A small group in Temple Hills would like to build a pathway using the narrow five-foot strips of land that exist adjacent to or bisecting homes in Temple Hills for a pedestrian path for everyday travel and as an emergency exit. The city manager’s report discloses many problems if it attempted to build narrow staircases and concrete pathways on these strips of land. The city attorney has stated that the city does not own these strips and will not accept liability for them. Grading, paving, loss of privacy and view protection are among the obstacles to developing these easements. Building a path on and through existing homes is not a viable option.
If not here, then where? There is a large parcel at the end of Thurston Drive in Temple Hills. Since 1980, the City Council has stopped every attempt by the owner to develop this property. Earlier this year, the owner proposed to the council to build one huge home and donate the remainder of the land as open space. Still the answer was “no,” probably due to its size and neighborhood objections.
Solution: Let the owner build a modest neighborhood compatible home with the condition of allowing the city to construct a pathway adjacent to this home down to Park Avenue. The remainder of his land would be given to the city as open space. This solution should please everyone; the parcel owner gets his home and the remaining land will be preserved as open space without cost to tax payers. The neighborhood gets a safe pathway with steps, benches and possibly a mini-park. The city gets the property tax revenue from the new home.
The open space initiative states on page 5, ” No development, …. including removal of vegetation, grading, paving, installation of structures, etc. shall be allowed on the property”. This means, if Measure CC passes, acquired property can only be used for greenbelts, existing hiking trails and vista points. No paved paths, steps, benches, parks or gardens can be built on any property purchased by CC.
The open space committee behind Measure CC wants everyone to believe our hillsides are in danger of being developed with extended streets and dozens of homes. This is just not true. It is not necessary to impose an additional tax on land already protected under current city and California Coastal Commission regulations.
Jill Cooper, Laguna Beach