Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Glendale CA Couple: Change Lawn or Face Criminal Charges

When a couple decided to change their water guzzling lawn into a lovely, low maintenance drought resistant oasis, they were shocked when the Glendale California Yard Cops came calling.

Unaware of a city ordinance which requires 40% of your lot to be fully landscaped,the couple was cited by the Neighborhood Services Department for having too much paving and not enough plants.

After they missed an appointment with an inspector they were slapped with another ordinance violation, "Pursuant to BSC V5.1001.8.2," said the notice, "the paint on the exterior windows, frames, sills, doors is peeling/flaking, a substandard condition."

After being billed $148 for city inspections, the couple, Pete Anderson and Sally Browder, went to meet with a Neighborhood Services administrative analyst.

The couple brought photos of other houses in the neighborhood who had as much or more pavers in their front yard. When the analyst demanded the photos they refused to turn them over. The analyst also warned them they had 90 days to get their lawn back to "no brown, all green.

California is prone to drought and relies heavily on water that comes from areas that are in the midst of a severe drought, such as the Colorado watershed. It was reported that Lake Mead, which the Colorado river feeds may become bone dry by the year 2021.
There is a 50 percent chance Lake Mead will run dry by 2021 and a 10 percent chance it will run out of usable water by 2014, if the region's drought deepens and water use climbs, the researchers said.

"We were stunned at the magnitude of the problem and how fast it was coming at us," said marine physicist Tim Barnett. "Make no mistake, this water problem is not a scientific abstraction but rather one that will impact each and every one of us that live in the Southwest."

Currently, Lake Mead — located in Nevada and Arizona — is half-full, as is Lake Powell. Both lakes help manage water resources for more than 25 million people in seven states.

Researchers said that if Lake Mead water levels drop below 1,000 feet, Nevada would lose access to all its river allocation, Arizona would lose much of the water that flows through the Central Arizona Project Canal, and power production would cease before the lake level reached bottom. Source - Yahoo

The couple has been given until April 30 to paint their house and given this warning if they fail to do so:
The notice is clear on that: "Failure to make the required corrections . . . may result in criminal charges being filed against you."

What we have is yet another case of government that has superseded its boundaries. Governments are established by the people, for the people. The Mayor, city council, city services, etc., are there for the people who voted them in and pay the taxes.

When a city government oversteps its boundaries then it's time for some old fashioned checks and balances, namely, voting out the administration that has become too much of a police-state.

People need to realize that they are, in essence, paying the salaries of these types of bureaucratic thugs. The Neighborhood Services Analyst, her salary is paid for by the very people she enjoys threatening with jail.

Glendale is a prime example of bureaucracy gone wild. Ordinances are not written in stone. They can be stricken from the books as well as the people who put them into place, or the people who enforce them.

Bureaucracy bullying is not new but there are effective measures for getting rid of them. Term limits, votes, recalls, petition drives have proven to be effective.

It's up to the citizens to realize that their local government is there to serve them, not the other way around.

Image - SignalHillpd
Source - LATimes

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