Tour Reveals Ranch’s Assets



“Coastal Commission Halts Ranch Remodel.” A few points come to mind of my recent tour of the Ranch property with Mark Christy.

What an amazing property that is there for us all to enjoy. What was once overgrown dilapidated and tangled now shows a renewed vibrancy. Mark is particularly prideful of all of this property’s special gifts that we all have now and have always had free access to. On my tour, we saw deer, birds, fish in the creek. I learned further from Mark that there also are bobcats, coyotes, owls, raccoon, eagles, hawks, seabirds and snakes.

In reading what now is before The Ranch and the California Coastal Commission, I understand them to be a guardian and the approving authority of all coastal spaces and wetlands. The CCC is a massive bureaucracy that is in place simply to preserve. As we are all coastal dwellers, the Coastal Commission indeed does serve a valuable role. But also perhaps somewhat myopic at first glance. As bureaucracy’s go, I know the CCC as cumbersome or lumbering; these are the words that come to mind first. Efficiency is left to the wayside.

Mostly what struck me as most welcoming was there was no mass grading or dirt moving activity planned or that had occurred at all. So, I can understand the city of Laguna Beach’s and Mark’s assertion that what is going on with this effort is simply to enhance and restore. This is actually the definition of “minor.” What struck me as I drove away from my tour was Mark Christy is really a preservationist or a steward to this land. Just another gift of Laguna Beach. And the best things at times are the ones that stay the same as evidenced here.

It’s no wonder that our city’s first home, the Thurston residence, was built right there on the second tee. It is such a special gift what Mark is providing to us all, really. Rare it is that beauty is maintained by simply leaving it alone.  A project that insures a home for our wild places and creatures for future generations, a place we all can and should enjoy and a place we all should whole-heartedly support.


Jimmy Mackel, Laguna Beach

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