Parking Facility OKd for Village Entrance

Taking another step toward redeveloping the area known as the Village Entrance, the City Council on Tuesday endorsed a plan that calls for a parking structure and restaurant on the site.

"I think we're moving in the right direction," said Councilwoman Kathleen Blackburn, joining the majority in the 4-1 vote. "This truly is the entrance to our city."

Councilman Wayne J. Baglin, however, refused to endorse the project, which city leaders say could eventually cost $6 million, saying it is "absolutely incredible" that the proposal has progressed this far without a "needs assessment."

But most council members said they must plan for the future. Anticipating an increasing number of visitors to Laguna Beach, they said, the city must make provisions for more parking.

"Our challenge is not to try to wish it away but to manage it," Councilman Paul Freeman said of the city's growth.

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