|A "barracks style" McMansion in sorely afflicted Peacock Town|
Mod: Yesterday the Saving Arcadia group and their campaign to put an initiative on the ballot that would effectively halt mansionization there came under attack in the comments section of this blog. It was done pretty much along the lines of this charmer:
Which, while being pretty standard issue stuff for certain folks who come to comment here with bad intent, also presented what I thought was a good opportunity to get some truth out about what is really going down in Arcadia right now. And rather than the failure fearful Mr. Pouty here proclaimed in so typically sour a way, things are actually going quite well for the Saving Arcadia folks. Here is the report they sent our way.
The petition to put limits on the size of new homes in Arcadia has been very successful. We have gathered over 3,200 signatures, but we have only been able to verify about 2,600 as registered voters.
Saving Arcadia found that the county registrar will "de-activate" registered voters who haven't voted in a long time. In January, we are going to be contacting the 600 signers who are not currently on the registrar's roll to "re-register" them. We only need approximately 2,910 signatures to qualify. We have most likely missed the April 2016 ballot, but we will definitely qualify for November 2016. We have until February 24, 2016 to submit the signatures, which is more than enough time to get this done.
Anyone interested in helping can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact April Verlato at her office (626)445-2411.
We are positive that we will get the required number of signatures to qualify. The only concern being what will the City Council do to keep us off the ballot. There is plenty that they can do. Just because we get enough signatures doesn't mean our initiative will automatically get on the ballot.
The first time Larry Papp submitted his petition for the repeal of the UUT in Arcadia, he had enough signatures, but the City Council voted against putting it on the ballot stating the language of the initiative was "Unconstitutionally Vague." Larry had to rewrite the petition and re-circulate it for signatures. The second time the City Council chose to put it on the ballot for April 2016.
April Verlato’s name has become familiar to viewers of the City Council meetings, where she has been waging a campaign against the building of large homes that has spawned the Save the Arcadia Highlands anti-mansionization group, which in turn sparked a lawsuit against the City of Arcadia earlier this year, and has also led to a proposed ballot initiative that would create a voter-written zoning code to limit the size of homes built or remodeled in Arcadia.
Property values in South Arcadia, which has no neighborhood design review and no limits on the size of new homes, have declined approximately 20% in the last year. In the areas of the HOAs, where there is design review that forces limits on square footage similar to what is proposed in the ballot initiative, prices have stayed the same.
One of the reasons property values have declined in South Arcadia is because of the number of homes for sale. The market is over-saturated. Why are so many people selling their homes? Why isn't there more demand? Limits on square footage will not cause property values to go down 30-40%. It didn't happen in San Marino, Sierra Madre, Pasadena or Monrovia when they adopted limits on square footage.
Property values are higher in the HOAs of Arcadia than in South Arcadia. Why? Because the HOAs offer a better, more appealing neighborhood where the size of homes is restricted. What will happen if the ballot initiative is adopted by the vote of the residents? Developers won't make as much money and people will want to live in Arcadia again because it's a "Community of Homes."
Attached is the City Attorney's Title and Summary of the Ballot Initiative. Anyone who signs the Petition has to sign on a page that has this on it. It is presumed by law that a signer of the petition can rely on this title and summary as an accurate representation of what they are signing. It is written by a neutral, third party that has no bias.
The following chart is one prepared by the Saving Arcadia Team to help people understand the differences being proposed versus the current zoning laws. The information is meant to help people understand what is missing from Arcadia's codes.
Here is an Addam's Family poster McMansion of what is wrong in Arcadia and what we are fighting against (link):
Mod: The ugliness and ostentation of this structure aside, why would anyone ever need 10 bathrooms? Is there a Freudian present who can explain this?