In recent newspaper articles and at City Council candidate forums, questions have been raised regarding the number of vehicular parking spaces that will be provided by the Village Entrance Project. The purpose of this weekly update is to provide some background and information about the project.
On November 12, 2013, the City Council decided to abandon a project to build a $42 million four-level parking structure at the Village Entrance site and instead chose a design that provides for surface parking, pedestrian pathways, enhanced landscaping and lighting, and improved traffic circulation. As part of this decision, the City Council decided to acquire a property adjacent to the project, positioned for development, and commonly known as the Christmas Tree Lot (725 Laguna Canyon Road). The lot was specifically acquired by the City Council to offset the anticipated loss of surface parking spaces resulting from the new design approach for the Village Entrance. The current project design was then approved in January 2018 after 16 public meetings over the last five years and the appeal period concluded in February 2018. Construction has started and will be complete in about two years, with the project being open for parking during the intervening summer seasons. The current project costs $11.1 million, which is a substantial reduction from the $42 million cost of the parking structure alternative.
When the Village Entrance project is complete in June of 2020, it will provide a total of 370 vehicle parking spaces, along with eight motorcycle and 104 bicycle parking spaces. Per parking codes, this is the equivalent of 387 parking spaces and encourages the use of motorcycles and bikes to relieve congestion on roads. In addition, the recent relocation of City employees to other buildings has reduced the employee parking need by 10 parking spaces and increasing the spaces available for public parking during the day.
While some may not support the project, the opportunities to raise concerns and offer alternatives was provided at 16 public meetingsover the last five years.
For further information, please view at lagunabeachcity.net/villageentrance