LAGUNA BEACH : Officials to Explain Canyon Road Plans


City residents can learn more about a controversial plan to widen and realign Laguna Canyon Road when Orange County officials explain the options being considered at the City Council meeting tonight.

Lawrence Halprin, a landscape architect hired to design the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, will also discuss how changes in the road would affect the parkland at the city’s edge.

The area under consideration involves a 4.6-mile stretch of highway from approximately El Toro Road to the San Diego Freeway.


A “preferred alternative” calls for the two- to three-lane highway to be widened to four lanes and shifted several hundred yards west of its current location.

Other possibilities include widening the road to four lanes while maintaining the current alignment, and expanding the road to six lanes.

The various options were debated by a 17-member committee in closed-door meetings last year.

The proposal to shift the road to the west won favor partly because that plan would separate the highway from three natural lakes at its edges, allowing the waterways to be returned to a more natural state.

The curvy highway, the site of multiple automobile accidents, has been the source of much friction over the years.

County and California Department of Transportation officials have long wanted to widen the road while the city of Laguna Beach has been protective of bucolic passageway, wanting to maintain its rural ambience.


In fact, the minority opposition to the favored plan was voiced by City Council members Lida Lenney and Robert F. Gentry.

Maps of the various alternatives will be in display at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. The county’s presentation will begin at 6 p.m., followed by Halprin’s discussion.

Residents will then be invited to express their viewpoints.