Thursday, November 20, 2014

So Just How Wrong Is It Really To Demolish Monrovia?

There goes the neighborhood.
(Mod: Living next to Arcadia has presented certain challenges to Sierra Madre. And certainly next Tuesday's City Council confab will be a next big test in our struggle to hold back the rapacious tide of the crass and the tasteless and their money mad McMansion assault on our little slice of God's great gift. But are we the only city living in the shadows of the Big Awful to experience such pressures? Apparently not. According to the Beacon Media family of weekly newspapers, which includes the locally significant Sierra Madre Weekly, the big issue in Monrovia is home demolition. A practice that a lot of the people living there would really like to see stop. To read this Nov. 17 article in its original setting, click here.)

Monrovia City Council to Consider Moratorium on Demolitions at Meeting - Before a packed Council Chambers, the Monrovia City Council agreed to place “putting a moratorium on demolition permits” on their next agenda. City staff advised the council that no action could be taken on the matter at the current Tuesday meeting and that the earliest action could be taken was at the next meeting. The issue was discussed under Council reports and was done as a part of the report of Council Member Tom Adams.

Adams initially called for a moratorium of six months, and during the course of comments from the public and the discussion by the council, other time periods—even as long as a year—were also mentioned. The council members each expressed interest in maintaining the character of the community.

There were two major areas of concern noted by those speaking in favor of the moratorium: stopping the demolition of homes built prior to 1940, and maintaining the character of various neighborhoods and the community as a whole.

There were several suggestions as to how best to do this. The one cited by many (including the city staff) was the completion of the Historic Survey of Homes, which was last worked on in 2004. Craig Jimenez, the Planning Division Manager, said that the information the city currently has is “more of a database” than an actual survey.

Several members from the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group (MOHPG) suggested using volunteers from that group to do some of the labor on completing the survey. Gloria Crudgington, a member of MOPHG and a Community Services Commissioner, noted that in these tight economic times, “public/private partnership is the way to go.”

Other suggestions made including “working harder” to ensure that the style and size of proposed new homes be in keeping with the neighborhood. Coulter Wynn, who spoke in support of a moratorium, suggested that the city institute style guidelines and give incentive points for styles in keeping with a neighborhood with extra points awarded for not building the largest house theoretically possible.

Several others spoke out against the influx of larger new houses, relating stories of the corruption of their own neighborhoods. The general tenor of the comments was in favor of saving the older single-family homes.

There were some who pointed out the problems with the suggestions made.

Among them was Russell Page who identified himself as a recently retired developer. He noted that, “Just saying ‘Don’t buy our houses’ won’t work. The market is starting to boil.” He suggested having professional architects come in to review the homes in the city and designated the ones which should be saved.

Another gentleman who identified himself as one who rehabilitates homes said that he had purchased a home in Monrovia in order to “rehab” it and that a moratorium would leave him in financial difficulties. Council Member Becky Shevlin also noted that in preserving the past, we did not want to stifle the city’s economy.

By general agreement, the staff will bring back an ordinance to the city council for their approval at the next council meeting. In his closing remarks on the issue, Adams said that although he as the council member who raised the question of putting a stop on the demolition of houses, the entire council was equally dedicated to preserving the character of the city.

(Mod: Maybe that would be a solution to our problems here in Sierra Madre. City Hall's famously busy factotums could issue all the infill permits in the world, but always with the proviso that it would be illegal to take down anything already standing, and on any piece of property. Could be worth a shot … The Beacon Media family of fine weekly publications has published the following letter on the Monrovia situation as well. In case you haven't seen it yet, here it is.)

Dear Editor: Mansions in the Crosshairs
The recent, local uproar regarding newly built, oversized homes and the resulting impact on vintage neighborhoods is not an issue limited to this city. Communities across the country are reacting, mostly negatively, to the proliferation of so-called “McMansions” for a very straightforward reason – they simply do not fit into the nearby areas.

That the problem seems to be growing in Monrovia is particularly disturbing, given that in order to construct a new home, one must be torn down. (Vacant land here is non-existent.) Because of the high density of pre-1940s houses within the town, that usually entails the demolition of a vintage home. This alteration of the urban landscape can have profound effects, from changing property values to limiting the creation of new businesses.

Monrovia is at a crossroads. It can choose to ignore the immediate crisis and assume a “business as usual” posture. As a consequence of that inaction, houses that do not qualify as “potential landmarks” will continue to be relegated to the not worthy pile, ignoring their role as contributors to a potential historic district and to the overall character of the community as a whole. Or Monrovia can make some difficult decisions to reconcile the issue of property rights versus preservation that is at the heart of the matter.

We have been given an inheritance – the architectural heritage of the community. We have the privilege of enjoying it while we are here and a responsibility to leave it better than how we found it after we have left. I sincerely hope we fulfill that obligation.

Jim Wigeon
President - Monrovia Historic Preservation Group

(Mod: I guess there is some consolation that we aren't the only city in the area under assault from the McMansionistas. Our turn for a big decision comes next Tuesday.)

Is Feudalism making a comeback in Washington DC?

(Mod: Sorry, I'm kind of at a loss for words about this. Link here.)

Congressman suggests moat around White House - Faced with an increasing number of White House intrusions that led to the resignation of a Secret Service director, a congressman on Wednesday suggested that maybe a moat should be erected around the president’s home.

The suggestion was made by Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. With hand gestures, Cohen suggested a moat roughly six-feet wide may be “attractive” and “effective.”

Joseph Clancy, the acting director of the Secret Service, didn’t dismiss the suggestion out of hand. “Sir, it may be,” he said. Clancy said the Secret Service and the National Park Service were discussing ways to ensure security along with access to the White House for the American people.

Clancy said the agencies were discussing possibilities such as higher fence that they want to still be appealing to the eye. He said the agencies hoped to be able to reveal some artist renderings of what they are going to propose soon.

“This guy got further into the White House than some of my Republican colleagues have ever gotten,” Cohen said to laughs.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. Serf's up!
    ~ Murph

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  2. I will support a moat only if they put hungry alligators in it.

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    1. The IRS doesn't like competition

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    2. What if they put IRS agents in the moat?

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    3. A moat works perfectly with an Imperial President.

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    4. Will there be a sailboat?

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  3. What's wrong with coils of barbed wire, snarling dogs on chains and sniper towers? Isn't that how they do it in the other banana republics?

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  4. Nice juxtaposition of issues today. Bulldozing middle class homes and a moat around the White House. Buh bye America!

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  5. Yes, it's feudal to resist the fundamental transformation taking place.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sharpening my pitchfork.

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  6. Monrovia has a right to say what can or cannot be built. The moratorium is a good start, but they have to make stricter zoning laws. It's a numbers game. Require larger set backs, second story angle stuff, and something we should really figure out too - how much house on how much land. Make it the law. The plague can be stopped in any community that takes legal action to stop it. We all know Arcadia is terminal and won't recover, but we can, and Monrovia can too.

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    1. What's with all the helicopters? flying low but not over mountains.

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    2. Chopper Opera.

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    3. It's been going on for a long time too

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    4. Lower gas prices are having an effect.

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    5. Arcadia is gone. Imagine if you had the house you grew up in bulldozed to the ground. You lose your heritage. Other cities are waking up. Its nice to know we are not alone but I don't wish McMansions on anybody.

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  7. Hust be a bear or something horrible and dangerous like that.

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  8. A bear(s) on Grand View, right near the old fire station, north of the street, just east of the settling ponds. There were multiple police cars, an office out directing traffic, lots of folks parked and watching, and of course the helicopter.

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    1. Damn it.
      Notify neighbors when there's a bear around, but not the police - unless you want to ratchet up the danger.

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    2. They should just leave the bears alone. I get them all the time where I live. It is no big deal. They're a lot easier to get along with than some of the neighbors I've had.

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    3. No bear ever told me to cut my lawn.

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    4. Time to get rid of the bearsNovember 20, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Our bears are 300+ pound omivores. The city has declared them dangerous. They are, despite their cuddly appearance and usually calm disposition. For example, on 9/22/14 a sweet black bear killed a Rutgers student who was out for a hike.

      Many have become what the Canadians call "problem bears" There is very large bear that is literally going from house to house on Carter on a regular basis looking for food. I fear he will eat one of the kid or one of our frail senior citizens who arn't fast enough to get away. It is not enough for the city, county and dog catchers to declare them dangerous and do nothing. The problem bear needs to be traquilized and removed, which is precisley what the Canadians do.

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    5. Why did you buy a house in a place that you consider so dangerous?

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    6. I am far more worried about problem people.

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    7. I think we should send you to Canada 10;47

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    8. At the city Council meeting last week there were people from fish and game . forestry , and pasadena humane
      they were asked about the bears and not one could site a local case of a bear attack. yes it could happen and so could anything else you can think of .

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  9. I wonder how much money that cost the City. Two helicopters hovering over the city for an hour, and police. Plus a TV camera crew. Who is the dumb cluck who called the police? These bears will go home after getting a bit of food and water. Today is trash day on E. Grandview. The City should make it mandatory for Athens to provide us bear proof containers without charging us extra per month.

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    1. And people wonder why their taxes are so high...

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    2. Time to get rid of the bearsNovember 20, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Athens will give bear cans for an extra fee and, get this, a three year committment. I will be calling SMPD on all bear citings until they remove the ursine menace from our town.

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    3. Maybe you should move someplace else 10:49. The bears probably don't like you.

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    4. Bears are slow growth. 10:49 is probably a McMansion developer.

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    5. You can make your own bear proof trash container simply by putting a hasp with a lock to keep the lid closed. You unlock it when you bring your trash out in the morning.

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    6. Oh I love it! First you wanted bear cans. Then you want FREE bear cans! Why should the rest of the city pay for bear cans for you? I bet you filed for the UUT waiver, too.

      "Let someone else pay it, not me."

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    7. Will you pay for mine, please? Or at least clean up after the bears knock them over?

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    8. Not my problem. Get the bear cans and there's no problem for you, either.

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    9. Bear citings? What, are they getting ticketed?

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    10. Worse. Bear traps. They're being stopped for speeding.

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  10. In honor of today's visitor I have changed the blog header. Even though that guy is probably a grizzly.

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  11. According to this govt site there have been 12 reported bear attacks in California since 1980. No deaths, though one gent was bitten on the buttocks.
    http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/News/Bear/Bear-Incidents

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    1. 12 bear attack incidents in 34 years. How many people have been killed by dogs in that time?

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    2. Or guns? Yes you gun nuts - it's the people holding the guns

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    3. You shouldn't point that thing at people.

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  12. Okay, I know next week is Thanksgiving week. What a perfect time for you to give THANKS to the citizens of this town by showing up at the council meeting next Tuesday you don't have to speak, just lend support. The council is hearing the appeal to one Carter. We need your help. Please try to be there to let the council know we are serious about keeping Sierra Madre as it is. The place you chose to live, not a suburb of Arcadia.

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  13. stop them before they kill!November 20, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    john, i trust all is well in san dimas and that you (and my favorite ducks fan) are not having to deal with problem bears who, as noted above, have repeatedly attacked and even killed humans.

    i believe they should te tranquilized and moved. that does not make me a wildlife hater. to the contrary, i have personally trapped and relocated at least a dozen raccoons to bucolic chantry flats. they end up in a better place. and the activity is great fun!

    i am also not a pu..... in fact, a month ago i confronted the dreaded carter killer bear at 3 in the morning and tagged his fat a.. with a perfectly pitched hardball from 45 feet. he jerked his HUGE body out of my trash can and ran away toward baily canyon, no doubt fearful of what i, a superior being, would do to him next.

    when i conveyed this story to a business associate from nor cal, he one upped me. he told me that he put a cap in and downed a bear from 30 feet as it menaced his cabin. this only occurred after he repeatedly complained about the threat of the bear to wildlife officials who ignored his pleas for help in removing the dangerous creature. based on those pleas they were unable to pursue action against him for killing it. which brings me back to sierra madre.

    the city has publicly told us the bears are dangerous. they are too comfy here and a steady nuisance. they are problem bears. they need to go - one way or another - before they hurt someone.

    now, i must go clean my muskett. peace out brother!

    i

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    1. We have bear visits a couple of times a week. Due to my highly social nature we live up in the mountains next to the National Forest. Or Monument I guess. Real outback country. They even have names. Boss, Pinky and Jill. As far as I know they are all Kings fans.

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    2. You sound like Steven Colbert, Stop Them.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgOEpzSNGng

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  14. don't start compl1ining about bears or steve madison might start trying to outlaw those, too

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  15. If you don't want bears around, don't move into their territory. Pretty simple.

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  16. ABC Eyewitless News now has a report and a video up. Proving once again that the only time they care about Sierra Madre is when there are bears or sex offenders running around.
    http://abc7.com/403990/

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    1. I am sure it is best to never call the police unless a 1%er. makes a glaring mistake and causes you great harm. A cuddly little bear!? wt*! If you see a bear in you,as my ancestors did. I hear the love to frequent McMansions!
      Didn't mean to hijack your blog with late breaking news Edit if u wan..........

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