LAGUNA BEACH : Talks Continue Over Laguna Laurel

City officials and representatives from the Irvine Co. are set to return to the negotiating table today in an effort to resolve their longstanding dispute over a 3,200-home planned community proposed for Laguna Canyon.

Both sides are refusing to discuss the series of meetings held behind closed doors at the Irvine Co.'s Fashion Island headquarters. City officials, however, said the two parties may be close to announcing a compromise over the 2,150-acre Laguna Laurel project.

"We have agreed not to say anything about what's in the works," Laguna Beach Mayor Lida Lenney said Thursday. "But what I expect is we will come up with a basic plan that we will announce on Friday or sometime very soon."

Irvine Co. officials also refused comment on the talks.

The Laguna Laurel project would include a golf course, a shopping center and a school. Project opponents say the massive development would destroy the environmentally sensitive canyon area.

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