2. MUNICIPAL CODE TEXT AMENDMENT 13-05 (MCTA 13-05) TO ALLOW TRANSITIONAL AND SUPPORTIVE HOUSING, AND EMERGENCY SHELTERS. The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider recommending approval of municipal code text amendments to implement a housing program objective identified in the 2008-2014 Housing Element. The proposed text amendments would: 1) allow transitional and supportive housing in all zones where residential uses including R-1, R-2, R-3, R-C, HMZ and C Zones; 2) identify emergency shelters as a by right, permitted use in the M Zone (Manufacturing), and include specific standards for emergency shelters; and 3) amend Chapter 17.08
What all of that planner jargon translates into is Homeless Housing on E. Montecito. Or "Transitional Housing" if you feel compelled to be politically correct, "Hobo Housing" if you don't. Whatever name you choose to use, it's something that would have an unfortunate effect on the entire downtown area. All of this dictated by Sacramento and backed up with some perfectly legitimate threats.
On the other hand, does the City of Sierra Madre just obey orders, or will it take into account the safety of its most at risk residents? Are we no longer allowed to put the needs of our children and seniors first?
Here is how we put it on Wednesday:
What does this mean in the real world? We would end up having a community of homeless people temporarily housed right next to downtown Sierra Madre. Which means that when the school kids from Bethany, St. Rita, Sierra Madre Middle School and The Gooden congregate there most afternoons, they will have some interesting new people to hang out with. People who will be happy to help facilitate the distribution of loosies, dope, transmittable diseases, colorful language patterns and other byproducts of lives long hardened by years of unfortunate lifestyle choices.
Anybody detect a pattern here? Every bad planning dilemma that this town has faced over the last few years had its origins in "pay to play" Sacramento. Unfortunately, and according to the City, we must do what they say or face the consequences.
But isn't there a point when a City like ours has to take a stand? When a very real threat to the safety of our most vulnerable citizens is thrust into our faces by people who barely know our town even exists, do we just knuckle under?
Apparently City Hall says that yes, we do. And why should they care? It's not like they live here.
But you do.