City officials will review at Tuesday's City Council meeting the nighttime residents-only parking program on the streets around one of the city's most popular restaurants.
Dubbed "the Quiet Zone," the program was designed to muffle late-night noise that disturbs Woods Cove residents who live within blocks of Mozambique Steakhouse.
The plan squeaked by the council at the Feb. 15 meeting on a 3-2 vote, which approved a resolution that included a six-month review to determine if it should be extended or revised.
"The neighborhood is very appreciative of the Quiet Zone," Mayor Toni Iseman said Tuesday. "Mozambique supporters are glad the city found a compromise, but the residents are just happy to have peace and quiet."
The program resulted from meetings between restaurant representatives and neighbors, triggered by a litany of complaints about the conduct of patrons of the restaurant/bar/entertainment venue who park their vehicles on neighborhood streets rather than use valet parking provided by Mozambique.
Nighttime parking in the area is now restricted to vehicles with shopper's permits or residence-specific guest passes from Center Street to, but not including, Bluebird Canyon Drive, and up from Glenneyre Street to, but not including, Carmelita Street. The plan was estimated to cost $16,000 to implement.
Preferential parking, however, was not the main driver of the program.
"This is not about parking; it's about noise," Iseman said at the February meeting.
The public is invited to attend Tuesday's meeting to provide input on the program.
"Some people around here think it's still an issue and some don't — it depends on which side of Carmelita you live on," said Woods Cove resident Mary Rabe. "But I have friends who have lived on Pearl Street for a long time, and they still have people parking there and walking back and forth."
In Herb Rabe's opinion, preferential parking is not the solution. He opined that limiting parking permits to Laguna Beach residents and their guests assumes those people would never get tiddly or rowdy.
Mayor Pro Tem Jane Egly and Councilwoman Verna Rollinger both opposed the trial program when it was approved in February. They were convinced that the restaurant has morphed into a nightclub, which is incompatible with a residential neighborhood.
Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rose Hancock said the chamber's Government Affairs Committee supported the Quiet Zone during its trial period and will continue to.
"We have been following this for some time and we will be attending the meeting," Hancock said. "We applaud the efforts of Mozambique owner Ivan Spiers to accommodate the neighbors."
Any legal challenge to the program may be limited to issues raised at the meeting or in written correspondence delivered to the council at or before the meeting, according to a city notice of the public hearing.
A copy of the council agenda and the agenda bill on the hearing is available in the City Clerk's Office in City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Electronic copies are available on the city's website.
Questions may be directed to Anne Belyea at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 464-6673.