Notice: Development has gone wild! – Local News from Laguna Beach
The Laguna Residents First initiative to get the public to vote on larger-scale commercial projects is a solution looking for a problem. Ever since Mohammad Honarkar exploded onto the scene with a seemingly endless appetite for masochism (and OK, questionable taste on a project), the knives have been there to stop whatever he does. But this concocted conspiracy theory that he is in collusion with Freeing Laguna and our elected officials to destroy Laguna‘The charm is not just a duck, it‘s the Canadian goose of lies.
Let‘s begin with the unfounded claim that they are there to build skyscrapers that exceed our height limits. The 36 foot limit is a sacred pillar of Laguna‘building code. No politician or Liberate Laguna member has ever spoken out in favor of its elimination. Of course, there have been discussions about allowing a third floor in downtown buildings (in part to create affordable housing), but they still wouldn’t exceed 36 feet.
But then George Weiss, founder emeritus of Laguna Residents First, ran for city council and campaigned with photos of downtown Huntington Beach with the caption: “Think that can‘it is not happening here? Think again. Well yeah, I thought about it twice, and it just might‘it doesn’t happen here. Too many historical protections, specific plans, coastal commission and environmental impacts, parking limitations and that pesky height limit. Not to mention the anathema to 99% of the people who live here.
Next, Columnist and Village Laguna member Ann Christoph embarked on the campaign of terror with an epic teardown of the downtown Dana Point remodel, warning us that it could happen right here. A false equivalence if I‘have never seen one. Yes, the generic mid-rise apartment buildings that line Del Prado don’t have the scale or style we want, but they faced a complete void on this street – empty blocks – and were building multi-use structures to high density with housing above and services below meets all critical needs and is smart planning. It‘This is how you build a vital downtown from scratch (and why ours is often moribund).
So now a group of retirees have postulated that tourists are the devil and want to be overlords of our municipal government and our planning. Talk about the bottleneck of an already tortuous process. Ballot measurement requires public approval of every project that would add 200 or more “average daily trips. Say goodbye to any new bar, restaurant, cafe, pub, entertainment venue, gallery and possibly retail too. What developer would want to deploy money in this swirling hell? It also requires public approval of anything that “makes parking worse by providing less than the reasonably necessary number of parking spaces. Just when you thought we were finally on the threshold of the biggest downtown reform in years with the permanent forest walk, comes this initiative to speed up construction and delay any action until the city votes.
put on‘Don’t let that tired pro-development trope scare you, folks. They‘I’ll tell you Free Laguna‘Its only objective is to bulldoze the city. The founders of this PAC are far too health conscious to undertake a development project here. Their participation in this city is almost exclusively residential and their main objective is the right of individual property. But anti-everything coalitions conveniently confuse their interests with those of Honarkar. It is a false flag. And does anyone really believe that Mayor Bob Whalen and Pro Mayor Tem Sue Kempf are taking their marching orders from Michael Ray, Sam Goldstein and Cindy Shopoff? Lord!
One of the advocates for the ballot initiative wrote on lagunabeachindy.com last week, “The only reason the Laguna Resident First initiative came into being is because the city‘s biased and bought rogue government has continuously and repeatedly failed to represent Laguna’s needs, wants and wants‘residents of s. He later claims the “developer-backed politicians demolished Laguna‘s charming buildings and replaced them with oversized stucco tchotchke shops and multi-story hotels blocking the view. “Eh? In what alternative dimension do they live?
We elect our officials to move our city forward and to solve real issues such as public safety, congestion, resilience, pollution, infrastructure, as well as preserving and enhancing our uniqueness by tastefully obtaining historic landmarks like the Laguna Hotel, The Coast Inn and the Laguna Cinemas. opened again. Just like they did with the Ranch, the Montage, and the Senior Center. In other words, making life better for us. This‘is not pro-development. This‘s pro-progress. And being pro-progress doesn’t mean destroying our past. It means honoring him by thoughtfully bringing him into the 21st century.
This fall, don‘Don’t be misled by fear-based missives stating that we must vote on every big project because our elected officials don’t.‘do not cut it. It‘it is a waste of time, money and oxygen. Let the planning commission, city staff, and council do their great job so the rest of us can do ours: complain.
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