Thursday, December 19, 2013

Live Blogging the Planning Commission: Homeless Housing On E. Montecito?

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A very interesting Christmas surprise is on the PC docket for this evening. Here is how the Planning Commission Agenda puts it (link).

2. MUNICIPAL CODE TEXT AMENDMENT 13-05 (MCTA 13-05) TO ALLOW TRANSITIONAL AND SUPPORTIVE HOUSING, AND EMERGENCY SHELTERSThe 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.

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82 comments:

  1. The Kensington Arts fee is $34,500. Not due until after the place is built.

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  2. Asst City Attorney Whatley is here this evening. Anyone care to ask her about why she had to resign herCity Attorney gig in La Habra Heights?

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    1. She has large hair, like both our previous and current city attorneys. Does Michael Colontuono require that particular look?

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  3. Ken Goldstein: I'm I'm I'm, uhhh ..

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  4. My home is classic early 60s architecture. My heart is really in it. Can I stop paying property taxes?

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  5. Somebody sold a house to a guy who would preserve it, and passed on an all cash offer? I think we should reward people who actually pick preservation over money.

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  6. Webb Martin is doing a good job of recounting some of the brutal fights that went on with the historic preservation - but she's omitting the troubling fact that people were put on the preservation list without their knowledge or agreement. That's why the vote against them passed - it wasn't the fear of not being able to choose flowers for the yard - it was being put on a historic preservation list without being consulted about it. That said, I hope they Mills Act this house. If the owner wants to preserve, more power to them.

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    1. The Historical Preservation Committee or what it was overreached, and there was a big backlash against them.

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    2. Judy never overreaches.

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  7. The Hotel Shirley could stand a little paint.

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  8. Staff is racing against the clock, because staff has run out of time.

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    1. They're years late already. They want this done while people are preoccupied with Christmas.

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  9. Planning commission should not vote on something in a hurried manner just because staff is inefficient.

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  10. Listen for the words "state mandated and we can't do anything about it."

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  11. Who is the jargonette at the podium?

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    1. The "I was only obeying orders" defense went out of style in 1946.

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  12. I think I just heard that homeless/emergency/all kinds of shelters should by law be built everywhere there is a residential zone. ?

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  13. Transitional housing. we already have some half-way houses in town. I think that those should meet the standards for these RHNA folks.

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  14. "Have to provide zones, but not necessarily build" That's the funniest comment I hear in these discussions. The state demands that cities put this garbage in their documents, but don't worry, it won't be acted on.
    Liars.
    Put the words in the documents and the developers lick their chops in anticipation.

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  15. 10 beds? I thought she just said we have 5 homeless people in town.

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    1. Jargonette airbrushed the fact that since public money would find its way into this project, homeless people from anywhere could get a bed there.

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  16. so if they put this on Montecito, will they have to eminent domain a piece of property in order to build it? Why not just commandeer the Public Storage facility that's already there?

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  17. Who are the homeless among us?
    I know of one guy who lives in cars in the canyon, and another who lives behind the Mira Monte reservoir - that makes 2. And neither of those guys want to change their lifestyles.

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  18. Which cities? Compton?

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  19. Yes, let's make it restrictive - give up the goods, which cities?

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  20. hey, let's put those homeless people in the fifth bedrooms planned for those "modern family" homes that are to be built up on Carter.

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  21. By their own count, the City of Pasadena has 904 homeless people. Will they want to move up to Sierra Madre.
    http://urban-initiatives.org/phhn/PDFS/2012_HomelessCount/Pasadena%202012%20Homeless%20Count%20Report%20-%20Final.pdf

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  22. The "package of requirements" was really thorough, like a totally developed plan, like something that'll be ready as soon as the vote goes for it.

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  23. An appropiriate use for Montecito? Jeez, did anyone ask the people who live there if they want a homeless shelter next door?

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  24. Kenny is fibbing up a storm. Not a for profit venture? Bwa ha ha!!

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    1. Actually he's asking excellent questions, and making clear that the city will have nothing to defend itself against anyone building this. And asking about real consequences.

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  25. This whole "you gotta designate it, but you don't have to build it" language reminds me of erskine Caldwell's book "God's little acre". In that story, the farmer keeps moving around and redesign acting a special acre of ground.

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  26. "Once the language were in there, it could just happen."
    Yep.

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  27. The big dough will be state grants. Ask the developer.

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  28. Somebody ask Kenny if his pal Chris Holden has a finger in this pie.

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  29. The lawyer speaks - with her mike off.

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  30. That hair is SOMETHING!

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  31. this was put forth by Gil Cedillo.

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  32. If there was a guarantee that any housing was for homeless families, I'd feel very differently about this. If we're talking about recovering addicts, I'm really sorry for them but there is no way they can be trusted to be good neighbors.

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    1. Quite a few homeless are victims of their own substance abuse. Others are mentally ill. That will make the downtown area quite colorful.

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  33. "Unlikely that it would occur"
    Liar

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  34. Did you catch Kenny's comment earlier in the meeting, when he said that the Mills Act applicant wasn't receiving a montetary windfall. Out of touch...he's been bundling way too much political cash for the Dems to identify with us po' folks here in Sierra Madre. Hey, Ken, a few hundred thousand dollars is major cash for us plebians in SM

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  35. does CLIMB qualify as group housing?

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    1. Yes, I think it does - supportive housing.

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  36. Kenny sounds almost mechanical. Can we call him Goldbot?

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  37. I don't like the manufacturing zone being used as transitional housing. There are small businesses that should be in that zone. Would the non profits be paying taxes to our city?

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  38. I think it's pretty clear that the state has seen to it that a well connected developer can develop whatever he wants wherever he wants.

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    1. Just another business that bought off the state so towns like ours have to allow them in.

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  39. Great question Heather. Making it clear that shelters can be everywhere.

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  40. I think the Monastery would be an excellent place for construction of a homeless shelter, the religious folks can get a little closer to heaven by doing the Lords work, and they would pretty much be out of sight to the majority of Sierra Madreans, preserving the integrity of the town, a perfect entrance for it would be north on Grove then a left on Carter so as to come in the back way, I'm all for this solution 100%....who's with me on this!?

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  41. SB2 is like SB375. Bought and paid for by the lobbies. Designed to crack open towns like ours for unwanted development.

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  42. Mr. Hildreth's legal experience is showing. Good on you Hildreth.

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  43. Good questions, Mrs. Koerber!

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  44. Crawford, getting the job done!

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  45. Excellent points Crawford. Restrictions on who can live there, and Measure V on Montecito. Yes!

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  46. Yes! A 10 person shelter is not going too pencil out. This is a money deal. All the way.

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  47. All that transparency hoo-hah. Where is the community meeting on Montecito? Have they gone door to door and told the victims what is coming?

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  48. Goldstein's making me nervous. I hope he isn't thinking of running for City Council.

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    1. Homeless Housing Ken? Yeah, he'd draw a lot of flies.

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    2. so now Ken is not too crazy about this homeless thing but he feels we can't buck the stat of California. Hey Ken why not contact your friend Chris Holden. If you really want to delay it, I'm sure he'd be happy to help you out.

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    3. Ken's a politician. He has two sides to his mouth and he is not afraid to use them.

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  49. Can't take all this grovelling anymore.

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  50. The HAIR is defending Measure V. Good.

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  51. How about just waiting a while, and seeing if maybe another, smarter city is willing to go to war with the state? You can get the damn conditional certification without agreeing to this

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  52. Rubber stamp Ken is changing his tune. Where's a report on what other cities have done? Blah, blah, blah...
    I want to know what will happen to us if we give them the finger.

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  53. Pendelbury is confused and just doesn't know...then don't vote on it!

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  54. Somebody has to get the people who live on Montecito to come.

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  55. Great remarks Mr. Pendlebury.

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  56. Holden's office! Bingo. Kenny is such a Dem shill.

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    1. Kenny was Holden's bag man. And Holden is up to his wiggly ears in low income housing schemes.

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  57. Go back to La Habra Heights, Whatley. Oops, you can't!

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  58. Holding the Housing Element hostage. Interesting timing.

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  59. I wonder of there are incentives for cities who comply. Has anyone asked the question?

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  60. There is no excuse for rushing this, Danny. None.

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  61. So now this goes to the City Council. Love to hear Josh and Nancy defend a homeless shelter.

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  62. Any commissioner who voted "yes" after stating that they didn't have all of the facts should resign.

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  63. Hopefully, both of them will refrain from running for office again. They are a disaster.

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  64. Maybe the homeless people will vote for them.

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  65. I would like to know how many of the state level politicians who passed this on to the cities of California, how many of those people live next door to transitional housing?

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  66. Only one person from E Montecito Jeff Hildreth. Where is the representation before a vote. I hope he wins, teach the City a lesson.

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