Homeowner doesn’t merit jail sentence

first_imgTalks with the city over a solution dragged on until a Superior Court judge sentenced him to the maximum jail term, with no possibility for house arrest or probation. Issues of neighborhood compatibility, aesthetics and permitting have led to a number of prolonged disputes in some South Bay cities. We don’t recall any of them resulting in jail time, however. For instance, we don’t recall Donald Trump being threatened with jail time over a dispute at the Trump National Golf Club, where a 70-foot-tall flagpole was illegally erected. Eventually, the city of Rancho Palos Verdes worked out a deal with Trump that allowed the flagpole to remain in place. There was also the case in Torrance of a Superior Court judge who illegally built a fence and gate on public property outside his home. That case dates back four years and involved protracted litigation, but we recall no discussions about jail time. In Linares’ case, the judge should reconsider and allow him to appeal the sentence. We hope that the intense public interest in his case will lead to renewed discussions with Rolling Hills Estates and more openness on all sides to find a reasonable compromise. It should not take the threat of jail time to accomplish that. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Six months in jail over a dispute involving aesthetics, home improvements and paperwork? Many of the readers responding to a Daily Breeze story on the plight of Rolling Hills Estates resident Francisco Linares were outraged by his jail sentence, especially considering the number of violent offenders who commit crimes in the Los Angeles area. We share the outrage. Linares, a Cuban immigrant, wanted to repair a fence behind his home. He was told by the city that the fence was on his property and that it was his responsibility. Later, the city offered a different interpretation: that Linares’ new fence was illegally built on city property. Eventually he was charged with three misdemeanors for not removing the fence, for building a retaining wall that apparently exceeded height restrictions and for installing some decorative stone columns. last_img

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