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Historic Home Threatened by Development

   Editor,

Arno Hano’s recent letter opining that Mission Hospital may be “land rapists” is a bit over the top. However, alert residents of Laguna Beach only have to look a little bit north of the Mission Hospital campus to encounter actual “land rape” on Ceanothus Drive.

The Halliburton House, at the very north end of Ceanothus, is a city, state and U.S. historical resource. There are seven lots immediately adjacent to this historic resource and four of those lots are in the city process for development. The first of three of the lots comes before the Design Review Board on Aug. 11. Despite the city’s obvious disregard of CEQA “exceptions to exemptions”, staff has designated this project “categorically exempt”. This means that the neighbors have to Google “CEQA” to see that the project actually qualifies for five of the six listed exceptions to exemptions. The actual CEQA regulations state that any single applicable “exception to exemptions” requires an initial study of adverse impacts of the project and an ultimate EIR to prevent “land rape”. The project for DRB consideration on Aug. 11 will entail the removal of a minimum of 1,230 cubic yards of hillside to be transported the entire length of Ceanothus, down Alta Loma, on to Holly, around to Ocean View, on to Monterey and thence to West Street and on to Coast Highway by 100s of dump truck trips.

Didn’t we just go through all this with a similar project at Ceanothus and Alta Loma several years ago by the same developer? The horrendous “breaking” noise to accomplish that excavation adversely impacted all South Lagunans from Ceanothus to Three Arch Bay for years. This new project will adversely impact Lagunans from the site on Ceanothus all the way north to Nyes Place for years. Not mention the “mini earthquakes” caused by the “breaker” equipment and their effect on the 1938 concrete-constructed Halliburton House sitting precariously on Aliso Ridge.  

  The open space adjacent to the Mission Hospital campus is safely off the market and saves the taxpayers approximately $750,000. Maybe that bag of taxpayer’s money can be utilized towards the purchase of the lots around the Halliburton House, a true historical resource.

 

Tom Slattery Laguna Beach

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