I am not a campaigning advocate, nor a vocal obstructionist to the proposed live/work project being proffered before the City Council on April 1. I have, however, been involved with the evolution of this decision by attending meetings, listening, and reading. Differentiating between facts and fears has been an important part of the process for me.
It seems as if the entities that are responsible for environmental protection and the safeguarding of public safety, (flood, fire, traffic flow, structural integrity etc. etc.) have all weighed in,
and ultimately found this project viable and in keeping with all laws, ordinances, and codes.
After countless modifications, adjustments, and plan revisions have been made to accommodate a plethora of concerns from innumerable parties – it seems as if this project is ready for a green light – because it has, in fact, measured up to some extraordinarily tough state and local standards and unrelenting scrutiny. Density remains the issue that continues to generate the most anxiety. And I too wish the project had fewer units planned, but in order to be fiscally feasible, I understand “the need for the number”.
I am a resident of Sun Valley Drive, and a member of the residential community of homeowners that stands to be directly impacted by this project. I am willing to give this project the benefit of the doubt, not just because of the public-spirited nature of the project and what it will mean to our community and Laguna’s legacy as an artist’s colony but also because of what I believe to be the admirable integrity and intent of the people who have brought the live/work project into reality.
It has been a long and tedious journey for this group, but what should be noted in the margins of the proceedings is the lack of focus on monetary gain or political benefit. (See Laguna Independent’s Feb. 28 article quoting Sam Goldstein and Mike Meyer’s comments on assessing the project on its investment merits pg. 31) This is not a money making venture, but one I feel is truly altruistic in nature.
When money and power are not part of the equation it somehow warrants a second look and a more reasoned consideration. “Making room” and “Moving over” to accommodate something of value is not so difficult when apprehensions are tempered with the idea that there might be a possibility of something good happening when big profits are not the bottom line.
I would like to express my support of this project, along with my belief that some things that have been hard won ultimately prove themselves to be worth every bit of the fight.
Molly O’Hara Levitta, Laguna Beach