Actor Mario Lopez snared in code violation
Construction of a pool cabaña was proceeding without the proper city permits.
(Photo courtesy of the City of Glendale)
The city’s Neighborhood Services Department opened a code enforcement case against Lopez last Friday, notifying the host of “Extra” and “America’s Best Dance Crew” that he violated zoning codes when his contractor began construction on a 500-square-foot addition to the cabaña without first obtaining permits.
Lopez must obtain the proper permits on or before June 27 to continue construction on the pool cabaña, including a bathroom extension, at his home in the 300 block of Kempton Road, city officials said. Lopez’s home is listed on the Glendale Register of Historic Resources. Without the permits, the city could force him to tear down the illegal construction, according to the notice of violation.
Calls to Lopez’s representatives were not returned Thursday.
City planners met with Lopez and his contractor on April 5 to inspect his home. That’s when they noticed issues with code requirements and ordered construction be halted.
“He hasn’t done any construction since,” city spokesman Tom Lorenz said.
Lopez is not a stranger to City Hall. He hosted the city’s Unity Fest in 2010 not long after moving into the historic home, for which he paid $1.94 million, on April 28, 2010, according to the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor’s Office.
The inspection of Lopez’s property was driven by neighbor complaints, officials said.
One of them complained to city officials after Lopez constructed a trash enclosure on their long driveway, Neighborhood Services Administrator Sam Engel said.
Engel, who said he saw photographs of the enclosure, met with the neighbor and encouraged them to work the issue out “civilly,” he said.
The Spanish Revival home was built in 1929 by armored-car inventor Peter Damm, who called it “Lorelei.”
The home was one of the first properties to be listed in the city’s historic registry in 1977, when Glendale began registering certain historical homes.
“It’s one of the grand estates in Glendale,” said John LoCascio, president of the Glendale Historical Society.
While the society doesn’t oppose renovations to historical homes to accommodate updated needs, the renovations shouldn’t compromise the home’s historical character and architecture, LoCascio said.
Permits and review by city planners are the only way to ensure that doesn’t happen, he said.
“Anything without a permit is totally unacceptable,” LoCascio said.
Officials advised Lopez to submit building architecture plans, which planners will review. They then will prepare a report and hold a public meeting on the proposed construction.
City planners also notified Lopez that the proposed project required a hearing before the Historic Preservation Commission.
Despite any potential violation of city codes or other property issues, resident Steve Bussjaeger said Lopez has been a good neighbor.
“He has been very considerate of any inconvenience he has caused,” he said.