Editor's note: Though Laguna Beach City Council member Elizabeth Pearson this week voiced her support for slowing the controversial Village Entrance Project approval process down and make the planning process more transparent to residents, people still have opinions on the subject. Here are three of that latest letters that arrived in the Patch inbox ...
Drive a stake through it!
Concerning the Village Entrance Project: Why? Former mayor Neil Fitzpatrick succinctly said it all at a meeting last month when he said he’d thought we’d driven a stake through the heart of that idea. The argument that we should get off the dime and finally pass this thing is specious—a bad idea remains a bad idea. Why should we pay better-spent megabucks on an ugly addition that will further clog an already congested area of town?
To my mind, this less than attractive part of Laguna could definitely use some landscaping improvement, but no matter how carefully disguised, a hugely expensive parking structure will subtract, not add, to our visual appeal.
As far as adding parking places, we have a number of alternatives that should be substituted for this centralized plan, not added to it! (And really, $325,000 per additional parking spot?!) We will never be able to add enough parking for all the visitors who might want to visit unless we pave over the whole town, and then what’s to visit? Any plan involving a parking structure in this downtown location should be jettisoned! Drive a stake through it.
-- Rosemary Boyd
The Council has the city's best interests in mind.
Kudos to Mr. Nokes, et all, for their letter of clarification and sanity concerning the Village Entrance Project. It is always difficult to counter the "Chicken Little" mentality of the "Usual Suspects." Mr. Nokes, et all, are correct that the Council vote is just the latest action to explore, officially, the distinct possibility of proceeding with a project at the disused site in Laguna Canyon. I look forward to the information that will be presented in October. Until then, the 'Usual Suspects" are welcome to continue to disseminate their inaccurate and misleading vitriol against the project. In my personal opinion and experience, the "Usual Suspects" are not really afraid of change, they are dead set against anything that is not their idea.
Yes, these same folks opposed all of the projects and more that were listed in Mr. Nokes' letter. However, the most significant project that these self same folks stonewalled and opposed over twenty years ago was the Top of the World Water Reservoir. In concert with their Village Laguna three vote majority, they prevented that project from going forward until the night of October 27, 1993! Despite the numerous City Council meetings on the project and their deadlocked votes of 2 to 2, one abstention, the project finally got the go ahead shortly after that disastrous fire.
I too have issues and concerns about the Village Entrance project. However, I voted for every one of our current Council members because I am confident that they have the best interests of our ENTIRE community as a basis for the decisions they make. There is a long process ahead for this project and I am confident that the Council members will deal with all of the concerns one way or the other. Ultimately, the project may or may not go ahead. The irresponsible opposition by the "Usual Suspects" is not conducive to a proper dialog of the issues and concerns. The personal attacks on our duly elected Council members by those who lost big time in the recent election are sophomoric and narrow minded. The personal attacks on our Council members by Council has-beens and Council wannabes should cease, and intelligent discussion of the issues and concerns generated by this project should be observed by all.
-- Tom Slattery
Let's move ahead!
Vision. We need a vision of how beautiful the proposed conceptual plans for the intersection of Forest Avenue and Laguna Canyon can be upon arriving into downtown Laguna Beach.
How amazing it could look seeing a greenbelt park, versus a blighted corner parking lot. Feeling the rumbling of tires over enhanced paving signaling you have arrived at downtown Laguna Beach. Accessing improved intersections between Forest Avenue, Laguna Canyon and Ocean Avenue because the entrance of the parking structure will be across from the festival grounds, leading many of the cars entering Laguna Beach straight into the new parking structure, not into the middle of downtown.
Finally, it will include the renovation of the long-forgotten Spanish-style tank building. All these elements will help beautify downtown Laguna Beach. I agree with Larry Nokes and expect Elizabeth Pearson and the other City Council members to move on, let’s get it designed, priced out and move ahead with finishing the planning for such a vision for the beautification of Laguna Beach.
-- Marshall Ininns, downtown business owner