Three members of our City Council are trying to ram through construction of a 4.5 four and a half story, football-field-long, parking structure for 500 cars. This would, supposedly, replace the 300 existing spaces and gain an additional 200.
Recent information from the city indicates that 18 of the existing 300 would be eliminated to allow ingress and egress into the proposed structure leaving a net gain of only 182 spaces. Meaning the 182 spaces will, in effect, cost $65,800,000.
What are these three council members thinking …or are they?
A public park always sounds like a good idea, but at this proposed location, congested already by vehicles and pedestrians that would be increased 10-fold by the parking structure, is not at all safe.
The existing city lot adjacent to City Hall could be re-evaluated and extended into the proposed park thereby supplying the added 182 spaces. Bids would be required for double-decking on all or part of a two-story structure that would create a lower profile and a far less expensive alternative.
Public transportation might be further explored to reduce the number of vehicles entering this part of the city while increasing visitor activity.
* The proposed parking structure is not the best or only solution to Laguna's parking problem.
* A public park in that location is a bad and dangerous idea.
* Additional parking for 500 spaces can be done in a more cost-efficient way.
* Let's not mortgage Laguna's future for 182 spaces.
Time to let the people vote
The City Council of Laguna Beach needs to call for a vote on the parking structure plan by the residents.
Almost everyone likes the idea of a Village Entrance, believing even a sign would help. However, few residents favor a $55 million or $65 million parking structure and tiny park. The expense is too high, and a parking structure is hardly appropriate as an entrance to Laguna Beach. Council members need to ask for guidance of the people by calling for a vote. We voted them in as representatives, not as kings and queens.
I urge people of Laguna to click on the http://www.letlagunavote.com website for more information about the upcoming fundraiser that will increase public awareness of this plan.