LA HABRA : City Is Revising Anti-Blight Law


The city is revising a proposed ordinance that would prohibit people from, among other things, drying laundry on clotheslines on front and side yards visible from streets.

The move is in response to opposition from residents.

Planning Commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance two months ago. The City Council gave it preliminary approval earlier this month and was expected to formally adopt it Tuesday. But after residents called it unfair to low-income people, council members decided to postpone such action until a revised ordinance could be drafted.

“This is really spooking a lot of people,” resident Craig Bird said about the ordinance. “A number of La Habra residents do not have the extra money to go to the Laundromat or buy a washer and dryer. . . . Although we are sure that the intentions of the proposed anti-blight ordinance are well-founded, many residents could take offense to and feel discriminated against by it.”


Bird handed the council a petition signed by 90 residents who oppose the ordinance and said more petitions with more signatures were circulating.

City officials said the ordinance was designed to keep residential and commercial areas safe and clean.

“This clothesline thing has been blown way out of proportion,” Councilman William D. Mahoney said. “We will solve that problem.”

City officials will meet with the Apartment Assn. of Orange County and residents to address the concerns raised about the ordinance. Then, on Aug. 18, the council will consider adopting the proposed revised law.

The ordinance would prohibit storage of vehicles or any household goods, including furniture, fixtures and appliances on yards. In addition, home and business owners would be required to keep weeds and lawns under six inches and make sure mailboxes, pools and ponds are kept in good shape. Also, trash containers stored on front or side yards or parking areas visible from public streets, on days trash is not picked up, would be prohibited.

Dorothy Rush, a Grace Avenue resident who has announced she will be running for the City Council because she wants to wipe out blight in La Habra, attacked the ordinance.


Rush and a few other residents over the years have demanded that the city create a law that will fight blight. She said she never asked the city to outlaw clotheslines. Instead, Rush said she would be satisfied if the city adopted an ordinance prohibiting people from drying laundry on fences, bushes, balconies and trees.