On Thursday, August 20th at 7:00 pm, the Sierra Madre Planning Commission will be discussing the design for the second home proposed for One Carter/Stonegate by CETT Development.
As many of you will remember, the first house proposed by CETT and their architect Adele Chang was rejected on appeal by our City Council. At that time, Preserve Sierra Madre submitted a 6-page "legal brief" detailing how that first home's design violated the General Plan, Municipal Code, Hillside Management Zone Ordinance, and the Stonegate Design Guidelines.
Our preliminary assessment of this second home's design reveals that CETT has submitted another home that is similarly in violation of the relevant legal documents making Preserve Sierra Madre's "legal brief" equally applicable to this second home as well.
On another note, Mater Dolorosa continues to have their wine and cheese get-togethers for various constituencies to garner support for one of the largest housing projects Sierra Madre has seen in decades. We understand that meeting will also take place on August 20th at 6:00 pm. The purpose of these meetings is to identify those people who will sign a "commitment" letter acknowledging that they recognize the "…. potential benefits to Sierra Madre..." of such a project.
While much has been accomplished in Sierra Madre in regards to controlling over-development, as you can see, we must continue to remain vigilant as there is more work to be done.
This is how tonight's main event is teed up in the Staff Report:
In what must be one of the more strange mood setters for any Planning Commission meeting, the company employing the applicant for this evening's festivities, CETT, is also the topic of the following "closed session" notice.
I am not certain how you can sue the City of Sierra Madre and its Planning Commission on the one hand, and then expect to have your next proposed project dispassionately reviewed and considered by the very same people you're suing. Then again, I am not a member of the CETT Circus. You have to wonder what charm school these people were expelled from.
As we pointed out on Saturday (link), this project is literally shelled in the Staff Report. Personally I can't recall any similar project getting criticism quite this pointed before. Here it is again:
I am sure that the individual who is both the applicant for this project and its celebrated architect, Adele Chang, will attempt to convince the Planning Commission that the above is not quite true. Adele does have quite a record in town for colorfully defending her difficult to defend projects, and at considerable length I might add, so this shouldn't be a completely new experience for anybody tuning in.
One question that is on the minds of many is should she fail to achieve her goal, which supposedly is getting this project approved, will CETT sue the City of Sierra Madre once again if they don't get their way? And might that actually be the real agenda driving their efforts tonight?
I personally would not put such a thing beyond them.
It should be quite an evening. Bring plenty of popcorn.