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Vilification of Village Laguna

Recently, Liberate Laguna and others with similar views launched campaigns that feel to me like they are trying to intimidate Laguna residents into boycotting the Village Laguna Charm House Tour. Suddenly, ads claiming that Village Laguna’s Charm House Tour is a way to raise “dark” money appeared in local publications. Letters to the Editor with similar charges were sent. Coordinated?

The hypocrisy behind these smears obscured the fact that Liberate Laguna raised $150k+ from just 9 individuals to urge voters to vote for a candidate who would support their initiatives on the council. Based on comments made on the record so far, Liberate Laguna’s elected council member advocates: 

--Taking away existing residents’ ocean views and giving them to developers

--Restricting the right to privacy in our own homes when impacted by new construction

--Allowing developers to buy and then demolish our heritage buildings 

--Allowing large scale, short-term rental operations in our single-family neighborhoods

--Firing all board and commission members and starting from scratch, which seems to me like a plan to appoint development friendly replacements

--Allowing replacement of our varied downtown businesses with restaurants

You get the drift! 

Did Liberate Laguna’s expensive campaign ads and flyers last year tell voters these were their true intentions? When developers back a candidate, the candidate often backs the developers. At a point in our community’s life when so many large-scale projects are up for review, it is clear to many of us why Liberate Laguna has started a campaign to vilify the only real opposition to the over-commercialization of our neighborhoods and our unique downtown.

Elections have consequences. I am worried for the Laguna Beach we love so much and we all enjoy. If you are also concerned about the proposals Liberate Laguna has for our future, join us in this critical struggle. Come to the Charm House Tour to experience firsthand what we want to protect and discover the reasons why Liberate Laguna supporters seem to fear nonprofit volunteer groups like Village Laguna. 

Armando Baez

Laguna Beach