Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Homes Listed As Possible Eminent Domain Seizure Targets For The Purpose Of Building Multi-Family Low Income Housing In Sierra Madre

Below you will find a list of those homes identified as candidates for eminent domain
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.


  1. Perhaps one of the criteria was to eliminate historical properties so that they are unable to qualify for a Mills Act designation?

  2. You brought it down to the actual actions that would occur should this all be put through. Unacceptable they would indeed be. The "people" will suffer. There is no advantage to the town itself. It's a lose/win situation. Thanks for the insight.

  3. this is atrocious-an outrage--Thankyou for exposing this attack upon our community..and what is the Mills Act..Thanks again

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87-W7NO5E3E&feature=related

  5. Sir Eric, Kurt, MaryAnn, Don.......
    let us know what we need to do and we'll do it.
    Sierra Madre must be protected.
    We must keep control of the city council.
    We can and we will, no matter what.

  6. Down and dirty Doyle and his downtown dirts are at it again.
    They must be stopped.

  7. Ooohhh. The Tattler drops the big one. This
    could go nuclear today.

  8. Sir Eric, great work - and the people who live in those houses do need to know. One thing you can count on from the development/realtor community is deception. They proceed with or without community support or city government permission, implementing plans A, B and/or C that they figured out while the town was sleeping.
    Maybe the people you visit will want to form an activist group - a few of the people who've been fighting these damn vampires are tired, which is apparently something the development/realty groups depend on. Reinforcements would be good.

  9. Residents, we MUST attend the next Housing workshop. It's the ONLY way to push back this insidious RHNA agenda! Insist that our united voices be heard!

  10. if this is true and accurate and actually a published document, each household listed ought to immediately sue the city and Joethro and John B. Clampett individually.

    personally, I'm sort of tired of the hot air pontificated by these two

  11. 293 Mariposa Avenue.. Zillow est. $1,045,000
    271 Mariposa Avenue...Zillow est. $587K
    261 Mariposa Avenue...Zillow est. $685K
    109 Auburn Avenue.....Zillow est. $512K
    91 Auburn Avenue......Zillow est. $478K
    99 Auburn Avenue......Zillow est. $398K
    87 Auburn Avenue......does not show on Zillow , but plug in $350K
    318 Montecito Avenue..Zillow est. $548K
    46 N. Lima Street.....Zillow est. $407K
    198 W. Montecito Avenue..Zillow est. $397K
    196 W. Montecito Avenue..Zillow est. $516K
    40 N. Hermosa........Zillow est. $419K
    170 W. Montecito Avenue..Zillow est. $550K
    168 W. Montecito Avenue..Zillow est. $560K
    182 W. Highland Avenue..Zillow est. $394K

    Grand Total! $7,846,000.00

  12. 9:53AM - You can examine the documents yourself. Go to the City of Sierra Madre site and look for "Featured City Documents." Click on the 6th item, which is entitled "Sierra Madre 2008-2014 Housing Element Community Workshop (slides)." The "Potentially Suitable Multi-Family Sites" portion begins on pg. 20 and continues thru pg. 28. All the addresses are listed there.


  13. Good God!! These people are insane!!!!

  14. Standard Songs for Average PeopleApril 7, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    To say that the person who put that one together has a political tin ear might be
    an understatement.

  15. no, 10:05 they aren't insane, they are greedy pigs. Bernie Madoff wannabes.
    They don't care about people, especially their neighbors, they just rationalize what they do is helping the "poor".
    BS! How about the rest of us in town?
    Oh yeah, they'll say they are "redistributing the wealth".
    Well, guess what dirts....we will make sure you don't have any additional wealth (on our dime). I hope some of you will be looking for low income housing for yourselves.
    The majority of you are very bad people, the rest of you are just dumb.

  16. We should all fight to keep Sierra Madre the same. To preserve our town!
    Preserve our hillsides. Preserve our quaint neighborhoods.
    This is why we all live here! At least it's the reason everyone I know lives here.
    We don't want "change". We don't need the kind of "change" Bart Doyle, John Buchanan, Joe Mosca, Rob Stockley, Glenn Lambdin, Judy Webb Martin,Susan Henderson and their kind want for us. Say NO to DIRTS....VOTE AGAINST THEM. Read Sir Eric's columns online here or in the Sierra Madre Weekly, have your friends and neighbors read Sir Eric's columns. He tells us the TRUTH and can back it up with the facts.
    Everyone who values their home here, values their quality of life here, needs to stand up and fight this small group of greedy people who want to take it away from us.
    Stand up and fight for your homes, your families and future generations!
    YES WE WILL.....dirts. Count on it.

  17. There is a HUGE site in Sierra Madre that could be zoned for the low income/ high density requirements and no home owner would be displaced. The location is two of the acres at 1 Carter. The city should pick enough different site to fulfill the requirement. The beauty of this is 1st the land is too expensive for low income housing and 2nd no one in their right mind will want to spend millions to build a home next to a low income project. So nothing will be built.

  18. Quite an issue for Joe Mosca to run for reelection on. The man who would take peoples' homes to create low income housing. And he actually belongs to the SCAGGIE organizations that decided on our RHNA numbers? Talk about Mr. popularity...

  19. Four of the site are less than a half a block from the Sierra Madre School. Do we really want low income housing and all the problems that can come with it 200 feet from our school?

  20. How can Joe be on the committee that set the RHNA numbers and then been own the council that chooses the sites? Judge, jury, and executioner.

  21. This entire thing is not about providing housing it is about construction. The BIA is one of SCAG"S biggest supporters. They provide SCAG with a lot of free stuff.

  22. Sierra Madre business ownerApril 7, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    I think Joe should have been recalled, should still be recalled - but the SCAG thing ain't all him. Every council has to have a rep on SCAG, in all the cities.

  23. Looks like it is time for an article on what organizations Joe does belong to, and what exactly they do. There are many different aspects of SCAG, and one of them has to do with assigning RHNA numbers. Last time I checked he was on that particular SCAG whatever. But as you can see by his resume on the Ciry site, he does belong to quite a few. Its a wonder he ever finds any time for us. I'll dig around this evening and have something up in the morning.

  24. Sierra Madre Business owner,

    It is NOT compulsory to be a member of SCAG. The City of Sierra Madre pays a membership fee in order to be a member of SCAG.

    As a matter of fact, Sierra Madre was NEVER a member of SCAG until Bart Doyle came on the City Council in the mid 90's.

    In the future, please don't share your opinion as though it is a fact.

    Thank you.

  25. Middle finger to Bart!
    This evil doer should be run out of town.
    Middle finger to Joe Mosca!
    This traitor should be run out of town.
    Middle finger to Judy Webb Martin......I thought you were suppose to be moving to Santa Barbara? Why don't you just leave?
    You and all your dirt pals represent "change we don't want".
    Hey,11:58.....Sierra Madre Business Owner is a valued contributer to this blog. Your remark was scabby.
    Thanks for sharing your SCAG information....how do you know so much about it?

  26. Pasta!
    I like the way you think!

  27. I nominate 122 N Baldwin as a good candiate for eminent domain -- it's zoned right, in a remarkable state of disrepair, and would be doing the community a trememdous service as a multi family abode!

  28. Sierra Madre business ownerApril 7, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    Anon at 11:58 - my bad. I thought all of the various city councils in Southern California had to have a rep for SCAG - one of the rotating duties assigned to council members, mandated by the state. Not so? Which cities are NOT in SCAG? We should hook up with them!
    Anyway, I wish there had been more people walking the talk to get Joe recalled.

  29. Sir Eric, what do we have to do to get out of SCAG?

  30. Temple City is not in SCAG. Neither is Alta Dena. Membership is not mandatory. Ironically many cities belong to it because they think they will receive less awful treatment. As opposed to the atrocious treatment they would receive if they weren't members. And not just on the housing questions. SCAG is a parasitic organization fed with state funds that attracts people who think that by working for it they will be able to brown nose their way into big time bureacracy jobs at either the county or state level.

  31. Unusual heat,

    What's "scabby" about asking people to get their facts straight?

  32. Don't know, but it could have been the supercilious "Thank you."
    More to the point, let's all just stick to the ideas & leave personalities out of it?
    What steps do we take to leave SCAG?

  33. The thing the worries me about some of the
    locations identified on that report is they
    are inhabited by retired people who have
    lived in them for a long time. And they haven't paid a mortgage in years. If they should suddenly find themselves turned out, what would happen to them? And who could be more poor than retired people?

  34. Hear, hear - we're wasting our time if were calling each other names.

  35. marierose,

    I'm with you. What do you think about tearing down that rat's nest and turning it into a gallows? Maybe it gets used, maybe it doesn't. But it might be a great object lesson for future carpetbaggers and scallywags!


  36. Anonymous III......maybe you're just reading too much into it. 11:58 made a legitimate statement and (seemed) like they were trying to be polite about it.

    Take a chill pill....It's too early to be this over-sensitive.

  37. Los Angeles County Cities belonging to SCAG:
    Agoura Hills
    Baldwin Park
    Bell Gardens
    Beverly Hills
    Culver City
    Diamond Bar
    El Monte
    El Segundo
    Hawaiian Gardens
    Hermosa Beach
    Hidden Hills
    La Canada Flintridge
    La Mirada
    La Puente
    La Verne
    Long Beach
    Los Angeles
    Manhattan Beach
    Monterey Park
    Pico Rivera
    Rancho Palos Verdes
    Redondo Beach
    Rolling Hills
    Rolling Hills Estates
    San Dimas
    San Fernando
    San Gabriel
    San Marino
    Santa Clarita
    Santa Fe Springs
    Santa Monica
    Sierra Madre
    Signal Hill
    South El Monte
    South Pasadena
    West Covina
    West Hollywood
    Westlake Village

  38. I believe a simple majority of votes by the City Council should suffice to get us out of SCAG. It's not like we'd be seceding from the United States or anything. Its just some crappy little organization kept on life support by Sacramento because it plays a useful bad cop role for Sacramento and their Soviet-style central planning schemes. You know, like RHNA numbers. Our governemnt in this state is truly bad, both parties are corrupt pay to play slaves to lobbyists, and you don't have to look any farther than SCAG for an example of how that works.

  39. That's good news Bip - so there is no money tie, no "you took this so now you have to give it back if you want to leave" ?

  40. Nope. They exist becuase they do the dirty work. RHNA numbers, put a tunnel through South Pasadena, a highway right past an elementary school, evicting old ladies so redevelopers can use their property for condos, that's what SCAG does. They are the ugly face of our state government and the interests that control it.

  41. after the bogus fiasco with "the sky is falling" bankrupted budget (with a million surplus) and boondoggle DSP, why would anybody believe anything said by Joe, John, Webb-Martin, Doyle, etc etc etc

  42. Thanks 2:56. Good plan.
    Let's do it.

  43. What steps do we have to take to rid ourselves of SCAG?...I just spoke to a Council member and this is what I was told.

    Tell the residents they MUST go before the City Council and strongly state that we have to get out of SCAG! Then the Council can act on the voice of the people.

  44. Sir Eric?
    Is this column going to be printed in The Sierra Madre Weekly? I hope so.

  45. A google search with "suing SCAG" yields some interesting results.

  46. Good one, Sam.
    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,610 for suing scag. (0.13 seconds)

    Check this out everyone.
    Thanks, Sam

  47. From the Westchester Parents:
    “I don’t see any connection between SCAG and the real world.”
    Let's get out!

  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  49. 6:07 - If you could boil all that down to a 4 sentence paragraph, I'm good with it.

  50. How does Charlie Manson get internet access?
    How did he find The Tattler?

  51. Anon @6:47, struck me as a bit more Kaczynski than Manson...

  52. Hey, I'm down with the tunnel under South Pas.

  53. Well, that's a fight in the offing, for sure. If the residents of these properties need backup, they need to let all of their neighbors, friends and family know (and all of the other residents in Sierra Madre). And we need to run Mosca and Buchanan out of town. There is no justification whatsoever for eminent domain grabs in Sierra Madre. Note the building dates on that list - it's an out with the old, in with the new, which is twisted American development philosophy (that the old, whether they be people or places, have no value because of said age; that somehow age and obsolescence are interchangeable terms). I agree with all of the other voices - let's get out of SCAG, once and for all. Enough of this giving up control of our city government and resources to outside agencies (if only we could stop giving up our property taxes to Sacto - now that would be a coup!).

  54. Sir Eric:
    If you were growing up in New York in the 50's, the word scag was used by teenagers as a slang/ vernacular slur for a "whore." Doesn't it seem appropriate that a government agency word use the same acronym for their devious means to feed their addiction of greed and disregard for vulnerable & unsuspecting communities or individuals? Unfortunately," if water seeks it's own level" then Sierra Madre would drown in a cesspool of
    SCAG multiple low income structure dwellers & it's time to pull rhe plug. Historically, that is what we would be facing. Crime. Lot's of cigaret smoke at best. No butts about it. Shame on SCAG!