Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fox 11 News LA: Burbank McMansion Backlash

(Link to this video clip by clicking here)
(Mod: I thought this was a pretty interesting news clip from Fox 11 News LA, which ran last October. Burbank was in the process of acceding to the McMansion invasion, and the people living there got pretty irate about it. The Los Angeles version of Fox local news got wind of this, and the result is this little televised joint. I've included below the verbiage from their on-line post about it, which you can link to here. What it describes is something that could happen here quite easily should the City Council and Planning Commission cave in to the demands of certain developers. Which, in the opinions of some here, they already have.)

Burbank McMansion Backlash: Put a six bedroom, five bath, mansion, next to a 1940's three bed, one bath.  Sound a little mismatched?

A group of Burbank residents think so, and they're urging Burbank officials to regulate "McMansions" from defacing the character of their neighborhoods.

Resident Billie Jo Walsh says,  "when we moved here in 1994 it was a very small little community, small homes, mostly one story."

Her dutch colonial home has been carefully remodeled to stay in line with the character of the neighborhood.

Right across the street from her, a historic house was demolished, oak trees were uprooted, all to make way for three huge six bedroom mansions, two sit empty for months at a time and are up for rent.

Walsh says, "for us, having two big huge hotel type homes on a block across the street from us with renters coming and going all the time it just a little bit weird."

That's one reason why a group of residents formed Preserve Burbank, to push Burbank city officials to come up with tougher regulations to prevent the so-called mansionization of the neighborhood.

So more modest homes, aren't dwarfed by multi story houses built from lot line to lot line.

Greg Rehner of Preserve Burbank says, "what we're looking for is a more contextual approach to building, we're not looking to say we don't want people to be able to create their dream home but what we are asking them to do is to is to be smarter about their renovations, be smarter about how they want to build new construction, in a neighborhood that has already had an established design built over the last century."

Mansionization is not only an issue in Burbank, LA city started tackling in 2008 and so far officials say the regulations are working, for example the wedding cake approach staggers the floors in multi level structures to avoid a big box look to a neighborhood, and to keep open lines of sight for other homes.

LA City Planner, Michael Logrande, says, "the way we looked at it is not a once size fits all but catered to each neighborhood and their own individual themes like some areas have bigger lots that can support bigger homes other areas have historic context they want to preserve"

Right now Burbank officials are surveying residents to figure out what guidelines would best work for their community. The survey will run through the end of the year. Then the process begins to establish how they want to define the character of their neighborhoods, eventually those guidelines will be sent to the city council for a vote.

(Mod: Preserve Burbank, along with the City of Burbank, conducted something called a "Visual Preference Survey." The results are quite interesting, and can be found here. It would be interesting if something similar was conducted here in Sierra Madre. I am sure residents would enjoy participating. Below is are two examples of the kinds of results they got in Burbank.)

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

42 comments:

  1. Those are some of the ugliest houses I've ever seen! They don't appear to be well made or kept up nicely. Survey is a good idea, but in this city, it would take years the way city hall drags it's feet. Not to mention it would cost thousands because, god forbid, they should hand someone a decent camera and do the whole thing themselves. Maybe a group of volunteers could do it. We've been making the soccer tournament rounds lately. Everywhere you go in California the developer has changed the hillsides. Traffic in Orange County is an abomination. The west side is as bad. San Diego is terrible. It's just going to get worse when money is involved. Kind of like a drug cartel.

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    1. It is like a cartel, isn't it? We should start calling it the devreal cartel (development.realty industry)

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    2. Like any true cartel, they have important city officials in their pockets.

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    3. We need to get rid of those officials.

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    4. yeah but the realtors are happy

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    5. 71 houses on sale in Sierra Madre right now. Soo-eeeeee!!

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  2. I can think of a number of houses that would make good pictures for a survey like this. That yellow thing on upper Grove being an example.

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    1. My favorite awful example right now is the squeezed in, how-did-they-get-that-by-the-planning-commision on Lima, 1/2 a block north of Highland, east side of the street.

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    2. Yes, 7:55, that yellow thing on north Grove, turrets and all, is a great example.

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    3. Maybe the planning commission needs pictures and survey results like this. Especially Commissioner Pevsner, who seems to believe he possesses special knowledge.

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    4. If the house is under 4,000 feet it doesn't have to go to the planning commission - so you can squeeze 3,999 feet on a lot intended for 2,000 feet maximum, and no one can stop it. Right?

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    5. Pevsner has repeatedly defended big houses. He even said he wishes he could build one. Arcadia might suit him more than Sierra Madre.

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    6. Ugh. Then why does he live here?

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    7. When he was a child nobody liked him. He wanted to recapture that feeling.

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    8. Made in China for those coming from China, you idiots keep buying Chinese made goods so you are all to blame so shut up.

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  3. The residents of Sierra Madre have spoken loudly and clearly about this issue. Check out the survey results of the General Plan. Perhaps to avoid any wiggle room, there should be pictures.

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    1. A picture is worth a thousand words. And everyone has their favorite example of a "how the holy heck did that happen" house. It would be very involving for people.

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  4. That one in the picture at the top looks like a Rose Hills mausoleum.

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    1. Excellent call.
      http://www.rosehills.com/en-us/property/private-mausoleums.page

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  5. One of the worst offenders ever in town is on Camillo Road, on the block north of Grandview. Big hulking monsters that overwhelm the houses around it. Another building site that seems impossible in Sierra Madre, but isn't.
    We should get together our own rogues gallery.

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  6. Hey Tattler, how about calling for people to send you pictures of the worst offenders?

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    Replies
    1. Yes! The Tattler could post them here and we could vote on them.

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    2. Go for it, john.

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  7. A little off topic, but this is the Tattler …

    DMV records contradict Central Basin director Art Chacon’s claim
    COMMERCE >> Despite DMV records that say he hasn’t been able to legally drive a car since 2003 Art Chacon, a member of the Central Basin Municipal Water District board of directors, continues to claim that he has a valid driver’s license and continues to collect a $597 monthly car allowance from the district.

    Board members voted 3-2 in March to censure Chacon for his lack of a license and for his insistence upon collecting an allowance and mileage, but the board has taken no action to stop the payments. As a result Chacon has been paid an additional $2,388 by the district.
    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/government-and-politics/20140816/dmv-records-contradict-central-basin-director-art-chacons-claim

    Water districts are run by dirtbags.

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  8. That second picture looks like a planned Stonegate house except without the driveway in front. Check out all of those monster houses on Santa Anita between Baldwin and Grandview.

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  9. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20140817/fast-moving-brush-fire-burning-in-canyon-above-glendora

    fire above Glendora

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    Replies
    1. Again!! Same thing yesterday..........

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  10. Can see the smoke coming over the mountain now to the NE...........not good

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  11. L.A. County and Cal Fire are on it. They have an army up there. Some idiot is setting these things. There have a number of them now. This one is the biggest yet.

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    1. Damn arsonists. I guess they are already damned, but damn them anyway.

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    2. Time to bring back frontier justice. Hang him from a burning tree.

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    3. It has a name. The Tecolote Fire. Does anyone know how these names are chosen?

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  12. Is it really worth the overtime these overpaid firefighters are getting along with there plush retirement packages to put this fire out?

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    1. Prisoners work cheaper and run faster.

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    2. Yes 5:47, it is worth it, unless other people - such as yourself - want to do it for less.
      That said, we need pension reform in governmental jobs.

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    3. I'll do it for $40.00 an hour cash

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    4. You have no idea what it is like to work a mountain fire. It is worth every penny to have our firefighters out there for us. I know of several homes that have been saved because of these guys. You should thank them every time you see them. The $40.00 per hour blogger would quit after one fire --- a firefighter's grandma.

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    5. Most people would kill for $40 an hour.

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  13. Gimme a red hat and a big red truck and a siren...............

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  14. You see how there is more than 0% of respondents saying that those (horrible crimes against concrete) McDumps look "really nice?" That who the builder is thinking of...

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