I am taken aback by the angry tone of Howard Hill’s article in the June 19 Independent. “Collision Over Preservation and Property Rights.”
As a person who faithfully restored a 1922 historical cottage, I would expect his values to be more in line with those of Ann Christoph. She has, from what I have seen, worked tirelessly to preserve our city’s cultural heritage by standing up and taking notice for things like heritage trees and historical architecture.
As someone who has lived in both South Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar, I cringe at the thought of the value system of “Corona del Molished” gradually encroaching on our unique historical city.
In many ways, Corona del Mar is a lost cause with its topped-at-the-roofline trees and maximum land use mini-mansions, built on cottage-sized lots stretched to their absolute bounds. Christoph and other members of the South Laguna Civic Association stick up for the important heritage of our city so that it is not lost forever.
Every time a property changes hands in South Laguna, the sound of heavy hammering and chain saws is not far behind. Many of those properties end up on Airbnb as unsanctioned vacation rentals, taking valuable housing away from the community that so desperately needs it. The owners of those properties live in other areas waiting for a day when they can raze their quaint beach cottages and build something more suitable for modern tastes and conveniences of the suburbs where they are from.
I commend Mr. Hills for doing his part to preserve our city’s heritage and would like to see him work with people like Christolph, not against them. More people need to stand up for the heritage of our community.
Tony Bisson, Laguna Beach