The atmosphere of our downtown changes its look and feel from the early morning, afternoon to the late night hours. Our downtown and Main Beach become a loitering place for the homeless late at night.
The last thing residents need downtown are the bright florescent lights of a CVS, permitted to sell alcohol, staying open until 11 p.m., becoming a magnet by increasing late night homeless loitering for those who engage in professional pan handling while holding signs that read “Help Me” or “Will Work for Beer”.
There could be one potential benefit: the elderly woman in the wheel chair that is dropped off by her son and left to panhandle for five to six hours may stop blocking the public walkway thereby ceasing her constant violation of LB Municipal Code 10.10.070 on Forest Avenue. Her son may decide to move her to block the entrance to CVS, which may resolve this chronic municipal code violation and the public health nuisance from continuing on Forest Avenue.
The corporate CVS giant will now demand by appealing the thoughtful and wise decision of our Planning Commission, who ultimately voted to disapprove a permit to allow the commercial giant chain store from taking over a massive location downtown. The PC meeting was overwhelmed by the disapproval by resident speakers, along with a neighborhood petition that was gathered in opposition.
This big box retail store will draw the life out of our charming downtown and draw the life blood from our local neighborhood serving businesses that have faithfully serviced our community needs for decades.
Laguna Beach could become the next Dana Point or Corona del Mar, which have allowed commercial big box chain commerce to overwhelm their civic and community sensibility. These once quaint quiet seaside villages have become commerce driven communities that have lost their charm by poorly observed city planning.
Lorene Auger, Laguna Beach
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