The empty lots in question are already open, and their maintenance is the responsibility of the owners who also pay property taxes on them. If they can unload them on us they avoid those costs and still have the empty space near them. The city loses the tax money it collects from private owners and now we will have to take care of those empty lots. It's a win-win situation for the property owners of those empty lots and a lose-lose trap for us taxpayers.
Even the title of their proposed initiative is misleading. It is not about saving open space; it is about gaining their control over already empty lots around town. You can expect a lot of pressure to get your support. But be smart, save your money for something you need and do not sign or support this selfish initiative.
Note that this unneeded tax increase is also totally unfair because it is by the lot, not by the assessed value of the property, which means the poorest home owner and renter in Laguna has to pay just as much as the richest people. Yes, renter: You will have to pay, too. The owner will have to pass this increase onto you.
Arts patron is a boon to city
Laguna Beach is lucky to have Mark Porterfield.
Mark has supported the arts in Laguna for more than 10 years. He funded the Nautilus bench on Forest Avenue as well as the restoration of Ruth Peabody's "Boy and Dog." Peabody's piece is Laguna's oldest public artwork.
Now, Mark is funding the shipment of the World Trade Center beams to our city. We'll soon have a public artwork honoring the heroes of 9/11.