The City Council has been processing drastic Code changes which would facilitate development, larger homes, and urban estates, since early 2008.
Development interests on the City Council and in the City have been pushing the changes.
In May 2008, the National Association of Home Builders, Legal Affairs, Advocacy Group, based in Washington, D.C., sent a letter to the City of La Habra Heights.
The letter, a public record, alleges that the "severe restrictions regarding development...", and "the City's maximum allowances for hardscape surface areas raise significant concerns under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution".
The NAHB says that Code restrictions are a barrier to low income housing and minorities.
The NAHB letter goes on to cite several court decisions and "encourages the City of La Hambra (sic) Heights to consider the effect of the Fair Housing Act and Fifth Amendment...".
The signature section of the letter shows a copy sent to the CEO, Building Industry Association, Southern California
How did little La Habra Heights, where the construction of 10 homes in a year is a building boom, gain the attention of the National Association of Home Builders?
Is it a coincidence that new Planning Commissioner Ray Fernandez is the President of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, and their National Vice President representing California and Hawaii to the NAHB?
At the April 21, 2009 Planning Commission Orientation Meeting, new Commissioner Ray Fernandez asked the City Manager if the 4000 square foot building footprint for a two story house could leave the city open to a lawsuit under the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause as being too restrictive.
The City Manager said no.
Do Mr. Fernandez' questions echo the NAHB letter?
Watch the video, read the NAHB letter and see what you think.