Friday, November 9, 2012

Slow Growth Sustained Some Big Wins Tuesday

(a flower)
"Sustainability," the somewhat counter-intuitive and now apparently discredited notion that mankind can somehow build its way out of ecological ruin (over-development being one of the ways we got into this mess in the first place, right?), did not fare very well in local California elections on Tuesday. Something that could indicate that much of the marketing language behind such Sacramento packaged merde as SB 375 might now be a couple of Metro stations beyond its freshness dating. People just aren't buying into it.

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.

Alameda County

City of BerkeleyMeasure 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 MadreSierra 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.

Monterey County

City of Pacific GroveVoters 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%.

Napa County

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 CalistogaOnly 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%.

Orange County

City of FullertonVoters 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 MarVoters 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 EscondidoIn 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 AthertonIn the super-affluent Town of Atherton, voters rejected a plan to build a new library in a city park. Measure F lost, 69%-31%.

Ventura County

City of Simi ValleyVoters 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 MoorparkMeanwhile, 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%.

Yuba County

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.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

41 comments:

  1. I am 100% in favor of honoring all Veterans, and I do throughout the year, but, I observe the original intent of the day, Armistice Day, the recognition of the commitment to banish all war.

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    1. That is the problem with war. Outside of a few people nobody ever wants it for its own sake. But there are times when the alternatives are worse. World War II was one of those occasions.

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    2. Gandhi was asked if non-violence could have stopped Hitler, and he replied, "Not without great sacrifice." People have to be willing give up their lives to truly follow non-violence.

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    3. I don't think there ever were enough Gandhis around to stop Hitler.

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    4. How many people did Churchill 'liberate' without war? How many people did Ghandi liberate? There are never enough Ghandis anywhere ever.

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    5. Ironic that you should cite Churchill. Gandhi did beat the British. Hitler did not.

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  2. Sustainability has become a code term for? If we keep on doing what we are doing can we sustain that? The Fullerton measure was an open space funded area that the city wanted to undo. I don't see that the passage of ALF will play out as a smart, the hell with sustainability, move.

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    1. Sustainability is just a sales pitch for development.

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    2. Greenwashing 300 unit condo complexes is like claiming coal is clean energy.

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  3. For those of you who dont like development, refrain yourselves from going to restaurants, taking that spa vacation in Santa Barbara, going to the Santa Anita mall, the Americana, Disneyland, buying a new home or condo. Those greenies should all live in tents and ride horses and eat berries off the land.

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    1. You may be out of touch with what is going on these days. Many greens are in favor of development. It is now called sustainability. Those who are not are often being cast as being in favor of something else. Try and catch up here. I know it can be confusing.

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    2. It's not about not liking development, it's about not liking over-development.
      And the greenies have been completely manipulated by the worst kind of developers.

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    4. A troll. And kind of a dumb one at that.

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    5. Must be Steve.

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    6. In everyone of those places, the local communities have, through a locally developed process, approved those developments.
      If you don't think Santa Barbara doesn't go through a local citizens approval process to have those commercial amenities, you are uninformed.
      The problem is, being dictated and imposed upon by a corrupt Sacramento Legislature's mandates.. If you want to talk about rights of the developer being infringed upon locally.Perhaps
      if you were mandated by the state to have atleast one pig farm in every downtown, you would want to have a say about it?

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    7. Though your argument is childish, Actually, I've never been to that mall or Disneyland. I bicycle whenever i can, i don't use air conditioning and I do grow much of my own food... Right here in Sierra Madre. You've confused development with homogenization and corporatized sterilization.

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    8. I don't think anyone is confused about that, 10:18. They go together almost every time.

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  4. Development today is all about greed ,supported by corruption at the expense of the Taxpayer!

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  5. The important point of Measure V was to give back to the people the right to vote on projects in the downtown area, since the downtown is used jointly by everyone living here.
    I personally didn't vote for the project because of the pending water problems facing the town as a whole, and a bit of dishonesty on the developer's part.
    However, it gives "teeth" to Meas. V, and the vote has set it as a permanent legal precident.
    If the people want a project, they will have the right to vote on it.
    A bad development that doesn't fit, will get voted down.
    Be warned, if apathy and a lack of citizen interest prevails, don't complain, because you didn't know about the implications. It will be too late once a project is approved.
    In the future, a water demand study on large projects should be done to see how it will effect the overall supply.


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    1. Agreed. My fear is the 77% yes vote on the ALF will encourage others to attempt Taj Majal development here. Having the vote on the same day as the a presdiential election brought out a lot of know littles.

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  6. my problem is with liars and cheaters who are funded by developers under the green flag. yes, it does involve PUSD. There will be a meeting next week, open to the public, as PUSD and the City of Pasadena hold hands in a faux hippie drum circle and plan the next move in the "Yay, build some more shit we don't need for people we wish were here."

    Not that it matters because neither PUSD, nor the City of Pasadena care what you think, Sierra Madre.

    There are no "clean slates." That is the language of people who don't want to admit that they messed up, or that they are hiding something. Just "clear it out and start afresh," they say. They say it in building, they say it in education. Throw in some money, it will fix everything, and it will all be better.

    i have no problem with sustainability, but i do have a huge problem with mowing down an empty building to throw up another empty building, or throwing up a shiny palace when there are five empty ones sitting nearby. I also have a problem with the liars who steal our money to get tax breaks and grants for doing just that. Just like I have a problem with funding some stupid new "educational instructional technology" to supplement the fifty that are running concurrently, and none of which work.

    As for the ALF, stupid move.

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  7. While we're on the subject of the Green Commission/Committee, read the article in the LA Times re: New storm water runoff rules could cost cities billions". I smell another reason why that group will saddle us with more restrictions, rules and fees. We have plenty of safeguards that could be implemented by the Planning Commission and our Dept. of Development. e.g. permeable paving. This should have been a requirement for the ALF, but was ignored by the planning commission as they focused on dwelling units.

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  8. Take heart Tattlers. what with AB32,SB375, the passing of Jerry Brown's prop 30, Obamacare, and the truly sour economy that awaits us in January 2013, perhaps Billy Shields and his pals will decide to cut their losses and choose not to build.

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    1. Nah, these are the 1% folks, and the clientele they sell too are in the same bracket.

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    2. ALF's are popping up everywhere, like toadstools. The boomers will be relieved of their equity lickedety split. All in exchange for oatmeal and a nurse that will give them a bath.

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    3. One of the fatter of the lies that circulated about the Kensington was that it was for Sierra Madre.
      Phooey.
      The campaign to fill the place will focus on San Marino, Arcadia, La Canada.

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    4. I wish that I could exercise a little line item veto action on the Federal budget. First two things I'd take out would be SCAG and the SGVCOG. Less money spent while at the same time returning planning autonomy to city governments like ours.

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    5. I'll vote for ya, 3:25.

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    6. There are always suckers who will rise to the bait and vote for any boondoggle!

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  9. What scares the hell out of me is when PUSD looks at the sierra mesa campus and with our developement minded mayor and mayor protem let Pusd talk them into pushing a condo site on cannon

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    1. PUSD is getting out of the education business and going into lo-mod housing.

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    2. And why not..there is no money to be made in education,,,

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    3. Some of the Pasadena Board of Education members are nearing retirement age, and they need a big score to make those golden ages sweet.

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  10. You can just about bet on it...once this monster is built it will be the LAST one!

    People will stand across the street, jaws agape and just ask "how?"

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    1. One silver lining. Most of the dirts will make $0 on this one.

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    2. Our very own battleship... grounded and sucking up water... on the Blvd.

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    3. You know why they say you can't take it with you, right? Because when it is time to go Fountain West will already have it all.

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