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Yorba Linda

May 16, 2000|Deepa Bharath, (714) 520-2513

A Park Place resident has sued the city, claiming the City Council violated state law when it approved permits to allow a neighbor to build a two-story addition to his home.

Ed Rakochy filed the suit Thursday in Santa Ana Superior Court, claiming the project needed to undergo extensive environmental studies because it lies within a state historical reserve area.

Reached for comment Monday, he said the city set "a really bad precedent" when members voted 3 to 2 last month to approve a conditional use permit and variance for Martin Zazzara, who wants to demolish a garage to build the addition. The council also voted to waive the environmental impact report--a thorough study required by the state for significant projects.

City Atty. Leonard Hampel called Rakochy's lawsuit "ridiculous" and premature, noting that the council sent designs for Zazzara's project back to the Planning Commission for review.

"This is a room addition to a house that we're talking about," Hampel said. "To me, it seems trivial."

But Rakochy said the city should not be issuing permits in the area east of the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace without looking into the impact new construction would have on the historic integrity of the area.

"This is a historical area we're talking about," he said. "The Planning Commission didn't spend any time deciding on it. If the city had done its job, I wouldn't have had to do this."

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