Laguna Beach is in escrow to purchase property just south of Tivoli Too on Laguna Canyon Road, Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson announced at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
Pearson said she approached her council colleagues in closed session and found unanimous support for the privately owned plot of land at 725 Laguna Canyon Road.
"This is a game-changer on the [proposed] Village Entrance [Project]," Councilman Steve Dicterow said. "This is not just a mere announcement."
The land covers nearly 4 acres and costs $5.3 million, City Manager John Pietig wrote in an email.
The property could yield 65 to 75 additional parking spaces and allows for more flexibility going forward with the proposed project, according to Pearson.
"For several years I hoped we might purchase a piece of property for a lot of reasons ... we never know what we are going to need long-term," Pearson said. "It allows us to discuss beautification on Laguna Canyon Road."
The Village Entrance plans currently include a four-level parking structure and pedestrian park in an area near Forest Avenue and Laguna Canyon Road.
The council needs to formally approve the purchase at a later council meeting, Pearson said.
Meanwhile, the council, with guidance from Pietig, selected 6 p.m. Nov. 12 to discuss the Village Entrance Project with members of the public. The meeting will be held at council chambers, 505 Forest Ave.
Dicterow asked if council members could step down from the dais and sit among the public, and Pietig said that would be fine.
Council won't limit musicians at Mozambique
Mozambique restaurant does not need to limit the number of musicians who perform, the council decided.
The council voted 5 to 0 to remove a section of the restaurant's conditional use permit that limited the number of musicians who could perform. The restaurant previously had limited performers to one person Monday through Thursday and a five-person band Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to a city staff report.
Restaurant managers will now be able to use their own discretion. They will also conduct a six-month trial and report back to the council, as suggested by Steve Kawaratani, a Mozambique consultant.
Mozambique, at 1740 S. Coast Hwy., allows music from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, the staff report said.
Entertainers are relegated to the inside stage and at no time may perform on decks or patio areas, according to the report.
The sound from live entertainment or amplified music can't exceed 60 decibels before 10 p.m. and 50 decibels after 10 p.m.
Noise from the restaurant isn't the problem but rather patrons who spill out into the surrounding streets after performances, resident Jeff Kaplan told the council.
"Come here on any weekend and the streets are packed," Kaplan said. "People have had a good time. They're partying because they are at a music venue, not a restaurant. It's not [owner Ivan Spiers's fault], and it's not [the council's] fault. It certainly shouldn't be a situation the neighbors have to put up with."