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The City Council is now accepting applications to serve on the Personnel Board

The City Council is accepting applications to serve on the Personnel Board.

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on the Personnel Board should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online from the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net and file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Friday, July 13 at 5 p.m. Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, July 24 at 6 p.m. by the City Council in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Avenue. All applicants will be interviewed. Applicants may be contacted by City Council members prior to the interviews and appointments so please be prepared to make a brief statement about your desire to serve on a committee.

Two (2) two-year terms on the Personnel Board begin July 25, 2018 through September 30, 2019. The Personnel Board hears appeals relative to any disciplinary action, dismissal, demotion, reduction in pay or suspension. One of the two selected will serve as an alternate member.


City Manager’s Updates

Fourth Annual Road Safety Expo – The Laguna Beach Police Department invites you to the 4th Annual Road Safety Expo this Sunday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free event will encompass safety information for all roadway users including skateboarders, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. 

The Road Safety Expo will include a BMX freestyle team performance, skateboard clinic, auto-extrication demo from the Laguna Beach Fire Department, bicycle obstacle course, raffles, and much more.

City Managers Road

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy LBPD

Road Safety Expo will be fun!

Police Department Scholarships – On Friday, June 8 the 2018 Laguna Beach High School Honors Convocation will take place at the high school. Following a competitive process, the Officer Jon Coutchie Charitable Fund will be awarding a $1,500 college scholarship to a student seeking a degree in Criminal Justice. 

Additionally, eighteen Laguna Beach High School students submitted essays to the Laguna Beach Police Department Juvenile Crimes Detective to receive the Arthur B. Harward Memorial Scholarship, which focuses on abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Two LBHS students stood out and both will receive $1,200 scholarships to assist them with their college education.

Laguna Beach Summer Trolley Service Starts June 18 – Start your summer fun early by riding the Laguna Beach Trolley! Trolley service will start daily on Monday, June 18 with Canyon service running from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Coastal service running from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.  For more information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolley or call (949) 497-0766.

City manager trolley

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Catch the trolley this summer!

Laguna Beach Village Entrance Project – The construction plans and specifications for the Village Entrance project are being finalized for public bidding on June 15. The award of the construction contract is anticipated to be presented at the August 27 City Council meeting. The plans and specifications will be available for public viewing on June 14 at the following link: www.lagunabeachcity.net/villageentrance.

SCE Pole Replacement by Helicopter – On Wednesday, June 13 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Southern California Edison (SCE) will be replacing a pole located in the backyard of the property at 495 Panorama Drive. A helicopter will be used between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. to remove and replace the pole. The landing zone and staging area for the helicopter will occur within the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, which will require the closure of portions of Spur Ridge Trail. 

Also, portions of Eleanor Lane, Fayette Place, and Panorama Drive will be closed to non-residents during the hours of the helicopter operations. Affected residents have been noticed in advance by SCE. For questions or concerns, please contact SCE representative, Alex Arteaga, at (909) 974-4620.

Historic Preservation Ordinance Task Force (HPOTF) – The HPOTF held their first meeting on Thursday, May 31. The second meeting of the Task Force is scheduled to be held on Monday June 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. For information about these meetings and any future meetings, please visit the City’s webpage at http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/preserve/hpotf.htm      

City Hall Paintings – On Friday, June 15, two Joseph Kleitsch paintings in the City’s permanent collection will go on exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum. The Museum will be replacing the two loaned pieces with works by Roger Kuntz, located in Conference Room A. The painting exchange will be through November.

Sunset Serenades: World Music – The final Sunset Serenades: World Music Performance will be this Friday and will feature L ’Esprit D’ Afrique. The concert is held at the Heisler Park Amphitheater starting at 6:30 p.m. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. For more information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net

Parents’ Night Out (PNO) – Parents, call it a break from the kids; kids call it a break from your parents. The City of Laguna Beach is hosting its quarterly Parents’ Night Out on Friday, June 15 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Community & Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street. For this evening, the Community Services Department is offering a new special with the Laguna Playhouse for a 2-for-1 deal on tickets to see Clybourne Park on June 1, only. 

Tickets at this price can only be purchased through the City of Laguna Beach as a PNO package for $60 which includes the two tickets and one PNO child registration. The children will have a blast enjoying games, movies, arts & crafts and dinner. Pre-registration is required 72 hours in advance. To register, call (949) 464-6645 or visit, www.lagunabeachcity.net – click “recreation classes.”


City Hall exhibition “Red Hot” will be on display now until June 28

The Artist Fund at Festival of Arts presents the exhibition “Red Hot” at City Hall, which will be on display through June 28.

City hall guardians

Guardians of Red Canyon, Lynn Welker

The public is invited to attend the artist reception on Thursday, June 7 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and vote for their favorite piece.

The Artist Fund provides both disaster-relief grants for Festival artists in need.


City will review Downtown Specific Plan Update during Planning Commission meeting this Wednesday, June 6

The City will continue its efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update this Wednesday, June 6, during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. 

The Planning Commission will review and discuss public correspondence and issue areas related to Section V: Land Use Districts of the existing DSP document. Topics covered will include: the intent and purpose of land use districts, permitted land uses/required entitlements, permit processes, findings and special findings for certain uses, allowable changes in permitted use category per City Council resolution, and definitions. 

For more information on the Downtown Specific Plan Update project, please contact Wendy Jung, Senior Planner at (949) 497-0321 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


City Manager’s Updates

Downtown Specific Plan Update – Continue to Review Portions of Section V: Land Use Districts – The City of Laguna Beach will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update on Wednesday, June 6 during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. 

The Planning Commission will review and discuss public correspondence and issue areas related to Section V: Land Use Districts of the existing DSP document. Topics covered include: the intent and purpose of land use districts, permitted land uses/required entitlements, permit processes, findings and special findings for certain uses, allowable changes in permitted use category per City Council resolution, and definitions. 

For more information on the Downtown Specific Plan Update project please contact Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Queda Way Retaining Wall Replacement – Construction is underway to replace a deteriorated retaining wall at the south end of Queda Way. The project also includes roadway drainage improvements to help prevent flooding of private properties. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of July. For more information, please contact the project manager, Tri Nguyen, at (949) 497-0741.

Downtown Street Restriping – The Public Works Department will be repainting the downtown street legends and striping in preparation for the summer season. This work will start Thursday, June 7 and continue through Saturday, June 9.  All work will be done in the early morning hours to minimize traffic impacts. 

Moulton Meadows Field Maintenance and Closures – Moulton Meadows Field will be closed for annual maintenance and turf renovations through Monday, June 25. If Please call Alexis Braun, Senior Recreation Supervisor at (949) 497-0762 with any questions.

It’s Time to Renew Your Shopper Parking Permits – Residents who have participated in the shopper permit program should receive their 2018-2020 Shopper Parking Permit application in the mail the week of May 28. If you do not receive an application or are interested in the program, visit the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net and click on the “Shopper Permits” icon located on the City’s homepage.

 From the website, residents can purchase parking permits online or by mail by downloading a PDF version of the information packet and application. The cost is $80 each for the first two shopper permits and $150 each for the third and fourth permit. Please make checks payable to the City of Laguna Beach.


City Manager’s Update

Lifeguard Staffing Memorial Day Weekend – Staffing of up to 10 of the City’s thirty lifeguard towers will occur over Memorial Day weekend. For up to date information on open tower locations and times, please call the Marine Safety general information number at (949) 494-6571. Remember to swim near a lifeguard!

Fuel Modification Program (aka the running of the goats…) – The goats just completed clearing fuel in the area around the Pageant of the Masters and will be moving across the street to the Sawdust Festival area. The goats will be crossing Laguna Canyon Road on Saturday, May 26 at 6 a.m. Please expect minor delays in the area.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The goats will be crossing LCR at 6 a.m. tomorrow…they’re resting for the run

Memorial Day Transit Service – Laguna Beach Transit will be running a modified schedule on Monday, May 28.  As a result, the Coastal Service will be offered from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and there will be no neighborhood services.

Moulton Meadows Field Maintenance and Closures – Moulton Meadows Field will be closed for annual maintenance and turf renovations from May 29 - June 25. Please call Alexis Braun, Senior Recreation Supervisor, with any questions at (949) 497-0762.

Laguna Beach Represented at County Track Meet – On Sunday, May 20, twenty-three local youths participated in the Orange County Track and Field Championships at Estancia High School.

The Laguna Beach Track Team is comprised of boys and girls ranging from five to 14 years of age. They competed in various events including the long jump, softball throw, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600 meter races. The Laguna Beach team had participants that placed in the top four in their respective events and are moving on to the Southern California Championships at Warren High School in Downey on Sunday, June 3. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Laguna Beach track team

Sunset Serenades: World Music – Sunset Serenades continues with the World Music Series this Friday, May 25 at the Heisler Park Amphitheater, Cliff Drive. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Afro-Cuban music by Maestro Lazaro Galarraga and Friends. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

City Hall Exhibition - The Artist Fund at Festival of Arts presents the exhibition “Red Hot” at City Hall, on display from May 24 through June 28. The public is invited to attend the artist reception on Thursday, June 7 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and to vote for their favorite piece. The Artist Fund provides disaster-relief grants for Festival artists in need.

Literary Laureate – Local residents Suzanne Redfearn and Lauren Simon have been selected as Literary Laureates for the City of Laguna Beach. The new Laureates will serve jointly as cultural ambassadors for a period of two years, promoting appreciation and awareness of literacy and the literary arts through classes, workshops and events in Laguna Beach. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

It’s Time to Renew Your Shopper Parking Permits – Residents who have participated in the shopper permit program should receive their 2018-2020 Shopper Parking Permit application in the mail the week of May 28. 

If you do not receive an application or are interested in the program, please visit the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net. Just click the “Shopper Permits” icon located on the City’s home page. From the website, residents can purchase parking permits online or by mail by downloading a PDF version of the information packet and application. The cost is $80 each for the first two shopper permits and $150 each for the third and fourth permit. Please make checks payable to the City of Laguna Beach.


City Manager’s Updates

Southern California Gas Company Trench Paving – On Thursday, May 24 between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m., the Southern California Gas Company (SCGC) will be paving a trench on Coast Highway near the intersection of 5th Avenue. The southbound lane closest to the median on Coast Highway will be closed between 3rd Avenue and 5th Avenue.  

For questions or concerns, please contact SCGC representative Fred Russell at (949) 910-9906 or Caltrans Permit Field Inspector Shahryar Deravi at (714) 713-5532.

City Council Discussion Regarding Utility Undergrounding Funding Strategies – On Tuesday, May 22, the City Council will receive an update on the funding strategies that the City has been investigating for utility undergrounding and the results of the second opinion survey that measured community support of potential funding strategies.

Sunset Serenades The free concert series continues tonight (Friday, May 18) at the Heisler Park Amphitheater, Cliff Drive, starting at 6:30 p.m. The concert will feature guitar duo The Phil Gough/Alan Deremo Project. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Temporary Stairway Closure at Calliope and Glenneyre Next to the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station – The City has installed staking and story poles to comply with Design Review Board hearing requirements for the upcoming Permanent Odor Control Installation Project at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station. For safety purposes, the City has temporarily closed access to the stairs next to the lift station while the story poles are in place. The story poles will be removed on June 15, 2018. The City apologizes for any inconvenience. Please contact Hannah Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.


City Manager’s Updates

Arts Audience Spending by Zip Code - The Arts Commission partnered with Americans for the Arts and recently published the findings of Arts and Economic Prosperity Report 5. In addition to the report, the City participated in a survey of audience spending by zip code. The study indicates 65.3 percent of attendees at arts events were from Orange County and 34.7 percent from outside the County. The detailed report can be viewed at http://www.lagunabeachcity.net/civicax/inc/blobfetch.aspx?BlobID=18823 

Art Updates - Want to receive the latest City Arts updates, sign up HERE or our newsletter or https://app.robly.com/subscribe?a=a6aa5eb0fa48629efcf44a04013f8bb1

Poet Laureate Showcase at LCAD Gallery - Kate Buckley, City of Laguna Beach’s inaugural Poet Laureate, has launched a Poet Laureate’s Showcase series of readings, aimed at bringing nationally known poets to Laguna Beach. The next Showcase will be held on Thurs, Sept 14, at 7 p.m. at the Laguna College of Art + Design Gallery, 374 Ocean Avenue. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Agate Street and Thalia Street Beach Access Rehabilitation - Construction is set to begin on Sept 11 for the replacement of the beach stairs at both sites.  The permitted working hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon through Friday. There are no anticipated traffic impacts, other than occasional equipment and material deliveries. Both access points will remain closed while work is ongoing. Construction is expected to be completed in April 2018. 

Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) - The City of Laguna Beach has begun preparation of a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP), a five-year strategic plan to improve local resilience to hazard events. Development of the plan, the first such plan for Laguna Beach, is being funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Laguna Beach LHMP will summarize the natural and human-caused hazards that pose a threat to the community, including drought, flooding, earthquakes, and wildfires. The City would like your input and encourage you to join us for a Community Kick-off meeting on Sept 14 at 6 p.m. and a Hazard Profiles Open House on Oct 18 at 6 p.m., location for both is the Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street.

Fall Quarter 2017 Registration Activities - Registration for fall 2017 recreation activities for all ages is still open.  To register and see the list of programs available please vist: https://secure.rec1.com/CA/city-of-laguna-beach/catalog/index.

Pancake Breakfast Success - This past Labor Day Monday the Laguna Beach Fire Department (LBFD) held the annual Labor Day Breakfast at Heisler Park. The event was a great success with over 650 breakfasts served.  Special thanks to the lifeguards that came and helped, as well as staff from Public Works that provided additional logistical support. Fire fighter/Paramedic Matt Rolfe did a great job coordinating the event for the LBFD.  As always we had great support from our community friends in organizing the event (Sande St. John especially) and for all our residents and friends that joined us for a seaside breakfast. Thanks to all!

New Paramedic - Laguna Beach Firefighter Brent Buccola has recently completed the arduous process of becoming certified as an Orange County Paramedic.  Congratulations to Firefighter Paramedic Brent!


Draft amendments for Downtown Specific Plan focus of Planning Commission Meeting on Sept 20

The City of Laguna Beach and consultant MIG will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan Update on Wed, Sept 20, during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue).  

City staff will present draft amendments to the Downtown Specific Plan for discussion with the Planning Commission. The focus of the presentation and discussion will be on MIG’s recommended draft amendments to Section III: Issue Statements and Policies, Topic 4 (Re-Use and Intensification) of the existing Downtown Specific Plan document. 

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Photo by Terry Russell (12)

Downtown Specific Plan Update at Planning Commission Meeting on Sept 20

A copy of the Section III, Topic 4 draft amendments, including a strikethrough- underline document for reference are available to review on the project webpage (link included below). The staff report may be viewed on the City’s website on Fri, Sept 15.

Additional meetings will occur in 2017 to review draft amendments to other sections of the plan. This meeting and future meetings play an essential role in obtaining input from the community and direction from the Planning Commission, and to identify the City’s priorities for the future of the downtown area.  

For more information and to send in comments on the Downtown Specific Plan Update contact: Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at 949-497-0321; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit: http://www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/


Proposed Park Plaza approved

By BARBARA DIAMOND

City officials agreed on Tuesday to temporarily ban vehicles for six weeks from Lower Park Avenue, a link from South Coast Highway to Laguna Avenue and Glenneyre Street 

The short block will be converted to a pedestrian-only plaza from Oct 21 to Dec1 and maybe even longer, depending on the success of trial period proposed by Transition Laguna, the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, and the Beautification Council. 

“This has been years in the making,” said spokesman Billy Fried. “The thrust of the idea is to make downtown a more convivial destination for locals, which can only help area merchants. So it’s a win-win.”

“Imagine a busy soccer mom shuttling her kids through town and having to make a stop at the post office or drug store. Maybe the kids want an ice cream and she’d like to take a load off for a moment. 

“They purchase food and settle into a seat at the Plaza. The kids can play and safely walk around. In the process, mom sees someone from the book club who tells her about new club and she make a connection to join it.”

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Rendering courtesy Billy Fried

Rendering of proposed Park Plaza

Fried said the plaza would transform downtown. Not everyone agreed that was a good idea.

“This is a solution looking for a problem,” said Susan Elliott. “I drive home that way. It’s better than turning at Cliff (Drive). And soccer moms won’t sit there – there will be too many tourists.”

Council meeting regular and founder of Laguna Beach Chat, Michael Morris, also found fault with the proposal.  

“I use that turnoff,” said Morris. “Other [left turn] options on Legion and Cleo have no dedicated arrows. I think three-car turning lanes will create a backup and have an adverse effect.” 

Realtor and former planning Commissioner Bob Chapman said blocking vehicles on South Coast Highway from turning onto Lower Park Avenue presented challenges. 

“We should look at the plaza as potentially permanent---or why do it at all?” said Chapman.

Police Chief Laura Farinella supported the concept.

“I consider the proposal a positive,” she said. 

The plan was to furnish the plaza with leased tables and chair and decorated with potted plants, obtained through Beautification Council member Ruben Flores, provided City Manager John Pietig is convinced that the cost is competitive.

Councilman Bob Whalen asked staff to investigate whether purchasing the equipment would be cheaper.

The city had previously budgeted $50,000 for the plaza. Another $25,100 would be required if the council approves extending the required temporary Use Permit to Jan 2. 

Organizers must apply to the Planning Commission for the TUP. Staff indicated that the hearing could be held Oct 4.  

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