This from a recent article in the Whittier Daily News:
La Habra Heights officials, residents to fight state rules requiring affordable housing - Officials in this tiny city - a population of little more than 6,000 - are gearing up to fight state rules requiring zoning for affordable or multi-family housing. State rules mandate the city provide for 223 new housing units, including 85 for people with low - and very low - income and another 48 for moderate-income levels. To meet these goals, Beth Stochl, a city consultant, proposed that the city rezone the four-acre Heights Christian Preschool for multi-family and provide amnesty for illegal second units.
But residents and council members objected during a study session Thursday, saying it would cost the city its rural lifestyle. "This law is not right for our city," Mayor Howard Vipperman said. "It makes my teeth grind that we might have to rezone property (for multiple-family housing)," Vipperman said. "Over 20 percent of our city would become rental units. I'll resist this with every fiber of my body."
Pretty good, right? Another small City gets hit with an insane RHNA number, and the people and their elected officials decide to do the right thing and fight. And, of course, when La Habra Heights goes on to fight this great battle they'll have a tough City Attorney who will be there by their side every step of the way, right?
Well, not exactly.
But resistance could come at a cost, City Attorney Sandra Levin said. If the city doesn't have a state-approved housing plan, a developer or housing advocacy group could sue and force its creation and La Habra Heights to pay their attorney's fees, Levin said.
Talk about your buzz kill.
Of course, there are cities that have been through this all before, and they just don't care to hear it anymore. To the point where they will release hitherto secret documents on the topic of redevelopment no matter what the situation. This from a City Of Yorba Linda City Manager's Report, dated June 3, 2008:
Recommendation: It is recommended that the Yorba Linda City Council consider whether to release the following documents pertaining to the Town Center project which were withheld from a Public Records Act request pursuant to the attorney-client privilege.
1) An unredacted copy of the document containing handwritten notes (The "BIA Agenda").
2) Unredacted billings from Best Best & Krieger LLP
3) Unredacted billings from Colantuono & Levine (sic) PC
Backround: In September 2005, the City retained Michael Colantuono of Colantuono & Levin PC as independent legal counsel to represent the City Clerk to advise her regarding her responsibilities with respect to the initiative known as the "Yorba Linda Right to Vote on Land Use Amendments" or "Measure B."
In December 2005, the City Manager attended a meeting with a litigation attorney from the City Attorney's office. The meeting was called by the Building Industry Association (BIA). The BIA prepared and distributed an agenda for the meeting. Several months after the meeting took place, a citizen made a California Public Records Act request for a copy of the agenda. The only copy of the agenda in the City's possession contained handwritten notes that the City manager asserted were privileged. The City Council asserted an attorney-client privilege to the notes and released a copy of the agenda with the notes redacted. The City Council now wishes to consider whether to waive the attorney-client privilege for the limited purpose of allowing the public to have access to the handwritten notes on the agenda.
Apparently this C&L advised City Clerk had gone on to recommend that the petition to put Measure B (the Yorba Linda Land Use Amendments Initiative) on the ballot be ruled invalid, which would have effectively removed it from voter consideration. Coincidence? Well, that apparently was what the concerned citizen who filed the Public Records Act request wanted to know more about. So was the agenda document along with its previously sanctified handwritten notes ever released? As far as I can tell it is still an ongoing process.
And by the way, Measure B was put on the ballot, and the voters of Yorba Linda did the right thing and approved it. Something that later helped inspire our Measure V here in Sierra Madre.
Tomorrow Is SCAG's Job Evaluation Day. And You Are Invited To Help!
This really looks to be a golden opportunity. And while this fine looking invitation (linked below) obviously wasn't sent to The Tattler (I found it on the bus hugger L.A. Streetsblog site), it does apply to any of us who might wish to attend and speak out. And what makes it really sweet is this Federal Review of our SCAG pals involves the topic of the "transportation planning process." Something the Sierra Madre City Council discussed in depth (link here) not that long ago. You remember, where Commissar "Iggy" Ikhrata and his vaunted L.A. Abacus Brigade (LAAB) attempted to force us to accept job and housing projections that surpassed even their usual absurd levels? A process that inspired Don Watts to coin the memorable phrase, "Where fantasy meets absurdity."
Anyway, here is your invitation!
Southern California residents urged to provide comments in the Federal Review of the Southern California Association of Governments' (SCAG) Transportation Planning Process
The Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Authority will begin conducting a review and evaluation of Southern California's transportation planning process. To provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the transportation planning process carried out by the Southern California Association of Governments and its partners, the two Federal agencies are hosting the following public listening session:
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location: SCAG's Main Office
818 West 7th Street, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA,90017-1800
Oral and written comments may be presented at the meeting. Written comments can also be sent via e-mail to email@example.com.
Public comments will be accepted through December 15, 2009. For additional information about the SCAG Federal certification process or the December 2 public listening session, please call (213) 202-3953.
Well there you go. It's our turn to give the Feds an earful about the SCAGGIES they so thoughtfully fund out of our tax dollars. And since it has been such a SCAG intensive couple of months here in Sierra Madre, complete with a visit from the Commissar himself, shouldn't we have a lot of opinions to share? I know I do. I've already forwarded a couple of Tattler articles on this very topic for Federal review.