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LCF Council recognizes Hemphill’s long service, talks tree houses in regular meeting

Members of the La Canada Flintridge City Council recognize outgoing Public Works and Traffic Commiss
La Cañada Flintridge City Council members recognize outgoing Public Works and Traffic Commissioner Clyde Hemphill in their regular meeting Tuesday. Hemphill has been an active member in the LCF Tournament of Roses Assn. and the Kiwanis Noon Club of La Cañada.
(Photo by Sara Cardine)

In their regular meeting Tuesday, La Cañada Flintridge City Council members recognized outgoing Public Works and Traffic Commissioner Clyde Hemphill, who retired from the panel after eight years of service, and discussed a law that would regulate residential tree houses.

Mayor Terry Walker thanked Hemphill for his commission work and longtime volunteer service record. In addition to being a 16-year member of the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada, Hemphill served as vice president of the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council, board member for the Valley Water Company and organizer with the local Tournament of Roses Assn.

In 2011, he was selected La Cañadan of the Year by fellow Kiwanians and in 2008 received the Coordinating Council’s Les Tupper Service Award.

“He was nicknamed at Kiwanis 1-800-Clyde because if you ever want to know anything about everything in town, you want to call Clyde,” Walker said. “He keeps you in line. You can always count on him to be a straight shooter and tell you how it is, whether you want to hear it or not — he’s a true asset to our community and we’re blessed to have him.”


Tree house guidelines

Council members also discussed an ordinance regulating residential tree houses. The matter first came to council in an April 3 meeting, when resident John Womack asked to be allowed to keep a wooden play platform he’d attached to a tree in his yard.

Although the city’s zoning code doesn’t mention tree houses, the city’s building code, which it adopted from the LA County Building Code, does include specifications on them. It exempts structures that maintain setbacks and are 64-square-feet or smaller with a floor-to-ceiling maximum height of 6 feet and an overall height maximum of 8 feet.

Council asked the Planning Commission to look into creating guidelines and more clearly define damage to protected species in the city’s tree ordinance to include damage from nails and screws. On July 24, commissioners recommended adopting language, but struck the county’s specific height and setback requirements from the ordinance.

“I would lean toward pulling those specifics back in and making them part of our code,” Councilman Greg Brown said. “It seems like that’s more user friendly and gives us better control.”


Council continued the discussion to their Oct. 16 meeting.

Sound wall petition filed

Also Tuesday, the council learned 54 neighbors living near the Foothill (210) Freeway overpass at Hampton Road had signed a petition requesting the city prioritize building a sound wall there to minimize traffic noise.

“A very high percentage of people in our neighborhood clearly feel very strongly about this,” said San Juan Way resident Ken Hudnut, who submitted the petition.

The request comes as the city seeks funding to build several walls along the freeway.

Connect LCF off to good start

In the inaugural week of a new permit tracking software “Connect LCF,” city staff report the service is running smoothly and accommodating user requests.

Staffer Arabo Parseghian said 50 users have signed up so far, submitting 31 permit requests online or from their mobile devices. Six permits have been issued and one inspection has been completed in real-time using a mobile device.

“The system is functioning the way we want it to,” he added.

At the meeting’s end, council members adjourned in honor of Claire Slaughter, a pillar in the civic and schools community and a record-holding five-term president of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. Slaughter passed away Aug. 27 at age 94.


Twitter: @SaraCardine