Friday, July 24, 2015

While Some Realtors Ate Cheese With People Who Want To Turn Mater Dolorosa Into Rancho Cucamonga West ... Preserve Sierra Madre Took It To The Streets

No Access?
You do realize that I need say something nice about Realtors, right? After all, the immediate reason for that big protest outside the rather pricey looking black iron gates of the Mater Dolorosa Monastery yesterday afternoon was all about Realtors. Specifically, a secret meeting between Realtors and those troubled souls who want to sell what is truly magnificent monastery property to slash and burn developers. Something that was first exposed here on The Tattler. And once that big secret was out, so outraged were a significant number of Sierra Madreans that they stood at the Monastery gates and vowed to do whatever it takes to save that magnificent property from such an awful fate. About 150 Sierra Madreans to be exact.

It was an incredible sight, and also testimony to the great organizational abilities of Preserve Sierra Madre and its inspirational leader, Matt Bryant. Who, by the way, is a Realtor.

Part of yesterday's big turnout at the Monastery

So here is what I am getting at. The fight to save Sierra Madre from predatory development, and in particular the Mater Dolorosa Monastery, is being led by Realtors. Who, together with folks from other equally fine professions, organized an effective and well run protest opposed to that now not-so-secret meeting at the monastery for … Realtors.

Except very few Realtors showed up at the Monastery's cheese party. Like maybe 8 at the very most. Out of the 100 or so who were sent invitations by the wannabe Monastery real estate developers.

There were far more Realtors protesting at the Monastery Gates than there were eating room temperature brie and plotting destructive development with Jerry Pearson and Father Higgins up at the big house. And even some of those that did go expressed strong disapproval of slash and burn development at Mater Dolorosa.

Unlike with some of the development controversies of the past (the Downtown Specific Plan and Measure V come to mind), this time many of the agents for good were real estate people. Like Matt Bryant and Mike Paris. And some others, too. Like (Saints preserve me) Judy Webb Martin. Credit where credit is due.

More on that in a minute.

But here is the deal. We will now no longer tolerate gainsaying Realtors on this site. Yesterday was a turning point for this community. While there are still some bad actors out there, by and large yesterday's extraordinary and historic demonstration at the Monastery Gates was led by some of the finest (and smartest) members of this community. Some of whom just happen to work in the real estate profession.

Much love and respect to our friends in that community from The Sierra Madre Tattler. Yesterday some Realtors just might have saved this community from one of the worst land use schemes since the One Carter debacle of 2004.

We need to show some gratitude and say thanks.

Three time Sierra Madre Mayor and Preserve Sierra Madre leader Clem Bartoli speaks out.

While 150 stood at the Monastery Gates, we had our spy on the inside of the Jerry Pearson/Father Higgins cheese and community heirloom destruction party.

(Mod: Here is what our man on the inside - who is a Realtor - has to share with us.)

Cameron Thornton (developer manqué who is also on the Mater Dolorosa board of directors), gave a history of the place. When it was bought, etc. 88 acres.

Joe Sanders - also on Board of Dir. - Said they plan to donate 45 acres behind the Monastery to some conservancy group. They can't sell it for development because it's a designated protected area. So they'll try and make it seem like an act of generosity.

20 acres would be developed - 40 to 50 houses. Leaves 15 acres for the Monastery. They will continue to have retreats, etc. (That leaves 8 acres unaccounted for.)

An Audi heads to the Cheese Party
They have considered so many other options, make a preserve? Leave it as institutional? Never received any offers except from developers. They also know they have problems as witnessed by the Preserve Sierra Madre people outside the gate as witnessed as that handful of Realtors drove up.

Three hot button issues that they will push as being good for the city:

1. Money in the form of development impact fees and new property taxes.

2. Increase in revenue from utilities.

3. (These are the words on the slide show) No net new water usage-acquifer recharge. Judy Webb-Martin challenged this - and Pearson said a bunch of senseless nonsense.

Mr. Sanders then said that water was a state problem. People in Sierra Madre per person use more water than San Francisco. When we cut our water back there will be enough water for 50 new homes. Maybe we should start using more. I think I'll start watering my lawn again.

Mr. Pearson spoke about how they have tried many ideas to get the city more money. One being a parcel tax on the citizens of Sierra Madre to support the monastery. They realized that would never pass by the 2/3 's needed. Only way out of the problem for the city is through development fees.

Mr. Pearson then said with the passage of the General Plan they will conform to the poliicies set forth and will build to code. They will have drought resistant plants, water systems in place to save water. Houses will go for 1million to 1.5 million but nothing is written in stone. Lots will be 11,000 to 15,000 square feet.

Judy Webb-Martin is against the building project and wanted to knows what they were up to. They also handed out a paper that they wanted everyone to sign. It is a Support for Mater Dolorosa. There were 7 realtors including myself and Judy Webb-Martin.

Some have said Jerry Pearson is a good guy. However, he strikes me as being a first class (deleted). Nobody should put anything past him.

I will now to describe the area for the houses:

If you are facing the Monastery, to the left will be three streets. Each will be a cul-du-sac, with a certain amount per home. To the right, across the road there will be three streets. Houses will line both sides of the street.

No mention of egress at Carter/Grove. Doesn't mean it won't happen. They will need that to bring in trucks. Unless they want to dust-asphyxiate the people on Sunnyside. No mention if they are looking at two stories. I didn't do the math because it's not my forte to see how many houses of 11,000 or 15,000 sf can be built on 20 acres. My guess is they will pack in as many as they can get away with.

They then did mention 2 story houses. The perimeter will be all 1 story but as you move up they will be 2 story. Also, the reason New Urban West left was because when the city passed the water rules, moratorium on tear downs, etc. Not sure I believe that, might be misinformation.

NUW didn't feel the city was ready to have this kind of development and because they had other jobs in the offing that they needed to tend to, they turned to those. But, they said with a little time they would be more than happy to make their proposals.

Also, there will be footage around the perimeter that people can walk along. It will not be a gated community, everyone will be free to drive around, etc.

(Mod: Good stuff, and thank you. Our man on the inside did bring us one more thing. That being a form expressing Realtor support for the Mater Dolorosa land killers. Of the 8 in attendance, not a single one there agreed to sign it. At least at that time.)


Mod: You just might want to fill one of these out yourself, and then send it to the City Council. Be creative and have fun.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

121 comments:

  1. I think even realtors have said enough is enough. They have seen the results of over-development in Arcadia, and if they live in Sierra Madre, don't want to see the same thing happen here. Whoever, attended that meeting did a service to us all by reporting on what Mater Dolorosa is up to. Jerry Pearson, from Arcadia of all places, leading the charge to have our community look more like his community. And then that guy Joe Sanders who is evidently on the Mater Dolorosa Board of Directors (I wonder where he is from) having the nerve to say that Sierra Madre residents need to use even less water so that more water can be available for their big housing project. These people clearly don't care about Sierra Madre one bit, all they care about it getting as much money as possible from that sacred land as they can.

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    1. I was concerned about this all along and now Joe Sanders from the Mater Dolorosa Board of Directors, told us flat-out what's going on. According to the world of Joe Sanders, we are all letting our lawns turn brown, taking shorter showers, re-landscaping our yards with drought resistant plants, incurring penalties if god forbid we exceed our allocation, we are doing all this so that there is enough water for Joe Sanders's and Mater Dolorosa's 40-50 unit housing project. Do all of us really want to go through all that so they can waltz in and tell us that we now have enough water for their housing project? What would Sierra Madre residents think if they knew that the Mater Dolorosa housing project is the goal that we are all sacrificing so hard for? Incredible.

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    2. 6:07. a couple of realtors have said "Enough." A couple of them.

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    3. So Joe Sanders thinks we are not conserving water enough here in Sierra Madre. When we start conserving water like San Francisco, then there should be plenty of water for their housing project. That kind of says it all. I can almost guarantee you that Joe Sanders and most of the people pushing this development, the Passsionist owners in Chicago, Jerry Pearson from Arcadia, Cam Thorton from Burbank don't care a bit about Sierra Madre for the simple reason that they don't live in Sierra Madre. They want to build their project, get their profits and then leave all the adverse consequences for the residents to deal with. How commendable.

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    4. I'd like to know if there is anyone on the Mater Dolorosa Board of Directors who wants to see that property preserved. I know the Board is stacked with pro-development people but there must be somebody who doesn't want to see that property carved up. If anyone knows who that person may be, let Preserve Sierra Madre know.

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    5. We need to reach the Board of Directors and the owners in Chicago. Jerry Pearson is not the guy anyone should be negotiating with. He is dead set on a housing project up there and there may be financial reasons for that.

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    6. I know Joe Sanders is on the Board but does anyone know his background. I think he's the President of the Board to boot.

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  2. What an amazing group of people who attended that rally - and that was doing the work day no less! And that's only the tip of the iceberg. I think Mater Dolorosa is getting desperate as they see their housing project starting to slip away - developers pulling out, the City tightening up the development rules, the historic drought. Its almost like God himself is saying, "Keep away from my sacred land.".

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    1. I'm happy as all get out, but unfortunately have a lot of experience with these developments.
      There are firms who will look for the fight, who enjoy it.
      Keep your guard up.

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    2. If I was Jerry Pearson, Cam Thornton or Joe Sanders, I wouldn't venture out in a lightning storm.

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    3. How do you get a $1.2 million dollar home through the eye of a needle anyway?

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    4. We do have to stay vigilant. They are getting desperate now.

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    5. When they are desperate, they are the most dangerous. I heard the normally cool Jerry Pearson lost his temper at that realtor meeting when Judy Webb Martin had the audacity to question their plans.

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    6. I love that picture of everyone! No money, no professional activists, just plain old heart power. And no developer should underestimate the power of the people some of whom would probably lay down in front of the bulldozers if they had to.

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  3. I love you, Sierra Madre! The "rally" was very quiet, orderly, just as Matt Bryant requested. There was a police car parked on the Mater Dolorosa property, just in case - just in case of what, I'm not sure. We got rowdy? Blocked traffic? I loved that the few realtors who did show up looked straight ahead as they drove past us, and they did look uncomfortable. Judy Webb-Martin, thank you for asking some tough questions.

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    1. Shout out to Clem Bartolai for his inspiring words as well. To have a former 3-term Mayor and the Grand Marshall from the 4th of July parade on our side is huge. Clem has been helping for two years now. Thanks Clem, a heartfelt thank you for everything you have done. over the years.

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    2. Thank you to everyone for coming out to that rally. It was very hot and very humid. Parking filled up very quickly at the top of the hill so people had to trudge up that hill for quite a ways. As many people as we had at the rally, I can tell you that countless others emailed the Preserve Sierra Madre website to apologize that they could not make it because they were at work. That's the kind of people we have here in Sierra Madre. Some of you may have lived in Sierra Madre all your lives and have nothing to compare it to. My wife, daughter and I are fairly new residents in Sierra Madre. But having lived in San Marino, Alhambra, South Pasadena and Altadena, I can assure you that there ain't no place like Sierra Madre! You just don't see this kind of civic spirit in any other town.
      Thanks for your support towards preserving the Sierra Madre we know and love not just for us, but for my daughter, your kids and generations to come.
      Matt Bryant
      Preserve Sierra Madre

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    3. What a sight to see people climbing the Sunnyside hill in that heat to get up to the gate. Amazing!

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    4. This is why I would not live in any other city but Sierra Madre and also why I will fight for what we have here.

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    5. Clem has been a real asset to the cause. Because of his background as a 3-term Mayor and now Grand Marshall at the 4th of July parade, people listen to what he has to say. He's also an excellent speaker.

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    6. Clem is a pretty good stump speaker. He's done a great job at past City Council meetings as well. Glad he's on our team.

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  4. Pearson must have looked at that empty room and wondered if maybe he could have bought less cheese. That and if his Sierra Madre land use scam is blowing up in his face.

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    1. The million dollar question is why is Jerry Pearson so motivated to sell this land? What's in it for him anyway.

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    2. Using the "It's always about the money" rule, I'd say it is about money.

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    3. They must be paying Jerry Pearson alot of money to be their frontman on this project. He must be getting paid by the hour or as a percentage of the sale.

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    4. I would venture to say that Jerry is going to receive a pot of gold were this thing to sell. Why else would he be spending all of his days trying to push it through. Its funny how they originally had Cam Thornton and Jerry as their pitchman. They fell on their faces. Then they brought in Father Higgins to pull on the heart strings. That's been a public relations disaster to have him now seen as violating his priestly oath. Now they have brought in their Board of Directors President, some guy named Joe Sanders.

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  5. To hear that Judy Webb Martin went to the meeting and challenged Jerry Pearson warmed my heart. That's what I want to see coming from people who do business in this town. Putting the community first rather grabbing at the money that Mater Dolorosa wants to dangle in their faces.

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    1. If you see Judy Webb Martin on the street, shake her hand, give her a hug and just say thank you. I know the Tattler has a renewed faith in realtors, but the fact remains that Judy Webb Martin was one of the few realtors who spoke up at a City Council meeting against McMansions and now she goes to that meeting yesterday and supports preservation. Amazing. If we had more people like her speaking out, this Monastery housing project would be dead on arrival. Carol Canterbury is fairly active in the community. Anybody know her stance on things. Her silence has been deafening. Also, was I imagining things or was that Sandra Siraganian from One Carter fame driving past us staring straight ahead to attend the wine and cheese and slideshow?

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    2. I was there at the gate taking pictures and I did not see Sandra. Though if she was there we would certainly need to congratulate her as well. After all, she didn't sign the paper. Nobody did.

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    3. 6:56 - not going to let a day of good feelings get in the way of all the usual political nonsense, right?

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    4. Canterbury, like Martin, has shown up at city councils and taken a stand against overdevelopment. They and Mike Paris are the only realtors who have done that.

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    5. No politics. If you support preservation efforts, do what Judy Webb Martin has done and come out openly. You may risk a few commissions from developers, but maybe there's more to life than money.

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    6. I still hold my suspicions that that some realtors aren't really opposed to over-development or saving open space but the reality that the planned homes will most likely be purchased by Chinese homeowners and that the listings and sales will exclude the local realtors

      but it is nice to see a handful of realtors take a stand because the development affects overall property values and the charm of the city

      Carol is against the development? really? She was all fired up to develop downtown in a cavern of condos and anti Measure V - what's her angle with this development? regardless I'll take her support even though it comes with a teaspoon a vinegar

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    7. Has anyone seen any support coming from her. If so, it must be a stealth campaign.

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  6. Thanks to Joe Sanders I now realize that I can water my lawn and stop a bad development from happening in Sierra Madre. Thanks Joe!

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    1. Joe Sanders might have single-handedly made the case against conservation. So let me get this straight. The community is making herculean efforts to save all this water so that Mater Dolorosa can build a housing project that the community does not want, I think we need the City to officially say whether or not that is true. Because if the only reason we are saving water is so that there is more in the well for developers, I'm going to take longer showers.

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    2. I am going on the three bubble baths a day regimen.

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    3. I am really going to cut back now knowing that the water savings is going to a good cause: allowing for a massive housing project that nobody in Sierra Madre wants.

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  7. If you look right in the middle of the photo up the driveway, you will see the police car that was there the whole time. At one point they had two. But there was nothing to fear from this crowd. The kind of people who care about this town and believe in saving wildlife and saving that sacred land that they aren't even allowed to really use any more since Mater Dolorosa put up the big gates are not the kind of people tossing molotov cocktails. The police though are to be commended for being thoroughly professional and very nice. I wonder if the folks at Mater Dolorosa called them out?

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    1. I thought it was a nice gesture when everyone in that crowd in front of the gate turned around and waved to the officer sitting in that car.

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    2. were we paying overtime for the police crowd control?

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    3. The cops were pretty cool. The main guy was a Sargeant Something. But they brought out the big brass just in case.

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    4. Sierra Madre can be a rough crowd I guess.

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  8. This Sanders dude who wants to destroy the monastery has the nerve to lecture us on water use?

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  9. I love that form that Mater Dolorosa wants the people who attend their "divide and conquer" meetings to sign after they try to razzle dazzle (or should I say try to bamboozle) the attendees with their dog and pony slideshow. What person in their right mind would sign such a form? This is the oldest sales trick in the world. Get people to sign a seemingly innocuous piece of paper saying you will be "impartial" about their project. The technique is called getting your foot in the door.

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    1. Yes. And then after you've signed it all of a sudden your name starts showing up on all of their flyers and literature as an enthusiastic supporter of development at Mater Dolorosa. Along with all of the other signees. How special will you feel then?

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    2. Sign once and you've made a buddy for life. One you'll never be able to get rid of.

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    3. I didn't see any words on that form saying how it will be used or not used. Secret signers may find they get more publicity about their support for the project then they bargained for.

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    4. Anyone who signs a pledge to support the development of the open space at the monastery will be featured in a list that will go on postcards, letters, newspaper articles...

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    5. Yea, I think they will have a very tough time getting folks to sign that form. Now that we know they are trying to do that, it will be funny to ask them how many signatures they have. Better yet, we should get our own petition going.

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    6. I guess they want a commitment. Maybe keep giving out the wine, people get a little tipsy and start signing their name to stuff. It sounds a little Bill Cosbyish.

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  10. Mater Dolorosa is having another one of their secret wine and cheese gatherings at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, July 28th. This one is even more mysterious because the invitation does not designate a particular group. Does anybody know who it is aimed at? The "divide and conquer" strategy calls for them to isolate and pick off people one by one to support their project whether its realtors, city leaders or city officials.

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    1. The people I spoke to who received that invitation in the mail all live very close to the Monastery. This might be an attempt to win over people who would naturally be the most vocal in their opposition. Those who will bear the full brunt of years of noisy and dirty construction.

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    2. My friend got an invitation because her father, who died quite a few years ago, gave money to Mater Dolorosa. I don't think he would any more if he were still with us.

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    3. That's going to be a tough sell to the neighbors who, aside from the consequences that will result once that massive housing project is built, will also have to endure two years of noisy, dusty, dirty 18 wheelers grinding up to the Monastery, hammering and jackhammers and god knows what else. Very tough sell indeed.

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    4. Standard development tactics.
      We're your friends. Really.
      We care what you say. Honest.

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    5. There going to have alot of extra cheese and wine on hand for the Fathers because after what happened yesterday, I doubt if anybody is going to come to Tuesday's pow wow.

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    6. I received an invitation but there's no way I'm going to that. On second thought maybe I will go just so I can report back to the Tatter.

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  11. Someone walked along and reminded the group to be sure to curb their wheels. All streets in SM running north/south are at a angle just steep enough to require this and some east/ west are, too. What this points out is the hilly nature of our town which is of utmost importance when you get to Mater Delarosa: the hillside ordinance keeps them from any serious building behind the monastery (so a "nice" but so-so gesture on the conservancy donation) and their drive to develop down below. The 40-50 houses proposed for 20 acres has been referred to as one of the largest tract projects for our town. It may be the LARGEST actually: have to compare it to 27 lots at 1 Carter l most recently and in the 1960-1970's the building boomed at Liliano Tract, Nutzel Tract (Nurtzel was a councilman) and Holdman St. area.

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    1. It also would be coming out at the worst possible time. Sierra Made is already built out. Keep the precious open space.

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  12. Judy Webb-Martin was on the Cultural Heritage Commission in its earliest stages before a nervous City Council dissolved it when there was a big push back from the anti-historic home registration group. There was a house on blocks slowly disintegrating because the developer for the Jamison Tract didn't have any interest in preserving it (the Decker house, built by an early settler that the Decker Springs on Mt. Wilson Trail is named for). There was a sign-carrying protest much like the one at the gate yesterday and that put the pressure on the developer and that house is now somewhat, but barely preserved as the yellow farm house to the east of Jamison Ct on west Highland Ave. Judy organized that protest. I have an old newspaper photo that I will try to dig up for the mod.

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    1. Hats off to all those who support the preservation effort. Some people try to play both sides of the fence. The fact that Judy Webb Martin, as a prominent member of the community is willing to risk the antipathy of the developers because of higher principals, is to be universally commended. I wish others have the same courage of their convictions.

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    2. Webb-Martin has stood up for her principles before and will again. She is an exceptional realtor. So's the guy who infiltrated - thanks!

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    3. Will Judy be sharing with us what she saw at the cheese party?

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    4. Are we going to ever learn who the mole was or is that going to happen after he dies.

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    5. The mole may be needed again. I heard he has penetrated the highest echelons of Mater Dolorosa and perhaps even into the inner circle of the Vatican. Nobody should underestimate the reach of the Tattler.

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  13. It may never be know for sure but I think our water usage as a city was way too high and that was due to the massive wasting of water and we purged our hydrants to cope with the chloramine scouring of the lines when residential water was yellowed and rusted from the change from well water (chlorine) to MWD water (chloramine). For the Mater Dolorosa developers to say Sierra Madreans used excessive water shows he/she/they do not know one lick about the water woes we face here!!!!!

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    1. How much does The Kensington use? That is the big new player.

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    2. 7:48, when that came up during the hearings, we were assured by owner Billy Shields that old people use just a little bit of water.

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    3. Of course.

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    4. Developers will say anything to get their foot in the door. Mater Dolorosa will try to tell us that only 40 homes or 35 are going up there. Once we accept that concept than the number will miraculously rise. I don't believe a word that comes out of their mouths. I don't trust Jerry Pearson as far as I can throw him.

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  14. Any developer would be running a fool's errand to get involved in the Monastery Project. As I guess Jerry Pearson admitted when he said that their chosen developer, New Urban West, said the community is not ready for such a project yet. Every developer is going to feel the same way because they do not want to spend their time and effort and money only to find out that the rug gets pulled from underneath them down the road. New Urban West already wasted money o that full-color brochure they did about the project. We haven't even gotten to the point of an EIR report - who knows what that will turn up. I'm sure it will also be vigorously challenged and may even result in a lawsuit if its given the green light. Developers don't need this. Where does that leave Mater Dolorosa? They may actually be digging themselves into a ditch where a property that has some value eventually will become worthless. That's the risk they take. New Urban West has undoubtedly told Mater Dolorosa to come back to us once you have softend things up so that we can build our project. In other words, New Urban West or any developer will not do the heavy lifting here. Mater Dolorosa is going to have to do that preliminary work to try to gain the support of the community for their project. That is why they are now launching a full-court press. The developers simply won't do it. It also means that Mater Dolorosa is forced into a fairly dramatic re-orientation of their mission. They are pivoting from a non-profit religious organization to an organization now focused on a for-profit development. Heck, they even have Father Michael Higgens spending all his time schlepping a development project. I would imagine that the Priests buried up there at Mater Dolorosa are rolling in their graves right now.

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    1. Buried up there? Hey, great foundation for a condo section.

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    2. If there is a buck to be made ...

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    3. Just wait, the graveyard will be slated for development next. This new breed of priests cares only about the money.

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  15. It is odd that Mater Dolorosa doesn't care about what the community wants, doesn't care about all the conflict they are trying to create with their "divide and conquer" strategy and all the divisiveness that such a project would cause as they try to push it through. If it can from a developer, you would kind of expect that kind of behavior. But coming from a religious organization that have lived in the community for 80 plus years, its not only surprising but its sad and disappointing.

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  16. "Fair and impartial hearing"!
    How dare they! They are saying the council will be unfair and partial, unless you plead with them not to be.
    That is offensive.

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  17. I guess the 8 acres not accounted for is the cemetary. Can't violate that unless confederates are buried there.

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  18. If you haven't joined Preserve Sierra Madre, do it now! Get your sign and put it out front proudly!

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    1. We can't put any yard signs at our condo but John and I have the bumper stickers. ..I would like to see more on cars....they are very attractive and get our message out.

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  19. Our council majority is only partial to residents......they live and love Sierra Madre and will never be convinced to allow such an outrage! They will never approve of such a development in our town. Not every politician in California can be bought off.......proud of the people of Sierra Madre.

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    1. Wish we could say the same for the majority if politicians in the state of California.
      Did anyone read the front page of the Pasadena Star News? Southern California has the second worst roads in the United States....the number one worst......you got it San Francisco.
      How about our corrupt Congress....they just approved a bill to over turn the voters in Vermont who wanted to force Monsanto and the grocer association to label foods and drinks with GMOs.
      It goes to the corrupt Senate who will pass it.
      See how lucky we are to have a city council that votes for us!

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    2. Two of our city council members, Diane, are already bought and paid for.

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  20. Don't think members of the council can't and haven't been bought.

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    1. Current 5 show them they can't be threatened either, when theyassed the General
      Plan. Most of the time our council rocks.

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    2. Compare the Sierra Madre City Council to what they are stuck with in Arcadia. They are now looking at a recall.

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  21. I think they plan to use the passed out form to gather enough of them and present them to CC as the "will" of the people.My neighbor got an invite to Tuesday's meeting and she doesn't live anywhere near the monastery. They will pass out the form then and there will be people who sign it.

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    1. There needs to be someone at the meeting that will be brave enough to speak out and let the others in attendance know what signing the support letters actually means.

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    2. Heather Allen?
      You are the best....you tell the people.

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    3. Heather is honest and tells it like it is.

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    4. Heather is our human grenade and not-so-secret weapon.

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    5. We should send Heather in disguise. If they recognize her, they will never let her in.

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    6. Heather is the best. She is fearless and smart as a whip.
      Heather should be the City Attorney.
      Gotta love her.

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  22. They may try....but it won't work.
    None of those council members wish to be remembered as the council who sold out Mater Dolorosa.
    The council members who sold out One Carter ...Rob Stockley, Tonja Torres, John Buchanan and Enid Joffe are not well remembered by many residents.
    It is widely believed that they may likely have sold out.

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    1. I agree. The present crop of Council Members would never sell out this town to developers and have proved that with their votes. We do have an election in November. Once bad election can change everything and undue all the good that's been done.

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    2. I only wish I had that much faith.

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    3. Not November, April is our next Council election. Be sure of who you vote for - all the candidates will say they are for our Small Town atmosphere, against MacMansions, etc. Ask the hard questions, but not irrelevant questions (as Tom Beck, one of the two good Arcadia Council Members, said) NOT whether that person believes in abortion, who he/she voted for for President, but what they will do to prevent this rape of our town.

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  23. "May have sold out"
    LOL

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  24. I expect that soon (if not already) they will be pushing their real estate agenda at St. Rita's and other local parishes.I fondly remember the days when they were a religious order not a land development company. They bus children in there for overnight "retreats" weekly seems to be mostly intercity vulnerable kids. I would not let my child spend the night up there.Especially with all this anti Christ stuff they are doing.

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    1. A land development company. Yep, you got it.

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    2. They are now spending all of their time on land development including Father Higgins. What a disgrace. They have all lost their way. No wonder the Catholic Church is having problems and why their membership is declining.

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    3. They have been talking to all the parishes for quite awhile.

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    4. I am not sure anyone listens to them much anymore. They sure misfired yesterday. Totally flopped.

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    5. It was a total bust. They've got to be re-thinking their strategy. We need to be ready for anything they throw at us.

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  25. All the streets around the site would be badly impacted, but Grove has kind of a built-in protection, because it's small and awkward. Sunnyside, Fairview, Lima? They'd be goners.

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    1. Carter would be killed as well.

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    2. They would have to cut into Bailey Park to make a 2-lane road.

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    3. Their "Plan" calls for widening Carter by removing some of the parking and grounds at Bailey Canyon Park. The park is on county property and the Passionist have the county on board. Grove, Carter, and Lima will be slammed

      Also the correct selling price will be $1,750,000 not $1,200,000. The homes will be about 3500 sq ft.

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    4. Maybe 3:13, but you have to think like a developer - maximum greed. Money is God.
      Using Carter add more uphill on to the gas usage. My bet is Lima and Sunnyside. Maybe north on Lima, south on Sunnyside, or visa versa.

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    5. Dear 4:55, the lots will be 11,000 to 15,000 s.f. They will build as large a house as code allows. On a 15,000 s.f. lot you can build approx. 5,000 s.f. A lot more then 3,500 s.f.

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    6. I think they're called "McMansions" and they will stand apart from anything we have in Sierra Madre.

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    7. We are looking to increase open space not shrink it by cutting into Bailey Park. The whole plan stinks. Too many challenges. No wonder New Urban West ran for the hills.

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  26. There are more realtors in town then you think that are preservationist that have been fighting for years starting with The Downtown Specific Plan and on ....and we always against the 450 mixed units downtown, East Montectio Plan( a lower income deluge (2004 on) and Carter now Mater De La Rosa. Maybe there names are not on a big list but love this community and know how valuable and unique it is and our in this fight!!!

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    1. Debbie Pock is a Preservationist.
      So is Monrovia realtor Laura Stone.

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    2. These Mater Dolorosa development pimps had better be careful..Preserve Sierra Madre group is very popular and very well organized. I've attended a few of their meetings and they are a highly intellegent group of people.
      Now they have many followers..so does The Tattler...they seem to know everything the opposition is planning.
      My prediction.....Monastery plans go the same route as One Carter.....a failed development.

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  27. Thank you 2:57, and all who do fight to keep our town unique. I remember when the developers tried to say East Montecito was blighted. One member of the audience said, "Blighted? If you think that are is blighted, then you'd better get out of town."

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  28. I love this town! Its all nice to have the Tattler to blow off some steam.

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  29. All the Whine and Geez parties in the world cannot justify infesting Sierra Madre with this plague of McMansions. Wonderful to see people show up and speak out. It's like A Mighty Wind! Or something.

    Let's hope the Good Fathers can read the signs and heed the warnings. Because otherwise, frogs. And lice. Yuck.

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  30. It is interesting that most posts to this site are "anonymous" - are you hiding? I have lived in Sierra Madre for 25 years in a home near the Monastery, and I support their proposal for development of their own property in a legal manner. This wonderful organization is a true gift to the world, and they have every right to do this. Their reasons (including care for aging clergy) are sound and their willingness to listen to community concerns are admirable. Of course, nearby property owners can have an opinion, but should not have a say in legal development of anothers' property. In my view, it is selfish to try to deny the Monastery to reasonably manage their assets toward the preservation of the enterprise. Those of you who are claiming that this is an environmental disaster or somehow not Godly are not being honest, or are ignorant of the facts. At least some of you object honestly, because you want the view or open space or less traffic or the water they would use - all of these you now enjoy without having to own them. If you want control over the property, buy it - they you and the Monastery both win. Yes, I am familiar with the $10M proposal a couple of years ago, and let's be frank - it was inadequate and unrealistic. Leave the Monastery alone, live with your neighbors and treat them fairly. Channel your fund-raising and public policy energies to helping the poor. - Jim Sadd, Professor of Environmental Science, Occidental College.

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    1. You must be a friend of Peter Dreier. He too puts what he believes is principle over the rights of individuals. Let me ask you a question. Do you really believe that the residents of the NW quadrant of Sierra Madre should endure 3 years of massive construction and all that entails because the folks at Mater Dolorosa did not adequately plan for their retirements? That seems to be a high price for anyone to pay, even for the most charitable amongst us. Also, do you believe that the building of 40 to 50 $1.2 to $2 million dollar homes there is good public policy when it comes to helping the poor? I know some might feel a little better about it if the Passionists were building low income housing there. Why is it, in your opinion, many must endure all the disruption building homes for the rich would entail while at the same time doing something the Passionists seem unwilling to do themselves? Also I find your claim that people who comment here are not honest to be rather supercilious and, frankly, ugly. Would you say that in a bar, or just from behind your keyboard? And is that how you communicate to the inmates at that $60,000 a year cost (tuition and housing) college you teach at? Speaking of a lack of charity, why is it much of the blue collar help that work there make far less than the $15 minimum wage that has just been established for Los Angeles County? Do you ever employ "Tiger Temps" in your work there?

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