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Santa Monica Hedges and Property Rights

June 05, 2004

Re "Homeowners Take Their Cuts at Hedge Law," May 31:

Santa Monica's policy of fining homeowners $25,000 a day for growing their hedges too high is part of a pattern by a city government bent on creating an outdoor museum while completely disregarding property rights. Last year, the city Landmarks Commission began proceedings to create a number of "historic districts," despite overwhelming opposition from the homeowners in the potential districts.

We were forced by their antagonistic disregard to place an initiative on the ballot (Proposition A), which would have made inclusion in such districts voluntary. Proposition A failed citywide despite a "yes" vote in the targeted neighborhoods of more than 80%.

As a result of Proposition A's failure, we still face having our property rights taken away. The 80% opposition in the potential districts is considered nothing more than a nuisance to Santa Monica City Council members, who have proved again with the hedge issue that they don't care about the quality of life of the families living in the homes, as long as they can drive by once in a while and enjoy the view.

Gregory Poirier

Santa Monica

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