The Laguna Beach Planning Commission did not recommend a proposed change to the city’s zoning law that would have encouraged certain homeowners to preserve rather than demolish houses 50 years and older at its meeting Wednesday.

Commissioners voted 3-1, with Robert Zur Schmiede recusing himself because he owns property that meets the criteria, against the amendment, which would apply to houses of 1,200 square feet or less on lots of no more than 5,000 square feet.

The amendment would have allowed a house’s existing covered parking spaces be used for other purposes such as storage or an artist’s studio, provided the change would not prevent a person from parking a car inside the garage.

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FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version of this article stated that the Planning Commission approved a proposal to allow certain homeowners to preserve rather than demolish houses 50 years and older. In fact, commissioners voted 3 to 1, with Robert Zur Schmiede recusing himself because he owns property that meets the criteria, against the amendment, which would change the city’s zoning laws for houses of 1,200 square feet or less on lots of no more than 5,000 square feet.

Commissioner Anne Johnson said the amendment as written was unnecessary.

“We don’t have a problem with people going around and busting people for storing things in their garage,” Johnson said.

Planning Commission Chairman Norm Grossman echoed Johnson’s comments.

“The feeling was we were unsure how much it would really help,” Grossman said. “Since the city does not enforce it now, why have it? Why have rules you don’t enforce?

“I expressed a willingness to apply [the proposed amendment] to all residences.”
The issue will next go before the City Council, Grossman said.

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New juice bar

Planning Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for an organic juice bar for the former Häagen-Dazs space.

Juice & Shakes will move into a 650-square-foot space at 154 S. Coast Hwy. inside the South Coast Theater building near Main Beach.

It would be the third juice-related business to open in the city within the last year.

Nekter Juice Bar opened on Broadway Street and Living Juice sells its products every Saturday at the Laguna Beach farmers' market, according to its website.

If no appeals are made by 5 p.m. May 22, applicant Chris Keller just needs to fill out the appropriate paperwork to open the store, said associate planner Wendy Jung.

Keller also owns House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer and K'ya Bistro in Laguna Beach.

Juice & Shakes is different from the other juice shops in that the store would offer "healthy and organic" drinks and food made to order fresh and on-site, a city staff report said.

The store's interior will have 1950s-era decor, including white marble countertops, frosted white globe lighting, chrome fixtures and hardwood flooring, the staff report said.

The store will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and serve 32 types of juices. Combinations will include carrot-apple-ginger, carrot-beet-celery-parsley-spinach-kale-romaine, and coconut-blueberry-pear, according to a menu included in the staff report.