How far can a city go when it comes to code enforcement?

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How far can a city go to ensure neighborhoods and homes are uniform, clean and meet a general community standard?

Richard McDonald, 76, has been fighting back against his city. His two-acre property has a $36,750 lien stemming from dozens of code violations he racked up over the years. Walnut is trying to recoup some of the money it spent trying to address his case.

A city prosecutor charged he and his wife with 279 code violations and both were eventually conviction of 33 of those counts last year. McDonald admits to having had as many as 20 dogs, 15 cars and 200 pigeons on land which sits a top a hill on Camino de Teodoro. The city says neighbors have complained since 2003 about the appearance of the property, the smell and dogs.

At the heart of McDonald’s challenge is differing opinions on property maintenance. He claims that no one has complained about his home since he moved there in 1972. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” said McDonald, who retired in 1993 from 33 years of teaching at Fullerton College.

Do you agree?

For more on McDonald’s story read the rest here.

Email: james.wagner@sgvn.com | Twitter: @jmswgnr @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Majestic’s letter (yes, the actual one) blasting Walnut

Forgive us.

Thanks to a mishap, we didn’t post a copy of a letter pertaining to a story we wrote. Last week, the company hoping to build a National Football League stadium complex in the City of Industry presented this letter to the Walnut City Council, which has sued the developer. The letter refuted, among other things, claims made against the company, Majestic Realty, and its project.

An issue emerged the day following Wednesday’s city council meeting. After this newspaper filed a public records request for a copy of the letter Thursday, Walnut said it was consulting its attorney concerning the release of the letter, which included a confidential attachment, because of its pending litigation. (The attachment, according to the letter, documented Walnut’s settlement items in the now-terminated negotiations with Majestic.)

Majestic, however, provided this newspaper with a copy. And now, so do you. (See the text of the letter after the jump.)

Walnut has ten days from the public records request to make a decision of the release. So, we’ll see what emerges. But here are two facts to consider: The letter was presented at a public meeting and the first page of it was read publicly.
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