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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA March 5, 2013 Election
Measure RH-B
View Preservation
City of Rolling Hills

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required
Official Election Results - Updated 3/6/13

Pass: 408 / 50.3% Yes votes ...... 403 / 49.7% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis |

Shall an Ordinance be adopted amending the current view preservation regulations by limiting protection only to views that existed at the time the owner acquired the property, exempting trees that were mature when the property was acquired, and establishing a higher burden of proof to show the existence of a protected view?

Impartial Analysis from Michael Jenkins,
City Attorney
Ballot Measure B proposes to adopt an ordinance that would change the City's current view preservation regulations. The proposed ordinance would change the definition of a protected "view" by limiting the protection of views to those views that existed when the current property owner acquired the property.

Further, under the proposed ordinance, already mature vegetation would be exempt from alteration to protect a view and the view applicant's burden of proof would be specifically defined.

The City's current view preservation regulations protect visually impressive views from properties regardless when the properties were acquired or when the view obstructing vegetation was planted or matured. Current law allows a property owner to apply to the City for restoration of a view that would be available from the property but for the existence of vegetation on a neighboring property. Under current law, it is not relevant whether a view existed on the property acquisition date or when the obstructing vegetation was planted or matured to the point where it impaired a view. The City's decision is judged based on whether there is substantial evidence in the record to support the findings that a view exists and is being significantly impaired by vegetation.

The proposed ordinance would change current law by establishing a baseline view each time the property is acquired. Under the proposed ordinance, a property owner would only be entitled to seek restoration of a view that existed at the time of acquisition of title to the property. Under the proposed ordinance, vegetation that was already "mature" at the time of property acquisition would be exempt from any restorative actions. The meaning of "mature" is undefined in the ordinance. The burden of proof would be on the current property owner to demonstrate by "clear and convincing" evidence (such as photographs) that the view to be restored existed on the date that the property was acquired. As proposed, restorative action would not be intended to create unobstructed views but instead would be limited to creating view corridors and views though trees.

The proposed ordinance states that it is to be applied retroactively to 1988, but does not explain how this provision would apply to past decisions made under the current view regulations. If the proposed ordinance is adopted, the changes take effect immediately; if the proposed ordinance is not adopted, the current view regulations remain in effect, unless amended by the City Council.

A full copy of the proposed ordinance is printed in [the sample ballot].

A "yes" vote is in favor of adoption of the ordinance; a "no" vote is against adoption. A majority vote is required for the measure to pass. If approved, the ordinance can only be modified or repealed by the electorate.

  Official Information

City of Rolling Hills
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Created: May 2, 2013 14:24 PDT
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