It is within your purview and authority to implement a building moratorium and a water service connection moratorium.
There is a precedent right here in our own city for a building moratorium. Such a moratorium was put into place regarding building and remodeling in the Canyon until the Canyon Zone Committee, then in process, was completed. Folks with projects in the world may not have liked it much, but they understood the need as a common good.
You do not have the necessary tool yet to make decisions regarding building developments whether it be lot splits, housing developments, building configurations or zoning because the General Plan update has not been approved and implemented. This is by no fault of the General Plan Steering Committee. They along with many volunteers did what they were asked to do, but an intended 18 month process somehow turned into 5 years, and it is still on the Strategic Plan as everyone can see.
Resources, particularly water, but not to the exclusion of police and fire, traffic, access and circulation, noise, open space, recreational facilities and wildlife considerations, also cannot support additional development.
The City will never meet the RHNA requirements imposed by SCAG unless those requirements are mandated to be met within the proposed development.
The time frame of a 2 year moratorium is more than ample to approve the plan as the people have articulated their vision of the community looking out 20 years. It is sufficient time to develop a Growth Management Ordinance encompassing the use and availability of resources including water. This ordinance would become a part of the General Plan just as the Hillside Ordinance and Canyon Zone Ordinance are.
SCAG will continue to assign RHNA numbers despite the fact that they have no data to support the fact that this housing is necessary as assigned. If you ask how many housing units have been built to satisfy RHNA numbers in the region - they can't tell you. I know because I have asked that question many times at the HCD meetings. The answer is they are not as concerned with outcomes as they are "process."
The General Plan is the ultimate trump card. It provides substantiation for our "built out" definition, our stewardship of the watershed above us and our use and availability of resources. It is the most important tool in the arsenal to keep Sierra Madre the way it is. Which is what each of you promised to do when you campaigned for office.
A building moratorium will facilitate the process of completing the General Plan as the people wrote it.
You need no better reason.
What - No Real Estate Tax Increases?
(Mod: During the Measure UUT imbroglio last April the point was made on this blog that rapidly rising home prices would greatly enhance the amount of money being pumped into City Hall through increased property taxes. UUT lovers snorted loudly with derision. Here is an example of why they were so wrong.)