|We may be less popular back east.|
This picture was taken during the one o'clock hour, and shows some of the hits we got at that time. We ended up with just under 2,800 pageviews for the day, so it was fairly typical. What I do find interesting about this is the amount of hits we got from China. During that hour it approached the total hits we were receiving from right here in the U.S.A. With the majority of that traffic coming from Sierra Madre, of course.
It seems that each time we post an article about Mater Dolorosa we get a surge in traffic from China. Does this mean that New Urban West has some Asian business partners who are following all that Mater Dolorosa rhythm here on The Tattler? Do they have some sort of web crawler that snaps up any stories dealing with this bewitched property and feeds them into somebody's daily executive summary?
I just don't know the answer to any of that. Do you?
New Urban West has a past fraught with controversy
If you hang around a Starbucks most of the evening looking for something to write about on your blog, which is what the WiFi crisis at my home caused me to do last night, you can find some fascinating things. The developer New Urban West, which apparently has its claws deep into the Mater Dolorosa site, has been pissing off community oriented folks all over the place, and for years.
The developer's modus operandi is apparently to find some beautiful natural settings where they are not wanted, and then fight like hell to build what they want. Which is usually California Generic Dense Pack, also known as McMansions. All done in the face of a lot of community opposition, and despite NUWI's claims of being creative, caring and very very special.
Here are four articles I thought I'd to share with you.
Higher-density housing plans spark debate (The Coast News - link) Early development plans to build 362 new homes in Eden Valley have some residents concerned.
“This has reinforced what we’ve always believed — development equals more development,” said JP Theberge, Board Member of the Elfin Forest and Harmony Grove Town Council.
Theberge has been a resident for two years and said people are worried about losing their way of life and community character to big developers. “Our motto is to keep it rural,” Theberge said. “This is one of the last few pockets of rural areas in San Diego and we want to keep it that way.”
The proposed project, known as Valiano, is a gated residential development that would occupy 209 acres of unincorporated land between the cities of San Marcos and Escondido. Construction of Harmony Grove Village, a 742-home-development adjacent to the property is already underway and would bring the total number of houses in the area to more than 1,000.
New Urban West, the original developer of Harmony Grove Village, opened communication lines and collaborated with residents to ensure the layout blended with the rural community.
Developer proposes upscale Escondido tract (UTSanDiego.com - link) Developer New Urban West has proposed an upscale 60-home subdivision on 43 acres of southern Escondido farmland just north of Felicita Park and west of Interstate 15. Neighborhood opposition killed a similar subdivision proposed 13 years ago in the same area. But city and New Urban West officials said the new plan does a better job of preserving the area’s rural charm.
“There would be a significant amount of open space and trees,” said Tom Zanic, senior vice president of New Urban West. “The character of the project would be tailored to the area.”
The proposal would create a small public park around the area’s popular duck pond, add hiking trails and avoid realigning Felicita Avenue, Hamilton Lane and other nearby roads. “The concept looks pretty attractive,” said Barbara Redlitz, the city’s planning chief. “It really has the potential for some great amenities for the public.”
It’s not looking attractive for at least one nearby resident, however. Yolanda Fleet was among several dozen people who helped defeat a similar subdivision in 2000, and she said she also plans to fight this one.
“So many people moved here for a quiet and rural atmosphere, but we’re trying too hard to turn Escondido into a city,” she said. “The people just want to be left alone.”
New Urban West Plans To Sell Burbank Rancho Development Site (San Fernando Business Journal - link) In the face of continued neighborhood opposition to its residential project, New Urban West Inc. plans to sell the former General Motors training facility in Burbank’s Rancho neighborhood to a local school.
The Lycee International de Los Angeles has entered escrow on the Riverside Drive property and a deal is expected to close in 90 days, New Urban West Senior Vice President Tom Zanic said.
Representatives from the school could not immediately be reached for comment.
New Urban has faced stiff opposition in its plan to transform the former GM training site into a residential community. Because the site is zoned for commercial and office uses, New Urban West would need a zone change to build residential units.
In February, the Santa Monica-based developer trimmed its original plan for 120 condominiums to 50 single-family homes, but many residents—who once defeated a neighborhood Whole Foods--still opposed the project fearing it would still threaten the Rancho’s equestrian character.
Jay Geisenheimer--a member of the Rancho Review Board, which provides input on proposed developments in the equestrian neighborhood—said the neighborhood was ecstatic over the development.
Zanic said he expects the escrow to close, but that if it falls through, New Urban West will continue the entitlement process for its 50 single-family home proposal.
City Battles Developer's Temporary Use of Land (Los Angeles Times - link) Developer New Urban West Inc. built an illegal temporary staging area about half the size of a football field on land planned for a regional park near the Bolsa Chica wetlands, city officials said Thursday.
"What they will have to do is remove the trailer, the fence, the equipment and vacate the site and restore the site to its original condition," said Mike Strange, a senior planner with the city.
The developer built the 150-foot by 150-foot staging area at Palm and Seapoint avenues to serve as a field office and storage area for the completion of 53 homes nearby. The land will become part of the 106-acre Harriett M. Wieder Regional Park.
Jim Lockington, project manager with the Santa Monica-based developer, said the company received a permit for the project from the county. He referred further questions to Tom Zanic, vice president of New Urban West, who was unavailable Thursday.
However, Tim Miller, manager of the county's Department of Harbors, Beaches and Parks, said the permit requires the developer to get necessary city permits.
Strange said New Urban West never applied to the city for the coastal development permit it needed to build the staging area.
I think this will give you a good idea of what we have to look forward to with the New Urban West gang.
Oh, and one other thing. Here is their law firm, Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP (link). This outfit specializes in enabling the very things New Urban West does, and helps them cram densely packed locally unwanted land uses (LULUs) into places where people don't want any of that.
And like most lawyers, they do it with paper.