“The Ranch” Laguna Beach

From ActCoastal

Month January
Year 2015
Summary Located in the coastal foothills of Laguna Beach, this Project includes an expansion of a 64-room hotel, restaurant, and golf course to include an additional 33 hotel rooms; reconfiguration of restaurant; additions to existing structures (new spa, fitness center, employee lounge, and accessory structures;) new valet parking program; and establishment of outdoor event center.
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Outcome Description A long-history surrounds this project site. In 1935 the Dolph sisters granted the parcel to the Laguna Beach Girl Scouts who used the property as a camp and event space. The original intention of this land was to be used for low-cost recreation and accommodations. After extensive discussion the Commission voted unanimously to approve the permit. Several motions were made during the hearing. Some Commissioners (Bochco, Pestor, Zimmer, Kinsey) tried to improve the motions to require stronger protection of public access and low-cost accommodations. But in the end, the attempts to strengthen the project failed and the permit was approved.
Why You Should Care There are four very concerning elements of this permit approval. First, the Commission’s failure to preserve lower-cost accommodations is concerning especially when considering the Commission recently held a workshop discussing how to “protect low-cost facilities.” Second, the Commission allowed an “after the fact” approval and an unpermitted “Outdoor Events Center” that included a 7,000 square foot concrete dance floor proximate to an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) that was a former Girl Scout Camp intended for use as public low cost camping. Third, while the Commission rightfully required the applicant to pay $250,000 toward the “Trail to the Seal”, the Commission did not give specific target and timeframes to complete the long-awaited trail. Finally, the Commission overlooked future flooding of the area. Given the fact that climate change is increasing storm frequency and intensity, it is unsound to expand a property that has been flooded many times in the past.
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Staff Recommendation Approval with Conditions.
Staff Report
Lobbyist/Agent McCabe & Co.
Opposition to Project Sierra Club and Mark Fudge (appellant).
Coastal Act Policies 30213, LCP Polices: Policy 6.2, Policy 5.2, Policy 5.3, Policy 10.3,

Voting Detail for “The Ranch” Laguna Beach

Individual vote detail for Issue: “The Ranch” Laguna Beach
Jana ZimmerBad Vote
Dayna BochcoGood Vote
Greg CoxBad Vote
Mark VargasBad Vote
Effie Turnbull-SandersBad Vote
Martha McClureBad Vote
Carole GroomBad Vote
Wendy MitchellBad Vote
Erik HowellBad Vote
Steve KinseyBad Vote
Mary K. ShallenbergerBad Vote

Meeting Page

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