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Mailbag: Flood plain is no place for project

February 20, 2014

I have lived in Laguna Beach for nearly 72 years, 64 of them on Sun Valley Drive. Flash floods in the Sun Valley Drive area are unpredictable. And when they come, everything on the ground is swept away.

Picture dozens of cars, trucks, bicycles and scooters being swept into the pillars of the proposed live-work structures on Laguna Canyon Road, damming the rushing water, which can travel 15 miles an hour. Then picture these vehicles being swept into the deeper channel under bridges, blocking and damming the oncoming flood, causing serious damage to upstream homes and small businesses.

Some developers are not truly concerned with what happens after their projects are completed. Where is the concern for the home and business owners and the cottage industries established in our Sun Valley Drive community? Who cares about the dangers involved in putting unsuspecting people in a flash flood zone?

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Here's a thought: If the Laguna Beach City Council and the Planning Commission are so desperate to develop a 30-unit live-work complex, a better alternative might be the unused property at the Big Bend, on the northeast side, out of the flash flood zone. Or next to the Art-A-Fair, within walking distance of downtown Laguna, no cars needed. It would be an art show of its own.

It seems the city government is ready to force a dangerously placed, nonconforming project in our Sun Valley Drive community without true concern for the well-being of all concerned.

Are the Laguna Beach council members and the planning commissioners willing to take personal responsibility for flood damage and possible loss of human life by allowing a dormitory-hotel under the guise of art-live studios?

Loraine Hollingsworth

Laguna Beach

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Live-work project meets necessary criteria

I'm writing in regard to John Hamil's recent commentary, "Live-work disruption: Will city keep its promises?" Coastline Pilot, Feb. 14. He wrote in response to my commentary regarding the live-work project we have designed for local artist Louis Longi in Laguna Canyon.

In his commentary, Hamil refutes my assertion that this project conforms to all of the applicable standards of the Laguna Canyon annexation plan. It should be noted that the requirements set forth in this reference document are both of an objective and subjective nature.

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