Dear Mayor and City Council Members:
Our Planning Commission has made some improvements to the R-3 Zoning Code that we at Preserve Sierra Madre wholeheartedly support. We understand that you will take up these amendments at tonight's City Council meeting.
We particularly like the idea of having some kind of design review for the R-3 Zone. While that can be done within the CUP requirements, its seems to us that its better to have it be a separate process since the CUP emphasis should be more on "use" and not "design". While Preserve Sierra Madre's emphasis has been on a concern for what happens in the R-1 Zone, we understand that what happens in the R-3 Zone can have a big impact on our city as well.
Our Planning Commissions have worked very hard to make these improvements to the R-3 Zoning Code. We think there are very few cities that have the kind of expertise, experience and dedication that Sierra Madre has in its Planning Commission. We hope we can take full advantage of their efforts as long as these existing members are willing to serve our community.
We urge you to accept their recommendations without changes.
Thank you for your consideration.
Preserve Sierra Madre
Mod: Yesterday's PSM email. An historic survey is essential to this community.
At Tuesday evening's meeting, our City Council unanimously approved the Planning Commission's recommendations to improve the R-3 Zoning Code. These improvements serve to advance the cause of preservation in Sierra Madre and we are grateful to both the City Council and our Planning Commissioners.
One of the last remaining major issues that we hope the City Council will consider in the near future is to have a historical survey done of all the properties in Sierra Madre. After what happened with the Henry A. Darling House located at 126 E. Mira Monte, the need to have this in place is more urgent than ever. Buyers would know in advance of buying a property as to whether the property has historical significance or not. Such a survey would prevent misunderstandings and prevent lawsuits.
As one example, the City of South Pasadena has their "historical inventory list," and realtors and buyers all know that if a property is on that list and someone intends to make exterior modifications, there will be additional scrutiny. It doesn't mean you can't make the modifications, it just means that you probably won't be able to turn a craftsman home into a glass modern. The time is now for the City Council to put this item on the agenda for further discussion and we would urge them to do so.
Last but not least, we understand that the City Council will take up the issue of what to do about what's left of the home at 126 E. Mira Monte. The present owners submitted a request for an after-the-fact demolition permit and that was rejected by our Planning Commission. The owner has now appealed that ruling to the City Council. That hearing will take place on Tuesday, July 11th at 6:30 pm. We would urge our City Council not to undercut the decision of our Planning Commission.
Preserve Sierra Madre remains very concerned about what happened to that once majestic property with the extraordinary architectural details that were ripped out with abandon. All that remains is the timbers and a pile of rubble. We still can't fathom how the very house that was the catalyst for the City Council enacting an emergency demolition moratorium and later a permanent demolition ordinance could have been reduced to such a state.
Thank you for your support.
Preserve Sierra Madre