Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Arcadia Confidential - Sho Tay: In The Way

The man with the Miss America smile
Mod: The following has been sent our way by concerned folks from Arcadia worried about out of control development there. Apparently there is still some major institutional resistance in town, mostly  from those making big bank off of mansionization. This despite the opposition of a large portion of the people living in that town.

There is still no hope on the horizon for reasonable development standards in Arcadia.

Last Tuesday night (02/23) the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the Arcadia Zoning Review Committee Recommendations. They were supposed to merely review the recommendations and give input as to whether or not City Council should adopt them as proposed or what suggestions they had. Councilmember and Bulldozer Bob supporter Sho Tay posted the following screed on WeChat. Link here.


Mod: A translation can be found at the bottom of this post.

What Happened:
About 60 misinformed and misdirected residents showed up and about 20 commented that night at Planning Commission on how the City was rushing into the adoption of a zoning code change that was going to have a huge negative impact on property values. Sho Tay was there “leading” them.

The Planning Commissioner Deborah Lewis, who was on the ZRC claimed she had “second thoughts” about the proposal. She could not support the ZRC recommendations and felt the City was rushing into it.

Three other commissioners sided with her and agreed to continue the hearing and request the City do an economic impact study. Only 1 commissioner, Brad Thompson, raised the point that the City has been “studying” this issue for 2 years already. That an economic impact study would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take 6-9 months.

Commissioner Thompson also pointed out that as a real estate appraiser it is his opinion that uniformity of size within a neighborhood adds value to a home. He also stated that the FAR proposed for the Village and Highlands in his professional opinion was the most reasonable FAR proposed out of the 4 and that he thinks it should apply to all of Arcadia.

The other commissioners were not persuaded.

Commissioner Deborah Lewis, who does not own a home in Arcadia but lives with her mother, has Harbicht signs in her mother’s yard.

ON THE TOPIC OF HARBICHT SIGNS
The Harbicht sign in front of 1203 Highland Oaks Drive construction is missing. Can someone please replace it? 

It seems Kin Hui of Singpoli does support Harbicht:


Also Kin Hui is posting on Facebook his opinion about the ZRC recommendations.


CATCHY MOTTO:
Bring Back Bob HarbichtThe Voice of Reason?” Or is it the voice of 
   Real
Estate
Agents
Supporting
Overbuilt
Neighborhoods?

Sho Tay's WeChat Translated: Anti-Zoning Review Committee propaganda
Do you know the new proposed standard for housing in Arcadia?

Dear Arcadia Residents,

After six weeks of discussion, the Arcadia government is proposing to the City Council a more stringent building code to limit the size of new buildings. There are many details but the two main points are:

1) Upper limit of building size is to be reduced by 25% to 45%, depending where your house is located.

2) All hedges facing the street must be lower than 4 feet.

About the first point, the new limit depends on where you live. The Green box is the approximate current limit. The Red box is the proposed limit. Note the different areas have different limits.


The second point means many hedges facing main streets such as Santa Anita Ave. will have to be trimmed to lower than 4 ft, such that pedestrians and drivers can see the house, windows and backyard.

The proposal is in this link. http://www.ci.arcadia.ca.us/home/showdocument?id=5906

City Council will discuss this proposal on Feb 23.  If you have any opinion, please voice your view in the meeting. Otherwise, 5 members of the city council will vote on Mar 15.  Three of the current councilmen support the proposal. They are Major Gary, acting Councilman Mike and Tom elected in 2014. Two councilmen tried to minimize the damage, they are Sho Tay and Roger. Speaking at the council meeting is not hard. Write a half page script, fill in a green card with your name before the meeting and hand it to the staff.  You will have 5 min to  voice your opinion.

Q: Has “Saving Arcadia Highlands” succeeded in ballot initiative?
A: No. They have not collected 3000 signatures.

Q: What is the result of last city council survey?
A: Even the city called upon residents to respond to the survey, only 490 responses collected out of more than thirty thousand residents (only 1.6% of total). These responses were reflected in the above proposal.

Q: Others are against it, I don’t need to do anything.
A: No, there are three councilmen supporting the proposal. Now the opposite voice (especially from Chinese) is very weak. If you don’t care about your own house and land, no one will care for you.  The drop in property value may equal a few years of your salary. So no matter how busy you are, please pay attention.

Q: I don’t have the right to vote.
A: It doesn’t matter, go to listen and speak. Let the councilmen know your opinion.

Mod: It is interesting to note that the canard tying property value losses to controlling overdevelopment still lives behind the Peacock Veil. Even though statistics show that the opposite is true (link). Of course, in Sierra Madre some claim property values are tied to the rate of utility taxes being paid to fund employee CalPERS accounts. So yeah, the madness is everywhere.  

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. Unlike SM, they have a big sales tax revenue, more property to tax, the mall, the race track, etc. They don't need a UUT. They need less building and more community.

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    1. Arcadia needs a UUT. How else are they going to pay for Platinum Pensions at 50 for all those cops and firefighters?

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    2. The UUT and the development impact fees from McMansions. Arcadia is one big house of cards.

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    3. don't forget the Mercedes dealer, a McMansion has to have a $100,000 S550 in the driveway.

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    4. The City of Arcadia uses tax payers' money to misslead the public about UUTs in the City's Spring 2016 Newsletter. It states that "in 2009, the voters of Arcadia approved the continuation of the UUT with 76.5% of the voters supporting the tax."

      What did voters really approve in 2009? Check the question of Measure A on the ballot of June 2009:

      "Shall an ordinance be adopted to update, with no increase in rates, Arcadia’s existing Utility User’s Tax Ordinance on telephone/telecommunications services to address current and future technologies in order to preserve funding for critical City services, including police and fire protection, paramedic services, library and recreational programs, so that all taxpayers are treated equally regardless of technology used, while maintaining current low income and disabled exemptions?" https://ballotpedia.org/City_of_Arcadia_Utility_Users_Tax,_Measure_A_%28June_2009%29

      According to Ballotpedia.org, Arcadians did not vote about UUTs except in 2009.

      "However, after the 1996 passage of Prop 218, to pass such a (UUT) tax, the voters who would be paying the tax had to approve it directly through voting on a ballot measure." Ballotpedia.org

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  2. The ballot initiative supported by “Saving Arcadia" is the only effective way to curb mansionization. Too bad they could not get 3000 signatures.

    "Save The Highlands" Facebook page says they have already got over 3000 verified signatures. What's the truth?

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    1. We did get over 3000 signatures.

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    2. So why is Sho Tay saying that? He'll be embarrassed when this shows up on the ballot in November.

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    3. Mr. Tay doesn't care whether he's telling the truth or not. He's a very clumsy and greedy salesman.

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    4. It is maddening that Sho chooses to only communicate in Chinese. Apparently in his mind only people who speak that language are worth bothering with. I'd have hoped he would try to represent all of Arcadia. That we need to rely on an out of town blog for translations only adds to the absurdity of Mr. Tay's eccentric rule.

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    5. Gem Coins were sold almost exclusively in Chinese. These people prey on their own.

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    6. This blog is not from out of town anymore. It's been highjacked!

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    7. Sho Tay communicates in Chinese because he's doing his best to make this all about race.
      It's about over-development, not race, but he doesn't want people to realize that.

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    8. He communicates with Chinese because he doesn't know english.

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    9. Let's discuss the facts. Almost all of the tearing down to build McMansions is being done by the Chinese. They don't appear to want to assimilate into the native culture but want to bring the Chinese culture and architecture tastes along with them. They are certainly allowed to do this. If you grew up in Arcadia and see the wholesale razing of neighborhoods to build these garish McMansions, you are bound to be upset. Its a simple clash of cultures. I could have seen this coming along time ago. Rules should have been put in place then. Now it may be too late. Back when the demographic in Arcadia was about 10% Chinese, it could have been done. Now, with the Chinese population in Arcadia surpassing 50%, it makes it tough. We have let too many immigrants into this country too quickly and so they haven't needed to conform to our mores. They have been able to put their own stamp on things. You also have about 200 million more Chinese who want to move to the San Gabriel Valley. We created this mess when, for profit, we shifted our manufacturing base to China and literally turned them from a backward country into a country that has become a Superpower threatening its neighbors in the South China Sea. Do you think these immigrants care about our history, Lincoln, Washington, our historical homes. No they don't. Right now, I see the old rich downsizing into smaller homes that are more sustainable. The new rich is still a bit insecure about their wealth so they feel the need to flaunt it in the form of gigantic homes that just about shouts out "Look at me, I'm rich, I'm important". Its a classic clash of cultures. I'm afraid its too late for Arcadia. When it was all happening in south Arcadia they should have seen that the tipping point would come. And now the Highlands is changing. I don't even know my neighbors any more. Heck many don't even speak English in America. God help us.

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    10. 5:17PM, don't give up yet. Most of the Highlands and many other areas in Arcadia are still in good shape. In addition, the Chinese government is trying to control money from flowing outside the country for the sake of its own economy now. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-27/here-s-what-china-is-doing-to-tighten-the-noose-on-capital-flows

      So let's hope that the ballot initiative gets approved in November this year.

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  3. Where there is money then there is a way to make more by over developing any location in a city until there is nor more space to occupy with another multistory building.

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  4. April Verlato is a straight up con artist and self-interested ambulance chaser. She did not get 3000 signatures. If she did we'd be voting on anti-mansionization rules. Her shrill anti-Chinese campaign fell on deaf ears. I doubt the mod will post this because it tells the truth about the very flawed preservation campaign, which is more of a nostalgic yearning for the days of exclusion.

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    1. Verlato has clearly stated that while they did not have the necessary signatures for the April election, there are more than enough for November. So why do you think you can tell your big lie to your constituency? Is it beccause many of them do not speak English and you think you can get away with it?

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    2. Your logic is circular,flawed and blinded by racism 843. If AV said the sky was green you'd obviously believe it. I'll bet you are voting for Trump.

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    3. You are a pathological liar and obviously quite insane.

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    4. 8:23 needs to adjust those meds. That, and keep attending those anger management classes. Tomorrow will be a better day.

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    5. It's the slowing of the Arcadia housing mkt that has caused 8:23 to become so deranged. Overdevelopment has ruined his business.

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    6. No, I didn't get over 3,000 signatures. Saving Arcadia did. They submitted the signatures on Monday, February 22. No, it won't make it on the April ballot. It will be in the hands of Arcadia's City Council as to whether or not it goes on the November 2016 ballot or the April 2018 ballot. An initiative to put limits on the size of homes is not "racist". This may shock you, but some of those residents who circulated the petition identify themselves as Asian American.

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

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    8. Obviously 8:23 is prone to making unfortunate assumptions.

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    9. Sorry 12:14. This isn't a middle school playground.

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    10. 8:23 - you are straight up crazy.

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    11. Yes Saving Arcadia did it. But your office is Saving Arcadia with a big banner outside.

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    12. Here, have a hankie.

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    13. 8:23 what's your evidence that April has a "shrill anti Chinese" campaign ? Don't just make accusations, state some facts.

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    14. Was the Save the Arcadia ballot measure pushed to November to enable and not muddle the campaign to the city council of one of it's founders ?
      If it has enough signatures why is it not on the April ballot?

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    15. You are lying and everyone knows it.

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    16. 8:23 got it right! And if April is not a con artist, she supports con artists if she has an interest. April will bully the righteous who report wrongdoing not only with her attorney status, but use of her new, months old title of a public official as a tool for her self-righteous bullying and defending of wrongdoers. In case April does not know, being an elected public official is a privilege, a work of service in good faith TO the community, not another title fo be used for self righteousness and even issues that have absolutely nothing to do with the elected office itself! April needs to remember that she is a public servant, paid for by taxpayers. An elected public official is a service you provide in good faith, not a title to use at your disposal, especially to bully those who try to do what is morally, ethically, and legally correct in order to hush them up. Say what you wish about Sho Tay. I have sure not heard of Mr. Tay abusing his elected title in such manner. He understands that it's not a title, it's a service to the public. This is why he is still in office. Once people realize that "Councilwoman" seems like nothing more to than s jewel in an imaginary crown on her head that only she herself can see, she'll be voted out. Not a campaigner myself, but would go door to door for her opponent.

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  5. An ad hominem attack doesn't make your point either.

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    Replies
    1. It isn't working for you either, Spanky.

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  6. Did Show Tay and John Woo go to jail,???

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  7. More houses are being demolished on North Baldwin, Orange Grove, and Hacienda. Wake up Arcadia, and do something! Please knock on doors, and spread the truth of who will have your best interests at heart as City Council people. It's working in Sierra Madre, but does take lots of effort.

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    1. Concerned Arcadians, please ask the city council to either adopt the ballot initiative or put it on the Nov. 2016 ballot without a counter measure. The rules in the ballot initiative are not as loose as the ones set by the Zoning Review Committee. Nor are they very tight. They still leave plenty of room for development.

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  8. Just remember. It was the white man who sold his Arcadia dirt for the chineese to buy and live on. Quit your complaining

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    1. Not selling very well now, though.

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    2. Very true 10:14 but there's a sourpuss here.

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    3. We need to reform our immigration policies so that people assimilate into the native culture. Instead we have maternity houses and millions of people coming over and setting up shop over hear. The businesses don't even have signs that can be read. Its nuts.

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    4. The truth is Arcadia home prices are losing steam while communities like Sierra Madre that practice preservation are seeing home values go up. Facts that the McMansion crowd in Arcadia cannot deal with.

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  9. The comment at 8:23 is rich with manipulation and misdirection. Actually an interesting case study in propaganda, and not a casual remark. Those layered deceptions are quite intentional.

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    1. 8:23 is just a freaky troll with a hate reflex.

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  10. This whole campaign has been interesting to watch. It sure does make a good show. Keep up the good work.

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  11. The Chinese community arrived from many different repressive governments. That, plus their own cultural conservatism was let loose in a free and democratic society where it appeared one could act with impunity, when greed and copious amounts of money lopped along for a while until it his a tipping point. The push back from those who grew up in the southern California casual life style is not-against the Chinese but against the lack of undertanding of how space is use and the value of trees and simplicity. Even the most elaborate houses in San Marino of the 1920s to the 1990 did not violate these aesthetics. By comparison to San Marion, Arcadia was always a modest place.

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  12. Got some mail from city hall today. A lovely glossy four pages of promotion for the UUT. Mailed in an envelope - so what was the total cost of my money used to pay for it?

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  13. I believe the art work. The printing, the card stock, folding, we envelopes and bulk mail had to cost city hall $1.50 each timed the number of residents doors 5,000+/-. Which equals about $7500.00

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  14. Obvious BS DetectorMarch 2, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    All you need to know about the honesty of the city mailer is this: to mask the fact that the sheriff's proposal on its face saves $800k a year, the city ads artificial costs to it.

    For example, it assumes that city must continue to employ the chief of police at a cost of $255k a year. Ask yourself this: who is the chief going to supervise?

    This tactic was predicted months ago.

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  15. Sho Tay's efforts to undermine the zoning code update are reprehensible and should disqualify him from public office. He is sworn to serve the interests of residents, not his own. This follows on his vote to suspend the zoning code review for 6 months in retaliation for a resident lawsuit over 2 home projects. He is unfit to lead.

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  16. If the report about Deborah Lewis' position on the ZRC recommendations are true, that she was for them before she was against them, she should recuse herself from the Planning Commission decision. She cannot use her "official" position on the Planning Commission to undermine the consensus reached, including her, in her lay/public position on the ZRC. The recommendations were already approved by the 15 member ZRC. Is she had reservations, her opportunity to voice them has come and gone. To now add her own opinion yet again serves only her own interests and could be viewed as an attempt to co-opt others on the the Planning Commission and poison the process. The ZRC is the process established by the City Council. Like it or hate, it has had resident input and the recommendations ought to be adopted without hindrance or delay.

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  17. Sho Tay is a typical politician. He lost a few elections before getting on the council. He offered for anyone to call him and discuss ideas over coffee, he "assured" HOA's that he'd fight for their rights. He went back on his word and has proven time and again that he only cares about one demographic of the city. He largely mirrors the opinions of John Wuo. With only a little over a month left with the current city council, I hope Sho Tay is outvoted and Arcadia gets SOME sort of new development standards.

    It also needs to be clarified that while Arcadia does have a large Asian population that there is great diversity in culture and opinion. Many supporters of Saving Arcadia as well as those speaking in favor reasonable development are Asian. The most recent mansionization boom was largely fueled by non-Asian developers and investors, many of whom grew up in or around Arcadia, buying up everything they could and taking advantage of all of the foreign money pouring into the US. "Build it and they will come." Many developers and Realtors are hoping China has a change on policy that let's the surging flow of money resume. Even then some Realtors realize that what's going on in Arcadia is terrible for the city in the long run.

    Every city has their problems. In Arcadia it's oversized mansions and vacancies, in Sierra Madre it's the lack of revenue sources, in Pasadena and Alhambra it's overdevelopment of condos/mixed use. All local cities seem to face the pension funding issues.

    Sierra Madre may be comfortable now, but once elected officials start fishing for revenue sources, don't be shocked when unexpected development(s) out of scale and character with the area gets approved.


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