I expected to disagree with Coalition spokesperson Cathy Jurca’s column about the lawsuit against the Kirby project. But then I am one of the “Laguna Neighbors” who thinks the Kirbys are getting a raw deal.
What I didn’t expect is how thoroughly Jurca has embraced the Village Laguna playbook of condescension, catastrophizing, them-versus-us rhetoric, and the ascribing of sinister motives to anyone who disagrees with them. Like the leaders of Village Laguna, Jurca seems blind to the fact that all this accomplishes is to drive away potential allies who also believe in historic preservation. Which is just about everyone, including the Kirbys.
The Kirby lawsuit also suggests how hard up the Coalition is for actual proof that we have been trashing our historic heritage. Is there any? Is it the Pottery Shack, The Ranch, the Coast Inn, the Hotel Laguna, the Heisler Building, or the old Tivoli Terrace with its newly revealed and entirely magnificent parabola roof? These projects were all built by those demon developers who Village Laguna keeps insisting only want to bulldoze the town. How about Hagan Place, or the pizza place across from the Lumberyard, yet another model of historic restoration? How about the digester? That’s my personal favorite. I like its WPA history and vibe. But I love the fact that it is full of our well-preserved waste products, which tells me we haven’t entirely lost our sense of humor.
If the Kirby project is the best example of how Laguna is failing to protect its historic heritage, then I’m afraid the Coalition is full of it too.
Chris is one of the six founders of Laguna Neighbors, which opposes the Kirby lawsuit.
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