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Canyon Residents Link Arms

Several independent neighborhood associations in Laguna Canyon have established an umbrella coalition, the Laguna Beach Canyon Alliance of Neighborhoods Defense Organization (CANDO), to serve as a common advocate for residents who live along Laguna Beach’s principle artery, according to the organization’s website.

A flurry of larger-scale development proposals in the past year — from an approved artist’s work-live project to the contemplated supportive housing project for the mentally ill homeless – have stoked protests and organizing efforts. The debate has focused attention on contradictions in the city’s planning policies and a canyon specific plan that emphasizes rural and small-scale development.

CANDO’s founding board taps representatives from the Laguna Canyon Property Owners Association, the Castle Rock neighborhood, the Thurston Mobile Home Park and Canyon Acres. Among the board members are John Albritton, John Hamil, Steve Tollefsrud and Dan Marriner. Others are also to be elected, says a statement from the group.

“They have bonded with the intention of unity, to present a venue for grievances, only support sustainable, reasonable development progression which honors/follows what’s in the general and specific plans and CEQA,” said Roger Butow, a resident who has acted as a consultant to one of the homeowner groups. He referred to the California Environmental Quality Act, a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

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