Laguna Beach, CA– The Orange Section of the American Planning Association (APA) presented its 2019 Comprehensive Plan Award, recognizing outstanding achievement in the planning field, to the City of Laguna Beach for its Landscape and Scenic Highways Element of the General Plan (LSHE) and its companion Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document (LSHRD), at the American Planning Association - Orange Section - awards dinner on Thursday, May 30.
“The LSHE is a 20-year, integrated community design policy and action program that will help shape Laguna Beach’s landscape in the 21st Century, by using a forward-thinking approach to link landscaping aesthetics with modern function,” said Greg Pfost, Laguna Beach Director of Community Development.
The Element is part of the City’s General Plan and builds upon the guidelines set in the Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document. The Element creates policy direction and implementation actions that preserve and enhance landscapes and scenic corridors essential to the unique character of Laguna Beach.
“Policies in the new Element focus on the most relevant landscape-related issues facing the City including fire safety, soil stability, neighborhood character, view equity, heritage trees, scenic highways, streetscapes, maintenance and more,” Pfost said.
The City recently worked with a team totransform and update the existing companion document, the Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document (LSHRD). The updated Highways Document containslandscape guidelines for our two scenic highways, Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway, and our 38 neighborhood landscape areas.The Laguna Beach City Council adopted the LSHE and LSHRD in November, 2018. The LSHE and the LSHRD were guided and enhanced by a public education and outreach program with input from the Planning Commission and the Design Review Board.
The City’s Community Development Department project management included: Greg Pfost - Director; Jim Pechous - Assistant Director; Evan Jedynak - Associate Planner; and Belinda Ann Deines - Associate Planner. Further, the City's Planning Commissioners Roger McErlane and Susan Whitin also assisted with document preparation through a Planning Commission subcommittee. BGB Design Group (Robert Borthwick ASLA), Ann Christoph FASLA – Landscape Architect, and Selva Partners (Gregory Vail) prepared the documents on behalf of the City. The Orange Section of the American Planning Association includes over 500 members from the public, private, and academic sectors of the planning profession.