The Codes are intended to implement the General Plan, protect the character of the community, and protect property values.
The City was incorporated to protect our rural, 1 acre minimum, zoning.
Here is a quote from a 1977 pro-incorporation flyer:
"If we wish to retain our present rural atmosphere, we must incorporate as a city where controls will be placed in our own hands."
In the Citywide GPAC survey, sent out by the City, 66% of respondents responded "yes", that the City should increase code enforcement to prevent unapproved grading and building. (20% of respondents didn't think an increase in enforcement was necessary, and 12% had no opinion)
Most people think that Code Enforcement means that unapproved and non-Code complying grading or building should be removed.
However, it appears that the City uses "Code Enforcement" to get permit revenue rather than removal of the offense.
At the June 24, 2008 Planning Commission, the Chair of the Commission asked about code enforcement.
The City Manager said that "Code Enforcement does not have a revenue source. We deal with Code enforcement on a complaint basis if it's a health and safety issue. We do not have the staffing to do pro-active Code Enforcement."
"The goal of Code Enforcement is compliance.", she said.
Anecdotal evidence, of residents complaining to City Hall about illegal grading and building, bears this out.
Violators are told they need to get a permit instead of removing a Code violating action.
Compounding the problem is that it also appears that some staff members are not conversant in the Codes, and approve projects that violate codes, easements, or prior conditions of approval.
What can you do?
Each new generation of residents must pick up the torch from the previous generation who fought to make La Habra Heights a rural oasis in the concrete sprawl around us.
Development interests are constantly present to turn La Habra Heights into what surrounds us. They envision roads lined with urban estates, calling attention to themselves, with urban features.
If you do nothing, they will win, as the sight of urban estates popping up around the Heights shows.
Let your Council Members know that you want the Codes enforced, and that you don't want La Habra Heights turned into an upscale shanty town of urban estates, haphazard building, and flattened out hillsides.