Letter: Make public safety the predominant concern

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The Indy, April 17, 2017, Page One, “Study Confirms 6.3 million Visitors.” This study was conducted over seven years ago. The study was conducted by “Destination Analysis, Inc.”  Conclusions. “96.4% of all visitors come from the United States, and of those 80% are Californians. Only 3.6% of overall visitors are International”. The study goes on to state, “The new numbers reflect what is evident on any warm sunny day: a day-tripper influx that continues to increase, adding to congestion and complicating logistic issues for city planners.  Development growth along State Route 133 corridor and cities such as Irvine, Mission Viejo, and Laguna Woods feed the beach rush”.

So, over seven years later, post Covid. No change, however, during Covid, everything was “closed”. Many Orange County residents got in their cars and took a drive. This led to a “rediscovery’ of Laguna Beach. Our current CC majority continues to champion and shepherd the drive for additional “parking” to accommodate this influx of “visitors” to Laguna while “removing” parking for projects like the “promenade.” 

Residents of Laguna should be asking our City Council, how many “visitors and residents” can we “safely” evacuate in the event of an emergency? Our current CC majority continues to push for more multi-level parking structures. Residents may have to someday confront the reality of a city from which there is no escape, should a natural or a man-made disaster occur. There are only three ways in and out of our city.  Imagine having to evacuate this city on a “warm sunny day!” (Just try to get out of Laguna on any sunny afternoon; forget about a real evacuation.) 

The ominous question is how will we evacuate not only the residents, but the visitors and their automobiles should a mass exodus be necessary?  Our CC Majority puts forth proposal upon proposal for added parking structures, some proposals that are outright boondoggles, think parking structure on 3rd St. We live here, we need our CC to be thinking about public safety and stop inundating our city by inducing more “visitors” and their cars.

Our elected officials’ most important function and obligation is to advance public safety in Laguna Beach. Unfortunately, we have a CC majority that is encouraging more “visitors to drive into Laguna”, when we should be encouraging visitors to use our free trolleys and alternate means of transportation to maneuver in and around Laguna. The day-trippers are going to come. We residents must make our voices heard. Please call on our elected representatives to abandon their “Let’s build another parking structure” agenda and make public safety the predominant concern as opposed to parking revenue.

Claude Morgan, Laguna Beach

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5 COMMENTS

  1. The above LETTER was sent individually to each City Council Member. The “ONLY” City Council Member to respond was George Weiss. This is a pattern that continues to repeat itself Over and Over. I have asked for comment(s) on a variety of “issues” of interest to CC members Rounaghi, Kempf, Whalen as well as Orgill directly via email to their LBCC respective email accounts. The only LBCC person to ever respond has been CC member George Weiss. I would add that CC Member Weiss has responded whenever the “group” email was sent out. Not one of the other CC Members have “ever” even acknowledged or responded, why?

    Is it that the “majority” of the CC apparently feels that it is a “waste of their time” to respond to residents questioning the direction that the CC is taking our City. I often feel as if our current CC majority has no interest in hearing the legitimate concerns of the Residents of Laguna Beach. This is an alarming stance for our CC Majority to embrace.

    We the Residents of Laguna Beach not only deserve a seat at the table we demand that our CC Members engage with Us the Residents instead of guiding the direction of our town toward unwanted, unneeded, and unpopular decisions, disregarding “Resident Input”.

  2. Safety yes but NO to expanding Laguna Canyon Hwy! We best the developers once before and we can beat them again. Keep an eye on the city council!! They have plans and need to be held in check. Keep yourself informed.

  3. Thank you for your intelligent remarks Claude. The CC Majority takes the view that anyone who doesn’t agree with them or their “vibrancy” and build agenda are outliers and activists who should be ignored. Until we can break their stranglehold on the Council they will continue to vote in a 4-1 bloc and marginalize the one CC member who actually does care what residents think. Spend, spend, spend. And we may end up like the City of Orange who is $19M upside down on their budget and can’t figure out how to right their ship. Between buying LCR and “fixing it up” to the Promenade expense to now trying to convert Ti Amo into affordable housing instead of selling it to pay for the new fire station – just what are they thinking????

  4. From “Protect and Connect” we learned the time required to underground utilities will take another 6-years given NO lawsuits from property owners over eminent domain. Given the ’23-’24 winter rains we are facing the most critical fire season from new growth in the LB watershed. From the 2018 staff report we learn the fire threat from utility poles can be mitigated for $2M taking 6-months to complete, so our Subcommittee plans for undergrounding utility poles at $141 Million and over 6-years to complete. What is wrong with this Subcommittee calculus?

  5. Yes!!! thanks to all above, I hope a lot of the community reads these letters and then goes to the poll in this weeks paper and vote on “allowing” the public to have their voice on these matters since we are the one’s that are paying for this city to run , paying them and their incredible health ins and other goodies..It would be nice to allow us in, not talking about the very stupid surveys that try to create answers that go along with their projects…Open up Zoom so we know and can participate in democracy, one phone call is all it takes to cut us off, seriously? We know they do not want to hear anything that interferes with their agenda that is why no responses to Emails, no zoom and no real conversation. Tired of hearing new things happening only after the council has made a decision. Watch how you vote!

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