seizure should the statute be revived. Once these homes are seized by the government they would then be razed and the property used for the construction of multi-unit low income housing.
The notion behind this singular act of government violence against a selected few citizens here in Sierra Madre is to jam high-density housing into what is already a very built out town. And while the guilt trip is that this will provide living quarters for people who cannot otherwise afford to live here, the real purpose is to create lucrative building opportunities for the developers and contractors whose interests are of far more concern to the two City Councilmen named above than the hopes and dreams of the people of Sierra Madre. And always as dictated by the powerful Building Trades lobbies and organizations that call the shots on these matters both in Sacramento and here in Los Angeles County.
These addresses came from the "Sierra Madre 2008-2014 Housing Element Community Workshop, March 31, 2009" handout. A classic piece of redevelopment propaganda designed to pitch the seizing of other peoples' homes while paradoxically coaxing the rest of the community to feel that they are somehow a part of something truly progressive. Just about as Orwellian a document as you will ever see. And you do know that the money used to purchase these houses would come out of our taxes, right? Making us all accomplices.
You will notice that some of the listed homes slated for possible seizure and destruction are over 100 years old. So much for all the recent lip service from that quarter about preserving Sierra Madre's historical heritage.
Here is the list of at risk homes:
293 Mariposa Avenue - single family home .. 22,800 square foot lot .. built 1901
271 Mariposa Avenue - single family home .. 11,500 square foot lot .. built 1942
261 Mariposa Avenue - single family home .. 11,450 square foot lot .. built 1921
109 Auburn Avenue - single family home .. 8,250 square foot lot .. built 1921
91 Auburn Avenue - single family home .. 4,810 square foot lot .. built 1905
99 Auburn Avenue - 2 "units" .. 3,440 square foot lot .. built 1905
87 Auburn Avenue - single family home .. 8,250 square foot lot .. built 1931
318 Montecito Avenue - single family home .. 7,482 square foot lot .. built 1914
46 N. Lima Street - single family home .. 7,500 square foot lot .. built 1922
198 W. Montecito Avenue - single family home .. 3,000 square foot lot .. built 1908
196 W. Montecito Avenue - single family home .. 3,000 square foot lot .. built 1927
40 N. Hermosa Avenue - vacant - 12,300 square foot lot .. built 1926
170 W. Montecito Avenue - single family home .. 7,767 square foot lot .. built 1949
168 W. Montecito Avenue - single family home .. 7,701 square foot lot .. built 1942
182 W. Highland Avenue - single family home .. 11,904 square foot lot .. built 1907
I've begun to wonder what the criteria was for the selection of these particular homes. Darts thrown at a map? Somebody has a beef with the owners? Loud children? Barking dogs? Age or racial profiling? Having driven around town and looked at some of these locations, I couldn't help but feel that there is something random and scattershot about the choices. Maybe somebody personally just doesn't like these particular houses? Hard to tell.
The truly sad thing here is just how unnecessary this plan is. With the City's initiative to turn "Granny Houses" into the kinds of units that would fulfill our Low Income Housing targets, none of this even needs to be considered. But again, for those who want to seize these particular properties it isn't really about Low Income Housing. It is about the money to be made by building condominiums. Nothing more.
Over the next few weeks I will be visiting the people who live in these homes to fill them in on what might in store for them. If you wish to join me, you are more than welcome to do so. I'm not sure there really is anybody else who will tell them about what they could be facing in the near future. Too often the victim is the last to know. Downtown is protected by Measure V, but who is on the side of these people?
That duty falls on us.