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Ordinance, bad behavior fence off fairness

June 06, 2005

Paul and Arlene Meadows

Regarding your question in Thursday's edition of the Glendale

News-Press, the fence ordinance should be repealed.

One of our cherished American dreams is to own a little home with

a white picket fence -- but apparently in Glendale this can only

happen if you comply with the narrow permission of city government.

Of the 90-some people who voiced their opinions Tuesday at the

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City Council meeting, only one spoke in favor of the ordinance, and

his arguments for keeping the ordinance were not compelling.

The simple truth is that the law is outdated and overly intrusive

into the private lives of our citizens. Those people in favor of

having open spaces may choose to landscape their properties in such a

manner, but to impose this single style of landscape architecture

upon a diverse community where this style is either not practical,

desired, or even appropriate is unfair, unjust and meddlesome.

The use of the informational lien is even more problematic and

oppressive as it has resulted in the inability for some to obtain

refinance loans or sell property with it in force (it has apparently

even prevented one citizen from obtaining the money to become

compliant with the ordinance).

It is clear that a significant proportion of Glendale does not

like this ordinance and wishes it repealed. If you use the mayor's

metrics (he chastised the City Council audience for not showing up in

previous years and thus in his view there must not have been any

opposition to the ordinance prior to this most recent meeting), then

89 out of every 90 residents of Glendale oppose the law. We suspect

that if the ordinance was put to a popular vote rather than placed

under the sole discretion of the City Council, the law would suffer a

resounding defeat. can see no compelling reason to keep this

oppressive law on the books. Glendale is a very different community

compared to 1922, when the ordinance was enacted, and our laws need

to reflect the times and sentiment of the community.

The City Council meeting on Tuesday was a very interesting and

disappointing affair to attend. Of the City Council members present,

four were principally involved in the discussions. Ara Najarian

recused himself from the discussion because his property contains a

fence in violation of the ordinance. As a member of the audience, he

spoke eloquently about the issue and showed great dignity and

decorum. Remaining to discuss the issue were (from audience left to

right) City Council members Bob Yousefian, Rafi Manoukian, Dave

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