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Plan to add more parking

October 07, 2005|By: Dan Beighley

More public parking is on the way in downtown Laguna on what is now a

city employee parking lot at the intersection of Laguna Canyon Road

and Forest Avenue.

The 130-space lot will be used until a proposed Village Entrance

project -- the components of which have not yet been determined --

can be built.

The parking lot project, approved Sept. 28 by the planning

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commission, is expected to be in place by spring 2007, pending

approval from City Council.

City employee parking will be relocated to what is now a municipal

maintenance yard area, and the maintenance yard will be moved to the

Act V parking lot, about a mile east on Laguna Canyon Road.

The multifaceted project includes the repaving and re-striping of

the maintenance yard, demolition of existing structures and new

landscaping and lighting.

"We all want to see something better out there," Council

Chairwoman Anne Johnson said.

Included in the project approved by the planning commission are

new street signs -- eight permanent and 18 seasonal.

The signs will be green with white lettering, consistent with

existing signs in the area.

Laguna resident Carolyn Wood questioned the design of the new

signs and proposed asking local artists to create signs that would

add character to the area.

"Cheap metal signs don't look 'villagey,'" said Commissioner Norm

Grossman.

"We've always been a city that prides itself on signs," Johnson

said.

Wood also voiced concerns over the proper care of the landscaping,

hoping that it would be maintained nicely.

Three existing structures in the maintenance yard will be

demolished, with the remaining structures to be moved to the Act V

parking lot at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road.

A new traffic signal will be placed on Laguna Canyon Road in front

of the Festival of the Arts grounds to ease pedestrian crossing.

Down the street from the new parking lot, the planning commission

also approved a permit for a new Broadway bus depot parking bay.

The parking bay, which is permanent, will be used by Orange County

Transit Authority as well as Laguna Beach Transit buses.

The project is funded through a $144,000 grant from the Orange

County Transit Authority. It is an attempt to reduce traffic on

Broadway during peak hours.

The new bay will accommodate two buses at a time.

The project requires the removal of two eucalyptus trees, which

elicited a complaint from Wood.

"It's so important that we try and save those trees; you can't

grow them anymore," she said.

"I don't see a way around this. We do have enough trees there, but

it's still unfortunate," said Grossman.

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