Letter: Vista Aliso Apartments – Our Town’s Gem

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Please don’t wreck Vista Aliso’s 72 senior and handicapped apartment complex on Wesley Drive. Once an elementary school, I believe it was closed in the 1970’s. A group of Lagunatics, including the vicar at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Bob Cornelison, got the nonprofit National Church Residences to get a loan from HUD to remodel the classroom buildings into living units and add one- and two-story apartment buildings with the understanding it would be leased from the school system for 50 years. Vista Aliso apartments opened in 1989. There is talk the city might add a third floor to the two-story buildings. This is absurd.

As seniors grow older in the complex, some want to move to ground-level apartments. Where would the tenants live during construction? There is parking for 40 cars in the complex which often fill up by mid-day with visitors, in-home service people, visiting nurses, doctors, and physical therapists with some having to look for parking outside the complex, which can be a real challenge during the summer and other times of the year.

Where does the city plan to add parking for the new apartments when parking is already a problem, to the point that an electric gate now requires people to have a code or call residents from the gate. The Laguna Beach City Council should show some respect for the seniors and handicapped who live in the Vista Aliso apartment complex. Please don’t wreck a nice thing.

Roger Carter, Laguna Beach

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