Liberate Laguna's "Fast-Track Development" Proposal
If you get to do whatever you want to your property, then the big real estate developers get to do whatever they want with their property. And your neighbor also gets to do whatever they want to their property. That sounds like someplace like Oceanside, or what Huntington Beach or Marina Del Rey has become. The developers get to build higher, denser, and deeper, your neighbor gets to build that awkwardly huge deck.......but what do you get?
That is really what each of has to weigh. That is the call to action here. Stop and think. If, in the name of faster development of Laguna, would it be worth the change that would bring? Change to the town, change to your neighborhood, and even change to your street?
City Hall's Fast-Track Accommodation Proposal
The City Manager is already working directly with developers to find ways to Fast-Track development. The first proposal was to accept a "generous" donation from one of the more aggressive developers so the City could hire a planner just for "Advanced Development."
What could possibly be wrong here? There are three points that we need to keep in mind here:
ONE If we need more planners, then we should raise permit fees so we will get the funds needed to do this right. We need to avoid the appearance of collusion.
Developers must be charged the actual cost to the city of administering our planning process for these large developments.
This should be done with a published building fee schedule rather than through ad-hoc “tip-jar” approach
TWO The proposed position to be created is for "Funding of Advance-Level Planning Services. With this resolution, Major Development will have its own queue.
We can't allow Major Development to have a special fast-track through the process. Let's fix the process for everyone, including residents. Resident-Serving is what City Council campaigned on – so no special track for big developers - even if they have a PAC that can make or break our local politicians who are trying to do the right thing.
THREE There is more to major developments that just getting them through planning. That’s just a down payment. There is also
-- Building inspectors
-- Incremental public safety costs
-- Management of mitigation for the congestion that will be caused by trying to accomplish all of that construction at once in this town
Before process changes are made, let's have a systematic inventory of the incremental cost of major development in Laguna and find tax, fee, or Mello-Roos funding so residents do not have to pay for it. Financing all of the associated social costs need to be considered in as much detail as the headcount increment this seems to be.