The City Council has authorized a study to find an alternate
location for the tennis courts next to the Festival of Arts grounds.
Councilman Paul Freeman said
he had made a personal commitment to the Festival negotiators to
try to free up the space. He asked the council
to direct staff to come up with a plan to relocate the courts to
the back of
Act V, but couldn’t get the necessary votes, partially because the
relocation would require a reduction of 25-30 spaces of peripheral
parking per court.
“No one was as surprised as I was by the success of the free trams
in getting people to park at ACT V -- thank you Toni -- so I am not
willing to give up any parking spaces there,” said Councilwoman
Cheryl Kinsman. “50 to 80 spaces is a lot.”
Councilwoman Toni Iseman, who promoted the notion that free
shuttles would lure people to park at Act V, flat out refused to vote
for a study that specified only ACT V.
“This is the first time in 28 years that the use of ACT V has been
maximized,” said Laguna Canyon Conservancy President Carolyn Wood.
“Please look at other places.”
Former Planning Commissioner Becky Jones recommended waiting until
a proposed traffic and parking management study is completed before
tampering with existing spaces.
As a compromise, the council voted to direct staff to research
-- Barbara Diamond
Rules recommended to curb mansionization
City planners voted unanimously Wednesday to approve rules
designed to help maintain neighborhood integrity by minimizing the
effect of “mansionization,” a catch-all phrase for structures that
stick out like sore thumbs.
“One of our major goals was to give the Design Review Board the
tools to curtail some of the more excessive structural intrusions
into the neighborhoods,” said Commissioner Anne Johnson. “We have
also widened the band so that DR will look at a wider slice -- three
homes on either side of a proposed project and across the street.”
The commission is an advisory board, the final decision on the
recommendations is up to the City Council.
The commission has been holding public meetings on mansionization
for more than a year.
“Two key recommendations
are the way height measurement will be taken in the future and the
use of mechanical lifts to provide the required parking without
requiring three garages that add to the mass and bulk of buildings,”
said commission Chair Kimberly Stuart. “We have
asked that the council hold a
separate hearing on the recommendations.”
Commissioner Johnson said the architects, the design review board,
the Architects Guild and the public, as well as the commission are
players in the hearing process and the resulting recommendations.
Recommendations clarify the existing 36-foot height limit and
include restrictions on balcony locations, training for review board
members, a requirement for 3-D models and a project rationale to be
submitted early in the process.
The commissioners concluded after a year of hearings that the size
of a building doesn’t matter if it doesn’t overpower the
neighborhood, according to veteran Commissioner Norm Grossman.
No date has been set for the council hearing on the commission
-- Barbara Diamond
Chance to meet the candidates
Village Laguna members and the public are invited to meet and
greet candidates for the Laguna Beach City Council and Laguna Beach
Unified School District Board of Directors.
The free event is from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in the Community Room on
the Third Floor of the Wells Fargo Bank building at 260 Ocean Ave.
Information, Michael Hoag, (949) 494-5960.