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Laguna Niguel : Coast Panel Approves Oceanfront Subdivision

The California Coastal Commission granted approval paving the way to eventual construction of 101 custom houses overlooking the ocean in Laguna Niguel to the Stein-Brief Group, the Laguna Niguel-based partnership that owns the 550-acre Monarch Beach.

The commission on Wednesday gave the nod to Stein-Brief’s proposal to subdivide 52 acres of the Monarch Beach tract on the seaward side of Pacific Coast Highway into 101 lots. The 1/5-acre lots will be priced from $400,000 to $1.8 million, according to Gary Boelzner, vice president of marketing for the builder.

Stein-Brief bought the tract for $80 million in 1983, and is aggressively pursuing a master plan for turning the property into a massive commercial and residential development over the next seven years. The company aims to eventually build 3,400 homes, a 550-room hotel, shopping center and private health club. The estimated value of the project at completion, Boelzner said, will be at least $1 billion.

Jim Smith, vice president of development, said Stein-Brief plans to begin grading and other improvements by summer. The company plans to sell the lots to buyers who will have their houses built to their own specifications. Individual house plans will have to pass Coastal Commission scrutiny to ensure that they conform to height restrictions, view impact and landscaping requirements, Smith said.

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The commission’s unanimous approval carried conditions. Stein-Brief is required to add seven acres of improved land to Salt Creek beach regional park within the next year and a half, and to extend the Salt Creek regional trail through the park to its public parking lot. The commission also ruled that the company must pay $400 per lot to a commission fund to help pay for beach access in southern Orange County.


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