Massive development, under the aegis of three supposedly disparate McMansion development projects, are magically coming together at just about the exact same time. Extending across the base of the foothills that are a signature vista of our community, these McMansion developments will extend all the way from Michellinda Boulevard to Santa Anita Boulevard. And we're talking about upwards of 6,000 square foot behemoths that will loom above the rest of us. Towering monuments to nouveau riche arriviste excess, all built with absolutely no regard whatsoever for the community that will be figuratively and literally beneath them. For them Sierra Madre will be a drive through on the way to something far more important.
The word is that some of these enclaves could possibly be gated communities. Like Anokia is to Arcadia, once built you will be permanently denied the right to enter a portion of your town. You will have been deemed unworthy of being in the presence of the great McMansion dwellers living within the borders of what had once been your community. You lack value. And should you attempt to enter those grounds without permission, the SMPD will be notified by the attending guards, you will be removed, and chances are remanded to the pokey in Pasadena. Consider it a Zero Tolerance for Townies policy.
In other words, you could very well become a second class citizen in your own town.
And just to bring the elephant out into the open, a lot of the money that is generating the move to a Stonehouse - Stonegate - Mater Dolorosa McMansion Axis is of far eastern origin. We're talking about overseas capital in the millions upon millions of dollars, complete with lawyers, public relations experts, specialty Realtors, marketers, developers and whatever other hired personnel is needed to take over a significant portion of a community and turn it into something that has never been seen here before. That being private and exclusive enclaves for the very rich, people who will definitely want to have very little to do with you.
Where does City Hall stand on all of this? By and large they love it. Having lost their Measure UUT initiative in the last election, they need to find new ways to generate cash so they can make up for the loss. As you know, our city government is the home of the $36,000 dollar health plan, the highest in California. For them the old gravy train has come to a halt, and they're looking for a new one to hop on. The development impact fees and increased property taxes produced by these multi-million dollar home enclaves would be just the ticket for them.
And what about your elected officials? I think it is safe to say that both Mayor John Harabedian and Mayor Pro Tem John Capoccia will not lift a finger to stop any of this. Both apparently love the idea, and outside of the usual vague lip service have yet to speak out in any way against any of these projects. Like City Hall, they are not that interested in what it is you might want. They don't even want to have the conversation. Big money is coming to town, and they can't sell us out fast enough.
The only people who can save this city and stop the madness are the residents. It is going to be a very big job. The last time something like this happened was when a small group of greedy individuals attempted to turn our downtown into something that would have destroyed the character of our community and left us with something few ever wanted to see there. The solution was called Measure V, and the vehicle was the ballot.
Are you ready to do that again? It might be the last opportunity you'll ever get.