Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Saving Arcadia Team: The Ballot Initiative Petition To Put Limits On The Size Of New Homes Is Moving Forward

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 savingarcardiateam@gmail.com 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.

The Arcadia's Best blog did a write up of all 7 of the possible contenders for next April's election (link). Only two seats are up for grabs. It is a mix of pro-mansionization and preservationist candidates, along with some who do not say. Obviously this will be a watershed election for Arcadia.

April Verlato
April Verlato will be running. She will be the choice of those who want reasonable development with reasonable standards in Arcadia. Here is how Arcadia's Best describes her candidacy:

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?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

34 comments:

  1. Damn! Best of luck to our friends in Arcadia. It looks like they are going to pull it off!

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  2. Are there any new Core Logic numbers out yet?

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  3. Best of luck Arcadia volunteers.
    I always give you a few bucks when I see you gathering signatures outside of Ralphs on Foothill. I can't sign petition because I live in Sierra Madre
    I know how hard y'all are working.
    I used to do the same thing here in Sierra Madre. We won and so will you.

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  4. I love the fact Arcadia has finally had enough now the good citizens want to take their town/city back from developers and other undesirable elements in society. May the force be with you!

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  5. Sierra Madre is going into a bad patch with our elections, and Arcadia might be coming out of theirs with this initiative. Plus both of us have an election in April. Joined at the hip we are!

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  6. Off topic but equally important.
    https://santatracker.google.com/?hl=en#village

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  7. It's called "Bypassing the Middle Class."TM © Going from dirt poor to fairly or very wealthy in less than a generation. Why have a middle class house if you've never been in the middle class?

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    1. Unfortunately for that particular theory middle class Americans have rights. And as we are seeing in Arcadia sometimes they actually use them.

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    2. I don't think you have the "rights" you think you have. If local codes allow for such construction, you really don't have any "right" to prevent that construction unless, perhaps, it directly and negatively affects you or your property. Then you may have some "rights."

      Sure, a city council may prescribe certain limits by creating legally enforceable codes that are constitutional, but in the absence of such codes, or where the codes allow for such mansions, you really don't have any right to prevent it.

      The rights you do have are to petition for change and to elect people who will set limits.

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    3. Well said, 9:00.

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    4. My guess is it was a reference to the initiative process in Arcadia. A perfect example of middle class rights in action.

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    5. You run into that in the United States once in a while.

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    6. The United States Constitution is racist.

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  8. What's it really matter how many toilets you have in one house.your city council man built his house on hacienda 20 years ago and has 8 toilets in his house. He could afford it, and evidentially the chinesses can afford it now. Ho Ho ho

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    1. Hopefully you're the guy tgat cleans them all.

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    2. 9:38, have you heard of spell check?

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    3. What city councilman is he talking about? That is a very confusing post!

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    4. Maybe there should be a chamber pot per residence limit.

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  9. It's going to be a tough fight, and we know from experience that certain moneyed interests will not hesitate to hire some expensive professional liars to distort the issues. Head's up.

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    1. I remember Measure V in Sierra Madre. The BIA, CAR and Arcadia Realtors spent $180,000 to defeeat. They still lost.

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    2. Yes. Some of those same players are now fighting April Verlato and Saving Arcadia.

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  10. Hello Mr or Mrs Blog operator
    Not sure why some of my posts don't get posted. Looks like some selective filtering going on, eh ?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. We do not clear posts with obscene language or personal insults. If you actually posted things worth reading you would not be having these problems.

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    2. Tattler Research Team MemberDecember 23, 2015 at 1:18 PM

      Hello Mr or Ms Poster,
      You can always start your own blog.
      But just so you know, every once in a while posts get into spam folders. It can happen. But as long as you keep it clean, the Mod tends to be generous in clearing comments.

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    3. The problem a lot of people like 11:25 run into is they don't have enough to say to sustain a blog. So instead they come to places like this and make nuisances of themselves.

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    4. This is a hijacked blog.

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  11. This is controversial? The proposal still allows more floor area and more height than Sierra Madre code did before our recent revisions that further reduced development intensity. (The proposed limit on basements is an exception; Sierra Madre doesn't limit basement size.)

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  12. I think I can explain the 10 bathrooms in one word. INCONTINENCE!

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    1. I was thinking of something along the lines of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, like germ phobias.

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    2. You would have to be a very strange person to need 10 bathrooms in your house.

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  13. The bedroom to bathroom ratio can only spell one thing: future baby born in US to immediate citizenry hotel. The neighborhood will have to be on ever alert.
    Sierra Madre hit the tipping point earlier than most when developers in the late 1990's tried to pick off the hillsides for development and a small group (actually three women that evolved to a group of about 220) pulled off the halt to these greedsters and the hillside ordinance #1 went into affect. Revised one time and with an ever vigilant group, the "not only no but hell no" group went on to become the Yes on Measure V, the No on the UUT and the Preserve Sierra Madre group. Maybe Sierra Madre was as successful as it was early on because we are a smaller community and the possibility of cohesion is more immediate and effective.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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