Neighborhood eyesores in Los Gatos – what does the town code say?

Los Gatos town sealAlmost every neighborhood has (at least) one house that either isn’t kept up or is somehow an eyesore. You know the sort of thing that drives neighbors a little crazy: cars parked on the front lawn, junk piled up which is visible to the street, homes or yards in a sorry state of disrepair, appliances stored outdoors – though clearly not usable, and many other things too numerous to list.

While this is perhaps less true in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Almaden, or Saratoga than in some other parts of Silicon Valley, our scenic and upscale areas near the foothills are not immune. What does the town say about it? What are the regulations? Being a “go to the source” type of writer, I did just that and looked up the Town of Los Gatos’ ordinance for property condition requirements. (Click the link to see the text on the municode site.)

While some issues named below are cosmetic, many, perhaps most, are safety related and represent nuisances if not stopped. Most surprising to me is that dumpsters and pods are not supposed to be in the driveway for more than 72 hours at a stretch (item J below).

Have you ever read it? Have a read – and if any of it surprises you, please leave a comment!

 

Sec. 30.10.030. – Conditions of property.

An owner of real property shall not allow or maintain any of the following on his or her property:

a. Overgrown, diseased, dead or decayed trees, weeds or other vegetation, which:

(i) In the opinion of the Fire Marshal constitutes a fire hazard; or

(ii) In the opinion of the Town Engineer constitutes a danger to those using the property or adjacent public or private property.

b. The storage of equipment, materials, standing water, and/or vegetation overgrowth which are likely to harbor or provide habitat for rats, vermin, mosquitoes, and other pests;

c. Garbage, refuse, trash, debris or waste, except as stored in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 of the Town of Los Gatos Municipal Code;

d. Garbage receptacles in view from a public right-of-way, except within twenty-four (24) hours of the designated day and time the garbage is scheduled to be collected;

e. Graffiti which remains for a period longer than ten (10) days;

f. Conditions which, due to their accessibility to the public, may prove hazardous or dangerous, including, but not limited to:

(1) Unused and/or broken equipment;

(2) Abandoned wells, shafts or basements;

(3) Hazardous or unprotected pools, ponds or excavations;

(4) Structurally unsound fences or other structures;

(5) Machinery which is inadequately secured or protected;

(6) Lumber, trash, or debris;

(7) Storing or keeping of chemicals or motor oil;

(8) Refrigerators or appliances with the door(s) still attached.

g. Any airplane or other aircraft, or any parts thereof on residentially zoned property;

Read moreNeighborhood eyesores in Los Gatos – what does the town code say?

Don't Let Things Grow On Your Roof!

February 18, 2009

Los Gatos Roof with grass and weeds growing on itWinter is a great time for dirt, leaves, and other debris to pile up in your rain gutters. Leave it long enough and there will be buildup.  Leave it a really long time and those bits of dust, plantlife and other things will mush together and decompose, eventually becoming plant-worthy soil.  Add a few seeds and some rain, and before you know it, green sprouts are popping up on your roof.

Today I passed a home in Los Gatos in which this seems to have happened.  Grass and weeds were sprouting out of the rain gutters and had crept onto the roof quite a few inches.

Why is this a problem? Because the more you grow things on the roof, the more moisture you have getting trapped up there and the faster the roof decomposes.  You don’t want things like fungus and dry rot to munch away at your home, but having plants grow on your roof is going to lead to exactly that.

Keep your gutters clean so problems like this do not have a chance to start.  It is infinely easier to prevent this than to cure it.

(Not a great photo – taken with my treo’s camera and enlarged to show the roof but trying to keep the house itself anonymous.)