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Zoning Code and the Council

October 21, 1990

A recent poll conclusively showed that nine out of 10 people seeking building variances and conditional-use permits prefer doing business with the Monterey Park City Council than any other council in the San Gabriel Valley.

To illustrate, at the Oct. 1 council meeting, a person asked for not one, not two, not three, but four building variances and a conditional-use permit. The applicant had illegally converted a garage into living quarters and needed council approval to legalize the conversion and escape a court appearance. The council OKd the variances.

Approving variances that forgive an illegally converted garage not only sets a horrible precedent, but clearly does not meet any of the criteria (in the city Building Code.) Therefore, at this very moment the city attorney is hermetically sealed in a little room with porcelain fixtures next to the council chamber creating a legal reason to justify the council's action.

What makes this situation even more questionable is that the applicant's name prominently appeared on a political mailer sent out on behalf of Councilman Fred Balderrama during the last election.

In addition, Councilman Balderrama was one of two council members to appeal this case after the Planning Commission and Design Review Board rejected it, thus saving the applicant a $244 fee. By their action, the council also saves the applicant the time and cost of a court appearance.

Councilman Balderrama voted in favor of the applicant along with two other council members who apparently are ignorant of the legal criteria and grounds for approving variances. Or maybe it wasn't ignorance at all.

IRV GILMAN

Monterey Park

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