Letter: Regarding Laguna Forward


As someone with 20 years of experience in public service working with “local developers”, calling the founders of Laguna Forward “local developers” is a joke.

Local Developers are:

The Irvine Co. controlling 93,000 acres of Orange County and a portfolio of office properties from San Francisco to San Diego. They are local developers.

The Koll Co. built 150,000,000 square feet of prime office, industrial, retail and recreational properties in Orange County. (By contrast, if Laguna Beach has 14,000 homes averaging 2,500 square feet, they would total 33 million square feet.) They are local developers.

Kaufman and Broad developed 600,000 homes in Southern California mainly for first-time buyers. They are local developers.

The William Lyon Co. built 55,000 apartments and homes in Orange County and land banked 10,000 acres for another 60,000 homes. They are local developers.

Let’s look at your “local developers” to see how they stack up:

Sam Goldstein owns the historic, award-winning Heisler Building downtown and his home.

Mike Ray owns the home he lives in and the one he’s been trying to renovate on Hawthorne.

Cindy Shopoff owns neither a home or a commercial building here. Some local developers, these three.

By the Indy’s definition of local developer, anyone who goes before the Design Review Board wanting to fix up their property is a “local developer” as if that makes you some nefarious character to be feared. Just remember, if you live in a home someone “developed” it.

Why not call these three “local residents” that’s what they have in common.

If it’s their stated support for private property rights that you object to, be honest and state your preference loudly. As someone who has been a lifelong champion of private property rights for both private and public benefit, I’m proud to be “local developer” and look forward to being a member of the new Laguna Forward.

Sally Anne Sheridan, Laguna Beach

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  1. Seriously? Check again. Sanderson J Ray and Shopoff Realty Investments are both major Newport Beach based developers and investors.

  2. Respectfully Mrs. Sheridan – a simple goggle search of Michael Ray and William and Cindy Shopoff describes them both as long-time investor/developers. And they are not considered small fries in the real estate investment/development industry – local, regional or national. Please see just a glimpse of their business promotions below.

    IMO – Liberate Laguna, Laguna Forward, or whatever the next PAC name this Development/Investor trio comes up with, the fact that they think they can take over our elections with their wealth, buy council seats and influence city council members they help get elected isn’t acceptable to most LB stakeholders. Especially long-time owners/residents. As for Cindy Shopoff whom you state, ” Cindy Shopoff owns neither a home or a commercial building here” – I have to ask…why then has she spent thousands of dollars on CC elections/candidate support in our city? In fact, if she doesn’t own any property here…can she even vote?

    About Sanderson J. Ray Development
    SJRD is an Irvine based commercial developer with a 35-year track record and impeccable reputation. SJRD has equity in excess of $200 million in stabilized mature assets with strong cash flow.

    Shopoff Realty Investments is a national real estate investment firm that primarily focuses on proactively generating appreciation through the repositioning of commercial, income-producing properties and the entitlement of land assets. Founded by chief executive officer William Shopoff in 1992, the story of Shopoff Realty Investments is one of success born of determination, vision and integrity1.
    Headquartered in Orange County, California, Shopoff Realty Investments uses a multi-disciplined approach that enables the firm to uncover opportunities that others may not capitalize on or recognize. The company’s practiced investment method includes a fundamental analysis of real estate markets supplemented with expertise in entitlement and adaptive reuse strategies. Shopoff Realty Investments’ clients include a wide range of investors and joint venture partners that includes banks, developers, builders and high-net-worth individuals.
    https://www.shopoff.com › news-release-shopoff-realty…May 14, 2021 — News Release: Shopoff Realty Investments Secures $50.5 Million Construction Loan for New Boutique Luxury Condominium Project in Newport Beach …

  3. Oh MJ,
    Nice try, but what commercial properties do they have in Laguna? Let’s stay relevant. As for the Shopoffs, they live here, and they’ve been attempting to remodel a home for quite some time and have run into ridiculous red tape, which is why, along with Michael Ray’s attempt to build a porch on a North Laguna property, they decided to start this PAC – to give property owners more rights. Stop with the fear mongering. And BTW, last time I looked, if you rent here you can vote. Don’t be an elitist and stop spreading malicious rumors.

    By the way, your line, “the fact that they think they can take over our elections with their wealth, buy council seats and influence city council members they help get elected isn’t acceptable to most LB stakeholders” comes right from the Village Laguna playbook, and is precisely why this PAC has gained traction among “most LB stakeholders.”


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