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Laguna Beach : Ordinance Restricting Types of Businesses Extended Until Jan. 3

An ordinance restricting the types of new businesses that may open in the downtown area has been extended until next year.

The ordinance, which will last until Jan. 3, prohibits new businesses within 200 yards of Main Beach that sell liquor to go. It also requires that new downtown businesses be reviewed by the city’s Board of Adjustment to receive a conditional use permit. In the past, new businesses needed only to meet zoning requirements and obtain a business permit.

The council first enacted the restrictions in January in response to ice cream parlors, T-shirt shops and cookie stores that have sprouted up in the downtown area recently. At the same time, the council prohibited liquor-to-go sales to ease problems with the control of drinking on Main Beach, which is illegal.

In extending the restrictions, the council exempted new businesses that are “local-serving . . . rather than exclusively tourist-serving,” said June Catalano, director of community development. Exempt businesses include clothes and beauty shops and some retail stores.

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Shortly after it approved the extended ordinance, however, the council approved plans for a cookie store at 240 S. Coast Highway and a “shaved ice/T-shirt business” at 207 Ocean Ave. Council members felt the two businesses had proceeded too far in the approval process to be denied, Catalano said.

The council also approved a health food business at 205 Ocean Ave., offices at 384 Forest Ave. and a dog and cat grooming business at the latter address.


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