Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Canyon Zone Committee Fights Back Against Misstatements & Misinformation

(This is a letter than was sent to the City Council by Carolyn Brown and John Hermann, members of the Canyon Zone Committee. It is in reply to some of the strange canards that have been spoken at City Council meetings.)

Dear Mayor Joe Mosca, Mayor Pro Tem John Buchanan and Councilmembers MaryAnn MacGillivray, Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh,

At the October 12th City Council meeting, during your initial discussion with community input on the Canyon Residential Zone, Agenda Item #2, many points were made that Caroline Brown, John Hermann and Mike Howard, members of the appointed committee in attendance chose not to comment on at the time.

However, we do not wish to let some of these comments go unchallenged now that you have had your joint meeting with the Planning Commission, as some of the comments were misstatements, intentional misinterpretations and misinformation that was repeated again at your joint meeting.

First, we want to compliment you on your observations that led you to ask staff for further clarification and the fact that you want a joint meeting on this important issue with the Planning Commission. Also, we want to compliment Development Services Director Danny Castro on his PowerPoint presentation, as we are sure you all noted the facts of this presentation against that of the intentional misinterpretations of those who spoke against the adoption of this zone change for the municipal code.

Also we want to thank Councilmember MaryAnn MacGillivray for being at the study sessions of the Canyon Zone Committee. She is knowledgeable as to the truth of the comments that will follow here. Councilmember Josh Moran who, as liaison to the Planning Commission, knows of this body's exacting deliberation over the document that the Canyon Zone Committee presents to them.

The following allegations are not supported by the facts:

1) At the Canyon Residential Zone committee meetings, there never was anyone gaveled down and not allowed to speak for any length of time that they wished to talk at the meetings. No one was ever told that they have only four minutes to speak (Tom Hammond). The Planning Commission hearings did try to adhere to their 4 minute time limit and I do believe that the Vice-chair, Kevin Paschall, asked one member of the audience, Attorney Dan Slater, to complete his last point in a timely manner as he was long over the time limit.

2) There was a repeated complaint over the make-up of the committee and how it was appointed. The committee was appointed by the elected City Council in 2009. It was comprised of residents and property owners in the canyon. Others who had applied, one of whom later repeatedly objected to the make-up of the committee, withdrew their applications. Those being Glenn Lambdin and Tim Hayden. It may have been later determined that they would not have been able to serve due to conflict of interest as they were both working on a project on Middle Brookside Lane (Tim Hayden).

3) That the committee was at the outset of a mindset to create a document that did not allow for future building in the canyon. With the matrix that the planning staff presented you can see the many areas where the R-1-15,000 standards are relaxed, making it easier to build to historical realities without having to pay expensive fees for variances (Greg Prout).

4) That the committee did not have members of the upper canyon or a cross section of builders, architects, realtors, planners, people with knowledge of building permits, etc. This committee worked with DRAFT #4, which was completed by a committee in 2003 that included three residents/property owners from the upper canyon: architect Tom Pendelbury, realtor Katie Orth, and college professor Ron Henderson as well as people from other backgrounds that made up the earlier committee (Greg Prout).

5) That the committee unfairly targeted property owners who have canyon wash as an easement across their property which is disallowed as square footage calculations for buildings. Easements are not allowed to be calculated anywhere in the city - the committee made this recommendation based on information from staff. The Planning Commission agreed with this position. The cities of Monrovia, Arcadia and Pasadena were quoted as to how they allow easements to be calculated. This is false - Monrovia does not allow homes that back up to the wash to use that area for calculation unless the homeowner buys the lot from the LA Department of Flood Control. Pasadena does not allow easements to be calculated for properties in the hillside area. Arcadia does not have any building circumstances for reasonable comparison. There are no direct comparisons from these three cities quoted. The Planning Commission spent quite a lot of time on this, they did not discount the objections from the speakers who made the same arguments at the Planning Commission's hearing, but they still chose to make their decisions to exclude the wash easements from the lot coverage calculation against these arguments - which as I have stated are misleading in their comparisons (Tom Hammond and Greg Prout).

6) That a resident, Jeff Levy, who wanted to know what would be the considerations for expanding his residence to accommodate his growing family was told by a committee member that he would have to move, and has moved (Tom Hammond). Caroline was asked this question by Mr. Levy in the summer of 2009 and did not attempt to give him an answer. Caroline suggested that he talk with Danny Castro about his plans for expansion of his canyon home given the ongoing development of the Canyon Residential Zone. Mr. Levy lived on a hillside with no yard for children to play in, with one parking space on the busy corner of Woodland Drive and lower Brookside Drive. There may be more than one reason why Mr. Levy decided to relocate his family. According to a neighbor Caroline spoke with a week before the Oct 12 City Council meeting, the Levy family satisfactorily relocated to a neighboring city and their canyon property has been rented out.

7) One member of the audience stated that he and his wife left the canyon and their small cabin for a larger home on Grandview when their two young sons needed more room to grow up in. This was set up for ridicule when the comment was made that families could not live in the canyon if they could not expand their homes beyond what the new zoning was allowing, which is reasonable expansion on the historic small lots in the canyon. Every family is different and many people have raised families in small homes in the canyon. The speaker did not know what the other needs of this family might have been in addition to the size of their home (Tom Hammond). Caroline spoke with this family and learned that at the time (40 years ago!) they could not have expanded this small cabin under any condition except for a complete tear down. They could have done so under the old zone or the proposed (R-C) zone but chose not to. They even went so far as to combine two adjacent lots to the one the cabin was on so, with three lots, there was plenty of land for a new home. However, much to their dismay they learned that banks were not lending on property in the canyon.

8) That the committee was biased against development in the canyon as some members opposed Mr. Prout's project in the canyon (Greg Prout). Two members of the committee did speak against some variances that were requested for Mr. Prout's project. Some of which would not be needed given the new standards for building sensitively on small canyon lots in the proposed Canyon Residential Zone. Particularly the objections leveled against the project were in regards to protected trees. Once the project was redesigned to work sensitively with the trees and the topography of the site, there were no objections to the home that was built there.

9) One resident on Madre Street, while approving the idea of protecting the quiet, rustic nature of the canyon was concerned that she could not build a needed dining room addition. CUPs are allowed if a case can be made for the suitability of the project. This resident stated that she had a 2,888 sq foot lot with a small house and there was just six feet of clearance in her side yards. She was concerned that if her carport would be counted as floor space that her aggregate lot coverage would have been met and she could not add this needed dining room. The restrictions for counting carports or double high ceilings and attics is to prevent people from converting these areas into living space after their building permits are signed off, thereby creating a further impact on land usage in the canyon.

10) The angle slope plane was a technical point brought to the committee by staff as we discussed the difficulty of maintaining privacy when second story additions loom over the property line. The Planning Commission has been looking to this instrument for application throughout the city for the same reason that it would solve privacy problems in the canyon. Arguments were made that this makes it impossible to build a second story in almost every instance.

Keeping adequate distance between homes with set backs at the ground level and on the second story in an area of canyon topography and in the Wildfire Urban Interface (the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone) is a topic of utmost importance to canyon dwellers. The Planning Commission had the advantage of hearing further discussion on this from one of heir members, Volunteer Fireman Bob Spears. As did the Canyon Residential Zone Committee from the presentation by Fire Marshal Richard Snyder.

You all are knowledgeable about the process of open meetings and the fact hat the Canyon Zone Committee met monthly for one year, holding a walking tour of the canyon and two outreach meetings before forwarding on to the Planning Commission the combined Draft of the Canyon Residential Zone. It is important for you to have these additional comments that we are certain will help to clarify even further some of the comments and claims made at the City Council meeting on October 12, 2010.

We would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have of us as members of the 2009-2010 Canyon Residential Zone Committee and longtime residents of the Canyon.

Caroline Brown & John Hermann



  1. I'm glad I don't live in the canyon.

  2. Amazing the amount of BS that comes from the Canyon's strange ensemble of Mr. Fixits. What is frightening is that 80% of the City Council seems to hang on their every word. Do they have pictures?

  3. Pass the Canyon Zone......Save the CanyonJanuary 18, 2011 at 6:57 AM

    Everyone in that small group of canyon zone committee protesters, have an agenda.
    Their agenda is development......and/or greed.

    The members of the Canyon Zone Committee:
    John Herrmann....volunteer and preservationist
    Caroline Brown.....volunteer and preservationist and a voice of reason in this community.
    Sherry Robison......Hospice nurse, preservationist and the most honest and fair person I know.
    Michael Howard and Jim Monachino....honest, decent, regular guys who, like Sherry, John and Caroline, are concerned with preservation and FAIRNESS.

    It's a pretty damn simple choice.
    Non-integrity.....Prout, Lambdin, Hayden and the rest of the greedy developers.

    Pass the Canyon Zone that these fine volunteers, with the help of the city staff and legal council wrote up.
    Pass it without any insidious changes by the development/real estate greed crowd.

  4. Mr. Moran, who was supported by the Canyon destructionists, and owes them his Council seat, fails to see the gross improprieties in the building consortium. Mr. Lambdin who is against counting garages, open balconies, gazebo, etc., has two garages that are not used for parking because they have been converted to office and storage space. He park his business vehicles and his families vehicles on the private strip along the wash because they won't fit in his driveway, which by the way has a permeable surface. And, looking into his tiny home the 16 foot ceiling in the living room is clearly visible. My vote says it'll be floored to become an additional bedroom or den when the time is right and the focus is off his building travesties. Mr. Prout also has a permeable surface driveway - and its lovely. Each of those flagstones sits on its own little pedestal and the water percolates between them. He also owns 4 lots, 2 of which he built his home on. His 3rd and 4th lots and tandem with the wash in the middle. He could build a much larger house if he could count the wash and park on the far side. No mystery why he supports throwing the provisions that are designed to discourage such over building. Tom Hammond's interests are a little less transparent. But a little digging reveals Tom's financial link to some of the more recent travesties.

    They aren't difficult to figure out.

  5. Thank you anonymous poster at 7:11 AM!

    I hope everyone reads and re-reads your facts!

    You sure makes it clear.

    To the "gang of 4"
    Pass the Canyon Zone that the integrous committee volunteers wrote up.
    They are working people who spent months and months of hard work, along with the assistance of Danny, Elaine , and the assistant city attorney, Scott.
    The Planning Commission and the City Staff all recommended passing this Canyon Zone, as did MaryAnn.

    There seems to be only one reason you would reject this......and it's not a good reason!
    It's not an honest reason! It's not a fair reason!

    Do the right thing, PLEASE!

  6. Chief Black Kettle Laughing Out LoudJanuary 18, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    I and others who attended the first Canyon Community Outreach Meeting witnessed a display from our now Councilmember and ex-canyon realtor Josh Moran wherein when the community was asked to speak stood up and said "I don't see why we need this committee; everything in the Canyon is just fine; the R1 zoning is quite adequate". Now it seems to me that these words coming from a real estate agent, as is Greg Prout, seems anti-climactic now that Mr. Moran is a member of our City Council.

  7. Looking out my front window up and down the street I can see at least 7 homes in which in the past significant additions to the square footage were made by converting garages, enclosing front porches, enclosing balconies, in one case dividing a two bedroom upper flat into two separate units. To say there is no reason to think garages, gazebos, balconies, and porches will not be converted to habitable floor space is sheer balderdash.

    It's not my intent to "out" my neighbors but conversion is far more the rule than the exception. And, it keeps the likes of Tim and Glen busy when the scrape and re-build projects aren't available. Remember if you keep some portion of the existing building when you demo you can avoid the $40,000 infrastructure fee.

  8. Candidate Josh Moran's comment the first outreach meeting was even more ignorant that that, poster 7:45--it was on the order of "...we don't have any government regulations there now so I don't think we need any ..." It was committee member Caroline Brown who told now elected but still as igonorant Councilmember Moran that the zoning there now was R1-15,000. These changes would ease some of those requirments which almost always necessitates a variance request (or which the city charges a fee.

  9. Don't forget the trees. In the canyon they are the one thing that early buildings on the tent cabin lots worked around and they shade us to this day.

    Realtors use the trees to sell these cabin homes:

    One small house on a tiny lot mentioned the neighbor's trees in the flyer several years ago. The new owner tried to expand the house and needed 6 variances: front yard, both side yards, lot coverage, height and parking. Never followed through. This small house remains the same and the neighbor's trees are still there, too.

  10. All you good people in the canyon, come to the next City Council meeting and demand they pass this ordinance!

    All you residents of Sierra Madre who are willing to stand up for fairness, please attend the council meeting. Support your honest and caring neighbors who volunteered to save their beloved canyon from destruction by the greed of a few non-integrous individuals.

    Support Caroline Brown
    Support Sherry Robison
    Support Jim Monachino
    Support Michael Howard
    Support Chairman John Herrmann, who has fought to maintain the beauty and dignity of the canyon for decades!

    There isn't one damn $$$ in this for any of the above committee members. They did this to save the ambiance of the canyon, to save their quality of life up there!

    You can't say the same for the destructionists.

  11. When Glenn Lambin shuts up and uses his garage for parking instead of a low rent fly by night cheapskate office, then what he says may be of interest and not seen as completely hypocritcal.

  12. come on, nobody expects Josh Moran to be informed and have his facts correct, that is not his work style

    it's no wonder that he failed as a real estate agent ignoring details and facts

    snarky dude that has total disdain for those that aren't part of his posse

    I see Tom Hammond is still offending as many people as he did when he owned Mary's Market.

  13. All of this sounds very much like the double-talk we heard from the No On V crowd.

  14. Politics as usual in Sierra Madre.
    You have to be prepared for enormous time sucks to defend any good ideas.

  15. Moran moved from the Canyon so he could vote on Canyon issues. He needs to be watched.

  16. Consider the Canyon Zone a movie trailer for the General Plan.

  17. Great job Ms. Brown and Mr. Hermann. Exactly what you have to do - listen to the malarky and pin it to the page.

  18. A lot of people are fooled by Susan. They think she stands for something when all she's really about is getting folk's money.

  19. Never fear! The City Council will pass a Canyon Zone Ordinance. The issue is, "Will it be recognizable?".

    Prout, Lambdin, Hayden, Busche, Kissinger and Hammond are out to gut the key provisions, the size of the houses on small lots, including the wash easement in the lot coverage calculation, inclusion of open porches, attached garages, and balconies, and building houses on land locked parcels.

    Buchanan, Mosca, Walsh and especially Moran owe their elections to the local developers and destructionists. Passing the Canyon Zone Ordinance will gain them bragging rights; but gutting the ordinance before they pass it leaves the residents at the mercy of the pillagers.

  20. Some of the objections of those who spoke against parts of the canyon zoning update would have been credible had they not started their campaign by demanding the sitting committee be disbanded because of bias. That demand showed their hand at the git-go. Everyone who attended the Canyon Committee meetings and/or the Planning Committee meetings knows that those two committees spent hours of time considering all the points that were brought up at the last City Council meetings. The document the Planning Commission brought forth to the Council should be adoped uncut and unchanged.

  21. What we need is for the Canyon residents who agree with the Committee but don't want to get involved to send in letters of protest against Tim, Glen, Greg and Tom's outright lies.

  22. Well, "character asssassination is alive and well. Rather than debate the merits, we'll just slander the process and the outcome. Sounds like Sierra Madre to me. I personally, think this letter should be read at a joint meeting of the council and planning commission--just so it's clear to the same audience.

  23. 4:50 a.m., if the canyon code gets put in place, the canyon will be the best place to live in Sierra Madre!

  24. the council-1 is deafJanuary 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    It's a depressing fact about Sierra Madre that you have to have a legal fund for every damn thing.
    People better be ready to press on the canyon code, AS IT IS, or.....

  25. I stopped believing anything Glenn Lambin says when after he told years ago at Mary's that he was a Vietnam Vet and found out later he was just lying.

  26. I saw a mixed council response at the last two discussions - Buchanan seems to care about the actual canyon - Mosca might want to seem like he does - Moran is clearly speaking for his pals - and who can figure out where Walsh will go with it?
    Don't think it's a slam dunk for Moran.

  27. Excellent work Caroline and John.

    Powerful and precise. Thanks.

  28. 11:30.

    I'm shocked. Do you realize you're suggesting that Mosca and Buchanan might cast sensible votes and Moran will cast his first dissenting vote? What is Sierra Madre coming to?

  29. Nancy Walsh will be in such a swivet she'll just melt into a pool of ruby slippers. Wait! No! That's the Wicked Witch of the East. Sorry Dorothy.

  30. 11:30. I have real difficulty believing that Buchanan "cares about the Canyon."

    Our Mayor Pro Tem must have some other reason for supporting the Canyon zone committee and by extension protecting the canyon.

    Any guesses?

  31. Good cop, bad cop maybe? Remember Joe's out in another 6 or 8 weeks. John can lay all the ill will and disasters at the feet of the previous Mayor's administration. Almost like starting fresh.

  32. John Buchanan might see the Canyon as not worth the bother. He has a lot of bigger fish to fry (read: bonds) and he'd rather concentrate his efforts elsewhere.

  33. Thank you Caroline Brown, John Hermann, Sherry Robison, Jim Monachino and Michael Howard for your service.
    We know you have done a stellar job.
    You have worked so hard for the people of the canyon, because you are all good and decent people.
    Again, thank you.
    God Bless you all and we are praying the City council 4 will vote to make your ordinance the law.

  34. So many good people work so hard to do the right thing. Why is there always so much resistance to their efforts?

  35. But Buchanan sells himself as 'green' and the canyon has some trees....

  36. Amen 2:53, ain't it the truth?

    You have to have nerves of steel to be a volunteer in Sierra Madre.

    The anti-slow growth people are nice to your face, and vicious behind your back.

  37. One objection to the Canyon Residential Zone is that it does not allow the lot area in the wash easements that go across some of the canyon lots to be calculated for buildable lot coverage.

    There is a good reason for this. You DO NOT PAY PROPERTY TAXES on that portion of the lot that is NOW part of the Los Angeles County Flood Control facility—the Sierra Madre Wash.

    How can you use property to calculate lot ratio coverage if in fact you do not pay taxes that property?

  38. Greetings from Seattle's fabulous SeaTac Int'l Airport. Just me and my iPad waiting for a plane. No better time to discuss blog statistics. Today The Tattler received over 1,200 hundred hits, a bit better than the 1,000 a day we have been averaging. (This is based on Greenwich Mean Time, which means the blog day ends here at 4pm. Just in case you've ever wondered why I post at very odd hours.) The Tattler is well on the way to breaking the 30k mark for January, which would be our best yet. Pretty good for a small city blog located on the far northern frontier of Los Angeles County.

    I think I'll go to one of the airport bars and check out some of the local microbrewery. I feel the need to celebrate. Thanks for reading!

  39. Thanks for that clarification, and for bringing the comments back to the subject, 3:45. Anyone know how many lots are directly affected by that? I'm assuming Mr. Kissinger's is/are, because he spoke out about it, but how many others?

  40. 3:45, in those cases, does not paying taxes equal not owning that part of the property?

  41. It's California. People expect to receive things from the government without paying for them.

  42. 3:54 pm, that'll take a little map reading but it's not an onerous task. Look for an answer later this evening or perhaps tomorrow.

    Thanks for bringing that up - it's not every lot along the wash, just some.

  43. That's right 4:00 pm; it's an easement and it's excluded on the property tax bill. it takes a quit claim deed to deed it back to the property owner should the County Flood Control every relinquish it.

  44. Isn't that sweet? The Mod misses us.

  45. Can't remember the last time anyone owned property that they did not pay property taxes on.

  46. 1:12. Agreed. There's something odd about Buchanan supporting slow growth in the Canyon. Like the Scorpion in the Scorpion and the Frog fable by Aesop. Slow growth is against the Mayor Pro Tem.'s nature.

  47. Only Crawford can make sitting in an airport with an ipad sound fun. Pretty upbeat guy after all.

  48. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that the Mayor and the Mayor Pro Tem are giving the Canyon developers the finger.

    But like 1:12, it doesn't make any sense to me.

  49. What's the claim about using the easement for calculations based on?

    Wishes and polliwog dreams?

  50. I will assume nothing about Buchanan and Mosca's final vote until this thong is done.

  51. good memory skillsJanuary 18, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Makes political sense to support some of the preservation efforts, in order to eviscerate others.So Buchanan can put a tree on his re-election poster after he participated wholeheartedly in the destruction of trees at Carter, more to come at Stonehouse.
    BTW did anyone catch his statement that voting for the water rate hike was "not popular" but necessary? Same tripe he and Stockly said about accommodating hillside developers, because we'd be sued if we didn't. We were sued anyway. Lost the land and the city's money.
    If he supports the canyon code, he can claim it as a service to preservationists. Mosca too.

  52. I'll explain it to you 4:20

    Big development -- think the DSP, Stonehouse or One Carter -- benefits Buchanan and Mosca's utility employers. If you look at campaign disclosure forms, you will also see that the Building Industry Association and the California Association of Realtors are quick to donate money to politicans that support their big development agendas.

    There's no political upside, however, to supporting a handful of antagonistic, unpopular farm team developers in the Canyon Zone. It's not like Glenn Lambdin or Tim Hayden are going to throw fundraisers for Joe and John if those Council Members vote against the proposed Canyon Zone ordinance. It's politcs, pure and simple.

  53. I like that explanation 4:33. So does that make Josh the booby prize?

  54. 4:20 pm, as I understand it, the size of your house is based on the lot size. So if you have a small lot, 25' wide maybe 75' or 80' deep to the wash, and the wash is 20' wide, and you own another 20' on the other side of the wash, your calculation for lot size would be 25' wide by 120' deep (remember 20' is the wash easement). Significantly bigger than a 25' x 80' lot, right? So you calculate the square footage based on lot size - which is expanded to 25' x 120', add a couple of open balconies and a covered porch, maybe an attached garage, and a 16' high ceiling in the living room, in a couple of years you can discreetly add some walls, a floor/ceilving over the living room, drywall the garage and bingo! you'll have double the amount of habitable space and no one is the wiser.

    That's why the wash easement and the habitable living space is so vitally important to the destructionists!

  55. That's right, 4:43 pm. Prout has an undersized lot on the west side of the wash that at one time had a teeny tiny house that burned down. Nothing left standing. It is too small to build on. But directly across the wash, fronting on Woodland, is the answer! By building on the Woodland lot, claiming the wash easement, and annexing the lot across the wash he's in buildable heaven! Room for parking, a two story charmer, and a 20' wide deck across the wash. Doesn't care that it completely blocks the northern neighbor's view. Build, build, build. It's his God given right. You aren't going to tell him what he can do with his land.

  56. Well there ya go. Thanks 4:43.
    But the part I don't understand is why somebody can claim something that belongs to the LA County Flood Control as their own? Was it at one time, and the LACFC took it away, or? So in your example, the owner of that lot would be entitled to calculate 25' by 100', not 120'. Yeah?

  57. Why does somebody pick a crowded small place like the canyon to build a big show house, like the one that towers over it's neighbors on Vista Circle? Pretty house, obviously high quality, built in a place that is all wrong for it, and ruins the quality of life for the closest neighbors. That house would be great at Carter or Stonehouse, not the canyon.
    Why don't the people who want to max out the building space go where there is some real space to max out?
    I don't live there, so I can't say for sure, but the canyon seems totally crowded and built out to me.

  58. Views, of course. That is the issue. People want a big McMansion and they want to see for miles. That is what the Canyon offers to developers.

  59. The Canyon was subdivided and the lots established before the wash was constructed. When the County came in and built the wash its path was superimposed over the lots of record. In some cases it bisected the lot, in others the existing lot only went to the center of the wash so the subsequent easement is only to the center of the wash. Not all of the properties between Woodland and Brookside have property on both sides of the wash.

  60. In the case of the current crop of entreprenuers they're pente ante. They buy up the small lots, or divide a piece of property into two lots, and impose the largest structure possible to maximize their investment. Some of the houses are quite handsome and would be an asset to the community on an R1 15,000 lot. But that would add so much to the cost of the project. So they buy a small lot considered almost unbuildable and spend the next year in the Planning Department demanding variances. They build their project and sell it at a handsome profit. Then they move on and the neighbors are left with their imprint.

    Vista Circle? That was a Prout project. He bought the property, designed the house, and sold a package already approved by WillDan. Never went before the Planning Commission. Nice guy, huh? A Christian he claims.

  61. How did a house that big, that overwhelms the house to the east of it, and the house to the north of it, not have to go to the PC?

  62. This plan is almost too late.The Canyon has been reduced almost to slum status through the vandalism of petty ante opportunist with their hammers and saws playing pretend "contractor";aided and abetted by a very indifferent and detached City establishment.The passage of the Canyon Zoning committees recommendation is the very last chance we have to preserve this very precious asset for our community.Lets stop the ongoing decent into Shanty town!

  63. 5:20. You hit the nail on the head. It's about subdividing, building to the edge of the lot and screwing your neighbors.

  64. The wash easement was done after the lots were subdivided that is why it is different than any
    other easement. It also goes from ground level down
    which is why you can build over it . Take the time to drive middle Brookside and upper Woodland you will see many bridges some with garages on them
    one a covered bridge built a few years ago with Co approval Three other car bridges have been built in resent past
    There is no restrictions ( except cost)to building decks over the wash
    I do not think I do not pay taxes on the easement
    but I will research my tax bill
    By the way I do not want to build anything just
    trying to protect my rights like any of you would
    Thanks Charlie

  65. 5:25 pm, simple. It didn't require a variance. It didn't need front, back, and side yard setbacks. It met the parking and height restrictions, and was within the lot coverage calculation. It is a great house in every way BUT ITS LOCATION. It's an affront to the neighbors.

  66. The other issue with these overbuilt Canyon mansions is that they stop the living life out of the property values of their neighbors' homes. Just grind them into their permeable driveways. The old cabins that are so charming with their towering tree canopies look tired and dejected in contrast to their two storied neighbors who overshadown them in such mean and haughty splendor.

  67. I forget to say instead of just posting things
    come on up to my house on middle Brookside and I will show and explain my position . I would be glad to give you a tour

  68. Hi Charlie--Most of the bridges over the wash have been in place for a long, long time. The recently built covered bridge would have had to meet high construction standards for it to have gotten a permit for the county as the county must maintain the wash in a 'safe' state for the purpose it is designed for--the structure cannot be compromised. The old foot bridges and parking structures on the wash are preexisting and non-conforming, nothing the Canyon Residential Zone committee was interested in changing.

  69. Anon 5:30--As I look at the BIG house on Vista Circle I question if it met the front yard set back as it currently exists for the R1-15,000 zone for the canyon which is 25 feet. Can that house possibly sit back 25 feet from the front property line?

    Then the side yard yard sets backs (the same for the new zoning standards) are 5 ft. but when you look at the house to north and the driveway of that house it must be across the side property line if the space is suppposed to be a total 10 ft. There had to be a variance for that or else the house to the north is not set back 5 feet. If that is the case, then the new house should have gone to public scrutiny and been moved back farther given the preexisting lack of set back for the house to the north. Then there is lot coverage, backyard and height to consider If they met the two covered parking and the two off-street parking required in the R1-15,000 zone it sure dosen't look like it. The "driveway" entrance to the garage is very steep and no cars park there. There is almost always a car (or two) parked sort of parallel to the front of the house but definately sticking out into the street. Pretty bad all the way around. Also, isn't there an old real estate adage that you should never have the most out-of-line priced house in the neighborhood.
    Equals poor economic choice as a rule.

  70. Greg Prout is a very bad person.
    I had to protect my property when he lived outside of the canyon, near me. He is a bad neighbor. Actually scary. Just another thug, pretending to be a "christian".
    He is mean spirited and just plain nasty.
    Anyone associated with this guy is not much.

    Best of luck Caroline, John, Sherry, Jim and Michael.
    We're all rooting for you to win, down here in town.

  71. Way back in the "day" the original B&W film Snow White and the Seven Duwarfs was filmed in the canyon. A series of small cabins were built for the small people were built. Very little is left of them. Located across the wash on Woodland, they have over the years been remodeled into oblivion.
    We really have a penchant for destroying whatever "past" we have.
    Perhaps this what we call our property rights.
    I like to think of it as the McDonaldization of our history.
    The Europeans try to save what they have, I guess that is why we like to travel there.
    I wish people in the development business would look at what they do with a degree of realizing, they too have not just property rights, but a responsibility to try to keep those things that are left, so they can tell their progeny, I helped to save the character and history of this area. Then perhaps they will be respected not only by residents, but respected by those who will be the new Sierra Madreans to come.
    This is something even the G4 should understand. They will forever be known by their actions.
    Sierra Madre has a long memory.

  72. Mr.Prout wasn't very nice to us when he moved into the canyon and still isn't that well liked. He is still bitter that he wasn't able to build his dream home that would have towered over his neighbors.

  73. When I watched this man on TV at the last city council meeting, I've never seen anyone with such a degree of HATE.
    What an awful human being. Full of hate!


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