Laguna Terrace residents off hook for funding appeal

Laguna Terrace Park Assn. members have learned that the park owner has rescinded a request for $50,000 to appeal the court decision that gave jurisdiction over development to the California Coastal Commission.

The information was relayed to members via an email from association President Boyce Belt on Oct. 6, the day the association was to discuss a response to the request for funds.

"I learned late Wednesday that [owner] Steve [Esslinger] had pulled his request off the table," Belt said.

The communication from an attorney representing Esslinger came just 24 hours before the scheduled association meeting. In his email to members sent Oct. 6, Belt relayed the information he received from attorney Rob Coldren.

1. The park (owner) has relented in its request that the residents fund the appeal.

2. The present intention of the park (owner) is to appeal the recent decision.

3. The two cases on the Supreme Court of California docket (related to mobile home parks) influenced the decision to appeal.

4. The park decided it unfair to ask residents to contribute to the cost of the appeal.

Laguna Terrace Park LLC has until late October to file an appeal, Belt said.

Belt said he was pleased that the park owner had withdrawn his request because it was causing dissension among the residents at a time when unity was essential in pursuit of subdivision of the property and the goal of individual ownership of the lots.

He called for support of the owner's intention to appeal. A win in court by the owner would also be a win for the residents, Belt said.

However, a successful appeal does not guarantee subdivision, only that subdivision would not be under the jurisdiction of the Coastal Commission.

A majority of the association members who responded to the request for funding did not favor it, but less than half responded. Twenty-six were opposed, 21 were in favor and three wanted more information, according to Belt.

Belt also informed the association's members that, as of Oct. 6, he had received no answer to the association's offer to buy the park.

"I am just guessing, but with the announcement that they will be appealing the decision, it would appear that they are not interested in selling the park, but I will continue to try to get a response," Belt said. "It will be sent to you promptly."

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