Monday, May 5, 2014

Real Estate War On Older Residents In Sierra Madre?

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Mod: There has been a series of rather derogatory comments posted on this site targeting older residents. These remarks need to be examined and discussed. People should know that this kind of misguided nonsense is once again making the rounds here.

There is also the idea expressed by whomever is responsible for these unpleasant little screeds that unless you are financially productive for the city and its welfare, then somehow you do not deserve to live in this town. The notion that residents should be here at the financial convenience of City Hall, rather than the other way around, being a troublesome one. At least for me. Perhaps it is blowback from the defeat of Measure UUT? Or an attempt at playing different parts of this community off of each other in order to help make development at Mater Dolorosa and One Carter more likely politically? Certainly these are potential motivations.

It wouldn't be the first time divide and conquer politics have been attempted in Sierra Madre, either. Especially by those promoting the agendas of certain developers and their allied Realtors. But that long time residents of this community should be made the target of what is a campaign based on resentment and fueled by blatant greed is discouraging.

Here are the three most notable in this unfortunate series of comments.

Anonymous May 2 at 1:51 AM
"There are SOME beautiful homes built in the early 1900's that are worth preserving, i.e. Pinney house, but a tremendous number that should come down, preferably starting tomorrow. Question for everyone so against any type of development around here, do you or don't you like visitors coming to your home to drive up Baldwin past Anokia, Singing Wood, etc? Or does it make your house appear less desirable by comparison? Be honest about your feelings. Arcadia's revenues and property values have shot out of sight in large part due to those so called McMansions."

Anonymous May 4, 2014 at 12:57 AM
"I'd be REAL curious to know what you and the other protestors (sic) on here are paying in property taxes, because I have a strong feeling it's quite a bit shy of the $6,000 a year I'm paying. The city gets roughly a third of this. Meaning, if you don't have skin in the game, please keep your sarcasm to yourself. In the two block stretch of Montecito from Auburn to Lima, there are less than half a dozen homes paying more than $1,000 a year in property taxes. The best thing that can happen to Sierra Madre is having those homes turn over either as a standard SFR sale or a sale and tear down, so there's finally a mentionable contribution to the city. Period."

Anonymous May 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM
"As much as Sierra Madre has going for it, the inability of a portion of its residents to embrace change is its weakness. Let's face it, the same crowd that protests UUT hikes also finds development of any kind deplorable. Given the lack of commerce in this town, the old adage of "you can't have your cake and eat it too" applies here. My attitude, and the one you should adopt, is let's keep UUT rates low, but allow people with money and high incomes to come in and welcome them with open arms. It will help displace the segment of this town that is milking Prop 13 for all it's worth. No skin in the game and more than half don't even maintain their shanties to boot."

Perhaps I am overreacting here, but to me this appears to be a form of particularly virulent hate politics. A war on our older residents. Obviously the driving force is money, it always is. Property values in Sierra Madre are literally through the roof right now, and given some of this city's chronic problems, perhaps irrationally so. Paying $1.1 million for a 2,100 sq. foot home in a small city that literally ran out of water recently, and then replaced it with an imported and noxious chemical soup, seems a bit detached from common reality.

And what appears to be fueling the burning resentment of this unhappy individual is the potential money that he and those like him could be making should they somehow be able to evict many of our older residents, tear their homes down, and then replace them with McMansions or cookie cutter "infill" condo projects. All at significant profit, and made with no regard whatsoever for the lives destroyed in the process.

That this is somehow deemed justifiable by the commenter because it would increase the property tax revenues taken in by City Hall only serves to make these remarks even more troubling. Nobody should ever be driven from their home so that the folks downtown can finance $36,000 health plans for themselves, or retire at age 50.

A community's government exists for the people who live there, not the other way around. You have a right to live in Sierra Madre no matter what you are worth. There are no statutes I know of that require eviction and permanent exile for those not paying more in taxes than is legally required.

And certainly you are not some sort of product whose worth is to be judged by how much some greedy developer might make by seizing your property.

But this kind of thing is out there right now. Apparently gentrification propaganda targeting retired persons for elimination from our community has now gained acceptance in certain shadier quarters of the development and Realty fields. With much of it coming from out of town operations, I suspect.

This all must be resisted, and in the strongest ways possible.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

66 comments:

  1. Sierra Madre TaxpayerMay 5, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    Let me shout hear a minute, to make a point:
    IT'S NOT THE CITY'S MONEY. Its the taxpayers' money. The city is not entitled to it above the tax that is legally required.

    Ironic, the people that say the seniors should be paying more tax are the dumb *sses that gave a UUT exemption.

    Ha, ha, ha!!

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    Replies
    1. There are so many other indications that anyone who isn't a young couple with 2.4 children is no longer welcome here. For example, Friday afternoon downtown. Can you tell me please why children are allowed to roam free, take up restaurant seats, behave appallingly on the whole (one ran into my dog with his scooter and just laughed and said "hey old lady, stay out of the way." Some young couples allow their children to scream well into the night, and if an "older person" asks if sleep could be possible, that person is abused. I have seen this repeatedly. Bean Town is now the hangout of mothers who let their toddlers tear around the restaurant. It has been made clear older patrons are not welcome. Little League now dominates Grandview and numerous accidents have occurred. No one would dare say anything as older persons living nearby and having to endure this nightly disruption are told that we need to support children's development. I personally know eight older couples (and to these young parents that means anyone over 40) have left because this town is now so hostile to anyone that doesn't support indulged toddlers ruling all of us while frustrated and unhappy parents sulk and complain about how hard their lives are. Thank you for listening.

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  2. Good morning, Mr. Poster of comments the Mod used in his blog today. I have read them with great interest and you make some valuable suggestions. In fact, your comments about liking Anokia or Upper Rancho better than Sierra Madre truly resonated with me, and I think I can help you out here. If you don't like our town and it's residents, why no one is forcing you to live here. I suggest you sell you house and move to Arcadia, Pasadena, or Monrovia. I think you will be a lot happier.

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  3. The problem with continuing to raise taxes is that eventually you run out of other peoples' money.

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  4. so the poster who hates all us seniors must be an admirer of the Logan's Run philosophy. Kill (sorry, that's too obvious of a word), euthanize, dissappear, "renew", all those who have lived beyond their usefulness as a contributor to society. In Logan's World, I believe that was age 30.

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  5. 6:26 - I thnk the poster must be Ezekiel Emmanuel who firmly believes thay all those tha have outlived their usefullness must be done away with.

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  6. I'm going to be honest about my feelings. Stay the hell away from my town.

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  7. Several years ago, I heard a well known Sierra Madre realtor make this comment:
    "I wish all the senior citizens in Sierra Madre would just die off, so we could sell their property "
    This woman is now a senior citizen!
    Owns a home in Sierra Madre, wonder if her younger realtor friends are thinking the same thing about her?

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    Replies
    1. I promient realtor (in her mind) snickered to me when the Meaure V was being debated, she said affordable housing in SM starts at $ 600,000 and that the real estate industry would never let themsevles be devalued.

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    2. Umm... the real estate industry doesn't drive home values, you really need to educate yourself.

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  8. Let me state a truth: The money you earn doing honest work belongs to you; it does not belong to the government.

    Add up all the taxes you pay from property taxes to gasoline taxes, to payroll taxes, to sales tax, to UUT tax, just to name a few, and see what percentage of your income that represents. Be prepared to feel sick. Who is controlling your life?

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    Replies
    1. Freedom isn't free!

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    2. Yeah, but apparently dumbass cliches are.

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  9. If prop 13 were overturned and taxes went up, it still would not be enough, our city employees would spend every cent and still want more, for them there is never enough money

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    Replies
    1. They always want more.

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    2. They're not getting it anymore. Not sure that has quite sunk in, though.

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  10. The person who posted those comments must be associated with the Arcadia Realtors. It takes a special kind of arrogant stupidity to put stuff like that in print.

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    1. realtors as a group are sort of slimy - they were a key part of the foreclosure era by over selling and got away with it

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    2. This is absolutely the work of paid hack.

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  11. If Mr. Hatter of the old and Prop 13 would look at what he is paying, say $6000 in taxes he should wonder what he would be paying if it weren't for Prop 13. You need to read all of Prop 13 and then you would be more thankful. The other side is maybe people of your attitude could not afford to live here and our town would be safe from people like you wanting to tear down what we are working hard to preserve. We have some very unique designs here but once they are tore down that history is lost. Why does anyone especially with no kids need a 6 to 10,000 sq. ft. home. Must be a Look Look what I have, this is the same guy who would wast water I bet.

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  12. 7:08 that would be the same guy who built the home and sold it for profit and moved on, on to at a place with lower taxes.

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  13. This certainly has been a theme lately. Everyone must sacrifice so that the city can raise more tax money. Build McMansions at One Carter. Build them at Mater Dolorosa, too. Raise water rates, raise taxes. Sell small older houses and build McMansions. More money for the city.

    So here is my question. Should it be us who changes, or our City's government? Why does everything that we hold dear have to be ruined for their benefit? Is that worth it?

    No.

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  14. I love the older home styles and the open space, I like the canyon for it's unique designs and mountain feel. Many residents old and new moved to Sierra Madre for the preserved in time feel, can't get that any where near hear. Some people may say Pasadena but just try to travel across town on a busy day, better not be in a hurry.

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    1. well hold onto your hat cause the movement to fill up downtown with condos is still lingering and simmering

      the same "leadership" that once tried to give away the city parking lot next to Howies and build a 3 story paid parking lot for the proposed 55 condos at Howies....that same group is still active in the city - mainly John Buchanan and Rob Stockly, a utility company lawyer and a commercial banker

      when you see realtors endorsing candidates or posting signs in their yards or business, you can be sure that that candidate isn't good for open space and a slow paced lifestyle

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    2. Very true. And the same DIC interests have plans of building Federally subsidized, low-income housing on East Montecito. They want all the seniors to give up their homes and their self autonomy to become welfare dependents and future occupants in an ant hill like apartment building.

      Now they're going to build "Projects" in Sierra Madre. 200 square feet per person. Anyone who believes we have not been taken over by a (Communist, Socialist, Fascist) totalitarian dictatorship, isn't paying attention.

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  15. I don't believe it.Class warfare in Sierra Madre? Those pesky seniors standing in the way of"Progress". May I recommend some classy real estate that is a real bargain in San Bernardino and the Palmdale area.There is land aplenty and for you..the price is right!

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    Replies
    1. you must be a racist, and a sexist, and a pagan. I will call you whatever nasty name I can to completely discredit what you are saying.

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    2. Dear2:47, in 2014 folks can be taken to task for being racist and sexist, but the Constitution of the United States of American guarantees my right to be a pagan. I'm every bit entitled to my rights as are you.

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  16. Great response 7:24!!!!
    Heck no!!!!
    It's not worth it.

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  17. Pitting people of different age groups against each other. Dividing the community for personal profit. How civil!

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    Replies
    1. thats what we deserve when we keep electing those we have elected and are the ones overly active in "look at me" volunteerism which is about networking themselves and/or employers

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  18. The old people that now own their homes are the ones who made Sierra Madre great and the reason why others want to live here.

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  19. With all the old people,and the deaf,dumb,and blind wandering aimlessly throughout downtown it's a miracle nobody is killed by the employed trying to get tho their jobs on time!

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    Replies
    1. I hope you never grow old.

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    2. 8:36. Not really sure what your age is... Very sure that you are an idiot.

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    3. Hatred of old people, and those with disabilties, is a strange form of mental illness.

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    5. Just trying to whip up the base.

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  20. 8:36, if you cared about your job you would leave home on time and would not have to rush through the streets.

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    Replies
    1. 8:36 was just kidding. He has no job.

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  21. I seem to remember Robb Stockley saying he hoped the old people would move or die when he was on council

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    1. good ole Rob, the commerical lending banker that told us the library was closing during the UUT process and before and voted for any and all development he could while on the Council

      pretender

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    2. And now Rob Stockly is old! Wonder if he's changed his tune...

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  22. I checked into what the person who made the comments said, and the city does get roughly 1/3 of property tax revenues. The one plus side to any development is that an increase in that might get the city off of our backs with UUT and further water hikes.

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    1. Lower water rates by increasing consumption? Lower city costs by increasing need for infrastructure and upkeep? I went to a different school.

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    2. Can you imagine how high our water rates would be if everyone consumed as littler water as Council Member Capoccia.?

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  23. there has to be a consumer revolt against the real estate industry, it decided that a couple of realtors should split 6% of your home value for doing what?

    these days, it's easy to market a home and it's not a complicated process, all you need is an real estate attorney

    overpaid for what they actually do

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    Replies
    1. The same could be said about city employees, "way over paid for what they actually do"!

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    2. you don't need an attorney either. All you need is for both sides of the transaction to agree on the terms along with a good escrow officer.

      Real Estate agents are for people that are too busy or too timid to negotiate a contract.

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  24. As I read the three comments in today's Tattler, one thing struck me loud and clear...this is not from a native southern California. The words chosen are stunted and the cliche is slightly misquoted which seems that English is a second language but maybe from a former British colony. The rhythm of the questions are too studied. Not colloquial at all.

    And I have an answer for how I feel about the houses I pass by on my way up Baldwin or Michilinda or across Orange Grove, the Anokia and Singing Woods homes referred to: such a lot of money to pay for a house on a busy street. Owned and lived in by people who have to shelter inside from the noise of the traffic. I see little to no activity in the front yards. Those areas are housing tracts of great expense and not neighborhoods. Anokia for one is a joke: Walled in, back yards to the street. Pity!

    Leave Sierra Madre alone and have at it with your Arcadia grandiose, gargantuan and garish new housing styles. Oh, yes and most particularly keep them off our hillsides.

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  25. What I object to most about the tear down and build em up poster is the sloppy characterization that all slow growth is anti-development.
    "for everyone so against any type of development around here"
    "finds development of any kind deplorable"
    Misses the real point entirely, and sets an insidious little message that preservation hates development. Not true.

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  26. That someone would even think of this:
    "Or does it make your house appear less desirable by comparison?"
    reveals a stunning lack of maturity and depth.

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  27. One question i always had was why can't Sierra madre break from PUSD and join Arcadia? That would be a real bump in home values.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you've asked this question several times before and the answer is.....Arcadia doesn't want us, and the judge that forced us into a school system said we had to go with Pasadena. Pasadena would never let us go now that they spent all that money on the Middle School, even though they tore it down before they had the money to rebuild.

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    2. Actually I'm a new reader here and it's the first time I've posted. So obviously peerhaps there is more than one person with the same question.

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  28. As I recall it was Ruskin who said,"A fool knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Fools are alive and well right here in Sierra Madre.

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  29. It all depends on who you ask. My, my ... does it make your house less desirable by comparison? I believe my house is far more desirable by comparison, but that is if you ask me. If you ask someone who wants to spend $4 million, on a 6,000 sq foot, 7 bedroom, 8 bathroom house, with two kitchens, and no yard or sense of place in the foothills, well, then my house is a shack.

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  30. While Arcadia could not see any particular reason why they would want to absorb students from Sierra Madre, the state of California had a regulation that stopped the transfer: if the moving of a population of students changed the enrollment so that programs (courses such as advanced placement or upper levels of language, math and science) would be underenrolled and have to be cancelled, then the transfer would not be allowed. I was at the hearing both in Pasadena and Arcadia and when I heard this stated I knew the transfer would be denied.

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  31. Development is slowly ruining the San Gabriel Valley. As someone pointed out, try driving across Pasadena at certain times - its bumber to bumber. I moved to Sierra Madre because I like the funky homes here. Granted not all are "funky" but its a nice mix. Drive through certain parts of Arcadia and those home often border on being garish - marble, pillars, statues. Entire neighborhoods look like this. Occassionally, you will see one "hold-out who doesn't want to sell and that home then is located in a tunnel between two McMansions. I think its awful. I welcome everyone with open arms. But if you want to change the community - its businesses and architecture, that's where I have a problem. I think it was Monterey Park where the police said they couldn't read the signs on the businesses and it jeopardized their ability to respond to emergencies. By not having characters in English, those businesses are basically saying we don't want or care about your business. This all happened in a very short time. This same demographic pressure is coming to Sierra Madre because South Pasadena, San Marino, and Arcadia simply do not offer enough homes to meet the deman. It will start with a few non-English characters on the businesses and then it snow balls from there. Again, I don't mind where people come from but the fact is that the people coming now have a different view about what is aesthetic and they often like large homes to accomodate multiple families living in the same home. Unless, you have very tight building codes that limit this, it is inevitable that Sierra Madre will turn into Arcadia. There is only one reason why it hasn't happend yet, its because of the Pasadena school system. That's the straight talk. Ask any realtor about who is buying the homes now. In San Marino, South Pas and Arcadia, its 90% Chinese - not 50%, its 90%. There are simply not enough homes to accomodate the demographic change. That's why Sierra Madre is going to see the same pressures and with it the same cultural difference in what Sierra Madre should like like. While most people like Mary's Market for example, others would want to tear it down as old and obsolete. If 100 homes sell a year and 90% or so are being bought by one ethnic group, you can do the math and calculate how long it takes to see a dramatic change in not only the demographics of a community but also its businesses, architechture, home size etc.... Sorry folks, but that is the reality. Personally, I can adjust to demographic changes, I just want to still be able to recognize the physical town in 20 years that I grew up in.

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    Replies
    1. There was an article in the Star News awhile back about the Casa del Rey restaurant having to close their flagship location in Temple City after having closed their Arcadia location earlier. The poor owner complained about the demographic change and said that nobody is eating Mexican food anymore. Well, I'll predict you have about 20 years left in your Sierra Madre location before you have to close that location down too.

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    2. 20 years? You know what is going to happen in 20 years, oh great seer? Or is that just a rumbling in your lower extremities?

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    3. What does 8:18 have against Mexican food?

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    4. Stupid comment, 8:18.

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    5. Casa del Rey's food is awful beyond words! Certainly does a dis-service to the Mexican food genre. I've eaten at all three locations over the years because I was coerced into it - awful! What it does have going for it is cheerful pleasant staff and a cheerful clean interior.

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    6. Yes! Casa del Rey is the absolute worst! We ate there once, and I said never again. Give me Taco Fiesta anytime!

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