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Lesson From Laguna Beach Slides

In the wake of the deluge that destroyed three Laguna Beach homes, caused millions of dollars in property damage and wreaked havoc on the lives of many in our community, it has again become abundantly clear that many of Laguna’s hillsides and canyons are precariously unstable.

Simply put, to allow additional development in such highly sensitive areas is to invite disaster, whether in the form of landslides, mudslides, or earthquakes.

As we have long known, the Diamond-Crestview area of Laguna Beach is a classic example of extremely fragile terrain and unstable geology.

It should be noted that several mudslides occurred throughout this tract during the recent rains. The most significant of these sloughed off enough mud and debris to close Gainsborough Drive to automobiles. Unfortunately, geologists have warned that problems in Diamond-Crestview will probably intensify should heavy winter rains continue.

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What does it take for us to realize the seriousness and magnitude of this time bomb? When will we be honest with ourselves and acknowledge the testimony of experts who, for years, have been predicting these scenarios?

As concerned citizens, we must demand that our City Council and administrative staff not sit back and allow development of new homes on hillsides and canyons with such a historical pattern of geological instability.

An ounce of prevention could save tons of mud and debris, not to mention life, property and expensive litigation.

Hopefully, community leaders will learn from this most recent disaster and find the will and means to prevent unnecessary tragedy in Diamond-Crestview and other geologically sensitive areas.

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RANDY LEWIS

Laguna Beach


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