STARLIGHT MESA HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION

Minutes of Board Meeting, January 23, 2010

at the pool area

Present:  Board members Joe Bergen, Muriel Horacek, John Kim, Scott Swanson, and Steven Low

Also present: Paul and Sam Oh, architects representing Mesa resident Deuk Lee and ten Mesa residents: Mike Davis, Mary Freeman, Dayton Jones, Cathy Gerbracht, Murlene  and Jack Horne, Carole Koller, Janet and Steve Edberg

Scott called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM.

The minutes of the December 12, 2009 meeting were approved.

Joe Bergen explained that thinning out the bushes and trees in the areas of above the slope on Starlane, above upper Stardust and near the top of the staircase behind the tennis court was needed to increase fire safety.  Although these areas pass FD inspection every year, more should be done. The budgeted tree trimming money would be redirected to this job.  Trees around the pool would be trimmed, as well, for pool maintenance reasons.  A bid from Jose Toribios for $2287 was approved.

Joe described the need to build handicap ramps to one bathroom.  In doing so, a portion of the upper patio deck that had been damaged from underground pipe leaks in years past would be replaced.  The curb at the pool entrance on Starlane would be remade for handicap accessibility.  Money from the pool house renovation contingency budget would be used to pay for this additional work.  The changes were approved by the Board contingent on no other needs for the budgeted monies arising in the pool house project.

Sam Oh stated that he was representing Mr. Lee of 5209 Diamond Point Road to present Mr. Lee’s proposal for a renovation and redesign of his home to the Board.  Sam Oh expressed an ignorance of the CC&Rs.  Joe Bergen told Mr. Oh that if he was representing Mr. Lee in this matter, it was his responsibility to know the requirements of the CC&Rs.  He was informed that they were available online at starlightmesa.org and that professing a lack of knowledge of their existence was not acceptable if he was going to present himself as a representative of Mr. Lee, the homeowner.

Sam Oh showed plans for the renovation of the house at 5209 Diamond Point Road, and requested approval from the Board.  Mike Davis and his wife, Mary Freeman, of 5213 Diamond Point Road, explained their objections to said plans as it would affect their rear pool area.  Other residents also expressed their opinions.

The primary objection to the project was the increase in height of the roofline from the present 17.5 feet in the front and 12.5 feet on the side facing 5213 Diamond Point Road to a uniform 20 feet in all areas and an extension of fifteen feet to the back of the home on the 5213 Diamond Point Road side of the home.

Mike Davis expressed a concern that increase in roof height and extension would dominate his back yard and pool area and lower his property value. He expressed concern that the proposed Tudor style did not harmonize with the neighborhood.

Mr. Oh said the roof height was necessary for the proposed Tudor design. 

Residents at the meeting expressed concern that the increase in roof height of a Mesa single-story design would be a bad precedent.

Copies of emails from other residents were passed around for everyone to read, and a letter from another resident was read by the Secretary.  Emails and letters are attached.

The Board listened to all opinions, and decided to take to the request for approval of the renovation and structural changes to 5209 Diamond Point Road under advisement.  A decision would be given at the February meeting.

The residents and Messrs Oh left and the Board continued the meeting.

Joe proposed resurfacing the upper patio area of the pool when the construction was complete.  The deck has been cut through and patched many times during both construction and in the past to make repairs.  The resurfacing would incorporate the present brick design to make it easier to resurface the whole pool area in the future if this process is successful.  The resurfacing would be a three color stain approach with a border of brick at the edge to visually mark the step-down.  Joe had three bids and recommended one.   Joe informed the Board that if no major culvert repairs were needed this year, budgeted culvert money could be used to pay for this work.  The Board approved contingent on inspection of the culverts and completion of the pool house renovation without any non-budgeted items.  Joe would inspect the culverts.

The Board again discussed the proposed renovation of 5209 Diamond Point Road.  The residents who were present and the emails received, as well as the members of the Board, were of the general consensus that the main objection to the proposed changes to the house at 5209 Diamond Point was the height of the roof over the rear area bordering the adjacent property.

The Board looked at an original tract map of the Mesa showing home placement and footprint on lots. It was discussed how the original planned design of the Mesa was very specific to ensure residents a sense of privacy in what could be considered a small lot.

The placement of home models on particular lots and the use of fluctuating setbacks were very specific to accomplish a number of goals.  Even though the Mesa homes are very close together, in only the rarest case does any one home’s windows look into the adjacent home’s windows.

Also, by using a greater setback on single-story homes that were situated next to two-story homes the Mesa design accomplished a sense of privacy for both homeowners.  By being closer to the street and having no windows on the adjacent single-story home side of the house, the two-story home did not dominate the living area of both the single-story home and its respective yard.  Being set back further, the single-story homes were designed with a bedroom wing that ran deeper into the lot usually along the property line of the adjacent two-story home.  This wing screened the single-story yard from the view of the back windows and yard area of the two-story home.  To mitigate the effect of the single-story home running deep into the lot along the two-story home’s yard the rooflines of this portion of single-story homes were kept at a minimum, usually about 12.5 feet. All homeowners ended up with a sense of privacy in their own homes and yards despite being so close to their neighbors.

This design element of the Mesa has never been violated, except in one instance.  In the exception, the Board denied the expansion.  Through Board manipulations in subsequent years that expansion was approved.

Taking this original design element into account, it was agreed that, as first course of action, Scott would ask Sam Oh if he would change the proposed height of the roof just in the back area of the home bordering 5213 Diamond Point Road. If he refused, then the Board would have to make a decision based on the design as presented.

The next Board meeting will be Saturday, February 27th at 2:00 PM at the pool.

Muriel Horacek, Secretary


Attachments:

January 22nd, 2010

Re:   Remodel of 5209 Diamond Point Road

Dear Board of Governors,

It is with great surprise and disappointment that we heard the La Canada City’s approval of the plans for remodel of the home located at 5209 Diamond Point Road.

We understand that no remodel can occur in the Mesa without written approval of the Board of Governors. Our primary concerns with this remodel project are the following:

1.       Establish precedent for future remodels that tend to change the general look of the Mesa by enlarging the homes. The CC&Rs clearly state that any new structure should harmonize with the community. The proposed plans for this remodel do not harmonize with the area on several levels; the style (English Tudor) doesn’t harmonize with the neighborhood, the size doesn’t harmonize with the neighborhood, and the roofline on a one story house does not harmonize with the neighborhood. Mansionization is not something we would like to see happening in the Mesa. We moved to this area because of its closeness to the mountains and country feeling of space and trees.

2.       Houses in the Mesa are already very close to each other. We are concerned about any remodel that enlarges the house in such a way that a neighbors view is blocked in any way more than it is right now.

We would have liked to have the support of the Mesa with the remodel that took place next to us in the corner house of Starlight Crest and Stardust. Unfortunately this house does not belong to the Mesa and therefore we couldn’t seek their support at the time. Many people have commented to me about the size and style of that house and how it doesn’t fit at all with the neighborhood.

We hope that the Board of Governors will take this matter seriously and will effectively keep the Mesa with the neighborhood environment that it currently has.

Benjamin and Sylvia Paz

254 Starlight Crest Dr.


Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:30:46 -0800 (PST)
From: Kirk Gerbracht <dckg@sbcglobal.net>
CC: sswanson@crowellweedon.com, jbergen@earthlink.com, murhoracek@aol.com, john_kim@paramount.com, alow@caltech.edu
Subject: Lee Family Home Remodel

Board Members,

After reviewing the proposed plans for the remodel of the Lee Family home at 5209 Diamond Point Road, I have made the following observations and urge the Board to deny approval for the project.  The Lee home is a single story and therefore has a footprint twice the size of a two story home; as a result of this, a significant portion of the proposed remodel will be visible to their neighbors at 5213 Diamond Point Road and other properties adjacent to the project.  This is further obtrusive in that the proposed roof line is approximately 20 feet high, making it even more visible from the home at 5213 Diamond Point and other homes.  I again urge the Board to deny approval of the remodel project as currently proposed.  I believe that a compromise is possible if the project is redesigned with a different style roof, with all other elements remaining as planned.  If the project is approved as proposed it may set a precedence for future remodels in the Mesa that me be equally as obtrusive to neighbors.

Sincerely,

Kirk Gerbracht
225 Mariners View
818.952.8984


Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 09:26:23 -0800
From: "GLENN CUNNINGHAM" <glenn.e.cunningham@usa.net>
To: <murhoracek@aol.com>
Subject: My inputs on the 5209 Diamond Pt Issue

Muriel:

Here are my thoughts on the 5209 Diamond Point issue that you may pass along to the other Board members:

I generally like the idea of upgrading the style of houses in the Mesa to add diversity and to help rid the area of the "mid-century" and "sameness" of  design looks. The Tutor style architecture proposed for 5209 Diamond Point would be a tasteful addition to the Mesa. The design, as proposed, would be acceptable to me.

In order to mitigate Mike Davis's concerns about the height of the roof line, perhaps the height of the roof could be reduced by two feet or so without substantially impacting the "Tutor" look.

It does appear, from the aerial photos in the City's presentation material, that Davis has substantial shrubbery around the sides of the back portion of his lot that must already impact his view of the valley and would probably hide the view of the roof. I don't think that the higher roof line would impact his view from his second story back windows.

Glenn Cunningham

PS - I grew up in a Tutor style house in northwest Glendale, so I'm a little partial to the style. It has a nice, formal look.


Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 22:02:50 EST
From: scallahan3@aol.com
To: Murhoracek@aol.com
Subject: addition to home on Diamond Point

Muriel

 

Even though Jack and I do not live on Diamond Point we strongly object to the proposed addition.  If permission is granted, than it must also be granted to others who file similar requests.  If you buy a 1 story house it should remain a 1 story.  If you buy a 2 story house it remains 2 stories.

As original owners, I believe I can say that the developers of Starlight Mesa did not envision the addition to an existing home that would affect neighboring homes.  That is why they provided for approval from the board of directors before any changes can be made. 

We believe that the Board must disallow this change

 

John/Shirley Callahan

Lot 75

 


Dear Starlight Mesa Homeowners:

As you can see from the Board meeting announcement for the upcoming meeting on Saturday, January 23 (at the Pool) the Board will be considering the proposed plans and specifications for a remodel of the home at 5209 Diamond Point Road.  In accordance with the Mesa CC&Rs, (Article X, Section 2) “No person may construct, alter, repair, improve, remove, or demolish any structure or fence situated on a parcel in such a way that the exterior appearance of the structure or fence is changed unless he first submits a detailed description of the proposed work together with plans and specifications, to the Board of Governors, and obtains the written approval of the Board of Governors.  The Board of Governors shall approve any such work if it conforms and harmonizes with the general quality and appearance of other structures within the project.”

Although our home (at 5213 Diamond Point Road) is immediately adjacent to the proposed remodel and is most directly affected by the remodel, the Board’s consideration of this project may impact all Mesa homeowners.  We understand that one of the factors the Board will consider is historical precedents, so each approval may have an impact on the future of the Mesa homeowners.

Although the home will remain a one-story home, the roofline of the proposed new structure will be increased from approximately 13’ to 20’ along the entire length of our property line (an additional 14’).  When we moved into the Mesa our expectation was that the feeling of open space and light would generally remain the same and that neighboring homes would not be remodeled in such a way as to impact our property value. 

We encourage everyone to come to the Board meeting to see and hear about the proposed project and how its approval might impact you currently or in the future when the board considers other new projects in the Mesa.  We invite anyone who would like view the proposed construction firsthand (from our perspective) to stop by our property any day before the Board meeting or after.  (We will out of town from January 17th – 20th but feel free to access our backyard if we are not in).

Michael Davis

Mary Freeman

Mesa Homeowners:  5213 Diamond Point Road