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Matt Weinstock

July 3, 2007 |  7:54 am

Matt_weinstockd July 3, 1957

 We have on our hands today a taxpayer in that happy frame of mind known as irate.

He is enraged because he finds himself helpless at fighting City Hall.

Half a dozen years ago he bought a home in the Hollywood Hills. It wasn't new, but he and his wife envisioned that it could be made into their dream home.

They put every cent they could spare into modernizing it and worked like slaves repainting, landscaping and putting in brick walks. They even went to night school to learn of cabinetwork. It was a labor of love.

About a year ago, a bulldozer appeared nearby and carved out a ledge on the hillside and soon there was erected a house sometimes referred to as "chicken coop modern." It was promptly sold.

A few months later, the same builder put up another and sold it and now a third is under construction.

1957_0628_ad_stack The indignant homeowner and his neighbors complained about these cheap, unorthodox homes. They were particularly irked because the builder seemed able to get away with certain techniques in construction that they had not.

They learned that the only restriction on building in the section was that homes must cost not less than $5,000. The ordinance so stating went into effect in 1923. The law is ridiculously outdated, of course. You can hardly build a garage today for $5,000.

Here's the angry homeowner's plaint:

"A man who buys a home to live in is at the mercy of these fast-buck guys who grab up vacant land and build these chicken-coop homes on speculation. It's beside the point that such houses cause the neighborhood to decline and run down property values. What is needed down at City Hall is a new conception of home ownership. It's about time they rewrote the property and building laws to protect the homeowner. But he's only the poor chump who gets nicked for every tax raise. Nothing is ever done for him. He's stuck."

Is that an echo I hear?

THE BEAUTY contest season is upon us. Everywhere you turn, it seems, smiling girls in unswimmable swimsuits are parading. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking it.

Once such event was held in a mountain resort a few days ago and as a bevy--I think the word is bevy--swished past the judges a boy of 5 was overheard by Lee Austin inquiring in an awed voice:

"Mommy, are you going to do this too?"

THE FLOWERS will continue to bloom in the spring, the birds will continue to be on the wing, but things will not be the same up on Mulholland Drive, for lo these many years a hallowed rendezvous for neckers.

About a week ago, advises Carol Sugar in horror, they put a traffic signal at Mulholland and Beverly Glen Boulevard. Imagine young couples trying to whisper sweet nothings in the moonlight as a traffic light winks green, yellow and red at them. It could give them a complex as if Big Brother were watching.

TRAFFIC casualties are hardly news any more, they're taking for granted--except by the victims and their loved ones.

William DeLair took his wife to an Eastern Star meeting a few nights ago at Masonic Hall on Daly Street. He was waiting outside for the meeting to end so he could take her home when he was struck by an auto and killed. In this case the tragedy was deeper than most. Mrs. DeLair is blind.

MISCELLANY-- Big uproar among the ladies who save Green Stamps. They're discovering inflation has hit the premiums and for their precious books of stamps they get, say a two-quart stew pan instead of a three-quart one. . . Statistic for tomorrow: In 1903, according to the Safety Council, 466 persons were killed by fireworks, 400 in auto crashes. Last year one person died of fireworks injuries, approximately 40,000 in auto crashes. . . When the boss returned from his vacation the other day in a midtown office the help was all wearing black mourning bands on their sleeves as a gag. He didn't think it was funny.