Friday, April 14, 2017

Is the Henry A. Darling House now being left to rot?

That most eagerly anticipated showdown between William Kefalas and the Planning Commission has now been canceled. This after having been repeatedly delayed starting late last year. Here is the news from an Agenda Report for next Thursday.

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.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

100 comments:

  1. Boycott the only place in town because it's not the only place in town.

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    1. In fact, the quality of the food is among the worst in town.

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    2. I've been going to the Monrovia Family Restaurant in Monrovia. They have interesting omelettes.

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    3. Nano Cafe here in town has good, clean coffee shop food. Maybe a little less expensive than Only Place, and much better.
      Poppy Seed Bakery is great - very good quality, but always busy.

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    4. Never going to Only Place again. Lousy food and lousy owner. Why provide more money to fund his attorneys to screw Sierra Madre.

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    5. Mary's Market

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    6. This is one more reason to avoid the Only Place in Town - bad food and high prices.

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  2. Its all Trump's fault.

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    1. I'm glad you recognize that.

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  3. This guy has been hustling from the beginning.
    Whatever he's doing is going to be good for him, bad for everything else.

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    1. explain. how is rebuilding the house bad for everything else.

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    2. Explain how destroying a historic property, and despite city laws preventing it, is good for everybody else.

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    3. The level of ignorance is just deafening.

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    4. Clean your ears.

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  4. Mod, how did you know those two shysters were cc'd on that email? I can't see through the black mark.

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    1. When I was cutting and pasting that e-mail for today's post the black marks grayed a little and the names beneath became visible.

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  5. The Monastery is having their Good Friday viewing of The Stations of the Cross today from 9-1230 and again from 430-730. Plenty of parking in the "unused land"

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  6. How is it, for as much as you bash city hall as incompetent, that you come to the conclusion that Kefalas is completely wrong and out to poke a stick in his neighbors eyes.
    If you have followed this case at all, it boils down to a written directive the city gave to replace roof rafters, to which the city then responded with, we didn't mean all of them. Everything else there is angst about, removing windows, roofing material, siding and the interior, was all vetted and approved in the hearings when the city issued the CUP. All of this is public record.
    You can make the argument that the director should not have approved that rafter change (although the the discretionary demo ordinance clearly gives him discretion), but to say Kefalas clearly flaunted the rules is disengenious.

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    1. Sure. Whatever you say, pal.

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    2. So 7:44, is that what you are going to argue in court?

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    3. I don't think even Lawsuit Richie is quite that dumb, 7:44.

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  7. Very 60's of you, with "boycott" approach, and a generation ago nostalgia.
    Timing and replanning the rebuild, hopefully is what is taking place.

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    1. I hope you find lots and lots of brightly colored eggs.

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    2. 60s? Nope. You may be stuck in the past but we're in the present time.

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    3. Boycotts are timeless. Being called a hippy only makes me want to do that more.

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  8. I haven't been to NOT Only Place in Town for a few years. My favorite Maggie Wong's Chicken Salad's chicken ingredient changed from real shredded chicken to chicken paste produce that was watery from being a processed product and then obviously defrosted. Blah! Don't imagine it changed. Restaurants make a big mistake with short changing their customers. Once you have been disappointed in a restaurant it is almost impossible to go back.

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  9. Is Mr. Kefalas on the volunteer fire department? How does he qualify for that? Dosen't it take some time committment and skill?

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    1. That would explain why he has HOSED everyone in Sierra Madre.

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  10. 7:57 are you really going to take pot shots at someone who volunteers his time for your benefit? You're a special kind of stupid...

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    1. I don't think volunteering gets you a pass for something like this. I think we all saw how that line was badly used during Measure V.

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    2. Not the same person. But either way who are you to question his skill or capability.

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    3. It's a free country. Go work your stupid guilt trips on somebody who gives a hoot.

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    4. You at 8:16--
      7:57 here. I asked three questions, not pot shots (your incredibly old school term intended to deflect the argument). I don't know to what level Mr Kefalas volunteers with the fire department. I have lived in this community long enough to know appreciate real volunteering when I see it and that used as self-aggrandizement.

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    5. So your going to take your ball and run home.

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    6. 8:42 - check this out.
      http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/blog/english-mistakes/your-vs-youre/

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    7. @8:38 so you don't know who he is, or if it's the same person, his skill level or qualifications, but you still come to the conclusion that he is volunteering for "self-aggrandizement". Why don't you just stick to he facts, and the topic at hand.

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    8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    9. Obviously 8:16 has volunteered for village idiot.

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    10. all I know is that in case of fire, I'd rather have the full time Arcadia FD on speed dial instead of having a insurance salesman part time SMFD.

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    11. I think you are all losing your marbles because Trump is about to bomb N. Korea and everyone is a little anxious today. Certainly all this venom isn't really meant; just people hiding behind their keyboards...

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    12. Ahh shut up. I already have a mommy and she is far better looking than your ugly puss.

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    13. I believe it is the son that is a paid "volunteer" with the fire department. It is all on http://transparentcalifornia.com

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    14. So you're saying saving lives, protecting precious SM homes from fires and help delivering babies (while sacrificing 10 years with his own family) for the benefit of the Sierra Madre community means nothing ??? Volunteer or not? Not to mention countless hours in leading SMFD fundraisers through community events that goes straight back to the community... absolutely worthless right? He must be pure evil this guy!!!

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    15. How is illegally destroying a community heirloom justified by having done past volunteer work? If I cut the grass at Memorial Park am I then allowed to shoot the neighbor's barking dog?

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  11. It's a loss all around for everyone involved ... and hopefully a lesson for all involved the next time that this happens ... Sierra Madre City Council and Departments have been asleep at the wheel for quite a while now ... Its a gorgeous house that has been destroyed ... plain and simple ...

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  12. This "gorgeous" house has serious issues, which the current owner is attempting to correct. The plans show the same house being rebuilt, what is the problem with that? Are you suggesting he should have painted it and waited for it to fall down with the family inside.

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    1. Bull crap, dude. Do you really think people are stupid enough to believe that? Do you?

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    2. Are you too lazy to look at the plans? I suppose it's easier to justify your angst without pesky things like facts and figures.

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    3. FYI

      http://cityofsierramadre.hosted.civiclive.com/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=1896262

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    4. 8;54 - I know how you like to play "Amazing Secrets," but many people have seen the plans, did watch the Planning Commission meetings, and rightfully came to the conclusion that this yahoo butchered the Henry A Darling house. He also broke Sierra Madre law. Your petulant foot stamping does nothing to change that.

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    5. Heh. Are you too lazy to look that up yourself? It was only covered in about 3 Planning Commission meetings. Stick to cooking omelettes.

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    6. Reference to Village idiot and pot shot ...comments coming from the Kefalas apologies team.

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    7. I think the Kefalas team has brought on the same BS artist that ran the Yes UUT campaign from Pasadena.

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  13. The owner could have done more salvaging on the inside of his house; key word, his house.
    I agree with the "special kinda stupid", Sierra Madreans are a special kinda "unique personalities".
    The Monastery is generous with the open invitation to the community, walking the stations of the cross, and allowing parking on their private land.

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    1. Simple PR stunt

      If they were generous they wouldn't have fenced it off after so many decades of open access

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  14. The Monastery is a church,tax exempt,living off my tax dollars. It's what they are supposed to do 365 days a year not one day a year.

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  15. It is too bad that Kefalas lacks the intestinal fortitude to go before the Planning Commission and explain why he thinks he has been wronged. I can also understand why he backed out. They would have shredded his nonsense like so much diner chicken.

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    1. Umm. He did that twice, and they chose personal attacks. I wouldn't do it again either. To what end. A hearing is supposed to be a testing of the facts, not a forum to attack without due process. To place blame on kefalas and not question city staff at all how this happened is indicative of the problem. The planning commission showed their intent to take the easy way out, which is attack the easy target. The only one who actually stated that this was a misunderstanding was Pevsner. The rest were hell bent on looking good in front of the "righteously indignant".

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    2. By personal attacks you meant the questioning of his honesty by the Planning Commission. Can speaking the truth be considered an attack?

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    3. A trier of facts stating that the applicant is "a liar" without even considering his side, is in fact an attack. The planning commissioners are a third party to the argument, and on the word of one side (who is culpable by the way), decided to make a judgement about his character. That's just foolishness. Much like trying to change anyones mind on this blog.

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    4. I saw the meeting and have a good grasp of the facts. Questioning Mr. Kefalas's honesty was appropriate.

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    5. Well said, 10:47.
      And with no insults, which would have been hard for me to do.
      The guy was such a presumptuous bully.

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    6. Wow - who was the bully? No insults???? Watch the tapes again...the planning dept seemed to take cheap shots all night long!!!! But who am I? Just a witness of it all - that's it.

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    7. I think the planning commission was offended by this person's dishonesty.

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  16. 9:25am. The "special kinda #%*#", blogger.
    Private property is private property, the Monastery is a home; not a church.
    It does have a santuary located on the private property.

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    1. Reality is a taboo topic in most local media. Also: People who own homes that would be negatively impacted by predatory development are private property owners with rights as well. Do try and remember that.

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    2. The Kensington is an example of collecting a very small business tax from the creative zoning on that property.
      It does not count in the residential buildout, because the suites are not "bedrooms". Yet, the Kensington is the largest residential building located in the business district.

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    3. Tax free home with largest acreage in town. How feudal

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  17. Wrong the Monastery is a retreat center,a money making operation, the Monastery was torn down in 1993. They open for a public Mass on Tuesday only. Not a home a hotel for rich entitled Catholics.

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    1. So by that logic, your house is a home for entitled angry marxists, and you leave the front door open to well wishers and lovable raccoons?

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    2. The "Monastery" is zoned Institutional my home is zoned residential big big difference.

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    3. All churches should be taxed, especially if their land is used primarily for residential purposes.

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  18. So Kefalas doesn't need to protect his family with quite the same urgency as before...

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  19. Sad to see a great old house de facto demolished. That will, of course, be what has to happen - a complete demolishment. Just like the previous owners wanted.

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  20. Kefalas is playing the classic victim card. He's suffering from terrible injustices perpetrated by the dishonest Planning Commission and the incompetent Planning Department, while he himself is a shining example of virtue.
    Quite a fantasy he's got going there.

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    1. I am sure it was all plotted out with his attorneys. Also they are on this blog alot, so that must be a part of the strategy as well.

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    2. Agree, 12:15.
      The Kefalas articles always get the same opposition posts, and so do the rehab treatment articles.
      Not very creative.

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    3. Most of it is low content nonsense meant to distract and confuse. My favorite is the claim nobody is paying attention to the facts, and then they don't give any.

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  21. Are you talking to me? I'm 10:21? No logic just stating facts. #1 there is no Monastery. #2 they are open on Tuesday morning for a Mass. #3 they have retreats @ "the retreat house" Catholics with money can "donate" ,not taxable, and stay the weekend there.
    Oh yea I pay taxes they do not.

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  22. At the time Kefalas started his demolition, the most the city could fine him was a couple of thousand, I think, and stop the work for 2 years. He may be maneuvering to wait for 2 years.

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    1. What is for sure is that the house will need to be completely torn down if it just sits there like that - as it has been through the only real winter we've had in years.
      Guess they couldn't afford any tarps.

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    2. If it falls down in bad weather it is an act of God and KFOG is off the hook. Of course, pulling out a couple of key nails wouldn't hurt.

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  23. 11:25pm. Try Franscians, not Catholics.
    Good Friday, good day to walk the stations of the cross. Happy Passover.

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    1. Franciscans aren't Catholics?
      Or are Franscians some other kind of order entirely? Maybe musicians from France.

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    2. 11:25 may be "Trump Guy" in disguise. Spreading disinformation.....

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    3. OOps I mean 1:46 may be Trump Guy spreading disinformation........ I'm 1125

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  24. What? you spreading fake news?Why?? Franciscans and Passionists are both Catholic.
    The Passionists are a Roman Catholic religious institute founded by Saint Paul of the Cross with a special emphasis on the Passion of Jesus Christ.
    The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Francis of Assisi. These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis.
    As I said before will be open at 430 again if you want to walk.

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  25. 1:46 is Jewish if he celebrates the Passover, not a Christian scholar for sure lol

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  26. And all faiths,including those with no faith, are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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  27. Geez can you people quit posting about some Trump Guy? You've got to have more intelligence than continuing to post that over and over again.

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    1. Wait are you Trump Guy ?

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    2. I think you're right. Very TG.

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    3. Troll #2 undercover

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  28. The Mira Monte house will be a demolition by default.

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  29. SM needs a weed store downtown.

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    1. It will happen. The city needs the tax revenue and the new City Mngr has a lot of experience in that field.

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