City to study impact of Irvine housing development

The Laguna Beach City Council held a special closed meeting Tuesday to consider legal action regarding the Heritage Fields housing development in Irvine.

No reportable action was taken, according to City Manager John Pietig.

But the city has hired consultants to assist city staff in responding to the environmental impact report for the development near the Great Park. The EIR must be submitted by Aug. 24.

Pietig announced at the Aug. 7 council meeting that the city had retained an attorney and traffic engineer to work on the response to the proposed development of 4,000 residential units.

"Laguna has become a victim of its own success by making the city so appealing," Arnold Hano said in support of a city response to the EIR.

He opined that 4,000 homes would generate 32,000 daily car trips.

Village Laguna President Ginger Osborne said that, if approved, the development would add 23,000 people to the area, in addition to the folks who live in the Laguna Altura community.

She said the development would exacerbate the traffic problems that exist during the festival season.

Hano agreed, with a suggestion raised at the Planning Commission's Aug. 7 transportation workshop that a parking structure and shuttle service to Laguna might ease the burden.

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