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Letters to the Editor

Fewer tourists are the answer

We moved to our cottage in Laguna as a weekend retreat. But now cacophony: from the ever-encroaching sounds of skidding wheels and car horns, blasting as though they mattered, the sounds of accelerating motors, straining to get up that hill faster still, but why.

Builders are paid to build; contractors and business owners are paid to sell. The tract or venue is only significant if deemed to make a profit. Revenue over residents.

What will the quality of my life be, and that of my neighbors, and how will it be eroded by building up my village, creating parking lots, so surely, they will come, more tourists, more restaurants, more…more…more? How will an increase in bed taxes affect my quality of life? More police, more sanitation workers, more helpers to deal with summer traffic. More taxes to pay for less advantages for residents. Keep building more so more will come? Revenue over residents again.

I recall a LTE  in last week’s edition, written by Mr. Gene Felder. What makes our town vibrant? Is it all about eating and drinking, and roof-top gardens, and bands at night? Does being inebriated make you vibrant, and smashing a glass bottle on the concrete steps of a resident’s home create a sense of vibrancy? Yes, it happens. No more white washing. How about ripping out some freshly planted saplings? Another example of “vibrancy?” Inebriated tourists, happy at last to leave our city at 2 p.m. Why is the city council in denial?

Are we being pitched a sanitized version of reality when we listen to our outside consultants and city councilmembers wax on about the benefits of building and more-more-more tourists, and how underground parking is an answer? How the initiative simply isn’t financially feasible? Stop the histrionics of demanding a parking lot, when FEWER tourists are the answers. Don’t build more and more won’t come.

Hear the sounds of the seagulls and waves over the sounds of checks being written and cashed to buy another parcel and add another story…more density means more dough for whom? The residents? Why not put our heads under the vast amount of sand, and pretend we live in the matrix?

We must think Residents First. And then we must vote as if the future of Laguna Beach and our quality of life depended on it, because it does.

Jahn Levitt

Laguna Beach