Thursday, April 24, 2008

Aliso Creek Canyon Walk-a-round on Saturday, May 10th from 2 to 5 P.M

Let’s all go to the Aliso Creek Canyon walk-a-round on Saturday, May 10th from 2 to 5 P.M. The City has arranged with the Athens Group an open house that we all should take advantage of.

By 2 P.M., there will be no golf balls to dodge, and we can walk around the property enjoying the Aliso Creek and the glorious steep and lush canyon. It is quite a spot. There will be future meetings asking for public input. This is a way to obtain information on which to formulate the public’s opinions.

My understanding is that when Laguna Beach was a fraction of the size of Aliso City (now Lake Forest) and the Irvine Ranch armed guards discouraged the use of Laguna Canyon Road, Aliso Canyon was the main route into Laguna Beach / Arch Beach. The stage from Aliso City was the one met by Laguna’s first greeter old Joe Lucas.

Aliso Canyon is also the site of the first homestead in Laguna Beach. Eugene Salter made his claim in 1870, but abandoned it two years later. It was later taken over by George Thurston. Many Laguna Beach homesteaders “proved up” their land by planting eucalyptus trees. As you walk about Aliso Canyon, you can walk by the YMCA-Girls Scout Camp Elizabeth Dolph historic homestead eucalyptus grove. It is still there!

I am encouraging the Athens Group to think outside the box and eliminate the golf course and restore the creek which would allow a very special natural setting.

Improvements to the Aliso Creek Inn will take money so it may be fortuitous that the property is now owned by the Montage Resort’s Athens Group. Improvements should include refurbishing buildings and facilities, reducing the use of energy, and improving the water quality of Aliso Creek.

As you walk-a-round Aliso Creek, consider lobbying the City Council and the Athens Group to think outside the box and have the redevelopment be:
- A focus on the beauty & tranquility of a natural Aliso Creek
- Lodging, meeting rooms and walking trails
- No residential development
- For viewing migratory birds
- Preserve the historic homestead eucalyptus grove

This approach would differentiate the project likely to make more money for the Athens Group serving investors and the community.

Hope to see everybody at the Aliso Creek Canyon walk-a-round Saturday, May 10th from 2 to 5 P.M.


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