KCCA tells alleyway owners to clean up
Vegetation had to be trimmed by July 31 and fences repaired by Aug. 31
Owners of alleyways in the Garden Villas section of King City have been put on notice that they must clear out weeds, trim shrubs, repair fences and gates, and remove "trip hazards and obstacles" by a series of deadlines that fall later this year.
Last month's issue of the Regal Courier featured a story about Garden Villas resident Neal Tooze and his fight to get the alleyways cleaned up. He said complaints to the King City Civic Association and Landscape, Architectural Review and Compliance Committee have gone unheeded.
KCCA Administrator J. Patrick Moore on July 5 sent notices to all Garden Villas residents after researching the history of the alleyways and setting a deadline for them to be cleaned up per the code.
After researching pertinent records, Moore concluded that the center line of the alleyways approximates the actual property line between lots.
"Thus, maintenance of these areas, from (roughly) the center line to the fence, belongs to the homeowner, he said.
Police Chief Chuck Fessler stated that, from a public safety standpoint, it would be helpful if police officers could see clearly from one end of the alleyways to the other end, so that if they are checking for a suspect, there would be a clear line of sight and no place for a suspect to hide. However, there is no city requirement that a clear line of sight would be maintained.
"The alleyways are consistent with the requirements of the Uniform Fire Code access to buildings in case of a fire," Moore said. "They allow ingress of firefighters to the property as well as egress from the property for residents.
"Police Chief Chuck Fessler has indicated that the preference is that there are no shrubs, bushes or trees that would restrict the view through the alleyways. Accordingly, planting of new shrubs and/or trees is not allowed in the alleyways. LARCC will grant permission to remove any trees or shrubs currently planted in the alleyway areas.
"Fire Capt. Troy Spisla has indicated that the preference is that there are no obstructions that would not permit a fireman to run a hose line down the alleyway to access a property.
Accordingly, planting of new shrubs and/or trees is not allowed in the alleyways. Future placement of vegetable or flower gardens that would impede access, such as raised beds, tomato plant cages, etc., will not be allowed.
"Plants such as roses, that could snag clothing or cause distraction from duties or cause injury during an emergency should be removed. Placement of borders along flower beds that could result in a trip hazard will not be allowed. Flower gardens may be grown in the alleyways but are subject to being trampled in an emergency. LARCC will grant permission to remove any trees, shrubs, trip hazards or impediments currently planted or placed in alleyway areas."
Moore asked Garden Villas residents to take a look at their own alleyway area and ask themselves that if there were a police or fire emergency on a dark, rainy night, possibly with smoke pouring out of a home, what problems would the police or fire personnel encounter on their property?
"Then, take steps to remove those problems from your property (subject to LARCC approval)," he added.
Finally, Moore issued a couple of requests: 1) All alleyway areas should be cleared of weeds, grass mowed and excessive grass clippings removed, and shrubs trimmed back to a maximum of 6 feet, by July 31; and 2) All fences should be repaired or maintained, as needed, by Aug. 31.
"Further, we ask that all owners consider removing any/all trees, shrubs, trip hazards and other obstacles by Sept. 30, subject to approval of LARCC," Moore said.
For more information, call the KCCA at 503-639-6565.