Thursday, May 1, 2014

Something That Any Potential Developer of the Mater Dolorosa Properties May Wish to Carefully Consider


It has now been just about nine years since one of the most inept City Councils this city ever hatched made one of its worst decisions. That being to allow a woefully under-financed and incompetent developer to destroy one of the last true wilderness areas within the borders of Sierra Madre. Done without coming anywhere near to achieving the stated aim of building houses there.

Now, almost nine years later, there has still not been one house built at One Carter. Not a single solitary structure has gone up on that site. None. Hundreds of old growth trees were cut, a pristine wilderness area repeatedly bulldozed and scraped to the point where nearly nothing will grow there, and millions upon millions of dollars were squandered on lawsuits and nonsense, and lost forever. Yet still nothing has ever been built there.

One Carter stands as quiet testimony to perhaps the single worst decision ever made by a body of elected officials in the history of this town.

This decision by the 2004 City Council was made despite the opposition of the hundreds of Sierra Madre residents that packed City Hall meeting after meeting to show their opposition to allowing a so-called developer the right to build on the One Carter site. Something the developer in question proved himself incapable of doing. Beyond tree removal nothing was ever accomplished.

And nothing has been accomplished there since, though some have tried. Little was ever approved for One Carter, and not much is getting approved now.

The current developer has repeatedly seen his various designs and plans shot down by the Planning Commission. Nothing that would produce the kinds of profits necessary to justify building on those very expensive lots ever gets approved, and nothing that our City's zoning laws would allow make the effort financially worthwhile.

As is usually the case in Sierra Madre, the people were right, and their elected officials wrong. A strange dynamic that has never been fully explained. We have a history of electing the wrong people, and then fighting them tooth and nail once they're in office.

What any potential developers of the Mater Dolorosa site must realize is that they will face an extraordinary amount of opposition from the people living in this town. They might get our current City Council to betray its constituents. It wouldn't be the first time. I can easily count three votes on the sellout side.

These Councilmembers would basically be the same people who supported raising utility taxes here, a dubious effort that has now failed twice. So why would such people pass up on the development impact fees a Mater Dolorosa development would bring? After all, they do have important political constituents that need to have their $36,000 a year health care plans funded.

But there is no guarantee the process that follows will lead to any kind of success. And the same community forces that have left One Carter the flyblown ecological disaster the 2004 City Council gave us will be brought to bear on anything attempted at Mater Dolorosa.

At the very least it will cost you years of precious time and millions of dollars to get your plans approved. That is, if they are ever approved at all. We're not making any promises here.

You'd really be much better off investing your money elsewhere.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

152 comments:

  1. And you thought Sierra Madre had it bad?

    This topic as now been moved up to another level, the court room this is where Athens Services will be spending most of it' time lately answering charges of political corruption and other illegal activities. The city of Rosemead's city council had dubbed Athens Services " politically toxic." don't let this happen to your city either.

    SGVtribune 04/30/2014 Conflict of interest lawsuit against three ex Montebello council members can go to trial, court rules. This involves Athens Services and it's parent company. It's all over a $150 million dollar trash hauling contract.

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  2. Our City council gave Athens a 25 year contract now we have no leverage on them

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  3. The president of our Chamber of Commerce is from Athens. He is also the president of two other Chambers.

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    1. yeah, he gives a rip about Bean Town

      a trash dude how appropriate

      but he is a step up from Susan

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    2. He also was a reserve deputy LASD stirped of his uniform by Baca for campaigning for Tonaka

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  4. Mater Dolorosa is another one of those developments that is going to be a long drawn out fight. It shouldn't be built on. Mater Dolorosa should wait and see what ideas shake out now that people know about it. They tried to keep it a secret for so long that nobody had a chance to explore all the possible ideas.

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    1. One Carter was the result of a failure of leadership. God knows, the citizens tried their best on that one.

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    2. That city council folded up like a cheap suitcase. They said it was avoid lawsuits. The developer then turned around and sued us, and often. That was his real business plan. That city council was too stupid to see that coming.

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    3. but we had one of the best utility compny lawyers in America on the Council

      and a commerical banker

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    4. That commercial banker, Rob Stockly, worked for a bank that had a financial relationship with the developer. Never recused himself.
      And who could forget Michael Colantuouno? He announced with utmost confidence that "We would prevail in court" defending the Hillside Management Zone, forcing a more modest development with fewer houses. The council decided not to hear that, as well as the then planning commission's recommendation that the terrible lot division, created by, greed be rejected.

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    5. Rob was also running around town saying the library was going to close during the Measure V days - turned out to be a snake amongst us

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    6. If they do manage to get permission to build something, it will be interesting to see if they choose a local realtor. If they do, they will be complicit in this and should be a pariah in the community. Hit'em where it hurts - in the pocketbook.

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    7. Thanks to the Tattler for publishing the latest news. Star News and Sierra Madre Weekly have also done stories. The one paper conspicuously absent with coverage seems to be the Mountain Views News. Thank goodness we have many sources to rely on.

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  5. I think the biggest challenge for any developer is going to be if the neighbors and walkers gained prescriptive easements that cross over alot of the open space. Then the developer is going to have spent alot of time and money for nothing. The neighbors need to hire a good lawyer to pretect their interests.

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    1. about prescriptive easements. once the houses are built, can't the public walk on the streets of the project?

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    2. What does that have to do with anything?

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    3. I have lived just south of the meadow for 55 years,as a child I played in the area freely, 20-50 citizens walked the area at the southern end of their property daily for all 55 years no signs no fences an easement is created.

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    4. Our community is being destroyed to fund the retirements of a handful of people? This rings true how?

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    5. I'm all for helping to fund the retirements for aging priests but there has to be a better way than selling off land that will be gone forever. The economy seems to be improving, why can't they do a sustained campaign for this purpose. Didn't they have something on Mater Dolorosa's website for this very purpose?

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    6. The priests should have the moral courage to say that we don't want to sell off this precious land to fund our own selfish retirements. Let's raise the money another way.

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    7. I wonder what the donors to Mater Dolorsa feel about all of this. Do they feel betrayed? I bet alot of people made donations because its such a beautiful property and they wanted to see it preserved.

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    8. it will be like anokia, gated 3 million dollar mcmansions

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    9. Will the gates be bigger than the eye of a needle?

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    10. When the 30 pieces of silver are gone, then what? I think its just a matter of time before the retreat center itself will be on the auction block particularly if Mr. Thornton and the rest of the Board up at Mater Dolorosa stay in charge.....and if they can find a way to profit from it.

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    11. They shouldn't just sell off part of the property, they should sell of the whole property and be done with it. There has to be some religious organization out there that see's the value of owning whole property and putting it to good use. Maybe that Vandanta society or whatever they are called. They have some beautiful properties with some beautiful grounds. Any why aren't they selling off some of their properties or is it only the Passionists who seem to be having this problem.

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    12. Maybe the "Passionists" are not passionate enough to realize that their true purpose and mission is not to look out for their own retirements but to serve the greater good and not their own selfish interests.

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    13. I think they are selling for another reason than for "aging priests" and to "further their mission". What about their mission right here. Every parish around California comes to that place for various reasons. We saw the crowds for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. That will only increase. If anything, they should be looking for ways to expand their holdings or at the very least, expand the landscaped area for retreatants.

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    14. The developers's strategy will be to try to exploit schisms within the community, pull in useful idiots to support the development and try to pick off the opposition. Be careful everyone.

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    15. That's right 6:09. These developers are going to have their systems and ways to counter the opposition. It will be another David vs. Goliath but I'm betting on David.

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    16. Why doesn't someone come up with an idea acceptable to Mater Dolorosa?

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    17. I wish the Passionists would stay true to their real mission to serve Jesus and the Gospel and not their own retirements.

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    18. They're tuned into the same station the public employee unions are, WII-FM, What's In It For Me. I don't have any real problem with development of that southern lot, but I do object to the incentive and provocation behind it.

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  6. The one thing the city council should do if they want to preserve this town is declare a building moratorium until the water crises if figured out. Why should the existing residents have to ration their water or get the yellow, smelly water from the Metropolitan Water District just so the developer and Mater Dolorosa can make a big profit?

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    1. I agree. Let's freeze everthing and then have a community discussion as to whether we want our town to turn into Arcadia with McMansions replacing older homes. Most people moved to Sierra Madre because of the quaintness and funkiness of the architecture. Do we want to keep that or not?

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    2. Google the article about what San Marino has now woken up to realize. Beautiful older homes built in the 1900's are being torn down right and left. That's the future for Sierra Madre if we don't do something now.

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    3. Speaking of a water crisis, why was all that water flooding on Grove Street this morning? Mod, do ya know anything? blub, blub!

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    4. The planning commission is going to be the first line of defense. At least they are made up of Sierra Madre residents unlike the Board of Directors of Mater Dolorosa.

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    5. I think the retreat center was changing the water in their clandestine Hot Tub 1:19

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    6. Maybe we can get them to use gray water at least.

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  7. History will not judge the 2004 city council well. They might have had their reasons for deciding as they did on One Carter? But now? None of that survives the smell test. They sold out their city.

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    1. That city council should go down in infamy and has. Its good to remind people about what they did so the same sell-out can be avoided at Mater Dolorosa.

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  8. It appears that the only thing driving this project is greed and short-sightedness. The Huntington Library went through some difficult financial times over the years. Their Board of Directors could have sold off some of their "excess" land and made a quick profit. Instead, they retained all their land and now the beautiul Chinese Gardens are being completed for everyone to enjoy. You need visionaries on the Board of Directors. Mater Dolorosa's Board is stacked with development-oriented people who probably stand to personally profit from the sale of this land. Its a travesty.

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  9. The land has to be sold to pay off on legal judgements for the sins of the Priests. We all pay the price.

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    1. 7:39 Please state your proof or with draw your statement.

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    2. Are you saying 9:00 that the Passionist Order has not been affected by the dispicable behavior of pedophile priests who have preyed on the most innocent among us and then tried to cover it up. You expect us to trust them now when it comes to a housing project. Get real.

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    3. 101 Priests in the United States accused of sexual abuse listed under "A" alone
      http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-A.html

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    4. Sex Abuse Cost The U.S. Catholic Church Nearly $3 Billion According To Report By Bishops Conference

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    5. There are obviously some great and godly priests out there. I can think of Father Bruno, Brother John and Father Alan to name a few. They all need to promote harmony and peace. Why upset everyone for the almight dollar?

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    6. They could really create some great public relations by reaching out to the community before they sign a contract with a developer and see if there are any other ideas out there for the land. The Coalition to Preserve Mater Dolorosa and Stop the Housing Project would probably be the first ones to admit they don't have all the answers. They should have a few community forums and explore some options before they slam a housing project down everyone's throats. As one example, it would be a great place for community events and its right next door to Bailey Park.

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    7. Just like with anything else, a few bad priests spoiled the reputation of everyone else. Now they have an opportunity to do something good and work with the community to come up with an alternative to a housing development that nobody wants.

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    8. I wish I had a ton of money, so I could just buy the Mater Delarosa retreat and land, keep exactly the way it is, kick out those amoral greedy rude morons who manage the place there and just live there all by myself, have all that land with peace and quiet for the rest of my life...just live alone and rattle about the grounds like some crazy hermit! xD

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    9. i like this "crazy hermit". I bet she'd let us walk on the grounds.

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    10. How about turning the whole place into some spa or commune or something like Esalen that they have in Big Sur. That would be a great use for the property. Grow organic food, have seminars and retreats up there. Isn't that what we need in the San Gabriel Valley. Not wreck this beautiful property to build forty or sixty homes or whatever the heck they are planning to do up there.

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    11. Vatican defrocked nearly 900 priests in last decade
      05/07/14 08:29 AM—UPDATED 05/07/14 08:30 AM
      http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/nearly-900-priests-defrocked-vatican-says

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  10. Mater Dolorosa has not been good neighbors for quite awhile now. They used to be a real part of the community when they had the annual Fiesta's and other events and the grounds were open. Now you can't even get in there any more. You can always walk the grounds at the Sierra Retreat in Malibu and that retreat center of the nuns up in Santa Barbara. I guess they have a different concept of what their mission is. Here, the present group only cares about their own "retirements" and taking care of their "aging" priests. The Passionists had a successful fundraising campaign for that purpose recently. Was that all just a lie? Where did that money go?

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    1. They used to be good neighbors when Father Pat was around. This new bunch doesn't care about the neighbors any more or the wider community for that matter. They have dollar signs in their eyes.

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    2. if Mater Dolorosa were smart they would form a committee of residents who along with them try to figure out a solution....and do this before they sign a contract with a developer. The idea is to explore all viable solutions together. Once they have done that, then everyone can say they tried their best.

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  11. The City is only going to care about the development fees. The planning commission and the city council are going to have to rise to the occasion. Because Mater Dolorosa evidently turned down a 10-15 million dollar proposal from those who wanted to keep the open space, it means that the housing project has to be large and dense to get the kind of money they are seeking.

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    1. According to the new information from the Planning Department they are estimating 60 houses will be built plus many at the old Howies site. Those are the numbers that City Hall is trying to push into the General Plan tonight.

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    2. City Hall is not a friend to the people of Sierra Madre. They are a fund raising organization for their own pensions and benefits. The true definition of a parasite.

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    3. If its 60 houses, that is a very dense development. This is where the greed comes in. All Mater Dolorosa wants is the most money possible. The developer wants the most money possible and then gets out of town leaving us to deal with the water shortage, traffic congestion, and making Sunnyside and some other street a highway.

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    4. 7:58 - The Downtown Investors Club never has to wait until 11AM to get their business done at City Hall.

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    5. If its 60 houses, you are are talking about a huge development. The noise and trucks and dust is going to be a nightmare for the neighbors as well as Mater Dolorosa itself. Then we are left with the bad feelings, congestion, strain on water supplies, displaced wildlife etc... I'd call that another successful development project.

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    6. City Hall is going to behave the way all city halls do. They want more revenue. Danny Castro as Director of Development or whatever his title is, needs to have more development in order to have a job. I would much rather that the taxpayers pay someone to be the Director of Preservation.

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    7. Preservation is up to the people - if they care enough about it.

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    8. 60 houses is a huge number. The people on Sunnyside and Grove/Carter or Crestvale or going to be in for a shock in terms of the traffic that ends up there. Let alone, the lengthy construction project.

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    9. City Hall has gotten very cozy with Mater Dolorosa over the years Danny Castro is in bed with them and will be with the developer. We will get no help from the city on this. To the contrary, the city and Danny Castro are going to do everything possible to promote this development and ram it down our throats. Another question: Does Danny Castro live in town or the City Manager? These folks always switch jobs on a dime if they get a better offer somewhere. We need people who are loyal to Sierra Madre.

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    10. 40 or 60 homes are really going to strain our water resources no matter what they to to mitigate things. The connection to the MWD is going from a "temporary" emergency measure to a permanent connection. Higher water rates and inferior water. Whose looking out for us?

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    11. No, the city manager, Elaine Aguilar, doesn't live in S.M. and claims that she can't afford to (on her $147k salary plus benefits package).

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  12. I hear on the horizon is a win win deal coming out of Mater Dolorosa.

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    1. Will it come in a flying sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer?

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    2. As long as Mater Dolorsa and the Developer want to maximize their profit which is their goal in the first place, there can be no win-win solution.

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    3. There is a win-win solution out there somewhere if only there is enough time to figure it out. Unfortunately, they are now rushing towards a housing project.

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    4. You can't have a win-win unless both sides want it. Mater Dolorosa has in mind a zero sum game. One side wins and the other loses.

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  13. We can only pray.

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    1. In the end it is up to us to save their souls.

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    2. This whole thing is a sad commentary on the state of religion in America today. Mater Delorosa Retreat Center is being true to its name. It is on the retreat and their won't be any way to go back. The land is symbolic of a bigger picture. Other leaders and other Boards were able to keep the propoerty intact since 1924. How were they able to do it and these folks can't?

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    3. This will all leave a bad taste in the mouths of people visiting there. I heard one person say they will never go back there again because they want to remember the property the way it was.

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  14. Fr. Pat Brennan (the former director of Mater Dolorosa) was a fine man and loved his monastery and the land. He was a good neighbor and a good steward of Gods earth that was in his care.For that he was "reassigned" and the present regime lead by Higgins,a coward,traitor to his flock and corporate puppet that works for Thornton's machine out of Chicago. I wish someone that loved and followed the teachings of Jesus our Lord like Pat was still my neighbor.

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    1. That's right 9:12. I can't imagine that Father Pat would be able to stomach what is now happening. No one who enjoyed that property over the years as you make that long beautiful drive past the deer and coyotes could ever possiblly want to see it sold. That's why they had to bring in new people like Father HIggens and a Board of Directors that only wants to line their own pockets. Its no coicidence that Father Pat was shipped away. The old group would have fought their hearts out to preserve the property. They wouldn't have been looking out for their own selfish retirements like this group.

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    2. Brother Joe is"'turning over in his grave"

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    3. Anyone who has been up there, feels deeply about that property. If you read the testimonials on www.stopmonasteryhousingproject.com you will know how people feel about that property. It is sacred land whether you are religious or an atheist, there is something there that you don't find anywhere else in our urban environment. Granted the property is not as accessible now, but some of us remember the good old days when we could take a nice early morning or early evening walking on that property. It was an oasis, a refuge, a place to get away from it all.

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    4. I heard that when the news was broken to the staff up there, that everybody was very upset. There's one guy - I think his name is Charles - who is devoted to that property. I can't imagine he is happy about this.

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    5. The only people who aren't upset are those at City Hall who want the additional revenue and Father Higgens who replaced Father Pat and has no ties or sentiment about this property.

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  15. Why can't the Fathers sell only the property their retreat stands on, and let that be developed into homes, the rest of the grounds, that they want to sell off for OVER development made into a park? Why can't they do that?

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  16. Just looked at a developement services report saying 60 house can be built at Mater Delorosa. 60 how's that for our water supply and traffic?
    It sure will keep money rolling into city hall!

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    1. Who says 60 homes can be built up there? No one has the authority to say that yet.

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    2. I think it's a phony number. That way they can build 50 homes and claim they compromised.

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    3. Please come to the Planning Commission meeting tonight - that is what they will be discussing. Our Planning Commission is good, but City Hall will try to muddy the facts, as they always do.

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    4. Developers will always ask for more then they expect to get so they appear reasonable for having "compromised" to a lower number.

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    5. Unfortunately, once the contract is signed with the developer, Mater Dolorosa is out of the picture. Then we wrangle with an out of town developer with deep pockets who only cares about the bottom line.

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  17. Sierra Madre is controlled by crime families.

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  18. Fr. Pat left just in time, think people why do you think he left? Higgins is the fall guy in this mess.
    I have a few points to share:
    1. The Sierra Madre earthquake fault is a few feet behind the Retreat Center
    2. The cemetery bugs me!
    3. No one on the Board lives in Sierra Madre
    4. Since there are so few priests left, they may be selling the land so their legacy lives on...?
    5.Trust me there are very few of them left!
    Do they still have their water wells? The majority of their water comes from their own wells. (or it used to)

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    1. He left because he was ordered to you are correct he wanted no part of this.He is at the mercy of his superiors.
      They still have their own well but over the last 10 years it has been dry by May this year no water has been produced

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    2. As 11:00 says, no one on the Board is from Sierra Madre - that is a problem. Who's looking our for Sierra Madre. The community has been good neigbors to them since 1924. They should be good neighbors now and consider the needs of the community. If they have water wells, they shouldn't be able to take water away that could be used to replenish the water wells that the City has always relied on. No private entity is allowed to do that. 11:00 is also right about the earthquake issue. I'm not sure if you can build near an earthquake fault. We know one is there because that's what destroyed the original Monastery.

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    3. Father Pat would never have allowed this to happen. He would have found a better solution.

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    4. I wonder what the folks at St. Rita's feel about all of this. There must be some kinship they feel about having access to that beautiful place so close to their location.

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  19. God will save us.

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  20. I am not anonymous (but couldn't figure out the other profiles). My name is Linda McManus and I live right across the arroyo from the monastery, and have walked down Oak Crest, across Carter and across the bottom part of the monastery land many times. Like others, I detest the idea of developing the last of the open space in Sierra Madre. Sierra Madre has already started to become another Arcadia, it’s already had property subdivided and large houses built on small lots.

    I’ve often heard “It’s their property; they can do with it what they want.” Except that’s not true. Zoning requirements regulate the type and amount of construction – and they can stop over-development. The acres of Mater Dolorosa are zoned “institutional,” this would seem to mean that the City Council would have to change the zoning to “residential.” Zoning map: http://www.cityofsierramadre.com/about-sierra-madre/maps.

    But greed is typical of city councils, of developers, and of some land owners. Vote them out of office, put up a stop the monastery housing project sign http://www.stopmonasteryhousingproject.com/ , write letters. Call the Mater Dolorosa Monastery at 626-355-7188, Archbishop Gomez at 213-637-7534 and Father Donald Webber at 773-631-6336. Share with them what the Monastery has meant to you.

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    1. Thank you for posting Linda. You convinced my family to oppose this ill conceived plan.

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    2. Excellent post. Thank you.
      The bad news is that a city council can change anything, any zoning, on a whim. It's a power that needs to be removed from 5 people and taken to a city-wide vote.

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    3. If everyone speaks up like Linda McManus, the land can be preserved. There has to be a solution out there somewhere. There is no more vacant land like this anywhere in Sierra Madre or even the San Gabriel Valley. How many cities get a chance to preserve their open space. If that can somehow be done, it would not only be a great thing for the city but also it would be wonderful for Mater Dolorosa too. I'm not talking about ball fields or stadiums or things like that up there. I'm talking about a walking area as it was before. I'm talking about maintaining the willdlife that live there and pass through there like the hawks, coyotes, deer bears and even mountain lions. I'm talking about the solitude and the beauty. We are losing that acre by acre. Those on the Board and the Passionists over in Chicago should pray on this decision and ask God or the better angels of their nature, what is best. If they do that, the answer has to be to wait and not be rash about this decision. Work with the community, work with the Coalition, work with the neighbors, work with the Catholics who came out in mass on the recent Good Friday. Work with the environmentalists and animal lovers. NO ONE WANTS ANOTHER HOUSING PROJECT UP THERE.

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    4. We need more people to have the courage of their convictions like the Linda McManus's of the world. If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything. If there is one issue that can unite Sierra Madre, it seems like this is it. Forget about the UUT divide and other issues that have divided Sierra Madre. Certainly everyone can come together on this one.

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    5. I just posted - COME TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING TONIGHT - 7 PM - DON'T JUST RANT AND RAVE ON THE TATTLER. You CAN make a difference, but only if YOU act!

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    6. It is funny that a couple of post said how great for Ms McManus to have posted about courage of their convictions and then used Anonymous

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    7. Anonymous as wellMay 1, 2014 at 7:46 PM

      Anonymous posting allows people to speak their minds without fear of any repercussions. This idea originally stems from the Measure V election where people were personally threatened and property destroyed. I would much prefer that people speak their minds rather than making an ID check a requirement to post.

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  21. 9:00am check out the "clergy files at the la archdiocese" web site

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  22. 11:30 Bro. Joe was great!

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    1. He was a saint I grew up with him as a mentor as did my brother and sisters.Breakfast almost every Sunday at the Monastery kitchen, walks in Baily and the gardens, parents had him over for dinner often. He was a very positive role model in my life.Loved his Jesus and his wine.

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    2. Those were the good old days. With everything changing so fast, why can't Mater Dolorsa return to its former days? It will take good people with different value than what we see influencing things now.

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  23. 10:04 The Retreat Center has had a Board of Directors for over 25 years...

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  24. Come to the planning commission meeting tonight and let them know that Mater Dolorosa should not be on the list of possible build out sites since it is not yet rezoned as residential. Until that happens, a housing tract can not be built there. There has not been a hearing about rezoning that property so they are putting the cart before the horse on this one.

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    1. I didn't think there was a proposal on the table yet. What could the planning commission be discussing tonight that has anything to do with Mater Dolorosa. If you know anything, alert the Preserve Mater Dolorosa and Stop the Housing Project website because they seem to be the main ones sending out emails to supporters.
      Their website is www.stopmonasteryhousingproject.com and their email address is savemonastery@gmail.com

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    2. On the agenda is a General Plan Review Update is an item to be reviewed which does, indeed have a bearing on Mater Dolorosa. At the request of the City Council, the Planning Commission is reviewing the Proposed Buildout Analysis. Members of the old City Council thought the numbers were too low and asked that Danny come up with some higher numbers. Included in that report is the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center of 18-22 acres. Potential # of lots: 60. Potential # of new dwelling Units: 60. Under Notes it says: Property owner has expressed interest in rezoning portion of property with intent to subdivide into residential lots.I believe the stop the housing committee is aware of this agenda item.

      Also included in this report is 23,025 of additional square feet of floor area at Taylor's Market site for potential development. (original estimate was 5,962 sq. ft.)

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    3. It does seem to be premature to include Mater Dolorsa in the build-out analysis. They have to change the zoning first. Once again, the city is trying to move this forward for the developer. Danny Castro should be on the side of the residents who are paying his salary.

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  25. Any Councilmember who votes to rezone the monastery should face a recall.

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  26. I agree Enough is enough. We need to:

    TAKE BACK SIERRA MADRE

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  27. We can't allow what happened to One Carter in 2005 to happen to Mater Dolorosa in 2014.

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  28. Its been nice to hear some stories about the old days at Mater Dolorosa. If anyone has any others, let us hear them.

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  29. Mark my words, the housing project up at Mater Dolorosa is not only going to be 3 times as big as One Carter, it will be 3 times as bad in terms of what it does to our City.

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  30. I hope the developer does their homework and knows what they are in for. They may think that with money and influence that they can roll right over the opposition. They will have another thing coming.

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  31. The problem for Mater Dolorosa is that they will be putting their reputation and image in the hands of a developer whose only aim is to maximize their profit. I'd say that's a little risky.

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  32. Thats one heck of a project that Battleship Kensington has turned into. Pretty big project, right up the blvd. sidewalk.
    I can just imagine what the Mater Dolorosa project would turn into. All this building is out of control! We don't have a problem with owners wanting to remodel their current "old" homes. But when we see the MurSol's of this world coming in to convert us into Arcadia, and knock down beautiful and useful homes, to build McMansions, it boils our blood. And we have lived in town for over 40 years, never seen so many greedy bastards !!!

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    1. Never vote Yes on a city ballot question. Be it Measure V, taxes or a chicken ordinance, what you eventually get is never at all like what they promised.

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    2. Good advise. We never have!

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    3. I was dismayed, but not surprised, when by the Kensington this week, and saw that the view of the mountains is obliterated.

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    4. The only consolation is that it obliterates the view from City Hall. Its going to be like passing through a tunnel.

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    5. The view from City Hall has always been like passing through a tunnel - so to speak.

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    6. Now they are definitely in the dark.

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    7. @ 3:15 pm

      Measure V was an initiative brought forth by the people of Sierra Madre. Besides the residential element, what is your problem with Measure V?


      It was because of Measure V that the developers had to go to the voters to get approval for going over height and density limitations set forth in Measure V.

      If you don't like the ALF, it's not because of Measure V, it's because a majority of voters approved of the ALF.

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  33. I hope the leaders that be at the Passionists will pause things for awhile and listen to what the people are saying. Isn't there some way to have a win win win for everyone.

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  34. I think the coalitions proposal to pay a substantial sum for the property at Mater Dolorosa is worth revisiting. Can the City step up in some way?

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    1. Maybe the City can supplement the Coalition's offer. The whole package needs to be brought before the residents of course.

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  35. Mater Dolorosa should hold an information meeting on the property and invite the citizens of Sierra Madre to voice their opinions.

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  36. Why doesn't the City just work out a deal with Passionists and buy the land as an expansion of Bailey Park. How often does a piece of land like this become available? It's a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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  37. Darn Old Dan.

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  38. Providing a sanctuary for animals in Sierra Madre is a good thing. My question is are these homeless animals?

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  39. Can't buy Mater Delorosa still paying off water bonds!

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  40. I think we can if its important to us enough. How often does a chance like this come along. Let's not compound the water bond mistake with another mistake. What city has a once in a lifetime opportunity to significantly expand their park land.

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  41. If the taxpayers' money is used wisely, we could figure out a way to buy the land and preserve the open space.

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  42. Katherine Blanchard has no idea. I am not as surprised as others.

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  43. That headline "Betrayed" says it all. Our representatives did not listen to the people who elected them. I don't think this City Council will make the same mistake. I think we can count on Delmar, Arizmendi and Goss to do the right thing. Harbedian is a lost cause and will only support things that could further his own political ambitions. In the state of California that would cause him to ingratiate himself with the public employee unions. Capoccia is a wild card. He has changed since he got on the council so you don't know how he will come down.

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  44. It"s Kathleen....

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  45. The Coalition isn't going to pay for one damn thing, it's you and me that will be paying, or more specifically, you. You won't get one red cent from me to purchase this private property, you want it, you buy it.

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    1. The Coalition can only come up with proposals and doesn't presume to speak for all the residents of Sierra Madre. While the Coalition has broad support even outside of Sierra Madre, its apparent that most of its support comes from within Sierra Madre. That is probably do to the fact that the closer you are to that land, the more you appreciate it and want to preserve it. The proposal from the Coalition for a parcel tax would have to be voted on by the citizens of Sierra Madre and if people feel as 10:10 does then it doesn't get passed - very simple and very fair. However, there seems to be enough support to give it a try if Mater Dolorosa were to give the community the opportunity. At least the Coalition is making the effort. If 10:10 has any better ideas, let's hear them. If 10:10 thinks that another housing project is a good thing, we respect that view. That's the beauty about America.

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    2. When are going to find out who the members of this alleged coalition are?

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    3. They are training in Yemen with al Qaeda. Fortunately the Arcadia Realtor Militia will ride to the rescue behind the dashing, though balding, General Chip Ahlswede.

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  46. I wish that I was really rich and could just BUY the Mater Delrosa retreat, I'd live on it and keep it exactly the way it is. Let the wild creatures roam on it (except for any rattlesnakes, I'd buy some King Snakes from a farm and release them on the grounds to keep the rattlers and rodents away), and occasionally rent out the place for tv/film crews (but maintain consideration for my neighbors, i.e. make sure that the tv/film crews don't make too much noise or operate too late).

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    Replies
    1. Here's hoping that 10:35 wins the lottery.

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  47. This blog has taken a serious turn for the worse and has become a North Korean style, censored flounder of a news site. I posted a comment last night in support of some development in this town, and surprise, surprise, it never appeared. I can no longer trust the Tattler as a reliable source of information. Sorry J.C. Will spread the word.

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    Replies
    1. Don't let the door hit you on yr big butt on the way out!

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