The Supreme Court Takes Up “Home-Equity Theft” (Wall Street Journal headline, April 21 edition). The Laguna Beach Unified School District is advocating a variation on that theme.
In 1970, Joni Mitchel released the lyrics, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in a Laguna Beach residential neighborhood (our paradise). The District’s Facility Plan adds massive two-story parking lots, fences and lights. It covers green space with an imposing two-story administrative building, and all without the setbacks we citizens are required to follow. The plan is a conundrum for a school board that touts itself as being green and an electronic sign that proclaims, “Take Care of Your School & Community” (corner of Park Ave and Short St). Yet, the architectural renderings show a black (asphalt) and grey (stucco/concrete) environment replacing a green park-like setting. Surely, the paved neighborhood environment, along with the noise and lights will diminish environmental quality and thereby amount to home equity theft. A pity for neighboring homeowners.
The District Plan, the lynchpin of which is an “aquatic center,” has been under consideration for years and was not revealed to the citizens of Laguna Beach until about a month ago. The superintendent specifically forbade community input at an earlier date. Now that the plan has been revealed, neighbors — not the architect or anyone at the District (board members, superintendent, or his underlings in charge of facilities and maintenance) — bothered to research CIF pool requirements (links available at Sensiblelaguna.org). When proposing the second biggest project in Laguna (behind the Montage), it’s time for the advocates of the plan to step up and do their jobs; pay attention to neighbors, official specifications and not just the wishes of a few. And start living instead of just speaking “green!”
Merton Hill, Laguna BeachView Our User Comment Policy