LAGUNA BEACH : Looking for Ideas on Design Process

A task force appointed to determine ways to improve Laguna Beach's design review process will hold a public hearing tonight.

"This meeting is specifically for the purpose of receiving public input on the design review process," said City Councilwoman Kathleen Blackburn, task force chairwoman. "We want to get as many people involved in this as possible."

The 10-member panel was formed about three months ago in response to complaints about the city's Design Review Board.

While some residents support the board's efforts to protect views and encourage homes that blend in with the community, others say the review process is burdensome, expensive and arbitrary.

"The purpose of the task force is to evaluate the strengths and weakness of the process," Blackburn said.

The committee, which includes residents and representatives from the City Council and community groups, has taken a bus tour of the city to view different neighborhoods and to examine projects that have been approved by the board.

The hearing will be held in council chambers at 7 p.m.

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