JJ Gasparotti moved to Laguna Beach with his family when he was 11yrs old. He has loved it ever since.
There was a time when social media consisted of bumper stickers and CB radio. Primitive as they were, the job got done. There was a bumper sticker construction workers displayed on their trucks that said, “Make building permits as easy to get as welfare.”
Lately there has been so much wailing and moaning down at city hall you’d think somebody’s puppies died or the manager’s performance bonus was denied. But the tragedy is much greater than that. Laguna Beach has been assigned the task of providing zoning and permit regulations to facilitate the development of 390 new housing units of the 1.3 million total housing units California is deficient in providing its citizens.
The state is telling counties, cities, and even villages that now is the time to make building permits easier to get than welfare. From the reaction down at city hall, this is going to be a bitter pill to swallow.
This is a village where one elderly couple, hoping to age in place, is another year of their lives and 60 thousand dollars of their savings into trying to build an Additional Dwelling Unit above their garage. So far all they’ve got to show for their efforts is a big pile of paper and a continued hearing.
The city has an endless list of excuses why it can’t possibly provide for 390 new housing units. It points out that the inland counties have unfairly pushed too much of these housing requirements onto the coastal areas. There is lots of flat land for houses inland. All we’ve got are steep ocean view hillsides with narrow streets.
But anyone who, as another bumper sticker says, “Survived the Ortega,” understands the jobs are on the coast. That solid river of cars making the hours long commute between housing inland and coastal employment shows there has been a real breakdown in public policy.
Just in case the message isn’t received, Assembly Bill 68 was signed into law by the governor. It provides the mechanism for converting all those 2,600 vacant houses in Laguna into 3-unit apartment buildings.
Any conversion within a half mile of a transit line won’t need to provide for any parking. A garage can be turned into housing and parking won’t need to be provided for the new dwelling unit or the parking lost with the conversion.
All of this to be approved over the counter within 60 days. That’s what happens when kids don’t share well. The teacher takes all the toys and gives them to the other kids.