Monday, March 27, 2017

A Most Mysterious Sierra Madre City Council Meeting

Unhappy Ho Returns
Mod: Should you go to the City Council meeting agenda for tomorrow evening (link), you would discover that most of it will be held in a closed session. There are a couple of items that will be discussed in public, including the topic of "Stormwater related state legislation proposals." An important item for sure due to the possible big money involved.

But all of that should wrap up pretty quickly. After which the City Council (or at least those members who are in town this week - the others will remain on their cell phones I suspect), will swiftly repair to the back room with the City Attorney and key staff members to deal with what are apparently some thorny legal issues. And when we're talking big old mean lawsuits in Sierra Madre, you can usually win any bet you might care to place by wagering that at least one of these two closed session items has something to do with One Carter.

As you must certainly know, this has all been going on for longer than a decade now, and with absolutely no end in sight. Ever since the worst City Council this city has ever seen made some of the most destructive and boneheaded decisions ever in the land use category, these kinds of legal debacles have been hanging over this town. Those fools have probably cost Sierra Madre millions of dollars in legal expenses over the years (the city traditionally refuses to ever disclose any exact amounts of money spent on its Colantuono costs), and it is more than likely these troubles have only just begun.

For the more predatory developers owning property up on that hill, the only real treasure of Sierra Madre comes in the unhappy form of tacky and oftentimes vulgar McMansions. Or, as my dictionary puts it, "large houses that are considered ostentatious and lacking in architectural integrity."

The Wikipedia definition is kind of cool (link):

In suburban communities, McMansion is a pejorative term for a large "mass-produced" dwelling, constructed with low-quality materials and craftsmanship, using a mishmash of architectural symbols to invoke connotations of wealth or taste, executed via poorly thought-out exterior and interior design.

I've digressed. Here is how this dark cloud appears on tomorrow's horizon.


Outside of guess work, all we really have to go on here is that "Calif. Government Code Section" number. And even that doesn't tell us much more than the reason why this get-together is being held behind closed doors where the likes of you and I are never permitted.

But just in case you've ever longed for a guide to what those numbers might mean (and I know I sure have), here is a helpful guide that you can live by. It can be found on the Internet (also known as the World Wide Web) by clicking here.


That's what I have for you today. I'll be back tomorrow with something else.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

82 comments:

  1. Both CETT and Kefales are represented by the same law firm.

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    1. Makes sense. CETT and Kefales both see themselves as victims, innocent folks who are just exercising their rights to build whatever they want wherever they want.

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    2. Lawsuit Richie and the gang are at work in Arcadia as well. They want to racially gerrymander the city council to advance the interests of the McMansion crowd.

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    3. Mr. MacDonald has found his niche market. Spent some years on the Pasadena Planning Commission to learn just how to ruin cities when the opportunities presented themselves.

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    4. MacDonald characterized our planning commission as hostile from the beginning, because he didn't like the rules he had to abide by. Such a jerk.

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    5. Kefalas' plan was vetted, changed and approved by the planning commission. How exactly are they trying to "build whatever they want"

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    6. Ripping the house apart, and then saying "oops"?

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    7. Nobody said oops. If you attended the hearings, you would know that removing all the siding, windows,interior, even roofing material, was not only on the plan, but the replacement materials were presented and approved. This rediculous hold up is over unseen rafters, that the city asked them to replace. The city doesnt deny any of this, other than their claim that they only meant one section of the roof. The plans do not indicate that they were only to apply that to one area, nor does that make any sense. Once again you have an inept planning/building department that is causing problems. I have seen the plans and the city stance is one of lunacy. It's nothing but a political move to show that they take public outcry seriously, at the expense of those trying to follow the rules.

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    8. Thanks for the comedy relief. Now go sand off that extra five inches of growth at the end of your nose.

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    9. 10:25, the planning commissioners are people of integrity.

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    10. Typical Tattler hubris. Rebutting facts with a poor attempt at humor. What problem do you have with their plan exactly. Have you even seen it? Did you bother to go to the meetings where it was presented. Did you go to the counter and ask to see the stamped plans? No? Then tell me again what well of information you use to come to your nonsensical conclusion. That the city you constantly blame for being stupid is right when it suits your narrative?
      Disengenious.

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    11. Disengenious, as in 10:00's post?

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    12. Will you be charging your client for that supercilious little screed, counselor? If so I am going to recommend that he switch his representation to Legal Shield. At $19.99 a month he will save himself a lot of money plus get an attorney that isn't such an insufferable prat.

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    13. Legal Shield probably uses spell check, too.

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    14. That's what I thought. No rebuttal of any value, because you have no information and even less integrity.

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    15. Disingenuous? Please explain.

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    16. Being called out on integrity by an attorney that sues cities on behalf of developers for a living is quite an experience in irony.

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  2. Do people care about One Carter anymore?
    One of the most useful tricks in the development industry's kit is citizen fatigue.
    Drag things out long enough, and citizens get tired and give up.
    Or so the developers think.

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    1. Never underestimate the ability of Sierra Madre to get its back up. It has been 13 years since the place was turned into an ecological wasteland, yet not one single house has been built. 13 years. You know of any other city with residents that could pull that off?

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    2. The residents have turned it into a dog park.

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    3. A reasonable plan, with 10 or 15 houses built where common sense allowed, could have been successful and done long before this.
      It was greed that made that mess up there.

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    4. Tip of the hat to the fellow who called it 'One Crater' recently

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  3. Mod, you are so right about the idiocy of the council that allowed this to happen in the first place, and the millions of dollars they've cost Sierra Madre. The terrible irony is that they were frightened into surrender by the threats of millions of dollars of lawsuit, or so it's said. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

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    1. Lest anyone forget, the council members who made that ruinous decision were Rob Stockly, John Buchanan, Tonya Torres and Enid Joffee. Four people who destroyed that part of the hillsides.

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    2. Not just that, they also opened Sierra Madre up to endless rounds of law suits. The consequences continue to be felt, even today. The worst group of people to ever run this city.

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    3. Yes 9:33, you are correct and this past decision has cost Sierra Madre BIG BUCKS.

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  4. The law firm we're talking about here is Carlson & Nicholas, LLP. They have 3 land use related lawsuits going on right now, two in Sierra Madre, one in Arcadia. There might be more, I just haven't heard about them yet. They're parasites, and want to sink their blood sucking tentacles into our tax money.
    http://www.carlsonnicholas.com/about-carlson-nicholas

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  5. I don't understand why the owners don't just follow the guidelines to build and get with it. How does that work economically, that you buy some land and do nothing with it but sue the city it's in? Tax write offs?

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    1. If they can suck up a few million dollars ion Sierra Madre tax money, and then build McMansions, their take will be far larger. They're bloodsuckers. Truly evil people.

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    2. CETT specializes in 'distressed real estate,' so they buy cheap.

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    3. Buy low, sue high.

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    4. @9:52 Because the changes the city is requiring (without cause) amount to well over 100k, and require constant maintenance and fire hazard. Why doesn't the city just let them build what they already approved. Why was it ok then but not now?

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    5. 12:07, I'm confused. What did the city already approve? I watched those meetings with the architect and I don't remember anything being approved. What I do remember is that she came back several times with a slightly modified plan hoping to get it approved.

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    6. I'm talking about Kefalas not CETT

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    7. It's all been covered a hundred times. Go do your own research.

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  6. Let me see if I understand your viewpoint. You blame that city council for making bad decisions allowing the development of one Carter. Then you demonize the developer for suing to implement the plan that the city approved and for which they spent a considerable amount starting to implement. Planning, grading, utilities, roads.
    Pick a side. You can't demonize both sides. It's intellectually and practically disengenious.
    You can have disdain for the developer and their plans, but not for exercising their right for justice.
    This city loves to move the goal line whenever people yell loud enough, that's neither fair or legal.

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    1. Dude, you're actually right. At least partially. Doyle, Buchanan and the rest of the idiots did allow the ruin of one of Sierra Madre's last wild areas. Unfortunately the developer they dropped their drawers for, Dorn Platz, didn't have the dough to bring the plan to fruition. All they managed to do was kill a few hundred old growth trees. They then sued and lost for some stupid reason. However, that opened the city up to endless legal actions. And they continue to this day.

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    2. Slick, 10:00.
      The reason the houses have not been built is because they did not follow the requirements that were in place all along, and that's all.

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    3. So 10:00, lawyer much?

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    4. The "developers' right for justice" - would that be the same right the citizens have for their justice, to enforce the rues of their city?

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  7. Couldn't find the listing on Long Dragon's site, but Coldwell Banker has it. The lot is going for about 1 million.
    https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/ca/sierra-madre/3-nathaniel-terrace/pid_17044520/

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    1. I wonder what it will be worth in 2030? Of course, it still won't have a house on it.

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    2. Jeez, who is foolish enough to buy a lot for one million in a place that has the troubled history that Stonegate does?

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  8. Bet one of the meetings is about the two developers that recently purchased the properties at at One Carter from auction. These properties were not purchased by CETT because they are landlocked or open space. Buyer beware. HAHAHAHHA

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    1. Somebody bought open space? As a donation, or...?

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    2. No, they made an expensive mistake by not looking at the property. HAHAHA

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  9. The curse of One Carter, aka the Triangle of Death, continues.

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  10. Hopefully Robert Ho will be pitching some tantrums in Council Chambers again very soon. He is very amusing. Especially when his eyes roll up into his head.

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    1. But he loves Sierra Madre.

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  11. The court will decide about the building plans and if they meet the hillside building codes.
    The law firm representing Sierra Madre, are paid a large sum, in protecting the town and it's land and building codes.

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  12. The UUT money could have bought that lot!

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  13. 10:25am. The opp's moment of the city requiring the unseen rafters, are in the space of; opp's my contractor tore out too much alotted roof line.
    The owner should reinforce that area of "unseen" rafters.

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  14. It appears the owner has placed 1 Carter up for sale. Does this mean he has given up on litigation?

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    1. Do you mean Robert Ho? That's just one lot. Or has CETT thrown in the towel? They/he/she/it owns 20+ lots.

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  15. Mod, Could you link some of your past articles on this subject to this article? It's been so long that I need a refresher course. I do remember the CRISTO photo. lol There may be new residents who are not familiar with one Carter epic saga. Thanks.

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    1. Good idea, 11:31. Even better, people can just google Stonegate Sierra Madre or One Carter Sierra Madre. Imagine what a potential buyer finds with a little online research.

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  16. If the Closed Session concerns One Carter, wouldn't Rachael A. have to recuse herself?

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    1. Might depend on what part of the property they are talking about.

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    2. The outhouse.

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  17. AG, Justic Dept to crack down on Sanctuary Cities.
    Federal grant money will not be available to Sanctuary Cities.

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    1. Unfortunately Mr. Sessions must operate under U.S. law not Putin's law. So another trump failure is in the making.


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  18. President Donald Trump’s approval rating has been negative virtually since he first took office. Now, it may be heading even further underwater.

    In a Gallup survey released Monday, just 36 percent of Americans said they approved of Trump’s job as president. It was a new low for him, and 2 percentage points below former President Barack Obama’s all-time worst numbers, according to Gallup’s polling.

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    1. means that we are a nation of 36% dimwits

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    2. This was supposed to be Trump's presidential honeymoon. No president has ever seen his polling numbers go this low this fast. He is a nightmare.

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  19. Replies
    1. Sierra Madre is a sanctuary city for caucasians. Prepare to be sent back to Denmark.

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    2. Carolyn Brown, Doesn't the Conservacy hold the deed to one of those lots on One Carter?

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  20. Sierra Madre was founded by the English.

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    1. The Tongva and Chumash would disagree.

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  21. Glad to see the ol' Tattler is back. Thanks for the local article.

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  22. I remember the story when the then Principal at Maranatha went up to One Carter and prayed and said God told her this was the site for a high school - right smack dab in the middle of a flood and fire zone.

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    1. I hate when anyone invokes god for personal gain

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    2. I remember battling the Maranatha crowd, whoa that was a long time ago. I remember meeting Faye Angus at the meeting that night. Lovely lady. Was that meeting at the Sierra Madre School? How long HAS one Carter been for sale?

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  23. when are the lots available at Mater Dolorosa?

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    1. Don't even think it!

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    2. There are no lots.

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    3. There are lots of idiots

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  24. Love seeing those jerk realtors enter freak-out mode at various council meetings. Must be a requirement. That Ash in Arcadia does same thing. Goes from ashes to ruins in less than 30 sec.

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    1. Many Realtors are Emo.

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  25. 4:58pm. I wish they would put up a wall.

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  26. None of the 1 carter tract map lots are part of earlier conservancy efforts
    In the area. There are parcels on all sides outside the StoneGate development that were either purchased with Proposition A funds or donated by landowners.

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