|Try passing one of these babies through the eye of a needle|
At least until the public relations product is properly prepared for local resident consumption. I think that is regarded as being a part of the process. This item can be viewed in its native habitat by clicking here.
Oh, and what better time to share this news than right before a three day weekend? You know, when everybody's attention is focused elsewhere?
UPDATE REGARDING MATER DOLOROSA PASSIONIST RETREAT CENTER
Jerry Pearson, Cameron Thornton, and representatives from New Urban West met with City staff this week regarding their future plans for the development of the lower portion of the Mater Dolorosa property into single-family residential development. They informed staff that an agreement has been signed with New Urban West to develop the site, and that New Urban West will begin “due diligence” starting in June, and will begin community outreach in June - meeting with neighbors door-to-door, contacting stakeholders as well as Planning Commissioners and City Councilmembers to introduce themselves. New Urban West anticipates an application submittal by Fall of this year.
June, eh? Not so very far away. I guess we all know which side of the equation the City Manager's loyalties fall on. The difference between "due diligence" and the entire northwest quadrant of Sierra Madre being rolled under in a blitzkrieg of some billionaire housing developer's bull and diesel dust apparently being moot downtown. Just as long as they get their bloody pound of flesh, what do they care?
Now it probably would have been nice of City Hall to invite members of the community to such a meeting. After all, they are the people whose taxes enable the salaries that allow staff to live the low impact lifestyle they have become so accustomed to. But you know how that works.
The remaining big questions being, was a sustainable lunch served? And was it served with or without bottled water?
So who is New Urban West? Here's how they describe themselves on their website:
It's good to see that they view themselves as being public relations forward. Because they really are going to need that sort of thing once they get down to the destruction of the lives and happiness of all those unfortunate enough to live in the path of the thousands of diesel truck trips and other construction traffic that will be roaring up what had once been quiet residential streets. It takes a practiced flair to successfully market someone else's personal misery from the comfort of executive suites located in Santa Monica.
But hey, at New Urban West they get that. The Fathers must be very proud of their choice.
And what exactly do they build? All kinds of nonsense apparently. Here is a screenshot that shows the dreary mix of pretentious California Generica that New Urban West blesses our world with.
Lovely pictures, of course. Ranchos, meadows, harmony groves and a lariat. So special. What these projects might actually look like once they've arisen from their choking clouds of dust and diesel smoke being another big question.
My guess is it will be a lot more Rancho Cucamonga than Santa Fe.
They can be forced to back down, however. This March of 2012 article from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal (link) shows NUWI's softer side:
New Urban West Plans To Sell Burbank Rancho Development Site - 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.
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.
Maybe they'll be bringing some of this kind of informational literature around with them when they start going door to door in a week or so. Kind of makes them the Jehovah's Witnesses of predatory development, I guess.
You can witness this entire New Urban West collection of public relations expertise by clicking here.