Community Survey Topics
Village Laguna’s May 12, 2016, Letter to Mayor Dicterow and the City Council:
The Board of Directors of Village Laguna have some concerns about the list of topics and some suggestions about topics that might be added.
First, it’s hard to tell from many of these topics what kind of questions you might ask. While it’s pretty clear that respondents are going to be asked whether they’d like to have a new pool or a cultural arts center or undergrounded utilities, we can’t imagine what you’re thinking of asking about “Land Use Plans: Downtown and Laguna Canyon” when there’s a planning process already funded and under way for these issues. Another topic, “Neighborhood Preservation,” is a goal and a set of policies in the General Plan and so is “Historic Resources.” In other words, the City is already committed to preservation. What kinds of questions about it do you have in mind?
Second, we’d like to be assured that where you mention “lane configurations” on Laguna Canyon Road, you won’t be asking a question about additional lanes, which is a proposal that the task force has put to rest.
Third, we think it’s unwise to include a vote on short-term rentals in a general survey like this one. The General Plan and the zoning code are clear on the issue, and the question is not individuals’ preferences but what’s best for the future of our residential community and what our ordinances and codes allow.
In general, we worry that there are so many items on this list that there won’t be time for the phone callers to provide the background information respondents will need to make informed judgments: How much will the particular proposal cost? How will it be paid for? What are the constraints or disadvantages? If you want to get meaningful results and use them as a basis for action, it might be good to circulate a fact sheet in advance.
Although we think there are too many questions in the survey already, we can’t help mentioning some other topics that might have been considered: adding and improving parks, purchase of open space, water quality improvements, beautification/landscaping, and tree maintenance and planting.
We think the community would be well served by asking the subcommittee to prepare a more focused and probably much shorter list of questions and a fact sheet and bring them back for public comment before the polling begins.
Johanna Felder, President, Village Laguna