Rolando Park Community Council General Meeting Minutes
Rolando Park Elementary School Rm. 25
March 13, 2017
Board Members Present:
Co-Presidents: Sonia Lang and Lynn Edwards
Co-Vice Presidents: Gerrie Flaven and Kathryn Kern
Secretary: Judy Fleischman
Co-Treasurers: Audrey Ledesma and Debbi Blake
7:00: Co-President Sonia Lang called the meeting to order and introduced our guest speaker, William Dauphin, from the San Diego City Code Enforcement Division of the Development Service Department.
Mr. Dauphin, a lively and informative speaker, explained that almost all of the cases that his department responds to are from citizen complaints, making it a “reactive” division. He has 5 investigators along with 5 groups of citizen volunteers. There are also building inspectors. On the building side, most commonly, people build without a permit. On the zoning side, complaints run a wide range, from noise like barking dogs or equipment noise, to backyard trash and fire hazards.
He mentioned the show, Hoarders, and said that type of problem is common in their work. They’ve been involved in such things as cleaning up outdoor storage areas or cleaning up properties to bring them into ones with no dangerous conditions. They only do the work, of course, if the residents don’t do it themselves, and in that case, the residents get charged for the work. It all depends on the type of items stored and the quantity of those items.
In addition, Mr. Dauphin said that they handle issues like parking in front yards and complaints about garage conversions, which can present health or safety problems such as leaving the hot water inside if someone sleeps there. He did state that he hasn’t had to spend a lot of time in our area because it’s pretty clean.
Mr. Dauphin then took questions from the good-sized audience. The first one had to do with whether or not he wore a badge. They don’t, because badges tend to intimidate people. There was a question about the limit of cars a person can park in the street and there is no such limit. We learned that complaints are confidential, so we can feel free to call about what we perceive as a fire hazard like tall dried weeds. In that case, we should call weed abatement or the fire department.
If a car in a driveway is partially on the sidewalk, parking enforcement is the one to call. There was a question about where a tall boat can be parked. We learned that if there is no access to the backyard you can park a boat, trailer, or RV on the side (no matter how bad it looks) as long as there is still a front yard setback, which is 15 feet from the property line. Access to a garage must be maintained, however. A storage pod can be left in a driveway for a reasonable amount of time.
Anther question had to do with the unfinished house in our community, the construction of which was stopped by a zoning inspector last summer, and what would happen to it. Dauphin thought they are probably in the process of working through compliance if the owners are fighting it.
Next was a question about mini-dorms. Mr. Dauphin has had a lot of experience in the College area, and said they are hard to prove. People there, for instance, went on Craig’s List for clues. He gave us some information about the RHOP (residential high occupancy permit), which limits how many adults can live in a single family residence in a single family zone. It hinges on parking. If there are 7 tenants there has to be 6 off-street parking spaces provided. More than 5 adults costs $1000 a year, for a special permit. In addition, according to building codes, a bedroom has to be at least 70 sq. ft., along with 50 sq. ft. of habitable space per person.
He brought up the RHO (rooming house ordinance), which was just revised. The old one limits homeowners to 2 leases per property. He did mention that mini-dorms are on the decline in the College area.
The next question concerned illegal pool drainage from pipes at the top of a bank ruining some of the property below. He encouraged them to complain, and said they might cut the pipe off, but that things could get complicated. For example, if you cut a tree branch growing into your yard and that kills the tree you could be liable. But if the people above don’t want to comply about the drainage, they may have to take them to court. A daily penalty can be charged, which can amount to $70-100,000. Small Claims Court only awards $5000 per claim, but multiple neighbors filing claims can mean stiffer financial penalties.
Signage was brought up, but signs on a yard are considered freedom of speech. For graffiti, Mr. Dauphin said to use the Get it Done app. For his services, look up
www.sandiego.gov, under Developmental Services.
Membership and Dues: Co-Treasurer Debbi Blake informed us that we have 27 members, of which 8 are renewals and 19 are new. That puts us at $348 in dues, along with $603 in donations!
Sonia Lang then reviewed the mini-dorm issue, and passed around a letter about what the High Occupancy Single Dwelling Unit Ordinance does in zones like ours. This ordinance was signed to protect the College area, but currently does not protect our area. RPCC members present were then given ballots and asked to vote to pursue support to include Rolando Park in the ordinance to keep mini-dorms from coming into our area. Results will be posted soon.
Sonia also fielded a question about the monument sign for Rolando Park, which is being researched.
Lastly, Audrey Ledesma, of Lean and Clean, spoke briefly about the planting done recently at the Zena Canyon entrance, the beginning of a succulent garden, and encouraged other neighbors to join us on April 1st, when we’ll be planting more!
Please come to our next meeting on April 10. Learn how easy it can be to turn our neighborhood into an urban forest with free street trees!!