Saturday, October 29, 2016

What Happened to the Henry A. Darling House?

One of the big events of 2015 was the rescue of Sierra Madre's historic Henry A. Darling house. We posted a number of articles about this venerable (1907Craftsman home at 126 E. Mira Monte, including this one and this one. They should give you a good idea of just how concerning all of this was for many a year or so back.

Fast forward to today. What follows are current photos of this historic Mira Monte house, the one that the current owners famously proclaimed they were going to preserve. What they did instead was all done without a demo permit, a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) allowing more than 25% to be demo-ed, or a historical review.

The city has since placed a belated "stop work order" on the project. Because of this action these erstwhile preservationist owners are now asking for a CUP to make legal an already committed misdeed. The owners having since proclaimed that once work started, this demo became necessary.

Apparently for them the city regulations governing their obviously bad decision making were not as necessary.

The Planning Commission will hear this latest "after the fact" CUP request this coming Thursday. Anyone starting to detect a pattern here? Here is how an early morning commenter describes it:

I am not surprised. They took a page out of the Salisian playbook. Do whatever you want, without permits, say sorry later, plead ignorance, and the City lets you go. No penalty, just issue permits after the fact. The abandoned house on South Lima is going to be the next example. The owner has claimed at various times that his daughter lives there, (she doesn't), he has a water pipe that needs repair, (who knows), or he is adding 1,000 square feet, etc. Meanwhile two years have passed with no activity, virtually all landscape is dead. He only cuts the weeds down once a year. I am sure these two are not the only homeowners taking advantage of the Salisian situation.

Here are the pictures of what once was the Henry A. Darling house.


A link to the Planning Commission staff report for this agenda item can be found here. The meeting will take place on November 3rd.

Expect some fireworks.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

144 comments:

  1. I am not surprised. They took a page out of the Salisian playbook. Do whatever you want, without permits, say sorry later, plead ignorance, and the City lets you go. No penalty, just issue permits after the fact. The abandoned house on South Lima is going to be the next example. The owner has claimed at various times that his daughter lives there, (she doesn't), he has a water pipe that needs repair, (who knows), or he is adding 1,000 square feet, etc. Meanwhile two years have passed with no activity, virtually all landscape is dead. He only cuts the weeds down once a year. I am sure these two are not the only homeowners taking advantage of the Salisian situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These people need to pay a high price for this. Otherwise everyone will know they can break our rules. What a joke.

      Delete
    2. Every decent person in Sierra Madre should attend the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday Nov 3rd at 7:00 pm. This is a very big deal for the future of Sierra Madre. Let's hear this owner lie to the Planning Commission the same way Salisian did regarding his illegal project at 156 Highland.

      Delete
    3. I saw an email that went out from Preserve Sierra Madre so it seems to have gotten their attention. Where does the Sierra Madre Historical Society in all of this. Isn't Amy Putnum the person in charge over there. Do they care at all or are they just a social club?

      Delete
    4. This is unbelievable. People came out in droves a few years ago to save this house and thought we had done so. Now this. How could it have been allowed to happen? Who approved this or any part of it? Heads should roll. People should be fired and others should be recalled. It's a disgrace.

      Delete
    5. Records show that Reni Rose was the realtor who sold it to the first buyers, the Brown family, who wanted to tear the home down. Reni Rose then listed the house for the Brown family and the present owners, William and Anastasia Kefales were represented by Luther Tsinoglou of Podley Properties. I would love to know what Luther told the buyers they could do with this property. As usual, the realtors gain is the communities loss.

      Delete
    6. Thanks Luther Tsinoglou. I see your ads in the Mountain Views News. The buyer must have asked you what they can do with the property. What did you tell them?

      Delete
    7. Everyone should drive by the property to see it for themselves. While you are sitting in front staring at the wreckage, google 126 E. Mira Monte and scroll through the pictures of what the exterior and interior used to look like. This is nothing but a tragedy - a man-made tragedy. The people fought to save it. The City Staff and City leadership failed us once again.

      Delete
    8. Luther Tsinoglou must have told his client about this house and what happened last time a buyer wanted to demolish it. The Kafales's must have known the facts as they figured out what they were going to do with the house. They decided to give everyone the middle finger and demolish to such an extent that a Stop Work order had to be issued by the city. Insane but people do insane things when the almighty dollar is involved v

      Delete
    9. The facts are...... you can NEVER restore, unless you salvaged all that you removed, and kept all the moldings, wood, plaster that rolled away in those trucks. Where is it now? I would buy it from you... Did it go to the dump? The Old Growth Wood that you dumped will be replaced with new growth wet wood (attractive to termites, if not infested when you buy it)that will NEVER be the same. You have removed what can never be replaced, under new codes? Isn't that the underlying purpose of historic preservation? The understanding that its NOT possible to rebuild the way it was, under modern codes?

      Delete
  2. Why can't the city enforce its own laws?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're passive-aggressive.

      Delete
    2. What a disgrace. People worked really hard to save that house. How could this happen? The owner is William Kefales. Does anyone know who this person is and why he would do this? The City Council was packed with people trying to save this house from demolition and now this? I guess the word has gotten around after what happened at 156 E. Highland when the Salisian family went ahead and built a 2-story addition without permits or permission and then repeatedly lied about it in front of the Planning Commission and City Council. They were emboldened to do that because Council Member Harabedian had met with them and tried to do them a favor. This is the result when corruption comes to Sierra Madre and people try to do special favors. Harabedian went out of his way to change the rules to help the Felikians build their mansion. Then he met with and tried to advocate for the Salisians to break the rules of the city and build a building without a permit. Maybe Kefalas knows that he has some friends in the city and so can get away with this as well. Its pure corruption.

      Delete
    3. Everyone out there should know that you can break any building code in Sierra Madre without any significant penalty. So do what you want and build what you want. The rules and regulations mean nothing in this city. Might as well not have any rules. The City won't enforce them.

      Delete
    4. Planning & Community Preservation

      Sure.

      Delete
    5. If Kefales gets away with this there should be hell to pay. Any one involved with them needs to resign or be recalled.

      Delete
    6. Is William Kefales a developer or flipper. He obviously didn't care about the history of this house or its amazing craftsman details. What a shame.

      Delete
    7. Lots of planning but no preservation evidently.

      Delete
    8. Just ask for more information at the Only Place In Town, maybe a relative...

      Delete
    9. It appears that William Kefales is big on lip service.

      Delete
    10. William and Anastasia Kefales live at 267 W. Montecito in Sierra Madre according to their demolition application. So they can't plead ignorance to what went on a year or so ago with the public outcry and effort to save this house and preserve our heritage. Despite knowing this they moved forward with an illegal domolition. What a slap in the face of everyone in our community. What kind of people would do this? Did they get advice from any one in the city or on the City Council that emboldened then to do this and fear no consequences?

      Delete
    11. Bill and Anastasia Kefales have no regard for the community where they live. They must have known as residents of Sierra Madre how people felt about this house and yet they proceeded anyway. They just didn't care or they felt they would be protected by people in high places.

      Delete
    12. For all intents and purposes, the Henry A. Darling House is gone. A 1907 Craftsman with a river rock fireplace, box beam ceilings. wainscotting and other architectural details has been turned into rubble. Disgraceful.

      Delete
  3. Thats Bull Sh*t. These owners should be given a one way ticket out of town.
    This will be a first test for the Planning Commission ; on the most blatant disregard for Historical Value and the in your face , we can get around your stupid City Ordinances by just tear down and do want "we"know we want.
    Well; rebuild the exact footprint, the exact design. NO EXCEPTIONS.
    Or red tag and stop the build until it goes through the Court system; the City should sue the owners. Just how did it progress this far, with out the City putting on the brakes?
    Is this a parting gift of the soon to be out going City Manager, Chief of Police ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone at city hall has failed to do their job. Who ever is responsible for this should be replaced. Oh, maybe that person is retiring and we will be hiring a replacement. If they are not retiring then they should be replaced. I sure hope the next city manager is better than the one who is retiring. Would be nice to see city staff that really cared about Sierra Madre and not just their pensions.

      Delete
    2. You know the city staff is so overworked they cant be bothered with such mundane, trivial work such as preserving our city.

      Delete
    3. I don't think many of the Directors get out of the building much. The only time they are on the streets is when they are driving into town from wherever they live.

      Delete
    4. There should be hell to pay for this. Alot of people came to meetings and the City Council chambers were packed when the Brown family tried to demolish the house. At least they were up front about it and they were stopped and had to sell the house. Look what these people did. I wonder if their architect is that Van-something guy who keep running for the Planning Commissin and fails to get the votes.

      Delete
  4. You are all misinformed. There is an approved CUP, there are valid building permits, and nothing was done outside of scope. The meeting Thursday is to get permission to reframe the house exactly as was approved because the structure is failing. Nothing from the plan is being changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then why did City Hall put a "stop work" order on the project? Aesthetics?

      Delete
    2. From the agenda report:

      The Planning Commission can:
      1. Approve the application for Discretionary Demolition Permit 16-01, with conditions of approval;
      2. Deny the application for Discretionary Demolition Permit 16-01, impose a $1,000 fine, and prohibit construction of the property for two years from the date of this determination;
      3. Continue the subject project, and provide the applicant with direction.

      Delete
    3. More that belies the complaints of 7:36:

      A building permit was issued in April 2016 for the rehabilitation of the original structure and the construction of a new addition. During the deconstruction process the applicant removed the exterior siding and interior lath and plaster walls exposing the existing framing to assess the condition of the structure. Substantial damage to the sill and top plates and inadequate structural framing of the existing building was evident. Based on this these findings, the applicant removed a substantial portion of the wall framing including partial removal of the roof structure, resulting in the loss of greater than twenty-five percent of the original building materials. This effort was conducted without staff approval and a stop work order was issued by the City Building Inspector.

      Delete
    4. 7:36 sounds like an attorney. How many attorneys are on the City Council these days?

      Delete
    5. I recall that this buyer was only going to add on a little bit to the back. How could this happen? Its absolutely outrageous.

      Delete
    6. Is it true that City a Staff is actually recommending that the Planning Commission approve what the Kefales's are asking for? I guess that's what happens when applicants get too cozy with city staff.

      Delete
    7. I remember this house as a child in the 80's when my parents considered buying it, $37,000. I made an $800,000 offer on it last year. Rejected. I couldn't bring myself to give up my canyon home in exchange, but truly hoped that new owners would preserve, as I would have. The old wood that was removed is not possible to be replaced. Did they salvage, to re-use? I saw the dump trucks roll away, with that house in them. Almost cried. Definitely will attend the Thursday meeting, just to witness.
      Why buy this historic home to destroy it? It is not logical.

      Delete
  5. City hall staff is so overworked they don't have time for such mundane, trivial work as preserving our town. New construction means more taxes that will allow the city to continue paying our expert staff to do important work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Staff failures are never called out, or addressed. There are never any consequences for lapses in responsibility like this.

      Delete
    2. I feel sorry for the Brown family who were the original buyers for this property. At least they were somewhat transparent in what their intentions were. They were stopped in their tracks by the public outcry. They should have just done the powerplay that these buyers did and just destroy the house without permission. Let's see how the Planning Commission rewards these buyers for breaking the rules. Unfortunately, the Henry A. Darling house doesn't really exist any more.

      Delete
    3. Yes. I guess that is how business gets done in Sierra Madre. Ignore the city and do what you want. At worst the present owner has to pay a $1,000 and have their project delayed for 24 months. Small price to pay when the eventual profits will be in the 6 figures.

      Delete
    4. 3:15 has it right with the question "Who buys a historic home to destroy it?" Was that their intention all along? It will be interesting to hear what they have to say on Thursday. I remember sitting through Salisian grow his nose telling lie after lie on video to the Planning Commission about his illegal 2-story monolith and claim he didn't know he needed a permit. Boldfaced lies on camera to everyone on the Planning Commission. Harabedian wanted to give Salisian a pass the same way he helped Felikian. That forever tarnished his reputation. Let's see what William and Anastasia Kefales come up with on Thursday. My lie detector machine will be in full operational mode.

      Delete
  6. The city gave permission to "reframe" the roof to meet building code. They are now denying that. However, it is written on the plans and signed by the director. there were no other walls removed. The report is not accurate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. I believe you. Well, OK. Maybe not.

      Delete
    2. 8:04 -- do you have proof of your claim? Something documenting the city's permission?

      Delete
    3. Did they have permission to take the house down to its studs. Horrible. The old pictures showing the interior and its architectural details are amazing. This never should have happened.

      Delete
    4. Yes in fact I do have proof. Come to the meeting and see.

      Delete
    5. It will be interesting to see the interplay between you and Vincent Gonzalez, 9:15. What you will be accusing him of is pretty severe.

      Delete
    6. I am going to have to make sure I have plenty of popcorn for this meeting!

      Delete
    7. There is no way that Vincent Gonzalez would have approved what's happened thus far. Impossible. If he did he should resign or be fired.

      Delete
    8. Gonzalez doesn't care about preservation. The city rubber stamped this project and now look what happened.

      Delete
    9. A cage match between Vincent and Keyfails would be entertaining. Two go in, one comes out.

      Delete
  7. 7:56, # 2 should not impose a two year prohibit construction consideration but impose a 12 month deadline to finish the job or face a $10,000 fine. A fee for disrupting the quality of life in the city and lowering the neighbors home values.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 10 K means nothing to those people. They are no different than Salisian with his two story unpermitted house.

      Delete
  8. The bones of the house are still standing. The rebuild to the studs should be simple. The same roof line maybe this time , metal for fire code. Hope they saved the doors and windows. Like a puzzle with new material. William Kefalas, should be held accountable.
    I hope (Bart Doyle) John Harabedian has not ;the because of his position, made exceptions to the City Laws.
    The Planning Commission has been doing a fine job.
    The City needs to show the residents that their participation and voice matter. Otherwise just disband this Historical Town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is this William Kefales any way. Does he live in town or have connections in town. Is that how he's able to get away with this. B

      Delete
    2. https://www.facebook.com/william.kefalas

      He owns The Only Place In Town.

      Delete
    3. Interesting Yelp review. Same guy? On his Facebook page he claims to work at this place.
      https://www.yelp.com/biz/g-m-kefalas-investments-monrovia

      Delete
    4. I'll take mine medium rare, please.

      Delete
    5. If he owns the The Only Place in Town, it should be boycotted.

      Delete
    6. I will be spreading a word for boycott

      Delete
  9. You are right 8:08, I hope council will do better now that they have a chance to replace these 3 important positions. Hopefully some one who is concerned with preserving Sierra Madre will be hired. Please not someone with a big city mind set from like Glendale or Los Angeles.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was on a historic tour of Pasadena some years ago where a home that had been gutted of all its archetectural authenticity had been brought back in total. The new owners hunted down all the perloined doors, lights, paneling, etc. If these items from the Darling house are gone forever, they should be made to find replacements from archetectural salvalge and redo the house as promised. They can hire the crafts to be rebuilt, no phoney imports from the Home Improvement store. It will be an economic lesson for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So, as is typical tattler style, come to a hysterical conclusion with innacurate and emotional facts. If any of you actually looked at the plan, you would see that they are trying to rebuild the same house. Because of safety issues. Would you prefer that they did nothing and let it fall sooner than later. Are you really trying to hold the owner accountable for decades of neglect? Moderator, why not give the owner a chance to substantiate their claim rather than siding with the city officials you berate on a daily basis?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe the owners will get a chance to substantiate their claim Thursday evening, right? They are also welcome to post here.

      Delete
    2. 8:49 - Where did you stand on the Hildreth case?

      Delete
    3. Read the realtors remarks when the property was originally put on the market for sale. Its the second link in this Tattler post. Look at some of those pictures. It doesn't appear to be in the kind of total disrepair that forces you to take it down to the studs. The Kefales were looking for any excuse to gut the place.

      Delete
    4. I've looked at the interior pictures and read the realtors comments. Doesn't look like "decades of neglect" to me. It's like someone buying the Gamble House and tearing it down.

      Delete
    5. Because realtor pictures are the bedrock on which truth is built.

      Delete
    6. 12:48 and 4:57 - You figured out the structural conditions of the underlaying wooden structures, structural foundations, and seismic requirements and determined that none were needed just by looking at the realtor's pictures. How many structural plans have you reviewed and construction experience you have? The Gamble House has been officially designated as a Historical landmark. This house is just old, and old does not equate with historical. Get real.

      Delete
  12. Looks like they did more than reframe the roof; with or with signatures.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You may want these people "to pay a high price for this", but if the code only allows for a $1,000 fine, then that's all the city can impose. You can't just make it up as you go. To stop this practice in the future, we need to amend city code to provide for stiffer penalties. Until that happens, slaps on the wrist is all that will happen.

    ReplyDelete
  14. They didn't reframe anything. They removed rafters siding and windows, which you have to do to replace siding windows and roof.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but they did some of these things outside of the city approval process, and they got called on it. Something that has now backfired on the owners quite spectacularly.

      Delete
  15. 8:49 am. Only because of the Tattler; the residents receive City news. Oh; most of us are seniors , our Grandkids have shown us how to access this blog. But "we"know still how to get on the phone and compare "news". The City has no newspaper or a handicapped parking space out front of City Hall with a ramp for easy access. I can't afford to roll down hill on the lengthy walk outside City Hall onto the sloping parking lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. American with Disabilities Act, which is enforced by the United States Department of Justice provide for no cause complaints to be filed when infractions are encountered. unlike normal lawsuit, you can sue for no-cause, i.e. you don't have to sustain any actual damage to be able to file a claim. You can file a claim at (usdoj.gov), and the city will be sent a notice by mail requiring them to either comply within 60-day period, otherwise to either state the reason for not complying, or to set a timetable for a plan of action to comply. If ignored by the City, the will be slaped with a $60K fine for first infraction, and will be summoned with an official complaint from the USDOJ. Ignore it again, and the second fine will be $125k and the third $250K. Not a joke to deal with the USDOJ, they take this very seriously. I am sure and hope the City is reading this blog and take note. The City can claim they were not aware of it, but the Law when passed, every governemnt agency, including Sierra madre were made aware of the Law, which was promulgated nationwide. If the City keep burrying their head in the sand, then the USDOJ will unburry it. A simple letter to the city should be enough documentation to get your case going (You may reference the Sacramento Ruling in your letter). One letter is all it takes.

      Delete
  16. Not at all true. They stopped on their own and asked for direction regarding the structure. The "stop work" order came after. I still don't understand why you are trying to crucify these people. They are are not trying to go off plan. It really isn't fair to the owners. They could have just tried to build something else. But even now are just trying to replace the rotten lumber. The river Rock walls and foundation are remaining. In fact they are spending a lot of money to reinforce those foundations. Give them some credit.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I believe if you are going to demo more than 25% of a structure that is over 75 years old, a historical survey must be done at the owners expense. This was not done. I vote for option 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is why we need a citywide historic survey. It's very common in old houses to need to do more renovation/demolition than initially planned, but the city can't require the historic assessment upfront if they "plan" to do less than the threshold amount.

      Delete
  18. Too bad a historical review wasn't done. I'd still like to find out who Henry Darling was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need a citywide historical survey.

      Delete
  19. The only CUP that I found, on the Planning Commission's list of meeting minutes, was CUP 15-23, from 12/17/15 (link at bottom of this reply), allowing for the additional of 1886 sf to the existing house. The owner is William Kevala, Kevalas Investments,http://www.kefalasinvestments.com/ a property management company. He also owns The Only Place in Town, as well as other properties in Sierra Madre.

    Is it possible to view actual building permits?
    http://www.cityofsierramadre.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_212309/File/Departments/Planning%20&%20Community%20Preservation%20Department/Agendas%20and%20Minutes/Minutes/12172015.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would point out that the old failing Frey House on the corner of Canon and Alegria was involved in a similar down to the rafters teardown including the magnificent river rock fireplace, then rebuilt to the original plans which they were able to access using like materials. No one can argue that it is anything but magnificent. So it can be done, only a question of how much treasure the owner is willing to spend.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the comments today. It is like a good detective novel.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Looks good to me, rip it all down, let Mursol have at it, put up something nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Mursol builds it there will be more bathrooms there than the rest of the block combined.

      Delete
    2. Oh dear, not taking your meds today?

      Delete
    3. You will never lack for a place to go.

      Delete
  23. @10:54 that's exactly what they are doing. The only difference is that this is in a severe fire zone and wood siding is not code. It will be a simulated hardie siding. You will not be able to tell from the street. As for the roof. Framing members were saved during demo to be used as templates to match exactly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doesn't fly. Unless Vincent is lying. Because that is what you are accusing him of doing.

      Delete
    2. When everyone showed up at those meetings to save that house, I'm not sure if this is what they all had in mind. There is virtually nothing left. The Kevalas's can take it and shove it.

      Delete
    3. What would you have done with all those rotted out boards of siding, or the windows that were completely destroyed. Or the failing foundation, Would you have left them for posterity, or replaced them with replicas? All those remedies are clearly in the plans and approved. And now with the diaphragm of the house failing and dangerous, what would you do? Say it looks pretty and safety be damned? Again, they are simply rebuilding the same house. This is the best case scenario. So instead of spreading your hateful vitriol, get some information. not half truths from the city, who by the way are trying to save their own skin, from the diatribe of people such as yourselves who clearly do not have a grasp of the facts.

      Delete
    4. What would I have done? Followed the rule. I would have gone back to the PC and explained the problem. I would not have broken the law and then asked for forgiveness.

      Delete
    5. That is exactly what was done. Went back to the city to show them the level of rot and failure. Asked them to come and inspect for direction. They did. That's why there is a meeting on Thursday. They are claiming I removed the roof without permission which they discovered at the inspection. I have written proof on the plans approving the reframing of the roof. Like I said you are making bad assumptions. When the city engineer tells you to "reframe to match the existing" and the director approves and signs it, does that not mean remove it and reframe it? In what universe is that going beyond scope and breaking the law.

      Delete
    6. A missing roof would be hard not to notice.

      Delete
    7. What's your point? If they were trying to be sneaky, why would they go to the city on their own to seek guidance.

      Delete
    8. A normal buyer would have lovingly restored this house. You shouldn't have bought this house if you wanted to destroy it. The Kevales's simply thought they could make more money by destroying our heritage. It's called greed. This house was unluckily that the wrong buyer found it. Now it's gone.

      Delete
  24. 10:54am. If the home owner has properties and a Commercial Business; they have the money. The rental and lease charges in this town are outrageous ;that's why so many end up vacant .

    ReplyDelete
  25. If the city doesn't prosecute these people then all of that pretty new language in the General Plan is meaningless. It isn't just one house. This is an assault on the entire community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @12:55 -- see @9:26. You can't just make up laws.

      Delete
    2. The people make the laws, dude. Including the General Plan. You might not like what they came up with, but that hardly means you can do as you like.

      Delete
  26. I'm never going to The Only Place in Town again. Fortunately, there are other place in town that I can visit. I don't want to give Kefales another dime of my money so that he can use it to destroy the character of this town. I won't support them any longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are going to boycott their business because you feel like you have all the Facts??? I'm sure because you are so smart then you already knew that they set out to do exactly what the City and the residents wanted which was to save the house rather than build a new modern style house. Only because the house was in shambles with no salvageable framework as per building officials and the inspector, who are recommending (forcing due to building and safety codes) to reframe the original house plan and continue with their approved plans.

      All this negativity needs to stop already. Get a life and become productive members of our society instead. Maybe learn all the facts before you make false accusations and try to ruin honest fellow citizens of our community.
      Our city and nation can really use more sensible and neighborly type people rather than all this hatred and badmouthing.

      Delete
    2. Stop whining. You sound like a politician.

      Delete
    3. You should never have bought that house Kavales. It's a slap in the face of the community that fought to preserve it from what the Brown family wanted to do. As a resident of Sierra Madre saying you didn't know about the previous uproar or your realtor Luther Tsigore didn't disclose this to you. Unlikely. You thought you could do whatever you wanted and the community be damned. I'd say your the one being unneighborly. I might ever go to the Only Place in Town again - besides, the food is lousy anyway.

      Delete
    4. You do realize they are trying to restore the house right? Do you think they are tearing it down to build something else?

      Delete
    5. I hear they have also grown white wings and flutter over the town bestowing miracles on the needful.

      Seriously. What lawbreaker has not claimed they did what they did for the best of reasons. Screw you.

      Delete
    6. I would love for one of you accusers to actually point out a broken law. Saying they are monsters because they are remodeling the interior is your right, but not a broken law. Demoing to the studs is in the CUP and not in the purview of the discretionary demo permit or the planning commission. The issue is a disagreement about what was permitted with the roof. No exterior walls were removed.

      Delete
    7. You call that a restoration. I don't think so. What's left? Only some wood framing. What happened to all the beautiful interior architectural detailing? In the dumpster I suppose. Sorry but that's no way to restore a house.

      Delete
    8. Tell it to the Planning Commission, 7:31. I've spoken with a couple and they are not happy campers.

      Delete
  27. Wow 12:58. Judge jury and executioner. Are you sure you don't want to see the facts before you attempt to kill off someone's lively hood? For the record, the only way to save that house is to do what they are doing. It may not be the method that you would prefer, but it's reality.
    At least give them a chance to be heard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you talking to this blog or the city employees who shut the project down?

      Delete
    2. This blog. The city will hear them on Thursday. My suggestion is to hear them before you wholesale defame them without considering any information. That's not how enlightened societies should function. Especially when this blog makes every effort to criticize city hall. It's intellectually dishonest to take this stance.

      Delete
    3. 2:53. Read the agenda report. Watch the PC meeting when the CUP that they violated was passed, read the CUP.

      Delete
    4. The CUP clearly shows all the demolition, the material indicated to be replaced and with what. The only thing not on the CUP is the roof, which was amended in plan check. What was the violation? The only thing on the outside of the walls was siding and windows, which were legally removed, as per CUP. Make your case, what did they do that wasn't approved.

      Delete
    5. You don't buy a house like that to tear it down and leave only a facade. You've gutted an interior that is akin to the Gamble House. What kind of people do that.? I'll answer that question. It's all about greed. That house could have been restored as people do all the time with homes like these. Obviously there was deception going on here and/or malfeasance if the city staff knew about it.

      Delete
    6. That's not a case that's an opinion. They don't need permission to do anything inside. Had you been at the hearing or looked at the plans, you would know what they intended to do.

      Delete
    7. Good point. The inside now looks as hellish as the outside.

      Delete
    8. The notice on the fence says" for demotion of the siding and roof," hearing on Nov 3 which obviously have already been removed.How is this not a crime that has been committed? It what seems that they were worried about this meeting, and decided to go ahead and do this Before the meeting.

      Delete
    9. That's not what it says. It says for the demolition and reconstruction of exterior walls and roof. If you are going to lie , try not to do it with a public notice.

      Delete
  28. They should be jailed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The amount of time it takes to get a cheeseburger out of the kitchen.

      Delete
    2. make your own damn cheeseburger then! they dont need people like you at their restaurant.

      Delete
    3. Lol!!! I love it. Seriously!

      Delete
    4. 3:16 - it's true. I still have my teeth.

      Delete
  29. I' ll hear what will be presented to the Planning Commission; and I never did care for the food at the Only Place; but the zucchini bread is very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only Place lost my business. Never again. I will not support a business that breaks our rules.

      Delete
    2. Fortunately there are a lot of other eateries in town that care more about the community than simply lining their pocket. I will not frequent that establishment ever again.

      Delete
    3. Better cheeseburgers at Bean Town. Plus wifi.

      Delete
    4. Comfortable seating, too.

      Delete
    5. Only Place in Town is a dive. The food stinks. There are a couple of new places that opened up that are really good. Nano's Cafe is one and then that Fusion place on the Blvd is great too.

      Delete
  30. Boy you all seem like such wonderful, kind, neighborly type people that I want to live next to. Wow!!!! I'm so glad I don't live in Sierra Madre. Absolutely insane ... all of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I tell you how much you'll be missed? Without lying?

      Delete
    2. 3:13 sounds a lot like Mrs. Brown. I remember her browbeating the people who attended the City Council meeting and trying to save the house from the wrecking ball. I suppose if the Kafales's ever bought the Gamble House and wanted to tear it down to the studs, we'd all be bad people for wanting to stop it. I don't think so.

      Delete
    3. I bet 3:13 is Tschida Brown. She was one of the first Buyers who wanted to tear down the house. She likes to scold people who don't want historical homes destroyed and replaced by McMansions.

      Delete
  31. 3:13, please don't believe all this, but then again you would know now wouldn't you?

    ReplyDelete
  32. If 2:53 lived in town long enough and could see both sides of the problem they would understand how wronged us tax paying preserve or city folks felt. It's just another attack on our peaceful community.

    ReplyDelete
  33. i dont know if you all realize how pathetic u sound. you have nothing better to do then sit behind your screens complaining about something you dont even know all the facts about. my guess is that none of you really even know the kefalas family. they are kind, loving and hardworking. one of the kefalas brothers has been a volenteer sierra madre fire fighter for ten years now and has been given an award for saving a little girls life. both kefalas brothers work together and do their best to give back and support their community which is more than any of you could say about yourselves. you have no idea how rediculous you sound when you say you are going to boycott their buisness that provides jobs for many people in the community as well as a nice family friendly place that also has a very long history in the town. for you all to threaten their livelihood and their way to feed their families is terrible and i dont understand why you would wish that upon anyone. instead of whining and complaining why dont you all go out and do something productive to help support your community that you apparently care so much about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I have another pickle please?

      Delete
    2. 10:59 - You're absolutely right, except you don't stress enough how caring this entire Kefalas family is. Brothers, sisters, uncle, aunts, and cousins, are beyond kind. In my entire life, and I can qualify as a historical monument, I've never met a church going and faithful family so truely kind and honest inside and out. The brother who's mentioned in your blog who volunteered as a firefighter for 10 years to save our town from fire and temperies is the owner of the Only Place in Town, which all these haters are teaming up to boycot and put out of business and drive them out this town. Knowing there are so many hatered filled neighbors in this once peaceful town make me no wait any longer to get out of it. Bill Kefalas family have done so much not only tothe town, but also for neighboring towns such as Pasadena, and their charities have reached international level to help the Syrian refugee crisis. Their sister in law is a staple of volunteering for schools across the board, and their names are sworn by. Shame on all of these so called neighbors for defaming the people who help making this town what it is today. Bill and his family can come and eat at my house and establishment for free anytime, he owns our faith and gratitude for all what he've done to this town.

      Shame on this town, just shame!

      Delete
    3. This is like a tradition in matters like this. Some jerk gets popped for breaking city development codes, it is reported on this blog, and suddenly the scofflaw grows angel wings and is proclaimed a saint by whatever real estate flack has taken on the job of covering his ass. This clown broke city law. End of story.

      Delete
  34. Mark this as the first time my opinion on a Tattler article turned 180 degrees after I read the comments. In this era when we're surrounded by McMansion-ization, it now looks like a local businessman - someone who already lives and invests in our community - is devoted to preserving the beauty of that property and street. It makes me sick to see the photos, and I hate that the house was gutted. But if it truly wasn't structurally sound, who's to say this isn't the only feasible way to make it livable and preserve its look. Unless Thursday uncovers something patently evil here, Only Place In Town isn't losing my family's business any time soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You read your comments and you changed your mind?

      Delete