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Driveway mirrors get reprieve

Neighbors are told by city that they do not have to remove the visibility aids.

September 30, 2011|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • Joseph Vargas has put a mirror near his driveway on Glendale Ave. and Monterey Rd. in Glendale so that he can see oncoming traffic when backing up from his home. The city has told Vargas to take it down because it damages a tree on city property. "We have grandkids that we babysit," Vargas says. "We are just concerned keeping our grandkids in and out of safety," he adds. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Joseph Vargas has put a mirror near his driveway on Glendale…

A group of residents on Glendale Avenue who had caught the ire of city code enforcers for attaching convex mirrors to city-owned trees to better view oncoming traffic got some relief this week.

Mayor Laura Friedman announced at the City Council meeting this week that despite the mirrors being against city code, the residents would not be forced to take them down.

The residents say the mirrors are needed to navigate fast, heavy traffic when backing out of their home driveways.

“We‘re going to allow them to leave the mirrors there at this point,” Friedman said.

She went on to say that she was surprised by the city’s reaction, given the public-safety nature of the matter. City code enforcement officials had ordered the mirrors be taken down since 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, sort of staff sending letters, threatening letters,” Friedman said. “We need to try and work with our residents, not work against them.”

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Three residents who live north of the Ventura (134) Freeway on Glendale Avenue used metal straps called plumbers tape to affix the mirrors to city trees and a street light pole in the public right-of-way. The residents said they were prompted to attach the mirrors following some near misses while exiting 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 no longer have to take the mirrors down, but the city may require them to pay for a permit.

But Vargas said he said he had asked code enforcement 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.
 
 

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