The text amendments do allow for development of course, no one is calling for the City of Sierra Madre to remain forever frozen in place. However, each of these does place some very key and specific controls on that development. There was nothing reckless or spontaneous about what happened last night, either. These have been under deliberation since June of last year, so plenty of caution was taken. Nothing was rushed.
Here are those 5 main items:
1) Front Yard Setbacks: Whenever fifty percent (or greater) of the properties on the same side of the street in the linear block where the project is located have set backs greater than thirty feet, the prevailing setback shall be calculated by adding all of the front yard setbacks, except for the smallest and largest setbacks and dividing by the number of lots in the calculation.
2) Flag Lots are prohibited for newly created lots and for newly configured lots resulting from lot line adjustments.
3) Conditional Use Permits. The location of a project on the site will be taken into consideration.
4) Additional Burdens of Proof have been added for permits for single-family houses. This section is meant to impose significant, separate, and additional burdens on proposed project with the understanding that in many cases satisfying such burdens may call for significantly reduced development intensity than is allowed otherwise under this title.
5) Modified Front Yard on Cul-de-Sacs. This section was deleted entirely.
It will be interesting to see if these Municipal Text Amendments will be agendized for City Council consideration before next April's election. Any delay past that date should be seen as a cause for concern.
Letter from a Resident
(Mod: I received the following recently, and it is a very well informed letter. The article it refers to was called "Sierra Madre Falls Short Of Its Water Conservation Target Again - This Time By 12%," and was posted here in Wednesday.)
Dear Mr. Crawford,
I read your article in The Tattler this morning. I happen to know someone in the city government and have been told several things of which you may not be aware. There is a water patrol. They apparently send violations to the city. The city issues a courtesy letter, but no fines have yet to be levied. Fines are only issued if people go over their tier numbers.
Mr. Inman may have been given a way to figure out the city's water leakage, but he insists there is no way to do it.
Several people have told me that they offered to volunteer to help do billings in the water department. Elaine Aguilar never answered them.
My thoughts are that if the city isn't fined $61,000, the city manager will use this money instead to help pass the UUT. There is already a committee set up to figure out how to best present the UUT to the citizens. Something along the line of the firehouse get together much touted by Capoccia and Goss.
Elaine has always made the recommendation that money never be taken from the 2 million in the water fund nor the General Fund to repair infrastructure. Many of the worst leaks in the pipes would have been fixed by now. She may have to take from the water fund to pay the CALPERS balloon payment that is due soon.
Mr. Inman has readily admitted that the water leaks go towards the state quota. How can anyone in the city blame the citizens when there have been leaks all over the city? I'm sure Elaine was not pleased that that info got out! Mr. Inman may be all that people think, but he has become the fall guy. He is not his own boss. He does as he is directed by Elaine as does our Mayor.
I have also heard that no one seems to know who these 30 water wasters are. The city says they know, but no average citizen has been able to point to any neighbor that waters that excessively. I'm sure the water patrol would be able to answer that!
In case you didn't know, there are a lot of people who drive, walk, and jog in the wee hours of the morning. Many have wondered where the police patrols are. If these patrols are seen they are the same 2 policemen and they don't work that shift all the time. The cars are usually parked in front of the police department.
I have a couple of friends who received parking tickets, misplaced them and waited for the notice to come in the mail. The notices never came and no fines ever showed up on their registration. This is outsourced, but does anyone ever check it? Does anyone check to see if cars parked in wee hours have permits? There sure are a lot of them parked without stickers. Doesn't that count as revenue?
No one wants to run for City Council because they are afraid of Capoccia or Harabedian. Ask yourself, who would want that job? The city is in such a mess and with many townies who can't see through the fog that is spun by city hall, so it will remain so. Both of these noble candidates feel the city has turned a corner-sure, right into a dead end.
The city manager should have been long gone by now. There is no fix as long as CalPERS remains. It is up for renewal in 2018. God only knows what limitations will be in that renewal. The city could file bankruptcy and hope like heck they get a decent judge. The retired benefits would have to be paid until the retiree passes, of course.
And lastly the Passionist Monastery. Does anyone out there really believe that the city won't allow them to build? Think money, folks. Millions of dollars being dangled in front of City Hall eyes. That money and the money generated by One Carter has put stars in the eyes of city employees as well as the City Council. Money being the all-purpose solution to everything.
That same bunch that shamed the city as well as embarrassed the Sheriff's Department are just waiting for the call from their noble leaders. Sad.