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Judge Says Man Sued by City Can Keep His Roof Off-White

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Ventura County Municipal Court judge has sided with a Westlake homeowner who was sued by Thousand Oaks officials because his roof did not meet city requirements for earth-toned buildings.

Judge John Dobroth on Monday compared a roof shingle from the home of Raymond Croteau to a white piece of paper and decided the shingle was off-white, a hue that meets the city’s requirements as an earth tone.

After 18 months of negotiations, Thousand Oaks city officials filed a criminal complaint against Croteau last month in an effort to force him to repaint the roof of his home on Brentford Avenue, in the Westlake portion of Thousand Oaks, west of the Los Angeles County line.

Croteau’s attorney, David J. Suttora, said the city went too far in enforcing its municipal color schemes.

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“I don’t think there was any question from the start that this is off-white,” Suttora said.

If Croteau had lost, he would have been required to repaint the roof or install a new one.

The existing shingle roof was installed in 1989 for about $30,000, Suttora said.

Croteau has moved away from Thousand Oaks and was unavailable for comment.

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Deputy City Atty. Nancy Kierstyn Schreiner said the city decided to prosecute Croteau because of complaints by neighbors whose houses are topped by red-tiled and brown wood-shake roofs.

Thousand Oaks Mayor Bob Lewis said a City Council committee will review a set of city rules specifying that buildings should only be painted in earth tones, such as brown and beige.


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