Thursday, September 15, 2016

Question: Has Sierra Madre Won?


Mod: It certainly wasn't the longest email ever sent from Preserve Sierra Madre, but it just might be one of the most significant. Has Sierra Madre actually won in its fight against unwanted development? Are the necessary ingredients needed to properly control things like mansionization now in place? It is a big question. Here is their message.

Dear Supporters:
We are happy to report that the City Council at Tuesday night's meeting unanimously approved all of the amendments to the R-1 zone recommended by the Planning Commission.

We appreciate all the hard work of the Planning Commission and City Staff as well as the work and approval by our City Council. It is a rare thing in the governance of a city to have a City Staff, Planning Commission and City Council working so well together for the good of the city.

On another note, you have probably noticed that you have not been receiving as many emails for the last few months from Preserve Sierra Madre. We can assure you that we have not gone away.  But to a certain extent, the more that is accomplished in Sierra Madre towards setting up good rules and regulations for development, the less there is for us to do.

In other words, because of the updated General Plan and the continued work being done to bring the Municipal Code in line with a General Plan predicated upon preserving our "Village of the Foothills", there is simply less to fight about and less to argue about.  As long as builders and developers follow the reasonable rules for development that are currently in place, we can all be confident that any development will be consistent with the goals of the General Plan. The upfront work that has been done means less work and problems down the road.

We will remain vigilant however.  The project at One Carter will soon be back on the table and there may be other issues that crop up every now and then. We will of course bring these issues to your attention and take whatever action is needed.

As always, we appreciate your concern for our city and your continued support.

Steering Committee
Preserve Sierra Madre 

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

73 comments:

  1. The Planning Comission and City Council have made great strides. How about some of you showing up at themeetings to show your support. One Carter with 23 houses will be showing up shortly. You support and comments are necessary.

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    1. There has always been a core group of people that show up and have an influence. I think of all the meetings that Barry Gold attends and speaks at. No one has attended and spoken up more than Barry Gold and 99% of the time, Gold is correct in his viewpoints. If we had 10 Barry Golds, we win on the issues every time.

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    2. Its always helpful to get a little help with the heavy lifting. But sending an email to somebody also works pretty well.

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    3. There were plenty of citizens who came to every general plan update, planning commission and city council meeting who deserve a big thank you.

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    4. Barry Gold has been a wonderful new neighbor and friend to the city. But there have been a few individuals through the years who did the same thing. I used to hear about 3 elderly women who went to every council meeting and spoke eloquently on most issues. I think that was in the 60's and 70's.
      Sierra Madre has a great tradition of smart people who show up.

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    5. Sierra Madre has been pretty fortunate because we do have an engaged citizenry. People sometimes don't realize how little it takes to get our way. If enough people spend one minute and send an email to our elected representatives, it makes a huge difference. That's sometimes all it takes. On really important issues, getting bodies at the meeting helps too.

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    6. 10:13, There was nothing easy or quick about the war for Carter. It was a lengthy and demanding effort, involved way too many later nights at city meetings with manipulative and hostile developers, and remember - we lost, thanks to John Buchanan, Rob Stockly, Tanya Torres and Enid Joffe.
      Getting Measure V in place required canvassing the whole town in search of signatures, and many more late nights.
      To get here, there was a lot of difficult footwork. It might be required again.

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  2. Thank you planning Commission.
    As a relatively newer group to the town; the Preserve Sierra Madre Group, is informative as to what is being presented before the Planning Department. Along the way, this group is becoming a bit more educated in the goings on; and the ability to e-mail vs. Telephone calling; huge. Kudos.

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    1. The key is the database of supporters. That's how they are able to rally the troops so effectively if something get too crazy.

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  3. Alot of things turned the tide, but perhaps the biggest one was the election of Denise Delmar and Rachelle Arizmendi to the City Council. That was the catalyst to everything that happened. Unfortunately, one bad election can turn things quickly in the other direction as well.

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    1. I agree. Those two changed the entire direction of the debate - not just on preservation but other issues as well.

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    2. It can all change with one bad election that why the Tattler continues to be needed to shine a spotlight on things. Transparency is the most important key to a well-run city.

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  4. Very true 4:08. Beyond 1Carter, there is still lots of work to do updating the zoning code to match the new general plan. And of course all gains can be lost with one bad city council election. The battle is never over.

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    1. Having John Hutt on the Planning Commission means that good changes will continue to be made. He's a very bright guy with alot of knowledge.

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    2. Hutt is a very smart guy. I'm glad he's on our side.

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    3. The Planning Commission understands that the General Plan is the blueprint for the future of Sierra Madre. The Municipal Code must reflect the principles in that document. They are going through that Municipal Code and bringing it up to conformance. The General Plan clearly does not favor over-development. Slowly but surely our Municipal Code is reflecting that as well.

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  5. If Sierra Madre indeed "won" as the Tattler puts it, then credit must also be given to the Tattler itself. Without the Tattler shining a spotlight on these issues, corruption and hypocracy, who knows where Sierra Madre would be? Its very difficult for local people to get the real local news. The Tattler fills that hole. Thanks Johm!

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    1. The Tattler filled the gap left by the loss of the Mt Wilson Observer. The stealing of that newspaper is a problem that continues today.

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    2. The Tattler has been instrumental to the success of Preserve Sierra Madre and in fact helped to put them on the map.

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    3. This is one of Tattler's finest hours. Thank you for your efforts Mr.Crawford. This is your true value to the City of Sierra Madre .The election gossip stuff - not so much.Just my 2c.

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    4. Yay the Tattler!

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    5. 8:57 - Thanks. The national election stuff holds a dark fascination for me right now, and unfortunately for many readers here this is where I get to blow off steam. I never thought things could get quite this bad in our country. But they have. I find it troubling.

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    6. How about some fair and balance. You seem to focus your ire on Trump who has made unscripted gaffes over the last few months. But Hillary Clinton would be a thousand times worse. How about some equal opportunity ire?

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    7. Sorry, but I believe Trump represents a significant danger to this country. It is no joke. I am hardly alone in holding that opinion.
      "GOP Strategist Calls Donald Trump ‘The Most Dangerous Politician I’ve Ever Encountered’"
      http://www.politicususa.com/2016/09/09/gop-strategist-calls-donald-trump-the-dangerous-politician-encountered.html

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    8. What about Hillary Clinton. She would implement the Obama agenda on steroids and further enrich herself to boot. She's a pathological liar who made hundreds of millions of dollars selling access. She sold off 20% of our uranium reserves to the Russians of all people. Now that's dangerous. Lying about Benghazi. The Tattler stands for transparency. Even the most recent lies about her health. Come one Tattler, say it aint so. Clinton is a thousand times worse than Trump.

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    9. What about Donald Trump. He would implement the David Duke agenda on steroids and further enrich himself to boot. He's a pathological liar who made hundreds of millions of dollars selling access. He sold off his big slack ass to the Russians of all people. Now that's dangerous. Lying about his taxes. The Tattler stands for transparency. Even the most recent lies about his health. Come one Tattler, say it aint so. Trump is a thousand times worse than Clinton.

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    10. It's unsettling when people are so entrenched in their partisan side-choosing that they can't even turn it off in an emergency. Folks, a bigoted reality TV host with the vaguest clue about government is making a legit run for the most powerful government office. Probably a good time to prioritize being grownups. Then once we avert disaster, maybe we could look into what got us there. THEN, feel free to return to your Hillary's-a-socialist stuff.

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    11. They are both awful. But let's get our own house in order first ? We can't even get a decent Mayor elected!

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    12. For Democracy to function properly a well-informed electorate is necessary. Obviously our problems here in Sierra Madre are just a microcosm of the national malaise.

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  6. Preserve Sierra Madre came about at just the right time when the city needed it the most. If that pressure hadn't been applied on the key issues, its hard to know where we'd be.

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    1. I think of the excellent Preserve group as the latest in a long line of resident organizations that have come together to keep our town at a recognizably human scale. We are lucky indeed that concerned people have fought over-development for three decades now.

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    2. The payoff for Sierra Madre residents continues to be great. While property values here have continued to skyrocket, those in McMansion clotted Arcadia have not.

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    3. Preserving your city adds value. That's something that people don't always get. As soon as you let Sierra Madre look like every other city in the San Gabriel Valley that has allowed unmitigated development, than it ceases to be unique. Scarcity increases value. There is no other city like Sierra Madre. Pasadena is becoming unlivable. The City Council there has pledged to add 7,000 housing units over the next twenty years. Try driving through Pasadena during certain times of the day or look at the mess the 210 has turned into. Unfortunately, Sierra Madre is not an island unto itself. When other cities do stupid things, it affects Sierra Madre too.

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  7. I know people have had some issues with Goss, Harabedian and Capocia, but on some of the bigger votes, most of them came through in favor of preservation. Sure, they have gone sideways on a few votes, but overall, they were right there trying to stop Arcadia-like development too.

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    1. Goss is not a bad guy. I think he wants to do the right thing. Now that he has his sea legs he's become immune to Harabedian's influence.

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    2. I hope so. He just help run a dishonest campaign to raise utility taxes. With most of the money going to a PD that can't even muster at full strength despite the $100s of thousands of dollars spent to prop them up.

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  8. I think everything is falling into place to control development in a reasonable way. I sleep better at night knowing that Hutt and Desai are on the Planning Commission. They have really done an amazing job. They really know their stuff and have really helped to put some good rules in place.

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  9. Very optimistic,possibly short sighted. The "priests" at The Monastery will raise their ugly heads when the feel the community has relaxed and let down their guard.

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    1. Haven't heard anything coming from the Monastery. I just don't think its possible to do anything over there. They have come to realize that too. The opposition would be too great.

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    2. The monastery people have no developer. They just aren't pounding on the gates to get in on the deal. I think it has something to do with the McMansion glut in Arcadia. There are a lot of expensive oversized jumbo houses in this area on the market right now.

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    3. Carol Canterbury went up there(Monastery)yesterday my sources tell me. I guess she goes many places,just sayin'

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    4. She probably has fantasies of being the lead Realtor should the project ever take off.

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    5. Another sellout realtor schlepping for a commission. Disgusting.

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    6. Where the Priests went wrong (among many other things we all know about) is when they put a development project ahead of preaching the gospel to the flock. It was sad to see Father Higgins so concerned about profit. That's why religion in America is on the decline. They should do what some of the nuns have done - preserve that sacred land.

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    7. Carol Canterbury will sell her soul for a commission.

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    8. 11:39, I think that's true of most realtors. The Development Industry as a whole clearly lacks a moral compass. Those in any branch of it who have a positive impact are few and far between.

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  10. The Monastery is quieter because this City Council and The Preserve group along with the Planning Commision worked hard to take away the property rights of the Prists.

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    1. A devout priest would never need to own property. Let alone profit off it.

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    2. The Priests up there are anything but devout. They all want to retire with a golden parachute. Forget about the future of the mission. The vow of poverty went out the window a long time ago for most of them.

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  11. 6:58 am. Sounds like someone from the Preserve Sierra Madre group. "Control" development.
    It's true, Hutt and Desai are talented and City is fortunate to have them; they understand slow growth.

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    1. Preserve Sierra Madre people don't have the right to comment, 8:36?

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  12. Without the Tattler, Sierra Madre would have zero news; thank -you. Moderator John.

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  13. The Monastery is waiting for the water moratorium to end. They can't do anything till then.

    When the drought is over the water moratorium will end and then the Monastery will push to have 20 acres rezoned from institutional to residential so they can build 50 mcmansions.

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    1. There they go again.

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    2. The Monastery folks including the Priest squandered whatever good will they had. They put too many developers on their Board of Directors with a vested interested in seeing that beautiful land turned into another big housing tract. They need to get back to saving what is left of their reputations. Talk about a PR disaster.

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  14. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

    But with a sensible majority on the council and the integrity of the planning commission, it's been very nice to have a bit of a break.

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  15. Sensible majority on Council? Maybe one or two. Regardless of the hard work coming from the Planning Commision, often it's the City Council that screws up. Be cautious of who applys for that City seat.

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  16. Need to be careful in the next election and convince Denise Delmar to run again.

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  17. I really hope Denise runs again. She is the only one on the council that is dependable.

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  18. Denise pushed for the UUT against what she ran on; in fact didn't all of them? I've yet see any real proff of a paper trail of the City taking in and spending out with the Managers signature.

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    1. The UUT increase was needed to prop up the ridiculous boutique PD all the idiots in town said they so desperately wanted to keep. That is what the City Council gave them.

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    2. We voted for it,we needed it, we got it (uut) and the sky didn't fall in fact I don't notice hardly any difference on my monthly bills.Be carefull when peolpe cry Wolf to often they are ignored.

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    3. The increase hasn't kicked in yet. Trust me, when it does you will notice.

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    4. Yes it has why are you lying? Are you a Trumpeter?

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    5. As I'm sure you will stick to your lie;
      Ballot question
      The following question appeared on the ballot:[6]

      To maintain City services, such as Public Safety, Paramedic and Library services, shall an Ordinance be adopted to:
      Increase the City's Utility Users' Tax (UUT) to a maximum of 10% for all utilities, to be effective on July 1, 2016; and
      Extend and stabilize the funding by eliminating the "sunset" clause; and
      Provide an exemption from the UUT for very low income households?[7]

      It passed by a large margin BTW........

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    6. What is it being spent on?

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    7. We now have two police departments!! The only city in the state possibly the country. That's something to be proud of.....

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  19. Are you the one that writes in about increased property values by getting rid of prop. 13 and old people? Cause I got news for you pal, your next. Time waits for no one.

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  20. Margin of error to close to call on Trump and Clinton.

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  21. Can someone please summarize what was approved that you're all happy about? Just an Arcadia resident trying to learn what surrounding smart cities do.
    Thanks

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    1. Look at our General Plan. It's the law of the land for a city, and everything must conform to it.
      http://www.cityofsierramadre.com/cityhall/strategic_planning/general_plan

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