Despite the misgivings of two council members, the City Council has passed a long-awaited ordinance establishing maximum heights for new buildings or additions that might obstruct the view from a neighboring property and lower the property's value.
Councilman Hal Croyts voted for the ordinance but noted that he strongly objects to the fact that it applies only to homes south of Pacific Coast Highway, where most hills in the city are located.
Croyts said the ordinance should be adopted citywide, covering areas not traditionally regarded as "view areas" but which might have views that enhance property values.
Also concerned about the ordinance was Mayor Robert Hargrave, who abstained because he owns property in the affected area. He said he believes the ordinance is unduly restrictive and discriminatory.
"The only person who wins," said Hargrave, echoing a speaker in the audience, "is the guy who lives at the top of the hill."