simply text 92651 to 888-777.

Be Coyote Aware Like most communities located in semi-rural areas, Laguna Beach has active coyote populations. Due to the brushy canyon areas and natural “den” type rock formations, our hillsides provide an attractive environment for coyotes and other animals. Usually the only threat coyotes pose is to pets that are allowed to run loose. Most attacks occur during the evening hours, but daytime incidents have been reported. 

Animal Services recommends that pets not be let outside during evening hours unless the owner is next to the pet to prevent a coyote attack. 

If you have any concerns regarding wild animals, or see a coyote in a residential area, call Laguna Beach Animal Services at (949) 497-0701. You may also report coyote sightings to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City Managers coyote

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Photo by Ryan Moran 

Contact Laguna Beach Animal Services if you see a coyote in your neighborhood

Dog Parks Closed Due to Muddy Conditions When it rains, the City often closes the Dog Park due to wet and muddy conditions. The City now sends out text alerts when it closes and re-opens the Laguna Beach Dog Park. To sign up, text LBDOGPARK to 888-777. Closures (and re-openings) are also posted at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Program Available Laguna Beach Animal Services and PUP Laguna Beach are sponsoring the annual low-cost spay/neuter program for Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods residents. 

Residents may purchase vouchers until March 31 at the City animal shelter located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd (next to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.


City to use public input to promote Neighborhood Trolley service

By BARBARA DIAMOND

City staff has listened to the public at three meetings regarding the troubled Neighborhood Trolley service. 

Meetings were held February 24 and 26 and last night at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center. The meetings complemented the online survey previously conducted by the city.

“We are using the results to develop targeted public outreach and marketing materials,” said Community Information Officer Cassie Walder.

The information will also be used to determine if changes in the service or enhancements are needed.

Each of the three meetings focused on one of the three Neighborhood Trolley Routes: Top of World, Bluebird Canyon and Arch Beach Heights, and thirdly, Coastal, which services North and South Laguna. 

City to use trolley

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The City will use public input to promote Neighborhood Trolley services

Walder said the meetings have been well attended.

Residents who do not ordinarily ride the trolley had an opportunity on Saturday to find out how convenient they are they are – especially on days when parking spaces are at premium. The city offered free rides to and from the Patriots Day Parade.

Students are especially dependent on the trolleys until they are old enough to drive and even then if vehicle is not available to them. 

City officials have made residents and the City Council aware that if ridership does not improve, grants that pay for the trolleys will dry up. The City Council set October as the deadline for improved ridership.

No date has yet been set for presentation to the City Council of the results of the public survey and input.


City Manager’s Updates

City Recommends the Public Follow CDC Guidelines Regarding Coronavirus – The City of Laguna Beach wants residents to know that it shares concern about the potential local spread of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus).

The City is monitoring developments and coordinating with local and regional partners regarding precautionary measures and any appropriate next steps. Based on what has been learned so far from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the City wants to echo the agency’s recommendations and urges residents to follow them in their day-to-day routine until the situation changes.

 The City is posting information at City Hall, at all public facilities, and on all City Trolleys for residents’ reference, and installing multiple hand sanitizing stations at City Hall, the Community and Susi Q Center, other public facilities, and on all Trolleys. The City urges all local restaurant owners, schools, churches, hotels, and local business owners to provide hand sanitizer for all patrons.

The City is also constantly updating additional information on coronavirus at the link here.

For questions for the City of Laguna Beach about coronavirus, email Sergeant McGill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him directly at (949) 497-0701.

Patriots Day Parade – Ride a free City trolley into downtown for this year’s Patriots Day Parade, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free parking is available in Lot 16 (ACT V, 1900 Laguna Canyon Rd) where the trolleys will be available to take passengers into downtown. Paid parking is available in Lot 10 (former Christmas Tree lot), Lot 11, and Lot 11-E. 

Road closures near and along the parade route will begin downtown at 10 a.m. Neighborhood trolleys are also available and will be operating on a regular Saturday schedule starting at 9:30 a.m. 

The Coastal Routes will start early at 9:30 a.m. as well. The farmers’ market will be closed on Saturday, and will return next Saturday. For the trolley schedule and route information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolley.

City Manager's Parade

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Patriots Day Parade takes place on Saturday

Customer Service Improvements Made at Community Development Counter – As part of another effort to streamline and enhance customer service for the public at the Community Development counter at City Hall, a Permit Services Supervisor now oversees counter customer service operations. Over the past year, numerous customer service enhancements have been made as part of the Community Development Department’s Action Plan. Over the next year, the City will be updating its department procedures, information handouts, website, and permitting software.

Registration Open for Leadership Laguna Citizen’s Academy – The City of Laguna Beach is pleased to announce registration is now open for Leadership Laguna 2020, a citizen’s academy consisting of a series of five workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to introduce participants to the various operations of the City. 

The program will provide information about the City’s various departments, committees, and commissions. Speakers from each department will address participants’ questions. Leadership Laguna takes place on five Thursday evenings beginning on March 12 and ending April 16. 

Space in the academy is limited, so interested candidates should submit their application as early as possible. 

To register, go to www.lagunabeachcity.net/leadershiplaguna or contact Jeremy Frimond, Senior Administrative Analyst in the City Manager’s Office, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 464-6673.

SCE Vault Work at N. Coast Highway – On Tuesday, March 10, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Southern California Edison (SCE) will be replacing equipment in a vault located at N. Coast Highway opposite of McKnight Drive. 

The northbound lane at North Coast Hwy closest to the curb will be blocked between Ledroit Street and Emerald Bay. For questions or concerns, contact SCE’s Customer Service number at (800) 655-4555.

Annual Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program – Laguna Beach Animal Services and PUP Laguna Beach are coming together to sponsor the annual low-cost spay/neuter program for Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods residents. 

Residents may purchase a voucher from March 1 to March 31 at the city animal shelter located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd (next to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. 

Purchases must be made with cash or check only, no credit cards. The vouchers may be used from April 1, 2020, to April 30, 2020, at specified Laguna Beach veterinarians. There is a limit of two (2) vouchers per household. The animal shelter may be contacted at (949) 497-3552 for questions about the program.


Planning Commission decides further review is needed to approve Downtown Action Plan

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

The Planning Commission on Wednesday continued the review of the Downtown Action Plan to the March 18 meeting.

Twenty-four projects have been identified by the consulting firm SWA, intended to coordinate plans for specific street trees, the streetscape, and related improvements. The commissioners decided that a complete review was too much to take on after almost two hours of comments by the public, mostly directed against proposed removal of trees, in addition to their own discussion. 

“I thought the staff report was well put-together,” said Commission Chair Ken Sadler. “A lot of the ideas and suggestions originated from past recommendations by the Commission.

“There is a proposal to remove perhaps 25 percent of the trees in the Downtown Specific Plan area. That is significant and it includes some large trees, but for the most part they are due for removal for health reasons. Others are to be removed for proposed improvements. But all of the removed trees are to be replaced. Additional trees that are not replacements will increase the overall number by about 20 percent.”

Planning Commission Forest

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Forest Ave as it looks today

Sadler feels there has been a misunderstanding about the total number of trees to be removed. Staff reported that it has received numerous written comments on the plan, with tree removal a frequently expressed concern.

Tree advocates had already criticized the City at the March 25 council meeting after seeing the number of trees tagged with yellow ribbons, an indication of removal. The ribbons were subsequently removed. 

Village Laguna President Johanna Felder, among the speakers who voiced concerns about the existing trees to be removed, doesn’t think there was any confusion on the part of the opponents to the proposal.

“Some of them are healthy and beautiful and they need to stay,” said Felder. “We are also concerned about the replacement by trees we don’t think are the right species.

“We are also opposed to the replacement of 17 of the 23 trees on Forest Ave and the money it will cost. The tree in front of the ice cream parlor on Forest is big and it shades the entire area. Replacement won’t provide that much shade in 20 years.”

That said, Felder complimented the plan to spruce up the city. 

The plan builds on the foundation established by the Landscape and Scenic Highways Element in the municipal code, as well as other long-range studies, including the Complete Streets and Cultural Arts plans – which represent a vision for Laguna’s future, according to the staff report. 

Lower Forest Ave DAP

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Courtesy of the City of Laguna LB

An artist rendering of SWA’s proposed Downtown Action Plan with tree heights to reflect the day they’re planted

SWA was directed to consult these documents, including the recommendations in the Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document, but was given latitude to inject new ideas, including expanding the recommended street tree list where appropriate. 

The consultant was tasked with surveying all existing public areas within the boundaries of the Downtown Specific Plan area: Broadway to Legion Street, and Pacific Coast Highway to Canyon Acres

Among the strategies recommended by SWA to reenergize the downtown: 

--Increase the urban tree canopy: people tend to gather in spaces that are temperate, comfortable, and intimately scaled 

--Capture runoff

--Maintain a safe, accessible pedestrian environment that encourages more folks to ride bikes 

--Promote shared and zero-emission transportation method

--Use gathering spaces for flexible programming opportunities 

--Use the length of the streetscape zone to provide recreational elements

--Define a clear identity

--Incorporate an eclectic, timeless palette 

“We all liked the plan, but we want to go through it project by project,” said Commissioner Anne Johnson.

The entire report is available on the City’s website here.


City Manager’s Updates

New Business Announcements – The City of Laguna Beach would like to welcome some of our new businesses to the City: Fred + Cathy, located at 1854 S Coast Hwy, is a Southern California-based retailer and manufacturer of concrete products for hospitality and residential applications. Founded in 2019, Fred + Cathy is a family-owned and operated business that includes indoor/outdoor tiles, breeze blocks, and other home accessories in concrete. 

Bare Bones Tattoo, located at 2940 S Coast Hwy, is one of Laguna Beach’s newest tattoo shops. 

Welcome to all of our new Laguna Beach businesses and business owners. 

“City Chats” on KX FM – A special winter edition of “City Chats” continues on KX FM! This week, Sgt Jim Cota from the Laguna Beach Police Department talks about how 2019 is the second straight year that overall crime has decreased in the City. Find out more about the Police Department’s programs, and Sgt Cota’s role and duties within the Police Department. 

 Listeners can tune in to the podcast segment online at www.kxfmradio.org. Sgt Cota also plays some of his favorite songs for listeners and shares the stories behind them (if you love 80s alternative music, you’ll love Jim’s playlist!). Tune in to the “City Chats” radio program on KX FM 104.7. 

City Manager's Cota

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Submitted photo

Sgt Jim Cota joins “City Chats” on KX FM this week 

Arbor Day Event – The City of Laguna Beach will celebrate its 2019 Tree City USA designation at its upcoming annual Arbor Day celebration on Thursday, March 12 at Lang Park (located at the corner of Coast Highway and Wesley Drive) from 3 - 5 p.m. The tree planting ceremony will tentatively start at 4 p.m. 

For more information, contact Nate Faris, City Arborist, at (949) 715-0821 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SCE Pole Replacements – Southern California Edison (SCE) will be working in two areas of town next week:

Pole Replacement by Helicopter – On Monday, March 2 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., SCE’s contractor, Pro Energy Services, will be replacing a utility pole located in the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. The pole is located approximately 4,000 feet southeast of Moulton Meadows Park. A helicopter will be used to remove and replace the pole. The landing zone and staging area for the helicopter will occur within the wilderness park approximately 2,100 feet north of Moulton Meadows Park and adjacent to the emergency fire access road. The emergency fire access road will remain unobstructed during the work. 

For questions or concerns, contact Pro Energy Services at (760) 504-8127.

259 Pearl St – On Wednesday, March 4 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., SCE will be replacing a utility pole located at 259 Pearl St. The eastbound lane of Pearl Street will be blocked between S Coast Hwy and Glenneyre Street, and flaggers will be used to direct traffic. 

For questions or concerns, contact SCE’s Customer Service number at (800) 655-4555.

Temple Hills Drive Pedestrian Improvements – Sidewalk construction on the east side of Temple Hills Drive, between Dunning Drive and Rim Rock Canyon Road, is underway. Minor traffic impacts can be expected during the working hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of May. 

For additional information, contact Assistant City Engineer Natalie Chan at (949) 497-0741 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

City Manager's Temple Hills

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Temple Hills Drive sidewalk construction is underway

Coast Highway Intersections Improvements – In an ongoing effort to improve traffic circulation and enhance pedestrian safety in the downtown area, the City of Laguna Beach is preparing to construct intersection improvements along Coast Highway between Broadway and Legion Street. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in early March and is expected to be completed by the end of May 2020. Parking restrictions and traffic impacts can be expected during lane closure hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, excluding holidays. 

For additional information, contact Consultant Inspector John Przbyszewski at (714) 815-1799 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Assistant City Engineer Natalie Chan at (949) 497-0741 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Adult Indoor Pickleball Play – The City of Laguna Beach and the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach have partnered to offer indoor drop-in pickleball at the Boys and Girls Club gym located at 1085 Laguna Canyon Rd. This pilot program begins Wednesday, Feb 26, and will run every Wednesday and Friday from 9 - 11 a.m. through the end of May excluding school holidays. The drop-in fee is $5 per day. 

For questions, call Alexis Braun, Senior Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0762.

Architects, Builders, Contractors, and Public Invited to Open House

The Laguna Beach Community Development Department is hosting an open house on Wednesday, March 11 from 12 to 1 p.m. and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in the Council Chambers. 

Architects, designers, contractors, real estate professionals, property and business owners, and residents are encouraged to attend. The open house will be hosted by Community Development Director Marc Wiener and is designed as a listening session to meet local architects, building and design professionals, and residents interested in the development process. 

For more information, contact Marc Wiener, Director, City of Laguna Beach Community Development Department, at (949) 497-0361 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New Voting Process More Convenient for Laguna Beach Voters – Voters have the option to vote at one of two Vote Centers in Laguna Beach from February 29 - March 3 or visit a regional Vote Center now until March 3. 

Visit www.ocvote.com/fileadmin/vc/vclist.html to view a list of all available Vote Centers, addresses, and hours of operation. Laguna Beach Vote Centers are located at the Community and Susi Q Center, located at 380 3rd St, and the American Legion Post 222, located at 384 Legion St. 

The Vote Centers double as ballot drop box locations or you can also drop your ballot at the Laguna Beach Branch Library, located at 363 Glenneyre St. You can find more information regarding the upcoming Presidential Primary Election on the Orange County Registrar of Voters website at www.ocvote.com

For questions about voting locally in Laguna Beach, contact Laguna Beach City Clerk Lisette Chel-Walker at (949) 497-0309 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Public Invited to Provide Input on Neighborhood Trolley Service – The City of Laguna Beach invites the public to provide input on the Neighborhood Trolley services, routes, and usage at an upcoming public input session and through an online survey. 

City Manager's trolley

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

City seeks input on Neighborhood Trolley services, routes, and usage

On March 9, the session will focus on North and South Laguna neighborhoods served by the Coastal Route. This input session will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center. 

The public is also invited to take an online survey to provide feedback by visiting http://bit.ly/NeighborhoodTransitSurvey2020. Printed copies of the survey are also available at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center and at the cashier’s counter at City Hall. 

For more information, contact Michael Litschi, Deputy Director of Public Works, Transit and Parking, at (949) 497-0303 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Ann Marie McKay announces City Clerk candidacy

Ann Marie McKay has announced she is running for Laguna Beach City Clerk in the November 2020 General Election. The Laguna Beach City Clerk is a non-partisan elected position that exists to serve and assist the public. 

McKay asserts that she has the experience, talents, and neutrality necessary to serve the Laguna Beach community. She notes that though she is actively involved in the community, she is not a member of any group because she has always found common ground with every group. She states that her independence enables her to make unbiased decisions and provide equal assistance to everyone.

McKay says that she loves being a public servant. Before coming to Laguna, after she graduated with her mathematics degree, she served as a Captain in the Air Force. She also served the City of Laguna Beach for 10 years. McKay currently serves as President of PUP Laguna Beach, the nonprofit that supports the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, and she has been an active volunteer at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter since 2011. Now she wants to serve her community as City Clerk. She states that she excels at customer service, and pleasant, competent assistance to everyone will be her priority. 


Ann Marie McKay announces

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Ann Marie McKay

McKay says that she knows and loves Laguna. Besides the 10 years she worked downtown, she has walked the neighborhoods, parks, and business districts, she has bicycled around town, and she has lived in North Laguna, the Village, and, currently, South Laguna. She worked and participated in Planning Commission, Design Review Board, City Council, and other public and community meetings. She asserts that she understands the issues in the Laguna Beach community and that she appreciates and respects the many viewpoints of the people in Laguna, which she believes make Laguna unique. 

McKay says that she will use her knowledge of City-specific technology and her technological skills to ensure correct and current information for the public. After 10 years of dedicated service to the City, McKay explains that she decided to pursue another opportunity in the private sector, in part because, as an administrative City employee, she did not feel she was able to effectively use her knowledge and talents to take the actions she believed were necessary to improve how the City was functioning. As City Clerk, she will have the ability to fully use her skills to ensure the Laguna Beach community is provided the best service possible, she says.

With her years of experience as a City employee, and as a Notary Public, McKay assures that she understands the City Clerk’s role. She also notes that she has excellent relationships with the current and previous City Clerks, who are valuable resources.

To learn more about McKay, visit www.mckay4cityclerk.com, her Facebook page @mckay4cityclerk, or her Instagram @annmarie4cityclerk. Also feel free to email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Community Development Department announces customer service enhancements

In an effort to streamline and enhance customer service for the public at the Community Development counter at City Hall, the City of Laguna Beach has hired a Permit Services Supervisor to oversee counter customer service operations. This new service will be available to the public starting Monday, Feb 24.

“Our new Permit Services Supervisor will oversee the front counter in an effort to enhance customer service and help people navigate the development process from the moment they come into City Hall,” said Marc Wiener, Laguna Beach Director of Community Development. 

“We are continually looking for ways to make the development process less time consuming, easier to understand, and less tedious for property owners as they embark on development projects in the City.”

Community Development Ford

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Permit Services Supervisor Geri Ford 

Geri Ford has been hired as Permit Services Supervisor and began working in the position yesterday, February 20. Ford has over 12 years of experience working as a Permit Technician for the cities of Anaheim, Orange, and Mission Viejo. For the last two months, Ford has been working for the City as a contract Senior Permit Technician. 

Over the last year, numerous customer service enhancements have been made as part of the Community Development Department’s Action Plan. For example, the City has streamlined the plan review process by requiring that plan submittals be reviewed concurrently by all departments. 

Additionally, a newly formed Development Management Team meets every Thursday to review new commercial, residential, and other complicated projects at the very beginning of the process. 

By meeting with the property owner’s design team early, the Team provides direction up front, helping property owners steer clear of potential future delays that could happen later in the process. Over the next year, the City will be updating its department procedures, information handouts, website, and permitting software.

“With even more improvements on the way, this is just the beginning of how we aim to improve customer service and become a City that is as innovative as our residents,” Wiener said. “It’s the City’s goal to make it easier to understand the permitting process and to issue permits in a timely manner.”

For more information on the new customer service improvements, contact Marc Wiener, Director, City of Laguna Beach Community Development Department, at (949) 497-0361 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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