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THOUSAND OAKS : Judge Lets Man Keep Off-White Roof

A Ventura County Municipal Court judge has sided with a Thousand Oaks homeowner who was sued by city officials because his roof did not meet city color requirements.

Judge John Dobroth compared a roof shingle from the Westlake home of Raymond Croteau to a white piece of paper and ruled this week that 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 to force him to repaint the roof of his Brentford Avenue home.

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

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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 left Thousand Oaks and was unavailable for comment.

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 earth tones, such as brown and beige.

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