Defending Village Laguna’s Stance




I’m really tired of all the folks (especially builders and architects) who rail against Village Laguna (“Historic Cottages on Chopping Block,” April 22).  It is true that Village Laguna takes what seems like the far-left position on many projects, but I think that it is entirely necessary to provide a counterbalance to those who would build a Wynn Casino on Coast Highway if they could get away with it!


Instead of castigating Village Laguna and its well-meaning, all-volunteer leaders and membership, how about being grateful that our Laguna Beach doesn’t look like a cheap, neon-festooned strip mall, with structures that have absolutely no correlation with one another or with the town’s history/legacy.


Investors and builders have one overriding motivation:  to maximize the financial value of their property.  If they can make their project attractive as well then fantastic!  But that is never the primary objective and why would it be? Businesses exist to make money; there’s no shame in that truth. Where there is shame in is in pretending one’s project is a community benefit merely as a marketing tool to gain approval from the city!


Some claim that Village Laguna and its supporters are focused on a “no growth” agenda.  What’s so great about growth? Isn’t this town full to capacity now?  How many “smoothie” shops do we need to serve our tourist population? If you want a 6,000 square foot house with a four-car garage perhaps you should live just up the road in the McMansions of Crystal Cove.


There is a reason Laguna Beach is such a wonderful, beautiful, and much sought after place to be. It’s because there are people here who care about quality and aesthetics over quantity and profit.



James Dorf, Laguna Beach




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