By Mary O’KEEFE
On Tuesday Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich requested the board of supervisors to direct the director of Regional Planning and the director of Public Works to investigate permitting issues at two separate locations: One in the unincorporated area of Montrose and the other in La Crescenta.
The most recent issue occurred at 2626-2636 Foothill Boulevard, where Plumb Crazy building once stood. The developer had submitted plans that did not have the correct grading. The plans were approved by Planning and Public Works with the incorrect information. The development, although not without controversy from residents, continued until a neighbor took a closer look at the plans.
“We all looked at the plans but it wasn’t until this [resident] looked at them. He saw something none of us found,” said Mike Lawler, president of the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley.
“While the site was being graded, and based upon complaints from neighbors, County staff visited the site to confirm the precise location of the natural grade and the height of the proposed building,” stated Antonovich’s motion to the board. “Upon review, staff determined that information on the plans and application provided by the applicant was inaccurate.”
The County has since suspended the grading permit and the developer is required to submit new plans with the correct information.
The second location cited concerned a building at 2435 Florencita Ave. Again an alert resident noticed the building exceeded the permitted height regulations.
“County staff visited the site to confirm the precise location of natural grade and the height of the building,” the motion states.
Once again the staff found the information on the permit was inaccurate and ordered the developer to remove the top floor of the apartment building.
“The plans [in the unincorporated area of the L.A. County]
are not [easily] accessible to the public like they are in many cities, including Glendale,” Lawler said.
He added in the past some developers have made it clear to him they do not want to share plans with the public. People can view the plans at Public Works but are not allowed to make copies of the plans.
Lawler said other cities do have plans available to the public online.
“If your neighbor is adding onto his home you can go online and see how it will affect you [in other cities],” he said.
He would like to see that happen with the unincorporated area of L.A. County however the motion does not make that specific request.
The motion, which was approved, asked for a study into the approval process concerning these incidents and to identify what can be done in the future to prevent it from happening again.
The report is scheduled to be back in front of the supervisors in 90 days.