The Laguna Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed that employees of the Montage can park in a lot across South Coast Highway from the resort for the remainder of the summer.
The council approved the resort leasing the lot at 30802 S. Coast Hwy. from 6 a.m. to midnight daily through Aug. 31.
Resort employees had been parking at Mission Hospital at 31872 S. Coast Hwy., but renovations on hospital grounds necessitated the Montage find another area for employees during the summer tourist season.
The lot is bordered by another lot to the north, which Montage owns and currently uses for employee parking, the Laguna Terrace residential community to the east, and Laguna Beach Lodge and Aliso Creek shopping center to the south.
The lot approved Tuesday will have 59 spaces, while the other lot has 56 spots, Mauricio Souza, Montage’s director of rooms, said.
The Montage, located at 30801 S. Coast Hwy., last used the lot approved Tuesday in 2007 and 2008, Souza said.
Landscaping separates the adjacent lots, but will be removed to allow motorists access to both parking areas from Laguna Terrace North, a road used to enter and exit from Laguna Terrace. Motorists headed to Ruby’s Diner also use the road.
Employees will only be able to enter and exit the lots off Laguna Terrace North, Souza said.
The goal of the circulation pattern is to avoid adding to the number of cars exiting and entering the shopping center area from the signalized intersection at Montage Resort Drive to the south.
Laguna Terrace resident Sandi Cain said traffic has increased in the area in the last few years and worried more people would try making left turns to head south on South Coast Highway.
“Any turn out of those lots in the center lane [onto South Coast Highway] is an accident waiting to happen,” Cain said, adding that she is not opposed to employees using the lot.
At times, Cain said she has directed traffic because, “people don’t know what to do.”
As part of the approval, the council wants the city or Montage staff to work with the property owner of the lodge and the Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Beach to possibly add striping for stop signs near the signal to better control traffic.
Bryce Alderton, email@example.com