Laguna Terrace residents remain in limbo

Park owner hasn't disclosed plans now that court has given Coastal Commission jurisdiction over proposed subdivision.

July 21, 2011|By Barbara Diamond,

Laguna Terrace Park residents are in the dark about the future of a proposal that would allow them to buy the land under their mobile homes.

Residents have not been informed of what, if any, action the owner of the property or the California Coastal Commission will take in the wake of a legal decision giving the commission jurisdiction over a proposed subdivision and coastal development permit.

"We haven't heard anything," said Boyce Belt, Laguna Terrace Park Assn. president. "Right now it is up to the owner to go and play the game by the commission's rules or not at all."


Belt said last week that he had been told that owner Steve Esslinger would kill the sale of the park to the residents rather than go to the commission, but as of Wednesday he had not been contacted by Esslinger or James Lawson, who manages the park.

Residents met July 15 to discuss their situation.

"There was a lot of discussion, but at this time we don't know what we are going to do," Belt said. "It would be great if the commission just permitted the 1995 lot line split because it was so long ago."

The commission had taken the position, which was upheld by the court in June, that a lot line adjustment in 1995 did not have the required coastal development permit and although the adjustment was not appealed until 2007, the subdivision was appealable to the commission.

Had the lot line adjustment been authorized by the commission, the city's approval of the conversion would not have been appealable, according to the ruling issued June 29 by the Orange County Superior Court.

Belt said Wednesday that the park residents also have not been advised on what the commission discussed in closed session last week.

Commission spokesman Karl Schwing and Laguna Terrace spokesman James Lawson could not immediately be reached for comment.

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