Considering this council’s sweeping revisions to the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) last year, the decision to oppose the LRF ballot initiative is sadly, unsurprising. (City Council Opposes Ballot Initiatives, July 15, 2022)
Bit by bit, the council majority is chipping away at longstanding guidelines while substituting weaker provisions. For example, just 10% open space is called for with the use of courtyards in the city’s new proposed ordinance/ballot measure. This is instead of the current (and far more robust) ground-to-sky open space requirements in the municipal code.
Attempts to hide a building’s mass with varying roof forms, different paint and assorted exteriors won’t make an imposing building any smaller. Few residents even realize that height changes in the revised DSP now permit an additional story to non-historic buildings downtown.
The DSP’s relaxed parking standards don’t help the average resident, either.
This fall, voters have a chance to correct the path this council is on by voting yes on the Laguna Residents First ballot initiative. It will give residents the right to vote on development projects that exceed reasonable parameters. Please visit lagunaresidentsfirst.org to learn how project size, traffic, parking, height limits, combining lots, and cumulative effects impact our quality of life.
Trish Sweeney, Laguna BeachView Our User Comment Policy