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Letters to the Editor

Passing the Initiative is good for Laguna Beach and good for the environment

I do not want there to be large monolithic structures in Laguna Beach. Their construction creates an enormous problem, by having an adverse effect on climate change, creating a further crisis.

Adaptive reuse keeps the culture of an area alive. In communities like Laguna Beach, it maintains the culturally significant sites that would otherwise be left to decay or demolished to create room for new buildings and parking lots.

Adaptive reuse is also a form of sustainable urban renewal.

The greenest buildings are the ones that already exist. All the emissions released in construction, from fabrication to delivery to assembly...the fossil fuels burned to create raw construction materials and move them to the site, the carbon released in making concrete, makes up 49% of the total carbon emissions of new global construction. Trees felled for timber are already embodied in existing structures.

Waste is also an issue, with building-related construction and demolition debris amounting to 26% of all nonindustrial waste generated in the United States.

There is already an abundance of retail and hospitality space in Laguna. Why not renew and reuse those empty commercial buildings and stores, rather than tear them down. Preserving old buildings is more sustainable than demolishing a building and starting from new. It takes about 65 years for an energy-efficient new building to pay back the amount of energy lost in demolishing an existing building, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

I want Laguna Beach to commit to be part of the solution to Climate Change, and not by merely being water wise. I support this ballot initiative and want the voters to have input on every major development project, as our city evolves and changes, to mitigate the impact each major project has on our neighborhoods and our climate. Supporting this ballot initiative may be the way to save what we treasure about Laguna Beach and reduce our carbon footprint by using the power of our votes.

Jahn Levitt

Laguna Beach