Friday, November 28, 2014

Can Newly Signed Assembly Bill 52 Rescue One Carter?

Remember where you live.
We have written about the following matter several times in the past, and soon newly signed legislation in Sacramento could possibly bring this issue back to the forefront in the fight to save our at risk hillsides from McMansionization. There is today the possibility that the area we living here now know as One Carter might actually have some considerable religious significance to the Tongva and Gabrielino Indian Tribes. People who, as those with even the most cursory education about the history of our fortunate place in God's Great Design must know, occupied this area long before anyone of our own or other imported ethnic complexities ever arrived upon the scene.

Here is how this original inhabitance is briefly noted on the City of Sierra Madre's website under the moniker "Headline History" (link).

Roughly 500 A.D.: Tongva Indians, the original inhabitants of the Los Angeles Basin, arrive from the Mojave area. Their name has been translated to mean “People of the Earth”. Their main language is a Uto-Aztecan Shoshonean tongue, displaying roots in the Aztec empire and ancient Mexico.

1500: About 25 Tongva villages exist in what will become Los Angeles County. The population is about 300-500 people. 

1769: The first Spanish settlers arrive in the region, encountering an estimated 5,000 Tongva living in 31 villages. 

The issue of culturally inappropriate land usage could end up being an important one in the case of One Carter and the CETT incursion. Which, as we all know, is hardly the first of its kind. In a June 29, 2014 post dealing with issues important to this area titled "One Carter: Sierra Madre's Luxury Home Death Trap?" (link) we noted the following:

The One Carter area is also believed by some to be an ancient burial ground of the Tongva and Gabrielino Indian Tribes. Centuries of indigenous peoples may be buried there, and Representatives of this Tribe attended the One Carter hearings in 2005 to protest development at this site.  

Wikipedia, in their article on the Tongva People (link), discusses just such culturally intolerant land use problems in the Los Angeles Basin. Here is a portion of what they have to say on this matter: 

Land use issues - Controversies have arisen in contemporary California related to land use issues and Native American rights, including those of the Tongva. Since the late twentieth century, both the state and the United States governments have improved respect of indigenous rights and tribal sovereignty. The Tongva have challenged local development plans in the courts to protect and preserve some of their sacred grounds. Given the long indigenous history in the area, not all archaeological sites have been identified.

Which happily brings us to the point of today's post. Apparently in the past laws designed to protect Native American sacred grounds in California lacked the true legal potency needed to get that job done. Protection from the kinds of despoliation we could be soon be seeing at One Carter being a potentially grim example.

Fortunately for those of us in Sierra Madre concerned with preserving and protecting our hillsides, those days could soon be coming to an end. This from the legal services website Lexology (link).

Assembly Bill 52 to expand CEQA’s scope and impose new consultation requirements: On September 25, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 52, which expands the reach of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by requiring the lead agency on a proposed project to consult with any California Native American tribes affiliated with the geographic area. Further, the legislation creates a broad new category of environmental resources, “tribal cultural resources,” which must be considered under CEQA.

Prior to this legislation, tribal cultural resources were encompassed in CEQA’s categories for “historical” and “archaeological” resources. AB 52 creates a distinct category for tribal cultural resources, requiring a lead agency to not only consider the resource’s scientific and historical value, but also whether it is culturally important to a California Native American tribe. The bill defines tribal cultural resources as “sites, features, places, cultural landscapes, sacred places, and objects with cultural value to a California Native American tribe” that are included in or determined to be eligible for inclusion in the California Register of Historical Resources or the local register of historical resources. The definition also includes resources “determined by the lead agency, in its discretion and supported by substantial evidence, to be significant” pursuant to the criteria for listing in the state register. A “cultural landscape” may be a tribal cultural resource if it meets the above criteria and is “geographically defined in terms of the size and scope of the landscape.”

AB 52 also sets up an expanded consultation process. Beginning July 1, 2015, lead agencies are required to provide notice of proposed projects to any tribe traditionally and culturally affiliated with the geographic area. If, within 30 days, a tribe requests consultation, the consultation process must begin before the lead agency can release a draft EIR, negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration. Consultation with the tribe may include discussion of the type of review necessary, the significance of tribal cultural resources, the significance of the project’s impacts on the tribal cultural resources, and alternatives and mitigation measures recommended by the tribe. The consultation process will be deemed concluded when either (a) the parties agree to mitigation measures or (b) any party concludes, after a good faith effort, that an agreement cannot be reached. Any mitigation measures agreed to by the tribe and lead agency must be recommended for inclusion in the environmental document.

If a tribe does not request consultation, or otherwise assist in identifying mitigation measures during the consultation process, a lead agency may still consider mitigation measures if the agency determines that a project will cause a substantial adverse change to a tribal cultural resource.

I would hope that the City Council will add this to the list of relevant considerations in their continued negotiations with CETT regarding the fate of One Carter and the issue of McMansionization.

Perhaps in a pinch City Hall could consider becoming just such a "lead agency?"

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34 comments:

  1. We as a city always seem very concerned about what Sacramento wants us to do. I think we need to take AB 52 very seriously.

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  2. I'd be very surprised if that area wasn't important to the tribes - it has its own water.

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    1. Stonehouse has its own water too.
      People would live close to where they could make wells.

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  3. Isn't Mayor Harabedian a big supporter of Native American rights? He should be all over this one.

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    1. At one point, Indigenous Peoples' Rights were front and center in his academic career, yeah?

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    2. It is the perfect marriage of Indian rights and Sacramento politics.

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  4. GET REAL... YOUR SIERRA MADRE EMPLOYEES, YOU KNOW, THE ONE(S) WHO YOU ELECTED OVER SAW THE APPROVAL OF CALIFORNIA SUBDIVISION LAWS, the property was graded and all offsite improvements were Made, Now it is time for more new homes. Good going city manager and city council!....

    OH BUY THE WAY, how are our water wells infrastructure coming along?
    It appears that we forget to use the water enterprises money to improve those wells, which has now lead to Arcadia selling Sierra Madre water to Arcadias residents for $1.00 a water unit!. Good going city management!

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    1. Something that slow growth opponents always seem to forget is that we are also property owners, and therefore have rights. If people can determine how much in taxes they are going to pay, they can also decide how the community where they own property should be planned. If you wish to do away with the UUT altogether, yet believe outside developers financed with foreign capital have the right to trample the rights of people who have owned property here for years, then you are contradicting yourself and should not be taken seriously.

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    2. Small point 8:38 am, Sierra Madre Employees are NOT elected - they are hired; Elected officials oversee (or are supposed to anyway) the hiring as well as actions of the employees.

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    3. You are right, property owners have rights! The Chinese's bought the foreclosed subdivision which the city of sierra madre approved! move aside and let them build which complies with the outdated general plan!

      Speaking about UUT taxes 1) as the women council members have pointed out!. City employees receive 74 - 80% of the total cities income, There fore there is not enough monies to go around to fix & repair the cities infrastructure. There fore lets make wise decisions and reduce employment and use the salaries - wagers - health benefits to replace the broken infrastructure. We need our water wells repaired - Arcadia has shown everyone there is water in the ground, and we need to pump it! Remember, it has been a promise to the residents for the past 20 years!

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  5. Does anyone have the minutes from the Tongva testimony at the 2005 One carter hearings?

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    1. No minutes, but I remember he said to the council "Don't do it." Like hundreds of others did.

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    2. The tribal chief needs to be notified and come to the next meeting.

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  6. If Adele's supersized wikiup is built and it's found to not be compatible with the Tonga and Gabrielions interests, will the developers sue the City for allowing the development to be built?

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  7. With the massive demographic shift that has come to the San Gabriel Valley just like the wave of covered wagons that headed west into Indian lands, we should form an alliance with the Tongva tribe and fight back to preserve our way of life. Now I know what the Indians felt like when all they wanted was to enjoy their life and hunt buffalo.

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    1. Interesting point. Yes, we certainly do have something in common.

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    2. Yup, we now know what it feels like to to have a certain way of life turned upside down with older homes razed to the ground in favor of marble pillared, lion-statued McMansions. Even our language is going away.

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    3. And who is impeding your right to enjoy your way of life? Self serving hypocrites.

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    4. Even your language is going away? Say wha? In the United States people have the right to speak however they want.

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  8. There is only one thing right now standing in front of One Carter and that's Denise Delmar who is on the subcommittee to make recommendations for changes to the design to reduce mass. We can't count on Goss who was going to just move the top floor a few inches from over the garage and was then ready to approve the project right than and there. Denise is our only hope. If I had to pick one council member who was going to be our only hope, Denise would be at the top of the list.

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  9. The American Native Indians have been slaughter, driven out of their own lands, lied to, starved, driven into poverty and are the poorest of any group in the USA. It would be a gift to this one group of Native Americans to finally give back what we took away for nothing but greed.

    Thank you John for your research on AB52. However, it is scarry to think how long it would take to implement and enact this law.

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    1. The Indians did get a raw deal. The least we can do is not pave over their ancient burial grounds.

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    2. The land should never have been allowed to be developed in the first place. What a mistake.

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    3. 1:06: if it is a burial ground, the Indians would not build on it. And, no, we don't own it. But the people who do should respect any rights the Indians have as well as the neighborhood they're trying to occupy.

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    4. An awareness center of the history and importance of that site would be nice. Very educational for the many school children in town. The library's involvement would be a plus as well.

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    5. 11:09...pack all your crap up too, because all of Sierra Madre was their land, not just 1 Carter, ignorant fools.

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    6. Actually they occupied the entire Los Angeles basin. But if you go first I'm sure 7 million will follow.

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  10. And would they be allowed to build homes on the property and then sell them for profit, and if it's deemed sovereign land then the city has zero say in design, otherwise you want to give them the land, of which you don't own, and not allow them to do anything with it, all this only to serve your wants and desires, outrageous.

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    1. Fiddlesticks, Watchman. Taxpayers can determine how their community is planned. Maybe we should put the UUT back on the ballot and pass it. Just to watch your little peanut head explode.

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  11. I have the business card of Anthony Morales, Chairperson of the Gabrileno/Tongva Tribal Council, PO Box 693, San Gabriel, CA 91778 (626) 286-1632. I brought him up to Lizzys Trail Inn to look at the grinding bowls when John W. Robinson was writing his latest book Old Mount Wilson Trail in 2001. There is a photo graph of these bowls in the book, page 11, noted to have been found in LIttle Santa Anita Canyon. I am out of town for a few days, can someone contact him?

    Record showing this association has to be in the written transcript for the orginal EIR for Maranantha. The research needs to get underway.

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  12. Thank You! Most of this is leagalized BS. There should be NO building on the sides of Mt Wilson. PERIOD.. ...... stand up Sierra Madre for the residencdes...............and tell;; tell them to get thir Attornes, and smile.

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  13. Humm. What if they wanna open a casino on their land? Could be a problem,be careful what you wish for.

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    1. I'd take a classy casino over 29 doofus McMansions any day. Think how it would help our downtown businesses.

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  14. http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jun/20/opinion/op-gibson20

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