Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tonight's City Council Meeting Is Mostly About One Thing Only: The General Plan Review

Four Mayors that delayed the General Plan Update
It's better late than never I suppose. Though why this 18 month General Plan Update "process" is now entering its sixth year of, um, processing, is a troubling one. With more to go, I might add. As you can visualize from our helpful picture to the left, it took the dedicated foot dragging of our previous four Mayors to make this happen. Each of them could have pushed this thing through, but for some reason they chose not to do that. At times quite loudly (link). Anyone care to speculate why? My guess is it has something to do with enabling development. You know, such as the McMansion variety now coming down at One Carter, Mater Dolorosa and Stonegate.

Here is how this evening's exercise in reviewing is previewed in the accompanying Staff Report:


If you think about it, when this General Plan Update is eventually finished it will have taken a full 40% of the twenty year period it was supposed to cover to complete. Is there a Guinness Book of World Records category for such a thing? The World's Longest General Plan Approval Process perhaps?

So when exactly will this completion happen you ask? Nobody quite knows for sure, though another two years has been cited by some. More or less. There is an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed, and that involves a very expensive consultant. One that has never been averse to the goals of the four individuals pictured in the upper left hand corner of this post.

And yes, there are consequences to these seemingly endless delays. Severe ones. The difficulties at One Carter would have to be among the foremost of them. Because had the updated Land Use Section for this latest iteration of the General Plan been in place back in 2011 when originally scheduled the difficulties we are having with CETT today wouldn't have even come up.

The necessary land use guidelines would have been clearly drawn and in place, and what they are attempting to legally foist upon us now could have been brushed aside so easily CETT probably wouldn't have even come here in the first place.

Should the 610 Baldwin Court matter end up going to trial, which in my opinion it will, and should we lose, the legal costs to the taxpayers of this town could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If not more.

And should City Hall lose that lawsuit we would not only have to pick up CETT's legal costs as well, but could also be forced to relinquish planning control over the remaining open foothill areas on the north side of town. Resulting in an out of control McMansionizing of the most visible (and vulnerable) portions of our community.

None of which would have happened had the General Plan Update been allowed to go through in 18 months as originally planned. Instead it was deliberately delayed by a complicit City Hall far more concerned with the revenues it would receive through massive development impact fees than the wishes of the citizenry whose taxes pay their salaries.

As I said, should Richie McDonald and his mysterious client prevail in court, the consequences could be devastating for this community. And it isn't just the money. We would also lose the ability to control the planning and development of our own community, and in the process end up with a Sierra Madre you wouldn't even recognize.

Sometimes these things really do count. See you tonight.

General Plan update? WHAT General Plan update?
http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

57 comments:

  1. The Land Use portion of the Gen'l Plan update should be voted upon and approved tonight. It is the one part that we can't wait two years to put in place.

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    1. The question is whether that is any good. The City will literally become what the land use section and zoning maps says it will become. It may not happen immediately but it will happen over time. If an area is zoned "high density" and its single family homes now, it will eventually become "high density" with condo and apartment projects.

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    2. At the heart of this is money. If the city can be influenced to put certain things into the land use section, then certain parties stand to make a lot of money. Which might be wonderful for them, but could leave our city an awful looking mess.

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  2. Why is the EIR going to take two years? Why wasn't it started earlier?

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  3. Note on commenting: Google has instituted this "capcha" system in order to screen out the waves of spam that hit sites like this one. Since I moderate this site I don't need their help. I am working with some folks on the blogger "help forum" to take care of it. I know this has made commenting difficult and nobody is more annoyed about that than I am. Thanks for your patience!

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  4. Besides being at the CC meeting and making a bunch of noise what can we do? I'm for taking a class action against what has happened in the past and what is happening right now. What power do we tax paying residents have, this has got to be controlled. Most people hate going to council meetings and watching what goes on let alone wanting to get up and say something and I sure don't want to and neither do other family members. The city manager runs that place with an iron fist and is running this council as well. We need a city government that works for the people not their pensions. I don't mind anyone getting a pension as long as they are doing what the people ask not what the forces from out of the city want. We need to protect what we have here, that's why I moved here.

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  5. Here's a test comment. See:

    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/blogger/nWDji3uF9yA

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    1. Chuck: That is the problem. Most people do not log into Google to post here. It is a general interest blog open to the public that discusses a wide range of interests. I see from another post that this has been made mandatory by Google and I have to tell you, it is not helping this blog. I moderate this site closely, and have no problem screening out spam myself.

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  6. A member of our family posted a couple of things then all of a sudden they could not post, got upset and quit posting. They told me the moderator blocked them. I will make sure that person reads and hears what is going on with google. If it's not one thing it's another.

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    1. Spam,spam,spam,spam,spam,spam,spam,and eggs. My breakfast today

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    2. At least they've gone back to numbers. Those letters are unreadable!

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  7. In addition to the four mayors in the foreground of the blog photo today, I do believe I seen Glenn Lambden in the background. What a gathering this was! What is this subsection of Sierra Madre that meets, and probably still do?

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    1. They certainly do keep a lower profile these days.

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  8. If the General Plan was started 5 years within the 20 life span of the last General Plan then we have not used up 5 years of the next 20 years. But if not, then we have been out of compliance for five years as we squandered 5 years of the next 20 years. By Out of Compliance I mean that there were parts of planning that we were to have that we didn't and still don't as we dither around on this. If anything, when Elaine heads off to another job (someday, soon, hope, hope) this incompetence should follow her. No maybe not, we want her to find new employment, elsewhere!!!

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  9. I'm not turning my cookies on for a lot of reasons and this kind of thing is a good example why. Have never had any problems with this blog site, I think the moderator does a good job with this site.

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  10. I work hard at reading the pass word and would never be able to do it with out my glasses. Some times I do it 2 or 3 times.

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  11. I hear Apple switched from Google to Yahoo, does that have anything to do with this?

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  12. Chief Black KettleDecember 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    You know, every picture tells a story. And I particularly like the one with Glen Lamdin oozing out of the ear of Josh Moran like some sort of giant slug.

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    1. Excellent observation Chief.
      I am unnerved by the second picture. What were they celebrating with such abandon?

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    2. Their election victory in 2010. It allowed them to keep working on the agendas of the developers, realty concerns and utilities that supported their campaigns. On top of that list was putting the General Plan update on hold. Which they have done successfully for years. It was, and still is, considered a threat to McMansion development in Sierra Madre. Sad to say, the voters did it to themselves by electing such jerks.

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    3. Chief BK: Unfortunately you are wrong. That is Josh's other face.

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  13. As much as we want the General Plan to get passed, it needs to be right because its the blue print for the city. If it takes a few more weeks, so be it. The land use portion is the most important part.if we don't want Sierra Madre to turn into Arcadia.

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  14. I would like to get beyond having these people and photos to look at...my stomach cannot take this constant revulsion. And the tedium of it all, to think they are still yanking us around through the result of their horendous decisions. But really, they have faded into the background. None of them take an active part in the process now and we can and should work very hard to see our current elected officials get it right.

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    1. Unfortunately that is not the case. The old boys are still very much involved.

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    2. Yep. They always are.

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    3. So where is Joe Mosca these days anyway?

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  15. The pink cow is now brown

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    1. Another victory for Team Tattler.

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    2. Excellent news! Who do we thank for their respectful action?

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    3. I don't know. Hmm.

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    4. Respectful action? I don't think so! Someone does not want anyone looking further into the coins on the angel's eyes. Paint the cow brown and hopefully all the interest in the story goes away.

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  16. Why go tonight, Nancy Walsh said we could only look "foolish" if we can up and commented on the general plan. She said it is the Council to decide, not us common folk.

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    1. That was before she took herself out.

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  17. Us common folk put them in and us common folk can take them out

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    1. True. All four of the people in that picture are now gone.

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  18. Paulie Goosebumps!

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  19. Is he coloring his hair now?

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    1. I think the color is called brown tang.

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  20. I am not following this guy. Somebody stole $850,000 from him. Oh, he didn't hear from the SMPD for 8 months. Get in line.

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  21. No meeting on KGEM, yet...

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    1. Fabulous service they provide. The meeting is about 15 minutes in.

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  22. I can safely report that Nancy Walsh is not in attendance this evening.

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  23. Mr. Putnam is making me consider giving up reading.

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  24. Some clown from Metro is here telling a pack of lies about the 710 tunnel. "This Environmental Impact Report is a very important step in the process. You as citizens have a voice." Sure.

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  25. Kgem is not working tonight.

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  26. What is the Peace and Justice Academy? She is right, i have never heard of it.

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    1. https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=peace+and+justice+academy

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  27. Did this school teach this girl to end every sentence as if it were a question?

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  28. This is all so poignant. Life at the pre-disappointment stage.

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  29. Bruce Inman is here to discuss the city's water usage. Sierra Madre has saved 2.6 million gallons in the month of December. Pretty good performance. Rain and cooler weather has helped.

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  30. The city has finally begun capturing water from their flushing operations. I guess they do listen sometimes.

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  31. Denise Delmar has requested that Director Inman do some follow up phone calls to residents that complained of yellow water in the past. Bruce replied that they are understaffed.

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  32. The City Council is discussing the city's communications systems. Social media, website, e-blast. Maybe they should take a look at KGEM?

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  33. Land use is next. After the break. It's money time. The only reason to be watching this tonight.

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