Dear Supporters: After a thoughtful and informed discussion, our City Council unanimously approved the changes to the Demolition Ordinance recommended by our Planning Commission. By law, it will only go into effect after a "second reading", but it's gratifying to have our City Council working with our Planning Commission and City Staff to advance the cause of preservation in Sierra Madre.
The City Council had only one minor change to the ordinance that was reasonable and appropriate. Because of the importance of these improvements to the Demolition Ordinance, Planning Commissioners Frierman-Hunt and Hutt were on hand to explain the changes and to take questions from City Council Members. We appreciate that they took the time to do that.
We are also encouraged that the City Council and Planning Commission are going to take up the issue of having a city-wide Historical Survey to determine which houses may have historical significance. This is something that almost every city that takes historical preservation seriously has done, and Preserve Sierra Madre would support such a survey wholeheartedly. It would have many beneficial effects including among other things:
1. Removing the guess work by letting owners, buyers and developers know in advance whether a property has historical significance.
2. Reducing the burden on owners because of ordinances that now apply to all homes that are 75 years or older but yet may have no historical or architectural significance regardless.
3. Reducing costly litigation because buyers and developers are on notice that when they buy a property on the list, they will face additional scrutiny if they want to make changes to the outside facade.
Thank you for your continued support, your emails and your interest in preservation. As we start a new year, we are also looking for people interested in serving on our Steering Committee or who would like to assist us with maintaining our websites and social media platforms.
We currently have two websites one of which is active: www.PreserveSierraMadre.com and one of which is dormant but ready to be revived if necessary: www.StopMonasteryHousingProject.com. Email us if you wish to help in any capacity. While we have an exceptional City Council, Planning Commission and supportive City Staff, there is always work to be done.
Pasadena Star News article on the Henry A. Darling house
Mod: I believe this article is in today's issue of the local daily newspaper of record. Note again the unfortunate use of the word "vitriolic" to describe Sierra Madre's Planning Commission. This is now the second time such language has been used publicly by Kefalas's attorney. Apparently such attacks on the Planning Commission have become an important part of their legal strategy.
Historic house in Sierra Madre gutted for renovation, unleashing a new controversy (Pasadena Star News link)
Mod: The rest of this PSN article can be accessed at the link provided above.