Planning Commission moves parking plan forward

Planning Commissioners agreed Wednesday to send a list of potential recommendations to ease Laguna’s parking strain to the City Council.

With a few edits and clarity on word choice, a draft parking management plan document — which includes specific recommendations to help maximize the city’s parking supply — will go before the City Council at its June 4 meeting, said Principal Planner Monica Tuchscher.

Commissioner Ken Sadler was reluctant to move forward unless the word “consider” was added to a possible Ocean Avenue conversion to a one-way street.

Mechanical lifts — a multilevel tiered parking system — and the possible Ocean Avenue conversion are two of several recommendations consultants developed.


Sadler had a procedural question.

“Who is making a decision to say, ‘Consider this, such as mechanical parking lifts?’” Sadler questioned.

Other recommendations the council could choose include charging a higher rate for parking during summer; allowing customers to pay parking fees with mobile phones; and providing commuting money to city employees during summer festival season.

Planning Commissioners did not agree on specific recommendations, but rather allowed the entire parking management plan with all the recommendations to head to the council.


“A lot of these [recommendations] need further study,” Commissioner Linda Dietrich said.

A revised parking management plan will be available next week. A current draft is available through the city’s website at

Commissioners said they will inform councilmembers of the parking management plan before the June 4 meeting.


CUP approved

Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for a Persian and Oriental rug store to occupy a 1,100-square-foot space at 350 Broadway St.

Applicant Alex Namini agreed to certain conditions regarding how many of the store’s 12 windows could display rugs.

Planning Commissioner Anne Johnson was concerned rugs could possibly block people’s view into the store from outside.


“We would like to see around rugs into the store,” Johnson said.

Namini agreed to the commission’s request to display full-length rugs in five windows and a 3-by-5-foot rug in a sixth window.

The store, currently occupied by Hi De Ho Comics & Books With Pictures, will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Namini owns and operates a similar store called “Golden Loom” in Seattle.

The business will open if no appeals are made before 5 p.m. June 5, planner Wendy Jung said.


PMMC addition

The commission also approved a conditional use permit and coastal development permit for an addition to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center on Laguna Canyon Road.

The existing 3,298-square-foot facility that treats sick and injured sea lions will receive a 612-square-foot, two-story addition with an observation deck, according to a staff report.


The first floor will include a gift shop that will replace a gift cart lost during a recent flood, a public restroom, an enclosed mammal pen and a storage area, the center’s application said.

The second level includes a multipurpose room for meetings and educational classes, and a mammal viewing deck.

More parking spaces are not needed because the addition will not intensify use, according to the center’s application. Additional staff will not be needed.