I am one of many residents in our town who have lost my ocean view because of somebody’s trees. This also adversely impacts my home’s market value. I understand there is a 36′ height restriction on new building, and that all new plans must pass tests and inspections through our Design Review Board, yet anyone can grow a tree or hedge as high as they wish without regard for another’s view.
The following comes from the the city’s Design Review process. View Preservation: The city’s geography creates unique ocean views from many sites and areas. These views are special and cherished by all who share them. As a result, the preservation of views from adjacent properties is an important consideration in designing your project. A viewshed analysis should be developed to assure maximum preservation of neighboring views while maximizing views from your own project. … The intent is to equitably retain existing views, while providing for your own view enjoyment and yet satisfy the functional and aesthetic requirements of the project.
I am dealing with a number of neighbors who refuse to even allow me to pay for trimming their trees, and the process of going to the city is long and arduous, although there are ordinances in place. The onus is still on the homeowner whose view is impacted to prove her case. Palos Verdes has ordinances that are rigidly enforced to protect views, and I would like to see Laguna follow suit. Why does a tree have to be three stories taller than the house it belongs too? I hope anyone reading this will take the time to show up at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. to address this issue, which is on the calendar. I don’t see the difference between a stucco wall or a green leafy one. They both destroy the ocean views we live here to enjoy.
Marsha Bianchi, Laguna Beach