Taking a cue from the California Supreme Court, which recently struck down local laws prohibiting fortune telling, the City Council has voted to drop similar laws from its books, adding fortune-telling parlors to the list of businesses allowed in the beachside community.
In the past, soothsaying was legal in Laguna Beach only if it was part of a person’s religion, City Atty. Phil Kohn said. However, like many other California cities, Laguna Beach is dropping its fortune-telling law in the wake of the court decision nearly three weeks ago.
The changes, which became effective with a unanimous council vote Tuesday, have not yet triggered an avalanche of applications from people seeking licenses to open fortune-telling parlors in Laguna Beach. Terry Hone, business license supervisor, said that while half a dozen inquiries have crossed her desk, only one paid application for a license to open a palm-reading shop has been filed.
Janet Merino of Laguna Beach, who owns several parlors elsewhere, filed the application and made a down payment on the $500 yearly fee for a business license. She said she expects her business to flourish because of the city’s beachside location and tourist trade.