Lack of Civility Prompts Legislation



Mace Morse (“A View Embellished by Trees,” Letters, Feb. 22) writes some stinging code in response to the Parable of the Top Hat: “Before he congratulates himself on his metaphoric genius, his analogy is false”.

Quite an assertion, but let me help you understand where the top hat analogy holds water.

A theater seat is placed to allow a view of the screen.

Many homes in Laguna Beach were built specifically to take advantage of the ocean view.

The theater goer (rightly) assumes that purchasing a ticket will afford him a view of the screen for the entirety of the movie.

So the assumption of a home buyer is that their view of the ocean will remain.

You go on to assert, “Unless you’ve been here 75 years, nobody sat down in front of you, you simply picked the wrong seat.” What? 75 years? Why not 1,237 years? That’s even more arbitrary.

The fact that views have been obstructed over the years reflects the impotence of the view ordinance and the sad inconsideration of selfish neighbors, not a bad choice made 30, 40, or 75 years ago. Who would have thought that people at Top of the World would have a downhill neighbor plant so many trees they no longer have a view. (View Ordinance City Council meeting comments by Mr. Ford, who has been at TOW for 45 years – sadly, 30 years shy of your benchmark.)

That people want the views restored which existed before they bought their homes is normal and natural. It is akin to wanting a mess cleaned up or a neglected diaper changed. Ignoring the countless people who have lived here since the ‘60s and ‘70s who have lost their views demonstrates a frightening callousness that is at the heart of this problem. As a result, you force people who have lost their views to seek legislation in the place of neighborly kindness and common sense.


Mike Rybah, Laguna Beach

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