Pet Peeves

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By Mark D. Crantz

Not So Fast

I read the Indy article “Council, Design Review Board Dive into Strategies to Simplify Home Remodels and Fire Breaks.” Wow, that’s a long headline. Seems necessary though, considering the complicated subject matter to approve building or remodeling in Laguna. But just to be safe, let’s kick the headline back to the Indy editors to double check for proper language deployment.

“I don’t know about this title,” said the editor. “It’s a bit long for the standard column width.” The reporter squirmed in his seat. “Do you want me to shorten it?” The editor shook her head. “Let’s not get hasty. I think a better way to go is to set up a subcommittee of fellow reporters and columnists to get their input. What do you think?” The reporter nods his head in agreement, while breaking his No. 2 pencil out of sight. “I’d appreciate that. Of course, English is not their first language. But it’s your call.” The editor hesitates. “Geez, I forgot we hired them as foreign press to expand our reach. Forget the subcommittee. Use spellcheck for now. Give me an hour to look it over.”

The City Council had a meeting with the Design Review Board where they agreed to create a subcommittee to assess potential issues with reforming the design review process. A list of changes that would not require a Design Review hearing was sent to city staff to explore. Top of the list was the elimination of Design Review Board. Second was to replace with Liberate Laguna.

Meanwhile, the Indy editor yanks her hair in frustration to improve the headline. “OK,” she thinks to herself, “let’s get rid of unimportant words…Design…Review… Board…Strategies…Simplify…Home…Remodels. That leaves us with what?” “Council Dives Into Fire Breaks.” Yes, that makes more sense. And I’ll follow up next week with “Goats Furious at Encroaching Council.” Geez, this could make a great series. “Goats Demand Better Tin Can Pensions,” “Goats Lose City Herding Contract,” and finally wrapping up the series with “Goats Open Yoga Studio Walk All Over Design Review.” Geez, it’s head butting awesome.

The City Council, Design Review Board, New Subcommittee, Aggrieved Homeowners, City Staffers, Architects, Lawyers and one Bagman will meet to discuss streamlining the process by allowing the Director of Community Development to OK minor changes without going back through the Design Review Board. Minor changes include approving new windows to no more than an inch higher than old windows to allow for noisy neighbors and Peeping Toms. Also, any change may be done without design review approval, so long as the change has prior neighborhood approval, including and not limited to, bulldozing your neighbor’s house to get an unobstructed ocean view.


Crantz tells the Indy that he thinks city goats should not get better pensions than him. Bleating right.

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