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Art on MonteCedro Property Ruled Violation by County Officials

The art, which was painted mostly by seniors and children, must be removed within a month.

Hundreds of paintings done by local school kids and seniors that are hanging on a vacant property on North  El Molino Avenue have been ruled as a violation of a county ordinance that forbids banners on commercial and residential property.

The vacant lot, which formerly housed the William A. Scripps Home for Aged People,  is slated to one day hold the more modern senior development called MonteCedro, which has been opposed by some in the community.

County officials  about the art from a local resident last month, and this week a permit officer was dispatched to inspect the property.  He found the property to be in violation of county code, according to Oscar Gomez, of the County Regional Planning Department.

The banners will now have to be removed within 30 days of the ruling, which was issued this week, Gomez said.

The complaint was received just days after an  where the banners were hung and the public was invited to view them.

Martha Tamburrano, the president of Episcopal Home Communities, the company working on the MonteCedro development, said the group has not figured out how to respond to the notice that they are in violation.

She said the company will "not remain in violation of county ordinance," and will have to decide if there is any way to get into code compliance other than removing the banners.

Some people in the area have voiced general opposition to the MonteCedro project because of its size and scope. 

There have also been concerns over the relocation of seniors who lived at the former home, and concerns that the new development will not have enough low-income units to make it affordable to Altadena seniors. 

The Scripps home was closed in 2007 and the new retirement home is scheduled to break ground in 2012. 

sandra December 17, 2010 at 04:12 PM
The property looks better with the art!!!!I was driving by the other day when I saw it and all that color popping out at me with the wonderful drawings brought a smile to my face, and some brightness to the cloudy day. I am an artist and art teacher, there is nothing more fulfilling than being able to show your work! Supporting art in our community is vital. Creating the art is theraputic, positive, and healing. I can not see how it being displayed on this empty lot is hurting anyone!
Dona Coat December 17, 2010 at 04:19 PM
So the one clearly unhappy person who looks for anything she can to upset the apple cart in Altadena got her way.....you're a mean one Ms Grinch. Looks like you'd rather be right than a positive member of the community. I'm thinking that you ought to be the one to go tell the kids that you're making them take their artwork down. Explain to them that it's because you have a heart that's three sizes too small. Tell them that disappointments in life happen and that you've done this to teach them that lesson. Happy Holidays.
Leslie Aitken December 17, 2010 at 04:26 PM
That is so sad. The art was so much prettier than the chain link. It is too bad that a few people's anger and objection about the Monte Cedro project is enmeshed with other's artistic efforts. The Grinch lives!!! In the meantime, the ugly old banners from the empty Altadena Market.....that have been there for years.....are still there. And Webster's Fine Stationers can't put out their very cute sandwich board sign......the uneven hand of county inspectors and crabby neighbors with political agenda strikes again!
Linda Lane-White December 17, 2010 at 04:27 PM
I think the property looks so much better with the art rather than with the construction windscreens/privacy screens. Those screens were battered, torn and sprayed with graffiti. I've not once seen graffitti sprayed on the displayed artwork. Now, whenever the art is taken down, whoever complained will have something else to complain about, I'm sure.
B. Allen December 17, 2010 at 04:50 PM
WOW!! I think a pretest is in order....and I also think whoever complained should step forward and show themselves.....unless they are a coward....oh....they aleady are......GRINCH!!!!...I guess looking at all the empty lots around town is better.
Daniel E. Harlow December 17, 2010 at 05:27 PM
Lisa Hastings was the person who complained as noted in the original article at http://altadena.patch.com/articles/art-to-hang-on-fences-no-more I have mixed feeling about this though, the artwork did look nice however I want the county to enforce the rules fairly applying to all businesses. Now if we the community do not like those rules then we should work with the County to change them. Daniel
ed meyers December 17, 2010 at 06:13 PM
The County has told us they are reactive vs. proactive when it comes to signage violations. It's very likely they wouldn't have come out to review this situation w/o first being called. Hopefully, the signage laws can be changed through an update/revision of the community standards. Then, it could take up to 18 months for the changes to be implemented. I'm curious how the artwork is considered a "banner" OR, is the actual banner stating Monte Cedro's name what's in violation and all the artwork is tied to that banner? For example, if Monte Cedro took down the signage that has it's name listed, could the artwork stay?
Lisa Hastings December 17, 2010 at 10:44 PM
I was the person who complained -- the coward-grinch-unhappy person who has nothing positive to contribute to her community. Isn't this characterization a bit extreme? Especially since you know nothing about me except my complaints about Monte Cedro? It is easier for some people to attack the person than to take the time and effort to discover out what the real issues are. Judging from the comments I guess it's okay with some people that a big corporate entity like Monte Cedro does not have to comply with county zoning laws. Yet it is okay for the county to require the small local businesses along Lake to take down their banners and sandwich boards? And by the way, those banners are now filthy and becoming faded from being exposed to the elements. If the above grinch complainers truly cared about art they wouldn't leave their masterpieces out in the rain and dirt.
Lisa Hastings December 17, 2010 at 11:32 PM
Yep, I will because there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make my neighborhood and community a better place to live.
Linda Lane-White December 18, 2010 at 01:16 AM
Lisa, I see you were the same person who complained about the drummers drumming on Christmas Tree Lane for the closing of the ceremony. Perhaps you should join a community volunteer organization or the ATC. Then maybe, just maybe, you could really see our community at work and you could let your voice be heard before things happen rather than afterward.
Lisa Hastings December 18, 2010 at 01:48 AM
@Linda Lane White. Excuse me? This story is not about me. This story is about the banners. And by the way, I am involved in community matters, not just the same ones you are involved in and those drums were too loud and deafening. And who are YOU to judge my criticisms and community involvement anyway? So let's cut the drama and get back on topic. This is not about YOU and not about ME. The topic is BANNERS on the MONTE CEDRO property.
Linda Lane-White December 18, 2010 at 02:39 AM
@Lisa Hastings. The entire story originated from YOUR complaint about artwork in our community that YOU called out as ugly instead of calling the torn up, graffiti ridden privacy screens that were there before as ugly instead. How can you say that YOU are not involved in all of this? I, as I know you, too, are not thrilled about what the Monte Cedro people did to the landmark Scripps property and its former residents, but, we have to accept the fact that if progress with community relations is halted, including art that is more pleasing to the eye than privacy fences, more and more animosity will build and nothing will get done with the property. I agree that the Monte Cedro banner should go because it's an advertisement for them. However, the art work is not "a banner". A banner has a symbol, slogan or other message used for marketing...art does not. As for the 1/2 hour of drummers on Christmas Tree Lane, we'll have them back next year...just like everyone else who has their annoying leaf blowing gardeners making racket every day of the week on different properties.
sandra December 18, 2010 at 04:11 AM
WHEW!!! This is too much ....Art is art they are not banners...as to grinch...we all need to settle our grinch inside us...Lisa I am sure you are confident in thinking you are doing your job, and I don't know you , but this is artwork from kids and seniors...duh!!!This is not about you or your obligations, this is about being real here. Can't you just step out of the position and ego for a second to really listen to what people are saying? To really look at the art that is on that fence? You would be amazed at the beautiful messages... This time of season is about peace on earthGOOD WILL TO MEN! I know all of us are feeling the pressure of this economy and the recession, but no matter there will always be 10 drummers drumming , 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking , 7 swans a swiming, 6 geese a laying, 5 GOLDEN RINGS, you know the rest so can't you just rest easy?
sandra December 18, 2010 at 04:19 AM
and may we bring back the 10 drummers drumming next year on Christmas Tree lane!
Elizabeth Stanley December 18, 2010 at 05:32 AM
Who would complain?!?
mister altadena December 18, 2010 at 06:05 AM
kinda sad that the county considers kids & seniors' artwork to be a banner. Why not just take down the banner that has Monte Cedro's name on it?
Eileen Zack December 18, 2010 at 12:50 PM
I agree with Mr. Altadena< take down the promostional banner and leave the art work up.
Angela Odom December 18, 2010 at 03:02 PM
I have no dog in this show but I am a little confused. I thought public art projects like these required a permit through the County. I was under the impression you had to first submit the plan to the county with a description of the site and how the art will be displayed. If the county approves, you're off to the races. If this was done, how is it now in violation? How can they pull the plug now if the site had proper temporary/permanent permits. I know other public art projects involving residential/commercial spaces push for uniformity, i.e., every piece is of the same size and base color. This is done in consideration of something called the psychology of color which can cause stress to some if too many colors are used without a base for balance or uniformity. Typically, pieces are selected and reproduced onto a kind of mesh canvas (particularly for a chain-link/cyclone fence). The mesh allows wind to blow through, it breaths and will not pull or stress the fence which could fall or pull away from the poles -- a legal liability no one including parents, schools, Monte Cedro, need incur. A good example of uniformity would be how Huntington Hospital did their murals or the LA Times construction site here: http://www.publicartinla.com/LA_murals/USC/latmural1.html It's a great idea but the idea needs some rethinking.
mister altadena December 20, 2010 at 04:49 AM
All, This isn't about the artwork in as much as it is the fight against Monte Cedro. Our Coleman St. adjacent friend's purpose here is to stick it to Monte Cedro. While I don't particularly care for the aforementioned "concerned citizen's" tone nor attitude (too much vinegar, not enough honey) , she does have the right to protect her neighborhood. Much like those on Palm St.who don't want a school to open, those near Aveson who don't want an upper grade school w/ the existing campus & those who aren't thrilled with constant filming in their area, they all want to protect their neighborhood from perceived/expected ills. Will taking down the art do anything to stall Monte Cedro? Doubt it. They'll comply with the code and move to next steps. . In the end, bashing kids/senior art & calling the signage police in order to make a point to MC ends up coming across as a bit petty.

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