In the end the City of Sierra Madre got a victory at One Carter, and it was a negotiated one. Yet it was a long series of defeats that brought us to that point. And can you believe it really came to this? Five long years down the road and only now have we reached the final act. But that was only after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on litigation, lawyers, their salaries, and court costs.
The irony here being that when the Gang of Four City Council did the original One Carter deal with Dorn Platz, they claimed it was to avoid lawsuits.
Probably the biggest victor in all of this was our City Attorney. With the money made from this debacle she could very well afford to buy a lot at One Carter, and maybe even a house to put on it. Paid for out of our tax dollars.
We will see at tonight's City Council meeting what it means to have elected officials who work for the people of Sierra Madre. Which is in stark contrast to the Stockley, Joffe, Buchanan and Torres "Gang of Four" council. After all, it was they who made the disastrous decisions at One Carter that cost us an extremely large chunk of our tax dollars over the years. You can only imagine what was (or most likely wasn't) going through their heads when they decided to hand One Carter over to a company that proved incapable of doing little more than cutting down trees and initiating lawsuits.
Thanks to the hard work of Don Watts, Kurt Zimmerman, and Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray, we have now received some significant concessions from the unfortunate folks at the lender of consequence, Capitol Source Finance. And certainly the advantages were ours. This is a bank that was painfully aware that they had a distressed property on their hands, one that needed to be sold so they wouldn't have to continue throwing good money after bad. They were obviously not in a very good bargaining position, and that was something our guys understood from the start.
So what concessions did we get out of Capitol Source? There are six items in all, but these two below strike me as being the most significant:
1) The famous Lot 3. At one time it was rumored that the City of Sierra Madre was considering spending around a million bucks to purchase this piece of property. The reason being is that this is the most visible of all the lots at One Carter, and any McMansion built upon it would loom ominously over the city. A permanent reminder of the Gang of Four's disastrous mistakes. But thanks to this City Council's negotiated victory, that lot will not be built on. Rather it will be attached to another lot and sold with the legally enforceable proviso that it remain undeveloped.
2) Everything that is built at One Carter must be in compliance with our Hillside Management Zone Ordinance. Which means the developer won't be able to erect those huge monuments to bad taste up there that so many feared. Just homes that will blend in with the character of the rest of this town. And there was concern that Capitol Source might sue over this particular issue, and a feint in that direction was actually made. But this City Council called their bluff, and won.
And like I said, this isn't all of it. There are Stonehouse considerations as well. But you'll get all that when you tune in to tonight's City Council meeting. And while this settlement is a bit like putting a bow on the proverbial pig, it obviously is also the best that could be expected given the awful choices left to us by the solons of the Shenanigan Era.