Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sgt. Fenn at next Meadows Meeting

Altadena Sheriff Sgt. Fenn, lead detective regarding burglaries in Altadena, will attend the next Meadows neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Attendees of last month's meeting were disappointed that more specific information regarding the investigation was not shared with the community. Sgt. Fenn has been prompted with the various concerns heard in our neighborhood and has promised to address them.

The meeting is at 4416 El Prieto Rd.

Everything About Oak Tree Permits

Here's information regarding the trimming and removal of oak trees. It's a bit long, but paragraphs A and B provide the regulations.


A. For any activity that may result in an impact to the oak resource. Impacts include cutting, destroying, removing, relocating, inflicting damage or encroaching into the protected zone of any tree of the oak genus that is 25 inches or more in circumference or eight (8") inches in diameter as measured four and one-half feet above mean natural grade, or in the case of multi trunks whose combined circumference of any two trunks is at least 12" in diameter.

B. For any activity that may impact any oak tree, regardless of size, which was provided as a replacement tree pursuant to the Los Angeles County Oak Tree Ordinance.

There are a few exemptions to the Oak Tree Permit process. Routine maintenance and pruning of an oak tree required to protect life and property while maintaining tree health is allowed and an Emergency Oak Tree Permit may be issued under certain situations. Live limbs up to 2" in diameter may be pruned and dead limbs removed. Removal of limbs within 10 feet of a chimney is allowed to maintain fire clearances. An Emergency Oak Tree Permit may be issued upon inspection and approval of a county forester when a tree poses an immediate threat to life or property. Proper filing procedures will be discussed during your appointment with the county zoning and permit counselor.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Your first step is to contact the Department of Regional Planning’s Land Development Coordinating Center to obtain the form for an oak tree permit. Their phone number is (213) 974-6411. A zoning and permit counselor is available between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday in Room 1360 in the Hall of Records, 320 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. There, you can discuss your plans and obtain pertinent facts about land use, zoning, and permits, that may affect your property and oak resource. You also may call the Environmental Review Unit of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department’s Forestry Division, for an assessment of your projects potential impact to the oak resource or emergency request. Their phone number is (818) 890-5719, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

APPLICATION PROCESSING: When you have completed the application forms and assembled all of the required materials including an oak tree report prepared by an approved expert, you should call for an appointment to file your application. A planner will review the materials to insure that all necessary items are submitted and the necessary fees paid. When the filing has been deemed complete, you may be set for public hearing before a Hearing Officer or the Regional Planning Commission depending on the circumstances of your case. A combined hearing will be held by the Regional Planning Commission or Hearing Officer for an Oak Tree Permit filed concurrently with other types of applications on the same property.

Before the public hearing, your Oak Tree Permit Application and Oak Tree Report, if required by the Director, will be reviewed by foresters of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department. They shall review the report for accuracy and make physical inspections of the project site. Such inspections shall determine the health of all oak trees and other factors as may be needed to complete their review. A copy of the forester's comments on the report will be submitted in writing to the Director or Commission within 15 days of receipt of the application from the Director. The foresters may at their option suggest mitigating conditions for use by the Hearing Officer, Director, or Commission. There are additional fees for the review, field inspection, and field monitoring for use of the permit. The fees are paid directly to the County of Los Angeles Fire Department and are based on the number of oaks involved and complexity of the project.

Notices of public hearing are sent to the applicant and surrounding property owners advising them of your application and the time and place of the public hearing. A legal advertisement is also placed in a local newspaper. A staff report is prepared containing an analysis of the impact and preliminary recommendations. This report is available for public review the day of the public hearing. Either a Hearing Officer or on more complex / controversial cases the Regional Planning Commission, will hear the Oak Tree Permit request.

PUBLIC HEARING: When concurrent consideration for other required permits ( ie. zone changes, land divisions, variances) requiring a public notice and a public hearing exists, the Oak Tree Permit shall be considered in the same public notice and public hearing. When no concurrent consideration is noted by the Hearing Officer, the Director shall conduct a public hearing subject to the public notice of an Oak Tree Permit filing. The public hearing will be within 30 to 45 days of the public notice. The public notice of an Oak Tree Permit filing shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation within the County of Los Angeles and available in the community in which the Oak Tree Permit is proposed.

The applicant or his representative should attend the public hearing and be available to present and explain the request. You may bring all materials and other people you feel are necessary to assist you in presenting your request. Owners of adjacent property and other interested persons will also be allowed to testify. However, neither a public notice nor public hearing, is required when removal or relocation of only one tree is proposed in conjunction with a single-family residence listed as a permitted use in the zone.

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Mountain Lion Sighting

A friend of mine, on her way to my house today, saw a young, small mountain lion about midway on Canyon Crest between Lincoln and the hairpin turn.

Looks like we have the second generation moving into the neighborhood.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

MFSC Out in Force Today

Today, Saturday, the Meadows FireSafe Council will continue the property assessments here in The Meadows. MFSC members will accompany J. Lopez from L.A. County Fire Department as we talk to homeowners about brush clearance and tree trimming and removal.

We'll be around the neighborhood all day from 9-5.

Mail Stolen from Mailbox

Mail was stolen from a mailbox Wednesday, February 14, from a home on Canyon Crest. Another resident a couple of blocks away brought it back to the owner and said he found it in his bushes. There was an opened envelope from which a 1099 tax document was stolen and a ripped open bank statement.

We had similar occurrences on El Prieto two holidays ago.

At that time, the USPS advised not to leave mail for sending in our mailboxes that included checks or personal identification.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Two Men Detained on Risinghill

Two men in their twenties were detained today by the Altadena Sheriffs at around noon after a neighbor reported seeing the men with weapons behind a home at the top of Risinghill on the West side of the street.

The sheriffs responded with three cars. They apprehended the men. They did have pellet guns. (The neighbor stated that one was a pistol, the other a rifle.) After talking to them, it was determined that they were residents of Risinghill.

In a follow-up conversation with Sgt. Williams of the Altadena Sheriffs, she stated that the men told the sheriffs that they were just going into the hills to practice with their pellet guns and that they lived on Risinghill. The guns were taken away from the two men and a sheriff’s car escorted them back to their house. They did have proper identification. No arrest or further questioning was done.

We are still following up on this incident as we’re still concerned about the actions the sheriffs did or did not make.

More to come.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

February Meadows Meeting

Over 30 residents came for the Meadows neighborhood meeting last night. Thanks to everyone who attended. Highlights are as follows:

· Advertising in the newsletter was not generating any income and was, in fact, a cost to produce the second side of the page. Advertising has been discontinued.
· Attendees were encouraged to donate dollars to help fund the maintenance at The Meadows sign. Everyone chipped in and $104 was donated!!!!!! The resident who maintains the grounds is thrilled.
· Suggestions for guest speakers are encouraged. Just let Greg or Linda know.

Sheriff’s Presentation
Altadena Sheriff Sgt. Marsha Williams and Deputy Sam Estrada addressed the recent break-ins in the neighborhood and discussed reactivating our Neighborhood Watch program. Some points of discussion:

· The mode of operations in the Meadows' burglaries is typical of most burglaries; occurs during the day, jewelry, money, and quick sellable items are taken, entry is typically thru back doors/windows. This is typical in 80% of all burglaries.
· Since the Spring of 2006, burglaries have been the #1 crime in Altadena.
· Fingerprints and DNA are taken from crime scenes, although it was unclear if they have been obtained for the crimes here in Altadena.
· The detectives follow every possible lead and the deputies have taken every shred of evidence that may lead to suspects. This has worked well for them in the past, but it does take time.
· Everyone was encouraged to get to know their neighbors, know their typical schedules, and visitors to help dissuade thieves.
· Several residents volunteered to undergo training offered by the sheriffs to create watch patrols in which suspicious activity would be reported to the sheriffs.
· The sheriffs clarified that they can not stop all traffic at the bottom of Canyon Crest when a burglary is reported. They would have to have probable cause to do so.
· The sheriffs could not share any information in regards to the leads that are being pursued or the profile of the suspects.
· Neighborhood Watch manuals were given to all attendees and attendees were encouraged to hand them out to other neighbors not in attendance.

While there was frustration in not knowing more specifics about the investigation, all were encouraged by the turnout and the opportunity to meet neighbors.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Meadows Real Estate Update

Here's the latest real estate listings in The Meadows:

  • 4501 Rising Hill Road offered for $549,990 to $599,990. 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1135 sq. ft. on a 6180 sq. ft. lot.
  • 4219 Aralia Road offered for $659,000. 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1649 sq. ft. on a 9250 sq. ft. lot.
  • 4216 Aralia Road offered for $799,000. 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1847 sq. ft. on a 7200 sq. ft. lot.
  • 4455 Rising Hill Road offered for approximately $799,000. (This price may have changed. I'm not sure as it's not listed in the MLS, but I believe is still for sale.). 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1700 sq. ft. on an unknown lot size.

If you'd like to see any of these listings or know of someone who is interested, please call or email me:

Greg Stanton, Realtor

Dilbeck Realtors, GMAC


(I am not the listing agent for the properties above. I would act as the buyer's agent. Dilbeck Realtors is Independently Owned and Operated. Information provided by seller or third-party sources.)

Seventh Break-In

A seventh break-in since December was reported to me last night. This time on Gravelia. Same pattern again: mid-day, the thief or thieves kicked in the door and began ransacking the drawers of a guest room. Fortunately, the neighbor had an alarm and when it sounded, the intruders fled without taking anything.

I've asked the sheriffs to be prepared to brief us on the investigation at our next neighborhood meeting, Tuesday at 7:00, at my house.