Laguna Beach City news City of Laguna Beach, California


This Week's Laguna Beach City Council Actions:

Dedication of Memorial "Press Chair" in Memory of Barbara Diamond

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Sue Kempf unveiled the new Barbara Diamond Press Chair created by Randy Bader. The press chair is in memory of the late Barbara Diamond, longtime Laguna Beach Stu News reporter, and will permanently sit in Barbara's spot in City Council Chambers. (Photo by Mary Hurlbut)

City Council Approves Contract for New City Manager Shohreh Dupuis

At its meeting Tuesday, the Laguna Beach City Council unanimously approved a City Manager Employment Agreement for new Laguna Beach City Manager Shohreh Dupuis. Ms. Dupuis will begin her duties as City Manager on June 12.

City Council Receives Lean Six Sigma Process Recommendations to Improve the Development Review Process

At its meeting Tuesday, the Laguna Beach City Council received recommendations as a result of Community Development staff's "Lean Six Sigma" training, to streamline the development review process. Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology designed to reduce inefficiencies and optimize business practices. As a result of this training, staff made a series of recommendations to reduce staff processing time of development projects by 25%.

Ordinance Amendments Approved to Streamline the Entitlement Process

At its meeting Tuesday, the Laguna Beach City Council approved streamlining amendments that maintain the City's current development standards and design guidelines, and also expand the list of projects that are either exempt from the design review process or can be approved administratively. The amendments are anticipated to improve internal processing while reducing applicant time and effort, without compromising neighborhood compatibility or involvement. Staff will report back to the City Council within one year of implementation to determine if any additional improvements can be made.

Slurry Seal and Street Rehabilitation Project Approved for Top of the World Neighborhood

At its meeting Tuesday, the City Council approved a slurry seal and street reabilitation project for the Top of the World neighborhood. The project is expected to begin in June and be completed by August 2021.

The Next Regular Meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council is Tuesday, May 18.

Today's Podcast Update with Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen

In today's podcast update, Mayor Whalen discusses the contract for new City Manager Shohreh Dupuis, and whether the recent spate of Laguna Canyon accidents lends to re-addressing the need for undergrounding of utility poles.

That leads to a discussion on Laguna Beach infrastructure in general, and specifically, what dollar figure he’d like to see us receive from President Biden’s proposed 1.9 trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

City Council Cuts the Ribbon on New South Main Beach Restroom Renovations!

The City of Laguna Beach City Council held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the completion of renovations to the South Main Beach Restroom.
Renovations to the South Main Beach Restroom include a hand-painted ceramic tile mural called “Outburst” by artist Lynn Basa, a new refillable bottle water station, all new plumbing fixtures and piping, an energy efficient electrical system, new outdoor shower facilities, new concrete floors, and improved ADA accessibility.
Installation of a new water bottle refilling station helps the City in its pursuit to reduce and discourage single use plastic water bottles.
Laguna Beach City Councilmember Peter Blake (right) waits to fill his bottle at the new refillable water bottle station. Just one reusable water bottle can potentially save over 1,000 plastic bottles per year, and help reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up on Laguna’s beaches and in the ocean.
Mayor Pro Tem Sue Kempf, Councilmember George Weiss and Councilmember Toni Iseman try out the new refillable bottle water station, made possible by a donation from the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition.

Check Out the Video and Photos Below for More on This Public Works Project!

All photos by Mary Hurlbut

County Announces Upcoming Closure of Vaccine Super POD Sites

The demand for first-dose COVID-19 vaccinations through the County POD sites have dropped by over 75% since the end of April.

To meet this changing community need, the County of Orange will close its Super POD sites at the Anaheim Convention Center, OC Fair & Event Center, and Soka University, as well as at Santa Ana College, on June 6, 2021, and shift operations to an expanding network of robust mobile PODs.

Community members are encouraged to access the schedule of upcoming mobile PODs by calling the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000 or through www.Othena.com.

This Week's Look INSIDE the Caltrans Coast Highway Culvert Project

Thank You for Your Continued Patience!

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is working to replace the box culvert on Coast Highway at Main Beach. As a result, traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction on Coast Highway from Ocean to Broadway through the end of May.

Your Look at This Week's Progress:

Stage 2 of the project is well underway as work shifted to the southbound side of the roadway. This week, crews started their work by excavating on the south side of the existing box culvert.
On Wednesday, May 4, Caltrans Crews demolished the existing box culvert and continued to excavate on the south side. Excavation and removal of unsuitable materials under the existing box culvert will prepare the site for a 10-foot concrete slab, which will support the new box culvert.

What's Happening Next:

  • Over the next few days large equipment will be moving into the area. A crane will be stationed at the job site today in preparation for placing precast concrete box culvert segments over the weekend.
  • Overnight Friday, May 7 from 8:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. Coast Highway will be closed in both directions between Ocean and Broadway to install the precast box culvert sections.
  • During the day on Saturday workers will be forming walls and inverts. Inverts are the bottom, or floor support of the box culvert.
  • Overnight Saturday, May 8 from 8:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. Coast Highway will be closed in both directions between Ocean and Broadway to install the precast box culvert sections and remove the shoring.
  • Next week, crews will be pouring the invert, walls and decking around the culvert and letting it cure, which develops strength.

For project information, please contact Caltrans Public Information Officer Darcy Birden at (949) 923-7136 or Darcy.Birden@dot.ca.gov.

Apply Now for Open Spots on Committees, Commissions, and Boards!

Laguna Beach residents interested in serving on a Committee, Commission, or Board should apply through the City Clerk’s office or on the City’s website by Friday, May 14, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

Current Openings Include:

  • Planning Commission
  • Arts Commission
  • Emergency Disaster/Preparedness Committee
  • Housing & Human Services Committee
  • Parking, Traffic, & Circulation Committee
  • Personnel Board

Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705.

Laguna Beach Police Commended for Quick Response After Car Plows into House on Catalina

At 5:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, residents at 1440 Catalina Street were awakened to a loud "bang," to discover an unknown driver had plowed his car into their garage! According to the homeowner, the driver was still in the car and was attempting to leave the scene when the homeowner called 911.

"My wife called 911 and our police arrived in 3 minutes! They were so wonderful, courteous and apologetic that this happened," said Laguna Beach resident Robert B. "Thank you Laguna Beach Police!"
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody.

If you have an emergency,

always dial 9-1-1.

Upcoming Community Meeting on Operating E-Bikes in Laguna Beach

Join Laguna Beach School Resource Police Officers Ashley Krotine and Fred Yielding for a virtual meeting on Tuesday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. to learn everything you need to know about operating an E-Bike in Laguna Beach!

You may view the meeting LIVE on Cox Cable Channel 852 and via Zoom at the link below or by calling (669) 900-9128!

Eleven trees were planted throughout the City on Arbor Day, and our first annual Arbor Day youth art contest was a huge success! To view a list of the trees that were planted for this year’s Arbor Day celebration, Click HERE. For more information about public trees, contact Mathew Barker, City Arborist at mbarker@lagunabeachcity.net
City crews will be temporarily closing Short Street to though traffic on Tuesday, May 18 from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the installation of rubberized speed humps. Parking will be restricted and a detour will be provided. Please contact Josh McDonald at 949-497-0728 or at jmcdonald@lagunabeachcity.net for any questions or concerns.
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City of Laguna Beach