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Letter to Editor: Vote Yes on Measure CC

"What side of history do you want to be on?" asks John Monahan.

Dear Editor:

As you’re deciding how to vote on Measure CC, you may want to think about how you will look back on your vote 20 years from now.  And what side of history you want to be on.

Back in 1968, when the City issued bonds to purchase the land that would become Main Beach Park, a certain group in town opposed City ownership, and wanted the property to be developed with motels, a parking structure and a convention center.  In 1990, a year after thousands walked to save Laguna Canyon, and voted overwhelmingly to issue bonds for the purchase, a small group that claims to represent taxpayers (they don’t represent me or most of the people I know, and we’re all taxpayers) argued against creation of a wilderness park on these lands.  And today, we have the same small group arguing against Measure CC, the ballot measure to help preserve the remaining 400 acres of developable open space around town.

What side of history do you want to be on?  The one that created the spectacular window-to- the- sea at Main Beach that generations of Lagunans have enjoyed, or the one that wanted to clutter Main Beach with massive commercial development?   The one that created Laguna Canyon Wilderness Park, or the one that preferred development of another cookie-cutter Irvine Company “community” in Laguna Canyon?  The one that supported Measure CC and preserved Laguna’s remaining open space, or the one that saw those lands developed parcel-by-parcel over 20 years and lost forever?

Laguna Beach has a proud history of people coming together, regardless of political stripe, and making the right decision at critical moments.  This is one such moment.  Please join the majority of Lagunans and vote Yes on Measure CC.  We need 2/3 to pass it, and every vote counts.

-- John Monahan

Dave Connell November 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Silly boy. The property owners pay the taxes because they have to. The whole thing is bad and the worst part is the Flat Tax. An unjust tax punishing to poor and middle class while favoring the rich. Vote No on this scheme and let the pushers come back in the next election with a better plan and a fair sales or property tax. \
Dave Connell November 01, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Doug is right again. Dave
Jill Cooper November 01, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Measure CC tax isn't necessary whether it's on the parcel owners or a city sales tax. Our bare hillsides are already saved due to the regulations passed by our city council making it impossible to subdivide, extend streets, build larger than the conforming neighborhood with slope ratios, square footage and height limits. The Open Space Initiative, backed by two women on the city council now up for reelection, want to amass a large amount of money to spend at their discretion. Why after passing all these regulations, knowing these last parcels of land haven't a chance in H--- of ever being built, would they back Measure CC? Could it be that several neighborhood associations within Laguna will endorse them if they in return buy property within their neighborhood first? Sounds like a conflict of interest to me. They will have millions at their fingertips to pay more than the land is worth just to appease these specific associations. It will only bail out a handful of parcel owners that see this windfall of cash as a way out of a bad investment. If CC doesn't pass, the most these large parcel owners can possibly build will be one modest home where their land has access to the street and will give the remaining land to the city as open space. One or two more homes in Laguna will not devastate our remaining hillsides. It's selfish of these neighborhood associations to make us pay just to keep one house from being built on their street. NO on CC.
John Monahan November 02, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Doug: thanks for your response. I too appreciate your rational tone. The rest of this comment string has pretty much lost it. I understand that you believe that the restrictions in place on some of the properties will stop some development from happening, but there are ways around the rules, previous landowners have pushed back and won, the pressure to develop will greatly intensify as we come out of recession, and one or two changes on City Council could completely change the rules of the game. We need CC and I'm going to vote Yes. Thanks for having a reasonable conversation.
Doug Cortez November 02, 2012 at 04:17 PM
John: I agree reasonabe people can work together to preserve open space. The groups promoting CC are dividing our community. Today's ads in the papers claim CC is a continuation of Measure H Laguna Canyon Conservation. This is simply not true and creates more division. No one running for City Council will allow OS parcels to be developed. All candidates except one, are opposing CC or have serious reservations about it. One more point. The few parcel owners that have attempted development (and failed) have turned to the courts (w/o success). If CC passes, we will have permanent law that will enable the City to monetize over $30 mm of your money. Will the courts insist the City pay damages to these owners if they have this kind of money in a segregated account for this purpose. Is CC an admission of guilt by the City? CC will ony embolden property owners to sue the City and grab this money. One more reason to reject this bad idea.

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