Friday, June 2, 2017

Last Night The Planning Commission Denied An After The Fact Demolition Permit For The Previously Demolished Henry A. Darling House

Link to meeting video here

Despite persistent lawyerly expositions from Wm. Kefalas's legal representation stating that a once likely historic house can no longer be judged historic because it has lost its historic features through an unpermitted demolition, and therefore somehow qualifies the applicant for a demolition permit after this unfortunate fact, the Planning Commission last night unanimously denied the request.

It seems quite obvious to me that, even after hiring what obviously was some high-priced legal fire power, Kefalas's request never really stood a chance. Despite what I found to be a really hilarious argument made on his behalf last night. Even if nobody was laughing.

Here's the point. Asking the Planning Commission to grant this permit is tantamount to asking them to fly in the face of the kinds of codes and ordinances they are there to help create, and then enforce. Not only was this an absurd request for a permit the applicant clearly does not deserve, it was also an assault on the core mission of any Planning Commission. Here or elsewhere.

This was not the venue for tricky lawyerly tactics designed to help avoid a clearly delineated and enforceable law. That would be the City Council, which is where this long running drama is headed next.

Which was probably the point all along. It just took quite a while to get there.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

71 comments:

  1. It probably would have been much more effective (and saved a lot of money) if Kefalas just said he was really sorry and promised to never do it again.

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    1. Oh he has said that. They are all preservationists, you know. He, the lawyer, the report writer - they all are for preservation.

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    2. Some of the biggest enemies preservation has locally.

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    3. All Kefalas wanted to do was preserve this house. He demolished it by accident.

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    4. Maybe it was a tornado that did it.

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    5. Kefalas will never dsy he's sorry. Can any one shed some light on that one neighbor who keeps telling everyone to move on. I think she lives at 110 Mira Monte. Is she related to Kefalas or just someone who doesn't care about preserving older homes?

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    6. Kefalas is a snake. In one meeting he pleaded poverty saying he'd just let the house go. He's now playing a different tune. Google Kefalas Investments. He's no stranger to development. He though he was smarter than the Brown family.

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  2. Hope the City Council doesn't cave!

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    1. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Hard call.

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    2. That decade of mess up at One Carter came about because the 2004 council didn't heed the advice of the planning commission. Let's hope the 2017 council is smarter than that.

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    3. Our City Council has been pretty good. My only concern is Harabedian.

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  3. Trump works for Russia!June 2, 2017 at 6:34 AM

    It's better to ask forgiveness than for permission and be turned down.

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    1. The Developers' Creed.

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    2. It would be a very bad message if we allow Kefalas to get his way.

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  4. There were lots of neighbors in the audience, but none spoke except the same next door woman who has spoken before, who essentially said (again), "Get over it, and move on." Who would you believe - that lawyer, or Joe Catalano, who spoke about how he is an architect and has restored historical homes without destroying them. Thanks Joe! Thanks Planning Commission, especially Chairperson Gina, who called the lawyer on his assertion that the second historical expert should carry much more weight than the first, both paid for by Kefelas.

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    1. The neighbor that spoke is his mother in law. Lol

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    2. Often mother-in-laws are a problem.

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    3. If it is the mother in law, does William Kefalas really want to live next door to her. Maybe stick her in the basement.

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    4. I am so glad to share my testimony how DR OSUN help me conceive after several years of marriage i found it difficult to conceive and i thought is was over i will never conceive again after 6years of marriage my husband plane for divorce but with the glory of God i found a man who is bless my God with root and herbs who help me get pregnant i want to say a big thanks to him and to the world for the great help he rendered to me for making me a complete woman today now i am 5months pregnant hoping to have My own baby soon. Glory be to God.

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    5. Bob Spears is my hero. They don't come any tougher than Spears. He also doesn't suffer fools.

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  5. Trump is a Russian!June 2, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    What's going to happen now? After all, there is no house left?

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    1. My guess is that eventually this jerk will get to build what he wants. And he set a precedent for people demolishing homes without permits.

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    2. From the gents on the city council there will be confessions that they believe both sides have valid arguments, and it is a shame it has gotten to this point.

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    3. I heard the preservation folks are going to be very prepared for a potential showdown if it reaches the City Council.

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  6. Thank you planning commission.

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    1. Last night someone posted that we've got to get these commissioners to run for council.

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    2. Without a doubt. True representatives of the people. Honest and plainspoken.

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  7. It astounds me that you still espouse the lie of illegal demolition. It was all permitted with the exception of a disagreement for how much of the roof could be removed. Even the commissioners did not argue against that. As far as Fisher and his qualifications, being on a list does not qualify him under the SOI standards. To be a qualified historian you need to have a graduate degree in history or a bachelors in history and at least two years professional institutional work. Fisher is a political science major who's only professional experience is working for the title company. And some how his word is worth more than an licensed historic architect who was responsible for the restoration of the Nebraska state capitol and numerous other national landmarks? Nice try Gina but that lack of logic only plays when you're preaching to the choir.
    As for ignoring the fact that they gave CEQA categorical exemption to this project which LEGALY and explicitly removed everything fisher said was historic, then wanting to go back and see if it's historic is why Sierra Madre is always embroiled in law suits. I would start by firing the city attorney who keeps advising the city into this nonsense.
    At the end of the day the commission past the buck to the city council. Because if we were to assume anything else, it would be they would prefer the house be demolished by neglect, which it already is. Very myopic and ignoring the plight of the neighbors and the right of the homeowner.

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    1. So why was the stick pile red tagged? Why was the post-demolition permit denied?

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    2. they claim there was no permission to remove all of the roof. The plans show otherwise. They say "it's not what we meant". I'm sure that argument will hold up well in court. The courts always ignore written and signed documents in favor of "we meant something else"

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    3. Mr. Kefalas if you had come to the first city meeting not acting like an arrogant clown, maybe you would have gotten better treatment. The same hubris was shown last night by denigrating Mr. Fisher.

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    4. Good point. The arrogance is uncalled for and insufferable. In many ways Kefalas is his own worst enemy.

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    5. Plight of the neighbors?

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    6. I think 8:26 is the mother-in-law. By the way you should state the fact that you are not just a disinterested neighbor. You are misrepresenting yourself to the Planning Commussion.

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    7. The garage was also taken down without a demo permit. This Mr. k must have some type of emotional issue if he can't come to terms with his violations.

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    8. So now you are attacking the neighbor for not wanting to look at a dump. You people are a special king of stupid. She outclasses each and every one of you hapless hillbillies. You accuse kefalas of being hateful and arrogant but do you actually listen to yourselves.

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    9. Whereas you, 11:10, are a model of thoughtful and honorable contributions .

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    10. 11:10 needs a diaper change. Sounding very chafed.

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  8. I don't find a concrete marker in front of the home stating that the darling house is a historical property? What's the problem

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    1. It was on the roof.

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    2. I love a sense of humor and no better place to find it than at the Tattler. That is very funny.

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  9. 7:38am.The mess up on Carter One, was Council member Bart Doyle's doing. He attempted to convince other council members on the re zoning of the hillside so that a school may be built.
    Maranatha bought the property on that premise of re zoning.
    The legal zoning laws on the books, said no "you" can't, Maranatha sued for being mislead, and won.
    Then there was this "connection" with Bart and Dorn Platz development, who bought the sight and later bulldozed on the weekend when no one from the city could be reached. That ordinance, was not followed, no city plan check or emergency contacts posted.
    You could say, the town has advanced in the way it "safe guards" properties.
    Oh, but no plan check was signed for a timely follow up on the Darling house section of roof removal, the owner brought the mistake to the Planning Dept's attention.
    Ah, changes in "follow up" signing off, double checking for legal actions, do eventually get recognized.
    Most of the "loop holes" in the zoning codes have been closed with procedures in place (?).

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    1. Doyle wasn't on the council of 2004. The bad decision to ignore the recommendation of the planning commission was made by John Buchanan, Rob Stockly, Tanya Torres and Enid Joffe. George Mauer voted against it.
      One can only hope that Stockly, Buchanan, Torres and Joffe realize the terrible mistake they made.

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    2. 8:42, the weekend of bulldozing was actually a period of several months, the whole process was monitored by the incompetent Bruce Inman and clueless Danny Castro, with the full knowledge of city staff, and the city government sanctioned the destruction of that part of the hillsides.
      Where are you getting your inaccurate information?

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  10. That wasn't a hearing last night. That was a press conference where the commissioners came to let us know what the city attorney told them to say. They were not listening to anything. Not the way a planning commission is supposed to work. And Spears statement saying he is not biased, give me a break. He spent the last 5 meetings being a belligerent ass, letting everyone know what an authority he is on historic restoration. What's his background again, teacher? Perhaps that qualifies him to be on the city's consultant list. Also stated he knew the previous two owners of the house. Calling kefalas untrustworthy, no. Not biased at all.
    What a sham.

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    1. "What a sham."

      You mean your comment?

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    2. Is that you again Mr. K? So bitter and hateful! Maybe you're used to having it your way. Well not this time! What goes around comes around.

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    3. My mother used to tell me that you catch more bees with honey than you do vinegar, Mr. Kefalas.

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    4. Accusing Spears of bias is the lawyer's strategy - the desperate grab at something to sue over.

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    5. Judging by last night they are strategy challenged.

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    6. Very windy, though.

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  11. Commissioner Spears did have a senior moment on the first meeting of, how did this happen? All right, many of us share that initial reaction when viewing the photo of " re-do" of the house. But time to move forward.
    All was permitted. The only argument is with the roof/enforcement of removed elves. This should be "worked" out, for the safety of the home build, no more, no less. Anything else is just legal wrangling in the very grey area, for both parties. Do the math, follow the path of less resistence, safety first, city loop holes identified. Move ahead.

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  12. 9:12am. The Commissioners are not gonna fall for that! Look what happened to the sacrificial lamb City Councilman/City Planning Commissioner Don Watts. Again, lessons learned. No good deed goes unpunished!

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  13. Trump is a Russian Operative! He really is!June 2, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    If it were up to me that creepy owner of that crappy Oldest Place In Town faux Denny's would be stuck with this stick pile in perpetuity. It could serve as a sort of "never again" monument to his greed and the incompetence of our city planning team and building inspectors.

    However, I feel for the neighbors (other than the mother in law) who would be stuck looking at the "Oldest Eyesore in Town." The only solution is to allow him to build a new 2000 square foot house on the property. Not. One. Square. Foot. More. The house would have to use as many of the prior architectural elements as possible, since he no doubt has preserved them, solid citizen that he is.

    A boycott of the restaurant is also in order. Though judging by the no doubt doobie induced comments of 8:26, I suspect that will be difficult to sustain as the munchies take hold among the restaurateur's apologists.

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    1. been hitting the crack pipe pretty hard today have you?

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    2. Damn. Mean!

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  14. 9:50am. Maybe you swallowed that cup of joe, from the Only Place in Town? Mr. K. has always said he was rebuilding the house.
    The Diane Salad is pretty good at the restaurant, but the current re-do of ingredients or dressing, not so much.

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  15. Trump Pesonally Demolished the House!June 2, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    He wants to build a 4000 monster based on the CUP, which the Preserve Sierra Madre folks want withdrawn. 2000 square feet sounds like rough justice, since Mr. Oldest Place in Town has already killed the baby (house).

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    1. Why was it ok when it was approved and not now? Do you really think you have the right to demand as such?

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    2. Because it is a free country? Don't you ever get tired of telling people what they can and cannot say?

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    3. It's a free country to speak, but it is against the law to rescind entitlements at whim.

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    4. True. First the offending project has to be red-tagged.

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    5. Trump is Destroying Planet Earth!June 2, 2017 at 3:25 PM

      The "entitlement" was to a 4000 foot house that preserved our historically significant Sierra Madre gem. Not to a 4000 foot stucco beast comparable to the ghastly food served at the restaurant that shall not be named. The facts on which the CUP was based (like our poor historical gem of a house) no longer exist. We need to withdraw the no longer operative CUP per Preserve Sierra Madre's request. The new permit should require no more than 2000 feet and incorporation of all existing elements that Mr. Wonderful has no doubt preserved.

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  16. They don't have a Diane salad. Wrong restaurant.

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  17. Yes they do, call it Chinese Chicken or whatever, but the orginal was the best. The Darling house was once orginal, the re do won't be the same, nothing ever is, but at least it wont be the skeleton frame left there now.
    I found a very good recipe for the salad, I now make my own and no I am not the mother-in-law of Mr. K.

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  18. Start a Darling salad and donate some of the proceeds to a legal fund

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  19. City Hall hasn't posted a Planning Commission meeting video since last March. How come The Tattler can have one up next day and they need months to do it?

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  20. The staff are over worked and underpaid, according to the city council.

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  21. 10:00am. Why did your mother take the bee's honey in the first place? Did you know that if you combined the honey and vinegar that your mother was attempting a vinaigrette dressing, was she the one mixed that Diane salad at the Only Place in Town? She only need to add pepper and salt, or the 4,3,2,1 measurements and combine,best dressing ever, substitute sugar if the bee's won't give up their goods.

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  22. Greene and Greene's Darling house? You've got to be kidding?

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