Monday, May 2, 2016

They're Baaaaaack: The Latest "Village Entrance"

These are the latest proposals for a Village Entrance to the city of Laguna Beach, originally proposed early as 1960 (click to enlarge). A substantial improvement over the $65 Million parking garage, the VE extends from City Hall through the city maintenance yard, the Farmers Market, the Digester and the Christmas Tree Lot to the North. In a public workshop held April 13 2016 attendees reviewed the design concepts, however public input was not published in the summary document (Review and Input pg. 56) here:

the Downtown Link
the Sendero

From these documents: The intent of the Village Entrance Project is to enhance the site aesthetics and overall image while maintaining parking and space for public facilities.

The proposals feature these amenities:
  • 397 parking spaces
  • 1 parking structure (110 sp)
  • 1 motorist bridge
  • 0 bike racks
  • 1 Trolley stop northbound
  • 1 multi-use ped/bike pathway
  • 0 transit stops
  • X public seating
  • Pedestrian walkways
  • Parking lot landscaping
  • Digester remains intact
  • Dual left-turn queue Broadway to Forest
  • Open to future development
The latest VE remains unimaginative for the entrance to a village, but most importantly the entire VE exercise deliberately misses an opportunity before the City to address village degradation due to our obsolete mobility system and consequential auto congestion. The reasons why are buried in the documents and appendices.  

Some LB Council members (Mayor Pearson) and Planning Commissioners (Norm Grossman) often cite Coastal Commission policy state lost parking spaces must be replaced by equivalent parking. This is a red-herring. From the Coastal Commission Policy on spot for spot parking replacement:

"All development must, as a consequence (of adverse impact on public access) provide adequate onsite parking and/or be served by adequate public transit to minimize adverse impacts on public access... Transit-oriented solutions can be used to offset inadequate onsite parking. City programs (not in lieu) to provide for and promote alternative modes of transportation such as ride-sharing, carpools, van pools, public transit, bicycles and walking."

From the Executive Summary, Corridor Study of PCH March 2016 Caltrans:

For more VE design details visit the comprehensive documents at                               -LS

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