Letter: Response to Johanna Felder’s Village Laguna’s Demise


Dear Johanna,

The founders of Liberate Laguna (LL) are not going anywhere and to your claim that Village Laguna cares about Laguna, filing a lawsuit and that costs the city time and money seems to be desperate. It certainly appears to be Village Laguna (VL) grasping at straws when they don’t get their way. 

Your message is as tired as your outdated idea of controlling how people live. I could care less where VL goes as long as it out of everyone’s private property issues. The disingenuous nature of this group is a threat to Laguna Beach and most people know it.

As long as you’re listing how much each of the founders of LL gave to the ideals of our  group. Why don’t you reveal how much your group means to you by revealing your financial commitment to VL?  Because according to the disclosures on file with the city it appears your commitment to VL for the last campaign was a whole $500.

And while we are on it, how about listing how generous the founders of LL have been to many charitable causes in Laguna. Success in business doesn’t make you a villain, trying to impede a person’s peaceful use and enjoyment of their own private property does.The historic preservation ordinance has been well vetted and will be elegantly instituted. If you think the 800 people who formed Let Laguna Live, all of which are concerned or live in historic properties don’t count as how Lagunans feel about the nature of this city keeping its charm, you are living in a bubble.


Cindy Shopoff, Laguna Beach

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  1. Cindy Shopoff’s message is loud and clear. We the “elites” of Laguna Beach give money to civic and charitable organizations at a much higher level than the not so rich members of Village Laguna do. Therefore how dare anyone not allow us to do what we want with our property? Blocking others’ views, destroying historic buildings, circumventing reviews by eviscerating rules that have helped preserve the character that is uniquely Laguna is our right because we are rich and we give money to worthy causes. I know that wealth breeds arrogance in some but remember your vote has no more sway than mine. I know with the mindset exhibited by her message Ms. Shopoff may find this difficult to accept. The words “….and when you’re rich they really think you know “ from the movie Fiddler On A Roof does not apply to all the residents of Laguna Beach as you seemingly would want. Talk about living in a bubble!

  2. The Village Laguna PAC(political action committee)senior members form a new “coalition “and file a CEQA lawsuit against the City & property owners (Kirbys)of 369 Hawthorne Road . At first I was extremely angry that after going through all the expensive & time consuming city requirements this “coalition “ uses the CEQA legal shenanigans ! Then I looked at the big picture. I wonder why these individuals ,who between them have over 100years of political activism in Laguna Beach, would make this move. It’s all about the new historic preservation ordinance that was supposed to be as voluntary as possible! This lawsuit forces the City into negotiations with “I got mine years ago & I’m going tell you what you can have “people. Their mouthpiece will make articulate demands to the CC . So the question is fight or cave into the manipulative VL(PAC)?? I say fight! I wonder how many of the coalition members own “ older houses with character “ ? The more layers I peel away the more understand how the VL( PAC) influences this town’s city government.


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