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Coastal Homes Priced Out of Reach

June 18, 2003

"The Gold Coast of California" (June 14), about the high price of Santa Barbara-area housing, made me cry. The story is the same in every city up and down our beautiful coast. As a scion of Newport Beach, I don't see how I can ever go home again. There are no cabanas in my price range. And if there were, I'm not sure that I would want to make the move. With the loss of the middle class, other assets have eroded as well. The beach culture, with its lifestyle and all of its estimable ethics and values, is also getting priced out of town.

Gordy Grundy

Los Angeles

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You have it all wrong when you write that "longtime homeowners, of course, are delighted" with Santa Barbara's dubious claim to fame as the most expensive housing region in the state.

I am a longtime homeowner in Santa Barbara, and I am not alone in thinking it a tragedy that this beautiful city has become inaccessible to anyone who didn't have the dumb luck to have arrived here 10 or more years ago.

Jane Pinney Faulkner

Santa Barbara

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Apparently, one of the homeowners quoted in your article believes that if there are middle-class and working-class people who have to drive two hours every day to help maintain the "lovely homes and open space" -- and take care of their children, paint their houses, clean the streets, clean their houses, work as clerks in their supermarkets, work on their houses' roofs, fix their houses' walls, clean out their houses' pipes, repair their houses' pipes, teach their children, make sure that fire doesn't burn down their lovely homes, make sure that crime doesn't affect their "style of life," mow the grass in their "open spaces" and plant the flowers -- this doesn't "really trouble" the rich Santa Barbara residents. Humph.

Sounds like old-fashioned class elitism to me.

Andrew Lai

Cerritos

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