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City Manager’s Updates

Children’s Holiday Palettes – The Arts Commission reviewed 174 submissions from children ages 5 to 17 and selected the following artists to exhibit at City Hall: Tiam Rouhi (age 5), Stormy Bullington (6), Grace Wojtaszek (8), Benjamin Mann (8), Solomon Scheper-Herard (8), Addison Knight (9), Ella Berberian (10), Erin Meihaus (10), Katie Baker (11), Isabella Scarcelli (12), P.J. Mullin (12), Lauren Trautenberg (13), and Charlotte Sekerka (13). 

The exhibition can be viewed on the main corridor of City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

World AIDS Day Remembrance and Ribbons - World AIDS Day takes place every year on December 1. This Saturday, Dec 1, the Laguna Beach HIV Advisory Committee will hold a candlelight vigil on the Main Beach Cobblestones at 5 p.m. to remember Laguna Beach residents lost to the disease. In addition, since 2005, the Arts Commission has annually recognized World AIDS Day on December 1 by installing black and red ribbons on public art installations. This year the ribbons will be installed on sculptures in the downtown area. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund the ribbons.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

World AIDS Day ribbons will be installed on sculptures in downtown Laguna

Rain Forecasted into the Weekend – The region’s first significant storm of the season arrived on Wednesday night and Thursday, as predicted by the National Weather Service, with more rain possible over the weekend. Now is a good time to look around your home to make sure that drainage areas are clear and free of debris.

City Council Changes – On Tuesday, Dec 4, the outgoing City Council members will be honored, and the new City Council members will be sworn in. A new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem will also be selected. The events will take place in the City Council Chambers starting at 6 p.m.

Spark of Love Toy Drive – The Laguna Beach Fire Department, in partnership with Southern California Firefighters and ABC7, is taking part in the Spark of Love Toy Drive. Drop off your new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment to any of Laguna Beach’s four fire stations. The City will also have donation bins at Hospitality Night on Friday, Dec 7. The campaign collects new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for underserved children and teens in Southern California. 

For more information on the event, contact Firefighter Pat Cary at (949) 497-0700.

Laguna Canyon Frontage Road Landscape Improvements – On December 3, construction work to improve landscaping within the parkway between Laguna Canyon Road and the Frontage Road will begin. Minor parking impacts can be expected. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of January 2019. 

For questions, contact Tri Nguyen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 497-0741.

City Tree Replanting Project – The City has started the replanting of 30 street trees in the downtown area and along Coast Highway this week. The project is expected to be completed by December 14.

For more information, contact Senior Administrative Analyst Robert Sedita at (949) 497-0740.

Ocean Avenue One-way Conversion Public Workshop – The City of Laguna Beach invites the public to attend a workshop on December 11 at 10 a.m. to discuss the proposed conversion of Ocean Avenue to a one-way street from Beach Street to Coast Highway. The workshop will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers. 

If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to provide comments, contact Tom Sandefur at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or (949) 497-0792 or complete a short survey here.

School Resource Officer (SRO) Cornelius Ashton Keynote Speaker – SRO Cornelius Ashton will be the keynote speaker at the annual Anti-Defamation League (ADL) “Make a Difference” Awards being held at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach on Sunday, Dec 2 at 10 a.m. 

City Managers officer

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna’s SRO Cornelius Ashton is the keynote speaker at the ADL “Make a Difference” Awards

City Hall Exhibition – A new art exhibition will be installed in the first-floor gallery at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave, on Monday, Dec 3, featuring works from the Festival of Arts Permanent Collection. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

Riddle Field Maintenance and Closures – Riddle Field will be closed for annual maintenance and turf renovations from December 3 - January 28, 2019. 

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

Disposal of Leaf Bags – Doing some fall yard work before winter? From now through the end of February you may place bags of leaves on the curb next to your green waste cart. Waste Management will take them away on your regular pick-up day. Happy raking!

Sawdust Winter Fantasy Now Open – The Sawdust Winter Fantasy features 175 artists and makers, three stages of live music and entertainment, thousands of lights and decorations, glassblowing and art demos, hands-on pottery wheel and art classes, falling snow and holiday photo-ops with Santa, outdoor eateries and cafes, festive saloon offerings, and so much more. 

Experience Sawdust’s magical 3-acre art village during the holiday season, transformed into a picture-perfect winter wonderland in the heart of Laguna Beach now through December 16. Park in the Act V lot (Lot 16) and take the free trolley. Tickets are available at www.sawdustartfestival.org/tickets

City Mangers Santa

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Santa and snow…the perfect holiday festival combo

Hospitality Night Friday, December 7 – Hospitality Night 2018 will be held on December 7, from approximately 5 to 10 p.m. 

City Council Accepting Applications for Planning Commissioner – The City Clerk is accepting applications through end of day today, Friday, Nov 30, for an opening on the Planning Commission. The interviews and appointment will take place at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec 11. Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on the committee 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, Nov 30 at 5 p.m.


City Manager’s Updates

What is a Red Flag Warning? A Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire combustion and rapid spread. Especially when there are high or erratic winds, the Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours. During a Red Flag Warning, parking restrictions are implemented for the Diamond/Crestview neighborhoods. Any vehicles that are parked in marked parking spaces with a “red flag” painted in the center of the asphalt may be cited or towed.

City Managers flag

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

A Red Flag Warning in Laguna Beach warns residents of fire danger

Burning of wood in outdoor residential fireplaces is prohibited at all times. During Red Flag Warnings, the Fire Department recommends not burning wood in an indoor residential fireplace. It is also recommended to install a spark arrestor on the top of the indoor fireplace chimney.

Brooks Street High Visibility Crosswalk – Caltrans has completed the installation of a new high visibility crosswalk on South Coast Highway at the intersection of Brooks Street. The crosswalk features flashing lights in the pavement, overhead beacons, and enhanced signage. Similar enhanced crosswalks at the intersections of Anita Street and Calliope Street are scheduled to be installed in 2019.

Upgrades Made to City Water System Approximately 16 million gallons of water were used to fight the 1993 Laguna Beach fire. Since that time, the Laguna Beach County Water District has made upgrades to the City’s water system to minimize the impact of another such event including: two new water reservoirs with an eight million gallon total capacity and parallel pipelines in strategic areas for fire flow improvement, purchasing additional fixed and portable emergency generators for pump stations and portable, large-capacity pumps and updates to its Master Plan to include a goal at fire hydrants of 3,000 gallons per minute at the interface between open space and urban area. 

Recycle Your Campaign Signs Campaign signs that use a paper, corrugated plastic, or a plastic sleeve over a wire rack, plastic or wood stake can be recycled. Separate the signs from the wire rack or anchors and place the, in your recycling cart. The wood anchors can be placed in your green waste cart. Laminated posters cannot be recycled and should be placed in the trash cart.

Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition – The Arts Commission is currently accepting designs for the annual Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition. The deadline to submit a design is Friday, Nov 16. Information and application are available at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art/default.htm. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

City Managers whale

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The Arts Commission is accepting designs for the Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition

Literary Laureate Workshop – Laguna Beach Literary Laureate Suzanne Redfearn will lead a writing workshop “The Nuts-and-Bolts of Novel Writing” on Friday, Nov 16 at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street. Register online at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art/default.htm. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Public Workshop for Baja Street Retaining Wall Replacement – On Friday, Nov 16 at 3 p.m., the City of Laguna Beach is hosting an on-site public workshop to gather public input on the proposed design of a wall replacement project, at the southerly end of Baja Street, adjacent to 870 Baja Street. More information can be found on the Public Works projects page here. If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to provide comments, contact Alpha Santos at (949) 497-0729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

E-Waste, Tires and Paper Shredding Event on November 17 – Residents and businesses are invited to celebrate America Recycles Day by participating in the annual free E-Waste drop-off and Paper Shredding event on Saturday, Nov 17 from 8 to 11 a.m. Free tire recycling will be offered for residents only. There is a limit of nine tires per vehicle. The event will be held at the City Maintenance Facilities, 1900 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information, including a detailed list of acceptable E-Waste items, visit the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling or contact Liz Avila at (949) 497-0344 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Agate Street Beach Access – The public is invited to meet artist William Feuerman who will present his proposal for a public art piece at the Agate Street Beach Access on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 3 p.m. at the site. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Laguna Beach residents Linda and Tony Bonnici fund this project.


City of Laguna Beach announces Village Entrance project updates including November schedule

The City of Laguna Beach announced Village Entrance project updates including achievements from last month as well as its November schedule.

Achievements listed include:

--Replaced sidewalk between Lot 10 and Laguna Canyon Frontage Road

--Completed grading and preparatory work for Lot 10

--Began hardscape improvements for Lot 10 including curbs, gutters, permeable subgrade and decorative pavers

--Began storm drain, water quality basin and irrigation improvements for Lot 10

--Obtained City Council approval for alternative decorative channel fence

City of Laguna Beach announces

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An aerial view of the City’s Village Entrance Project underway

On October 23, the City Council chose a channel fence design to replace the chain link fence with decorative fencing as part of the Village Entrance Project. The fence lines the County of Orange channel, which runs through the project area adjacent to the intersection of Laguna Canyon Road and Forest Avenue.

The option chosen by the City Council (option 2A) is 5’ high with 5” adobe colored concrete posts and brown pickets made of pre-galvanized tubular steel. The fence option has a longevity of over 25 years and is low maintenance, requiring only touch-up painting and some rail replacement every five years. As part of the fence design approval, the City Council also authorized the City enter into agreements with the County of Orange for the fence maintenance and cost sharing and accept a $45,000 contribution from the County toward the cost of the fence.

October progress made at Parking Lot 10 includes installation of curb and gutter, grading and preparatory work and irrigation improvements.

November Project Schedule includes:

--Move temporary walkway along Laguna Canyon Road from parking lane to behind curb between Lot 10 and traffic signal

--Complete hardscape for Lot 10, including curbs, gutters, permeable subgrade and decorative pavers

--Complete storm drain, water quality basin and irrigation improvements for Lot 10

--Drill and install caisson foundations for new bridges

--Install sidewalks between Lot 10 and Lot 11

The City encourages residents to visit its project website at http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/pw/village_entrance_project, and to call (949) 464-6688 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.


City to declare support for a kinder world

By BARBARA DIAMOND

City officials will sign a declaration of support for a kinder world at a public ceremony at 4:30 p.m. today at City Hall.

The declaration moves the City closer to its goal of being designated a World Kindness USA city, according to Councilman Steve Dicterow. The City has also put November 13 on the City calendar as the annual World Kindness Day.

“I believe a kinder world can be realized in our lifetime,” Dicterow stated in an email to Stu News.

The City joined the World Kindness movement this year with the Community Services Department’s #BeAGreeter anti-bullying campaign, the community #RockOnLB Kindness Initiative and the Police Department’s partnership with the Tony Hawk Foundation for cyber bullying awareness.

“I look forward to a show of support to celebrate this next step in creating a kinder society as we sign the declaration of support,” Dicterow said.

The Councilman will be appointing goodwill ambassadors to identify and support kindness initiatives in the community, he said. 

“We believe kindness is contagious, and we encourage residents, local businesses and neighboring communities to join [Laguna Beach] in the World Kindness movement,” said Dicterow. 

The City partners with the Ability Awareness Project in Laguna Beach, founded in 2013 by Shadi Puoukashef 

Pourkashef has extended invitations to the ceremony to mayors and city councils in Orange County, state and federal government members and more than 100 local businesses, organizations and community leaders, according to Dicterow.

She will moderate a panel discussion beginning at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

“We will be discussing obstacles to world kindness, our goals, where we are now and where we want to go,” she said.

Michael Lloyd-White, chief executive officer of World Kindness and immediate past general secretary of the global movement, will be a member of the panel.

For more information, contact Assistant City Manager Christa Johnson at (949) 497-0797.


City Manager’s Updates

World Kindness Day – Join the City on Tuesday, Nov 13 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall as the community celebrates World Kindness Day with the ceremonial signing of a declaration of support for a kinder world. This ceremony and declaration will help the City in its goal of becoming a World Kindness USA member city. Music, crafts, and light refreshments will be provided. 

For more information, contact Adam Gufarotti, Senior Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0304.

City Managers World Kindness Day

Celebrate World Kindness Day at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov 13

E-Waste, Tires and Paper Shredding Event on November 17 – Residents and businesses are invited to celebrate America Recycles Day by participating in the annual free E-Waste Drop-Off and Paper Shredding event on Saturday, Nov 17, from 8 to 11 a.m. Free tire recycling will be offered for residents only. There is a limit of nine tires per vehicle. The event will be held at the City Maintenance Facilities, 1900 Laguna Canyon Road. 

For more information, including a detailed list of acceptable E-Waste items, visit the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/recyclingor contact Liz Avila at (949) 497-0344 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Veterans Day Transit Service – Laguna Beach Transit will be modifying service on Monday, Nov 12. Coastal Services and services in Top of the World, Bluebird Canyon, Arch Beach Heights, North and South Laguna neighborhoods will be offered from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, Nov 13.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolley.  

Public Workshop for Baja Street Retaining Wall Replacement – On Friday, Nov 16 at 3 p.m., the City of Laguna Beach is hosting an on-site public workshop to gather public input on the proposed design of a wall replacement project, at the southerly end of Baja Street, adjacent to 870 Baja Street. More information can be found on the Public Works projects page here. 

If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to provide comments, contact Alpha Santos at (949) 497-0729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Southern California Edison Pole Replacement – On Wednesday, Nov 14, and Thursday, Nov 15, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Southern California Edison (SCE) will be replacing a utility pole north of the Balboa Avenue/Del Mar Avenue intersection. The pole is located approximately 535 feet north of the street intersection, adjacent to the emergency access fire road. The emergency access fire road shall remain open and clear of any obstructions during operations. 

For questions or concerns, contact Robert Watters, Production Specialist with SCE, at (626) 543-0331.

Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition – The Arts Commission is currently accepting designs for the annual Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition. Entries will be accepted through November 16.

Information and application are available at www.lagunabeachcity.net. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

2018 Juried Fine Art Exhibition – Winners of the 2018 Juried Fine Art Exhibition were announced on Thursday, Nov 1. Congratulations to: 1st Place: Zara Feeney; 2nd Place: Lillian Blouin; 3rd Place: Charlotte Burgmans; Honorable Mentions: Jay Scollon and Rowan Foley. The exhibition will remain on display at City Hall until November 30. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

Literary Laureate Short-Form Play Reading – On Friday, Nov 9 at 2 p.m., new works by students of the Short-Form Playwriting class will be presented at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street. Come to the Community Room to hear short plays by Ken Aubuchon, Sue Bibee, Ken Jillson, Ed Kaufman, Maxine Margaritis and Carole Zavala. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.


City Manager’s Updates

Change Your Clocks and Batteries this Weekend – This Sunday ends Daylight Saving Time. As you move your clocks back change the batteries in your smoke detectors – the batteries should be changed every six months. If you get in the habit of doing it in the fall and spring when you change your clocks, you’ll know that your smoke alarms are always working properly.

11th Annual National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month – During the month of November, this event brings awareness to the Laguna Beach community about people who are hungry and homeless in our community, our county, and our nation. The purpose of Laguna Beach’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month is to enhance community awareness of the issue in our society, our own hungry and homeless in Laguna Beach, and the community organizations that assist with these concerns in Laguna Beach and Orange County. 

To learn more about Laguna Beach’s Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month, the community is encouraged to visit www.lagunahungryandhomeless.org

City Managers Updates kids

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Tess Booth and Lucas Jablon of Crushing Hunger

Free Film Screening (includes refreshments and door prizes) – Films will be shown in the multi-purpose room at the Community and Susi Q Center at 380 Third Street. On Wednesday, Nov 7 at 3:30 p.m., “The Florida Project” (2017) will be featured. “Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.” 

On Wednesday, Nov 21 at 3:30 p.m., “Dark Days” (2000) will be shown. “Marc Singer’s documentary about the homeless population who live in the underground tunnels of New York City – haunting and uplifting in equal measures.” 

For questions, contact Jheri St. James at (949) 494-5031 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Laguna Food Pantry’s Annual Food Drive (Month of November) –

Sponsored by the City of Laguna Beach and Waste Management, the food drive benefits the Laguna Food Pantry, which provides free, fresh groceries to more than 300 local families in need each week. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road north of the dog park, the Pantry is open from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Food collection sites include US Bank at 310 Glenneyre Street near Forest Avenue, plus many of the city’s churches, public and parochial schools, and Anneliese Schools. 

New volunteers are always welcome. 

For more information, contact the Laguna Food Pantry at (949) 497-7121, or visit www.lagunafoodpantry.org.

City Managers Updates basket

Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Pictured above are food items most needed at the Laguna Food Pantry

City Council Proclaims November 15 “America Recycles Day” – As part of a project approved by the City Council to encourage recycling and reuse in the community, the City Council proclaimed November 15 “America Recycles Day” in Laguna Beach. America Recycles Day was started in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition and is a Keep America Beautiful Initiative. Reusing and recycling products is viewed as beneficial to the environment by conserving resources, reducing energy use and carbon emissions and reducing waste loads in landfills. 

To celebrate America Recycles Day, the City, in partnership with the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and Waste Management, will hold its annual paper shredding and e-waste event for Laguna Beach businesses and residents on November 17 from 8 - 11 a.m. at the City’s Maintenance Facilities located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road.

Laguna Beach Police Department Receives Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant – The Laguna Beach Police Department has been awarded a $115,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long enforcement and public awareness program. The traffic safety program is intended to educate the public on safe roadway habits and deter people from violating traffic laws or practicing other unsafe behaviors that lead to injuries and fatalities. In 2016, 3,623 people were killed in crashes across the state, a 7-percent increase from 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Eight hundred sixty-seven pedestrians were killed on California roadways in 2016, a 33-percent increase from 2012. Along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies like phones and drug-impaired driving, this grant funding will provide opportunities to combat dangerous and illegal behaviors.

Cleaning and Video Assessment of the City’s Sewer Collection System – The Water Quality Department is working on a five-year video assessment of the sanitary sewer system. Starting November 5, the City will begin the third year of the program. This year of the assessment will cover approximately nine miles of gravity sewer infrastructure in Laguna Canyon and be completed by May 2019. Staff has contracted Tunnelworks to complete the work. 

For more information, contact Hannah Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Upcoming Design Review Board Hearing on the Proposed Odor Elimination Project at the Glenneyre Dip – The Water Quality Department is proposing a project to eliminate the sewer odors at the Glenneyre Dip. To prevent odors, City Staff proposes to install a Biological Odor Control Unit, called the IBOx, at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station site. In addition to the new odor control facility, the project includes replacing the existing staircase from Glenneyre Street to Galen Drive and adding a decomposed granite path with guardrails around the lift station facility. The City is scheduled to present this plan to the Design Review Board on November 8. The public is encouraged to participate in this upcoming meeting to learn more about the proposed project. 

For more information about the project, contact Hannah Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

City Receives 2018 Sustain Orange County Government of the Year Award

 The City of Laguna has received the 2018 Government of the Year award for its recycling and sustainability programs and efforts such as food waste recycling and Green Business Certification programs, offering an Environmental Lecture series to residents and having an Environmental Sustainability committee.  The City received the award on October 23 at the Ninth Annual Sustain Orange County Waste Stream Management Conference in Irvine.

Holiday Cookie Contest Taste Test – Residents are invited to attend the tasting and judging ceremony for the Community Services Department’s second annual Holiday Cookie Contest. Five finalists have been selected to bake a sample batch for a taste test on Monday, Nov 5, at 3:30 p.m. at the Community and Susi Q Center, located at 380 Third Street. The winner’s story and recipe will be published in the Winter 2019 Community Services brochure, to be mailed citywide. Cookies, milk, and refreshments will be available to all who attend. 

For more information, contact Adam Gufarotti, Senior Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0304.


City updates guidelines for landscape and scenic corridors

The City of Laguna Beach is updating its guidelines that help preserve, enhance and sustain landscape and scenic corridors essential to the City’s unique character. These guidelines will help the community define the City’s landscape goals, policies and programs for years to come. 

First, the Landscape and Scenic Highways Element will help shape Laguna Beach’s landscape in the 21st Century – using a forward-thinking approach to link landscaping aesthetics with modern function.

City updates guidelines highway

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Coast Highway runs along Laguna Beach’s beautiful coastline

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. 

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

The City has also been working with a team to transform and update the existing 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 City of Laguna Beach City Council will review the Landscape and Scenic Highways Element and the Resource Document on Tuesday, Nov 13 at its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue).   

A first draft of the Landscape and Scenic Highways Element and Resource Document was reviewed by the City Council on April 10 where they provided comments and directed staff to incorporate changes to each document. The City Council recommendations have now been incorporated into an updated draft that the City Council will now review and consider adopting. 

To view a copy of the public review draft of the LSHE and LSHRD, click here.

For more information, contact Jim Pechous, Assistant Director at (949) 497-0320 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


City Manger’s Updates

City Updating Guidelines for Landscape and Scenic Highways – The City of Laguna Beach is updating its guidelines that help preserve, enhance and sustain landscape and scenic corridors essential to the City’s unique character. These guidelines will help the community define the City’s landscape goals, policies and programs for years to come. 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 City of Laguna Beach City Council will review the Landscape and Scenic Highways Element (LSHE) and the Resource Document (LSHRD) on Tuesday, Nov 13 at its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue). 

For more information, or to view a copy of the public review draft of the LSHE and LSHRD click here. 

City Managers Updates street

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Coast Highway along Main Beach

Local Regulations Related to the Placement of Campaign Signs – There is a daily effort by the City’s Code Enforcement Division to monitor public property in the City and remove campaign signs that are placed on public property. Public property includes parks, medians, and the public right of way. Campaign signs posted on private property are allowed with the permission of the property owner. The theft or destruction of campaign signs is a crime and will be prosecuted. 

If you see signs placed in violation of the Municipal Code, call the City’s Code Enforcement Division at (949) 497-0301 and they will investigate promptly. Please do not attempt to rectify the situation yourself. 

Help Keep Your Sewer Lateral Clean – A private sewer lateral is the pipe that drains your sinks, bathtubs, toilets and showers from your home or building to the City’s sewer main line. Proper maintenance of a private sewer lateral is important because they can clog with roots and grease and can cause a backup inside your property or spill from the line. 

Property owners are responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of their property’s sewer lateral from the home including the point of connection with the City’s sewer main line. It is recommended that all homeowners have their sewer laterals video inspected on a periodic basis to ensure they are functioning properly. 

Additionally, when the City becomes aware of potential problems with a private lateral or a significant remodel project is completed the lateral will need to be video inspected. Private developments and apartment projects need to inspect their lateral every five years. Contact a plumbing company participating in the City’s program for a video inspection and lateral assessment. 

No matter the company you choose, be sure your plumber contacts the City’s Plumber’s Hotline before they begin work at (949) 464-6616. Be sure to request a copy of the lateral video inspection. 

Council Chamber Banner Competition Winners – Congratulations to local artists Kelly Goldstein and Al Esquerra on having their designs selected by the Arts Commission. Each artist will paint their design on 10’ x 3’ banners that will be installed in the City Hall Council Chambers mid-November. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program. 

To view the winning designs, click here. 

Holiday Palette Competition Winners – Congratulations to local artists Marcel Mead, Michael Munroe, Kelly Goldstein and Dedre Sines on having their designs selected by the Arts Commission for the annual Holiday Palette Competition. Each artist will paint their design on a 3’ x 4’ wood palette that will be displayed on the lampposts outside City Hall this holiday season. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program. 

To view the winning designs, click here. 

Juried Fine Art Exhibition and Reception – Now through November 30, residents are invited to see the selected works of the City’s 2018 Juried Fine Art Exhibition in the first-floor gallery of City Hall, 505 Forest Avenue. The exhibition is open to the public during normal City Hall business hours. The public is also invited to attend a special reception and awards ceremony from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov 1. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program. 

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

Call to Artists – Red Telephone Booth – The Laguna Beach Arts Commission is accepting proposals for the Red Telephone Booth temporary art installation site on Forest Avenue. The selected design will be installed for a 24-month period. The deadline for submission is January 7, 2019, and the honorarium is $5,000. This program is unded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

Apply online at www.lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com

Upcoming Community Meetings on Proposed Odor Elimination Project at Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station – The Water Quality Department is proposing a project to eliminate the sewer odors at the “Glenneyre Dip.” To prevent odors, City Staff proposes to install a Biological Odor Control Unit, called the IBOx, at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station site. In addition to the new odor control facility, the project includes replacing the existing staircase from Glenneyre Street to Galen Drive and adding a decomposed granite path with guardrails around the lift station facility. 

The City is scheduled to present this plan to the Design Review Board on November 8. The public is encouraged to participate in this upcoming meeting to learn more about the proposed project.

Upcoming Community Safety Event to Commemorate 25th Anniversary of Laguna Beach Fire – On Saturday, October 27 the City is hosting a Community Safety Event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fire Station 1 at City Hall. The Fire, Police and Marine Safety Departments will join other City staff members to discuss how to prepare you, your family, and your property for various disasters and better understand the City’s preparations to protect the community. Residents will also learn about how to sign up for important public safety notifications. 

The event will feature informational booths, Fire Engine tours and tours of Fire Station 1, a Laguna Beach Fire Goat petting zoo, information on the “Ready-Set-Go” home wildfire protection initiative, emergency information and resident resources, CERT program information and much more. This Saturday also marks the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire.

For more information on the event, contact Firefighter Pat Cary at (949) 497-0700.


Council to hear a request to remove C-rated structure from the Register

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Heritage Committee has recommended the City Council deny a request to remove the C-rated property at 337 Hawthorne Street from the Historic Register.

Removal from the Register is subject to Council review and approval by the committee. In June, the Heritage Committee opined that the structure should remain on the Register because it meets the criteria of a historic resource.

The Hawthorne Street property was built in 1927 with a detached garage and recommended by the committee for inclusion in the Register in 2008 at the request of the owner. The committee also recommended approval of development that included a reduction in garage from four vehicles to three – a perk of being on the Register. 

However, the Design Review Board did not approve the project, which was appealed to the City Council and returned for further review by the board. 

In 2011, the board approved a project that added 700 square feet to the existing 1,409-square-foot home, construction of a four-car garage and a 663-square-foot second unit above the garage.

A new owner bought the property in 2013. The Real Property Report on file at City Hall provided the information that the structure was on the Register. 

In June of 2016, a permit was issued for the construction of the garage and the unit. In 2017, a permit was issued for the addition to the house. 

Three months later, the owner submitted a request to remove the property from the Register.

The Municipal Code states that a decision to remove a structure from the Register shall take into consideration payment or restoration of any utilized benefit or incentive. However, neither the applicant nor the previously approved project utilized any historic preservation benefit, specifically the parking reduction.

The property owner says the DRB’s decision not to reduce the parking requirement is a breach of contract and voids it.


City Manager’s Updates

Thalia Street Partial Lane Closure – On Thursday, Oct 25, the Laguna Beach County Water District (LBCWD) will have the southbound lane of Thalia partially closed between Wilson and Wendt Terrace from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a water service upgrade. A flagman stationed at the worksite will accommodate both directions of traffic. “No Parking” signs will be placed in the immediate construction area on Tuesday, Oct 23.

For questions, contact the LBCWD at (949) 494-1041.

3rd Street Lane Closure – On Tuesday, Oct 30, the Laguna Beach County Water District (LBCWD) will have the downhill lane of 3rd Street hill closed between Mermaid Street and Park Avenue from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a water meter installation needed for the City landscaping of the planter boxes. Advance warning and traffic control measures will be in place along with a flagman stationed at Park Avenue as additional precaution.

For questions, contact the LBCWD at (949) 494-1041.

Animal Shelter Lift Station Upgrades to Meet Growing Demands – The City’s Water Quality Department and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) have collaborated to successfully upgrade the wastewater pumping facility that supports both the Animal Shelter and the PMMC. The upgrade to the station eliminates difficulties handling peak flow capacities, greatly improves reliability, and allows for superior monitoring of the station’s operations. The City Council and the PMMC Board of Directors split the cost of the facility upgrades.

Upcoming Community Meetings on Proposed Odor Elimination Project at Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station – The Water Quality Department will be holding a community meeting on Thursday, Oct 18 at 6 p.m. at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station (located at the end of Galen Drive near the corner of Calliope and Glenneyre Street) to discuss a project to eliminate the sewer odors at the “Glenneyre Dip.” To prevent odors, City Staff proposes to install a Biological Odor Control Unit, called the IBOx, at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station site. In addition to the new odor control facility, the project includes replacing the existing staircase from Glenneyre Street to Galen Drive and adding a decomposed granite path with guardrails around the lift station facility. The City is scheduled to present this plan to the Design Review Board on November 8. The public is encouraged to participate in these upcoming community meetings to learn more about the proposed project.

Upcoming Community Safety Event to Commemorate 25th Anniversary of Laguna Beach Fire – A Community Safety Event commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire (which burned approximately 16,000 acres and destroyed or damaged over 400 homes in the City) will be held on Saturday, Oct 27, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Fire Station 1 (located at 505 Forest Avenue next to City Hall.) This community event will involve many of the City Departmentsthatplay an important role in providing emergency response to the City’s residents and visitors during and after a natural disaster. The event will feature informational booths, fire engine tours and tours of Fire Station 1, the Laguna Beach Fire Goats, information on the “Ready-Set-Go” home wildfire protection initiative, emergency information and resident resources, CERT program information and much more. 

City Managers Updates fire

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo from the archives

The devastation from the 1993 fire reminds us to get prepared for emergencies

Supervisory Leadership Institute Graduation – This week Sergeant Cota graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute (SLI). SLI is an intensive leadership development program that is designed to stimulate personal growth, leadership, and ethical decision-making for California law enforcement front line supervisors. Congratulations Sergeant Cota.

Leaf Collection Program – The City’s annual Leaf Collection Program for 2018 has started and will run through February 28. During this period, residents may place unlimited amounts of tied bagged leaves at the curb next to their green waste cart. 

Click here for more information.

Final Call for Cookie Recipes – The entry period for the Community Services Department’s second-annual Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest ends next Friday, Oct 26. Each participant is asked to submit their cookie recipe and the story behind their family’s recipe. The winner’s story and recipe will be published in the Winter 2019 Community Services brochure, to be mailed Citywide. 

Entry forms are available online at https://goo.gl/forms/11NB1UMqT7PCXpy22 and at the front desk of the Community and Susi Q Center. For more information, contact Adam Gufarotti, Senior Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0304.

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