Following that story of an East Hollywood homeowner jackhammering out a curb to make a private driveway, Silver Lake resident Robert Lange wrote in to Curbed to gripe about a driveway at 1400 Westerly Terrace. According to Lange, who lives on Westerly Terrace, the home was purchased in 2008, and as part of the remodel, the owner added an off-street parking spot and demoed the curb. The homeowner sold the residence in June 2009 (in what looks to be a flip), just about the time that Lange complained to the Bureau of Street Services. "I don't have to tell you that street parking in/around Silver Lake is tight," Lange wrote in an email. "So [the removal] was disappointing to myself and my neighbors." According to Michelle E. Vargas, Public Information Officer, Dept. of Public Works, there's no permit for a driveway at this address and an investigation is underway. If this story turns out like the East Hollywood story, there's a good chance the city could just issue the homeowner a permit retroactively (a move that won't make the neighbors any happier). But in this case, is the parking spot made by the first homeowner safe? There's a curb but it overlooks a little hill. Gun the engine too hard and it looks like you could fly over the edge.
Two weeks ago, we went out to the site with Lange, and ran into the current occupant of 1400 Westerly Terrace, Meghan Miller, who told us that she purchased the home from an area house flipper named Kristine Peterson. You can see the sales history here, and it looks Peterson sold the home under the name K & P LLC.
According to Miller, Peterson is the homeowner responsible for the curb removal/new parking spot. She said Peterson was told (we're assuming by the city) to put back 18 inches of curb, and essentially shorten the driveway. "But she hasn't done this and it has been more than 6 months since she agreed to do it," wrote Miller in a follow-up email.
The Dept. of Public Works' Michelle Vargas said that she couldn't comment on whether Peterson had been ordered to shorten the length of her driveway because the investigation was still going on. Meanwhile, this may figure into the story somehow: Neighbors says the former city-owned easement right next to the driveway was also purchased by Peterson. You can see the easement in the photos--it's the darker strip directly in front of the truck in the first photo.
Meanwhile, the only person we couldn't find to track down for a comment/explanation was Petersen. And unfortunately, it's now Miller that's been dragged into the mess since she's the one living with the driveway.
And as for argument that when a homeowner makes a parking spot, it's actually a good thing because they're not parking on the street? Well, it's a good situation for the homeowner. "Taking away street parking from the neighborhood is not justified because it would be used anyway by the homeowner. What about when the homeowner is not home?" writes Lange in an email. "From my point-of-view there are now fewer parking spots to vie for in the collective pool of street parking. Sorry, but there are many other residents who rely on street parking in that neighborhood."
· East Hollywood Residents Steamed About Curb Removal [Curbed LA]
· East Hollywood Resident Will Keep Her Sneakily-Made Driveway [Curbed LA]