Laguna Beach City news City of Laguna Beach, California

MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2020

The Promenade on Forest is Now Open in Downtown Laguna Beach!

Laguna Beach City Councilmembers cut the ribbon to officially open and dedicate The Promenade on Forest this morning in Downtown Laguna Beach.

This morning, the Laguna Beach City Council cut the ribbon and officially opened The Promenade on Forest, an outdoor dining, display and art performance area in Downtown Laguna Beach.

The Promenade on Forest: Shopping, Dining, Art, and You! is an outdoor dining, display and art performance area that creates a safe and exciting pedestrian-only experience on Forest Avenue from Coast Highway to Glenneyre Street that is now open to the public throughout the Summer of 2020.

Dining decks, retail display decks, and a performance art deck offer virtual and live performances and temporary art installations.

The Promenade design supports local businesses by expanding customer seating and merchandise display areas on Lower Forest Avenue.

Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen addresses the crowd at this morning's dedication and ribbon cutting.

"The goal of The Promenade is to support the reopening of our local economy and local businesses by safely expanding customer seating and merchandise display areas into the street, and providing an opportunity for local artists to display their work while strengthening our community spirit," said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. "It’s part of our Economic Recovery and Business Development Plan for the City."

From left to right: Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig, City Councilmember Peter Blake, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow, City Councilmember Sue Kempf, Assistant City Manager Shohreh Dupuis, Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen, Councilmember Toni Iseman, and Promenade Project Director Jeremy Frimond.

Key Features of The Promenade on Forest:

  • Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. today through September 7;
  • Dining decks, retail display decks, and a performance art deck offer virtual and live performances and temporary art installations;
  • Layout promotes safe physical distancing between parties and hand sanitizing stations and maintenance staff regularly disinfect the furniture;
  • String lighting to illuminate The Promenade and provide evening ambiance and security; new umbrellas and new potted trees and plants provide daytime shade and ambiance.
Dining decks, retail display decks, and a performance art deck offer virtual and live performances and temporary art installations.

Thank you to everyone who came out and attended this morning's ribbon cutting at The Promenade on Forest!

All outdoor seating at The Promenade on Forest is first come, first serve. Dining and display decks are not specific to any restaurants or businesses. Now open in Downtown Laguna Beach!

How to Participate in Tuesday's Laguna Beach City Council Meeting

The Laguna Beach City Council will continue holding its meetings virtually through July.

For detailed instructions on how you can participate in the Tuesday, June 16 City Council meeting, click the links below.

Fact Check: Laguna Beach Downtown Specific Plan Update

Marc Wiener, Laguna Beach Community Development Director

The City has received some comments and questions regarding the proposed Downtown Specific Plan update. The following is to help clear up misinformation.

"The current Downtown bars and restaurants would be allowed to add over 10,000 more seats with no additional parking."

Here are the facts- The are currently 52 restaurants in the Downtown (not including coffee shops, ice cream parlors, candy stores) with an estimated 3,300-3,500 seats. Parking is not the only limiting factor. Current Building code occupancy requirements limit the amount of seating that could be added to individual restaurants or bars, therefore, the number of seats could not be doubled or tripled.

"Any downtown building that is not already a bar or restaurant could be converted to a bar or restaurant without being required to add parking. This could add up to 20,700 bar and restaurant seats with no additional parking."

Here are the facts- Under the Draft DSP, restaurants that serve alcohol and bars will still be required to obtain a conditional use permit from the City. This will allow the City to monitor and regulate the number of establishments to ensure that the Downtown does not become saturated with these uses.

"Existing buildings with existing private parking could legally turn their parking into more building space."

Here are the facts-The expansion of existing buildings and new construction will requires compliance with updated parking standards and will be at the discretion of the City through the Design Review and a Conditional Use Permit process.

For additional information on the DSP update please contact Marc Wiener, Community Development Director, at (949) 497-0713 or mwiener@lagunabeachcity.net.

All Laguna Beach Businesses Encouraged to Require Face Coverings

Dear Laguna Beach Businesses:

The City believes that requiring masks for employees and customers in your business is an important and effective step to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and giving residents and visitors the confidence to patronize your business. We also believe your employees will appreciate this extra precaution to protect their health and safety.

Masks are still required for all essential businesses, and even though the County has eased mask wearing requirements for other businesses, we are calling on all businesses to continue requiring masks for customers and employees in your businesses. We are asking you to partner with the City to provide an experience that makes residents, customers and employees feel safe in our town.

To assist all businesses, the City has prepared the attached printable sign for you to place in your window and show your support for a safe and healthy environment in our town.

We appreciate your cooperation as we all work together to get through these unique and challenging times!


Bob Whalen, Laguna Beach Mayor

John Pietig, Laguna Beach City Manager

Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Launches "Think Laguna First" Campaign

The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce has launched its first ever, "Think Laguna First" City-wide campaign encouraging Laguna Beach residents to shop locally and support their community.

The Chamber is asking local residents and business owners to share the "Think Laguna First" information on social media to spread the word. Tag @thinklaguna1st and @chamberlb in posts and stories, and they will share back!

"Think Laguna First" and support local businesses and restaurants!

Most importantly, when you are going out to eat or shopping, "Think Laguna First!" If we support our local businesses, they will support us. Go to www.thinklagunafirst.org for more information.

On Friday, June 19, nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage parlors and other beauty services like facials and waxing are expected to reopen - subject to the approval of the Orange County Health Officer.

Laguna Beach Small Businesses: Apply for Grant Relief Starting June 19

The Small Business Grant Relief Program will support small businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19 in Orange County District Five, which is the district for Laguna Beach.

Grants up to $10,000 will be available to eligible Laguna Beach small businesses and non-profits within the Fifth District.

Applications will open June 19, 2020, 8:00 a.m. until June 23, 2020, 5:00 p.m.

Public Invited to Webinar Thursday on New Community Development Department Online System

The Laguna Beach Community Development Department will hold a webinar training for the public on the use of our new OpenGov land management software this Thursday, June 18, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

OpenGov will allow the public to submit planning applications, zoning plan checks, code enforcement service requests, building permit applications, and more online, reducing the need to call or visit City Hall in person. 

To join the webinar from your phone, call +16699009128,,92339970395#. Or click the link below.

If you have any questions, please contact Jim Pechous, Assistant Director of Community Development, (949) 497-0320 or jpechous@lagunabeachcity.net.

Update: the Laguna Beach Police Department has written over 1,100 loud exhaust and speed citations so far in 2020.
The Laguna Beach Community Pool is now open for lap swim. To reserve a swim time go to https://bit.ly/3hoCsSi

This news update is texted out directly to residents registered for Laguna Beach’s Nixle Community Alert system.

Know someone who would like to sign up? Simply have them text 92651 to 888-777.

Starting today, leashed dogs are only allowed on the beach before 9:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m. daily until Sept. 10.

Leashed dogs (like Scout and Atticus) are only allowed on the beach before 9:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m. daily.

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City of Laguna Beach