LBOR members celebrate 100th membership meeting

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The Laguna Board of REALTORS held its 100th Membership Meeting at the newly renovated Rivian South Coast Theater On April 26.

LBOR members received a housing update from President Bob Chapman, Mayor Sue Kempf and Senator Dave Min during their 100th membership meeting. Photo by Jesse Brossa

The sustainable theater space aligned with LBOR’s mission and was the perfect backdrop for a movie by Jesse Brossa of Compass, which depicted Laguna Beach and the Laguna Board of REALTORS’s role in its history. Members then received a housing update from President Bob Chapman, Mayor Sue Kempf and Senator Dave Min.

Opening comments by LBOR President Bob Chapman illustrated the connections between the Laguna Board of REALTORS and the City of Laguna Beach while working with Buyers and Sellers throughout the decades. 

specific reference to the long-standing importance of the relationships between agents and brokerages to best represent Buyers and Sellers of permanent residences and vacation homes in Laguna Beach. 

Major Sue Kempf focused her talk on the progress of approved (Accessory Dwelling Units) ADUs in Laguna Beach, referencing Senate Bill 9. 

Kempf said her mission is to work with the Coastal Commission and the State for lesser restrictions on height limitations of ADUs to allow for second and third-story housing on existing commercial buildings guided by the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) and Senate Bill 1055. Recognizing the lack of affordable housing in Laguna, Kempf’s mission is to provide a more diverse community by housing artists and younger residents to remain in our city through possible financial donations.

Sen. Min has long been an advocate for affordable housing. His current focus is on small businesses and victims of deceptive lending practices. Min stated that homeownership is the main pathway to working families building wealth. Residents can save for unexpected future expenses, such as children’s college tuition and medical expenses, by building equity as they pay their mortgages. Homeownership is tied to public policy and the primary way people build wealth. However, homeownership is becoming out of reach, and although a statewide issue, it is more exacerbated in Orange County. Min recognized that it is difficult for working-class families to afford a home and said people are leaving the state and homelessness is on the rise primarily due to the high cost of housing.

Senator Min recognized SB10 and said Laguna is unique and offers many jobs but little infrastructure to support additional housing. He is working with the Coastal Commission to head off problems with housing, saying the scarcity of rental properties in Orange County feels broken due to too much regulation and small landlords should not be included in major regulations. 

Senator Min also shared his concerns about the current homeowner insurance issues. Thirty million dollars have been allocated for fire preparedness through infrared and wind-predictive cameras in wildfire areas to try to be on top of risk as much as possible. He also backed Senate Bill 9, which negotiated carveouts to allow for HOA exemptions that would make communities such as Laguna more amenable. 

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