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Any objection is a rank obstruction

October 05, 2011

A plan for a home on an extremely steep lot is submitted at three times the code’s maximum floor space and the staff counters at two and three quarters, then at a little under two and a half, then at a little over two, and then two; at which point the Planning Commission concurs? It's then sent to the council, where it's summarily rejected on the basis that the most fundamental conditions were not met? How could the Director of Planning and the Commission be so out of touch with the law and the council?

Now the council is evidently prepared to allow a house 50% larger than the code allows based not on findings they've rejected, but on some number pulled out of a hat in order, it seems, to bring closure to this sorry episode — leaving the neighbors to ask, “What about the law?”

If, as Planning Commissioner Herland Sarkissian believes, the applicant has been “run through the wringer,” it is because the Planning Department and Commission failed to provide proper guidance due to their evident belief that the law is so elastic and their judgment so nuanced that any objection is rank obstruction.

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Kent Schmidt

La Cañada Flintridge

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