Council to Reevaluate City's Code Enforcement

Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1997
By John Canalis

In the wake of recent disputes with a religious organization over alleged code violations, the City Council on Monday agreed to review the way it handles enforcement of some permits and ordinances.

The city recently filed a misdemeanor charge against Piecemakers Inc., accusing the religious commune of failing to secure a $100 permit for its Sept. 27 staging of "Big River" in the parking lot of its Adams Avenue Country Store. The city has also cited the group for alleged safety violations at a warehouse.

The Piecemakers weren't directly mentioned at Monday's special study session. But Councilwoman Heather K. Somers, who proposed the review, has suggested tougher enforcement of groups that openly defy city requirements. Piecemakers contend that requiring special event permits violates constitutional and religious freedoms.

Council members will review enforcement policies at an upcoming meeting.

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