|"That's it, I'm suing!" said a visibly upset Richie.|
There are a few things on the menu that are rather crucial this evening. At least in my freely given opinion. The first being a meeting with the City Attorney, which sadly we are forbidden from attending. And that is a shame because it appears those mean stinkers from CETT are suing Sierra Madre. Which would not be big news in itself because who doesn't sue Sierra Madre? Even I tried that once, though I was only asking for $1. I didn't get it, either.
No, this lawsuit is a big for two reasons. The McMansions at One Carter issue is one, and the sheer volume of money at stake is the other. Here is how CETT's evil treachery was described in last week's always informative and oftentimes true City Manager Report.
They're totally daffy, of course. But I suspect the lawyers involved are telling the CETT people they're going to win and, being clueless outlanders and all, they are going for it. There is also the possibility that CETT intended to sue all along, and those bizarre shenanigans we witnessed in Council Chambers were just preliminaries for what they always believed would be the main event.
After that wraps up the City Council will step before the TV cameras and, once the rituals are completed and the blood of those sacrificed to honor the Gods mopped up, they will together delve into the Consent Calendar. Most of which will seem hideously boring to anyone still among the breathing, but there is one thing that needs to be noted. They will be spending over $1.2 million dollars tonight.
Apparently even though the city claims it is slipping into the red and needs to raise taxes every two years, they still have the potential for the odd million dollar spend every once in a while.
However, not to get too dramatic here, it is two previously discussed items that are driving so mighty a figure. One of which was funded by Measure R. Here they are:
The balance comes due someday.
The first of two main events on tonight's agenda is up next, and this one is of great importance to anyone hoping to stop the kinds of atrocious and predatory development exemplified by that pair of wincing warthogs on Camillo Road.
But rather than attempt to explain all of that myself, here is how the good folks at Preserve Sierra Madre described it in their Sunday e-mail.
Some of you may remember that a month or so ago we congratulated the Planning Commission which, after extensive discussions and two public hearings, reached agreement on important changes to the R-1 single family zoning standards as found in Sierra Madre's Municipal Code.
Those changes include such things as lowering the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) threshold, lowering the Floor Area Limits (how big a home you can build on a given sized lot) and making a CUP mandatory for all new 2-story homes or additions. Preserve Sierra Madre attended all those meetings and wholeheartedly supports these changes. You can find the entire Agenda Report for this issue linked here.
As the Agenda Report by staff noted, these changes were done "… to encourage development that preserves the small town character of the community, to promote architectural diversity while maintaining neighborhood consistency, and to protect valley and mountain views of residential properties."
In order for these changes to take effect however, they must now be ratified by the City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, April 14th. If you agree with these changes, we would urge you to email the City Council by hitting "reply all" to this email and briefly let them know your thoughts. Of course, it's also effective to speak at the public comment portion of the meeting and tell the City Council in person.
We might add that these are the kinds of improvements that not only preserve the Sierra Madre we all know and love, but save everyone a lot of time in having to battle projects that do the opposite. Over-development is not the only challenge facing Sierra Madre in the future. The more we can do to put reasonable rules and regulations in place that prohibit what we don't want, the more time can be spent on solving some of these other challenges.
Thank you for your support.
Preserve Sierra Madre
Strongly reasoned and realistic stuff from the PSM folks. As always. Be there and do speak up.
The other item I would like to point out to you is this one:
As we all know, the voters of Sierra Madre let it be known two times that they want this City's utility taxes to sunset back to 6%. It now falls upon the City Council and its hired staff to somehow make that twice resident approved revenue reality work.
However, I am not completely sure they are up to it. Especially after Mayor Harabedian vowed in his State of the City address that he was planning to go out into the community and ask the residents what they want to do. Which is not what I'd call leading the charge.
It seems obvious that, having already voted twice to cut their utility taxes, the residents have made their wishes quite clear on this matter. Sunset the UUT and live within the resulting budget.
We'll have to wait and see if City Hall can handle that.