Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Preserve Sierra Madre Lists Seven Big Accomplishments

-
I don't know how much time you spend over on the Preserve Sierra Madre website (link), but there is some great information there about the many efforts being made to keep the place in one piece and out of the hands of those who would otherwise cash in this community's birthright for a few quick bucks. It certainly hasn't been an easy struggle, and that fight does continue, pretty much as it has for years.

One of the items they have up on their website now is a list of things that have been accomplished lately in this seemingly never-ending struggle. It is quite an impressive roster, and I thought it would be a good idea today to post it here as well. Credit where credit is due, and since August is kind of a lull in all of that excitement, maybe we can take a moment to look back and appreciate all that this remarkable organization has helped get done.

Certainly this hasn't been all of their doing, and obviously nobody there would ever insist that they should get all of the credit. But ask yourself this, where would we be with any of this had Preserve Sierra Madre not stepped up and played the important role that it so often has?

Here is that list.

1. The passage of the Building and Water Meter Moratoriums.

2. The passing of the Demolition Moratorium and Demolition Ordinance that makes it more difficult to tear down historically significant homes built before 1940.

3. Saving 126 E. Mira Monte from demolition - the 1926 Craftsman home also known as the Henry A. Darling House.

4. The denial by the City Council of the first home proposed for One Carter/Stonegate.

5. Turning away New Urban West, the developer chosen by Mater Dolorosa for possibly one of the biggest housing projects over on the Monastery Grounds.

6. The City Council's approval of almost all of the Planning Commission's recommendations to improve the R-1 Zoning standards including lowering the floor area limits (how big a home you can build on a given size lot), lowering the thresholds for when a CUP (conditional use permit) is triggered and making a CUP mandatory for all 2nd story new homes and additions insuring that the Planning Commission and the immediate neighbors can give their input on a development project.

7. The improvements made to the General Plan and now its final passage.

Quite a list of important achievements.

Congratulations, and thanks.

sierramadretattler.com

74 comments:

  1. A big thanks to all those who woke up and stop letting those so called 'elected leaders' guide the future of 'their town or city' down the drain that will leave behind only ugly scares of a once peaceful land idyllic landscape. Since the voting residents gave the elected leaders the power to govern and those same voting residents can take it away from 'bad political leaders.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great Achievements by Preserve Sierra Madre. But the list is merely symptoms of the problem. Unless we treat the cause ,the carbuncle that is Elaine Aguilar will continue to infect Sierra Madre for decades to come..

      Delete
    2. We live in a state where local governments are rewarded by the money they collect and not the service they offer to the residents.

      Delete
    3. If you are talking about salaries, benefits and pensions, I'd have to agree with you. For many cities it is tantamount to fundraising.

      Delete
    4. The catalyst for much of the successes outlined here was the election of Denise Delmar. Elections do have consequences and that was a big one. I also give credit to every other member of the City Council that supported most of the successes listed.

      Delete
    5. A 50 vote swing in the last election and they'd be finishing up the first few McMansions at One Carter by now.

      Delete
    6. 9:18 is right. If that election had gone another way, Sierra Madre would have been well on its way to turning into Greater Arcadia.

      Delete
    7. Sierra Madre now has a fighting chance to look like Sierra Madre for decades to come based on what has been accomplished thus far. If everyone continues to remain vigilant you will be able to move away from Sierra Madre for 20 years and still recognize the town after you come back. You can't say the same for Arcadia unless they act fast before its too late. Imagine growing up in a town, moving away and then coming back for a visit only to find that the home you grew up in was torn down, the shops you frequented are now skyscrapers. In short, all you have are your memories.

      Delete
    8. People power can overcome the moneyed interests who care only about profit and not quality of life.

      Delete
    9. With the leadership of people like Buchanan, Stockly, Joffee, Torres, Mosca, Moran, Walsh and Big Daddy Doyle, we're lucky Carter is the only casualty! If those people had their way, there'd be no hillsides left at all. Kinnaloa or La Vina East....

      Delete
    10. 9:11 and 9:18 - I agree completely. How scary is it that Denise won by so few votes! It's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys when they are running - they all want to preserve our way of life, keep Sierra Madre small. Denise is just too awesome.

      Delete
  2. Community organizers creating change. Wow.
    I will continue to send them money and volunteer.

    Superb results. Thank you, again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You can fight city hall. And win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but there's no time off.

      Delete
    2. The intrinsic rewards are good.

      Delete
    3. It shows what the people can do. We all live here and we get to decide what our town is going to look like.

      Delete
    4. It must be said that by putting in the time up front to get these rules and regs in place, we save time on the back end in not having to keep fighting the same fights. Developers simply can't do now what they can do in Arcadia. While we are close, things are not over yet. The Monastery Development continues to be pushed. They want to divide the community in the process. We can't let the Passionist owners in Chicago, Jerry Pearson from Arcadia and Cam Thorton from Burbank try to do that in Sierra Madre. Go someplace else and push your development ideas. One Carter and CETT are still trying to build their McMansions in that sensitive canyon at the top of Baldwin. So we still have work to do. But at least we've minimized the number of battles that need to be fought which also means we can devote more time and attention to the remaining battles.

      Delete
    5. Speaking of the Monastery project, the people who go to their little wine and cheese party on August 20th to divide and conquer - the usual developer's tactic. Be careful. Don't sign that little committment letter they are going to put in front of you. They want to have you take a babystep in their direction because it will then be easier to swallow their big project later on. Its called trying to get their foot in the door by having you take that small, seemingly harmless step. Don't fall for it.

      Delete
    6. Great post, 10:15. Also 10:38. What the heck is this little piece of paper to sign? I mean other than bizarre?

      Delete
    7. If you sign they add your name to their list of development supporters. Wouldn't that make you happy?

      Delete
    8. Signing a support? That's freaky, and I think there's a plan to use it in unfair ways.

      Delete
  4. Well done Preserve Sierra Madre our town would not be as nice a place to live as it is without you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave. Preserve Sierra Madre has appreciated your support.

      Delete
  5. I'll not deny Preserve Sierra Madre's great work and the dedicated folks behind the organization but none of the seven accomplishments could have been accomplished without years of solid work by the dedicated and hard working volunteers that have been a part of preserving Sierra Madre the last 15 years. And, it goes without saying, Eric Maundry/John Crawfold prodding, poking, leading the charge to galvanize and catalyze civil disobedience! Good job, all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that Preserve Sierra Madre would be the first to say that they couldn't have done it by themselves. They have always given credit to a superb City Council and Planning Commission that supported almost all of the Preserve Sierra Madre goals. I know it may be hard for some people to believe, but the City Staff including Leticia Cardoso and, yes, even Elaine Aquilar have been on board as well.

      Delete
    2. The Tattler has been crucial to the preservation efforts. Most cities do not have anyone they can turn to for help which makes it all the more difficult. If appears that the Tattler is also supporting Arcadia's efforts at stopping McManionization which will be a huge boost to their efforts.

      Delete
    3. None of those accomplishments would have been possible without the support of the Tattler. Thanks John. Thanks for still caring about our town even though you don't live here any longer. You have made a difference and continue to make a difference.

      Delete
  6. Don't forget to make the PC meeting this week. While nothing will probably happen at this time, the commission still needs a few people to talk and show up. Does anyone know if there is an angle plane setback in the hillside ordinance? The new plans for Carter have no setback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 7:30 maybe? There's one item before it.

      Delete
    2. I don't know about an angle plane set back, but I do know that the house is not supposed to call attention to itself rather than the larger environment it is in. I think that is in the "Stonegate Design Guidelines" (?)

      Delete
    3. Preserve Sierra Madre submitted about a 7 page list detailing how that first house that CETT and Adele Cheng proposed for One Carter violated the General Plan, Municipal Code, Stonegate Design Guidelines. Judging from this second home that is proposed up there, it appears that CETT did not learn any lessons. All the same problems apply to the second home as well.

      Delete
    4. Please show up, and see our new Commissioners Leslee Hinton and John Hutt in action! Then shudder at the thought of what would happen if Vanderveld had been appointed instead!

      Delete
  7. On Thursday, the Planning Commission will discuss another house proposed for One Carter/Stonegate. It also looks like CETT is still trying to push through houses that are not suitable for the lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CETT or Lorenzo and Tammy Yih?
      The applicant is listed sometimes as CETT, sometimes as the Yihs.
      Odd.

      Delete
    2. We need some people to look at the plans for the second home up at One Carter. Its awful. Very boxy and shoe-horned into a smaller buildable pad in order to maximize square footage. Violates the General Plan, Municipal Code, Stonegate Design Guidelines and the Hillside Ordiance. It would be as much of a disaster as the first house that CETT and Adele proposed. We need to be agressive and stop this one at the Planning Commission stage and not wait for the City Council to overturn a bad decision on appeal. We don't need to settle for a bad project up there. It needs to be a great project and conform to our rules and not CETT's or Adele's rules.

      Delete
    3. Look at the plans for this house which will be discussed on Thursday, Aug. 20th. If you think we can rest on our laurels, think again. Here comes lawyer McDonald again, CETT, the Yeh's and Adele Cheng. We need to be read for 'em.

      Delete
    4. If you don't show up for the PC meeting, the commissioners may think that you are ok with the design.

      Delete
    5. I just don't get it. Somebody s'plain please. CETT is in court because the design they wanted was so bad the council itself tuned it down. Then the Planning Dept. told them the design on this new one was no good - and they are still bringing it to the commission. I don't get it.

      Delete
    6. They might be crazy. It is possible, you know.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a forum for national politics.

      Delete
    2. National politics is actually a show produced on a movie studio soundstage using actors. Most of them bad.

      Delete
    3. There are a couple of great movies about that. One on Netflix called "In the Loop"

      Delete
    4. I love movies based on actual fact.

      Delete
    5. Thank you, Mod, for keeping national politics out of our business. Too bad we can't keep the goofy State government out of our business!

      Delete
  9. Does anybody know if the floor area ratios were based on the "buildable" lot rather than just the overall lot size. I know that was discussed. If not, that is how these homes with a very small buildable lot are allowed to be so large. Too large for what they have there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure, but I don't think there's a buildable area rule. Should be.

      Delete
    2. I don't think the size of a same is based on buildable lot. So the parcels with a steep, unusable slope or hillside are allowed to use a formula for the size of a home that can be built which is based upon the overall lot size. Because developers always want to maximize the home they can build, the home will be way too big for its usuable lot. That problem needs to be corrected.

      Delete
    3. The size of the house is based on the size of the lot, NOT the buildable area. The old City Council should have never gone along with this.

      Delete
  10. Well folks, Adele is in rare form with her latest masterpiece.
    Just a quick summary: Max sq ft allowed 4,400 Proposed 4,382 If she moved the exterior walls out one inch she would be over the sq ft.
    That's 18 sq ft less than max allowed
    Down stairs: 1 full bathroom and a powder room
    Upstairs: 4 full bathrooms
    Total of 6 bathrooms
    Four bedrooms. One bedroom is noted as a study with closets and full bathroom. .
    A reflecting pool to be filled with what? Hey Adele, ever hear of a drought. Perhaps the pool is to attract bears, deer and other wildlife. Yeah, one really needs to attract the bears especially if there are children in some of those bedrooms. Gotta love the old girl. Ya can't say she gives up easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CETT has demonstrated with remarkable consistency their complete ignorance of nature.

      Delete
    2. I think this obsession for such an excessive number of bathrooms is just weird.

      Delete
    3. The houses that Chang designs are perfect for big flat lots in a city.

      Delete
    4. Remember how Mayor Cappocia asked Adele with her other spec house what one does with all those bathrooms, and Lawyer Richie marched up to the podium and told him to stop harassing his client!

      Delete
    5. Modern family need 5.5 toilet house. What if have to go bad?

      Delete
  11. That latest Adele casa looks like it might have just landed. A visitor from another world.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You guys have to much time on your hands worrying about Sierra Madre being over developed. Your jealous hearts for those who have means to build their dreams will eventually eat away at you. You are now left through your efforts a permanent scar at 1 Carter to look at. Build homes on that property so that it looks nice. Trees will make it a nice section of town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3:14, it's always a mistake to assume other's have your own problems and values.

      Delete
    2. Hey, 3:14 is bringing fresh material in! Great. So now if you are opposed to oversized houses in the hillside zone, it's not because you're a racist; it's because you got a bad case of the jellies.

      Delete
    3. 4:11, it is both. Obviously, preservationists are jealous racists.

      Delete
    4. My jealous heart is yearning for a housing development on Carter 1 that will look nice, not the stuff Adele is trying to foist off as "what the people want". I just finished reading the staff report for Thursday's meeting. A historical consultant states that this house fits in and doesn't clash with the historical buildings there. REALLY?

      Delete
    5. The same consultant has said that everything CETT has proposed does not clash.
      It's boilerplate consultant effluvium.

      Delete
    6. 3:14, No offense, but where did you learn your grammar skills? My jealous heart wants to know. I have the means to build a house, but I am happy with what I have! Me no have jealos heart for you build dream house. me just no want a nightmare home which hurt all neighbors. I no have to be one up on all people. I like my face, you do not.

      Delete
    7. Big house good, small house bad.

      Delete
  13. I will be there because I think it's important to show up, but I just realized that means listening to another half hour or more of Adele Chang's presentation, complete with fraudulent perspectives on power point of green rolling hills in the English countryside...argh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adele might not be much of a presenter, but she can deliver some extraordinary stink eye.

      Delete
  14. Amazing how little self respect and greed she has to fight the preservationists of Sierra Madre.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The angle plane consideration would also be applied in the hillside zone as it is everywhere else in the single family residential zone. Why you don't see a second story set back with Adele's latest boxy box is that is it set back far enough from the property lines. This angle plane is only obvious on the design of a second story when the lots are far narrower than these hillside lots. What does get this boxy box is that it does NOT comply with the requirements of the Azone that they follow and conform to the geometry of the hillside setting. Be sure to point this out repeatedly at the Planning Commission meeting Thursday. I would be there except I am in Atlantic Canada. Carry on, eh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The staff report cleary states that the angle plane requirement is met.

      Delete
    2. Might be the only nice thing that the staff report says about that place.

      Delete
  16. I am excited about Thursday night. I can hardly wait to engage Adele again. She and the attorney get so upset it's great entertainment. Besides there's nothin on TV worth watching. I'm ready for round 2-ding,ding

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have come to the conclusion that this is all a lawyerly ploy. The design was bad and the staff told them so CETT is going ahead anyway because they WANT it to be turned down. Then they go to court and say, "See? The people of Sierra Madre are racists. Oh, and very jealous, too"

    ReplyDelete