Criticism Seems Unjustified



As a retired builder, overlapping into my current profession as an enviro-consultant specializing in land use and regulatory compliance, this confrontation (“Advocate Critiques Beach Access Project,” News, Jan. 19.) is a result of a poorly understood process.

Beachgoers have complained for years about this “Stairway To Nowhere,” as the previous one during certain periods ended well short of the sand. Hence people were stranded, either took a literal “leap of faith,” at risk of physical harm due to that gap distance, or were forced to use either Center or Bluebird.

Concerns by an unknowledgeable person who expects everyone to jump, reverse or alter a strategy that was signed off on, as the column notes

First you must demolish, then create/secure a safe, resilient construction zone…Note these blocks are temporary, not permanent structures, too heavy to roll around willy-nilly, pell-mell.

We used a metaphor during construction activities, especially with demolition elements: Like an omelette, eggs must be broken, moreover at times adjustments are made during removal/installation.

Pribram’s parents live close nearby, were probably notified of hearings per CEQA et al, as the project was also posted at the top of the stairs landing per local/state regulations. I saw and read it, went to the city’s website, and I was satisfied that it was basically a reasonable solution to a long-standing unsafe and unacceptable coastal access issue.

As critical as myself and my NGO, Clean Water Now, has been over our 20-year history, in this instance where the city finally responded (albeit we feel slowly, we have frustrated friends and family that demanded a remedy), the installation (after two site visits recently) is acceptable to industry and obviously CCC standards.

Personally, the project’s not as invasive nor housekeeping as slovenly as alleged: take photos, document complaints/violations using a GPS stamp that secures time/date/exact location of said evidence.

I think one important lesson is to read posted notifications. Go online or downtown to the Community Development counter, educate yourself as to the project, its purpose, its duration, the best management practices proposed, etc..

The marine environs is important, fragile, so yes, be more vigilant: But educate yourself before you go off half-cocked.

The answers, the reasons for certain logistics that seem unacceptable/irregular, might already be there.

Land use is a boring topic, but it’s where the rubber meets the road regarding planning, where your city is going.

Roger E. Bütow, Laguna Beach


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  1. Thank James Pribram for being an active benefit to our community here in Laguna. Shame on you Roger for continuing to attack others and acting like a know it all, stop writing and go join James and do some good by picking up trash.


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