Since the ‘80s I have had an interest in preserving ocean views. I attended meetings in the ‘90s on this subject and watched in dismay as Village Laguna, led by Ann Christoph, orchestrated tactics to waylay this effort.
Fear tactics included no trees, no birds, even an 8-year-old sobbing that “he would never experience climbing a tree”. With their political and financial clout based on donations (proceeds from Charm House tours) by its members to council candidates like Verna Rollinger and others who agreed with their ideology, they prevailed. No voice for those who were equally passionate about our world famous ocean views. With no regard for transparency, city council members voted for that pitiful ordinance.
Mayor Boyd assembled a committee mandated to create an equitable/enforceable ordinance to ensure Laguna’s real heritage – magnificent views – be restored, retained, and preserved. Based on research they focused on Palos Verdes’ ordinance. By April 16, reinforced with a visit to legitimate cases of abuse by trees/ vegetation, committee members began to see the need for an enforceable and reasonable ordinance. By April 30 it appeared that some of the committee members might succumb to fear tactics used in the ‘90s. Oops, the 8-year-old boy wasn’t there. Some remarked that the committee was moving too fast.
Maybe these folks may want more time to work on committee members to dissuade them from moving forward on this effort, or perhaps to work on the City Council members with offers of campaign donations if they vote against the new proposed ordinance that would restore, retain and preserve historical views. Luckily, some committee members stayed on track and we hope all will stay on track.
Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach