Citizens for Laguna’s Future Officially Launches No On Q Campaign
A group of Laguna Beach business owners, residents and local leaders have formed a new political action committee to campaign against Measure Q, a ballot measure designed by Laguna Residents First PAC requiring a public vote on major developments along Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road.
Recently launched as Citizens for Laguna’s Future, the PAC stated in a press release that, if passed, Measure Q would, “create a dragnet effect that would require costly, citywide elections for both large and small public and private projects, not only ‘overdevelopment’ as claimed by Q supporters.”
“The cost to the City, and therefore Laguna taxpayers, could be millions, cutting critical funding for police and fire, and stunting the financial viability of Laguna,” the release continued.
Mayor Susan Kempf has stated she’s against the measure, along with five out of the seven candidates running for three open seats on the City Council.
“Simply put, Measure Q won’t just block larger developments, which no one wants,” Kempf said. “It would trigger a citywide election to approve a coffee shop, pizzeria, or South Laguna’s desperately needed new fire station. We’ve already been a low-and-slow growth town for decades and maintained a world-class, small-town charm.”
Joe Hanauer is one of the proponents of new Citizens for Laguna’s Future PAC against Measure Q.
Citizens for Laguna’s Future said it aims to inform residents about Measure Q before the upcoming November election with direct mailers, ads and in-person events.
“What we’re aiming to do is inform and educate people,” said Joe Hanauer, PAC supporter and owner of the Old Pottery Place and 580 Broadway. “If they know what they’re voting for and understand it, they’ll vote against it. Right now, what the other side says is that they’re ‘against overdevelopment.’ But if it was only that, we’d support it too. But it’s not.”
Beginning with a group of 20, the PAC now has more than 100 members of the Laguna Beach community opposing the measure.
“This initiative will have real negative consequences for our community if passed. Measure Q’s stated purpose is to regulate large new developments, but it goes far beyond this. It’s 18 pages of complex and in some cases ambiguous and inconsistent provisions will require City public safety projects and many small projects to go to a vote,” Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Whalen said.
Hanauer said that if Measure Q fails to pass, plenty of alternatives exist to work with City Council to ensure overdevelopment is curtailed in Laguna Beach.
“Laguna Residents First never made that effort,” he said. “They said ‘we can’t trust the City Council, literally.’ In other words, it was almost it was we can’t rely on the City Council to make these decisions. We need the voters to make the decisions. So, we’re saying no. We elect a council to make decisions. That’s what they’re there for.”
Citizens for Laguna’s Future held their first event at Three Arch Bay on Aug. 29 and plan to have more soon. More information is available at Citizensforlagunasfuture.com.