Monday, November 19, 2012

What Our Downtown Investors' Club Friends Have In Mind For Sierra Madre

A very ambitious trolley stop.
The campaign to sell a big chunk of downtown Transit Village redevelopment into Sierra Madre is now well under way. The folks pushing for it are basically the same tired old faces and pols from the discredited Downtown Specific Plan days, but what choice did they ever really have but to stick around? They'd sunk their life savings into downtown property back somewhere in the 2000s, and things didn't work out.

Those in on the big secret back then believed they had a good thing going on, and if it wasn't for that peasant uprising known as Measure V they'd all be happily retired by now. Sitting by a pool somewhere sunny and sweet, far from the scene of the crime. And us, those uncivil folks that ruined it all for them.

They're still here, of course. Like an old debt that keeps showing up on every credit report you've seen over the last ten years, they just keep coming back for more. And just when you thought that perhaps they'd finally moved past what has been nearly ten years of high drama and low moaning, our civic malignancy is at it again, and with an entirely new (though not exactly original) marketing plan.

This time around the DSP is "green." The notion that we had to build it because millions of new residents were coming to California and will need to be housed is no longer operative. An absurd proposition that, had it been heeded in 2007, would have resulted in a downtown not unlike that of the more foolish cities, packed with the kinds of tiny high density condominiums and cheesy storefronts that nobody wants.

How can a transit village be "green" you ask? According to the Sacramento/Arnold (A Man Needs A Maid) Schwarzenegger generated law known as SB 375, situating a large group of small cheaply priced condominiums and shoppettes around a public transportation hub will somehow magically transform greenhouse gas generating auto enthusiasts into dutiful bus riders. Which in our case would have to be the mode of transportation since we don't have trolleys in town anymore.

(Though I do suspect that once a family is situated in low income housing the first thing they would want to do with the money they are saving is buy a car. This still being California and all.)

Here that might still be a dream of some folks making payments on such places as the site formerly known as Howie's, but in Monrovia they have actually bought into this all in a very big way. And you really do have to wonder if perhaps they haven't lost the slim pickings known as their minds.

Monrovia, already the home of such financially challenged, buyer averse and tightly packed developments as "The Commons," has now announced to the world something to be forever known as the 210 Trolley's very own Station Square Transit Village (click here, scroll down). They didn't have enough empty condo space already, so now they will be adding another 3,600 new units to their already generous inventory. Among other things. The property has already been demoed, with many long established businesses now displaced and gone from the area.

Here is how it is all described on this City of Monrovia site:

STATION SQUARE TRANSIT VILLAGE

The Station Square Transit Village is the proposed development surrounding the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension.  The proposed transit-oriented development creates compact living, working and visiting within easy walking distance of transit stations.  This area is bounded by Evergreen Road to the north, Shamrock Avenue to the east, Duarte Road to the south, and Magnolia Avenue to the west.

There are three phases within Station Square Transit Village:

Phase 1- Located on the block bounded by Evergreen Road (to the North), Myrtle Avenue (to the East), Duarte Road (to the South) and Magnolia Avenue (to the West).

Phase 2- Located on the block bounded by Evergreen Road (to the North), Shamrock Avenue (to the East), Duarte Road (to the South) and California Avenue (to the West).

Phase 3- Located on the block bounded by Evergreen Road (to the North), California Avenue (to the East), Duarte Road (to the South) and Myrtle Avenue (to the West).

Station Square Transit Village is envisioned as interconnected neighborhoods of residences, commercial buildings (high-tech, bio-tech, lab and R&D), offices and hospitality uses (restaurants and hotel) with an emphasis on public space, green space, pedestrian friendly streetscapes, and transportation alternatives.  Station Square after full build-out could create 850,000 square feet of commercial office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space, 3,600 new living units and 4.35 acres of open space.

The heart of the development would encompass a transit hub including the new Monrovia station, a bus transfer terminal and supporting parking facilities. Additionally, the historic Santa Fe Depot (on site since 1926) will be restored and reopened as a transit store, restaurant or some other public use.

That, my friends, is one helluva gigantic trolley stop.

The next time our somewhat jumped-up Green Committee (or whatever it is called) and their development happy and pretty much compromised friends on the City Council begin talking about how they plan to magically transform our downtown area into an SB 375/Arnold Schwarzenegger "vunderland," this is pretty much what what they have in mind.

Minus the train, of course. Our transit village would be built around the kinds of mostly empty Metro buses we see chugging around here now. Which makes the concept even more ridiculous than it already is.

But like I said, the town wreckers are once again on the move. And this time they're painting the DSP green.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

61 comments:

  1. So they're gonna build a whole transit village for one bus? Desperation knows no bounds. EIR will fail because of the traffic generated which is way out of scale for the existing streets. Finis.

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  3. Look, downtown investors club.....this economy is going to get worse....a lot worse.
    If they government raises taxes it will crash the economy, if they drastically cut spending, it will crash the economy. It's a lose/lose situation.

    How are you going to manage building such a boondoggle as this downtown transit crap.

    This crazy plan will not work.

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    1. That is just the thing, whether these would sell or not isn't really their problem. As long as they get the government "green" grants and other similar moneys they can just build these things and run. That is what drives this stuff. Government money. In the open marketplace these things wouldn't even get discussed.

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    2. You're right, people just are too confused and frightened to face the facts. They are in total denial.
      Just pretend if we make everything "green" all problems will go away....this is insanity.......insanity!
      The government can "save" us for a short time from what they are calling the fiscal cliff.....but we have already gone over that cliff.
      The downtown investors club knows this, but you're right, they don't care, make some money, get out of town fast, and leave Sierra Madre in ruins.
      This is what will happen unless the people fight back.

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  4. The Green Commission would function a lot like our very own in house SCAG. That is enforcing state "green" planning mandates such as transit village development. We need this like we need a hole in the head.

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    1. Yes, we're going to have a lot of empty holes in Sierra Madre, empty buildings, and empty wallets, if the real "a-holes" the downtown dirt investor's group and their greenie friends get their way. Stop them!

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  5. The not so funny thing is we will need to get a stop light to deal with all the extra traffic we will get from building a transit village.

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  6. What makes no sense for Sierra Madre (we have a different community situated too far from the Gold Line to take advantage of the potential) is a good deal for Monrovia. A quick review tells me it will up scale and improve a rather bland and uninteresting location. Trains are exciting. Busses are not.

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  7. How much bond debt do the property owners have on the new library? How many residents will be forced to move to make way for the Transit Village? How many businesses have had to relocate because of the Transit Village? How many empty condos are on Myrtle right now? How many retail shops sit empty in Old Town and on Huntington? The plans are not even complete and the City has demoed acres of buildings.

    3,600 housing units will add 10,000 people to the city. Water, schools, infrastructure, traffic.

    Who will want to live there? It's Monrovia.......not Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco.

    Monrovia really drank the Kool Aid.

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  8. What plan? Have you seen the plan? Is it on the next City Council meeting agenda? Is it on the Green Committee agenda?

    We have our transit center....it is the lovely scattered bench arangement at Kirsting Court and across the street at the corner of Baldwin and Sierra Madre Blvd. and the extension east and west to adjacent bus stops and benches.

    Next topic!

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    1. It is all spelled out in the Green Committee's Accords. Ironically enough, Item 21. This is currently being discussed by the City Council. You should read it.

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  9. The frightening thing Crawford, is that it seems we are unable to stop this madness. Josh and Nancy (who said this Committee was her idea) are determined to push the plan through by hook or crook. Harabedian has already bought into the whole COG/SCAG agenda and will make sure that Agenda 21 happens in Sierra Madre. Capoccia and Koerber can only do so much to stem the tide. You all saw what happened on the 13th. When the same one or two people stand up and talk for or against a project on the agenda, it looks like it is only those people who are concerned. Where was everyone on the 13th to speak against the Agenda 21 crock?

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    1. Absolutely right 10:49. Complaining and making snarky comments on this blog are fun, but not very effective when it comes to influencing the vote of the council. If you folks really don't want this Agenda 21 debacle, then you MUST SHOW UP AT THE COUNCIL MEETING AND SPEAK AND MAKE YOUR THOUGHTS KNOWN IN A CLEAR AND CONCISE (3 MINUTES)AND POLITE MANNER. Take responsibility for what you believe. How do you think we got to this point? Because folks did not stand up. STAND UP or shut up. And then don't complain.

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    2. Heh. And your speech, Adamant Ant? How'd did it go?

      This is a predetermined vote. Harabedian, Moran and Wash are way in the tank for this crap. The only way out of this mess is to vote Moran and Walsh out of office in 2014 and then scuttle the GC.

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    3. Don't forget we have three seats open in the 2014 election. Koeber is a strong candidate, but you'd better start thinking now about who you want to run because Harabedian, Moran and Walsh have the Democratic machine behind them.

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    4. I think it will take more than some robo-calls from the LA DCC to get Moran and Walsh re-elected. There are some golden moments during their tenure that a lot of voters are going to find either outrageous or very amusing. Depending on how you look at things.

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    5. 1:48 --- Harabedian doesn't have to run again until 2016. You sure you have this figured out?

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  10. Isn't this where all that money Nancy said the Green Committee would get us comes from? The bFeds are all about this kind of development, and they are backing it up with cash.

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  11. I loved when Nancy said we can get a bunch of "grants." Like those aren't taxpayer paid expenses and/or debt. Duh.

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    1. Taxpayer money parceled out by Sac or the Feds always has strings attached. You spend it as they say, or you give it back. These grants will buy so-called green development. The kind spelled out in the Accords. It is as obvious as anything can be.

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  12. Don't any of you work? Day in and out posting on here...same old crap. How are your ad sales going, Crawford.

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    1. The Tattler's rates are way too high. You must not want any advertising.

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    2. Well, actually I don't. But even I have my price. Unfortunately noone has met it yet.

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    3. I work. You didn't catch me posting at 12:46 on my lunch hour on my employer's computer. I wait until I get home. And the Tattler is a great form of therapy - a sort of small town drama in which we can all participate. I always like it when the Brandenburgs jump in and put the target squarely on Honowitz and the PUSD. I immediately forward those posts to my buds on the PUSD and the Pasadena City Council so they can see the esteem in which they are held by Sierra Madre.

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    4. haha.

      i haven't paid too much attention to the Pasadena City Council.

      Yet.

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    5. Spot on 5:49- Tattler is very therapeutic, kinda like a 5:00 cocktail.

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    6. Tattler is better than a soap opera

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  13. Does anybody know what's going on with the water main break on Mountain Trail? Is everything OK?

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    1. It was a bad break, but my understanding is that things are now getting back to normal.

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    2. The City got on this quickly.

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    3. Not so normal in the southbound Mountain Trail lanes from Alegria to Grandview. Beware the large open trench!!! It's all part of gearing up for the holidays with the get out the water rate campaign!!!

      Leave it to Elaine and Inman to ring in the happy season with secular festivities.

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    4. They pretty much lost all credibility with the residents after the last water rate increase fiasco.

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  14. Is anybody having flamingo for Thanksgiving?

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    1. I am. We're serving the bird in a nest of Slim Jims. Washed down with some Jack Daniels coolers.

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    2. I've found an old family flamingo recipe for deep fried bird stuffed with crayfish and snapping turtle. Very tasty. We could organize an exotic bird chili cookoff for next year at the ALF.

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    3. I don't know. I've heard that if you eat too much of the pink bird you'll need a whole lot of pink PeptoBismal.

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    4. Seal and wrap it up with duty free Ding Dongs, Twinks, and Ho-Ho's, whilst lamenting the loss of our beloved Sierra Madre Brothel to the evil old people and their water chugging ALF in the form of a free spirited balladeering reminiscent of a "Lost in the Green Sea" shanty

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  15. Investigations are nothing new for Citrus College, Glendora, California.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-24/local/me-934_1_citrus-college

    Good thing Gil is keeping an eye on them.

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  16. Learn more and you get a different picture of what is intended here.

    Agenda 21 in the United States

    The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is not a treaty, the Senate was unable to hold a formal debate or vote on it, nor was it ratified in any way by the executive branch. Several congressmen and senators, however, have spoken in Congress in support of Agenda 21; these include Representative Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry, and Senator Harry Reid.

    In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world. The United States has nearly half of the ICLEI's global membership of 1,200 cities promoting sustainable development at a local level. The United States also has one of the most comprehensively documented Agenda 21 status reports.

    Opposition in the United States

    During the last decade, opposition to Agenda 21 has increased within the United States at the local, state, and federal levels. The Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21, and the Republican Party platform stated that "We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty." Several state and local governments have considered or passed motions and legislation opposing Agenda 21.

    Alabama became the first state to prohibit government participation in Agenda 21, but Arizona rejected a similar bill.
    Activists, some of which have been affiliated to the Tea Party movement by the The New York Times and The Huffington Post, have claimed that Agenda 21 is a conspiracy by the United Nations to deprive individuals of property rights.

    Columnists in The Atlantic have linked opposition to Agenda 21 to the property rights movement in the United States.
    A poll of 1,300 United States voters by the American Planning Association found that 9% supported Agenda 21, 6% opposed it, and 85% thought they didn't have enough information to form an opinion.

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    1. That's all good I guess. Certainly no worse than those buffoons in Sacramento who claim you can stop global warming with buses and condos.

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  17. There are too many "half empty glasses" showing up on my favorite blog. Would love some positive comments on how we change (and change will happen) things and progress in Sierra Madre. Do we need a color? Perhaps royal blue wih interesting ideas that trump green.

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    1. Is change progress? Change can also be decline, you know.

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    2. The cities surrounding Sierra Madre have undergone significant change while we have stayed pretty much the same. Are they now superior to us? Are Arcadia, Pasadena and Monrovia now places that seem more desireable? Is there an exodus of residents here, people who are attempting to leave our backwards town?

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    3. What do we care if residents exit? Let's hope it's the ones looking for bigger, better, higher. Do Arcadia, Pasadena and Monrovia seem more desireable to those folks? Fine. Let them think so. I like calling out to my neighbors downtown. I like recognizing friends' children in the parade. Mostly I like the safety we enjoy while walking after dinner.

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    4. Why will change happen? What makes the poster at 5:06 so sure it will? I'm sorry, but I smell unicorn.

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    5. I hate it when those damn unicorns come by. There is nothing worse than having to rake up the big piles of burned out sparkles and spent rainbows they leave behind. Ugh!

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  18. Isn't this Monrovia transit village near the Metro yard that the Monrovia mayor bought then resold at a huge profit? And nobody has challenged her in court? She made millions as I recall. Probably enough to buy a big chunk of the transit village.

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    1. Monrovia's Mayor initiated an eminent domain process against one property owner. While she bought a few parcels across the way so that she can cash in. Lutz loves her green. As in the kind of green you fold and put in your wallet.

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  19. Ooooooh! Rack of Unicorn, roasted Flamingo with crayfish stuffing, and goose liver pate. Tattlers! We're getting the menu together. Yum.

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    1. Maybe we should invite the on air personalities from Radio Fishbowl!

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  20. Hard to know why transit village comes to mind when we are leaps and bounds and many sidewalk miles away from either transit hub for the goldline at 1st street Arcadia or Madre Villa.

    Pretty sure the DIC took a bath on their investment at Howies and they are not going to recoup with such a boneheaded project in the congested center of town

    Could we talk about something else?

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    1. Well friend, it's the Tattler. You can really talk about whatever you like. But I get the feeling you didn't catch the last City Council meeting. Transit Village development is at the heart of the Green Committee's Accords. It is a legitimate conversation for Sierra Madre. And you do know that Transit Villages can be built around buses just as easily as rail, right?

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  21. Can you show me a transit village built up around a bus stop?

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    1. Sure. El Monte is in the process of building one. Go and google "El Monte" and "bus station development." For some bonus coverage Google it again but this time include "Bart Doyle."

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  22. It's a Treaty, who cares?

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  23. Watched the Dust Bowl, Ken Burn's latest, and hope we can have a real discussion of enviornmental concerns without the rant against the Green Committee just because. Tattler readership needs to look at what other communities are doing, large and small, near and far, regarding addressing environmental issues. It seems that no one wants to hear the other side because of certain personalities. That is so kindergarden.

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    1. Almost half of the article you are commenting to is about what another town is doing. You need to work on your reading comprehension problems, ding dong.

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