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RV Restrictions Hard to Enforce

November 22, 1990

The Covina City Council, I'm sure, has the interest of the people and the community as a whole at heart. It certainly is their onus to maintain the pleasant appearance of Covina's neighborhoods and keep the community from deteriorating. ("RV Decision Postponed," Times, Oct. 4).

I'm sure as ombudsmen they also have the onus to investigate activities of government agencies that may infringe on the rights of individuals.

I'm certain the council, in its infinite wisdom, has considered the plethora of decisions mandated from the courts relating to the unconstitutionality of various laws such as above (that have held) that zoning restrictions purely for aesthetic reasons are unconstitutional.

To enforce these laws would necessitate an enforcing agent to enter onto private property, uninvited, without a search warrant and without any probable cause or an exigent emergency condition to mark the tires of all 30,000 motor vehicles-plus in this city. The agent would have to repeat this endeavor every 72 hours on each vehicle to ensure a balance of compliance to these laws. Failure to do so would also flirt with a violation of the Constitution.

Assuming the council realizes the city can ill afford the lengthy and costly lawsuit battles certain to arise from this issue and assuming the council does not desire to have these laws used as ammunition to fuel isolated neighbor disputes, perhaps there is a better solution.

Why not interject the words such as, disheveled, disarray and health and safety hazard to the above laws? Why not refer the complaining party to the city attorney? The city attorney could send an investigator to take photographs of the violation and if in fact the authorities deem, under the above conditions, that a violation has occurred, they could mail an order of compliance to the violator. The person would have due process and have the option of being tried by a jury of his peers.

This process does not address the issues of unconstitutionality but I feel it is more fair and equitable to all parties concerned.



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