Love where you live!
LA MESA -- The City Council will take a summer vacation and skip August's second meeting. The council members celebrated by conducting a five-hour marathon Tuesday, the highlight of which was denying a neighborhood's attempt to stop a new housing development in West La Mesa.
Residents in the area of a new, 15-unit housing development of single family homes on 2.5 acres along Stanford Avenue (see map above) had raised concerns about whether the two-story homes would fit into the largely one-story neighborhood.
But the developer showed 3-D renderings of the proposed, fully-landscaped project. They had already persuaded the city's design and planning groups and it took the council only a few minutes of mulling to vote 4-1 to support the development. The one opposing vote was Ruth Sterling, the only incumbent council member seeking re-election this fall, who expressed concerns similar to the opposing neighbors before casting her vote.
In addition, the council Tuesday evening approved a joint permit request from the La Mesa Village Merchants Association and the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce to operate La Mesa Oktoberfest October 5, 6 and 7.
The joint permit represented a detente of sorts between the chamber and the merchants group who last year filed separate permits because the two groups didn't agree about how much of the event's expenses should be paid back to the city.
Tuesday, Mary England, the chamber executive, symbolically joined hands with the merchants and sang a virtual Cumbayá as the two groups headed into this year's beer and bratfest. The council clearly liked the renewed partnership between the two organizations.
Tuesday's meeting also included the introduction of the city's new fire chief. Rick Sitta (see photo right) has taken over at the helm of the Heartland Fire Department that serves La Mesa, El Cajon, and Lemon Grove. He thanked the council for their support and promised to continue the combined department's short, but successful history.
The meeting also included Police Chief Ed Aceves' quarterly crime report, which chronicled the continuation of some of the lowest crime rates in the city's last 50 years.
Councilman Dave Allan praised the force which, despite its diminutive size, has managed to address a complex set of circumstances, including robbery sprees, the return of non-violent criminals from state custody and a burdensome mental health case load while still keeping the crime rates trending down.