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Letters to the Editor

Mancuso has been rejected twice, why does she keep running?

Judie Mancuso has run twice for Laguna Beach City Council and was soundly rejected both times. She has spent her whole career lobbying politicians in Sacramento on a single-issue platform while neglecting the needs of the people in her community. Now she has the audacity to run for State Assembly. If the people of her own city won’t elect her, what makes her think that the voters in the eight cities which make up the 72nd Assembly District will?

Christopher Kling, President

Greater Laguna Beach GOP

Laguna Beach

Misinformation is circulating about Measure Q

There has been much misinformation circulating about Measure Q in columns and in the letters to the editor written by developers, REALTORS® and architects. The PAC, Citizens for Laguna’s Future, has raised more than $10,025 in opposition to Measure Q with 40% coming from developers and REALTORS® in California and 25% from REALTORS® from out of state! 

 If you want to know who the developers are in town and who supports major development in Laguna Beach, they are the ones displaying the No on Measure Q signs and the Peter Blake signs.

Lagunans who support Measure Q want to preserve and promote the unique charm, architectural heritage and human scale of the village of Laguna Beach. It does this by giving residents the right to vote on major development. 

 Please consider financially supporting the campaign by mailing a check to Laguna Residents First, P.O. Box 285, Laguna Beach, Calif. 92652, or at least by publicly endorsing Measure Q by emailing a supportive statement to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Johanna Felder 

Laguna Beach

A solution looking for a problem – Why Measure Q is bad for the community

Good intentions are often paved with unrealized consequences. A group calling themselves Laguna Residents First has put forward a complex and untenable initiative whose goal is to set guidelines governing development both small and large. Perhaps there are some reasonable concerns amongst their group. They often cite other cities who have created development standards as a method of controlling what most would consider “over-development.” Bravo to those cities. 

What is overlooked here is that our community has had extremely ridged development standards on the books for decades and hats off to those who crafted them. In their time they were appropriate. Decades later many of these guidelines are still in place however we are living under very different circumstances. Laguna Beach has a reputation as a city of “NO!” In fact, the only major development that has occurred in the last 15 or 20 years has been the Montage Resort which many opposed but now has proven to be a great asset to our community.

What the Laguna Residents First initiative seems to forget is that we already have some very difficult policies and commercial design guidelines in place in terms of development. The example that they continue to use as a reason for Measure Q was the proposed Museum Hotel project in North Laguna. It came before the planning commission more than three years ago for a concept review and was immediately sent packing. There were so many flaws in the project because it didn’t even come close to meeting the policies and guidelines currently in place. Would Measure Q had it been in place made any difference? NO is the answer.

I want to establish a few facts that the proponents of the Measure Q never talk about.

–Since 2017 to date, there have been approximately 36-plus projects that would have been under the purview of Measure Q. Every one of those projects be it a sandwich shop to a hotel remodel would have had to go to a special election.

–The cost of each special election is broken down by the number of registered voters in each community. Laguna Beach has about 18,500 registered voters. The cost of creating a special ballot for each registered voter is about $4.80 to $5.30 plus about .70 for mailing the oversized envelope.

–In Laguna Beach, every time we were to have a special ballot measure election (and to date since 2017 we would have 36), using the numbers from above, each one would cost in the vicinity of $102,000 to $111,000. Total cost to date would be up to $3,800,000.

–So, who pays for the almost four million dollars in costs? Mainly the applicant except for city projects like the new fire station. Then it is our tax money going to work! No one who is interested in bringing an interesting business, housing, restaurant or anything else for that matter would ever consider doing a project in Laguna Beach and this appears to be the goal of Measure Q. STOP ALL PROGRESS IN ITS TRACKS resulting in a city of “papered windows and weathered facades.” 

We hear so much about these “developers” waiting in the wings to add high-rise hotels and block-long developments all over town. Time for a little historical context here. We all love our theater. Thank you, Mr. Aufdenkamp! We love the Hotel Laguna. Thanks Mr. Underwood! We love the Coast Inn. Thank you, Mr. Smith! We love the Coast Liquor store. Thank you for your design, Mr. Abel. We also love the Heisler Building, The White House and Pyne Castle. Guess what my friends, these fine folks were ALL developers. Had Q been in place when these historic buildings were proposed, we would not have any of these landmark buildings we all love and cherish today. 

No retail applicant, hotel owner, restaurateur or multi-family home developer would touch Laguna Beach knowing that their project would have to go to a special election requiring a majority vote of, (and this is important), a majority of Laguna’s registered voters which means around 9,300 “yes” votes to approve the project. It would cost over a hundred thousand dollars to the applicant not to mention years of delay and an uncertain outcome. Let’s not forget that we currently have a design review board, a planning commission, a city council, a coastal commission, a building department and a fire department all of whom would be and are involved in the review process of all new projects proposed in the city prior to any entitlements being given. We already have stringent commercial development guidelines and policies in place and over the last several years they have been better defined and clarified thanks to our community development staff.

Measure Q is a solution looking for a problem. Don’t be fooled by their misrepresented facts! It is wrong for the times and wrong for Laguna Beach. I urge you to vote NO on Measure Q in November 2022.

Jorg Dubin

47-year resident, artist and planning commissioner

Laguna Beach

 

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