Writer Disputes Ray’s ‘Musings’



In his column last week, Michael Ray made a number of false assertions, a few of which I address as follows:

  1. Regarding historic homes, he said homeowners with higher designations [i.e., E or K] can’t “upgrade or change” them. Wrong! Not only can almost anything inside a historical home be changed, certainly including fixing electrical and plumbing, but additions of up to 50% can be made. And he didn’t mention the perks of the Mills Act tax breaks and that houses on the Historic Register get their city fees refunded and are allowed leeway on variances and parking restraints.
  2. He referred to a recent Village Laguna meeting on historical properties saying VL president Johanna Felder gave the presentation. Wrong again. Ann Christoph, local historical preservation advocate, landscape architect, and one-time Laguna Beach mayor, gave that presentation.
  3. He referred to this same meeting as a “Village Laguna presentation,” and he’s right only in so far as Village Laguna “presents” many such informational meetings. For example, a few of these from the past several years include the forum Village Laguna holds every election year for all City Council candidates; a presentation by Police Chief Farinella and Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede on measure KK [marijuana]; an update by then Mayor Steve Dicterow on MIG and the Laguna Canyon Study; a panel including John Thomas, LB Taxpayer Association’s Jennifer Zeiter, and City Treasurer Laura Parisi on an upcoming hotel tax initiative; a panel including architect Morris Skendarian, hotel owner Stefan Anderson, and Planning Commissioner Roger MacErlane on commercial rooftop decks in Laguna Beach; and many educational talks including those by Marine Protection Officer Jeremy Frimond, president of LCAD Jonathan Burke, and Water District Supervisor Renae Hinchy speaking about the water shortage.

As an Indy columnist, it behooves Mr. Ray to get his facts straight, and I would hope he is more careful to do that in the future.

Rosemary Boyd, Laguna Beach

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  1. Ugh. For constantly criticizing and complaining about everyone trying to get along with their life in this tow – you, and your five friends that comprise VL, sure can’t take any criticisms yourselves. Shame. Shame. Shame.

  2. I plead guilty to using the wrong name for the speaker in the VL presentation, and for this I apologize. All else I stated and would be willing to debate, is accurate.

    Given that, I am experiencing cognitive dissonance. How can a known supporter of VL use up so many words without answering one question? Which is: does Historical Designation increase or hurt home values?

    Please DO answer. After all, your reputation is your most important commodity.

    Michael Ray

  3. And developing property you OWN is really, really bad, isn’t it Hector Suerte? Since when did property rights and liberty mean so little to so many NIMBYs, who are partly responsible for the outrageous cost of houses and even apartment rents. They have theirs and the h(eck) with everybody else. What petty selfishness.


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