It is great that the City Council and their appointed view committee is at long last taking saving Laguna’s unique and beautiful view sheds seriously. However, a cursory review of the proposed View Preservation Restoration Ordinance discloses that a vast amount of effort has resulted in an unnecessarily complex and overly expensive ordinance that is an administrative nightmare for all parties. One of the main and totally unnecessary issues that adds pages of unneeded complexity is limiting views to something called a “Primary Viewing Area”. Since no two situations are the same in Laguna, the right solution is to let those inspecting the view blockage, along with the victim, use common sense to determine to what extent the view(s) have been destroyed and what needs to be done to best resolve the problem and restore some or all of the lost views. Simply stated a view is a view and no two are the same.
The same logic applies to limiting the distance to where the view blockage(s) exist. Those inspecting the situation can use common sense to determine if in a specific case the blockage should be a few feet or to mile or so.
It should not take a person with any common sense to look out from a property and determine what view(s) are blocked, by what, and to what extent. Come on people; lets get this done. Since no two situations will ever be the same, let the view inspectors and the victim’s use some common sense and agree on a reasonable restoration approach. Make it simple and as inexpensive as possible.
Regarding restoration costs; the person(s) who grew the oversized vegetation should be fully responsible for the taking care of their vegetation to restore the destroyed views; even though there is no way to compensate for the heart aches and aggravation their oversized vegetation is causing.
However to be more then fair, the victim(s) and the person(s) that have let their vegetation destroy the view(s) should share the costs for the restoration.
Another requirement in the draft ordinance that makes no sense is that once the problem is resolved the determination doesn’t run with the property like a deed restriction. Failing to do this simply means that if any of the involved properties change hands,
The people and the city may have to do it all over again. Resolve the issue, document it, and avoid future problems, heartaches, and expenses.
Dave Connell, Laguna Beach