The purpose of Measure CC is to provide funding for acquiring undeveloped open space within the city that is currently in private hands. Proponents of the measure concede the space is a mix of developable and undevelopable land. As to the undevelopable land, why should the city even acquire it? Let the owners continue to pay insurance, maintenance, and taxes on the property. Owners who wish to avoid those obligations can offer to donate their property to the city. In return, the city can offer a public commendation, but no money.
As for the owners of developable property, it is highly likely they will use offers from the city as the basis for shopping their property to parties willing to pay more for it. Readers may recall that is exactly what happened last year. In that case Laguna’s City Council approved a bid from open space conservationists to purchase eight acres near Mission Hospital. The hospital outbid the conservationists and acquired the property. The willingness of outside interests to outbid the city to acquire developable property will only increase as we come out of the recession and property values rise. I can foresee a situation where taxes collected under Measure CC languish in an account for years on end because of the city’s inability to bid prudently and competitively for developable properties.
One can only conclude that Measure CC places an unnecessary and ineffective 20 year burden on taxpayers and should be rejected. Vote NO on Measure CC.
Joseph C. Napoli, Laguna Beach