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Glendale residents get to keep their traffic mirrors

City drops its order that they be removed, but people who use them might have to pay for permits.

October 02, 2011|By Brittany Levine, Los Angeles Times

Residents on Glendale Avenue who had caught the ire of city code enforcers for attaching convex mirrors to city-owned trees to better see oncoming traffic got some relief last week.

Mayor Laura Friedman announced at the City Council meeting that even though the mirrors violate city code, the residents would not be required to take them down.

The residents say the mirrors are needed to navigate fast, heavy traffic when they back out of their homes' driveways.

"We're going to allow them to leave the mirrors there at this point," Friedman said.

She said she was surprised by the city's action, given that residents were concerned about public safety. City code enforcement officials had ordered removal of the mirrors because the public is not allowed to attach items to city-owned trees.

"I was really surprised to see that something that innocuous had risen to that level," Friedman said. "We need to try and work with our residents, not work against them."

Three residents who live north of the 134 Freeway on Glendale Avenue used metal straps called plumbers tape to affix the mirrors to trees and a street light pole in the public right-of-way. The residents said they were concerned about near misses while leaving their driveways.

Before the council meeting on Tuesday, one of the residents, Joseph Vargas, said a code enforcement official told him and his neighbors that they did not have to take the mirrors down, but that the city may require them to pay for permits.

But Vargas said he had asked code enforcement officials if he and his neighbors could pay for permits several weeks ago and was told that wasn't an option.

City spokesman Tom Lorenz said officials are evaluating whether permits are needed.

"Like I said from the very beginning, it's just a safety issue. It's nothing more than that," Vargas said.

brittany.levine@latimes.com

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