School board needs to take residents into consideration

August 27, 2004

Christian L. Feist

It's like a war-zone. As I sit down to write this letter it's 5:45

a.m. Tuesday.

I'm typically slowly coming around at this time of the morning,

but this morning, like many these days, has started with a bang,

literally. There's a truck sucking waste from a port-o-potty across

the street. Its whining engine blazing away is enough to get my


2-year-old restlessly tossing about so I'd better hurry, she'll be

awakened soon. This morning's insult to my home and quality of life

is made all that much sweeter by the smell of human waste being

pumped into a truck across the street.

I digress. Like many in my neighborhood I bought my home across

the street from Laguna Beach High School knowing full well what I was

getting into -- a busy street almost devoid of parking, the trash,

the occasional kid smoking in my yard to avoid detection, all of it.

Not a problem. As a matter of fact I cannot recall having any

problems with any students. To their credit, the kids have been


I have never once complained or called the school about any issue

(well there was one incident, but that's another story). That is

until recently. The truck I mentioned earlier is part of the larger

construction project at the high school sports fields. And my problem

is not with the early construction starts or the overspray from the

gymnasium that ended up on my car (I had to discover that myself) or

the dirt that covers everything in the neighborhood. Heck it's not

even the rude and dangerous truck drivers that terrorize my street.

No, my problem is with the design of the new baseball facility and

specifically the new poles that threaten to take away all remaining

views of the ocean not only for me but for many of us in the area. In

addition to the drop in value that will undoubtedly accompany my loss

of view, there's the lighting that will illuminate my home into the

wee hours of the morning each time a night event takes place. On that

note, I imagine that the frequency of events other than those of the

high school will increase now that such facilities exist. But let's

not dwell on the "what-ifs." I want to call your attention to the

"what is."

Whether the school district acted lawfully (and we will find this

out through our own discovery) in the design-review process, what

they did not do was to act responsibly, ethically or morally with

regards to community impact. The neighbors and I came home one day to

a skyline filled with 8-inch-wide poles and the very real prospect of

Coastline Pilot Articles Coastline Pilot Articles