By Louis Weil
It’s been just a few weeks since I announced my candidacy for a seat on the City Council. I’ve been gratified by the response. I want to emphasize that my candidacy is focused on understanding different viewpoints on the issues that matter most to Lagunans, and for that reason, I welcome residents’ input and promise to listen thoughtfully to locals’ concerns.
Laguna Beach is a generational home for my extended family, and a place where my wife and I plan to raise our two young boys. As a councilmember, I want to represent the best interests of residents, seeking a balance as we work together to make Laguna an even better place to live, now and in the future.
Candidates are often accused of “political speak”—so in contrast, I wanted to be sure that voters know exactly where I stand on the issues.
Recently, the community has been engaged in several discussions about development, from the library site to commercial development (Red Dragon), as well as parking issues. I want to share my two cents on those.
Library: I supported the decision to purchase the site, as our community will benefit in the long term as the key stakeholders of this vital location. I was also encouraged by the extension of initial term with the library, which provides an appropriate time frame for community to evaluate the site for further improvements for the community.
As a councilmember, I would encourage the development of a comprehensive strategy to further evaluate potential opportunities for all community assets.
Commercial Development: On April 26, the council evaluated the application for building and restaurant use for the halted Red Dragon Restaurant. This project has been going on for more than seven years now and circumstances have changed along the way. In its current state, the building is very much the right fit for this location and will add appeal to the overall streetscape. I, along with other speakers, am encouraged to see this come to completion, yet there are several details to still be ironed out, with parking, of course, being the focus. This situation demonstrates once again that we need long-term, consistent approaches to these kinds of projects.
As a councilmember, I would promote efforts to align, simplify, and clarify our municipal codes, policy documents, elements, and master plans.
Parking: The strategic parking working group brought forward a great public-private parking solution by The Montage that could be quickly implemented. This is a great starting example of small “right-fit” parking solutions. The city has and should continue to identify areas to balance our parking resources throughout town.
As a councilmember, I would promote efforts to find right-fit parking solutions that help address today’s needs, and at the same time, evaluate each site’s potential to serve multiple needs, with residents’ needs coming first.
As a forward-thinking, independent, and experienced candidate, I feel I have the expertise to focus on better, more balanced decisions; better safety protocols; better environmental practices; better infrastructure; and better public service to ensure a unique, vibrant community for current and future generations.
For more detail on these elements please see my website at louisweil4citycouncil2022.com.
I look forward to your support and the opportunity to work together, strengthening the fabric that makes Laguna Beach so special.
Louis is a Laguna Beach Realtor and member of the Design Review Board.View Our User Comment Policy