Letter to the Editor: Last Chance to Save Laguna Beach

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The Laguna Resident First ballot initiative is Measure Q. The Laguna Beach Independent reported, “One newly formed political committee funded by the real estate community…has reportedly amassed over $71,000 to defeat Measure Q.”

We need your readers to vote on Nov. 8 and pass Measure Q, the ballot initiative by and for residents. The election is a little over two months away and is our last, best chance to save Laguna Beach. We need to finance the campaign and organize volunteers.

They say you can’t fight City Hall. It is pretty tough as city insiders, and developers do like favors, variances, and to promote tourism to make money.

Measure Q gives the Laguna Beach City Council better standards to help manage development and preserve Laguna’s quality of life and property values. Importantly, the initiative gives residents the right to vote on projects which exceed these standards.

Measure Q restores Laguna Beach’s downtown height and parking standards that have been in place here for decades, but which have been recently gutted by City Council. 

Newport Beach’s Greenlight ballot initiative was passed 22 years ago and has only triggered three votes of the people. The idea is not to have lots of elections, but to moderate what the developer asks for, and what the City Council gives away. 

We need volunteers to walk neighborhoods, call Laguna Beach voters encouraging a Yes on Measure Q vote, or financially support the campaign by mailing a check to Laguna Residents First, PO Box 285, Laguna Beach, CA. 92652 or go to LagunaResidentsFirst.org/donate and donate via PayPal. We now have new Yes on Q signs; to display one, call me at 949-939-7257 or email [email protected]

Laguna Residents First is California Political Action Committee 1421491 and donations are not tax deductible.

Gene Felder, Laguna Residents First Treasurer

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Might help with something like this, see https://www.aoarchitects.com/project/hotel-laguna/. At the website for AO Architects they show artist conception of a Rodeo Drive style Hotel Laguna complex down to and past Legion Street on the central bluffs. AO Architects claims to be the architect of record for the Hotel Laguna. I understand an old idea, but does show the vision of some.

  2. Measure Q gives Laguna Beach’s City Council better standards to help manage development and preserve Laguna’s quality of life and property values. Importantly, the initiative gives residents the right to vote on projects which exceed these standards.

    Our current City Council majority was elected with the help of big developer dollars and has already made major changes to loosen parking standards in the downtown. More changes are on the horizon and once made, they cannot be easily reversed.

    Laguna is at a crossroads. The pressure to serve tourists and build ever bigger buildings threatens our quality of life. Our city is unique in Orange County and it has retained its charm because residents have fought to protect it. This initiative is a balanced approach to allow continued renewal and redevelopment without losing the soul of the city.

  3. It’s bad for democracy to pass laws we don’t need. Change is inevitable but we’ve been doing a good job of protecting and enhancing the qualities that make Laguna Laguna, starting with a citywide height ordinance that we passed in 1971 (the first in the country) which has just been strengthened (not “gutted”) by the Council. Despite what Gene Felder the Measure Q folks believe, no one wants to mess with our small-scale beachtown vibe. Don’t be fooled: Vote NO on Q.

  4. Gene, please stop spreading misinformation. I know you are passionate about Q but come on! Here is a little fun fact for you. Since 2017 to date there would have been 37 projects that would have had to go to a vote under the purview of measure Q. The cost of each special election is $100,000.00 plus and would have to be paid for by the applicant. Not only does this delay entitlements for up to two years but no small retail person or any other type of business would EVER spend or afford 100K for an uncertain outcome by a majority of Laguna’s 18,500 registered voters, (about 9300 of our neighbors). You think empty stores and restaurants are fun now, wait until Q was has the final word and see “Laguna’s charm” start to look like Portland, OR.! Q is death to the health and well being of the town we are all passionate about. Facts are hard to dispute! Q is a solution looking for an imagined problem. VOTE NO ON Q!!!!

  5. When someone locks their door before leaving their home it only occasionally indicates that a burglar has previously stolen from their home. When Laguna residents vote yes on Measure Q so that they can decide yes or no on jumbo projects like our neighbors in Newport Beach and Dana Point, it doesn’t indicate a jumbo project has recently been built (although some might count the one in the Canyon as a jumbo). Rather, it indicates that residents, like the homeowner locking their door, are trying to prevent a jumbo project (versus a home) invasion. Measure Q is a preventative against jumbo developments that aren’t approved by residents’ votes. It is written to inspire smart development.

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