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Laguna Beach council selects decorative fence for downtown gateway

The Laguna Beach City Council has approved a new decorative fence as part of the Village Entrance project. The fence will be 5 feet tall and separate the areas form a county-owned channel.
(Photo courtesy of the city of Laguna Beach)

The Laguna Beach City Council selected a new decorative fence Tuesday for the Village Entrance project.

It will replace an aging chain-link fence cordoning off a county-owned channel running through the entrance area near Laguna Canyon Road and Forest Avenue.

From a host of options, the council chose a fence with steel vertical rails set 8 inches apart. The 5-foot fence will feature concrete posts with a wood-grain finish.

The fence, which is predicted to last at least 25 years with touch-ups every five, will cost an estimated $640,000.

To offset the cost, the county has tentatively agreed to chip in $45,000 because its existing fence is in disrepair and needs replacement.

The fence was brought up in August, when the Village Entrance was approved, but council members disliked the use of steel cables in the fence at the time and directed staff to find alternatives.

Resident Michael Morris pointed to the escalating costs of the Village Entrance project — it went from an estimated $8.4 million in December to an estimated $11.1 million in August — and urged the council to keep it under control.

Lorene Laguna, a council candidate, suggested hiring artists to create a fence, especially with so many participating in the local festivals.

“Make this a work of public art and make it beautiful,” she said.

The council held off on authorizing an additional 700 feet of fencingalong Broadway Street, where the county channel also runs. That stretch, roughly between Forest Avenue and the bus depot near Acacia Drive, already has a chain-link fence and a public art sculpture installed in 2013.