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Time to save city’s charm

Pam Bobit

I just finished reading today’s Coastline (Aug. 23) and had to

laugh at some of the inconsistencies in the various articles about

what life in our “little village” is like.

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Front page: “There have been changes before, but in the past

Forest Avenue has managed to retain a unique character that sets the

city apart from other south county communities.”

Page A2: Editorial: Re: Courtesy in Laguna -- “One small example

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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.”

Page A2: Sounding off: Re: Parking spaces -- “Instead, Lagunatics,

business folks and tourists alike share the same gritted teeth and

glazed stares of battle fatigue as they forage.”

Page A4: Home prices moving on up -- " ... the median sales price

for a home in Laguna Beach is $910,000, up 20.5% from last year.”

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Page A4: Hedge height allowance under review -- “What is happening

is that residents are creating walled compounds,” Kinsman said.

Page A5: Roundup: Re: Trolleys -- “This summer the city has had to

use reserve main-line buses to meet the weekend demand. Usage has

increased 90% since last year, said Liebel.”

Page A6: Money poured into sewers -- “Our beaches serve Laguna

residents and approximately three million visitors a year. The

repairs will contribute to safe water recreation for all and prevent

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beach closures in the future.”

Taking all of the above into account, it is no wonder that we want

to wall in our $910,000 quaint little village homes to protect us

from the onslaught of the three million beach visitors, with their

cars, noise and trash. Forest Avenue should compare to Rodeo Drive

with that kind of traffic. The coffers should all be full and we poor

village folk should benefit from the hefty taxes the stores, hotels,

restaurants and other public venues collect.

Laguna once was a charming little village with a unique and

artistic bent, but today it is a conglomeration of influences, many

of which are negative and have made living in Laguna much less

pleasant than it was in the past. We cannot have it all. At some

point the city officials will have to listen to the homeowners and

business owners and gauge what is the best course to prevent further

erosion of the quality of life here. The city needs to be charming

for those of us who live here and have a vested interest in the

day-to-day ambience and efficiencies of our city.

The tourists have someplace else and their influences on life in

our city should be minimal unless at the proposed gate to the village

we can build an enormous tollbooth.

* Pam Bobit is a Laguna Beach resident.


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