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Laguna Beach to look at implementation of economic recovery and business development plan

Signs at Laguna Beach's Violet Boutique are a reminder that some low-risk retailers were able to open for curbside pickups as part of the second phase of reopening California.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Recommendations to implement the economic recovery and business development plan are coming before the Laguna Beach City Council on Tuesday, following swiftly on the heels of the plan’s approval at their last meeting on May 12.

Up for the council’s consideration Tuesday night are the waiving of temporary use permit fees and the delegation of authority to Community Development Director Marc Weiner to approve those permits for outdoor dining, displays and minor deviations on sign and banner standards through Sept. 7.

Council members will also consider postponing the conversion of Ocean Avenue to a one-way street until fall and approving and adopting a resolution that will allow for the proposed outdoor dining and entertainment on lower Forest Avenue.

Members will be looking at whether or not to adopt a $145,703 contract with Coachella organizers Choura Events to implement “Promenade on Forest,” the outdoor dining and entertainment program, by June 15.

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The program is part of the business regulatory relief package the city approved to provide a space where residents can eat and interact safely while allowing restaurants available space to operate at sustainable levels.

Also up for discussion Tuesday night are additional recommendations from Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow to city staff, which include development of a program that would allow for restaurants and businesses adjacent to public properties to utilize space for additional seating or merchandise.

Other recommendations Dicterow made to to city staff were to adopt a sliding scale for available exterior spaces that would be available to restaurants and businesses for additional exterior seating or displays, with the intent of reducing that space with each successive reopening stage; for businesses not adjacent to public property to use private properties if arrangements can be made; the relaxation of existing sign code for additional signage opportunities; and the allowance of outdoor displays of merchandise if they do not block sidewalks.

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