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Mailbag

September 07, 2007

Gated communities benefit the public

As a former homeowner in Three Arch Bay and now a resident and property owner along the Intra-Coastal waterway in South Carolina, I note the issues of public access are equal irrespective of which coast you live near.

It is important to note that in all cases, those who are privileged to live on the water pay dearly for that privilege. And in most cases, that payment continues each and every year through property taxes.

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My comments are not a complaint about taxes, but a suggestion that in most cases, they are dismissed in the discussion.

Noting payments that are 5- to 10-times that of the normal property, it must be recognized that these owners already do so much more then the average property owner in providing needed resources to their local community.

Money for parks, lifeguards, public facilities of all sorts — many of which would not exist without the significant tax contributions from those who live along the water.

This does not dismiss the need for public access. What it does speak to is a realization that these property owners do contribute, not take away from the local community.

In the case of a gate-guarded community such as Three Arch, public access would for all practical purposes totally negate the “gate guarded” from the community.

Given the more than 70-year history of the neighborhood, the fact that current values are predicated on this pre-existing condition, the compromise conditioned by the Coastal Commission is extremely generous on the part of Three Arch residents that already provide the significant tax contributions I spoke of earlier.

Mark Generales

Beaufort, SC

It is still illegal to use leaf blowers at all

Thank you Environmental Committee for highlighting the leaf-blower ban issue in Laguna. The legal abuses and infractions of this law are both blatant and highly toxic to the public.

I have been subjected to leaf blowers at all ends of town from Wild Oats parking lot, to the Sawdust, and down south all the way to near St. Catherine’s school.

It is, indeed, controversial and, granted, some conditions and some blowers have changed since the law was passed. However, at this time, it is still illegal to be using leaf blowers at all! Our police don’t have time to be going around citing everyone, so it is up to every citizen, including the major landscaping company owners and employees, to abide by the law until such time as it is amended.

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