El Morro conversion, it's about time
Re: "Should El Morro village be converted into a location for
camping and day use?" (Coastline Pilot, Aug. 23)
Yes. The trailer park is on state land purchased by a board issue
for all Californians in 1979. We have waited while they have obtained
lease extensions by pandering to local politicians from Marion
Bergeson to John Campbell.
Sympathy, if any, should be extended to the taxpayers of the state
who are tired of waiting.
It certainly is great news that at last by 2004 the El Morro
Trailer Park, including the beach, will be converted to campsites and
day use for the California public. We have been waiting for 25 years,
since the purchase by the state parks, for this to happen.
Those fortunate people who have been able to live there all these
years will now have to step aside and allow those of us who have been
kept out have our chance to enjoy this wonderful area.
Corona del Mar
Yes, I am absolutely convinced that a camping site and
recreational site is needed and wanted and will make exceptionally
fine use of a beautiful beach that few can use at the present moment.
Problems that must be solved:
The place needs a new name. There is already El Moro State Park in
Northern California. How about a contest to rename the place. Let the
kids get involved. Laguna Beach State Park would have my vote.
El Morro school site must be fenced off and completely protected
from predations by strangers having access to our kids.
Pedestrian access to the beach can still be made by tunnel or a
new pedestrian overpass like the one at Aliso Creek. Please try not
to put another traffic signal out there for pedestrians to ignore.
Because I formerly lived in Malibu it was a pleasure to know that
folks could camp on the beach at Leo Carillo State Beach right up the
coast and I often took my kids there. Now I could take my
grandchildren. We've been on the beach at Doheny in Dana Point and
the campgrounds are nice but crowded. The picnic grounds are nice but
crowded. Let's be visionary and add 2,800 acres of recreational land
to our community.
Go for it! What help do you need?
Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist,
retired Laguna Beach
El Moro not good place for campground
No, for many reasons, the school is too close: traffic, trash,
pollution, transients and that's just to mention a few. But the most
important reason is the state should not have the to right to make
hundreds of people homeless just for their "gain." Yes, they are on
rented land, but really, is any of our land really ours.
Many years ago the state wanted to put an expressway in, where I
now call home. The home owner at the time was defenseless against the
State. But fortunately, for her and me, it never happened.
What ever happen to homestead? Our forefathers could find the
land, build a home, and stay in it for a number of years. It was
theirs, and they made it home. Families grew up together building
years of love and memories.
We are fortunate to live in California with many great parks and
recreation places to enjoy; from one end of the state to the other.
Many of the parks go unnoticed by several of us. El Moro is a real
gem; the coast line is breathtaking when you drive by. And those who
are lucky enough to have a home there should not be made homeless
just for our "recreation."
We have Crystal Cove and we can easily walk down to El Moro to
enjoy its beauty.
Where is our security in the lives we have built? Is it so easily
discarded by the majority! El Moro is a small community built by
loving dedicated people. I don't believe anyone has the right to tear
it apart. Would you want your city or town be tore down and rebuild
"better" for a Park, so the majority can spend just day or night. Not
a life time.
According to Rusty Areias, director of California State Parks,
there is a shortage of 10,000 to 15,000 campsites statewide. A great
opportunity exists at Crystal Cove State Park, on the ocean side of
the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Historic Crystal Cove district to
Pelican Point sits Crystal Cove State Park flat land that could be
divided into 1,000 campsites. Common sense says build 1,000 campsites
if there is a shortage of campsites in California. Rusty Areias needs
to focus on the property north of Historic Crystal Cove district to
help satisfy the shortage of campsites statewide.
I do not think that El Morro should be turned into a campground.
The residents of El Morro have lived there a long time, and it would
be terrible to take away a life-long home. El Morro village has been
around since 1922, and some people have lived there all their lives.
The state took the people out of their homes in Crystal Cove, and
now they are doing nothing with them. It is not fair to turn
something beautiful into something that will bring in every type of
person, and have a possible chance of the area getting polluted with
trash. I definitely do not think that these homes should be taken
away from the residents.
There is plenty of other spaces of land that can be turned into a
campground. The state needs to go somewhere else and make a
I just want you to know that I have a friend that lives in El
Morro Village and visit often.
What a charming place. Everyone is so nice and seem to love where
they live. I think it is terrible that it may be taken away from
them. It is already sad what happened to Crystal Cove (all those
people made to leave and then the government decides they don't have
enough money to develop it) and I would hate to see all these people
at El Morro Village have to leave their homes.
There has got to be a solution where they can stay and live the
life they are used to.
Succinctly rendered, as a matter of local and public policy is it
preferable that the state build over people and places to allow a
60-unit transient overnight camp park to offset a 16,000 unit
shortfall or preserve and maintain a 290 unit, low-income village to
continue a 70-year-old cultural resource?
Essentially, the state is imposing its autocratic, political will
on the history and future of Orange County in general and Laguna
Beach in particular. If local control is not at issue, the citizens
have no recourse to take action elsewhere including El Toro's Great
Park Plan where the state has an archaic, vested interest as well.
As individuals we can stand our ground or move. I for one live by
our nation's first motto: "Don't Tread on Me."
Duff Owens Wilmoth
Hedges should live by fence rules
Re: "Do you think the Planning Commission should recommend the
city regulate how high hedges can be?" (Coastline Pilot, Aug. 23)
Of course the Planning Commission should subject vegetation along
property lines to the same regulations that apply to fences made of
"dead wood" or other materials.
If the rules governing the height and location of fences is good
for the general welfare of the public, than it does not make any
difference of what material the fence consists of. In fact, a static
fence is much better for the public than a living fence which
continually grows and spreads out encroaching on neighbor's property,
sidewalks, streets, etc.
This action is long overdue and should be enacted immediately. I
agree that in special cases vegetation exceeding the existing
limitations in the fence ordinance should be allowed, just as the
Design Review Board currently does where it is for the benefit of all
the concerned parties.
Lets keep it simple, anything along the property lines as defined
in the existing fence ordinance, is subject to the rules of the fence
ordinance regardless of what that "anything" is.
A height limit of 6 to 8 feet is reasonable.
Unfortunately, there are neighbors who lack a desire to enjoy a
view or might have something to hide.
The same problem exists with the wild growth of trees.
It is hoped that the various city officials can develop a
reasonable plan so that our original vistas can be recovered.
Hedge height limit not right for city
If Planning Commissioner Norman Grossman and City Councilwoman
Cheryl Kinsman are able to pass the hedge height zoning amendment on
Sept. 11, you will be required to maintain your hedges on what the
city determines is the front portion of your property at a height of
4 feet or less. Otherwise you will be breaking the law.
If the preference for your property exceeds the 4-foot height
limit you will then have to have a group of architects determine the
fate of your foliage and rights to privacy based on their decision to
issue you a special permit, which you then will have to pay the city
The rationalization for this legislation has been stated to be for
the "safety of the public." There are already encroachment laws in
our municipal codes that restrict plant growth from extending in to
public domain. All the city needs to do is implement t hem. If my
foliage is a safety hazard to the public then they are trespassing
onto private property.
I see the legislation as the cities attempt to control and
capitalize on the individuals' right to privacy and quality of life.
This city has been legislating against our basic civil liberties
by doing nothing. Doing nothing still inevitably yields a result. The
lace of measures taken by this city to eliminate the noise, visual
and olfactory pollution one is continually subjected to in the course
of a weekend is distressing.
This is demonstrated by lack of any measures taken to eliminate
the noise from the illegal cigarette boats that go back and forth
along the coast or by the prop planes and their advertisements for
sunscreen going back and forth all day long all weekend or by
omnipotent decisions of eliminating a watercourse from a development
project so the impact on the resulting water quality won't have to be
Residents new and old have grown weary listening to the multitude
of lame excuses from the city as to why they can't do anything. We
need to start hearing how we can and see it in action. This is your
role as representatives of our community.
However the city has taken an active stance toward implementing
regulations that not only promote but also will force the residents
to build. The amendment will do just this. These hedges that are
"buffers" not "barriers" from which there is still noise, odor and
visual privacy that is compromised by the resident in exchange for
greenery, a breeze and sunshine.
If you require residents to remove this buffer they will seek to
meet this need in other ways to restore their quality of living and
you will force residents to achieve their privacy, peace and quiet by
building walls and adding onto their houses. This makes all the
concern for "mansionization" look like a bunch of lip service.
The focus of the management of this city is money, money, money at
the expense of personal quality of living, living, living. Hasty
change appears financially rewarding however it quickly fizzles into
financial loss in the long run.
Laguna does not have the only beach access along the coast. One of
the reasons people come here is because of the amount of greenery
from nature that is present. When people go out they want to forget
their troubles and get a way from civilization not look at more of
If we continue along this trend next year the city will be telling
us what color we can or cannot paint our house. Where and when will
it end? Eventually we will be no different from the Corona del Mar or
any other beach city.
With this type of thinking we might consider enclosing the Pageant
stadium too. The risk of someone getting a chill would far outweigh
the delight in the ability to sit under the stars.
The hedge height amendment Norm Grossman and the Laguna Beach
Planning Commission will put into effect Sept. 11 is not in keeping
with the character of this town.
This amendment will impair the ability of the foliage to grow in a
customary and healthy manner associated with its individual species
by disrupting the quality and balance necessary in order to sustain a
healthy environment community.
The majority of the plants in this region flower, produce seeds
and develop new growth on the top portions of the plant. Flowers are
often where people derive their appreciation for the aesthetic beauty
provided by foliage. Seeds and leaf litter are one of the primary
ways nutrients and vitality of the soil is refurbished.
Topping plants in order to maintain a height restriction
eliminates a crucial portion of a plants normal lifecycle and is
exactly the reason why lawyers, accountants and the realtors should
not be making legislative decisions that involve the environment.
The real safety issue: We have been told that the hedge height
limit is for "safety" reasons. This amendment is a safety hazard to
individuals and their homes. Restrictions placed on foliage in sloped
regions where geological instability exists impairs the growth
patterns of secondary root structures which have proven to be a vital
factor in maintaining the stability and integrity of the basic soil
structures, especially during times of wet conditions.
We have been told that the hedge height limit will enhance the
view-shed. Limitations to foliage heights based on the view-shed
perspective should be nothing less than the height restrictions
placed on housing.
Norm Grossman says, "We should treat a hedge like a fence." Well
Norm, I hate to tell you, but a hedge is not a fence just like apples
are not oranges. Try treating a zinnea like a rose and it will tell
you loud and clear that it is not happy about it. This is if you
would listen to the voice of nature.
Our environment has been yelling at us for some time now. When are
we going to start listening?
"Mind your own business and you won't be minding mine."
-- Hank Williams
The proposed hedge height amendment currently under consideration
by the Planning Commission of Laguna Beach is "tit for tat"
legislation that doesn't belong in this town.
This is micro legislation that does not belong at the city level.
Diversity and differences used to be appreciated by the residents of
this community. This type of micromanagement just fosters hostility
among neighbors by allowing them to retaliate against a neighbor when
there is a valid gripe.
I am looking around at the properties surrounding my property. It
is easily visible that approximately 80% of them would not be in
compliance with the hedge or fence ordinance. So how is the
application of this law to be applied equally and fairly? It can't
without making major changes to the appearance of this community.
This type of management is unbecoming to mature plant life as well
as mature adults. I discourage its ratification by the Planning
Commission on Sept. 11.
Condon deserved the recognition
Enjoyed the article in your people feature on the "Keeper of the
Parks" crew chief Anthony Condon (Coastline Pilot, Aug. 23). It's
great to hear about people who love their work here in Laguna.
The city is to be commended for its dedicated folks who put in
that extra effort behind the scenes to keep the landscape in top
shape. Getting to know Anthony the last couple of years has shown
that he has benefited from a loving family and the aloha spirit that
a surfer develops from a committed life.
Marlo Bartels Studio
in Laguna Beach