|Red roof or blue?|
Since this could be the first of 23 houses built by this rather mysterious and unimaginative developer, and given the sensitivity of the proposed location for this prosaic jumbo double decker (not including that famous basement), it makes sense that our community should take the utmost care when considering this wilding wickiup.
Remember, Arcadia's McMansion blight did not happen all in a day. But once it got rolling it took out almost all of that entire city, with often hostile overseas capital today dominating its nearly vanished sense of community and pride. If you think about it, the disease that devoured our downhill neighbor likely started with something very much like the near City Hall sanctioned architectural ebola now under consideration for 610 Baldwin Court. A viral contagion that many here justifiably fear could then spread throughout the entire community should it first be allowed to infect the hillsides.
Large amounts of foreign money badly in need of real estate laundering, coupled with that society's boorish addiction to ostentatious displays of its tainted wealth (often obtained through a ruthless exploitation of abundant dirt cheap labor), is a dangerous and noxious mix. You need to be aware.
Here is how this important date is revealed by the City Manager in this week's edition of her report to the City Council. It can be found in its original setting on the City of Sierra Madre website (click).
This is, of course, big news for our community. The prospect of stopping all of it here and now is important for many in this town. The politics are just as interesting. No member of this City Council would ever want to be known as one of the handful of people responsible for the McMansionization of Sierra Madre. And yet should they vote to approve this project on the 25th, that could very well be their unhappy fate. For a couple of them this will be no easy evening.
For the record, the two Councilmembers who voted to review this project are Denise Delmar and John Capoccia. They need to be commended. Rachelle Arizmendi is precluded from voting on this matter due to her home being located too close to this One Carter project. So she gets our sympathy instead.
Mayor John Harabedian and Councilmember Gene Goss are both keeping their lips uncharacteristically zipped, at least for the time being. Since in the end this will likely be put to a four person vote, that bears watching. A tie goes to the developer. You might want to drop those two a line and ask them what's up.
More exciting news from the City Manager's Report
With the dissolution of the department formerly known as Development Services, so goes its staff. Danny Castro's last day was Friday, and he is presumably now off to Saucy-lito.
And now another member of that occasionally controversial conclave for the non-obstruction of construction has also hit the road, Jack. And he ain't coming back no more, either.
But do you know what? That is all a load of baloney. In my opinion this is all very good news. If we are going to rebuild the once aggressively pro-development Development Services Department into something more slow growth and preservationist, we're not going to do it with the same old tired faces. It takes more than just changing titles on name plates to save a city.
We need to hire people whose views are more in line with what the community wants to see here. And we certainly need individuals who are cognizant of the need to consult the General Plan before approving things like the twin terrors on Camillo Road.
Real change sometimes means bringing in new people with new ideas. Hopefully this is just a start.
Can you take even more good news?
Be still my troubled heart. Nobody liked the hours City Hall had been keeping lately. And the City Council has now compelled staff to pry open those automatic doors earlier, and let our people in. Here it is, cut and pasted from the City News section of the City of Sierra Madre's website (click).
All that and it rained last night.