Letter to the Riviera Association from member Helen Couclelis, May 18, 2017

Regardless of whether Rivera homeowners welcome or deplore the new ADU legislation, we all are subject to the same natural and manmade hazards. Our beautiful neighborhood is officially a high-fire-risk area, and also a high-earthquake-risk area according to the California Earthquake Authority, which recently listed Zip Code 93103 as such. Our narrow, winding, and steep streets are not suitable for mass evacuations, and the prospect of potentially significantly increased population densities and cars parked on the streets must give us pause.

  Even a blanket piece of legislation such as the one imposing ADUs does permit exceptions under conditions such as those in our neighborhood:

“ADUs can be avoided or allowed through an ancillary and separate discretionary process in areas with health and safety risks such as high fire hazard areas… Designating areas where ADUs are allowed should be approached primarily on health and safety issues including water, sewer, traffic flow and public safety.” (California Department of Housing and Community Development, Accessory Dwelling Unit Memorandum, December 2016, p. 8).

  Is our Homeowners Association working with the City to make sure that reasonable and necessary measures are taken to defend life and property on the Riviera (never mind our much-ballyhooed quality of life)?  Special high-risk area regulations are required NOW. THIS IS URGENT, as permits have already been issued and construction of additional units is about to begin.

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