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Courtesy is a way of life in Laguna

One thing Laguna is not short on is caring and courtesy. You can’t

turn around without hearing about another fund-raiser or volunteer

group working tirelessly to help others.

You just have to get the word out (with the help of someone like


Sandi St. John) and people will come together for the benefit of

people like Joey Masella, a 10-year-old suffering from epidermolysis

bullosa. But the hearts of Lagunans show in less significant ways

every day.


One small example is the way drivers behave at four-way stops.

They tend to be conscientious about who was there first and extremely

cautious when it comes to pedestrians in the crosswalk. It’s a rarity

to see a car go when someone is attempting to cross.

A minor point, we know, but significant nonetheless.

Another small example shows itself when someone asks for

directions, people act like it’s a treat to show them the way.

Maybe this can be chalked up simply to a small-town mentality, but


with Newport Beach just down the road and the large crowds flocking

to the city each summer, maintaining such a mentality is commendable.

This kind of courtesy, that many in the city are trying to maintain,

seems to have been lost in the writing of a recent editorial in a

competing newspaper.

The editorial focused on the Planning Commission’s approval of

design restrictions to deal with “mansionization.”

It criticizes the city for not allowing individual expression in a


town known for artistic expression and eccentricity. Individual

expression is definitely valued here, but something else is pretty

important, respect for the lives of others.

One of the problems with mansionization is that people are

building their homes without any consideration for their neighbors.

Finding a way to allow people to have a home they enjoy without

ruining the neighborhood is a difficult task and one not taken

lightly by city planners, council members or members of the design

review board. They shouldn’t be criticized for taking the concerns of

residents seriously and trying to find a compromise that will be fair

to both sides of the issue.