Planning Department Bait and Switch
|By Freedom Advocates Staff|
|Wednesday, 14 November 2007 08:00|
Deed restrictions, mandatory inspections, pre-enforcement and proactive enforcement exist under the banner of "streamlining" and "simplifying" the "permit reform" process. The new date for the Planning Director's response to the Board of Supervisor's input it April 15th (for building regulation portions) and end of May for the code compliance enforcement portions. The details of this ordinance have the potential to defy both state and federal constitutions.
Santa Cruz, CA The County Planning Director is trying to get an ordinance passed regarding habitable and non-habitable accessory structures. The ordinance requires a property owner to have deed restrictions recorded against his or her property and periodic inspections to make sure the property owner is "in compliance." This allows a County employee to enter land or a dwelling without reasonable cause to proactively inspect to see if a provision of the local code has been violated. It is in direct conflict with the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution (against warrantless searches) and the California Code of Civil Procedure 1822.50 which allows a search warrant to be issued after permission to inspect has been sought and refused.
Did we elect Supervisors to monitor, penalize and tax us or to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures?
UPDATE Board of Supervisors Meeting December 4, 2007
In the Planning Commission agenda Item #9 for October 24, 2007, the word "enforcement" appears 32 times. The Planning Commission unanimously voted for this proposed ordinance calling it "Permit Reform."
Planning Director Tom Burns for Agenda Item 52 "Public hearing to consider Planning Commission's recommendation to adopt proposed amendments to the County Code Chapters 13.10, 13.20 and 16.50 to simplify zoning regulations for small-scale residential structures. "
Planning Director Burns and Department Official Glenda Hill are defensive on the warrantless search issue, the ordinance still contains pre-enforcement, proactive enforcement, and deed restrictions. The Board of Supervisors decided to postpone discussion of the "code enforcement" aspects of this new ordinance to February 26, 2008.
UPDATE Board of Supervisors Meeting February 26, 2008
Item #52 on the Agenda contained a letter from Planning Director Tom Burns to postpone the item to March 18th. While the Sierra Club has applied pressure to steep up code enforcement provisions of this ordinance, the Planning Director and others try to pacify the public. South County resident William McGrath, who was involved in the lawsuit that prevailed against the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency's illegal tax on water, appeared at the February 26th hearing to voice his and others concerns regarding the constitutionality of this ordinance.
UPDATE MARCH 18, 2008 FROM Citizens for Planning Reform
Planning Department Bait and Switch:
Tuesday, March 18, at 1:30pm the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors intends to pass a resolution under the false guise of "planning reform". Buried in the middle of the shallow display of relaxed permit restrictions lies a very dangerous item - a "stipulation" that the homeowner be forced to sign granting code compliance free rein to enter and search the property without cause, without notification and in perpetuity. See the comments at the end of this message from 3 local property rights advocates.
Please appear at the Supe chambers on the 5th floor to voice your concern or Email the Supervisors here by 8:30am, be sure to reference Item 67.
Table 1Accessory Structure Ordinance 13.10.681.8(d)2
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