Arcadia City Council Plans to Settle Property Rights Dispute

Photo is not of residence in question and is intended only to illustrate a circular driveway. – Courtesy photo

By Galen Patterson

On Oct. 17, 2017, City Council held a hearing on the plans for a circular driveway at 1231 San Carlos Road in Arcadia.

The Santa Anita Oaks Homeowner’s Association appealed a decision from the City Planning Commission. The Planning Commission had approved the plans for a circular driveway on the property.

The plans were originally submitted to the Santa Anita Oaks Homeowner’s Association Architectural Review Board and had been denied.

From there, the decision was appealed to the Planning Commission, who overturned the denial and approved the plans, which led to the appeal from the Santa Anita Oaks Homeowner’s Association to the City Council.

When the council heard the case, they upheld the Homeowner’s Association’s decision of denying the plans, which caused the matter to be taken to the Superior Court.

The Superior Court decision caused the City Council to rescind their decision and to re-evaluate how to proceed with the matter.

On June 18, 2019, Assistant City Manager Jason Kruckeburg briefed the council on their choices to proceed with Mr. Crosby’s driveway plans.

The first option was to rescind the denial and take no further action. The Planning Commission’s approval would stand and the plans could go forward or be appealed by other parties.

The second option was to rescind the decision and allow the council to hold a new public hearing on the issue, and specifically detail why the plans should be denied based on the Homeowner’s Association’s guidelines for design projects.

The third option was to rescind the council’s decision and send the issue back to the Architectural Review Board, whom would then go through the same process of detailing findings as to why the plans should not be allowed to proceed.

Mayor April Verlato then brought up a fourth option of appealing the Superior Court’s decision to the State Appellate Court, and the matter could continue up the legal ladder from there.

A legal representative for the Crosby’s spoke during the public comments and told the council that the Crosby’s are ready to take the matter as far as they can.

Back in 2017, during the hearing, then councilmember Chandler asked the person responsible for the initial denial, Mr. Vince Vargas to provide the minutes of the meeting in which the Homeowner’s Association chose to adopt the guidelines for circular driveways.

Back then, several people spoke in favor of and against the Homeowner’s Association’s decision and it appears as though the issue has arisen for another round of contention, perhaps for the last time.

In 2019, the council agreed to rescind and reevaluate their decision to uphold the denial. “I think we should schedule a new hearing and hopefully soon so that we can resolve this once and for all,” said councilmember Tom Beck.

City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto asked the public to review the guidelines, which are available online, and to let the city know what Arcadians think about it.

The new hearing is set to go before the council on Aug. 6.

July 2, 2019

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Galen Patterson

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