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Bright green house leaves the neighbors livid

People in nearby earth-tone houses will ask the owner to think of them and mute her paint.

July 10, 2010|By Melanie Hicken, Los Angeles Times

One La Crescenta resident's decision to paint her house neon green has drawn the ire of neighbors who say the color stands out in all the wrong ways.

For the last month, the foothill house at 3045 Markridge Road has been coated in neon green with purple trim — a stark contrast to the muted, earthy tunes of the neighboring homes.

The blaring color has also done more than simply highlight the Markridge Road house; it has also exposed the lack of regulatory recourse for nearby homeowners.

"It's completely inconsistent with the neighborhood," said resident Mark Pearson. "We have a real concern it's going to lower property values."

Some said they were shocked when they first saw the home's new color scheme, which several called reminiscent of the Joker character in "Batman."

"Everybody was surprised," said Mark Spatny, who lives next door. "I came home from work and saw it. I hoped it was some sort of a primer."

Several residents on the street are trying to sell their homes but have not had any showings since the house was painted, he added.

A woman who was recently standing in front of the home would not give her name, but said she thinks the color looks nice. She declined to comment further.

Public property records and neighbors identified her as 66-year-old Pamla Hoffman.

"I just like the color," the woman said.

Residents have complained to the Crescenta Valley Town Council and Supervisor Mike Antonovich's office, but officials say there is little they can do.

Los Angeles County has few guidelines for residential buildings in the unincorporated areas.

More than a dozen neighbors held a meeting at one of their homes last week to discuss ways to convince Hoffman to change the color. They plan to draft a letter asking her to take their quality of life and property values into account.

"The point of the letter is, 'Look, we know you may like this color, but we would like you to consider how it is affecting everyone else,' " said Pearson, who is leading the effort.

Meanwhile, residents say the house underscores the need for design regulations or a review process for homes in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

"I hope it sheds some light on the need for some kind of standards," Spatny said.

Crescenta Valley Town Council President Cheryl Davis said she has heard similar arguments from residents concerned about residential projects and renovations that make homes much larger than neighboring ones.

"The question has now come up, 'Does there need to be some sort of ordinance regarding residential properties?' " she said.

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