Discretionary Demolition Permit 16-01 (DDP 16-01) (link): A request to allow the reconstruction of the roof and exterior walls of the residence located at 126 E. Mira Monte Avenue. The applicant, William Kefalas, submitted an application for Discretionary Demolition Permit 16-01 to allow the reconstruction of the roof, exterior walls and foundation of a single-family residence located on the property at 126 E. Mira Monte Avenue.
The Planning Commission considered the request at its November 3rd and December 1st, 2016 meetings. At the December 1st meeting, the Commission voted to continue the meeting to January 19, 2017 to allow the applicant to submit an application for a certificate of appropriateness; at that meeting, the Commission voted to continue the meeting to February 15, 2017 upon the applicant’s request for additional time. At the February 15 meeting, the applicant submitted another request for continuance, and the Commission voted to continue it to the March 16, 2017 meeting, and at the March 16th meeting, the applicant submitted another request for continuance, and the Commission voted to continue it to the April 20, 2017 meeting.
Since the last continuance, the applicant has submitted a written request (attached herein) to withdrawal the application for Discretionary Demolition Permit 16-01(DDP 16- 01).
Here is the very brief letter Mr. Kefalas sent to City Hall.
The blacked out names Cc'd on this pithy e-mailed document are Richard McDonald and Scott Carlson. Two exceptionally fine Pasadena pettifoggers who must be making quite a handsome living litigating against cities such as Sierra Madre.
This unhappy development can lead us to some speculation. The first being how Mr. Kefalas is dealing with the bank that lent him the money to purchase the property. That amount, estimated at around half a million dollars, must have been lent to him with the understanding that a house was involved. Now that this historic structure has been reduced to toothpick sculpture, where is the collateral value? If the bank knows about it, they can't be happy.
It is also possible to speculate about a possible strategy here. Is this an attempt to stoke community anger by threatening to leave an eyesore festering in the midst of what is one of Sierra Madre's more notable neighborhoods? A stick in the eye of Mr. Kefalas's neighbors, stuck there in the hope that they will become angry enough to bring pressure upon City Hall to allow this obstreperous gent to finish his project as he sees fit?
Despite city laws that clearly state he has gone about this in an improper and apparently indefensible way?
It could also be that Mr. Kefalas and his bounding attorneys no longer feel they stand any chance of getting what they want from the Planning Commission, or perhaps even the City Council, and have now decided to sue the city instead.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this all turns out.