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Law Imposes Time Limit on Construction Projects

San Marino | Community News File

September 12, 1997

The City Council, tired of construction projects that leave neighbors enduring noise, dust and unsightly lots for years, has enacted a law that levies fines for failure to complete work within a designated time.

The city is among the first in the San Gabriel Valley to impose a timetable for builders. Under the law, approved by the council late Wednesday, a property owner would have six months to complete a $50,000 project, nine months for $100,000 project and a year to finish a $250,000 project. The fine for running over schedule would be double the cost of the initial building permit, officials said.

City Manager Debbie Bell said mounting complaints about a handful of projects around the city led officials to make the change. One house remodeling project has dragged on for three years, longer than any other residential project in the city.

Residents say a number of sites in the city seem to be permanent homes for work crews, concrete mixers and dozens of trucks.

Many cities require only that builders show work is continuing to get a new building permit every six months.

Pasadena officials are considering a similar law. Residents of the South San Rafael Avenue area in Pasadena have protested a massive make-over of a mansion that has lasted nearly seven years. But Pasadena building officials said another project in the San Rafael Hills has lasted two decades as one man has single-handedly remodeled a home.

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