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Mailbag: Live-work project could improve look of canyon

February 06, 2014

My father was visiting me from Texas for the first time since I moved to California.

I decided to drive down Laguna Canyon Road to show him the artists' areas such as the Sawdust Art Festival and Pageant of the Masters.

His comment as we were near the proposed artist live-work site was, "It's a dump." He pointed out the many ugly buildings, old unkempt houses and undeveloped abandoned-looking properties along the road.

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Laguna Canyon Road is home to a lot of eyesores, and it's time to add fresh, new and well-thought-out buildings along the road to the village. The artists' work-live buildings will be beautiful.

We will be proud to point out the site to visitors and brag about how artists live and work there as a community. The size and scale do fit the area, on the two parcels of land zoned for this type of structure. The design and landscaping will be good for the community.

It's time to support a development that will enhance the area, that is beautiful and functional and works for the community of artists and for Laguna Beach.

Stacy Santiesteban

Newport Beach

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A noble idea but the wrong project

I am a long-time resident and artist living in the canyon along Laguna Canyon Road. I know how hard it is for artists to find housing let alone work space in this "artists colony."

The canyon has always been home to artists because of its affordability and creative spirit. But I cannot support this live-work project proposed for the Louis Longi property.

In reality, it only has eight affordable units and for that small number the Planning Commission was willing to set aside the neighborhood's specific plan.

Since when has our city become more concerned about a developer's bottom line than enforcing a neighborhood's specific plan? That's really scary.

Visualize 30 units (eight affordable) in buildings perhaps as high as three stories, not to mention parking for 47 cars. Oh, and let's not forget the lighting that these structures will require and it's effect on the Canyon Road and the adjacent neighbors.

Now does that sound like something that belongs in this rustic and charming area? I think not.

Regumbah Connolly

Laguna Beach

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Live-work building supports artist heritage

I support the proposed artist live-work project in Laguna Canyon.

The project's plans show this is not a "giant apartment building," but a number of 400- to 600-square-feet studios with roughly one-third of the space dedicated to living and two-thirds to work areas.

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