Friday, February 26, 2010

Here Is A Meeting You Might Enjoy Attending

On March 6th (8:30 AM to 1:00 PM) there will be a gathering at the Sierra Madre Congregational Church (170 West Sierra Madre Boulevard) presented by the Pasadena & Foothill Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It will be a panel discussion on one of our favorite topics here in town, SB 375. An $8.00 donation for a Continental Breakfast will be appreciated, with the catering sponsor being Starbucks Coffee, Sierra Madre. Good to see that they're keeping it local.

The members of this panel seem to be the usual experts:

Julianna Delgado, M.Arch, PhD, AICP: Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Cal Poly Pomona.
Martin Wachs, PhD: RAND Corporation, Director of Transportation, Space and Technology
Michael K. Woo: Dean of College of Environmental Design, Cal Poly Pomona. Member of the Air Resources Board
Paul Zimmerman: Executive Director of Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing
Huasha Liu: Director of Land use and Environmental Planning for Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Here is how the topic up for discussion is presented:

SB 375 (September 2008) has been referred to by a few as the "Anti-Sprawl Bill," or by others as the "Sustainable Communities Strategies Act." Either name an individual decides upon, the objective behind SB 375 is to encourage communities to develop land-use, housing and transportation strategies that work within their particular built environment objectives, while also reducing the amount of green house gas (GHG) emissions produced by cars and light trucks. A key component, within SB 375, for the public, community groups, architects, engineers, city planners, administrators, and local government officials to keep in mind, is that individual communities and sub-regions will be given specific GHG emission reduction targets - they will not be given directives on how to meet their specific target. In other words, individual communities or sub-regions have an opportunity to collaborate, and to participate in, the decision processes that relate to and ultimately determine their local or sub-regional land-use, housing, and transportation policies. Simply stated, under SB 375, and community has an opportunity to maintain its influence over its unique identity.

A question. While it is gracious of the panel to inform us that we have been granted the right to give our input on whatever it is they want to see happen here, this seems to me to be a rather miniscule sliver of freedom in what is in actuality an unfunded Sacramento dictated mandate for us to change our town into something we'd rather it not become. Our "unique identity" is what we love about this town, but will these people tell us that we'll be allowed to keep things as they are? Or merely that we will be able to choose the color of the paint on all the new development that we will be forced to accept as part of the overall SB 375 process? And isn't SB 375 just the Downtown Specific Plan in a bright new green bottle, only this time gone statewide?

So here's another question. After the California Air Resources Board (CARB - which panelist Woo belongs to) makes it recommendations to Southern California Area Governments (SCAG - which panelist Liu belongs to) on how much new housing we must accommodate, and that is then taken to the Community Economic & Human Development confab (CEHD - which Sierra Madre City Councilman Joe Mosca belongs to), and they cook up with our new (and, as most anticipate, very large) Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers, will we then be free under this plan to simply ignore them? After all, given their choice most people in this town find our current layout rather nice and wouldn't see the need for very much change.

By my reading of SB 375, that answer would be no. It is in no way as benign as the blithe description provided to us would indicate. If we do not comply with these SB 375 driven RHNA numbers, per this state law we could be sued by any developer wishing to do so, lose because of this new state law, and be forced to pay the Court costs. Not to mention the loss of our right to protect our local environment through the CEQA process. Our options are very limited here, and only by forging a coalition of cities willing resist the draconian changes this fiat demands will we be able to regain the planning rights Sacramento has confiscated from us.

Another question. If we are forced to build a large swath of condo development in what is currently our downtown area (as an example, because there are other sites such as the neighborhood by Goldberg Park that could be targeted), will the people moving into them give up their cars and start taking the Gold Line to work? The magical thinking at the heart of the SB 375 experiment has it that once people are situated in housing located near public transportation, they will no longer feel the need to drive an automobile. Rather they will desire to take a CNG shuttle bus to the 210 Trolly, take that to some place approximate to where they want to go, get in another bus, and then get off at a station 2 or 3 blocks from their destination. All of which will somehow reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions and save the world from Global Warming. But again, for SB 375 to succeed, people will willingly have to give up their cars. And wouldn't it be a shame if after tearing up a good portion of Sierra Madre and replacing it with the kind of generica you can see in most other California small cities, people decide to drive their cars anyway? Which they will. Who wants to spend 2 hours on public transportation getting to some place that is a half hour drive?

There are other questions as well. Does high-density and mixed-use development give off more or less GHG emissions than the low density buildings we have now? Where will we find the additional water for all the new residents living in these so-called sustainable structures? Electricity production is an even larger producer of GHG than cars. Doesn't the building of high-density housing ramp up the need for more coal generated electricity production, theoretically heating up the atmosphere even more? And given the condo glut on the real estate market, wouldn't we just be creating yet another way for nitwit banks to go out of business, further burdening the taxpayers with more bailouts?

One other point: The timing of this event is rather choice, coming as it does just 2 days before the Candidate's Forum at Sierra Madre City Hall. Probably just a coincidence.

52 comments:

  1. Omigod, a dog and pony show. Is it deja vu all over again?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wonder if Mayor Magillivray and Mayor Pro-tem Watts will be at this "meeting" to tell folks what's "really happening"?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I plan to attend so that I can find out the spin that is being spread so that I can better educate the public to what will really happen if this idiotic plan hits Sierra Madre.
    The idea behind these meetings is to get the public engaged in the process so they will take ownership of the project and defend it. So many people believe it is written or spoken it must be the truth.
    This is exactly what happened with the DSP. Fortunately for Sierra Madre a few figured out what was happening and blew up the DSP.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks 7:53

    We'll be waiting to hear your report.

    Wasn't the Congregational Church (officials) a huge supporter of the DSP that the voters rejected?

    Don't they wish to expand their downtown holdings?

    ReplyDelete
  5. 8:32 They were not only big supporters they displayed the plan in their fake store front. Talk about a conflict between church and state.
    They not only want to expand their operation they want to eat the town with their unschool school. But this chat is for another day. Let's stay on topic.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wonder if these folks are conducting such meetings in other small towns or if we're one of the special targets for this strategy, since our councilpeople are actually standing up against SCAG and their shameful development supportive tactics? So these forces will try to squash this defiance in any way they can by spreading more lies to cover the truth which lies just below the surface - development equals money in the pockets of a very exclusive few at the expense of entire communities. Any way they can whitewash that truth to gain acceptance they will - the devil, literally, is truly in the details.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This whole greenwash cover for development is going on all over the state, concentrated in Southern California for obvious reasons. It's just a means of forcing development in this State for financial reasons (creates property tax revenue out of empty land, hello???). They'll make money no matter what, even if nobody buys, because financing is available to build. That's where the developers make their money now, not on sales. GHG emissions, tax money bailouts, burning up all our resources and water, *none of that matters*. They just want their profits at all costs, which is why Sacramento is allowing them to sue over not being able to build whatever deal they can cobble together. It's sick.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What struck me in the description of the discussion was the use of the word "encourage", "the objective behind SB 375 is to encourage communities..."
    You wouldn't think the truer word is something like force, demand, bully, or dominate, would you?
    This particular variation of the development dogs & ponies isn't on the Congregational web site calendar.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wonder if the guy from "nonprofit housing" will have anything to say about no covenants on low income housing being built. We all know what happens to 'low income' development.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for informing us about this meeting. Where was this meeting advertised so the citizens of Sierra Madre could attend? or is it primarily for the Church members?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm not too sure that the people behind this meeting really wanted this story to be broken on The Tattler. I think this one was for the DIC alone. Something to rally the troops behind this nonsense before th 3/8 debates. We have to go and ask the tough questions.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Do they really think we are that stupid?February 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Someone please ask them if a government based conversation really can take place in a church? and what type of transportation did they use to get to the CC in SM?

    Where do each of them live and just exactly HOW did they get here?

    Done deal, conversation over, they are a plant.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good point, 10. I would certainly hope that persons as important as these panelists will be afforded VIP parking. Maybe the Church should also offer to top off their gas tanks after the show is over?

    ReplyDelete
  14. If the meerting is not on the church calendar then it's probably just a little income generating through renting space. The question is, who hooked it up? Who said, "I've got a great place we can meet?"

    ReplyDelete
  15. What? A church rents space? It's just income generation? Where is their TUP? Why aren't the citizens up in arms? Do they have weddings? Do they park on the street? What do nearby residents think? Oh, wait a minute... this isn't a school...

    ReplyDelete
  16. If you wish to attend go to the http://aiapf.org site. It will take you to their events calendar. Leave your name and e-mail address so they can confirm the headcount. AIA Chapter events are always open to the public I've been told. Be there or be unaware.

    ReplyDelete
  17. quit picking on the church. a sunday school is not a school. go to church some time, you might learn something.

    and don't start with the "oh look, old kentucky fan is a dirt" nonsense. i'm not. i guaranty i have contributed more $$$ to the troika than the rest of you. in fact, quit talking and break out your checkbooks to Watts, Crawford and Alcorn. now.

    and where the hell are my yard signs? it is a disgrace that i can't drive home up john's street without seeing signs for joe and the joettes without a single troika sign.

    ReplyDelete
  18. OKF: Joe and the Joletts might have some signs out, but it is a pretty meagre showing so far. I hear Joe has been getting downhome truth from the some of the folks whose peace he has disturbed handing out his BS flyer. I think Sierra Madre is getting ready to fire the liar.

    ReplyDelete
  19. 9:30 Its for church members. It will open with a prayer. Like in Sacramento and Washington it oils the route to "whatever".

    ReplyDelete
  20. 11:47

    I'll make sure you get your signs, friend.
    Our signs are better lookin' than their signs, I might add.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Joe's sign looks like a "For Rent" sign. That "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" orange he uses is out of season.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Remember he is for rent.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can get 'all talk, no action' for free. Why would I want to pay rent?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nancy Walsh has a few signs up.

    Is she the replacement for Enid?

    They were/are both controlled by John Buchanan.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kind of like a group of snake serpents, asking the mice how they would like to build their nests so it will be easier for the snakes to devour them. Slithering around in a church they have no shame. I looked at their link, did you see their sponsors? I am having MIPS bumps, the rand, liu, woo, and delgado species, are very troubling.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Mosca's postcard is out. He takes credit for a lot of things he didn;t do. As usual.

    ReplyDelete
  27. He spells "Mire Monte" wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Kathy Childs, who doesn't live in Sierra Madre but is a major player in the Downtown Investors Club (DIC) is his treasurer.
    The small time losers in the DIC are financing Joe.
    Really disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
  29. According to Joe's postacrd he created the heavens, the seas, and all of God's little creatures.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Typical sociopath.
    Good grief, we don't need this man on our city council!

    ReplyDelete
  31. He thinks our reservoir is a mire? That's not good.

    ReplyDelete
  32. It definitely looks like a rush job. And all the fibs about his "accomplishments" shows a little desperation I think.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hey Neuroblast, how about Fay's speech setting Mosca's record straight?

    ReplyDelete
  34. There are still uninformed votersFebruary 26, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    No matter how scarstic we are, the panel experts are coming to town, to a CHURCH where many people think the TRUTH is told, and the VOTES could be twisted and FATE could be played out.

    Remember, well informed people read The Tattler. We must get the TRUTH out to people. Hitler was a brilliant and magnificent SPEAKER, because he lied, and lied, and lied, and was so emotional that people could not help but believed HITLER THE SOCIOPATH and the man who loved power.

    Think about the people Joe convinces who are easily swayed, like so many of us were. Beneath that sweet face lurks evil and we must get out to everyone and let them know his postcard and platform have been PROVEN to be FALSE and dangerous to our city.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Amen 6:53, the exact problem - gullible or uninformed or uninvolved citizens.
    People here can be too trusting and think that everyone has a sense of ethics.
    Perfect pickings for people like Mosca and Susan Henderson.
    Denial runs deep.
    You have to have a light hand if you want to nudge it out of the way, too, or you'll just get irrational defense.
    I recall one person who yelled that I was ruining a young man's life when I was gathering signatures on the recall Mosca petition.

    ReplyDelete
  36. another neuroblast fanFebruary 26, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    I bet that recall would have worked if Neuroblast had been up & running then.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hitler references????? PLEASE!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I ran into far more people who couldn't wait to sign Joe's recall. People don't like to be betrayed.

    That "young man" was trying and still is trying to sell our little town down the river for his own political career.
    People like Mosca are what's wrong with politicians.

    Give me honest representatives like Don Watts, John Crawford and Pat Alcorn.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Best idea I've heard is that Don Watts should just cross out Joe's name, stick in his picture, and write his name on that card. Then just mail it out. He had a lot more to do with all the accomplishments listed there than Sacramento Joe did.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Joe's mailer is a shocking misrepresentation, to borrow Faye's word for it.
    The list of so-called accomplishments is a farce to anyone who follows city politics.
    Hey Tattler, how about parsing it?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Don has a great brochure - like himself, it's honest and clear.

    ReplyDelete
  42. 10:15 - your wish is my command

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh good. Lots to work with there.

    So I guess we'll never know who exactly got the AIA and the Congs together. Maybe one of the AIA members also goes to the Congregational Church. The church's website is very interesting,
    www.smccnet.org

    Whatever happened to the church connection to the now defunct Steamers? There was a time when there was some link between Steamers and a Mission outreach...

    ReplyDelete
  44. Joe Mosca's treasurer is not a registered voter in the City of Sierra Madre. Nor is she a resident of Sierra Madre. Last election he brought in his San Fernando Valley Democratic friends to campaign for him. This election he's once again bringing outsiders to work on his campaign. Joe doesn't get it, does he?

    ReplyDelete
  45. He gets it.
    Fool 'em and keep your bags packed for bigger and better things.
    That big old postcard thing was so full of baloney I almost ate it for lunch.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Ms. Childs was raised here, and inherited property from her dad.She's not an outsider.She's for sure a Downtown Investment Club member, maybe a charter member, but she's local.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Didn't Tonja Torres attempt to convince the voters that it was she that did everything when she ran for reelection? That tactic turned her into a one term Councilcritter.

    Is Joe so dirt dumb that he doesn't think people will talk? Particularly those whose work he is taking credit for?

    ReplyDelete
  48. You read my mind, Senor Kabong.
    Earlier today I had a conversation with a Joe supporter, and tried to emphasize that our complaint is that he's a LIAR, he's a LIAR - it's not that he makes bad choices, or that I disagree with his most of his positions (both are true, but that's not the main point), or that he is a whiny, immature public person, given to phrases like "certainly want certainty" or "get a life" - it's that he's a LIAR.
    That is a substantial remark to make about someone in political office, and I cannot figure out how his supporters rationalize it to themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Some people are shallow enough to fall for Joe's blithe assurances about government. "I know, it's much too complex for most, ha ha! But you can trust me because I'm really a very wonderful guy."

    ReplyDelete
  50. Kathy Childs moved out of Sierra Madre when the DSP was defeated by the voters.
    She is trying to sell property on E.Montecito.
    Remember Buchanan at the last council meeting questioned the "blight" law, wanted to know if it covered Montecito. He was looking out for his pal, Childs.
    Kathy Childs is strictly an investor in property here in Sierra Madre, LLC or otherwise.
    She is not interested in the benefit of the residents of this town.
    During the Measure V fight, she was one of the MAIN players in opposing YES on V.
    These greedy individuals that make up the Downtown Investors Club (DIC) are desperate to make back losses on their GAMBLES! Yes, GAMBLES, they all gambled on being able to fool all of you, the resident/voters. They had $170,000 dollars of outside special interest money (over-developers) to help them try to win their bet.
    They all lost. Too bad DICs.

    ReplyDelete
  51. It is sad to think that these people won't give up in their attempts to ruin our city.

    ReplyDelete
  52. @10:32 Follow the money.

    ReplyDelete