top of page


Staff Reports Available

George Weiss: Staff Reports on City Council proceedings are always readily available. To read the Staff Report go to:


Above:  Parking at City Garage at Senior Center on Memorial Day. See this url for more pictures of available paparking:


Summary of this Recap: The sole subject of this recap is the Parking and Transportation Demand Management Report. (PTDMR)

Background: In January of 2022, three members of the City Council, Bob Whalen, Sue Kempf and Peter Blake voted to form a parking and traffic subcommittee consisting of then-Mayor Sue Kempf and then-Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Whalen and to hire yet another consultant to tell us we needed more parking. Toni Iseman and I voted “no” as the study’s MAIN focus and financial obligation seemed to be to build more parking structures. Two previous parking studies had concluded we had enough parking downtown.

The Principle of Induced Demand: “Induced Demand” is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. Though some traffic engineers made note of this phenomenon at least as early as the 1960s, it is only in recent years that social scientists have collected enough data to show how this happens pretty much every time we build new roads.” Wired

The principle of “induced demand” also applies to parking. There is additional academic research articles on this topic but for those reading this recap start with the link below to an article from Bloomberg which says that building more parking causes more people to drive thus increasing congestion while the new spaces are rapidly filled.'s%20also%20a%20parallel%20in,would%20drive%20to%20reach%20them.


So What’s the Answer to Solving the Parking Problem, or as resident John Thomas stated in his article entitled, “Perception vs. Reality” it might just be more of a perception problem. See link to this here: John’s article states: “Despite numerous studies saying otherwise, certain City officials keep perpetuating the false perception that Laguna needs more expensive parking lots and structures."


See for yourself with these pictures.

Why did the PTDMR Emphasize Building Parking Structures? With 14 possible sites for new parking structures explored in detail, there was great emphasis in the Report placed on building parking structures. Could it be that the three Council members who voted to initiate this effort all support more parking for landlords, businesses and visitors, and support residents paying most of the cost? Was that the motivation? Nowhere in the study was there consideration given to landlords funding parking that would serve the visitors who frequent their commercial tenants.

The most egregious example of this was the possible sale of the Library to make way for a parking structure. Preliminary plans were already developed in 2017 that showed this spot could provide well over 100 spaces, without ramps. So, who would primarily benefit? Possibly Hotel Laguna and other businesses along Coast Highway who are short of parking. Events like weddings are very profitable these days and act as a catalyst to fill up rooms for hotels who can provide the right amenities and location. Parking is a critical component.

What Happened at the Public Workshop on the PTDMR on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023 and at Council on June 13th? A great number of residents participated in the Workshop, providing their thoughts on the plan. There was very broad opposition to building a parking structure, especially on the Presbyterian Church site.


Prominent among them was Dr. James Danziger, whose article “The Recent Parking Report: The Good and Not So Good” also had been published in the Laguna Beach Independent on June 2, 2013.


See this link to read the article:

Note: Please also review the City’s recap of this item which is attached to this document:

1.Instead of “adopting” the full report, which might have been a blank check for almost anything mentioned in the 178-page Report, Council on June 13th “accepted” the report with the following items being approved:


2. Allocated $130,000 for Transportation Demand strategies (TDM) 1-13 in the report which includes implementing smart transportation solutions that allow people to leave their vehicles where they parked them or not use private vehicles at all. It also includes concepts for using technology to reduce congestion while looking for parking.


3. Update and expand parking permit programs for businesses. Rates will be raised for employees. GW: I my opinion these are still a gift of public funds as these relieve the landlords from providing parking they are obliged to provide for their tenant and could substantially increase the number of existing metered spaces available for employees.

Secure low-cost parking at surface private lots around town (no structure needed) with paid parking on those occasional super peak demand days. An example of this is the small lot at the southeast corner of Legion and Glenneyre. Also, we are pursuing leasing additional space at Mission Hospital for summer use.


4. Do a preliminary design and cost analysis for a half-level addition to the Glenneyre lot. This would provide 37 additional spaces. Also do a design and cost analysis for a 2-3 story structure behind City Hall. And staff is to engage in early exploration of a parking structure in the HIP district on Glenneyre and Cress/Mountain. These projects would have to go through one or more City Council reviews.

GW: I am of the opinion that building more parking will just bring in more non-residents but am willing to see what the residents of Laguna think about these options.

5. Staff is also instructed to review the earlier Complete Streets Mobility Study, which opens the conversation to non-driving, non-parking solutions to mobility. In summary, this was a reasonable compromise at this point. Council agreed to drop the Presbyterian Church lease from further consideration and did not support many other expensive parking structures that were explored in the PTDMR, were proposed around town and, if built, would certainly change the look and feel of our town for the worse.

Community News

All representations made in this email reflect the views of the author and are not official statements of the City of Laguna Beach or City Council.
Any mistakes or  omissions are the sole responsibility of the author, George Weiss. No public funds were expended on this website.

Do you find my City Council Recaps helpful? If so please share this recap with a friend.

Sign up for my recaps here:


Disclaimer: All representations made in this email reflect the views of the author and are not official statements of the City of Laguna Beach or City Council. Any mistakes or omissions are the sole responsibility of the author, George Weiss.



Have a question about city government, need a document, or help finding the right person to talk to or anything else, please know that our City Clerk, Ann-Marie McKay is there to assist you professionally and capably. Email: or call 949-497-0309

bottom of page