Mailbag: Better perspective needed on view ordinance

I strongly support the city's recent attempt to strengthen the view ordinance, as announced in your paper. At the same time, I think the city administration needs to get behind it and begin to support its intent. It often does not.

Last fall my neighbor lost a third of white water view — a view he has had and worked to preserve during the last 20 years — all due to a remodel on the street below him.

Over 20 years ago he purchased his double lot and bought the double lot below him. He picked the perfect spot on his lot for a white water view and built his house on it. He then built a spec house on the lot in front of him with a roof line that did not block any of his view. And, he thought he and his wife would enjoy this view for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately the home in front of him to the south was purchased and a remodel was planned. The architect took a smart approach. His first staking was to raise the three story house so high he blocked almost everyone's view behind it. Of course he was ordered to lower the house by the Design Review Board, but never brought it down to the requested original height, which is the normal height of the neighborhood. Instead of taking 80% of my neighbors' white water view he now took 30% and took the position that he given a lot back when in reality, he took a view that was never his to begin with.

Even though every neighbor surrounding the remodel testified against raising the roof line or expanding the existing floors because this blocked views, the Design Review Board said they could live with that in spite of my neighbor's protests and in spite of the fact that none of them have to personally "live with that." He appealed to the council but three council members voted against him saying the Design Review Board does a good job; Kelly Boyd who apparently took a personal interest in the project, Elizabeth Pearson and Jane Egly. So, now construction is beginning, and my neighbor will lose a good portion of his white water view.

I wonder if Steve Dicterow would be a better chair of the committee to review the ordinance, given that Kelly Boyd doesn't seem to have the right perspective. "I can live with that" is not the attitude needed to solve the view problems of people who actually do need to live with a loss of the view forever.

John Selecky

Laguna Beach


Kudos to Kelly Boyd and council

Re: The City Council Meeting of Jan. 15:

Oh what a night

and it was a sight

to hear the plight

of our tree blight

that keeps an ocean view

to a mere peek-a-boo.

Hooray for Kelly Boyd who

who stood up for me and you

so that we can see that body of blue

our canyons and beautiful sky,

it just wants to make me cry.

I think that the City Council became aware of the pent up frustration

with how the original tree ordinance was written and the limitations it placed

to those who had/have view. Unfortunately, there are a few who have used

trees/vegetation for not neighborly purposes and frustrated

those who love trees but are thoughtful in how we maintain them and

place them in gardens to maintain the heritage that is really Laguna — our views.

Ganka Brown

Laguna Beach

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