Letter: Setting the Record Straight on Artlofts

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Recently councilmember George Weiss has been disseminating misleading and inaccurate information about the Artlofts Laguna Beach with the intent to stir up controversy. He is intentionally stoking the fire for some unknown reason. Perhaps political or just self-serving.

Not only is he being disingenuous to the entire community, but even more so to his own constituents who support his “no development” at any cost perspective. His supporters tend to repeat his misleading and inaccurate statements and often respond in public forums with uneducated and inaccurate statements on a court ruling that is currently under review.

Our 28-unit artist work live facility in the canyon has been under a microscope for over 14 years with two unanimous California Coastal Commission approvals. Our project has had 180 design changes that pass all building codes with absolutely no variances. The project reduces traffic by having work/live under one roof. It restores 350 feet of native vegetation to the Laguna Canyon Channel. Many of our neighbors have “channelized” the creek beyond recognition without permits or scrutiny from the city for years. Most importantly, the Artlofts Laguna Beach will provide affordable and economical housing for artists of Laguna Beach both current and future thus adding to the city’s affordable housing inventory that is mandated by the state. The project adds to the cultural heritage of Laguna Beach by adding much-needed housing and studio space for working creatives.

What Weiss doesn’t seem to understand (or maybe he does), is that a “tentative ruling” is just that. Councilmember Weiss’ motivations are unclear and his lack of understanding of the facts are childish and unbecoming of a representative of our city. The harm he has done by misrepresenting the facts not only does damage financially but also to the needs of the artistic community that Laguna Beach was founded on.

Councilmember Weiss, you would be well advised to take the time to be honest, fair and accurate with your statements. Misleading our community and its residents is not only shameful but also casts a dark shadow on your personal integrity. And just to set the record straight, my last name is spelled, Longi. That would be a good starting point for your future fact-checking ability.

By the way Councilmember Weiss, as of May 14, 2021, the judge in the case has made her final ruling and denied the injunction in favor of the Artlofts. Truth always wins out over your desire to win political points. Facts trump your pernicious behavior to the betterment of our cultural heritage and community.

Respectfully,

Louis Longi

Artlofts, Laguna Beach

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