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Mailbag: 'Bourbon Street by the Beach' is new

August 01, 2013

David Hansen's opinion piece in the July 26, 2013 edition of the Coastline Pilot regarding the Cliff restaurant's application for outdoor music badly misrepresents the relationship between the restaurant and near-by residents who object to the noise.

Mr. Hansen compares Laguna Beach residents who complain about noise from the Cliff to city dwellers who move to the country and complain about cow odors. There's only one thing wrong with this fable: Mr. Hansen has his facts completely wrong.

When my wife and I moved with our two young daughters south of downtown Laguna, there was no outdoor music at the local bars and restaurants. It was a quiet neighborhood where people raised families and got up early to go to work, as they do today. Live music on the South Coast Highway was confined to a handful of bars and restaurants, and none of it was outdoors.

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The effort to remake the Coast Highway south of Broadway into Bourbon Street by the Beach is new. And it is affecting family neighborhoods south of downtown in very negative ways.

There is a better way to understand the conflict between bar and restaurant owners on the South Coast Highway than Mr. Hansen's good guy/bad guy fable. Instead, there is a balance of interests between residents and businesses, and it has swung out of balance for the past several years, to the detriment of residents. Sophisticated business owners — and city officials — will recognize the wisdom of maintaining an appropriate balance, fearing the restrictions on businesses and their patrons that will be demanded by an energized public. It is in everyone's interest for the Cliff's application regarding outdoor music to be denied.

Kurt Wiese

Laguna Beach

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Pearson was on point in radio interview

I listened to a recent KX 93.5 interview of Councilmember Elizabeth Pearson regarding the Village Entrance project. The interview struck me less as a forum for community enlightenment and more of a platform for the interviewers to express their own opinions in the form of questions. Overall, it had a whiff of a red herring — a logical fallacy that misleads or detracts from an actual issue and that seeks to lead one to a false conclusion.

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