A very high five to Mission Hospital for purchasing the vacant land inland of their campus. Mission Hospital has done this (south) Lagunan and every citizen of Laguna Beach a great favor. First of all, Mission Hospital exercised its right to simply buy the property at an accepted price, period. End of story. The property was vacant space, it is still vacant space. Right on, Mission Hospital!
Despite criticism from former mayors of this fair city, prominent members of the boards of Village Laguna and the South Laguna Civic Association, the usual suspects, and litigious Lagunatics, Mission Hospital acted in its own best interests, as all corporations and individuals should, to protect its “sphere of influence” for future advantage. Given the opposition in the past from the above mentioned individuals and groups concerning the Physicians West building and the proposed cancer center on the hospital campus, Mission Hospital is well advised to be proactive with regard to its property rights.
Second of all, and most importantly, Mission Hospital’s purchase frees up taxpayer funds to purchase some other vacant property from a willing seller. Possibly the lot at Eagle Rock and South Coast Highway where the wonderful South Laguna Village Garden is located on someone’s private property. Clearly, this garden lot needs to be purchased by taxpayers in the near future to preserve this fine example of community togetherness. The funds not expended on the vacant space behind the hospital could possibly be used to purchase the garden lot on behalf of all Lagunans. We won’t have to await the imminent passage of the open space tax assessment initiative to accomplish this goal. Fortunately, we are assured by the proponents of the open space tax initiative that only willing sellers and buyers will be involved in any future open space purchases. This means that, in the future, we will not have to read any repeats of the criticism and invective associated with Mission Hospital’s current action. A win-win for us all!
Thomas Slattery, Laguna Beach