Monday, November 3, 2014

Stonegate (One Carter) Design Guidelines (With Pictures)

Stonegate: Where sunsets are in the north.
I thought today we would take a quick look at the Stonegate (or what we in Sierra Madre know as One Carter) Design Guidelines, highlighted with some pictures of this at-risk site. "Stonegate" being just one of the several befuddled marketing names pasted on this hillside by the various geniuses involved with the place. It is not to be confused with the Stonegates found in Irvine, Riverside, Sausalito (Saucy-lito) or Fresno.

The photos were taken yesterday. Except for the one in the upper lefthand side of this page. That was lifted from a Stonegate sales brochure circa the now happily vanished Robert "GrumpyHo era (link). How this developer got the sun to set in the north for them is a good question. We have yet to find adequate answers. Maybe Richie McDonald threatened to sue it (link). Or perhaps they're waggishly contemplating a name change. "Stonergate?" You never know about these sorts of things. The CETTsters have yet to be celebrated for their sense of humor.

The point here being that, as it apparently is with the 1996 General Plan, the so-called Stonegate Design Guidelines now have a lot less meaning than it was imagined they would back when they were first written. A kind of de-evolution of concepts. And, by the way, these guidelines do go on for pages and pages. A sort of "bulk banal," perhaps designed to cheer down the overly ebullient. Or maybe a hoped for cure of restless leg syndrome. Or even sanity. Though there are so very many cures for that.

Anyway, here goes.

A generic structure that could be built anywhere. 

Purpose and Intent - The Stonegate (formerly One Carter Avenue) Design Guidelines provides design guidance for residential development parcels within the One Carter Avenue subdivision. The Design Guidelines will be used by the City of Sierra Madre when reviewing design elements for applications within the Stonegate residential development … Adopted plans, regulations and policies governing the Stonegate subdivision shall continue to apply in conjunction with the design guidelines and may be amended in the future. Items addressed in such documents that influence the design of proposed development on individual parcels are referenced in italics in the design guidelines for ease of the user. The design guidelines address the design and development issues associated with site planning, building architecture and landscape architecture. The design guidelines are intended to promote the following:
- Development which is sensitive to the unique characteristics of the site and surrounding context;
- Architecture of consistent quality;
- Use of resource-efficient and conserving materials and technologies; and,
- An aesthetically cohesive community.

The now "story poled" oak Marguerite Shuster talked about.

Appendix A: Recommended Plant Palette - This recommended plant palette was created to complement the landscaping that exists within the Stonegate development. As part of the development of this recommended palette two key criteria were used to identify appropriate plant types:
• Low Water Consumption
• Adaptation to hillside/ mountainous environments

Scraped hillsides destined to become our next happening mudslide?

Deferred Improvement Agreement (DIA) - The City and One Carter, LLC entered into a Deferred Improvement Agreement (‘DIA’) on or about August, 2007, to allow for the deferment and guarantee of the construction of those improvements which were identified as conditions precedent to the approval of Final Map 54016. The improvements covered and constructed by the Developer (and its successor in interest) include:
- Site grading
- Landscaping and associated irrigation facilities
- Fencing and walls, including perimeter walls and retaining walls
- Streets, including streetlights which are required to be of energy-efficient design and shielded to limit glare into adjoining and off-site properties  
- Erosion control improvements

Dog owners refuse to pick up after Fido at Stonegate. Community protest?

Community Concept - Stonegate is a custom home community, located central to the City in a highly visible hillside area. The community is designed to respect the existing physical setting and existing historic resources. There are three historic structures existing on the site - the Macomber Cabin, the Carter Barn, and the Willis Residence. It is the City’s intent that the historic structures be retained, restored and adaptively re-used. The overall design objectives for Stonegate are:
- Development which minimizes physical and visual impacts to the site and natural surroundings;
- An aesthetically cohesive community with architecture and building material
finishes of a consistent quality;
- Buildings which respect and complement the existing historic resources; and,
- Use of resource-efficient and conserving materials and technologies.

A couple more questions. Who wrote these design guidelines anyway? Is there anyone who actually says things like "plant palette?"

Well, if there is they should stop. 

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

42 comments:

  1. You'd think that the dog poop crisis at Stonegate would be something the SMPD could handle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's hear it for the doggies.

      Delete
    2. Where's Lisa? Oh that's right, she retired, we are paying her not to work.

      Delete
    3. Maybe she'd like to earn a little cash on the side.

      Delete
  2. at some point expect the new homeowners at One Carter to organize and sue the city to force private gates to keep out the townie riff raff hikes, sightseers and especially the skateboarders

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In other words, keep Sierra Madre out of a part of Sierra Madre.

      Delete
    2. 7:34, have you walked up there lately? If you do, keep your eyes on where you step. If the unfortunates who live there want to get gates, it'll be to keep out people who have dogs!

      Delete
    3. there was a pile of poo in my driveway, I have video cameras, so I looked at the recording, it was a Coyote!
      the stonegate folks will have to sue mother nature!

      Delete
    4. Dogs are frontline fighters in Sierra Madre.

      Delete
    5. It looks like they have a bone to pick.

      Delete
  3. "Development which minimizes physical and visual impacts to the site and natural surroundings"
    Another meaningless phrase that no one enforces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently the city only enforces language that is convenient to developers.

      Delete
  4. Won't building so close to that oak kill it?
    I thought those old oaks were protected.
    Did the tree commission approve that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The city only hears money.

      Delete
    2. The tree commission approved the removal of about 100 trees there. Don't look to them (or their current EENERWhatever form) for help

      Delete
    3. There's no tree commission. The last City Council majority did away with it.

      Delete
    4. Money trumps trees every time. And everything else in this town for that matter.

      Delete
  5. In order to stop this developmet or at least get them to start over, we need to look at all the relevant documents: the Design Guidelnes, the 96 General Plan, the Settlement Agreement and see where they have over-stepped their bounds and are out of compliance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed 8:53. The Tattler has made good points about the Design Guidelines.

      Delete
    2. Trust me, there will be a powerful argument made.One that the City Council will need to pay very close attention to ...

      Delete
    3. That is a very sensitive area in the wilderness. If push comes to shove a court will give the city a lot of discretion in how to interpret the General Plan and the Hillside Ordinance that were in place at the time the Settlement Agreement was signed.

      Delete
  6. I say we give up on 1 Carter and focus on the Monastery. We have time to make a law against building there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 9:08, I'm worried about precedents. I'm not sure that if MacMansions are allowed at Carter that they can be stopped anywhere else in town.

      Delete
    2. John Capoccia was spot on when he said that this is something the City Council needs to vote on. They are elected officials and therefore beholden to the people for their offices. McMansion development is very unpopular in this community, and that is something they will also have to take into account. This has to be an uncomfortable moment for them. I don't think any of the 4 eligible to vote on this question are anxious to become known as a Councilmember who threw open the community gates for McMansions.

      Delete
    3. My prediction for 1 Carter:
      1. City Council will go thru "the process' of taking public comment.
      2. Then they will discuss it.
      3. Then they will decide to take "no action" which will not require a vote.
      4. Then, the project is approved (based on the Planning Commission approval) and then Harabedian, Goss & Capoccia won't have a "yes" vote on the record.

      Isn't that slick?

      Delete
    4. There are only two votes possible. Yes and No. No action is a vote to approve.

      Delete
    5. They'll be against it before they were for it.

      Delete
    6. They've been getting tap dancing lessons from Nancy.

      Delete
    7. I think the City Council will do their job and see if they have anything to hang their hat on. We have to give them specific reasons why the project as currently approved does still not conform to the the relevant documents.

      Delete
    8. I agree. Politically this is a nightmare for the City Council. If there is a way out, they will gladly take it. It is up to us to help them find it. We are on the same team with this one.

      Delete
  7. That's not the sun, it's a wildfire bearing down on the development.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly what I was thinking 11:11. A sky like that comes from fire and smoke. Maybe Realtor Ho was expressing subconscious fears when he photo shopped it.

      Delete
    2. It's a fireball. From the angry Tongva Gods.

      Delete
    3. North sunsets are lucky.

      Delete
  8. Wait, wait, don't tell me! The sun could never, ever, no how be in that place in the sky as is shown in the "painting" of StoneGagGate!

    ReplyDelete
  9. A tie vote will result in approval of the Planning Commission finding. A tie vote with be a NO vote on the appeal.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Tree Commission approved the removal of very few native protected trees (oaks, sycamore or california walnut) and all of those trees were paid for in an account for tree purchases and replacement around town following a replacement matrix of from 1 to 7 trees per tree removed (depending on the size and ondition of the tree). The huge number of total trees removed comes from the removal of dozens of introduced, i.e., non-native, trees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are all introduced and non-native.

      Delete
    2. The loss of so many trees was devastating to the wildlife populations. And not so good for the air either.

      Delete
    3. Why weren't all of the "protected" trees protected?

      Delete
    4. There is service and there is lip service. Mostly we get the latter.

      Delete
  11. My favorite photo is missing. I love the Mod' s picture of the plastic draping down the hillside ( a la Christo and his artwork) to help redirect the debris should there be a mudslide.

    ReplyDelete