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Main Beach renovation approved

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Sand and succulents won’t be replacing most of the turf at Main Beach Park.

The City Council voted at the October 15 meeting to keep most of the park green, despite the two million gallons of water and $20,000 a year it takes. 

Councilman Peter Blake insisted on the vote instead of directions to staff because he wanted his opposition to the plan on the record.

“I think Main Beach is pathetic; it doesn’t do anything for me,” said Blake. “It’s for tourists and the homeless. I don’t see how anyone can champion grass. I don’t care about the $40,000 [sic]. I do care about the two million gallons of water.”

Still, Blake voted with the council majority to preserve most of the turf; look into a more drought-tolerant grass, a more efficient irrigation system, and small areas where grass could be replaced by drought tolerant plants that would not impede views to Laguna’s “Window to the Sea;” to match the finish of the benches to the boardwalk; and preserve the memorial plaques that folks bought in remembrance of their loved ones.

Main Beach park area

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

City Council voted to keep most of the park’s grass

Staff was also directed to return to council with how to regulate use of the grass areas, as demanded by Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow, in return for his vote on Mayor Bob Whalen’s motion. 

The project will be coordinated with the Laguna Beach Police Department to ensure it complies with the guidelines for the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design program.

Main Beach was last renovated in the 1970s. Since then piecemeal isolated projects were undertaken: 

--Lifeguard Tower, renovated in 2002 and repainted in 2003 

--Boardwalk, rebuilt in 2009 and replaced in 2011 

--Playground equipment, replaced in 2013 

--Marine Safety Headquarters, rebuilt in 2014 

--Basketball courts, resurfaced in 2019 

The south end restrooms are to be renovated next year. 

The city has budgeted $6 million for the project, $500,000 of it for construction.

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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