Laguna Beach has long maintained an R-1 residential zone for "low-density, single-family residential areas, which will provide a suitable environment for family life for residents," according to the city's general plan.
Chapter 25.10.002 explicitly says, "The zone is intended to provide a quiet living environment free from rooming and boarding houses, commercial and industrial activities" and free from "other than local vehicular traffic."
The principal justification for short-term rentals in residential zones is to enhance individual personal incomes. Yet the cumulative effects of allowing 100 new short-term rentals is equivalent to adding a new hotel while removing affordable rental housing.
More service personnel to clean and launder 100 new tourist rentals would increase local traffic. A California Environmental Quality Act analysis must consider impacts to local water demands, increased wastewater and sewage, traffic, crimes and enforcement costs.
Will the City Council be willing to revoke an administrative use permit if excessive complaints are lodged? Will each short-term rental house be handicapped accessible? Who will pursue discrimination complaints?
Elected representatives are required to honor and apply existing laws to protect residential zones as a key private property right.
Where is Laguna's smart and strong City Council leadership?
Short-term rentals, long-term problems
Outside our kitchen window pass dog walkers with their pampered pets, surfboards balanced on the heads of teenagers, sun-worshipers loaded with beach gear, skateboarders and prom dates maneuvering their long gowns and high heels down Lombardy Lane with lagging-behind escorts carrying flowers.
The summer sounds of kids playing in the nearby pool, imitating Esther Williams' backstroke crawl, remind me of my youth. Outside our bedroom and bathroom windows, at all hours but not everyday, SUVs with Southwest license plates pull up, and luggage carts roll down the asphalt driveway as children and dogs, imprisoned in backseats for the long trek to paradise, spill out.
The air conditioner, recently installed by the absentee landlady, flips on, keeping me awake all night and masking the sounds from the sea. That's just the arrival!
Oh, and I forgot to mention the pizza boxes and beer bottles I picked up from a late night-bash. Dare I bring up the apricots that "disappeared" at their moment of perfection, depriving us of a chance to eat them?
Meanwhile, property values take a nosedive — so does the neighborhood — while rents soar for long-term residents.
Kid haters, we're not!