Mailbag: Canyon has had enough homeless problems

April 24, 2014

As the Coastline Pilot has written, a two-story building that would house the chronically homeless on a permanent basis is being proposed for Laguna Canyon ("Homeless housing proposed for canyon," March 28):

I can tell you that the Alternative Living Shelter has presented more than enough problems to residents in the canyon.

We've had random homeless or mentally ill folks wander into our neighborhoods, sleep on our yards, defecate in the streets, yell at residents and smoke in the open space, which is dangerous in a fire-prone area and should be a concern for all residents.

I think we've endured enough and can't fathom how much worse the situation could be with this proposed expansion.

If another area in the city was considered for this project — say Emerald Bay, Top of the World or Woods Cove — I'm sure the neighbors would be up in arms.


It seems that many non-canyon Laguna residents have a case of NIMBY and are quick to find alternative solutions that won't affect their neighborhoods. The canyon has too often been treated as the red-headed stepchild of our city, and we say enough is enough.

Many residents in the canyon are going to fight this project.

We are not cold-hearted people. We give to charities that help those in need, but we don't want to have to worry about our families, property or safety.

Maria Neill

Laguna Beach


Group should stop wasting time on fight

How many more baseless appeals are the Laguna Canyon Property Owner's Assn. going to wage against the artist live-work project and at what cost to us local taxpayers, the City Council and the owner-developer?

When you live in a town that is an internationally recognized art colony, isn't it reasonable to assume that a high percentage of our population wants to create an environment that will attract and retain local artists?

For the association to now try once again to derail this project by appealing to the California Coastal Commission creates an unjust burden on the developer and city staff who will get drawn into the fray.

I see shades of the Montage property mess, albeit on a smaller scale. The protests went on for years and drove developers out of town. Had The Athens Group not been able to finally get this hotel development approved, we would still be looking at a broken-down, fenced-in trailer park with no beach access instead of the beautiful oceanfront park and picnic grounds we enjoy today.

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