Park Plaza not very attractive

Interesting topic.  I voted no on this issue for several reasons:

Major inconvenience for those living on Park Avenue having to drive to Legion to make a left turn to go home.

Not a very attractive place to eat when you have the back door for businesses/restaurant kitchens opening to the street...noisy and smelly.

Not very attractive to look at dumpsters by the library parking.

Who is on clean up duty?

Claudia Redfern

Laguna Beach

Not in favor of Park Plaza

No [I am not in favor]! Takes much needed parking, as well as an alternative route from PCH. 

Kathy Rosenberger

Laguna Beach

Alternative location for Park Plaza?

[Plaza] Park is relatively dark and narrow. It also provides a route around much of the bottleneck in the village and on Coast Highway.

It appears that a more natural and desirable location for the “plaza” would be Forest Avenue between Coast Highway and Glenneyre. It is wide, relatively sunny and is already difficult to utilize as a thoroughfare because of the large amount of foot traffic at the intersection of Forest and Glenneyre.

Ed Schlatter

Laguna Beach

Yes to Park Plaza – if improved

I vote yes to make this permanent if it is landscaped beautifully and attired with artistically suitable tables and chairs and possibly an “Art in Public Places” sculpture is added.  

Mary G Schmidt

40-year resident, Laguna Beach

Park Plaza a good idea if better parking solutions are found: some ideas

Since the Plaza at Park Ave was installed I’ve heard mixed feelings but most people I’ve talked to feel it has caused more of a traffic problem. I truly understand why some want to have more of a pedestrian friendly and park like atmosphere for the downtown but we first need to find a way for less cars looking for parking to achieve this.  

If we could get the amount of volunteers and nonprofit groups to spend more time and energy on getting the cars to park out of town or at the parking lot at the end of Laguna Canyon we might see a change where more Plazas could be all over the downtown area.  There could be a Free Parking festival one day out there offering free rental bikes for people that would like to ride down the canyon and if they wanted to turn in the bikes somewhere in town and take a trolley back to the parking lot there could be that option.  

I know most of you think this is too dangerous, all the more reason we need a pedestrian walking trail and a bike path on Laguna Canyon Road going all the way out to Irvine. The marquee sign along the road could say, “You could be riding a bike not sitting in your car in traffic” [or] “Turn around and go park at the Free Parking lot and ride a Trolley for free.”  

My point is before we do more Plazas around downtown, closing streets and taking up parking spots, let’s work on getting less cars driving into Laguna. 

Liza I. Stewart

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza not a good idea

I am against this park. Very few people use the park, we lose eight parking spaces, and causes traffic congestion.

Andy Turner

Laguna Beach

Keep Park Plaza

Yes, the experiment has gone well...keep it!

Diane Valentino

Laguna Beach

Two reasons to vote no on Park Plaza

I voted against the Long Term Pedestrian Plaza at Park Avenue for two reasons. One, every time I go past the so-called Pedestrian Plaza, I see either nobody or very few people sitting on the tables.  

Two, and the biggest reason, I’ve lived in Laguna for 44 years and each year traffic is exponentially worse. Blocking off that critical street only exacerbates the problem. It boils down to a quality of life issue and the average citizen of Laguna should have a greater say than the merchants.

Scott Whitlock

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza might work in the summer

It does not seem to be used when we drive or walk by. Maybe it would work in the summer??

Anne Polkingharn

Laguna Beach

In favor of Park Plaza

I’m in favor of making it permanent.

BJ Peterson

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza a wonderful idea that needs tweaking

If they make this a permanent “structure” could they at least move the barricades to make it more appealing and enjoyable for those to eat outside? And will they expand to Forest Ave? This is wonderful idea, just needs a few tweaks to make it aesthetically appealing.

Tricia Lam

Laguna Beach

In favor of Park Plaza for a pedestrian-friendly town

Yes, I am in favor of the parklet and eventually closing Forest Ave, permanently or maybe on certain days/nights. Let’s make our city a pedestrian friendly town! 

Rona Gromet

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza makes driving in Laguna worse

I vote NO! on The Park Plaza. Please do not permanently close this street for pedestrians. Park plaza is a great driving shortcut through town for the locals. It’s already hard enough to drive and park around here. Please don’t make it worse. There are plenty of wonderful areas in this town for pedestrians already.

Philip Gough

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza: money best sent elsewhere

I have close to 40 years [living] in Laguna, that small street is a vital access road to Park Ave, the high school and residential streets above!

Money would be better spent on cleaning up Main Beach cobblestone areas, maybe [adding] picnic tables & umbrellas during the warm months.

Also, common sense dictates this city needs a parking structure across from the festival grounds.

Laguna is not Portofino! The volume of traffic on PCH will only increase.

Pat Galez

Laguna Beach

Yes to Park Plaza

I am in favor of the park!

Patricia Callaghan

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza: A Sense of Community Can’t Be Manufactured

Lately, there’s been a concerted attempt to remake Laguna Beach, progressed by a very vocal minority. First, they wanted to close off Forest Avenue to traffic, disregarding one obvious fact: Downtown parking and vehicular circulation would become an even bigger nightmare than it already is. Ideas are easy, implementation and adverse impacts entirely different beasts.

Although Park Plaza isn’t as disruptive, it’s a reflection of a mindset, of a discomfort being pushed by a few unhappy campers, none of them long term residents: they want to change us into the image of what they think that we should be.

As a retired general contractor (I’m now an enviro-analyst) it’s typical of people with what we as builders called “Remodeling Syndrome.” New residents from out of town bought their dream home, then within a year or two decided it needed revamping.

Humorously, they often remodeled many times subsequently, never quite satisfied, as if there was still something not quite right. The people who lobbied heavily for the Plaza seems to be of the same ilk: There’s something wrong, something missing in our lives that their tweaking could fix. They know what would be best for us.

They’ve unfortunately called those who don’t want what they do as Flat Earth types, xenophobic, afraid of change. It apparently never occurred to them that we understand what they cannot: “Community” isn’t just things, it’s also a place in the heart, a sense of time and place, the guts of a town’s character. We like where we live, warts and all, natives who’ve stayed along with those of us who moved here primarily because of its non-urban feel.

Community can’t be manufactured by putting up some chairs and tables in what’s basically an alley, sequestered in an asphalt and concrete compound. So near to PCH that the noise and air pollution hardly stand a chance of becoming social change drivers. Coughing and yelling don’t equal Laguna in my opinion. Creating such simulated environs isn’t a field of dreams, unless your dreams are urban in nature.

Laguna Beach is not irreparably broken, no it’s not perfect, but it still has some of the same funky coastal surf vibe that drew me here from northern OC and my native Long Beach.

Ironically, not one of the proponents is a professional land use analyst or planner. Just people with an itch to change, an itch to fix what’s not even broken.

Roger E. Bütow

45-year Laguna Beach resident

Park Plaza Blocks Traffic

City Council

“Don’t be cruel”

Please re-open up Park Avenue to help with traffic. Anyone who has to get across town gets jammed and if you are working or driving kids the traffic is rotten.

We have plenty of open space across the street.

The light in the canyon has made driving there a nightmare and now the city is making town more congested.

Peter Davidson

Laguna Beach


Penny Parkinson 

Click on photo for a larger image

Penny Parkinson, Laguna Beach resident since 1950, passionate artist, talented teacher, and singular friend has departed this earth for the Great Beyond. A daughter of Ted and Mona Lyttle of Laguna, both deceased, Penny is survived by her life partner of 37 years, Christine Miller, her sister Nancy Hoyt, brother Teddy Lyttle, her extended family, and too many chosen family friends to mention. Penny passed of natural causes without suffering under the gentle care of Granny’s Nursing Home in Laguna Niguel on Nov 22.

Penny was a champion of her special needs art students at Anaheim High School. She loved encouraging them and other students to use art as a medium of self-expression and to reach for new heights with their artistic talents. 

Penny and Christine owned a home in the breathtakingly beautiful seacoast town of Stonington, Maine and more recently ran a bed and breakfast there where Penny could pose as “The Laguna Charmer,” stroke her ukulele, and tell stories about her world travels. She made the Victorian house even more charming with her pen-and-ink drawings of the island and its lobster fishing trade. Penny was a member of the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival since its early years, exhibiting both watercolor paintings and later Whirligig birds.

Penny was known for throwing fabulous dinner parties for the artist core in town. From the street, you could hear guests laughing and partaking of the food, wine, and company. Guests on the deck enjoyed viewing Main Beach and sipping a cocktail while the sound of the waves provided the soundtrack for the hostess to spin her tales.

Penny was a dog lover extraordinaire. She was almost never without the company of a terrific Labrador Retriever. Surely Josh, Jason, Lady, Jessie, et al., greeted Penny as a group at Rainbow Bridge as she crossed over. What a picture!

Penny loved to travel with a special teachers’ group and literally toured the world upon retirement. She also owned a home in Mexico, where she celebrated Easter and painted watercolors of the local churches.

Penny’s partner Christine Miller now lives in Renton, Washington, with her daughter Laurie and loving grandchildren by her side.

A memorial service will be announced. Contributions may be made in memory of Penny to the Stonington United Methodist Church, PO Box 307, Stonington, ME 04681. Flowers may be sent to the service when announced (Penny loved flowers).


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


From “A Road Less Traveled,” by Robert Frost


Tallie Parrish

Click on photo for a larger image

Our Dearest Tallie (Clara LB) Parrish was peacefully whisked away by the Lord Wednesday evening Nov 15, 2017. Her husband and children were with her during the day of her passing. She is survived by husband Bill Parrish, children Chris Parrish and his wife Jody, Doug Parrish and his wife Robin, Leslie Fuchs and her husband John, four grandchildren Will, Grant and Sam Fuchs, Katherine Parrish, Tallie’s brother Chris Bell and family who now live in Australia.

Tallie and her husband have been active in the Laguna Presbyterian Church for 49 years. The celebration of her life will take place at the church at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 6, 2018.

Tallie was a beautiful lady with many talents. She loved people and distinguished herself as a good listener. This was evident in her teaching pre-school children for 9 years and lastly as a marriage and family therapist in her later years. She was continuously seeking new knowledge in school studies beyond her Scripps College days. This added to her success as a building official in the City of Laguna Beach Building Department for 11 years. She retired to attend Cal State Fullerton to earn her master’s degree in psychology. Upon completion, she became a marriage and family therapist and served humanity in this role for over ten years. Her last official contribution was volunteering in the Trauma Intervention Program.

For all who came in touch with Tallie, the world was made a better place.

Don’t leave Laguna…continued

The sticker shown in the last edition’s Letters needs to be altered a little.

The last time I ran the numbers, eighty percent (80%) of the residents employed drove 20 miles to work. That means they pass major shopping areas in the process of getting to and from work. The people that spend money leave our little hamlet with its “resident serving” businesses every day and return when locals have closed for the day.

Perhaps the “Don’t leave Laguna-Shop Here” sign should be changed to “Work here.” Then maybe retail sales would show growth, not stagnation. Of course the “resident serving” businesses would have to change merchandise to meet the interests of locals, not visitors. 

Using the Parklet as a measure, that ain’t going to happen.

Dennis Myers

Laguna Beach

Is this the best that Laguna can do?

Is this the best that Laguna Beach can do? Doesn’t look anything like the pictures that were circulated in the newspaper about the “great relaxation cafe type environment.” Looks more like a child’s playground. If you’ve ever

been to Europe their town square gathering areas, are cozy, artistic and used by lots of folks. My thoughts are “why bother” to upset traffic  for something like this. I was part of the yearlong or more, Laguna Vision Project. The community proposed this idea, but I guarantee it didn’t look like this. Below see what I feel would be more appropriate. 


Jeanine Just

Laguna Beach

Don’t leave Laguna…

In 2005 or 2006 merchants were having a really bad time because two years in a row they closed Broadway during the Christmas season.

I owned My Laguna Office at the time and created these stickers. I had 5000 printed and gave them out to anyone who wanted them.

Many people had them in their store windows and their car windows.

Maybe something like these should be created again.

Tom Williams

Laguna Beach

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