Laguna Beach City news City of Laguna Beach, California


Rivian Automotive Presents Concept for Restoring South Coast Cinema Property

At Wednesday's Laguna Beach Planning Commission meeting, representatives from Rivian Automotive, Inc. (an electric vehicle manufacturer) presented a concept review of a proposed restoration of the historic South Coast Cinema on Coast Highway across from Main Beach.

Rivian's proposed plan for purchasing the building includes updating the interior and exterior of the building, adding retail space, and a coffee bar.

Proposed improvements include restoration of the building’s exterior and interior, with no additional floor area or changes to the building footprint. Exterior restoration would match existing and historic conditions.

The company hopes to return to the City with more detailed plans for the property before the end of the year.

Listen to Today's Podcast Update With Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen

In today's podcast update, Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen discusses the Rivian proposal presented at last night's Planning Commission meeting to restore the South Coast Cinema property, and the next steps in the process.

He'll also give his take on education options for the upcoming school year.

August 11 Laguna Beach City Council Meeting Will be Held via Zoom

Some of the City Council Agenda items for consideration include:

  • Extension of City's Emergency Declaration due to COVID-19
  • Award Contract for Victoria 1 Lift Station Rehabilitation Project
  • Postponement of Recreation Programming and Trolley Services through end of 2020
  • New "Band on the Bus" Pilot Program
  • Second reading of Amendments to City's Historic Preservation Program Ordinance
  • Extension of the Promenade on Forest through January 2021 and the City's Outdoor Dining and Retail Display program through April 2021
  • Adoption of initial study on possible City acquisition of properties located at 31526 and 31532 Coast Highway
  • Letter in support of Senate Bill 793, banning the sale of flavored tobacco in the State of California

Laguna Beach Police Patrolling for Loud Exhaust and Speed This Weekend

Since January, Laguna Beach Police Officers have issued 1,407 citations to drivers for speed and loud exhaust violations.

Officers will be out patrolling for speed and loud exhaust compliance again this coming weekend.

To protect public health and safety and slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Laguna Beach "Mask Advisors" will be handing out free face coverings again this coming weekend in the Downtown area, at busy crosswalks, beach accessways and parks.

Laguna Beach Fire Crews Return Home from Apple Fire

Photos of the Apple Fire, currently burning in Riverside County.

This week, the City of Laguna Beach sent fire crews to assist in containing the Apple Fire, currently burning near Cherry Valley and the San Bernardino National Forest in Riverside County.

As of Wednesday evening, the burn area had grown to 27,569 acres and containment was at 30%.

Our firefighters were assigned to protect properties as the fire started towards them. Laguna Beach fire crews returned home safely last night.

Photos of the Apple Fire, currently burning in Riverside County.

State Releases New Guidance for Reopening Youth Sports

This week, the California Department of Public Health released new guidance related to the resumption of youth sports.

As general guidance, smaller groups are safer than larger, outdoor location are safer than indoor, and shorter duration is safer than longer. All of these factors must be taken into account as leagues, coaches, parents, and athletes return to play.

If you have any questions about youth sports in Laguna Beach, please contact Michael Litschi at (949) 497-0303 or mlitschi@lagunabeachcity.net.

Laguna Beach Small Businesses and Non-Profits Receive Over $555,000 Through Small Business Grant Relief Program

About 57 Laguna Beach small businesses and non-profits received over $555,000 in CARES Act funding through the Small Business Grant Relief Program, facilitated through Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett's office.

The Small Business Grant Relief Program launched on June 22nd and provided economic support of up to $10,000 in CARES Act funding grants for small businesses and non-profit organizations experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19 in Orange County's Fifth District.

“So many small businesses that serve as the backbone of our economy have suffered significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett. “My goal was to develop a program that would provide financial support to those businesses and get funds into their hands as quickly as possible.”

A total of $14.5M in CARES Act funding was awarded to small businesses and non-profit organizations throughout the Fifth District. The Small Business Grant Relief Program provided grants to businesses and non-profits in nearly every business sector.

County Launches SafeDineOC Restaurant Grant Program

The County of Orange today announced the launch of a new SafeDineOC COVID-Safe Restaurant Campaign to incentivize Orange County restaurants to follow California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants are eligible for up to $1,000 in reimbursements for CARES Act-qualified purchases, such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), site reconfiguration, employee training, cleaning supplies, etc.

The application period for the SafeDineOC Restaurant Grant Program begins today (August 6, 2020) and ends in 60 days, or whenever funding is fully allocated, whichever occurs first.

Michael Minutoli, The Laguna Beach Greeter, and Laguna Beach City Councilmember Sue Kempf, are sending a message to remember to eat and shop local in Laguna Beach! (Photo by Denny Freidenrich/courtesy of Stu News Laguna.)

We Want Your Feedback on The Promenade on Forest!

We've put together a survey on the new Promenade on Forest and we want to hear from YOU! Click the link below to take the survey, or simply scan the QR code to get started.

Results of the survey will be presented to the City Council at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, August 11.

Scan this QR code to take The Promenade on Forest survey!

Laguna Beach Residents Urged to Respond to the U.S. Census

Results from the 2020 Census inform planning and funding decisions for critical public services, emergency and disaster response, and schools and education programs in the Laguna Beach community.

However, as of July 29 only 60.2% of Laguna Beach residents have responded, ranking the city 371st out of the state’s 482 incorporated cities.

Please complete the 2020 Census before September 30 at the link below!

A Caltrans culvert replacement project under Coast Highway will reduce traffic on Coast Highway between Ocean and Broadway to two lanes from approximately September 8 - October 20. Traffic detours, signage and alerts will inform drivers of traffic impacts. For more information call Caltrans at (657) 328-6000.

Laguna Canyon Channel Improvement Project Designed to Help Reduce Downtown Flooding

The City of Laguna Beach is currently making improvements to the Laguna Canyon Channel from Beach Street to Main Beach.

The project is designed to increase the conveyance of stormwater runoff through this portion of the channel by 25%, reducing the risk of flooding in the Downtown area.

Currently, the existing channel at Beach Street has a non-efficient transition structure which causes water turbulence and slows down water flow during large rain events.

The Laguna Canyon Channel Improvement Project will replace the entire structure with a more efficient design, creating less turbulence and allowing up to 25% more water to flow through the channel culvert that continues under Beach Street and to the Ocean.

The project is scheduled to be completed in November.

If you need COVID-19 testing, whether asymptomatic or symptomatic, please visit lhi.care/covidtesting or call 1 (888) 634-1123 to schedule an appointment.

Orange County COVID-19 Resources:

This Laguna Beach City news update is texted and emailed to residents through the City's Nixle Emergency Notification System.

Simply Text 92651 to 888-777 to Sign Up.

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City of Laguna Beach