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If You Build It, Will They Come?

Editor,

Marilyn Evans’ letter to the editor (“Project Enables Uncivil Behavior,” July 4, 2012) is right on target. In that letter, she tied growing uncivil homeless behavior to the slow degradation of our most beautiful community. The city should take seriously her eloquent plea to reconsider the plan to build housing for 40 homeless. Simply stated, that plan is no solution. Notoriously homeless friendly cities, like San Francisco and Berkeley, have tried it — and more. Yet, they are host to an ever-expanding homeless population. By today, should it not be obvious that providing wildly expensive benefits like free housing to a troubled group of people only engenders more of the same?

It is hard to imagine that 50 years ago, serious city officials would have dreamed up such an ill-conceived scheme to foist upon the people who elected them. Instead, they enforced laws against vagrancy and public drunkenness and elimination. Sometimes, the contact with law enforcement had the desired effect. Sometimes not. But it clearly communicated the notion that no one had a right to befoul our shared spaces or parks at a cost to hard-working citizens whose tax money financed those very facilities.

“If you build it, they will come.” Is that what Laguna Beach families, shops and visitors want?

Joan Mounteer, Laguna Beach

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