Letter: An Open Letter to the City Manager

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Dear Mr. Pietig,

We strongly urge you to accept Barbara and Greg MacGillivrays’ offer to provide funding to the City of Laguna Beach to preserve the city’s historic Digester building. We also strongly urge you to join us in applauding the MacGillivrays for their generous and creative offer. The MacGillivrays’ offer represents the best in a long tradition of private civic action in Laguna Beach that is the true strength of our community.

We were dismayed to learn that you have responded to the MacGillivrays by sending them a letter and demanding that they provide you with what we believe is an unreasonable amount of information about their proposal in too short of a time frame. Among the information that you have demanded is a parking analysis, details of the entitlement process—including CEQA review—and specific lease term, all within two weeks from the date of your letter. Typically, these are project details that a project proponent would develop and provide to the city over several months. We believe there is no legitimate basis to hold the MacGillivrays to a stricter standard in this instance and demand that they provide the information to you on a shortened schedule. There is no good reason why the City Council cannot consider the MacGillivrays’ offer after the Feb. 25, 2020 date that you established in your letter. It appears that you are attempting to use a clumsy bureaucratic process to defeat a proposal that will provide the community with an important and valuable benefit.

Thank you for considering our concerns. We urge you to embrace the MacGillivrays’ offer and not to undercut it.

Johanna Felder, Village Laguna President

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