Elitism in Laguna Beach

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Editor,

I want to thank the representatives of Village Laguna for pointing me to the short-term rental advocacy guide. The fundamental principles in the guide are for advocates to: Stay positive and offer solutions not criticism, use facts and stories to support the position and, to me the most important, always be respectful. It would appear that the “ban short term rentals” people are advocates of some of Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals. How else can one explain the ridicule of these quite civil rules of conduct being adhered to by the Homesharing4Laguna people?

Let me illustrate. The people wishing to regulate, not ban, short-term rentals always stay positive and offer solutions to accommodate both sides. Trying to get facts about complaints from the city has proved daunting. The city refuses to provide the data in the Planning Commission report about complaints. Many people have spoken at city council meetings about their need to rent their home in order to remain in our wonderful city. Others have talked about the need to simply rent a room to make ends meet and others have brought up the basic property rights issue while ever mindful of the need to be good neighbors and ensure their neighbors have the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

The Homesharing4Laguna people have proposed that permits only be issued to residents, not absentee owners. We all have a stake in keeping our village the special place we love.

I’ve titled this letter Elitism in Laguna Beach. Why? Well as I watched the proponents of the ban speak it was clear that they are espousing an elitist philosophy. Do they really believe if you are having a tough time making ends meet and see short-term rentals as a way to allow you to stay here, well that’s just a personal problem? I hope not. Making a little extra money? Well that’s greedy no matter what you want to spend it on, even caring for a parent, no matter.

So it seems the ban advocates believe: If you need to have a short-term rental to remain in your home then we don’t want you. Besides, when you are forced to sell, the city gets higher property tax revenue.

Is this who we are? Whatever happened to reasonable compromise?

Emil Monda, Laguna Beach

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Awesome letter to the editor Emil! A solution-based, positive spin on the exploding sharing culture, the impact on Laguna Beach and outing the stonewalling techniques from the city. Most of all your enlightened response is a pathway to equity and fairness for those who wish/need/desire to share their homes.

  2. There is no reasonable basis for refusing to provide the 200+ complaints to the city under the CA Freedom of Information act, also known as the “Sunshine” law. Everything submitted to a governmental entity is public information, unless there is a law that specifically prohibits the release of that information, ie, names of rape victims, health information under HIPAA, or a confidential legal memorandum regarding an ongoing lawsuit. Everything else must be disclosed to the public who pay the bills.

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