Saturday, March 13, 2010

SB 375 Taken To Its Most Radical Extreme

Once again Pasadena Sub Rosa (see "Sites Of Interest") scoops me on a great SB 375 story. I'm telling you, it's getting competitive out there. Which is, of course, a good thing. The awareness of the threat this draconian Sacramento planning power grab represents to California's small cities is growing exponentially now, and why shouldn't I be happy to go along for the ride? Maybe if this information really can break through I can spend my evenings sleeping instead of typing. Besides, I'm certain now that it will all come to a happy ending some day. And who knows, maybe that won't be so long from now. After all, there are some elections this year. Both here, and there.

The PSR article asks Would New Green Redevelopment Agencies Be Granted Eminent Domain Powers? Then they lay their case out this way:

The website CaliforniaCityNews.Org is reporting that Larry Kosmont, whose firm does consulting with redevelopment agencies, has come up with the harebrained idea to create "Green Redevelopment Agencies" that would pursue the Holy Grail of an economically viable model of environmental sustainability. Such "green redevelopment agencies" would pursue the goals of AB 32 - the Global Warming Solutions Act - and the anti-sprawl legislation of SB 375.

Probably the most troubling part of creating any green redevelopment agencies, however, would be the idea of using eminent domain power to accomplish "green redevelopment." Where would this lead? Would they eventually condemn housing in the suburbs to force you to live in "transit oriented housing" in the cities? Could a green redevelopment agency condemn your lawn and force you to plant drought tolerant plants? Or under SB 375 would they be able to condemn a whole neighborhood as "environmentally nonsustainable?" While this sounds like an overreaction at the moment, the whole concept of using redevelopment powers (e.g. eminent domain, tax increment financing, etc.) for green projects is Constitutionally troublesome.

The article does go on to say that this is mostly speculation and is not too likely to happen next week. Right now this is merely the twinkle in some slightly demented consultant's eye. But given Sacramento's current bias towards extreme and economically devastating schemes such as AB 32 and SB 375, who knows what the future might hold? They are getting pretty desperate up there.

As we all know, this really is all about the money. And PSR pulls it all back in with a theory that brings with it an economically realistic feel. After all, aren't consultancies, no matter what their shtick, really businesses first and foremost? They need billing, which means they have to come with a compelling reason for writing them a check.

Conventional redevelopment agencies are all but defunct in the current depressed and overbuilt real estate market. It is likely that the concept of "green" redevelopment agencies is an attempt to revive redevelopment agencies and jobs using the new green legislation of AB 32 and SB 375. The notion of Green Redevelopment Agencies is likely an attempt by bureaucracies to "sustain" themselves where their historical mission has collapsed. Consulting firms that advise redevelopment agencies are the ones initially floating this idea of "Green Redevelopment," also possible as an attempt at "sustainability" of their jobs. But who knows where such a notion might end up in California where legislators want to tax private parking spaces in shopping centers to plug the gargantuan state deficit?

Can't you just imagine John Buchanan going on (and on) about the importance of making our redevelopment agency green? Or, Saints preserve us, a Mayor Joe Mosca saying something along the lines of, "I'd like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome Mr. Larry Kosmont to Sierra Madre's City Council chambers. Larry, as you might or might not know, has been instrumental in bringing new energy and much needed focus to some very important matters, all while moving sustainability to the forefront of the redevelopment process." Et cetera. Et cetera.

And if you think that this matter isn't getting some interest in the more serious corridors of redevelopment power, take Pasadena Sub Rosa's suggestion and check this out from the cited SB 375 compliant website CaliforniaCityNews.org:

RDAs Perfect 'Green' Vehicle for Environmental Legislation - As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been increasingly forced to defend AB 32, California's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, especially in light of a potential ballot measure that would suspend the environmental law and a recent LAO report that suggested it would cost the state jobs, questions abound as to how California can actually make choices that reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled. However, one avenue that deserves greater exploration is creating "Green" redevelopment Agencies in order to leverage the nexus that could productively exist between realizing green legislation and RDAs. Larry Kosmont, the President and CEO of the development services firm Kosmont Companies, has developed this very idea ...

Oh dear. Did you ever for a minute suspect that someday redevelopment consulting firms would become such hotbeds for dangerous radical activity? Thank God we've chased them out of Sierra Madre! Now if we can only get rid of their last remaining gabby enablers.

42 comments:

  1. This is why we need to protect Sierra Madre from eminent domain.

    It can and will happen if we don't act.

    DON WATTS/JOHN CRAWFORD/PAT ALCORN and our MAYOR, MARYANN MACGILLIVRAY will fight for our rights. Make no mistake about it, Sierra Madre, these are the only individuals on your ballot that are both qualified and serve the people, not special interests. Get out and vote, and please get your friends and neighbors to do the same. This is a critical election for us, and will have a positive implication, statewide.

    I urge all citizens of other cities to follow suit, and we can and will win.

    ReplyDelete
  2. SB375 has now created its own self-sustaining consultant bureaucracy, one that hops from planning fad to planning fad in order to maintain marketability. It only makes sense that the Kosmonts of this world have had to become more extreme in their strategies. I think his ilk are hearing footsteps, and know the good old days are not ever coming back. Cities can no longer afford that kind if nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a little late on one of SB275's elements, the city, (under pressure of Sacramento's mandate), had to pass an ordinance limiting what you can plant in your yards. If you are landscaping over 2500 square feet, you will have to pay the city to employ a landscape architect, to make sure it meets the drought tolerance standards. I guess gravel, concrete, and plastic grass will become the popular landscaping materials.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I for one will vote for any legislator who will work to repeal SB375.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jerry Brown will discover that he is on the wrong side of this one. The Sacramento planner war against suburban communities will help drive the swing vote in this state to Meg Whitman.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It seems like what happened in Sierra Madre starting about 20 years ago is a microcosm of what happened in the state: well-meaning people being too trusting, and letting the greediest among us take charge. We got our town back - and with a Crawford/Watts/Alcorn win, we'll be able to keep it, and the same thing has to happen at the state level.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The candidates forum was on channel huh last night.
    Josh Moran claimed that SB375 strengthened local control.

    ReplyDelete
  8. FYI, check out THE NY TIMES with a contentious on going issue in Brooklyn at Freddy's Bar which under Eminent Domain will be destroyed to build an NBA stadium. NY has more ED than any other state. NY has more family business' than most states. Neighbors have joined to fiercely protest. Interesting story

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is more and more clear that Josh Moran is totally unqualified to be in any office, including public office. No wonder he hangs out at Mary's Market. Hanging out is what he does best. It is obvious that he in no way understands SB375, thus does not understand government, politics and the affects of what he says.

    Tell us Josh, would you defend ED if it were to happen to Mary's Market? Explain the process Mr. All Knowing Policy Let's Get Along. Ah...there's the rub.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our own housing element consultant here in town is costing us $50,000. So how many gigs does a consultant hustle up in a year?
    I would like to see an accounting of the money that has been spent on consultants over the last decade.
    Oh wait, that's right, we had some kind of 'error' with the records....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Faye Angus made a brilliant speech about overusing consultants at a council meeting not too long ago.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sierra Madre is a slow growth town, which is why Nancy and Josh are falling all over themselves now to reverse their earlier claims about development. Flippity flappity flop.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nancy and Josh are doing the old soft-shoe instead of tap dancing. Josh harps about civility and "neighbor against neighbor" when he was one of the people who was mud-slinging during the Measure V campaign.Nancy has picked up some of John Buchanan's lingo in going against Measure V as a deterant to economic development in the town. What next?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mosca and Moran are on the same team, but I wonder if Moran makes Mosca nervous, as in he might take the "he's a nice young man" votes.
    How else to explain the ridiculous Moran statement about SB375 being good for local control?
    I think maybe somebody gave Moran bad information, on purpose. Let him take the fall.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dirt expectations were very low when they finally settled on Josh. You can only imagine the long lists of "no" answers they got before they finally settled on a twice divorced failed realtor from Monrovia. You know some of the prissier specimens had to hold their noses.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good point, 12:02. Maybe they could form a comedy team. Perky and Quirky.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The reason Josh uses Mary's Market as his campaign headquarters is because his mom made a deal with the current business owner to use it as a satellite real estate office. Toni Moran's business cards and marketing materials are all over the place and Josh even has his nameplate in the window. I guess if his campaign doesn't work out, he can continue using it to sell reverse mortgages to unsuspecting seniors. I don't know what the current owner's relationship with the Dirts is, but I can't blame her for subsidizing the income by subletting part of the store.

    ReplyDelete
  18. fair memory skillsMarch 13, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Last time the Mary's Market office was discussed, someone posted that the owner said No Way is there any business being run out of there except their own.

    ReplyDelete
  19. If Josh has his name on the building and is working out of it, wouldn't that be a code or CUP violation? Does he have a Sierra Madre business license? Is he licensed by the State of California to arrange or broker loans?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anon @ 4:38 p.m.--looking forward to your research on the business license question and the possiblitiy of CUP violation. Good information is the goal here.

    ReplyDelete
  21. the last 7 posts are totally pathetic

    ReplyDelete
  22. I agree 6:29. When it becomes personal, it loses credibility.

    ReplyDelete
  23. explain yourself 6:29......7 to 1....I have heard one person complain that he was not a very good business man and that his mother helped him in all of his dealings. Why would anyone do business with a man hanging around a coffee shop anyway? how sleazy.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Politics are about PEOPLE........and it is about the person and how people think and who they are and their voting record and what they bring to the office they are about to hold.

    You have to be thick skinned. You must have failed CIVICS and do not understand that you are credible when you do not have a license and do not work in a licensed office. What is so difficult with understanding the law and following the laws?

    Democracy is also about free speech. Josh represents a group of greedy people. He knows he got into a deep hole and better be able to fight the fight.

    The people who care about this charming town will always fight to keep it that way. Josh talks the talk but does not know how to walk it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This one went way off topic. Though I did think 'Perky and Quirky' was pretty funny.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Back on topic. The "spin" that SB 375 was about local control was used to sell this to the legislature, which wasn't reading the fine print about the regional organizations dictating where growth would go. Same with the supposed GHG reductions, which fell along Washington DC party lines as a result of mandates to reduce emissions. All of it was captured by the development industry to force more projects and bigger projects into cities and communities, in order to produce the efficiencies of scale that capture profit. Goes back to bank funding, shades of Goldman Sachs and AIG. Our country's weapons of self-destruction.

    PS Vanity Fair is running an excellent expose series since last year on the banking industry, go to the website. Prepare for an eye-opener.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the post Laurie.

    A lot of us really enjoy reading your informative information.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Mary (or Toni or Josh or Lisa or Lisa) & Anon @ 8:24 (if you are a different person)

    You can characterize those posts anyway you want. Unfortunately, for you everybody's personal and professional records and activities become fair game when they run for political office. If Josh has something to hide, then he made a big mistake running for political office. If anybody else has something to hide, then they made a big mistake in supporting Josh Moran for City Council.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you 6:54. ARE YOU LISTENING JOSH AND NANCY!!

    Joe is a liar and the people of this town have watched him for 4 years. If you are acquainted with him you are highly susceptible to being aligned to his narrative. You are also fair game. No one here believes anyone who is in REAL ESTATE that they want anything other than to line their pockets. This town is about comfort. We will fight to keep it comfortable. Get out if you want to change it and re build it. Your lies are transparent. Joe, the fact that Susan put you on the front of her paper makes you as much as a thief as she is. You are not all she writes that you are, and you are not all that you say you are. Both of you are sociopaths.

    Nancy and Josh stay away from both of them.....before you get labeled also.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I remember when Joe Mosca asked Don Watts before the start of the 2006 election campaign, what was the biggest issue the Sierra Madre voters would respond to? Don answered him, they don't want the DSP, they are for preservation of the town and hillsides.
    Joe used that to lie to us all. Don Watts and Kurt Zimmerman believed he was honest, just like the rest of us. They both voted for him! So did I.
    We all sadly found out, Joe was a fake, a liar, a plant by developers, just as Tonja Torres was.
    Susan Henderson lied, cheated and hurt Katina and Kevin Dunn, and the rest of us who believed she was for real.

    Poster at 7:11, you are so right! Joe Mosca and Susan Henderson are both sociopath of the lowest degree.

    It's just incredible that people believe these two after all the proof of what they really are.
    DISHONEST.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Josh, Care to explain why you left Prep?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Josh Moran DID NOT support the Smoking Restrictions for the down eating establishments... he didn't think it was "Good" for business...never mind if it was good for customers...funny...it seems that since it's taken effort (give or take the few rogue kids who are as defiant as ever) the businesses have seen an increase in customers...who would've thought it...

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a gorgeous day! And the day on which the entire horticultural world is focused on Carter Ave. to boot! The kids and I decided to amble up the roller coaster hill to see the "world's largest flowering plant." We excitedly speculated as to which purple clad and blue haired lady would explain the humble one gallon origin of the purple beast. but no, we were denied. Instead, our annual tour was kicked off by the world's youngest wisteria docent - JOE MOSCA.

    oh well. at least we can catch some snotty scotty. but wait, who is that young fellow from out of town handing out fliers. None other than the out of towner himself - JOSH MORAN.

    after this, if felt like joining scotty for a pack of camel's and some jack.

    Oy!

    ReplyDelete
  34. know that Joe is ever so present because he has no real job. Many, many out of towners were treated to Joe's sweetness and light hooey but they don't vote here. HIs efforts at glad handing the public went for nought.

    ReplyDelete
  35. OKF - as we all know, for Perky and Quirky anything is preferable to discussing their real stands on this issues. It's just the way they are.

    ReplyDelete
  36. There were a lot of Monrovians here for a peek at the plant. Maybe Josh was actually canvassing for their votes?

    ReplyDelete
  37. So the whole Tattler board goes quiet 'cause you guys are out looking at a dang plant? Sierra Madre for ya, talk about downhome.

    ReplyDelete
  38. never before in the poliical history of Sierra Madre did outside money and influence play a politcial roll until $170,00.00 from the Arcadia Realtors Association and Building Industry Association rolled in to town to defeat Measure V. Candidate Moran would want you to believe that the measure barely passed citing the 51-49% win for the Yes on Measure V. The win was BIG when you consider the local YES effort spend about $35,000.00. All that effort and lingering annimosity is due to one Joe Mosca and his lies during his first campaign. There will be more lies in the next five weeks--be on guard! Candidates Alcorn, Crawford and Watts understand the overreaching of SB375 and the resulting loss of local control that will result if a City Council is formed of a majority that does not understand their need to resist these measures that would change our town forever.

    ReplyDelete
  39. 9:10 - actually most Sierra Madreanos were downtown rocking out to the city's most beloved rock band, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies. That and shooting each other with rubber band guns.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great post 9:14, but one addition - it happened earlier than Measure V. Outside interests got Joe Mosca elected. The young Democrats walked the streets for him, as did some not so young supporters, none of whom lived here.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anyone willing to guess if the LA County Dems will be using robo calling again?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Helping local Dems on progressive issuesMarch 14, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Please post on this board if they robo call on this one, I need to know, thanks.

    ReplyDelete