The newly-elected Laguna Beach City Council will convene once again to tackle the issue of trees versus high-priced ocean views on Tuesday evening, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. Anybody interested in taking part in this conversation should show up and speak up.
A view is worth a lot of money in this town, and losing one is worth a substantial loss in property value. There are ordinances in place that haven’t really been enforced for quite a while.
Palos Verdes has tackled this exact issue quite successfully. Trees no longer take precedence over sweeping ocean vistas in that town. The ordinance is clearly stated and unflinchingly enforced. There’s only so much ocean view property on earth, and while we all love trees and certainly do not wish to chop them down, we’re just asking to have them kept up, i.e., limbed (selectively removing limbs from a tree), shaped and trimmed to roofline when possible. It’s actually good for the tree ~ makes it healthier, safer, and more attractive to look at.
My own home is filled with and surrounded by plants of all varieties as I love green things, but I also paid premium price for my view and I want to keep it. You can’t just throw a building up through an ocean view without first passing it through the design review board and posting public hearings. It therefore makes no sense how someone can just arbitrarily grow a tree through one. And honestly, what I find most interesting is that the very people who grow these trees have their own views unobstructed. I wonder how the shoe would feel on the other foot.
If I could live right on the sand I certainly would and this wouldn’t be a problem. But I cannot afford to do that, so I am at the mercy of anyone between my view and the water.
Marsha Bianchi, Laguna Beach