OK, let's review:
In the the past few months, county code enforcers have:
- Told Lake Ave. businesses to remove sidewalk signs (the kind that are common in upscale areas).
- Tried to close down Food Truck Fridays at the Webster's complex.
- Tried to remove the signs and children's paintings from the MonteCedro property.
- Threw Danny's Farm out of town.
- "Raided" the Zane Grey estate, site of the Altadena Urban Farmer's Market*
- Closed down open mic nights at the Coffee Gallery front stage. In order to legally read poetry aloud at the coffeehouse, it will cost them $15,000 in permit changes.
All of these activities -- which we feel enhances the community and livability of Altadena -- seemed to require an immediate county slap-down. (On the other hand, truly deterimental activities -- such as dropping a 250-student school in the middle of a residential neighborhood or building a wall on a blue-line stream -- seem to take forever to resolve.)
So we've got an open thread going this weekend: is code enforcement going overboard in Altadena? How can you run a business when the county stifles innovation and creativity, and demands such high tribute in terms of fees? What can we do about it?
(*Gloria Putnam, organizer of the market and resident of the estate, told us that a county team, including two sheriff's deputies in bullet-proof vests, paid her a visit earlier this month on a complaint that they were selling animals and running a business on the property. The team found no violations, although now the farmer's market will be officially a fundraiser for the Arroyo Time Bank in order to get a permit. Putnam said that the team was polite and professional, and this was their last stop in a day that included investigating drug dens, which probably explained the deputies.)
3/21 clarifier: from Gloria Putnam:
The intro to the thread says that the AUFM will henceforth be a fund raiser for the Arroyo Time Bank in order to meet county regulations. But its always been a fund raiser---the first market in October was a fund raiser for the Farm To Consumer Foundation, and every market since then has been a fund raiser for the Arroyo Time Bank. All we are doing to meet county regulations is get the temporary use permit, so far there's no indication that we need to change the mission or substance of the event.