Letter: In Opposition of Restrictive Historic Regulations

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On Sept. 29 our current City Council voted 5-0 to make listing a house on the Historic Inventory as “voluntary as possible.” Afterwards, I was wondering who was the driving force behind trying to burden Laguna homeowners with the CEQA restrictive regulations?

With a little research, it seems rather obvious:

1. They are the well-organized, well financed, well city connected, longtime vocal political elites who attempted to impose their “no growth/slow growth” vision on unaware homeowners. Once the potential impacted property owners got informed of the looming restrictions they united to voice their outrage. Thankfully the City Council listened.

2. The Laguna Beach city bureaucrats’ opinion was the CEQA guidelines were mandatory. They tried to twists the facts to achieve their goal of more layers of red tape. I wonder how many city staff and city lawyers’ billing hours were wasted on this issue? I think someone should be held responsible for the time and money spent on this decision. Where’s the transparency? Who made the “pitch” to go in this direction?

The City Council, as the local governing body, has complete discretion on this matter. They can either make it a plus or a nightmare on the homeowners who want to improve their homes.

Still, I wonder why it took years to come to this “common sense” decision. Think, ask questions, draw your own conclusions.

Please take the time to talk to your neighbors and have an open discussion on the future of Laguna. Respect the past. Let’s embrace the future. Over-regulation is not the way. This is a small town; your vote matters.

Patrick Gallis, Laguna Beach

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