Laguna Beach

Men’s 65th Laguna Open a hit 

Photos by Scott Brashier

Mens 65th game

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The talent at the Men’s 65th Annual Laguna Open was exceptional

Mens 65th dog

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Not a bad way to spend a Sunday in Laguna

Mens 65th main pic

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A cloudy day at Main Beach kept the temps down and the excitement up

Laguna Beach Community Development Department

receives 2019 award from APA

The Orange Section of the American Planning Association (APA) presented its 2019 Comprehensive Plan Award to the City of Laguna Beach for its Landscape and Scenic Highways Element of the General Plan (LSHE) and its companion Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document (LSHRD).

The award was presented at the American Planning Association - Orange Section awards dinner on Thursday, May 30, and recognizes outstanding achievement in the planning field. 

“The LSHE is a 20-year, integrated community design policy and action program that will help shape Laguna Beach’s landscape in the 21st Century, by using a forward-thinking approach to link landscaping aesthetics with modern function,” said Greg Pfost, Laguna Beach Director of Community Development.

The Element is part of the City’s General Plan and builds upon the guidelines set in the Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document. The Element creates policy direction and implementation actions that preserve and enhance landscapes and scenic corridors essential to the unique character of Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Beach Community Coast Highway

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Coast Highway runs along Laguna Beach’s beautiful coastline

“Policies in the new Element focus on the most relevant landscape-related issues facing the City including fire safety, soil stability, neighborhood character, view equity, heritage trees, scenic highways, streetscapes, maintenance and more,” Pfost said.

The City recently worked with a team to transform and update the existing companion document, the Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document (LSHRD). The updated Highways Document contains landscape guidelines for our two scenic highways, Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway, and our 38 neighborhood landscape areas. 

The Laguna Beach City Council adopted the LSHE and LSHRD in November 2018. The LSHE and the LSHRD were guided and enhanced by a public education and outreach program with input from the Planning Commission and the Design Review Board.

The City’s Community Development Department project management included: Greg Pfost, Director; Jim Pechous, Assistant Director; Evan Jedynak, Associate Planner; and Belinda Ann Deines, Associate Planner. 

Further, the City’s Planning Commissioners Roger McErlane and Susan Whitin also assisted with document preparation through a Planning Commission subcommittee. BGB Design Group (Robert Borthwick ASLA), Ann Christoph FASLA – Landscape Architect, and Selva Partners (Gregory Vail) prepared the documents on behalf of the City. The Orange Section of the American Planning Association includes over 500 members from the public, private, and academic sectors of the planning profession.

The Automobile Club of Southern California awards AAA Four Diamond plaque to The Ranch

The Ranch at Laguna Beach was recently awarded The Automobile Club of Southern California’s AAA Four Diamond plaque at a ceremony at the hotel. The presentation marks the hotel’s first AAA Four Diamond rating and first plaque award. 

Kurt Bjorkman, general manager of The Ranch at Laguna Beach, accepted the hotel’s first AAA Four Diamond award plaque from Stephanie Jelladian, Auto Club Laguna Hills senior branch administrator and Cindy Coulter, Auto Club Laguna Hills branch manager, along with hotel owner Mark Christy. Christopher Wylie, director of rooms, and Don Chock, director of sales, marketing and operations, also participated in the plaque presentation.

The Automobile group

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Courtesy of AAA of Southern California

(L-R) Christopher Wylie – Director of Rooms, Stephanie Jelladian – AAA Senior Branch Administrator, Kurt Bjorkman – General Manager of The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Cindy Coulter – AAA Branch Manager, Mark Christy – Owner of The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Don Chock – Director of Sales, Marketing and Operations

The AAA Diamond ratings provide consumers with the broadest coverage of any rating system, geographically and by number of properties, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The AAA Four Diamond rating signifies that the lodging has met AAA Diamond rating guidelines and evaluations and is “refined, stylish, with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.” 

Hotels typically display the AAA Four Diamond rating award in their lobbies where guests arrive.

The Ranch is located at 31106 S Coast Hwy. For more information, visit or call (949) 499-2271.

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

It’s a lovely mosaic mural, and Maggi asked “Where?”

Several of our readers identified it as residing on the side of a building on Brooks Street, near Glenneyre. 

Chiming in with correct answers were Lynn Jax, Carole Boller, Mark Porterfield, and Mimi Dordoni. 

Thanks for sending in your answers, and keeping Maggi on her toes.    

Wheres Maggi 6 4 19

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Mosaic mural on Brooks Street

Laguna Beach Community Pool closed through Sunday for maintenance 

The Laguna Beach Community Pool will be closed through Sunday, June 9 while the city makes repairs to the roof and other parts of the facility. 

Laguna Beach Community sunset

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Submitted photo

Our stunning community pool will re-open on Sunday 

During this time, the city asks that residents consider visiting neighboring pools:

--City of Mission Viejo – click here for more info or call (949) 859-4348.

--City of Aliso Viejo – click here for more info or call (949) 425-2559.

--City of Newport Beach – click here for more info or call (949) 270-8100.

--City of San Clemente – click here for more info or call (949) 388-2131.

The Laguna Beach Community Pool is located at 670 Park Ave. 

The drop-in fee to swim is $2 per person. Annual and season pool passes can be purchased online. 

For more information, click here or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Laguna Beach Pride 365 Festival

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach balloons

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Ready to party on Saturday night at Seven7Seven

Laguna Beach gold dress

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Performer wows crowds 

Laguna Beach Craig

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What did Mayor Bob Whalen say to Laguna Beach Pride organizer Craig Cooley?

Laguna Beach purple dress

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Pretty in purple 

Laguna Beach What's next

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What’s up next on the program? In Friday’s edition, Barbara Diamond will let us in on all the highlights from Laguna Beach Pride 365 festivities with lots more photos!

In flight 

In flight flag

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Photo by Jean Brotherton

On May 30, pelicans fly in high salute to our flag at Heisler Park

Guest Column

Chamber of Commerce May Updates & News

By J.J. Ballesteros

President, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce 

We are excited to announce the Chamber will be teaming up with KX 93.5 to give you The Taste of Laguna Food & Music Festival on October 3 at the Festival of Arts. It will be the event of the year! Our collaboration will combine The Taste of Laguna along with KX 93.5’s holiday concert into one event. “The Taste” will have over 30 different restaurants to sample from along with four different cover bands spanning the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. There will be something for everyone. Early bird tickets are on sale now at

Chamber of close up

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Submitted photo

J.J. Ballesteros

The Chamber hosted the annual State of the City event on May 2. It was our largest turnout in history. Mayor Bob Whalen showed his leadership by sharing his desire for elevating the quality of debate in our community. City updates were also given by Community Development Director Greg Pfost, Public Works Director Shohreh Dupuis, and Police Chief Laura Farinella. I was able to update the audience on the Chamber’s recent accomplishments, current projects, and the growth pattern. It was an enjoyable afternoon of learning about Laguna Beach business and community. Thank you to all who attended.

Chamber of State

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Panel at State of the City: (L-R) Community Development Director Greg Pfost, Police Chief Laura Farinella, Mayor Bob Whalen, and Public Works Director Shohreh Dupuis

One significant recent accomplishment for the Chamber was helping to get changes in the City’s parking code passed. The adopted changes will help businesses by giving them more flexibility to try innovative strategies without the need to increase parking. The changes include: increased credits (from three to five) for outdoor dining, the ability to sublease space without the need for more parking, the ability to use off-site valet lots, and allowing the purchase of in lieu spaces citywide. In addition, in lieu payments can be charged annually instead of a lump sum and the money can be designated to support our transit system.

We had two ribbon cutting ceremonies this past month at Christina Wehbe Photography and McClain Cellars at the Hive. We are always excited to welcome new businesses to the Chamber. As a team, we continue to advocate for positive, thoughtful progress in our city. 

Chamber of parking

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Chamber helps with the passing of parking codes

Our Golf Tournament on July 1st is almost sold out. The Chamber hired 19th Hole Productions to help make this a memorable event. There will be several fun contests and surprises throughout the day. We have a few foursomes left, so please contact the Chamber office to reserve your spot. Thank you to Troparé for being our Presenting Sponsor.

Next week is our Leadership Luncheon. Come join like-minded professionals and network with some of the city’s best. It is on June 11 at Seven7Seven.

July 5 is Chamber Night at the Pageant of the Masters. Tickets are still available for $60. Please contact us to purchase your ticket.

As always, please contact us with any feedback or suggestions. We appreciate everyone’s opinion, viewpoint, and voice. As we grow, we can support more businesses and be a larger resource for our community.

For more information, go to

Deadline for 2019 Laguna Beach city photo contest is tomorrow

The submission deadline for this year’s Laguna Beach city photo contest, which celebrates Laguna Beach’s vibrancy, vitality, and livability through the camera lens, is this Wednesday, June 5. 

This year, photographers are asked to submit their high-resolution photographs for contest consideration reflecting this year’s theme, “Urban Laguna Beach” – life downtown and away from the beach.

Deadline for street

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

These city lights on Broadway are a great example of this year’s contest theme 

To enter, photographers must submit their high-resolution photos of Laguna Beach online at by the contest deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5. Any photo taken within Laguna Beach city limits is eligible and the contest is open to anyone.

The winning photographs will be selected by a local marketing professional. First-prize photographs receive $500 and winners of additional categories receive $100 each. 

All winning photographers will receive recognition at a future Laguna Beach City Council meeting, be featured on the city’s social media channels, and will have their photo posted in a gallery on the city’s website. 

For a complete list of contest rules and information about how to enter, visit

Black sea, black sky 

Black sea Catalina

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Like a curtain, the dark sky shuts out the light, transforming the day to night

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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