|(Click on the picture to enlarge.)|
To the left I have placed a screenshot of a Google Earth street level photo of the current (previous?) house, which was taken in 2012. This is a couple of years before the rhubarb we are writing about today first began. There is considerable community opposition to the proposed vanity castle the present property owner wishes to erect at 1734 Claridge Street, and letters plus a petition from concerned residents are attached to this agenda item.
There are several interesting (and jarring) aspects to this appeal of what was a series of Development Services Department decisions, none more so than the applicant's stated claim that the opinions of his potential neighbors do not matter to him. This in contrast to Sierra Madre where any similar applicant would at least pretend to care about what those in the immediate vicinity might think about his project.
Why would the applicant say such a thing? My guess is the notion that property rights belong mostly to new arrivals and not longtime residents, so prevalent in certain quarters of Arcadia, is at work here.
This viewpoint, which ostentatiously privileges new money and has much of its origin with the Arcadia Association of Realtors, is of course strictly profit driven. Yes, it really is about the money, as it so often is. This despite all of the sanctimonious hogwash from that group, along with the big money developers who also profit by it.
Speaking of hogwash as we are, this is also a viewpoint often voiced by Councilmembers Roger Chandler and Sho Tay, elected officials who have both received considerable campaign money from people who advocate for this. Many in Arcadia suspect that Chandler and Tay have one ear for those with ready cash for them, and another one for the hopes and needs of longtime residents and taxpayers.
Guess which ear is deaf.
Here is the intro to the agenda.
Hopefully the recommendation to deny this appeal will hold. There are lots of reasons why it should, including the novel one that the applicant has chosen to largely ignore previous Development Services Department requests to make more than just minor changes.
There is an odd arrogance to this appeal that sounds especially jarring to someone who is more used to how things like this are going lately in Sierra Madre. Though, in all honesty, the folks at CETT can seem little arch at times. Something that they have backed up with legal action from Lawsuit Richie.
Here is the example I alluded to above.
Fortunately, city staff does not agree that this boatload of baloney should go forward.
This Agenda Report goes on to list these guidelines which, for space considerations, we'll forgo today. You can read all of this should you so choose by clicking here.
Here are a couple of the letters received by the city from concerned neighbors to this vanity castle project. These are from the people who are being commanded by the applicant to live in the shadow of a vast architectural monument to his sense of personal glory.
Should be quite a meeting.