Banning must be fun since we seem to want to ban so much. Some bans are needed and others may be just “nanny state” irritants or losses to freedom. To mention a few we have banned: animals off leash, most downhill skateboarding, smoking on the beach, smoking on some public streets, and late night/over night parking in some residential neighborhoods without a permit.
We have banned fishing for fun and food in the ocean. (It does nothing but create a feast for sea lions and fish-killing birds). We have banned handy economical plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. (This ban is unnecessary, costly and inconvenient just to appease environmental extremists.) We have banned light pollution (a real boon to crime and mischief). We have banned use of cars on substantial portions of our roadways for use by bicycles. (Our fuel taxes pay for the roads; bikes pay nothing.) And now, some folks are advocating the banning what they have decided is noise pollution. Worse yet, some want to ban Caltrans from widening Laguna Canyon road’s seven-mile stretch of miserable single-lane road from downtown to the Toll Way. (With only one lane, it creates a situation where it takes just one slow driver, a gawker, or an accident to daily turn that short seven miles into 20 or more minutes of stop-and-go hell).
Regardless about how you feel about these various bans, the thing we haven’t banned is the one that does the most substantial damage to many people in Laguna, and that is view pollution. The natural vistas provided by our hilly topography adjacent to our beautiful coastline used to provide magnificent view sheds for residents and visitors. Then people planted over-sized trees creating massive view pollution for their neighbors and the public. Our unique beautiful view sheds were needlessly obstructed or destroyed all over town diminishing the value and enjoyment of property. This view pollution not only costs home owners a lot, it costs the city a lot in lost property tax income. It is long past time for the city to ban view pollution.
Dave Connell, Laguna Beach