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Steve Lunetta: Modification affects many properties

Posted: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Editor’s note: Due to technical problems on our end, Steve Lunetta’s column did not make it to The Signal in time for Monday publication. With apologies to Steve, we offer it up today.

 

I recently got an iPhone, and it is slowly revolutionizing my life.

I had a Droid before but I found the thing annoying. The battery died so fast it was not even worth using.

But the good folks at Apple seem to have solved this problem. The iPhone goes three to four days between charges.

One of the first apps I got was iBooks. I promptly downloaded a Clive Cussler “Dirk Pitt” adventure novel. Now, I read books in the palm of my hand.

Among all of the apps I have obtained, the most amazing is Pandora. This little program is essentially a radio that you can adjust to play the music that most appeals.

For example, I have a Keith Green channel that focuses on gospel music. Of course, the Def Leppard, Electric Light Orchestra, Sara Evans and Jerry Reed channels are also really cool.

Everything in our world today seems to be so easily tailored to our needs or wants. Pandora seems to do that for us.

Unfortunately, there are other Pandoras that are more like the proverbial box and do the opposite of what we want. Like neighbors.

Our neighbors have a major problem over here on Meadview Avenue. It seems that the neighbor next door to them wants to build a huge house on the adjacent lot. It’s a big, two-story monster that would be overlooking our neighbor’s backyard.

Seems like a very unfriendly thing to do. Especially since this is horse territory where the houses are single-story and ranch living is the norm.

The issue was taken before the Santa Clarita Planning Commission, which denied the application. This made our neighbors very happy.

However, the story takes a very bizarre turn at this point. The individual attempting to build the home committed suicide.

Almost immediately, the father of the deceased picked up the application and moved forward with an appeal to City Council in an attempt to overturn the decision.

Last week, the matter was heard before the council. The city planning staff made an excellent presentation of the matter and answered all questions posed by our intrepid elected representatives.

Then they voted 5-0 to overturn the Planning Commission.

Pandora’s box is now open.

One of the things I noticed in the presentation was the odd property line that was being used to subdivide the property to allow the building of the monster house. All of the property lines in Placerita Canyon seem to be nice perpendicular lines with squares and rectangles. Not this one.

This odd curve looks almost like a fish hook. And the reason for this odd line is clear — they are avoiding the floodplain rules that affect all of the other residents of this area of Placerita Canyon. City Councilman Bob Kellar admitted as much in open session.

The person trying to build the monster house brought many friends as a show of support for his position. But there was a minor problem. This did not include his immediate neighbors on Meadview Avenue.

As a matter of fact, every neighbor surrounding him on the Meadview end of the property showed up in opposition to the plan. Shouldn’t this be a hint to City Council?

Kellar was right about one thing: It is about property rights. One should be free to do what one wants with one’s property. But when these wants or desires impact others, isn’t there a responsibility on the part of our elected officials to defend those who are being harmed?

For heaven’s sake, at least require a civil engineering review of the water flow characteristics off the property to determine if neighboring homes could be flooded by this new construction.

Alternatively, divide the property with a perpendicular, straight line and not some gerrymandered creative drawing that flaunts logic or reasonable planning. And if that line crosses a floodplain, so be it.

Two old oak trees will also be removed from the property. I guess we are no longer “tree city,” but the city of opulent homes and nice yards that have no place for our state tree.

It is truly unfortunate that some in this world insist on harming others to personally benefit. Hopefully, our City Council will reconsider its position before the formal resolution is voted on at a future meeting.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Placerita Canyon and is thinking about building a five-story home where the Quonset hut sits. He is sure the City Council would approve. He can be reached at slunetta63@yahoo.com.

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