Not that we should take too much joy in this. The radioactive half-life of the "sustainability" shuck will smolder on, at least for a while. I know that we are going to have to endure hearing all about it for as long as the likes of M.C. Josh continue to babble endlessly from the dais. And look at it this way, there are still those who continue to believe in the previous development meme, that we need to build vast amounts of the stuff because millions of people want to move here. As comical as that might sound.
The ability of some people to believe in untrue things can never be underestimated. And where would the development claque in this town be without its credulous friends?
Bill Fulton's at times informative (though often tendentious) California Planning and Development Report has listed those cities where "sustainable development" boondoggles took it in the green teeth Tuesday. As well they should. There is very little that is true in the notion that condo sprawl of the kind being pushed by development marketing initiatives such as our so-called "Green Committee" will save the world, and it appears that in some communities people are now seeing through all this stuff.
Note that one outlier on this list is Sierra Madre. Even I understand the need to get off this particular topic for a minute, but whoot! There it is.
City of Berkeley: Measure T would create more flexibility in the West Berkeley plan, allowing 75-foot buildings and requiring community benefits in return. As of Thursday morning, Measure T was winning by only a few dozen votes.
Los Angeles County
City of Sierra Madre: Sierra Madre is a small, mostly slow-growth community located in the foothills adjacent to Pasadena. The community has traditionally been opposed even to a stoplight at the main intersection in the downtown. However, Measure ALF -- which would permit development of a two-story, 75-room assisted living facility on Sierra Madre Boulevard across from City Hall -- won with 77% of the vote.
City of Pacific Grove: Voters in this small, traditionally slow-growth community adjacent to Monterey rejected a proposal to double the allowable height of buildings downtown to 75 feet. Measure F failed by 59%-41%.
Countywide voters rejected a proposal to downzone 25 acres of agricultural land in Angwin, in the hills above St. Helena, which was put on the ballot in an attempt to block Pacific Union College from pursuing additional development. Measure U lost by 60%-40%.
City of Calistoga: Only 13 miles away from Angwin, voters in Calistoga approved the expansion of the Silver Rose resort to include a hotel with 85 rooms, 21 houses, a new winery, and other amenities. Measure B passed 59%-41%.
City of Fullerton: Voters in the scandal- and recall-plagued City of Fullerton rejected the West Coyote Hills Specific Plan, which called for development of an old oil field in North Fullerton to include 760 homes on 500 acres of land. Chevron, the landowner, spend $1 million on the campaign. Measure W lost, 60.5% - 39.5%.
San Diego County
City of Del Mar: Voters in the small beach city of Del Mar rejected the Village Specific Plan, which would have facilitated development in the downtown area. Opponents claimed the plan would have made traffic and parking in the downtown area worse by adding development without adding parking and narrowing the main street to two lanes with roundabouts. Measure J was defeated 58%-42%.
City of Escondido: In the North County inland city of Escondido, voters approved the city's new general plan. Escondido has required voter approval for even small general plan amendments since 1998. Measure N passed 53%-47%.
San Mateo County
Town of Atherton: In the super-affluent Town of Atherton, voters rejected a plan to build a new library in a city park. Measure F lost, 69%-31%.
City of Simi Valley: Voters in Simi Valley easily passed Measure N, an extension of the city's longtime growth management program, which limits housing construction to approximately 260 houses per year. Measure N won with 74.8% of the vote.
City of Moorpark: Meanwhile, in the neighboring City of Moorpark, voters declined to give the city authorization to pursue development of 200 affordable housing rental units over the next 10 years. The vote was a so-called Article 34 election, required under a 50-year-old amendment to the California constitution. Measure O lost 63%-37%.
The conservative farming county of Yuba County barely defeated a SOAR-style ballot initiative which -- like its counterparts in Ventura and Napa counties -- would have subjected future agricultural zone changes to a vote. The ballot measure was a followup to the 2008 voter defeat of the Yuba Highlands project. Measure T lost, 52%-48%.
Not a bad day for slow growth and preservation advocates. Except here, of course. To read Bill Fulton's report in its entirety, please feel free to click on this blue spot.
This Sunday our VFW is holding a Veteran's Day ceremony at Memorial Park
When it comes to observing things that are of actual lasting importance in this world, no organization in town comes close to our own Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3208. This Sunday at 1 o'clock they will be holding a ceremony commemorating Veteran's Day, 2012. Below are the details.
Veterans of Foreign Wars of Sierra Madre, Post 3208 will celebrate Veteran's Day at the Memorial Wall, Sunday November 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM. We will celebrate Veterans Day by remembering the brave men and women who have risked their lives for the United States of America. A new panel of photos of Sierra Madre Veterans will also be unveiled that day. Former military VFW veterans will speak about their experience on active duty. Military service photos of the following Veterans will be unveiled: Aksel Pedersen, Christopher Mahuron, Diane Marquez, Shannon Carvalito, Samuel Schwartz, Russell Richardson, Richard Mahuron, Lawrence Morse, Richard Borrelli, Joseph Marquez, Howard Rubin, Eldon Clough, Robert Borneman, and Duncan MacGillivray.
Following the ceremony, there will be a special Photo Exhibit/Fundraiser titled "Pride & Pain" at the Senior Center from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This series of images is a collection of Portraits of the Veterans of Post 3208, taken by Photographer Debra Snell. Come and meet our Hero's in person and hear their touching stories. There will also be a silent auction of many other images from Debra Snell Photography, horsd'oeuvres & beverages. All included in the $10.00 admission charge, children under 18 are free. All the funds raised at this event will be donated to the VFW 3208, to support their community charities. For more information, Debra Snell’s phone number 818-606-2377.
Everyone is welcome to help celebrate Veterans Day. Refreshments provided following the ceremony.
I hope to see you there. And please, bring your kids. These are values that need to be passed on to the next generation.