Saturday, June 9, 2018

One Carter: Get Ready For A Whole Lot Of Happy Talk

As you will see, that is if I write this correctly, whenever the One Carter debacle reemerges from an extended period of legal negotiation, much radiant joy emanates from City Hall.

The reason for all of the happy talk is they have a bridge to sell you. Or at least a new housing development, much of it Tuscan in design. Via Duarte. Or Irwindale. Or whatever San Gabriel Valley town the current bad architects might be hiding out. As they probably should.

The conversation we are being asked to have right about now has to do with the level of ecstatic peace you personally feel over the city having avoided an expensive lawsuit with some developer. As opposed to the equally expensive legal negotiations that just wrapped up somewhere. You know, in a place where you were definitely not wanted, or invited.

Add these two revelatory yet legally consequential events together and you're talking about some real money. Actually, they're both real money. Each by themselves.

Here are a couple of articles from the Pasadena Star News that probably should have been cheered down a little by the reporters who wrote them. But they didn't do that because their mission was to sell you something, which they were far too happy to do. This first shiny object comes to us from way back in 2009.

After years of legal battles, Sierra Madre reaching compromise on two large properties (Pasadena Star News link): Officials say they are reluctantly considering a proposal to allow development on two of the city’s last open spaces.

The proposal would end years of litigation surrounding a 103-acre property at 1935 Stonehouse Road and a 63-acre property at 1 Carter Avenue.

Their previous owner, real estate company Dorn Platz, wanted to develop 35 residential units at Stonehouse and 29 residential units at One Carter, but officials denied the Stonehouse application and placed restrictions on both projects.

The developer filed eight lawsuits against the city in response, but lost both properties earlier this year through foreclosure. The new owner, Capital Source, has signaled it is more open to settlement talks with the city.

Capital Source indicated it plans to sell off the lots individually once the litigation ends, officials said.

“These new owners have given us a lot of hope to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Councilman Joe Mosca said.

The proposal calls for compromises on both sides as to how many residential units will be allowed and what zoning restrictions the individual lots would fall under.

It was peace in our times. Nobody could ever lay it on thick quite like Joe Mosca. Of course, nothing was really settled. Except all those legal bills, of course. Today Joe is working the folks down in Encinitas, and you know what? The big topic there is new housing development (link).

This next Star Newser emerged on the remains of recently hewn trees in 2015. It too has a cautiously frothy tone, so you just might want to sing along.

Sierra Madre to make final decision on controversial Hillside development (Pasadena Star News link): The Sierra Madre City Council will make a final decision today about a key Hillside residential development project, putting an end to the years-long issue.

At the meeting, council members will decide whether to approve or deny a Hillside Development Permit and Conditional Use Permit for the property located at 610 Baldwin Court. Approval of the permits would allow the applicant, CETT Corporation, to construct a two-story, 3,125 square foot single-family residence on the lot, a development which some residents and council members say would change the aesthetics of the community.

“Our hillsides are very important to us and the development that goes into those hillsides is equally important to us,” City Manager Elaine Aguilar said.

There is a lot of history to this particular site, as it was established by the City’s founding father Nathaniel C. Carter. Formerly known as One Carter, Aguilar said houses built in the Stonegate subdivision have to abide by Hillside Management Zone guidelines, a set of unique regulations.

Final decisions, indeed. You have to laugh. Well, OK, you don't really, but it might help. Just ask Nathaniel C. Carter. His life wasn't all fun and games either, you know.

It now is 2018, and this third episode in near quadrennial, though joyous, futility doesn't come from the Pasadena Star News. They don't have as many reporters as they used to, and we might not be the beneficiary of their coverage this time.

But trust me, you can't hold back on a level of excitement this large for long, and today it comes from the appropriate City Hall staff report for next Tuesday's City Council meeting. Click here to view all of it.


So here is my question. Who actually won something here?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

76 comments:

  1. I can tell you who didn't win, the wild life were bulldozed right out of their homes. The Deer, the Bear, the Mountain Lions and coyotes, the list goes on. And where did these animals go? They were forced into the city where people hid food and water and banged pots and pans to scare they away. The police were called on them and news helicopters hovered overhead for hours disrupting the entire city. And that's just the beginning of it all. NO ONE WON!

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    1. Agreed, 5:43.
      That land was de-inhabited. And it's kept that way with routine use of insecticides and pesticides, both of which go right into the water.

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  2. That was a time when the city council was supporting the $ BUILDERS $ and those who were into the money of it all. I know someone has the list of the greedy.

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    1. It is always about the money. That is the driving force behind everything that happens. Everything else is the sales job.

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    2. It is the money, isn't it. The last line of the part of the staff report that the Tattler quoted makes it pretty clear.

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    3. The greedy list needs to be researched for accuracy/documented then published. Maybe NOT WANTED posters?

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  3. That area should have been left an Animal Sanctuary but, man has supreme rights to do what he wants with the earth that he buys.

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  4. What does that say about us as an Animal Sanctuary City? One thing it says is citizens are too busy earning a living and paying taxes to have time for doing the right thing. And to top it off when the wild life fled into the mountains they were burned out. But who cares about the wild life?

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    Replies
    1. It says we are a Sanctuary for wildlife in name only. Better than nothing, but just words.

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    2. We are also a tree city. Go check out the olive trees on Michillinda.

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  5. Bull sh,,, CETT obviously has a buyer for the property and the 18 month extension just gives the property more value. Like I said BS. I am disappointed with the City, City Manager, City Council and counsel. They always said this was winnable.

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    1. Who in their right mind would buy this plagued property?
      CETT had just purchased some other 'distressed real estate' in one of the beach cities when they bought this - bankruptcy auction or something? So they, or the lady who has her name on it as owner, Hui Ru Han, can just sit on the bad asset indefinitely, until she wants to get rid of it.

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    2. Who? Depends on how much they paid. Presumably they knew about the legal and other risks, estimated the costs, and made a calculated decision.

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    3. Who is behind Hui Ru Han? An LLC? Who are the investors? Developers/investors weave a tangled web. San Marino requires the names of all investors be disclosed.

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    4. If the Hui is the last name, the person can be Kin Hui's relative.

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    5. Hui Ru Han is a Korean woman, on record as the principal owner of CETT.
      Adele Chang and Lawyer Macdonald had a good laugh to themselves one night, when a resident was taking about the "he" who owned CETT but never came to any of the hearings.

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    6. CETT:
      https://www.corporationwiki.com/California/South-Pasadena/cett-investments-corporation/44818227.aspx

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  6. At the gates of Stonegate there should be a bronze statue of Bart Doyle in his underwear.

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  7. We need now to focus on the responsible development of "The Monastery"

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    Replies
    1. "Responsible development of the Monastery" is an oxymoron.

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  8. The property at 1 Carter needs to be resubdivided into larger plots so there is some land around the houses not more square feet of house. Each house should truly be custom and built in such a way as to not be a blight on the hillside as other communities have done. It’s attend the CC meeting time again. Don’t give up the fight!

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    1. You are 100% correct.

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    2. That would certainly help.
      When you look at the tweaked design, the muted colors, the Tuscaness of it all, you have to imagine other houses of exactly the same mass very close on both sides. It would help a lot if there were some space between them.

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    3. They should put up tents the sizes of the proposed houses to provide perspective.

      Maybe Christo would be interested!

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    4. More space around and between houses is essential to retaining the hillside look.

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  9. Was Bart Doyle the attorney who did the 4th of July parade in a diaper? Who ever that was he must have lost a big bet, I can’t see anyone doing that. That was many years ago. Was he suppose to be baby Huey?

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    1. Are there pictures of this historic event?

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  10. There must be pictures, they would need to be prepared for the internet.

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    Replies
    1. I think the people who read this site would need to be prepared as well.

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  11. .."helps support public services", then this City Council will rescind the UUT?

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    1. How about lightening up on the water rates, since we have enough to support a hillside full of mansions?

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  12. The damage done to Sierra Madre by the 2002 and 2004 city councils still dominates policy making today. From bad land deals, crazy bond schemes and debt, most of our problems have their roots in that cursed era. This is why we needed a forensic audit, and still do today.

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  13. Bear proof trash cans and over night parking stickers for all!

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  14. This City Council is rolling in dough, why would they request a forensic audit? The past is like water under the Canyon Bridge, you can not hold a City representative or employees legally responcible for their bone headed decisions.

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    Replies
    1. You're probably right. But the blunders these individuals committed have cost each of us dearly. They at least need to be identified and called out.

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  15. 6:08am. It says the same thing about being a Tree City USA, you only need to look at the Olive Trees on Michilinda ave for your answer.

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  16. At the gates of Stonegate the Nancy Walsh Porta Potty Kiosks should be re located and re dedicated to the King and Queen, Bart and Nancy.

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  17. The lots on Carter One will be purchased individually, if the new owner of the private lot wishes to buy two lots for more space, they would have that option.

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    Replies
    1. Or if they buy two lots they can just double the size of the house.

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    2. They could buy all the lots and open Buckingham Palace West.

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  18. The Oaks in Arcadia have the same Tuscaness style, this is what is trending now in designs. The earth shifting land and earthquake faults under Carter One will only add to the ambience of style and authenticate the cracks in the stucco walls.

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  19. Unless legally challenged this City Council is agreeable on everything, less work for them more photo opportunities and recognition from their peers as bringing back civility.

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  20. LOL, city council is rolling in dough, they are barely making ends meet and only because we have a new city manager that is smarter than past mistake made by the old council.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more you see, the more you realize how little has changed.

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  21. Great time to be a public employee, time to ask for a raise for all the hard work that they do.

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  22. 8:12, think it says the city is worried about being sued. When the wild life eats more than a dog or cat the city will be talking to attorneys anyway.

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  23. John Harabedian will be running for California State Assembly when Chris Holden terms out in 2020. It is why John Capoccia stepped aside to allow JH to become Mayor Pro Tem. He will be running for Assembly in 2020 as the Mayor of Sierra Madre. Harabedian should be made to know that if he is supportive of preservationist concerns about One Carter and the Passionist Monastery, we will all enthusiastically support his political career. And if he doesn't? We will tear him a new one.

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    1. Remind me not to vote for him

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    2. It seems that Harabedian is the only councilmember with something politically on the line.

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    3. I *already* didn't vote for him, 10:10. (If you don't want to see an individual win a state election, don't vote for him on the the local [council] level.)

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  24. Such a big talker 8:52. The building industry has enough money to overcome anything "we" can do. Truth is, money talks.

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    1. Heh. You mean like get the DSP built? And defeat Measure V? Yeah, their invincible.

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    2. The building industry did wonders for Andy Bencosme.

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    3. Andy's job was to get a toehold. That's how it goes. One toe at a time only 9 more to go. Next you look up . . . .and surprise! Arcadia Andy and 2 other developer/realtors are on the city council.

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    4. Fortunately he got thumped. The third place finisher beat him by over 500 votes.

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  25. Harabedian's a homeboy, he'll be just fine.

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    Replies
    1. The city has a lot riding on him making the right decision on this one.

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  26. Why would attorneys care about the wildlife eating more than domestic pets? Attorney's eat their young and pet owners are responcible for their own dog and cat care.
    In Florida a woman out walking her dog was eaten by an alligator.
    Be careful where you tread, have you ever tried crossing SM boulevard at dusk?

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    1. Why? Are attorneys out at dusk waiting to pounce? Hadn't they already eaten their fill at home?

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    2. No, they are that dangerous. Especially when the moon is full.

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  27. Told you so. The plan is to "Arcadia" Sierra Madre. Shoulder to shoulder stucco boxes. Generic mail order designs. Open space? Where? Tall plate heights and more bathrooms than people. Are you going to rename your town? Arcadia North?

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    Replies
    1. Preservationists in Sierra Madre and Arcadia have a lot in common. They need to get to know each other.

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  28. Those million dollar smart meters this Council just spent money on really should be awarded to the Carter One Hillside build out site.

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  29. @POTUS on G7: "We should have Russia at the negotiating table."
    5:40 AM - Jun 8, 2018

    Rep. Eric Swalwell
    Why, @realDonaldTrump? Looks like they’ll already be represented.

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    1. John McCain holds nothing back as he blasts Trump’s call to readmit Russia to G7 meeting
      https://www.rawstory.com/2018/06/john-mccain-holds-nothing-back-blasts-trumps-call-readmit-russia-g7-meeting/
      Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blasted President Donald Trump for wishing Russia was readmitted to the Group of Seven (G-7) nations.

      “Vladimir Putin chose to make Russia unworthy of membership in the G-8 by invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea. Nothing he has done since then has changed that most obvious fact,” McCain said in a statement. “Every day, Russian-led separatist forces are killing Ukrainians in the Donbass. Every day, Putin’s forces are helping the Assad regime slaughter the Syrian people. And every day, through assassinations, cyber-attacks, and malign influence, Russia is assaulting democratic institutions all over the world.”

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    2. But, but there's so much more money to be made (by Trump) with Russia.

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  30. Pictures of what is coming, from an architecture student's blog, Mcmansion Hell:
    http://mcmansionhell.com/

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  31. Cristo placed open yellow umbrellas in beautiful open space...
    Sierra Madre does not support the ARTS, unless you pay the high merchant fee for a spot in the ART FAIR.

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    1. So open up a gallery.

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    2. Can't tell whether you liked the umbrellas or not, but I can say I sure was extremely skeptical. That is until arriving as the sky began to lighten and seeing dark silhouettes transform to gold and then yellow across the rolling landscape. Quite an amazing and beautiful sight, umbrellas for miles.

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    3. Christo is overrated.

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    4. Exactly what I thought until I saw Umbrellas. I can't say how I would feel about his other works because I didn't see any others.

      Did you see Umbrellas or any other? If not, you can't meaningfully say "overrated." It's not like a print, painting, or human-scale sculpture. The scale can't be duplicated on paper or a screen. It was immersive and difficult to describe in words.

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  32. So use the UUT money for a gallery.

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    Replies
    1. Better that "Art In Public Places" funding from the Kensington.

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  33. 3:39pm. Loved Christo's expression of ART in nature.
    The Kensington settlement monies or funding for ART IN PUBLIC PLACES was voted by council to be spent on the Kersting Court Starbucks coffee pergola.

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  34. A large brown bear was up on Carter One property today searching for food and water.

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