Monday, September 19, 2016

Are Things Changing For The Better In Arcadia?

(Mod: Interesting and upbeat Pasadena Star News editorial. You may link here.)


Citizens in San Gabriel Valley cities are busy, same as everywhere. They may be concerned about changes in their communities, but they don’t have the time to puzzle out solutions to every little thing.

That’s why they elect fellow citizen to their city councils. The neighbors who so serve also have to get the kids to school, head off to work and then get dinner on the table in the evening, but they volunteer to address constituent concerns and to plow through reams of paperwork before each council meeting.

In Arcadia, an affluent, successful community with a good mix of small businesses, the major attractions of Santa Anita Park, a massive shopping mall and the county Arboretum along with beautiful residential neighborhoods, the City Council majority in recent years had not been doing a good job addressing citizen concerns about the plague of mansionization.

There’s nothing wrong with the all-American sport of adding on to your home. But unlike every other neighboring city, the Arcadia council had done a dismal job of addressing widespread concern about preventing building too-big houses on too-small lots. The city was in danger of losing what had been so appealing about its residential neighborhoods by clinging to a building code that is in conflict with its own general plan. Absurdly, a much-needed zoning code study was halted before it could be completed on the wacky pretense that a neighborhood group was suing the city over its failure to address mansionization.

Finally, last spring, a divided City Council adopted amendments to city building codes regarding height, setbacks, parking and hillside standards in addition to a few new regulations on basements and home size, which includes adopting a sliding-scale floor-area ratio.

And now, under the leadership of new Councilwoman April Verlato, a lawyer who formerly led the charge against bad, concrete-happy projects as an ordinary citizen, questionable development exemptions for size approved at the staff and Planning Commission are being called up to the council level and subjected to real scrutiny. Exemptions were supposed to be applied when an unusual lot shape prevented any additions. Instead, ordinary lots saw homes being built out to the sidewalk.

That has happily changed. Who says government is always up to no good?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

16 comments:

  1. Happy that Arcadia "woke" up; before it was swallowed up from gianormous plastered cookie cutter houses.

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    Replies
    1. Drive along Santa Anita Avenue, north of Foothill.
      There needs to be a new word to describe what's going on there - MacMansion is simply too small.

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  2. Electing a fellow citizen, and then not having the time to listen and closely monitor that fellow citizen. Ensuring that the direction "they" take is the same "election promise" that got them elected in the first place. Foolish.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, you're the trump guy

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    2. Hey 7:32, she's doing everything she said she would do and more. Who doesn't have the time? Try again and make some sense.

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  3. Preserving your community makes good monetary sense. The big lie McMansion developers push is that building expensive homes means property values have risen. Not true. There are dozens of those things sitting unsold in Arcadia right now. They enrich nobody, including the fools who built them.

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  4. Parents follow their childrens progress and monitor their growth; why wouldn't these same people be just as concerned about their investment made from home ownership? If you can make time for an open house and parent teacher conferencing, school activities etc. why is it that that the home ownership in your chosen community is not just as important? Otherwise; just "trust" in the child's up dates being sent home and "trust" all is ok. That will solve the issue of being "tired".

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  5. Ma. Verlato, an attorney; has remained true to the position she was elected.
    Community members need to remain involved. Which is happening in Arcadia.
    Bart Doyle, an attorney; ran on protecting this town. He was aware that the Carter One property was NOT zoned for a school; but misled Maranatha Schhol into believing that would be a simple change in zoning; now that he was on Council.
    That was a very expensive law suit the City was required to pay.
    Political Promises are as solid as the air in which they are spoken.
    The community needs to remain involved and informed with factual information ; and not "well my neighbor told me"!
    But sadly Sierra Madre again had "information" mailed out and another vote taken. UUT forever; or at least until 2018 ballot. Attempt to attend a City Council meeting every now and then. Civic duty; protect your rights.

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  6. Can't we just go back to calling Trump a racist and other bad names?

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    Replies
    1. Just mind boggling how some support Dump. Even some are educated beyond high school. It's ok all you conservatives, it's ok to realize he's a scam.

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  7. Totally irrelevant but so New York
    http://www.newsday.com/opinion/leave-the-pressure-cooker-bomb-walk-away-with-a-new-suitcase-1.12338551

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  8. Rumor has it --- it's a house cleaning at city hall.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, and we'll be stuck with the bill...

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  9. If it is Sierra Madre's city hall, spread that rumor. It needs a good house cleaning.

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  10. Not a rumor --- hardly anyone there.
    Could be that CalPers is matched out and employees no longer have to work for that million dollar payout.

    ReplyDelete