Friday, December 12, 2014

Next: A Moratorium on the Demolition of Older Homes?

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Apparently slow growth mania is now sweeping the City of Sierra Madre. So used am I to a City Hall that seemingly wants to mulch the entire Foothill Village for the purpose of building SCAG housing of one sort or another (you know, to reach our RHNA numbers or some such foul Sacramento state centralized development travesties), or turn downtown into a knockoff version of Rancho Cucamonga meets Walt Disney, that I am having trouble getting my mind around this.

It all seems almost too good to be true, and I can't quite bring myself to accept that this is actually happening. Can it be that maybe the city has moved on in a more resident friendly direction and I am still fighting for things that are a part of the past? Did we win everything and I somehow forgot to notice?

Think about it, the City Council is now moving quickly towards approving a decidedly "slow growth" General Plan and there is NO OPPOSITION to this happening. None. Not one single gnarly old Bob the Builder miscreant wafted out of the Canyon and showed up at last Tuesday's City Council meeting to complain about the abolition of all American freedoms in Sierra Madre because they can't clearcut 100 year old oak groves to build Brobdingnagian bumper buildings on 1,600 square foot lots. A rather unprecedented event that would have been inconceivable just a few short years ago.

Of course, I can take some comfort in the fact that there is a long ways to go before all of the threatened damage is undone. We still haven't resolved the One Carter incursion, or even begun to address the atrocities being planned for Mater Dolorosa or Stone whatever, so there is still some continued relevance here for barricades thinking. But I have to tell you, the prospect of victory and the resulting peace that could follow does have me feeling a little nervous.

You can learn interesting things by checking out the City Manager' Report. I look forward to reading it each and every week, and much to my delight it showed up a day early this time around. And it did not disappoint. Check this revelatory little item out.


And then, just a paragraph or two later:


Be still my troubled heart. It is one thing to call for a special meeting to move the General Plan along, but a "Moratorium on the Demolition of 'Older' Homes" as well? Where oh where did that one come from? Dare we dream this is true?

There is a precedent for this, of course. Both Pasadena and Monrovia have done some similar sound thinking. Monrovia as recently as last month. Something that we ecstatically posted all about here.

There is a pretty good agenda report out of Monrovia, and I will cut and paste a portion of it today. You can view the whole thing in its native locale by clicking here.


What all of this appears to indicate for Sierra Madre is City Hall now believes that we need an interim plan for preserving the town until the refreshed General Plan comes on line in the hopefully not too distant future. As is the case in Monrovia, the method for doing such a thing is to prevent fine old homes from being torn down in order to accommodate those kinds of outsized Rose Hills mausoleum looking barns currently erupting all over Arcadia like a really nasty flare up of teenage acne.

This really is quite an event if you take a moment to think about it. The Civility Party must be rolling in its grave. Quietly rolling in its grave.

One more happy thing
It appears that the "captcha" box that was popping up when you commented is gone. Don't know if this is temporary or those fine folks at Google took my pleas to heart.

We are now free to be you and me.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

55 comments:

  1. Power out in nw Sierra Madre. Can't believe I get a cell signal!

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  2. Nancy Walsh and Glenn Lambdin need to join forces to fight this. They're the dream team for big developers.

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    1. glen has always wanted to be a big developer

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    2. What about the Godfather of Over Development, Black Bart Doyle? Has he gotten tired of pulling the strings?

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    3. No one in their right mind is going to push for development any more. Its not what the city wants and people feel pretty passionate about it. You don't have to look far to see what Sierra Madre can turn into if we are not vigilant.

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    4. People who are not in their right mind are a major political constituency in this town. How else can you explain Nancy Walsh, Josh Moran and Joe Mosca?

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    5. 4:25, don't forget the same group almost got Noah Green elected.

      just think how screwed up we'd be on the Council if that dude had been elected?

      he should follow Nancy Walsh's lead and just disappear from city politics and avoid all photo ops at all cost

      we've certainly had an embarrassing amount of embarrassing lame Councilmembers and they all in a line formed by Doyle, Buchanan, Stockley and that group got Harabedian elected.

      the civility party - so glad they are all persona non grata

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  3. I don't think there is any mystery here. People realize that Sierra Madre is something special. People are also starting to sense that the same kinds of development you see in Arcadia has now come to Sierra Madre. If you look at developmets at Camillo, Stongate/One Carter and Stonehouse as well as elsewhere around town, it starting to make people a bit nervous. There is also a plan afoot to develop that property at 576 Elm Street and build some McMansions there too. We all like this town and don't want to see it drastically change. Improving houses here and there is fine and welcomed. Tearing down older homes and building garrish McMansions is a whole different story. At a time when most people are moving towards smaller homes, sustainability and more of a "green" philosophy, you have a new group of folks that believes in the exact opposite and they have tons of cash to make the "opposite" come true. Our only chance is to put in place reasonable rules and regulations to pretect the community from those developers who see almost every house in Sierra Madre as an opportunity for demolition in favor of a "spec house". If you want to stop it, join the people at Preserve Sierra Madre. You can find them at www.PreserveSierraMadre.com Shoot them an email and get on their email list.

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    1. I just sent an email to PreserveSierraMadreNow@gmail.com to get on their mailing list. Its going to take all of us working together to stop all this over-development.

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  4. We cannot be complacent because it just takes one bad election and the whole apple cart can be over-turned. Right now, we have the best City Council in decades. They listen to the community and they are trying to do the right thing. We need to stay focused, support the City Council when they are right and gently dissuade them when they are wrong. They have gotten it right so far and should be commended for it. However, its now over yet and we cannot rest on our laurels.

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    1. All it takes is one bad apple i.e. Bart Doyle or John Buchanon to spoil the whole barrel. Come the next election, we need to vet the people very carefully. The present City Council has been excellent. My hat's off to all of them. If they continue down this path, they will be known as the City Council that saved this town.

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    2. 11:22 - make it simple

      just don't vote for anybody endorsed by Stockley, Buchanan, Moran, Walsh, Doyle, Torres, who else? AND especially anybody endorsed by realtors.

      Sorry, while Harabedian gets compliments on coming around, still doesn't change the fact that he wanted to play lawyer politician so bad that he cheated to get elected - he knowingly used police officers in a campaign photo and then pretended that he didn't know but somehow the police patches were off the uniforms so Harabedian claimed they were off duty but he forgot to photoshop out the guns.

      I won't vote for him again. but he needs to do right by us and maybe in 4 years he can have a 2nd term if he repents his association with Buchanan

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  5. The Tattler is putting together a string of victories. I don't have to type in letters I can't read in order to get a post published. Wow, its almost too good to be true. I will say that even with the roadblocks that were up before, loyal Tattler readers continued to post. I'd walk through a wall for the Tattler any day but its sure easier today without the extra obstacles.

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  6. A slow growth majority - too good to be true?

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    1. So far, so good, but I don't think anybody should rest.
      It could be that the Pro-Development side is just shape-shifting in search of new leadership.

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    2. I am grateful for what is happening, but it truly is an abrupt break from what has happened here over the last decade.

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    3. Elections have consequences and whose sitting in the Mayor's chair. Delmar, Arizmendi and even Goss have been right on the big issues. Harabedian has done an outstanding job as Mayor in letting the people have a voice again and Cappocia has come back around it. All in all its a great City Council.

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    4. It will be a great City Council when they do something big. Like tell CETT where they can get off. Until then they are just making agreeable noises.

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    5. wait what?

      we are complimenting the Mayor cause he runs a good meeting?

      that's all nice but that's sort of like being the official secretary isn't it? sure, he's not being nutty Nancy but he still hasn't done anything and don't forget just a few months ago he wasn't exactly forthright with the UUT until he saw political suicide coming his way if he didn't stop with his "look at me" antics like endorsing a candidate in Glendale, even Buchanan didn't stoop that low to pretend that being the Mayor of SM meant anything outside of SM and it really doesn't inside SM

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  7. I'm worried about when the state lowers the boom. That was Buchanan's chant, "The state is making us do it."

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    1. Buchanan would say or do anything to further the interests of his bosses at Edison. One more good reason to go solar and get off their damn grid.

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    2. Yeah, Rob Stockly was big on that too. Maybe it was never as necessary as they said.

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    3. don't forget, they are both smarter than us and liked to remind us of that while on the Council and with their heady endorsements of the likes of Moran, Mosca and the crowd favorite, Nancy Walsh

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  8. I think what is going on in Arcadia is having a real effect here. People now realize that we could lose this town.

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    1. You can lose a town. Once the development interests get intrenched and the City Hall starts carving the money, its all over and it can happen really fast. We need to keep fighting and keep being vigilant.

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    2. first of all, SM does NOT NEED a director of development services position in the city PERIOD.

      get rid of it and NEVER bring it back - it was put in by Bart Doyle who was a building industry lobbyist and conned us into voting him into office.

      we need a director of resident services

      developers to the end of the line at city hall

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  9. John Crawford does this blog everyday on his own limited time and on his own dime.
    So does his fantastic research team of you loyal Tattlers.
    We all owe John a lot.
    God Bless the Crawford family and Tattler research time. They never give up and we all WIN!

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    Replies
    1. The Tattler can also claim TWO UUT defeats in 2012 & 2014. They were an integral fighter against "Mo Money" Josh Moran, etc.

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    2. Yes, the Tattler has played a huge part in what is happening. Where else can residents go to get the latest information and be able to state their opinions.

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    3. I don't think there is any doubt about where people go when they want to find out what is going on.

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  10. It's a good day. We have a little more hope. We have rain. It's almost Christmas, let us a be thankful for the moment.

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    1. God is rewarding us for saving our open lands.

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    2. I wish, 8:06. Keep the Elm street property in mind. It's in the HMZ on the proposed zoning map, but I don't know if it is on the existing zoning map. Thanks to the efforts of certain realtors, there is a big part of the streets in the hillsides that are not in the HMZ. So the fate of the Elm property might depend on which map is in effect when it is sold.

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    3. 576 Elm Street was a two acre property that sold in 2009 for under one million during the absolute bottom of the market. The developer wants McMansions there.

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  11. Don't mean to bum anyone out in these happy times, but take a look at the current zoning map and see just how much of Sierra Madre is zoned "high density."

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    1. http://www.cityofsierramadre.com/about-sierra-madre/maps

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  12. This tear down moratorium shows that for the first time city hall is taking the lead on the over-development issue, and not just reacting to the demands of the residents. It is a very good sign. But also remember, where there is a give there is usually also a take. Stay involved, stay connected. Nothing is even remotely over.

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  13. True.. but there are now more of us than them. They will fight to secure their investments ... out of greed.
    We will fight to protect our investments ....our homes!
    We will win

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  14. Holiday Incantation

    The proliferation of the mansionization of our nation is an abomination
    as developers come to our location to seek from us their gratification

    We did not by communication give them any invitation
    to destroy our civilization

    Not even in moderation do we want their inclination
    for cohabitation or to share libation

    They should not base their salvation on our town’s saturation
    with their housing McMansionization

    By stipulation let them find their recreation
    in some far away habitation

    So there is no miscommunication
    know well that our motivation is miniaturization

    Without further explanation they should leave us now on this occasion
    so we may feel the jubilation

    And only then will they have our adoration
    As we enjoy our vindication

    Barry Gold

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    1. Barry!
      Wonderful poem!

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    2. Corporitation and privatization is the fornication to our nation!

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    3. Barry never ceases to surprise. What a blessing to our community.

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    4. Barry, you have been a stalwart defender of this town. Thank you!

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    5. Monrovia certainly had it right with the moratorium on demolitions of homes build before 1940. We need to be more aggressive or at least as aggressive as they are. Every city around Arcadia sees what is happening there and does not want it to happen in Sierra Madre. We must get a similar measure in place. Also, we need to be careful in how we do it. I know that in Pasadena, they are exploiting the rules all over the place. What the developers do is to not tear down the whole house. They leave one wall standing or some such thing from the original house - in other words just enough from the old house so it does not constitute a tear-down. It allows them to go ahead and build almost exactly what they wanted.

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  15. Wow. What did we do to deserve the slight? —Rose Hills

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    1. It's those billboards. Using boomer narcissism to sell graves as status symbols, or indications of ones nonconformity with society's norms, is truly horrifying. The models used on those boards make me quake with fear every time I see them.

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  16. Saw the Arcadia civic pride signs - the campaign is "History Lives Here"

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  17. So just how many tear down applications have come in to the Developer Servicing Department? How many permits have been issued? So many that an alarm has gone out?

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    1. Very good question. We need an answer.

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  18. Sierra Madre lost one it's more colorful residents, I only knew him as Jake, I would see him walking down Baldwin and SM Blvd, the library, SM PizzaCo, always with his back pack, spoke with him a few times and seemed like a kind soul, if anyone knows anything more about this man please share.

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    1. A rugged individual frequently in walking shorts? I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I know nothing more than you, but I, too, spoke with him from time to time and found him exceeding pleasant. He always brightened my moment. Go in peace, Jake.

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    2. He used to go to the library every afternoon. I heard he lived on the land, up by the reservoir near Mt. Wilson Trail. Different kind of person. Glad he found a good life here.

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  19. we all owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin Dunn and Kurt Zimmerman who were the focal point of Measure V and both were ridiculed and treated like trash by the civility party. We heard realtors calling them scum and had former Mayors coming out in force against Measure V and basically called Kevin and Kurt liars because the former Mayors said that Measure V was misinformation and would destroy the city.

    and we had a succession of Councils and Mayors who did everything they could to undermine Measure V, including Nancy Walsh who bashed Measure V and anybody associated with it and she was supported and a prop for the real estate lobby.

    I hope this takes hold because we really need to tell everyone associated with the "civility" movement in Sierra Madre a hearty thank you for screwing up the city so much for the sale of real estate sales and commissions.

    now if they'd all butt out from now on and to the realtors who lied to us about Measure V - I am okay with One Carter being a Chinese agent only subdivision

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