Concern Over Canyon Development

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My name is Andrew Cmiel and I am a long term resident of the Laguna Beach area, I am also president of a local club Friends of Laguna Canyon, with a membership of over 200. Our club’s primary interest is to enjoy the beauties of Laguna Canyon, engage in hikes, nature walks and other outdoor group activities in the Canyon.

In recent months we have become alarmed over what appears to be oversized and out of place development projects directly along Laguna Canyon Road, leading into the village. We are not anti development but are concerned with the size and scale of the projects that appear to be underway.

The first issue is with the large artist live work project along Laguna Canyon Road: the building, if built as planned, will be absolutely huge and unprecedented in the canyon. We have discovered that only a small number of units will actually be utilized for affordable housing and the rest of the project will be a commercial venture.

Our main fear is that this will destroy the look of the canyon and will set a precedent for other projects in the canyon. It appears our fears are being realized because another large commercial storage project is now staked out at Big Bend and ready to be heard by the Planning Commission.

We look at these projects as an assault on our beautiful Laguna Canyon. The size and scope of these buildings will forever change the nature of the canyon and will surely lead to other developers putting forth their own large scale projects.

I and my organization Friends of Laguna Canyon are firmly against the building of such large commercial projects and request the projects be rethought and replanned in a much smaller scale.

We ask that the City Council and Planning Commission not to approve the projects in their present size and dimension.

Andrew J. Cmiel, Laguna Beach

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