The city Planning Commission unanimously rejected Jack’s Surf & Sport’s application to open a store in downtown Laguna Beach.
This was the second denial of Jack’s proposal to take over the empty building on Ocean Avenue most recently occupied by Big Dog.
“The main things were that the store could not provide the necessary parking, which required a variance, and it is a formula-based store, which is discouraged in the Downtown Specific plan,” said Anne Johnson, a Planning Commission member.
Commissioners could not make the findings that are legally required to approve a variance from parking standards, created by the proposal to convert an upstairs unit from residential to retail use.
The denial will automatically be appealed to the City Council because a variance was part of the application.
“It was the consensus of the commission that Jack’s is the supermarket of surf shops and duplicates the products already many businesses downtown,” Johnson said.
Members of the surfing community said at the meeting that they could find what they needed in existing stores.
“Personally, I felt Jack’s did not contribute to the diversity we want downtown,” Johnson said. “They are all over the place.”
Jack’s has four existing stores in Dana Point, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.