Laguna’s famous and unique view sheds of the ocean, islands, hills, and valleys is one of the many things that makes living in Laguna a pleasure and adds dramatically to the value of homes and neighborhoods.
Sadly, for a very long time these precious public and private view sheds have been, are being, destroyed by overgrown non-native trees and shrubbery. For more than 20 years, concerned citizens have worked to create a fair, economical, effective, city enforced view and safety preservation ordinance. However certain elements in town have prevented the enactment of a needed ordinance with silly accusations such as that all of the trees in Laguna will be cut down. The result is that with each passing season more view sheds are destroyed as the vegetation grows ever more destructive and dangerous. The people trying to save Laguna’s once beautiful open views have always maintained that the right tree in the right location is a blessing, but that the wrong tree in the wrong location is a disaster for both public and private views.
In attempting to create a fair and effective ordinance, one of the big mistakes that the various committees and the city has made, and continue to make, is the involvement of expensive biased arborists and mediators and all the other administrative tasks, paper work and related nonsense that bureaucrats are so fond of. Anyone can take a quick look and see that a view, or views, have, or have not, been destroyed by overgrown vegetation. You don’t have to be a specialist in anything to know the cure is to require that the person who has allowed their vegetation to over grow be required to remove that portion of the vegetation that has destroyed the views. Very much like the long-standing weed abatement ordinance. If you allowed it to grow, you remove it or city will do it at your cost. View destruction, both public and private, should be treated like any other public nuisance or like the city does when you want to build or add to a structure and it blocks views. The DRB decides how much, if any, of the planned structure can be allowed.
Dave Connell, Laguna Beach