Village Laguna Timeline
1971 The City’s 36-ft Height Limit
In the year it all happened, 1971, the city was just getting started on curbside recycling. South Coast Community Hospital was preparing for expansion. Aliso Pier and Salt Creek Beach opened to the public. Eiler Larsen had a birthday party in Bluebird Park. A pound of ground beef cost 59 cents and you could buy a three-bedroom, two-bath house with an ocean view for $46,500. <Read More>
1971 Foundation of Village Laguna
The day after our initiative victory in 1971, the “Yes on August 3” Committee dissolved itself and immediately regrouped as “Village Laguna.” <Read More>
1975 Beginning of Charm House Tours
Some of Village Laguna's Later Endeavors:
1977: VL led opposition to stop the Irvine Company from running a road through Boat Canyon to the Coast. On January 17, 1977, Village Laguna held a town hall forum with representatives from the Cal-Trans, Orange County, the Irvine Company, and the city on the topic “Shall Laguna Canyon Road Be Widened?” <Read more>
1989: Along with many others, VL supported “The Tell,” a giant panoramic photomural assembled and displayed alongside the Canyon Road by Mark Chamberlain, Jerry Burchfield, and others to draw public attention to the Irvine Company’s plans for massive development in the Canyon. (At Mark's BC Space website you can find a history of The Tell.)
In November of 1989, The Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC), the Laguna Greenbelt, the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, and Village Laguna cosponsored the “Save Laguna Canyon Walk” in the Canyon. LCC, led by its founder, Lida Lenney, who was also Mayor Pro Tem of the City Council, was the key sponsor. Over 7,000 people walked the 5-mile stretch of Laguna Canyon Road that day, from the festival grounds out to The Tell. The documentary Together We Saved Laguna Canyon commemorates the event.
1992: On “Toll Road Awareness Day,” VL cosponsored (with Laguna Canyon Conservancy, Laguna Greenbelt, and other organizations) a walk in opposition to the 73 toll road that would bisect Laguna Canyon. Part of the event involved covering a swath of land with bed sheets the width of the proposed roadway: The Great Canyon Cover-up. The objecting organizations questioned the need for the toll road as well as pointing out its detrimental environmental impact. Unfortunately, the toll road was constructed despite this opposition. There have not been sufficient drivers on the toll road to repay its bonded indebtedness.
1990s: VL lobbied successfully for beach access easement at Smithcliffs.
1993: VL “adopted” 38 survivor families after the Laguna Beach Fire. Also VL opposed an airport at El Toro. VL also designed and published a brochure called “Self–Guided Tour Laguna by Bus” and collaborated with the Heritage Committee to publish a companion bus brochure identifying historic houses along the bus route.
1996: VL studied the proposal for a resort (now the Montage) at Treasure Island and commented on the need for lower buildings, ample green space, no exemptions from city land-use standards, and a park rather than residences. With the South Laguna Civic Association (SLCA), VL mounted a referendum on the proposal that produced a 45% vote against the project. VL and SLCA continued to monitor the detailed planning to secure view corridors and more public space.
2009 - VL and the Laguna Greenbelt, the Laguna Canyon Conservancy, the South Laguna Civic Association, and the Democratic Club arranged a bus tour in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park ( ocparks.com/parks/aliso/ ) to show the possible impact of the Super Project planned for Aliso Creek. (See Current Events for more information about the ongoing concerns about this project.)