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“ Our Town , Our Paper ” lagunabeachindy . com AUGUST 19 , 2022 | Volume XIX , Issue 33
Laguna Beach OKs $ 23M For Closed School
STATE PANEL GREEN LIGHTS DESIGN REVIEW REFORMS
St . Catherine of Siena Parish School in Laguna Beach . Photo courtesy of Steven Georges / Diocese of Orange
By Daniel Langhorne | LB Indy Laguna Beach will offer $ 23 million to buy the closed St . Catherine of Siena Parish School , moving forward on a landmark deal 16 months in the making .
The Laguna Beach Beach City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to enter a 120-day escrow with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange on the 6.5-acre property . The City will put down a $ 690,000 refundable deposit to start its environmental analysis of the site .
With widespread community support for the purchase ,
MERCHANTS SEE LGBTQ FLAG THEFTS , ALARMING ANTI-HATE GROUPS
By Daniel Langhorne | LB Indy
Three Laguna Beach business owners came to work in June to find their LGBTQ Pride flags missing .
Compass Laguna Beach , Laguna Nursery , and Art of Fitness experienced these thefts on different days in June . All three merchants said it ’ s hard to accept that the act of stealing the rainbow-colored flag was motivated by homophobia , especially in a town that is a historic gay enclave .
Chris Tebbutt , a Compass agent and founder of Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Alliance , noticed the real estate brokerage ’ s pride flag was missing on June 8 . He replaced it with a Progress Pride Flag , which
the more puzzling question for the City Council was how to best finance the deal . About half of the purchase price will be funded by city savings accounts including $ 4 million set aside for future city facilities . Councilmembers will also spend $ 2 million in federal funds received via the American Rescue Plan Act .
The City Council directed staff to seek a $ 11.5 million loan through a private placement sale to a bank that ’ s yet
SCHOOL , page 22
includes black and brown stripes to represent LGBTQ + communities of color , on June 10 , which coincidentally is his wedding anniversary .
Tebbutt wants the community to be on alert following the string of pride
PRIDE , page 22
By Daniel Langhorne | LB Indy
Laguna Beach recently claimed a consequential victory as the California Coastal Commission tentatively signed off on a new design review process intended to streamline minor home remodels and wildfire breaks on private property . Coastal Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a modified version of the amendments to Laguna Beach ’ s local coastal program on Aug . 11 .
Among the projects removed from the Design Review Board ’ s purview are landscape modifications previously approved by the panel if there is no height increase , relocated windows if adjacent neighbors agree , and creation of defensible space . City staffers can also green light adding additional floor area within certain limits , roof alterations and some architectural modifications .
“ These measures will reduce time , cost and frustration by our residents and will speed up approval times as
DESIGN REVIEW , page 22
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