Here is how they enjoy being described on their Homes By Warmington.com website:
About Warmington, Our Legacy: Four generations ago, the Warmington name achieved recognition as highly sought-after (sic) builder of classic estate homes for some of the decade's emerging screen legends including Claudette Colbert, Bing Crosby, Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. By the 1930's Warmington had become unofficially known as the "builder to the stars," and was designing and building custom homes in some of the country's most prestigious Southern California locations like Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Westwood, among others.
In the 1940's Warmington broadened its presence in the in the (sic) homebuilding industry by creating well-planned neighborhoods designed to meet the needs of the American family. Although less grand in scale, these homes reflected much of the same quality craftmanship and attention to detail that was present in the grand estate homes first built by the company. Over the next several decades, The Warmington group of companies remained committed to planning and developing a variety of new home communities and became a trusted name in the homebuilding industry for thousands of families. Today, it is estimated that approximately 30,000 families live in Warmington-built homes.
I swear it must be the same guy that writes all these plummy sounding developer websites.
All the assurances of superiority in homebuilding heritage and developing aside, the reality about the Warmington bunch that descended on our fair town recently is somewhat different. And by all accounts it would seem that they are serenely confident in their expectations that this town will give them all they need to bring their plans to life. After all, they knew Bing Crosby.
What they would like to do is construct a series of one and two story houses on the Skilled Nursing Facility site. The streetside front row of homes would be 1,400 square foot single story affairs. All in accordance with what they believe we want to see in our community, I suppose. Behind these would be two-story 2,300 square footers. And in order to maximize the property available for them to build on, the distance between each of these "meet the needs of the American family" cribs would be a mere 10 very shady feet. Or just about room enough for three blue recycling trash cans laid end to end.
There are some problems here, probably more than I know about as of this typing. But one thing that immediately jumps out is the zoning currently in place for that part of town. The Skilled Nursing Facility is in an area of that is zoned for commercial buildings and activities. In order for these wedged in wickiups to be constructed and inhabited by real American families there would have to be a zoning change to residential. When it was pointed out to the Warmingtonians that this could end up being both an expensive and futile little proposition, they didn't seem fazed. Which means they either have great confidence in the use of expensive attorneys for browbeating local governments into shape, or they just don't know what they're getting into.
I suspect it is a little of both. And who knows, maybe they've been watching our City Council meetings on SMTV3 and wrongfully assumed the Gang of Four is actually in charge.
This community has long had its heart set on some sort of Emergency Medical Facility for that property. And while many of those kinds of companies have been called, none ever stood up and saluted. At least so far. So the odds that an outfit of this ilk would eventually show up and place an application to build what is described above naturally improved over time.
During our recent election Joe Mosca, Nancy Walsh and Roots all solemnly stood before the people of Sierra Madre and testified about their allegiance to the slow growth traditions that are deeply ingrained in the Sierra Madre ethos. And certainly even they must understand that rezoning the Skilled Nursing Facility property for residential use so that some outfit can build densely packed generic row housing would not exactly be living up to those promises.
So maybe we owe a vote of thanks to the people at The Warmington Group. Because they have now given these three individuals the opportunity to show the skeptics that they really meant what they said. And they are going to stick to their promises.
It would be unfortunate if they didn't.