“Little Person Takes on City Hall . . .”
It was at a going away party for some friends/clients that I met Judy a few years ago. I liked her immediately. She was feisty and not afraid to speak her mind. My kind of person.
It wasn’t long after that she called with a real estate question.
She explained that she lived on a hill overlooking an old gas station which the owner wanted to sell to a developer who in turn wanted to install a Car Wash.
“How much do you think it would impact my property value,” she asked.
As it happened, I was going to be in the area the next day so I stopped in.
Her house sits on a hill overlooking what is now a car repair shop. It overlooks what is arguably the busiest intersection in Chula Vista. The corner of Halecrest Dr and Telegraph Canyon Rd, which also leads to the northbound ramp of I805.
Already there is significant noise from the freeway, and as I explained, it would not help the value of her home by adding more noise on top of it.
Judy has lived in her home for 45+ years, and while the home is not custom it has many custom features because Judy is a Little Person. She stands 3 feet 11 inches tall and is 82 years old. Her husband had made many modifications for her stature before he passed away.
“I do not want to sell her house,” I thought to myself, yet I knew it might come down to that. The noise and the chemicals would not be good for her health.
On one hand, the house is in great condition but the external factors would certainly play a large role in the value. Then on the other hand, I also knew it would be very difficult to find a home with the necessary modifications a Little Person needs.
Judy decided to put her energy into fighting this development and fight she did.
She knocked on neighbors’ door, she met with City Planners and City Council members. She talked to local business owners and gathered support.
An attorney who had agreed to take on her case pro bono was pulled off by his firm because it was a “conflict of interest.” We tried to find another attorney, but none were willing to take on the City of Chula Vista without a large retainer.
Luckily, a business owner across the street was able to hire an attorney. That attorney met with Judy and she gave him copies of 3 years’ worth of notes, letters and documentation concerning the project. These proved to be very important because many had mysteriously disappeared and were never seen by the City Planning Committee or City Council members.
The attorney compiled these and introduced them into record, leaving many on the City Council to wonder why they hadn’t seen them before.
On Tuesday (Jan. 22) the City Council of Chula Vista voted against the developer and the car wash, at this time . . .
It remains to be seen if the developer will move on to another property or continue to fight for this one.
Judy stands as a reminder to never, ever give up. To fight for what is right.
I am honored to know this wonderful person and very, very happy to not have to sell this home.
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