The city of Laguna Beach, determined to do all it can to stop development in Laguna Canyon, plans to hire a private consultant to analyze the environmental impact reports for the Laguna Canyon Road-widening project and a proposed new housing development.
City officials are vehemently opposed to both projects, predicting that they would dramatically increase traffic in the area and upset the delicate ecological balance of the canyon.
The Laguna Canyon Road project would widen the highway from El Toro Road east to the San Diego Freeway. Laguna Laurel is a proposed development that would create 3,000 housing units in the canyon.
City officials said at a City Council meeting Tuesday night that a private consultant was needed to review the Environmental Impact Reports for the two projects because they are simply too extensive for the city staff to analyze alone.
The EIRs were jointly produced by the county, Caltrans and the Irvine Co.