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Mailbag: Bank should follow lighting rules too

March 27, 2014

Sometime ago I attended a City Council meeting to draw attention to a lighting issue.

Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church had installed some inordinately bright light fixtures on its remodeled parking lot. The folks at the church distinguished themselves as good citizens by responding appropriately and subsequently "hooded" the lights.

It was a quintessential example of addressing the dark-sky initiative — a motion that has been loosely bandied about for years. As expected, a discussion ensued regarding action to make the dark-sky initiative a reality, and the city enacted the outdoor-lighting ordinance. It was an invigorating discussion.

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But along comes Chase Bank to demonstrate how picky small-town initiatives can be ignored.

I find it appalling that with all the lip service being paid to "dark sky" that the City Council, Design Review Board and the Planning Commission could have allowed something this bright to be hidden in the paper trail shadows. Asleep at the switch? Maybe we can't turn off the switch but at least we can install a dimmer.

I haven't seen this many lumens since Wyland cast a spotlight on his whale wall. It lit up the old Hotel Laguna parking lot and most of Coast Highway. All this, by the way, was rectified quickly.

I think it's time that this council sent a message to Chase:

This city doesn't distinguish between huge corporate entities and small business. The rules are the rules. There is no favoritism. Most of all, there is no fear. This City Council is not afraid to correct the wrong.

At least, we hope so.

Bob McCord

Laguna Beach

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Who's visiting all these banks anyway?

I appreciated the column on Chase bank — a plague on our neighborhoods ("Chase away Chase, too many banks," Coastline, March 14.)

The writer didn't mention the loss of Coco's to the residents of Corona del Mar, another city overrun with banks. I don't know many people who even go to a bank anymore, so why so many new banks? I think that is a very good question.

The column put into words what I have been thinking about since ZPizza became Chase in my neighborhood.

Jackie Knauer

Laguna Beach

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Live-work enhances city's status

Laguna Beach enjoys a unique and enviable reputation around the country and, indeed, around the world.

It is known for its beauty, its beach and its history as an inspiring haven for artists. Laguna Beach is widely regarded as among the top art colonies and has been recognized as such in leading publications.

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