The battle is on for the heart, soul and destiny of Laguna Beach. During the 24 years I've lived here, I've seen a right-wing element emanating from the Laguna Taxpayers' Assn. and the Chamber of Commerce. The culmination of these elements came with the election of the McDowell-Dawson-Boyd City Council. They were one-term councilmen, but they left the city with a bill of $6.5 million for Sycamore Hills. The present council has had the job of paying this bill.
Cayenne Bird, Don Black, Jack Hansen and Paul and Barbara Westbrook are heirs to McDowell and Co. They support a recall of three of our present council members.
The recall group speaks disparagingly of "design review." Before design review was implemented, hundreds of "boxes" were built on tiny lots in Arch Beach Heights. With the advent of the Arch Beach Heights Specific Plan and design review, the area has turned around and today is a pleasant part of Laguna Beach. Chamber of Commerce President Don Black recently spoke in favor of an Irvine Co. development of 3,204 homes in Laguna Canyon at a county Planning Commission hearing.
Implicit in the rhetoric of the recall group is the right to bigger and better signs and to unregulated sidewalk merchandise displays including clothes racks. If bigger is better and more is good, then look for second- and third-story additions to buildings in the village and perhaps even a high-rise hotel or two on the beach.