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Temporary conditional use permit granted for neighbor seeking to offer backyard swim lessons

Posted at 12:12 PM, Jun 16, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The hearing for a temporary conditional use permit for backyard swim lessons turned into a back and forth between neighbors and parents over the use of the privately maintained road: Mellon Court.

  • Kevin Edgmon lives on Melon Court and is seeking a permit to provide one on one swim lessons in 20 minute intervals for children and those with special needs.
  • During the hearing though, his neighbors laid out their concerns.

"This is our road. We live here, and we pay for it," said Elizabeth Ferrier, a resident of Mellon Court who attended a conditional use permit hearing Thursday.

The hearing for a temporary conditional use permit for backyard swim lessons turned into a back and forth between neighbors and parents over the use of the privately maintained road: Mellon Court.

"They're simply coming for swimming lessons," said Kevin Edgmon, the resident seeking the permit.

Edgmon lives on Melon Court and is seeking a permit to provide one on one swim lessons in 20 minute intervals for children and those with special needs.

During the hearing though, his neighbors laid out their concerns.

"Our road is very unique. it's not innate. We do not have an HOA, but we own to the center of the road," One neighbor said. "Every property line is to the center. A few years before Mr Edgmon moved in, we resurfaced the road for $40,000 and that all had to come out of nine individual household.

Among the arguments, planning commissioners heard about the neighborhood CC&R’s, declarations of rules and restrictions that were created when the private road was first developed.

"You know, the county, when it comes to our permitting, goes by our adopted land uses, and if there is a complaint, if there is a violation of the CC&Rs, there is a separate matter by which that can be taken," said Craig Murphy, Assistant Director at Kern County Planning Department.

As neighbors pleaded for the board not to approve the permit, many pointed to the design of the road, stating it could not handle the increase in traffic. Some even claiming they've witnessed safety issues.

"During 2022 and his lessons, we witnessed many distracted parents, often driving faster than the posted speed limit of 15 miles an hour," another neighbor claimed.

Edgmon stated his attempts to mitigate some of these concerns.

"I also developed a letter to give to each of my clients outlining the restriction that I created to stay in good graces with my neighbors regarding my swimming lessons," he said.

"As I drove in the neighborhood, of course, getting Kevin's instructions, they were easy to follow," said one of Edgmon's clients.

The majority of the residents of Mellon Court spoke in opposition of the permit. Some stood out.

"I'm not here for Kevin or the community. I do live in the neighborhood, and I am here in favor of the project," said one neighbor. "I think it's simple. I think that there has been a determination made by the county. This is not a CC&R issue. County doesn't have purview over that. This is a land use issue, and it's consistent with land use, and I think that that's where it needs to stay.

To help mitigate these concerns the board approved a three year temporary conditional use permit for Edgmon to conduct one on one swim lessons for a season, running between May 27 and August 31 until 2026 during that time, the lessons may run for 20 minutes Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. With the last lesson going no later than 6:30 p.m.


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