Monday, April 16, 2018

LA Conservancy: Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Arcadia

 Clunk!
Mod: I've been enjoying some of the comments left on the so-called Arcadia's Best site back during the recent election, and there really is a wealth of fine blogging material there. I don't know if it is the naivety of the commenters themselves, or if they were expected by AB's administrator to say such things, but some of these folks really missed the point. One such individual, who alludes to himself as Nelson G, even referred to the LA Conservancy as "extremist." Here is this dude's rather wild ride:

I support the preservation efforts, but not the over reaching draft ordinance as it stands today. I am very aware of LA Conservancy. In fact, the recent push for historic preservation ordinance in Arcadia was triggered by an “F” grade received by Arcadia in 2014 for the lack of historic preservation effort. OMG, an F! The fact is, there are more cities getting F than the sum of all other cities getting all other grades. That makes you wonder how objective the criteria used by LA Conservancy are. How legitimate is LA Conservancy? I feel that their views are quite extreme, as are their criteria. For example, a city will get credit for “Owner Consent Not Required for Designation”. How outrageous! I wonder if getting an F from LA Conservancy is a bad thing or good thing. Of the small list of poster children you provided, our close neighbor San Marino fare even worse than Arcadia, because they had the sense to not waste $120k on a “Survey of Historic Resources”, hence lower total score. San Marino has not adopted a historic preservation ordinance, although they may be considering one. San Marion has proved that it is possible to do a good job preserving their city over the years, without the tyrannous preservation ordinance. Our other close neighbor Temple City got 0 points for their historic preservation effort. But they are $120k richer than us. There are more cities getting 0 than 100% for sure. 

Just to help Nelson understand how the LA Conservancy works (link), not every city in Los Angeles County has received an ignominious 'F' grade. As a matter of fact, 2 out of the 3 cities this blog covers actually did rather well. Proving that some cities do take some pride in making themselves both attractive and historically interesting. Here are the grades for these towns, in descending order.



The news on the two cities cited above came from overviews, which is what I have supplied to you here. However, with Arcadia there isn't very much good to talk about, so sadly there was no such overview provided. So what I am going to do here is go directly to the LA Conservancy report card. As you already know, it isn't what anyone would call pretty. 25 out of a possible 245 points never could be anything but bad.


It is sad to think that the one thing Arcadia did have going for it was the Denny's windmill. Unfortunately, the windmill itself fell off its spindle recently and crashed through the restaurant roof. Think of it as a new version of the Grand Slam breakfast.

Maybe our friend Nelson G should consider that a metaphor worth pondering.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

107 comments:

  1. It's the best time to make a few plans for the future and it's time to
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    ReplyDelete
  2. Isn't there a historical survey about to take place in Sierra Madre?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s the plan, but it seems some at city hall are dragging their feet.

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    2. Maybe now that the election is past things will change. After all, this could be the first City Council in years made up entirely of termed out Councilmembers. At least by custom. Now they can do what they really want.

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    3. Good point! Has Sierra Madre ever had an entirely termed out City Council before?

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    4. NO. Alternate electing 2 or 3 every two years so that there is always a flow across the 4 year terms.

      Delete
  3. Just knock them down and make it a parking lot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there were no buildings, who would pay to park?

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  4. Yes 6:59am. Due to the town having plenty of money in the General Funds, this current City Council thought it fiscally responsible to spend the cash on the study.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It pays off in increased property values. Mansionization destroys homeowner investments in their property. Preservation is the homeowners way of protecting their most valuable investment.

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  5. Maybe developers should invent their own conservancy. That way they could plow down all the old buildings, replace them with vanity castles having funny water spouting statues in the front yard, and then declare them priceless historic landmarks. Even if they are brand new. The criteria could be cost, ostentation and, of course, how much money these projects put into the appropriate pockets. Time to get the extremists out of the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have it- called city Council

      I’m towns everywhere

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  6. The City of Sierra Madre had attempted to designate a Historical Landmark list of criteria without the owners conset.
    That ended up in court and the City of Sierra Madre lost.
    That was a very expensive lesson for the city to learn.
    The new expensive re do study will now simply list the homes locations in Sierra Madre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Way to twist the facts 8:05. The city lost because they illegally took landmarks off the list. Designating landmarks without owner consent is standard practice in many cities and entirely legal.

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  7. Replies
    1. He seems to have been posting from Sho Tay's script.

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  8. San Marino is adopting an ordinance and doing a survey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there have been big changes recently in San Marino. Only Arcadia seems to be fighting this now. Why is that?

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  9. I would rather model Arcadia after San Marino, where property values are greater, than Temple City where property values are less. San Marino has very little development while Temple City is being barraged by speculative building.

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  10. Opposition to the Historic Preservation Ordinance is fear mongering and self-interest from Mainland China
    developers, Chamber Commerce, ignorant residents. There is NOTHING in the currently diluted ordinance to
    threaten anyone. Lots of weighty baggage about Post-War or earlier homes. Self-importance for some is now
    based on a huge home showing how owner can dominate the weakly living in a one story smaller home. The
    attitude disrespects other neighbors and is out of scale & out of harmony with the block or neighborhood.
    Bad taste in architecture & pit-bull planning forced on the community (city hall corruption) is nothing to celebrate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8:51am,
      I don't agree or disagree with what you are saying. But I encourage you to go take an excursion outside of SGV such as Santa Monica, West LA, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, to see how predominately white people live outside of SGV.

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    2. What does that have to do with Arcadia?

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  11. 8:51am Good bet that those smaller earlier Post-War homes are protected by Proposition 13 owners.
    Exactly the type of homeowner that cities including Sierra Madre, want to have gentrified.
    This current city council sounds off on the lack of taxes the city receives from this type of homeowner.
    The problem, the city cannot have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There are only 3 major components affecting the value of real properties: location, demand, and supply. Everything else is a sideshow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. The town you live in, and the condition of that town, counts for a lot.

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  13. Yes. The town "you" can afford to live in depending on how deep your pockets are, otherwise like blogger 9:33am suggested, put on your blinders and take a "white people" tour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem obsessed with race. Can you explain why?

      Delete
    2. Trump troll has been obsessed with race for years on this blog

      Delete
    3. He thinks it makes his posts meaningful.

      Delete
    4. Most level-headed folks already moves on from the 2016 election. Do we still need to be OCD about it in this forum?

      Delete
    5. Unfortunately the current president is at best a crook, and at worst a traitor. This has nothing to do with the election. Rather it is about the future of our country as a functioning democracy.

      Delete
    6. 8:51,10:11,
      You are bringing race into the picture when you are targeting a specific group of people (eg. ppl from mainland) based on their culture and dictate to them what is consider good taste in architecture, big or small houses, which are all subjective anyway.

      Delete
    7. Architecture is not a race. It is a pile of bricks.

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    8. But you are saying that the Chinese from mainland don't have good taste in architecture according to your notion what is good. It's like saying this specific minority ______ are too stupid to understand what is good according to your subjective definition.

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    9. All races build McMansions. Every damn one. Step out from behind your nose and become better acquainted with the real world.

      Delete
    10. And if the majority of the real world wants McMansions, then????

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    11. 2:52,
      Now you say all races only after I point out your prejudice.

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    12. That's like asking what will happen if the majority of the real world wants cancer. Not likely to happen.

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    13. 2:57,
      The reality is that a small percentage of ppl can afford huge mansions. As you said, the huge mansions are not spreading like cancer.

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    14. 2:57 - Very strange analogy. Take a anger management class. Really, I'm serious.

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    15. McMansions are a cancer on Arcadia. That is why the people keep electing a majority to the city council that opposes them.

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    16. I'm more concern about racism spreading like cancer in society.

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    17. I don't think people with real cancer appreciate your analogy.

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    18. It is an effective metaphor. Even you understand the meaning.

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    19. 3:16 - besides repeating yourself over and over on a blog, what are you doing about it?

      Delete
    20. Can't eradicate racism as long as there are humans.

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    21. The whole racism shtick is something cooked up by idiot developers and their hired publicity hands to help get their puppet candidates elected. Failed strategy.

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    22. 6:46,
      The last I check with American history is that at one point I think it was considered best business practice to have free labors (aka slavery).

      Delete
    23. Yes, but that was decided by a civil war that ended over 150 years ago. Do you get your propaganda directly from Beijing, comrade?

      Delete
    24. Of course 7:07, racism ended 150 years ago too.

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    25. 7:11 - Keeping stupidity alive.

      Delete
    26. I see stupid people. They don't even know they are stupid. Just like you comment declaring that racism is dead.

      Delete
    27. Nobody has said that. You're just upset because when you play that card everyone yawns.

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    28. I have never met racist white people telling me that they are racist. But their behaviors and actions tell me otherwise.

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    29. Ok. So you hate white people. Who cares?

      Delete
    30. Nope. Don't hate anyone. Just don't care much about the racist white folks.

      Delete
    31. You see? White people say they aren't racist. And you say you aren't racist. You're not so different after all.

      This has been a very good session. That will be $100. You can leave it with the nurse at the desk out front.

      Delete
    32. do you accept bitcoin?

      Delete
    33. Sure. Just don't go sneaking in any Gem Coins.

      Delete
  14. It cracks me up when the notion of limited personal property rights seems new and shocking to any grownup. Nelson, dude, having the community in charge of historical preservation isn't "outrageous"; it is just like zoning laws, criminal codes, or any of the other laws that don't end at your property line. A community has collective rights, too. Like, as far back as history goes.

    And as for historical preservation, how does leaving the issue up to the homeowner advance to cause of preservation AT ALL? We all agree building x is historic unless it's bought by someone who disagrees? The POINT is to limit the homeowner's rights. You may not like it, but it's a thing. Like, going way way back. You seem really really late to the party here. Sure, there is always a debate over what is declared historic, how aggressive the community can be (we are balancing rights here), and the fairness of the process. But the fundamental offense taken at the idea that a community can limit your personal property rights in the name of preservation? Welcome to earth. Where have you been?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are philosophical questions

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    2. Yep. The US Supreme Court found zoning constitutional in 1926. https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/272/365

      Delete
    3. Philosophical questions can be the first - and often best - road to understanding.

      Delete
    4. 10:32,
      The people that you are lecturing are taxpayers like yourself. All these various taxes
      (sales, property, gasoline, utilities usage, income) directly or indirectly contribute to the public good: public schools, libraries, governments, streets, etc.

      Delete
  15. The Government We Deserve!April 16, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    according to the LA Times of last week, the legislature is working to impose high rise and higher density multi family rezoning requirements on all cites. This should really help us maintain our small town mountain village atmosphere. As Katy Perry would say, "Oh well." In any event, only 3 years and counting to Boulder or Austin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far they are only talking about this for major bus stations, plus light rail station neighborhoods. Though of course that could change overnight.

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    2. Care to provide a cite 11:14? I haven't seen any such article nor am I aware of any such legislation. The leading proposed housing bill deals only with areas near transit, none of which exist in Sierra Madre.

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    3. There is a bus station, though. Legislation in its final form has not been passed. Things could change. Remember, much of this is being driven by the lobbying efforts of the BIA and CAR. Access to towns like Sierra Madre is their dream.

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    4. Sure 12:44, the legislation could change. Heck, they could introduce legislation to disband Sierra Madre and other small cites and turn us back to the county. We could also be hit by a meteorite. But none of this has happened yet. Neither has legislation been introduced "to impose high rise and higher density multi family rezoning requirements on all cites" as suggested in 11:14's post.

      This is classic fear mongering, and it doesn't help. Sierra Madre has enough real problems to contend with. We certainly don't need making up fake boogie men to fight.

      Delete
    5. Sorry you frighten so easily. I think for most people it is just a conversation. That said, I don't trust Sacramento on most any subject, and it is hardly beyond our fine legislators to swap the planning rights to desirable communities like this one for campaign donations. Just the way it is.

      Delete
  16. Didn’t they just repair that windmill after decades of disuse?


    Fail

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pasadena may have areas that are well protected, but the traffic is terrible, the parking lots are crazy expensive, and it won't be too long before there's no sun hitting the streets except at noon.
    The city has grown too much for its own good.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Naw, the windmill was far too expensive to repair, it's in the history books of things that were, besides the Historical Society did not offer any finances or assistance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So as far as buildings of historic significance go, Arcadia is down to the racetrack?

      Delete
    2. Thank God for Seabiscuit.

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  19. 10:11am you are addressing 9:33am with your inquiry, correct.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The lack of sun not hitting Pasadena streets is the new Urban Planning Design plans for cooling the asphalt.
    Due to the everlasting drought, the city will keep drought tolerant plantings and no trees.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 12:34am. That is exactly how many of us felt about the last 16 years of whom were seated in the Oval Office.

    ReplyDelete
  22. 11:25am. Lol. If your town has a bus travel down the streets, then you are near the transit corridors.
    Sacramento has a bill to increase density in all cities and towns.
    Sierra Madre has been updating zoning and codes through the Planning Dpartment and Commission ahead of the mandatory requirements from Sacramento inorder to meet the requirements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flat out lies.

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    2. No, not really. The final legislation on this question has not been ironed out in Sacramento. Anything can happen.

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    3. "Sacramento has a bill to increase density in all cities and towns." No it doesn't.

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    4. Now you're just lying. SB 375 was passed back when Schwarzenegger was governor. There have been others since. Go hang your head in disgrace.

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    5. Nonesense. SB 375 didn’t increase density in all cities and towns, nor has any law since or any bill introduced.

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    6. Obviously you have some reading to do.

      Senate Bill 375 - Research on Impacts of Transportation and Land Use-Related Policies
      https://arb.ca.gov/cc/sb375/policies/policies.htm

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    7. Great link. Nowhere does it require increased density. It requires a reduction in greenhouse gases. Offers many alternatives to be worked out in regional plans. Doesn’t increase density in all cities and towns.

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    8. Uh huh. And how did they propose to do that?

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    9. It's your link. Go read it again if need be. And when you do, you'll see that it does not support your claim. SB 375 didn't increase density in Sierra Madre, let alone in "all cities and towns".

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    10. It wasn't due to a lack of trying from the Buchanan/Mosca boob brigade.

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    11. "It wasn't due to a lack of trying from the Buchanan/Mosca boob brigade." Fair enough; on that we can agree. Good night.

      Delete
  23. "Afraid they will end uphomeless", "the quality of life in Los Angeles is sliping"
    UCLA study says young people dont feel they will have a change to fulfil their dreams of independence and owning a home if they remain in California.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anyone watched the Comey interview with Stephanopoulos last night? Comey is such a prima donna. I actually fell asleep after 15 min.

    Before people going nuts over the comment, I'm not a Trump or Clinton fan nor care about the overrated US Presidential election.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don’t care what you are

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    2. People who talk about themselves too much are just ridiculous.

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    3. 6:54,7:03,
      Why are you concern about comments from an anonymous person?

      Delete
    4. Well, you are an anonymous person, 7:08. Should I be concerned about your comment?

      Delete
    5. Only if you want to

      Delete
  25. Basic architectural design concepts and sound city planning have nothing to do with race.
    Bad design can come from anyone or anywhere, any race, any historical period . Criteria for harmonious
    home design is not subjective or rigid ...it can be fluid. But lousy zoning (FAR )permits rubber-stamping homes out of scale ....like the current home size under discussion which overwhelms its neighbors. That's arrogant and domineering. Do you think there is a conflict of interest on the Planning Committee ? Who would volunteer to serve on it without some kind of benefit ? Until zoning is changed, there is no control over this problem.
    Your typical homeowner is not usually prepared for a lawsuit. The need for taxes should not be blind to
    excessive scale out of character in a neighborhood....or claustrophobic mixed-use buildings jammed up almost to the sidewalk. (Duarte at First)
    sidewalk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No human conflicts, no arrogance, no agenda, no bias, no prejudice. That's Utopia you're describing. It doesn't exist in the real world.

      Delete
    2. That Duarte and First project is terrible. Once again, city did very little to discuss and approve the project. The city planners and staff don’t live here so why would they care at all about the impact on traffic that beast will bring? You think for a second they could have widened First Ave a bit ? It’s all about bringing in permit fees, that is ALL that matters to Lazzaretto and company. Screw you residents is his mantra.

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    3. Lazzeretto does nothing but cash huge paychecks and count the days until he can retire and collect millions.

      Delete
  26. Similar to most city managers except his current salary is 50% higher.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Katy Perry? Didn't she cause a little old nun to have a heart attack? Not with her singing or costumes but with her fight against their historical property remaining holy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The nun had a pre-arranged meeting with God.

      Delete
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