Letter: The Elephant in the Room


Laguna Beach is our home and is a very special place for many reasons. Caring and tuned in residents have organized and have worked passionately over the years to preserve the unique qualities that we enjoy today. Along comes Senate Bill 9 signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on S

ep. 16, “for the purpose of promoting housing development across California.”
SB 9 does away with the R-1 Single Family Zone. It immediately transitions these properties into multi-family parcels. According to the City of Laguna Beach, up to 75% of properties in Laguna are affected by this law.

Let’s take a moment to examine what just happened to our town: visualize Balboa Island or the Peninsula. This is where we are heading.

The law allows the previous one unit single family lots to be split into new lots as small as 1,200 square feet. Reflect on the fact that Arch Beach Heights lots are 25 feet by 100 feet or 2,500 square feet. These new lots that are allowed are one half of the size of the smallest of the existing lots. The law allows units as small as 800 square feet and up to 1,000 square feet to be built on these parcels. Question: What about parking?

We just digested the state mandate to create 395 low to very low income units in Laguna. ADUs have been the stop gap. One of the benefits of ADUs is allowing garages to be converted to separate residences and liberalizing parking requirements.

I personally regard my home as a sanctuary where I can live in a stable neighborhood with other families. I paid extra for this privilege.

In less than a year I see the state government turn our beloved Laguna Beach into a crowded place with no parking. Perhaps we have our work cut out for us if we truly revere what we have inherited.

Question: What are we going to do about it?

Eric Jensen, Laguna Beach

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