Letter: No One Favors Paving Laguna

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Dave Raber’s letter demonizing Liberate Laguna contains the same old false “dog whistles” we hear over and over.

I am a member of Liberate Laguna. I am not on the board and not authorized to speak for them. But I have attended their meetings and can assure you the leadership of LL has no interest in “paving Laguna.” We are all residents of Laguna and some (not me) own commercial properties or operate businesses here. None of us want five-story buildings or “massive capacity increases.” All of us love Laguna, its history, charm and village environment with focus on the arts community. What we want is to clean up the business district and speed up the permitting process while preserving the village character. The current plan is not working. Obstruction is not the solution.

It is ironic that Mr. Raber spearheaded the “THCA” effort to convert 5-foot utility easements in Temple Hills to “heavily trafficked” walkways and stair cases. Talk about paving Laguna. If he had his way, the adjacent homes would see trees fall, vegetation removed, all replaced with public trash, loss of safety and privacy, and placing at risk our already weakened 90-year-old sewer and water systems while destroying the historic pattern of development. Fortunately, the City Council “abandoned” this absurd idea when the residents of Temple Hills overwhelmingly rejected it.

Sadly, we live in an era where one side attacks the other with false and misleading name calling. Any hope I have for a civilized and respectful debate this election season seems to have faded with Raber’s hateful comments. We can do better in Laguna. Let’s keep trying.

Doug Cortez, Laguna Beach

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  1. Anyone who has walked down Temple Hills Drive knows how dangerous it is, and if you have had children growing up in the Lower Temple Hills Drive neighborhood you are concerned about your children having to cross that busy road to get to the south side where some part now has a sidewalk. I know, I grew up there. Fortunately, the original developers foresaw this problem and designated several pedestrian paths which allowed safe access down the hill. Some still exist, but unfortunately one path ran between the two lots Mr Cortez owns and lives on. Mr Cortez was adamant that this path and the pedestrian easement should be abandoned by the city, and he won his case there was no giant paving project involved.


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