Friday, December 5, 2014

Uh Oh. Is The Fix In On One Carter's 610 Baldwin Court?

There is a small item in yesterday's City of Sierra Madre "e-blast" (as opposed to maybe a far milder e-zephyr? Or an e-pat-on-the-noggin?) that begs for a bit more attention than it was given there. Here is that wee piece of foggy information for you:


First off, a helpful jargon alert. By "continued" the author of this pithy piece of vagary actually means the meeting on this matter has been delayed for some unexplained reason. Or kicked down the road for a piece. Or pushed off to next year. Delayed so a bit of monkey business can be get done behind the scenes might be another fun way of putting it. That is, if such is your point of view. 

Oh, and as of this typing last night the "complete agenda packet" was not "available online." So you e-blast recipients shouldn't go wasting too much time poking around the city's website just yet.

The final episode of the "Call for Review" regarding CETT's illegal McMansion designs on our hillsides was supposed to take place next Tuesday evening. Hopefully with a rejection of this project along with an expressed invitation to pack up their tedious PowerPoint presentations and rude lawyerly insults and start leaving us alone by the end of the year. If not sooner.

However, apparently that is not to be just yet. This despite all of the purposeful and bold talk by the City Council at the last meeting. Since that golden moment in time there apparently has been many a conversation going on that we are just not privy to yet. All done in the hopes of bringing things to some kind of an amicable agreement I'm sure. Something that will avoid lawsuits and create a new kind of love between the city and CETT. And then we'll all go off and celebrate the Christmas holidays. 

Which you can probably translate into simply meaning something is going to get built at One Carter. And then a whole lot more.

I did receive a few emails about this yesterday, but none more informative or insightful than this one:

I was notified by Elaine that the next meeting that will discuss the "Review" of One Carter was postponed until January 13th, to give the city council a chance to meet with the developer and for the subcommittee to make their recommendation so the decision may already be done before that date.

Since we are going on little hard information for the actual cause of this "continuation," we're just going to have to speculate about it a little. Attempt to shine some light into the infinite opacity of it all. Something we enjoy doing here at The Tattler office suite. Which is the dark purple couch to the right of the TV located nearest the kitchen.

The City Council, or at least its pettifogger Mayor, does not want to vote on any houses at One Carter. Never, and not a one. To do so is to risk being put into position of becoming one of the handful of people responsible for setting the McMansion plague loose upon what until now has been our Foothill Village

Trust me, any persons responsible for doing such a thing run the risk of being talked about in the most uncivil of terms, and for all times. Mad dogs will be named after them. New species of rattlesnakes as well. That sort of thing.

So there could be a deal in the works. A behind the scenes fix that will be presented at the January 13 City Council meeting in the most glowing of terms. A grand compromise as it were. Or perhaps a reaching out across our many differences to forge an understanding that will benefit us all. That sort of malarkey. Or, if you are Lawsuit Richie, self-serving BS.

At which time it will all be tied up in frilly bows and pretty paper and "continued" on over to the Planning Commission for a cursory and polite rubber stamping. With a Colantuono lawyer present in case there are any awkward questions.

You could call it a "vote-free" approval. Or a fix if you are prone to earthier skepticism. Which early indications show is now in. Otherwise the City Council would have just voted this mess down tout suite next Tuesday evening. Right?

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 Without a doubt.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

55 comments:

  1. this house is just one house out of a twenty plus project of houses. If the council votes no on the one house, I really don't think a law suit by CETT is justified as they still have many other lots on which to build. and really, I think it is short sighted of CETT to insist on this particular house. If they chose to build a single story home here it would buy a whole lot of good will with the city and then they can move onto building their next set of homes. but I fear our City Council is ultimately too weak to vote this project down.

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    1. I don't think CETT cares much about what is justified or short sighted. They are here for one reason - to make as much money as they can. They don't give a damn about this town.

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    2. 5:25 - sadly I agree with you. The word I'd use for our city government is squishy. That and they are slavering for the development impact fees. Our beautiful little town is being bartered off for cop pensions.

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    3. Johnny does have to feed the unions, you know. That is, if he wants to get himself a seat in the California Assembly. It is a Democratic party requirement. Our dime, their pensions, his political glory.

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    4. CETT has several more ready to go to Planning.

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    5. You keep forgetting that McDonald reminded the Council last time that the agreement entitles them to build two stories. They will never back down on that for a single story ranch house as some Tattlers are dreaming about.

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    6. Nothing, and then again nothing, in the documents gives CETT any guarantees....
      Yes they could build a 2 story house if they either make the second story small enough so that it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb, or how about combining some of those lots? That would work.

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    7. How about they just go away? I have heard enough from their insulting attorney to last me a lifetime.

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    8. Maybe CETT will figure out just what "distressed" as in "distressed real estate asset" means.

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  2. City hall do a deal with a developer behind the scenes? Naw, you're making this all up. That never happens!

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    1. Move along. Nothing to see here!

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    2. Everything is beautiful. In its own way.

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    3. It's part of the process.

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  3. But wait! The developer's lawyer insisted that the decision be made at the earliest possible time. He said something like we will have to know by the next meeting.
    Another lie from blustering MacDonald.

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  4. Those attending and listening to that last council meeting should recall that a later cc meeting was also open to the owner if more time was needed to meet and discuss the problems, I recall that was still and option and so I'm not surprised. People do have lives and a holiday season until after the first of next year. Lets not rush to any conclusions.

    Happy New Year to All.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, a CC meeting. But not a back room arrangement.

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    2. 7:59 - my advice would be they shop on-line and save their time for preserving our city.

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    3. I agree with you 7:59. I think this council will protect Sierra Madre from these carpetbaggers. I bet the meeting was postponed because CETT wanted to have plenty of time to calculate the inch/profit proportions.

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    4. Why would anyone need to shop? The city has already given us our lump of coal.

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    5. 7:59, it as an option that the applicant turned down with great vigor. Then.

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  5. A powerful coalition of Southland business leaders, educators and elected officials gathered Thursday in Los Angeles to address job creation and poverty in the region. The Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG) is another real problem trying to change our way of life here. SCAG wants to increase the population density far beyond our sustainably level. Keep your eyes on this, SCAG has too much power over our lives.

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    Replies
    1. More Platinum Pensions = More Taxpayer Poverty

      Math hurts.

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    2. scab(g) is the group endorsed by john buchanan and his appointed ilk (harabedian/goss) that pushed to build out SM to populate to over 20,000 - remember buchanan wanted to build over 120 new condos in a couple blocks of downtown, give away city parking to build multi story paid parking lots

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  6. 7;59 here, I recall a meeting with CETT to discuss what the owner was going to decide to do. That offer also included a delay if needed. I think the city is bending over back wards to be more than fair. Fair also should include the communities best interests and concerns.

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    Replies
    1. All part of a negotiation. Sorry, they're doing a deal.

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  7. If there doing a deal then they are done for in this town, I wont believe it till it happens.

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  8. WE were so close at the last meeting of the city council voting NO and then they all of a sudden became unwound. Something is up and I don't like it.

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    1. 9:08, it's the same as when you try to walk off a new car lot. The deal always changes.

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    2. It is a difficult time for our Mayor. He wants to please everyone, but in this case that is not possible. So we get delays, sudden reversals and unexplained changes that make little real sense.

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    3. Hey, don't pick on me. I let public comments go over 3 minutes. Remember?

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    4. Trust the subcommittee.

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    5. ... but verify.

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    6. I trust Denise. But I do not trust the three dudes or city staff. I am sorry, but to me those look like pretty bad odds.

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  9. There is no fix. CETT schedule did not fit the dates that thet were give. They will meet with the sub committee and staff mid next week. The postponement is actually works in our favor. This gives the subcommittee more time to get information that they will be able to use in order to scale the building down. Don't be so paranoid.

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    1. Strange way for the city to communicate such big news. As an anonymous comment on a blog.

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    2. I'd rather not be in a fire drill on this thing so the postponemenet works in our favor. Let the subcommittee gather up all the information they can to make a good decision. I have the utmost confidence in Denise, and yes, Gene too. They will do what's best for the community.

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    3. Gene Goss, defender of the citizens? That will only happen if it appears the rest of the council is voting that way. "Yes, I agree with the previous comments." That Gene Goss?

      Give us a freaking break.

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    4. is this our same staff that is overworked and underpaid?

      are they charging the developer per hour x 20 like they city charged the Mt Wilson Trail Race

      amazing the BS that comes out of city hall - no time for residents and charge special events up the wazzo - but "free" staff time for developers

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  10. It is too much money for the city to walk away from. They will have to be forced to do it, and we need to continue to exerty maximum amounts of pressure. Somebody above said the city is cashing in our open spaces to fund cop pensiuons. Yes, as a metaphor that is true. Our beautiful hillsides are in danger.

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  11. The developer will not sue. I repeat, they will not sue. Its all bluster. It is very unlikely they would win a lawsuit against a city trying to control development in a very sensitive area. The developer will lose even more money. People after understand that we have all the leverage here and not the developer. Because of that, we need to extract the maximum amount of concessions as possible on the design of this first house. Our governing documents give us that discretion.

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    1. You are familiar with McDonald's resume, right? He is a lawsuit lawyer all the way.

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    2. our city ought to hit him back harder with a lawsuit

      most lawyers are childish bullies

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  12. I agree with 9:41. I'm happy it was postponed. We must get more people to that meeting. This week's meeting is about the General Plan and City Council must be encouraged to pass it asap.

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  13. I don't see how there can be any room for compromise here. The city council either shuts CETT down or enables them. Is there a third option?

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  14. Is there any reason why the e-blast went out on Thursday evening? Is it because City Hall is closed on Friday?

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  15. Gird your loins and get ready to show up again! Don't forget, they count on you giving up.

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  16. The final staff reports and City Council meeting agenda are still not available. More of an e-bust than e-blast.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. Motels will be able to call one for you.

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  19. Hello, I enjoy reading through your post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

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