With two new members to our City Council, I hope that we as a city can take this opportunity to look at some of our ordinances that have caused so many heartaches in our town. One that comes to mind not only to me but to many of us is the issue of our views. Views that have been blocked for various reasons by individuals who felt that trees and more often than not eucalyptus trees were to be saved at all costs. I have called these trees weapons of mass destruction because of their inherent nature. Some people have actually used them for personal vendettas as well. I know of at least two such cases.
The notion of view preservation has been faced by several cities in California and successfully settled so that those with ocean views/vistas can enjoy them aesthetically and financially. After 20 years of working on this issue, I sincerely hope that this City Council will be more respectful of those of us who wish to regain and retain our views for which we have paid a premium and are blessed to have.
We can correct this situation without too much ado as it would be a matter of modifying our current ordinance, which makes a mockery of its title. Or, we can implement those from other cities that been successful through the test of time and trial.
We also can take this opportunity to evaluate the city’s vegetation plan, written by a landscape architect that promotes and pre-determines for us what trees should be planted on which street (all eucalyptus trees). Perhaps then the city will be able to take a more proactive stance to protect our health, safety and property and in the process also save thousands of dollars in trimming and removing vegetation. This savings could be applied to the purchase of additional green space (as the proposition failed to pass).
Hopefully, if this council listens to those of us who have been the silent majority, cooperative citizens will not be subjected to nasty letters, midnight threatening calls and other despicable acts that have been part of the mentality of those who were in opposition to letting us enjoy our rights.
Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach