Letter: Fire Station at Ti Amo Property

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I have emailed the City Council before on the city’s purchase of subject property which I strongly oppose. Without question the South Laguna fire station should be upgraded and a new station should be built to serve South Laguna but the Ti Amo property is simple the wrong place to build one. Below I will list point by point why it would be a bad choice. First however, I would like to ask each of the council members if they would dare to even consider building a fire station on PCH in either North Laguna or the Village. I’m positive that you would not. However building one in South Laguna is quite acceptable to the Council despite major opposition from South Laguna residents. It shows your callous disregard and disrespect for South Laguna which truth be told is nothing new.

It makes zero sense to build a station that would endanger public safety. Please look at the number of accidents requiring police assistance and emergency services within 200 yards of Ti Amo in the last year. I think it will surprise you. The station will only increase that number. I pray that I am wrong, but you would be placing the public in danger of a fatality if you proceed. One that you will have to live with because of your decision created the dangerous conditions.

Related to the above, traffic congestion in South Laguna has become increasingly impacted in the last five years. Particularly during Spring, Summer and Fall.  A fire truck entering and exiting onto Coast Highway will exacerbate the problem. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. we have an influx of beach goers on the Highway and pedestrians on the sidewalks. It’s not uncommon to see kamikaze driving in search of a parking spot or pedestrian running across Coast Highway. Starting at 3 p.m. you have traffic congestion as a result of people leaving the beach or residents returning to Laguna Beach.

By tearing down Ti Amo, the Council will be reducing the city’s tax base. A restaurant brings in revenue on a daily basis. There are empty lots with much better access and potential than the Ti Amo property that would not impact the tax base. I know we are a wealthy city but fiscal discipline should be somewhat of a priority for the Council.

Though I would not be impacted, the proposed fire station’s noise pollution will impact a far larger number of residents than some of the other sites available.

I am hopeful that the Council will not turn a deaf ear to the concerns of South Laguna residents as it has historically.

Thank you,

David Flores, Laguna Beach

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  1. Agree!
    Ti Amo would be the worst choice.
    An annex or station wherever it’s built no doubt will require at minimum a Mitigated Negative Declaration per CEQA, but I respectfully disagree about a PCH contiguous site.
    The candidate on the opposite side of the street just 2 blocks south, near the hospital, on the corner, if access/egress were off PCH, would work.
    A few blocks south of the 3rd Street signal, install a prominently painted striped zone for the fire/EMT techs, put an overhang with warning lights triggered during emergency responses to alert drivers, warn intersection bodies.
    Far enough away from 3rd Street for an ample traffic circulation buffer, (part of CEQA), the flashing light on the overhang stanchion could also assist beachgoers you allege need safe passage. Ti Amo IS the wrong location, it’ll remain as a tax-producing facility.
    That corner lot I suggest is small but ample.
    It enhances safety and response, especially residential fires which HAVE occurred. Ask Brad Makowsky (House fire on Eagle Rock–September 2010).
    As LBFD reports reflected, many homes in So Lag are difficult to access by fireman hauling equipment, but a station there is necessary.
    And many homes/buildings being so closely bunched, doesn’t an annex station that can serve So Lag, dispatched promptly make common sense? The closest station is Agate, right?
    Noise? Require sirens to only be activitated once on PCH—and for for criminy’s sake, the hospital was built in 1964-5, wasn’t it? Does anyone resent THEIR sirens? Ask not for whom the bell tolls.
    How many SoLag residents bought/moved there since? Probably ALL.
    Interesting that NIMBYS never want things in their vicinity until THEIR ox is gored or their behinds are on the line, jeopardized.
    These people (Firemen, EMTs, etc.) are there like our stellar cops and lifeguards, they serve and protect.
    Their facilities are integral tools in their respective professional pouches.
    I lived in So Lag for 8 of my 50 years here, yes, it doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
    But how would crypto NIMBY-ism help reflect that So Lag is desirous of becoming a cooperating, conscientious member of our community?
    Offer a problem, bring solution.
    I think that proximate, strategically placed PCH corner lot is ideal.
    Your thoughts David?

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