Saturday, August 30, 2014

Unhappy Details About The Camillo Road Project Have Now Begun To Emerge

Creative Design Associates: Deep Valley Cheese
Mod: As we have said before, there are no secrets in Sierra Madre. Just things that the readers of this blog haven't gotten around to uncovering yet. Yesterday I received the following e-mail from a good friend of The Tattler, and she pretty much knocked this one clear out of the park.

John - Did some research on Camillo monstrosity. The address is 319 Camillo. It is owned by 319 Camillo, LLC (link). That LLC's main partner is Scott Yang, president of the Figure 8 Group. He is an architect and developer. He is also a partner in Creative Design Associates. These can be Googled. 

I e-mailed Danny today for info on these houses but received no reply. If I get one at all, it won't be until next week. I went by the houses yesterday and tonight. There is no way these houses are 55 percent of the lot size. I have not looked up to see what or how many feet the house should be from the property line. But I will. 

Also, they look bigger than 4000 sq. ft. So if it didn't go to the Planning Commission who is responsible for these ugly things? Does Danny have that authority? Who does? Hope this of interest and hope you are well and somewhat rested.  

There is some information about both the "Figure 8 Group" and "Creative Design Associates" on-line. While both make high claims for their special contributions to the causes of fine architectural design and civilization in general, neither entity seems all that remarkable. They appear to be pretty much made up of run-of-the-mill real estate hustlers, people who take whatever they can get.

Here is how Mr. Yang's F8G explains itself, and in what can only be described as halting English (link).


I think Batman used to wear a streets cape. I am also not certain that whatever it is they have hatched over on Camillo Road can be described as housing for "the working class." Or even Duty Man Housing, to use that hopeless term City Hall employs.

Rather it looks to me like a "who did it and ran" project, designed with one purpose only. To line somebody's pockets, and quickly. Presumably Scott Yang's pockets.

There is a smidgen of biographical information about Scott "The Mang" Yang on the Creative Design Associates website (link). It is pretty standard boilerplate stuff. Not that we should anticipate too much depth from this guy, or from the folks he is associated with, either. It doesn't seem that these are especially philosophical or artistic-minded people, and I doubt they would ever see the need to spend time thinking of interesting things to say to us.


For the record, I could find no LA Times article on-line dealing with anything involving Scott Yang and "Palos Verde" (sic). I did have marginally better luck with Nevis Homes, which turns out to be yet another LLC. But they do have a partially enabled, though rather generic looking, website. Sadly, it comes with no enlightening attachments. It also has very few words. Here it is (link):


As you can see by the pictures of the not quite so fabulous Nevis Homes designs in the background, these are of a purely plonked together cheese box design and made up of stacked generic parts, each of which appear to have been lifted straight from the pages of the Big Golden Book of Trite Architectural Cliche'. The 2009 edition.

So this brings us all the way back around to our friend's revelatory e-mail. Do the Terrible Twins of Camillo Road comply with Sierra Madre's applicable building standards and ordinances? Do they cover less than 55% of the available lot space? Are these two lost doggies less than 4,000 square feet each?

Would anyone we pay to keep track of this stuff even know?

And, to throw in my other two cents, where was the City of Sierra Madre staff when all this was first going down? Did anyone from City Hall get into one of those fine cars we pay for and drive over to Camillo Road to take a real time look-see?

Did they ever even leave their building? Except, of course, to go back to the towns where they actually live?

Something doesn't look right here. And I'm not just talking about 319 Camillo Road. We need to demand some answers.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. City Hall didn't seem to notice the Cong's building just across the street either. "Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge"

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    1. City Hall folks didn't have to leave the building to see the Cong 2 story building, they just had to look out the window at City Hall!

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    2. it's either incompetence at City Hall, somebody is being paid to look the other way or City Hall just doesn't care and think it's all a joke

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    3. The staff at City Hall simply doesn't care. Their only concern is the collection of development fees, not code enforcement!

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    4. City Staff is funding their pensions and some of the most expensive employee health plans in the country. They want the development impact fees and don't give a damn how they get them. It is called corruption and we really do need to clean house.

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    5. This is so sad.
      There are replies here suggesting bribery and incompetence by those who are paid so handsomely to take care of our town. And fellow Tattlers do not refute the charges thereby tacitly acknowledging that both charges are probably true. And I certainly agree with the other comment about harassing property owners about trivial code issues.
      But what really bothers me is there is neither a call for evidence of bribery ,nor a call to action if Tattlers are so confident it occurs. It just seems like mud-slinging by curmudgeons hiding behind the anonymity of Tattlers skirts.
      Of course the opaque and foot-dragging response by Castro simply feeds this unpleasantness.
      I doubt any of these sordid issues will change until we change City management .Start at the top?

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    6. So how would you explain it?

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    7. I hope there are code violations, and that the project has to be stopped and modified - but I fear it is far more likely that loopholes were found and exploited. It's the city documents that fail.

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    8. Maybe they had one of those special before 11AM meetings at the Loophole Lounge.

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    9. Did Yang design the Kensington?

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  2. Those 319 Camillo Road things should be red tagged.

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    1. After reading the original Tatter article, I did a "drive -by". One has to see the construction to get the full perspective on this property. It is far worse than the photograph reveals.
      One could imagine that the house fell from the sky like in the Wizard of Oz, missed the mark and almost landed on Camillo. I suspect that the wicked witch of the West (or should I say East) is pinned under that monstrosity. It's outrageous!

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    2. be nice to see a 6.5 earthquake isolated to the Camillo address only

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    3. we have a code enforcement office who badgers residents and doesn't notice this?

      this reeks

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    4. I wish they could be red-tagged too, but if they meet the requirements, that is not going to happen. It's 2 lots, 2 ugly structures, probably just within an inch of codes. We need to change the codes.

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  3. Yang lives in a Mcmansion in Arcadia. No surprise there.

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    1. That reminds me. When does peacock season begin?

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    3. The peacocks are being driven away and sometimes killed.

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  4. it's all over. welcome to north arcadia.

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

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    2. It's OK. We're going to red tag those McMonsters and bulldoze them.

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    3. You mean "tall man?"

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  5. The houses could be 3,999 square feet each, and avoid the Planning Commission that way.

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  6. Either they no the building code so well or city hall, being there ever helpful self aided them. Take a drive through arcadia the weekend. Count the number of houses being built. Even the peacock area has tear downs. One. By one the beautiful old home below us are being torn down for the more is better homes. Who can afford a million dollar plus home and tear it down? Where does that kind of money come from?



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    1. I know someone in the escrow business who has told me the money is in cash and it comes from China.

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  7. On my way to drive by Camillo st. Last night, again, I noticed not much done on the sewer system. Looking at camillo again, maybe the house, a house of that design would fit into sierra madre somewhere. But the sheer bulk and size of two houses is a bit much. No privacy at all. We need to keep an aye on the tear down up the street on Camillo.

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  8. I get that since the property was actually two properties of record and didn't need variances it skirted the safety net we thought was in place, but what about inspections? Nothing in the code dismisses the need for inspections at each phase of the construction. Where is WilDan? Are their various permits posted? Do people just arrive with excavators and build with impunity? This project seems a likely candidate for a good old fashioned red tagging.

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    1. I am there right now and there is no way these are under 4,000 square feet. They are immense. And they take up at least 70% of the lots. This is BS beyond belief. People in this neighborhood are pissed off.

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  9. Real estate investment has been driven by money from China, as you know. That program has just run out of allocations for the first time, and will shut down until October, due to the volume of visas granted for investment. EB-5 awards visas to immigrants who invest $500,000 to $1 million in a U.S. business. Applicants who can prove that their investment has created at least 10 jobs get permanent green cards.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0830-chinese-visas-20140830-story.html

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    1. I don't understand why China is letting so much money leave the country. Neither do the Chinese folks I've talked to in the SGV Chinese business centers. But I did find this: China's $50,000-a-year limit on moving capital out presented a problem for him. He says he got around the restriction by recruiting friends to move chunks of his money under their own names. Real-estate agents in China say that is a common practice that is largely tolerated by authorities.

      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443507204578020272862374326

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    2. Thank Bill Clinton. The $1M investment "price" for a green card was his idea.

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  10. Developers know how to get around the rules.You can bet that those houses are 3,999 sq. ft.

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    1. Depends who is measuring. If city hall let's the developer dictate what the sizes are, then yeah. They're 3,999 square feet.

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  11. Scott Yang & Figure 8 & anybody else connected to this thing are cowards. Where's their sign?

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  12. I have a feeling, like many homes in arcadia, these houses already have buyers. They never are for sale like regular houses. No realty signs or standard listings.

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    1. Yeah, but if the builders were proud of their work, they would put up signage announcing who they are. These people are sneaks.

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  13. Yang has absolutely no taste in architecture. Are all of his clients unsophisticated boobs?

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  14. There is another one going up a few doors north at 363 Camillo. A different group. We really have been asleep.

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  15. Using Los Angeles County Assessor's Office website, I looked up these two two parcels. They are 180 feet deep. One is 50 ft wide the other, 43.70 ft wide. 9000 sq ft and 7200 sq ft . So the real problem there is the total sq footage of these two McBoxes and the lot coverage AND the slow moving Planning commission to adopt the second story building envelope that would have moved the looming second story away from the north and south neighbors and from these two houses own common lot line. If this was to have been a north Arcadia monster you wonder why they didn't join the lots. Across the street a gigantic faux Victoriana went in 20 years ago on a huge lot!

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  16. I think a trip to City Hall by the Tattler to examine the architectural plans, available lot space and square footage would have answered any questions about the Camillo project. Yet that doesn't seem to be the case here. So rather than a review of Mr. Yang's architectural style perhaps some more solid reporting is required.

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    1. Actually the ONLY reporting on this story was done by The Tattler. And honestly, ascertaining that the Yangster's atrociously offensive and clumsy designs might narrowly fit within some misguided ordinance or two here was never my concern. Nor, if true, would that justify anything. Except, of course, to someone as cheap as you.

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    2. Thank you, Mr. Yang, for your contribution to the conversation. The issue is your lack of sensitivity to the surrounding community as well as the foothill environment. But never fear; before the Tattler is finished with the atrocities you have the temerity to build in our neighborhood we'll address much more than your lack of architectural style.

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    3. I suppose you are replying to me. I live exactly six doors up the street and the around the corner from the property in question. So unless Mr. Yang has lived in Sierra Madre since 1953, went to Sierra Mesa Elementary School, PHS, played Sierra Madre Little League/Pony/Colt for 10 years and had Mert Waite smack him on the head once for being to loud on the school bus, you've made the wrong assumptions. I have no opinion on Mr. Yang's architectural style, but more than likely agree with your assessment. My point is simple: It's easy to take cheap shots, but wouldn't it be better to just go down to the Planning Department and ask the questions you asked here, and then report on those answers? Really, it's not asking a lot since you're the one doing the ONLY reporting.

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    4. Um, no. I am not paid for doing this, I take no advertising, so I basically do what it is I feel like doing. I really don't feel I owe anybody anything. Even you. If you don't like this blog, go read something else. Please. Besides, I have a full-time day job and City Hall is not open to the public during hours people who actually work for a living can get there. However, I did check the city's website and found nothing about this. Complete blank. Can you explain that? Also, since you live so near to the place, why is it you have not found out about whatever it is you are looking for yourself? Does it trouble you that nobody from the city bothered to lift a finger to inform you about this project? And that the only thing you can find to do about it is complain about a messenger who has not given you the service you feel you are somehow entitled to? I did not grow up in Sierra Madre, but I will tell you something that bothered me about the place when I lived there. It is the strange sense of entitlement some of those living there for a long time seem to have. I'm not here to do things for you that you should be doing for yourself. Get off your ass and do it yourself.

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    5. Looks like Mert hit that longtime Sierra Madrean on the head one time too many.

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    6. There are some elephants in 11:46's parade. Pink ones.

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  17. Cut your losses and declare bankruptcy, Figure 8 and Mr. Yang. You aren't wanted in Sierra Madre. Abandon this project and never return!

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