Monday, September 10, 2018

Sierra Madre's Green Fence Boom Has A Lot To Do With Green (As In Money)

So the City Hall types were being hounded by Preserve Sierra Madre for not properly sharing information about the many construction projects going down in Sierra Madre. Even though they had promised they would, sadly those at least superficially friendly folks on the other side of the cash counter were not being quite as forthcoming as advertised.

The big news here is they have now finally relented on this matter. The Planning Department has come up with a new format for their list of ongoing projects, quite different from the old one that had mixed in a lot of superfluous stuff with the issues of real concern. Here is the new version. As you can see, there is a whole lot going on.


Now you might be wondering why all of these projects are happening right now. And if that really is all of them, since anecdotal evidence would certainly indicate otherwise.

You would be right to do so. It does seem to be quite a building boom, one going on in a town that is supposed to be deeply concerned with preventing the place from being turned into an only marginally quainter version of Arcadia.

The answer, of course, is money. The city is monetizing everything. The #1 priority for City Hall right now is dealing with its very large debt problem. Particularly debt caused by its vast CalPERS exposure and bad bond deals.

No stone is being left unturned in that effort, as they say. The City Council has demanded action. And though there is an always generous amount of lip service being paid to preserving the old place, that isn't what is really driving the happy bus.

Which means that literally everything is for sale at City Hall. It's a virtual permit mill down there these days. And judging by all of those green fences, business is very good.

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62 comments:

  1. There are many more projects than are on that list under construction.

    Why won't the city be honest about what developments are going on?

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    1. Please give us the addresses of the unreported projects. Perhaps you and 6:58 can work together. Waiting for your report.

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    2. Everyone who has green fence projects in their neighborhood should check them against that list. You know where they are, so why not take a look and see if the city is owning up to them? Not that hard to do.

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    3. I think that's one kind of list - there are actually many more projects at various stages going on. This list highlights some that are at a particular point.

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  2. It would be interesting to match green fence addresses with that list.

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    1. So what's stopping you. Go for it. We will be waiting for your report. Just like City hall, it will never come.

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    2. Is it a sour sunrise at your house?

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  3. I don't see anything about the major construction at 420 N. Sunnyside Ave?

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  4. Keep sending the addresses in. We need to let the Planning Commission, City Council, City Hall, and most importantly the developers know that we are watching, and will fight them if they don't comply with our standards. Want to preserve Sierra Madre - join Preserve Sierra Madre! Just as freedom is not free, as we all know, maintaining our little city, with all its charm, is only kept with lots of blood, sweat and sometimes tears!

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  5. Is there anything this city council promised at election time that they have actually honored? Can you name one thing?

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    1. Ummm, hold on. I'm thinking.

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    2. Raising your taxes. Check that one off.

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    3. True. But only after most of them promised they wouldn't.

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  6. Preserve Sierra Madre group translates as no growth?

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    1. 7:22 I assume you live here and you know that there are few vacant lots to build on. So the process of tearing down older homes with larger lots brings about houses that are too large for the lot. Like Arcadia. To say that Preserve means no growth is wrong. We want controlled growth. We want to have a say in what is built here, We want to be made aware when a developer wants to turn the Monestary land into wall to wall ugly homes that do not fit the neighborhood. There is little free space here. Again, I have to say, if you live here then you should care about what happens. Become informed. Learn the cities history and why Sierra Madre has become a desirable place to live. It’s because it is a small haven surrounded by large cities. A place where we can raise our kids, have good schools and a great community.

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    2. 10:12 is right, become informed. That list was given to the Steering Committee of Preserve Sierra Madre as an update of what is going on in the City. It was in no way a call to action for the general group, nor was it intended to represent what Preserve SM is all about. It was certainly not authorized to go out under the name of Preserve Sierra Madre. By the way, that list is available to anyone who wants, so if you are really interested to go to City Hall and ask for it. It is not secret, nor is City Hall trying to hide anything in the way of Planning. It is just the reverse, they have been very open and cooperative. Those who are concerned about a conspiracy need to attend the Planning Commission and Council meetings. The more informed you are, the less anxiety and, when there is a call to action, you'll be able to decide if you want to participate or not. Just so you know, we are not concerned about someone adding a deck, updating plumbing, or even a complete remodel if it conforms to the planning ordinances. We are pleased that citizens are keeping their home in topnotch shape.

      There will be a general meeting of the Preserve Sierra Madre group on October 7th, plan to attend and get informed. Details will be published later this month.

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  7. Absolutely not 7:22. Preserve Sierra Madre translates as responsible growth. Property rights of current homeowners, not developers who want to build a McMansion dwarfing the neighbors' homes. Just drive across Orange Grove to see the 7000-10,000 sq ft houses, too big for the lots.

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    1. 7:22 needs to define what he means by growth. As it is he's just throwing around loaded terminology that has no real meaning.

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  8. Would anyone from the Preserve group explain on this blog what they find villainous about homeowners adding on and updating their homes especially when plan checks are fully compliant with Sierra Madre codes.

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    1. Can you explain why describing mansionization as "updating homes' is not villainous?

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    2. Preserve finds nothing villainous about homeowners adding on or updating a house. We care about wholesale demolitions and keeping the quality of life in this town as it is. We care about overly large houses that would be allowed to fit on a small lot. No yard to speak of, just wall to wall homes. If there is no one to check on compliance, over the years unwanted things can happen. Like 1 Carter for instance. You really need to know the history of this town in order to fully understand our role in all of this. You make it sound so simple,

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    3. 7:28 is using the "rally around development" dog whistle.

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    4. 7:28 is one of the Tea Party losers in town. They think plowing under old towns and replacing them with warehoused sized concrete pillboxes is freedom.

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  9. Responsible growth is exactly what is listed on the plan check format of ongoing projects

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    1. Right. And unfortunately those codes (along with the new General Plan) are now being used to justify mansionization. As in, "We changed the codes the way you wanted," so why won't you let us flood the hillsides with McMansions?" Lies on top of lies.

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  10. 7:29am needs to define what preserve means.

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    1. We know that at your house it means keeping the neighborhood dogs off your lawn.

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    2. 7:29 I think preserve has been explained.

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  11. The plan check list consists of retaining walls, additions for bed and bath.
    Mansionization is not listed.
    Seems pretty responcible that homeowners are updating their homes within the city required zones and codes.
    Not familiar with the 7,000-10,000 sq.ft. homes on Orange Grove ave within Sierra Madre, suppose we will have to take a drive through town.

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    1. Have you looked into what is going on with One Carter?

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    2. 7:48, not ON Orange Grove, or in Sierra Madre - go ACROSS Orange Grove to Arcadia, and look at those new McMansions, and how they overshadow their neighbors homes. THAT is what Preserve Sierra Madre is trying to prevent. One member of the General Plan Update Steering Committee joined because the house next door to him was torn down, rebuilt, and literally overshadowed his property, so that all the koi in his pond died.

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  12. Development under the Hillside Ordinance should be occuring on One Carter.

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    1. In theory, 8:06.

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    2. The Hillside Ordinance is open to interpretation.

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  13. No on the list (but saw the plans in the building department a few weeks back) is a project at 498 Woodland. It an old cabin, being rebuilt to the footprint with a small addition. It will no doubt be completely redone (new foundation underneath old floor, new framing bit by bit as old is uncovered and discovered to be completely termite riddend, etc.) Use to see a lot of projects with the one wall remaining to get around new construction (including new set back requirements) with a permit as a remodel, not new house. This is another trick used by developers.

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    1. I was inside that place earlier this year. Very primitive and nothing really of aesthetic value. No insulation at i I don’t think and a home-depot-quality 90s era bath remodel. Worthy of bringing up to modern standards. That old Mercedes in the driveway was cool tho

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  14. 7:38 probably has the greenest lawn in town. Are we being charged more for water and told to reduce use so new homes can be built in town?

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  15. If we are in a water shortage or basically raise costs and reduce use why are we allowing new construction????

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    1. Check out the new construction on cursed Carter, that includes a pool. 62 East Carter, the old Whalen sculpture garden.

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  16. Try 126 E. Grandview. Green fence. House torn down. In process.

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  17. There are several projects dated 2015, and they're still "in process"? 126 E. Grandview isn't on the list. It's got a green fence. Original house demolished. Is it not "in process"? Someone at City Hall needs an Excel spreadsheet training; date sorting is very simple.

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  18. 7:38am surely has drought tolerant plantings, the dog walkers don't trespass in the neighborhood they remain on the sidewalks and the mailer for the 218 process was sent to all households.

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  19. Again, no growth is not the same as responcible growth.

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    1. No one advocates for "No Growth."
      It's the phrase the developer lovers use to frighten the less informed.

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  20. New construction, new water meter.
    Existing water meter, new construction of the dilapidated house, a rebuild.

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    1. 5,000 square feet behind a traditional facade is what the city calls preservation. But that's not the only BS in town.

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  21. Wholesale demolitions? Overly large houses that would be allowed to fit on small lot. False argument the zone and codes do not allow that in Sierra Madre.
    No yard? Depends on the code for each section of town.
    Everyone is aware of Carter One and the lots located in the hillside.
    The history of the town is well known and published, new history occurs daily.

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    1. If someone doesn’t pay attention, rules go by the wayside. It’s happened before. And no, there are many people in town who have no idea what went on at 1 Carter.

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  22. September 11, 2018 city council meeting will expose all. Glendora, California has once Once again kicked the can down the road with it's failing city revenue failures and now decided through its 'city controlled Ad-Hock committee' to increase sales tax by .75% to top out at 10.25%. I feel there is another failure in the works! But good news the new city manager Adam Raymond has three years to turn Glendora's finances around, but he is an expert in Bankruptcy also!

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  23. a retaining wall at one address and a deck at another address are evidence of out of control development? I'm glad the preserve people are associated with you and help promote this nonsense. Makes them and their cause easy to defeat.

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    1. Extremist alert at 10:55.

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    2. The Tea Party idiots are opposed to preservation. They're a bunch of ridiculous old fools who sold out for free drinks at their Green Street dungeon.

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  24. The property at 1220 Via Granate (built in 1963) is going from 2528 square feet to 3500 square feet, an addition of 972 sq ft. Not huge and monsterous by Arcadia standards. There must be something in Sierra Madre codes that is keeping this under the megamansion trending in Arcadia. This is in the Arcadia School District so that is why I think properties east of Santa Anita will be under a lot of pressure. One thing: we have to remember that keeping Sierra Madre the community we desire for land use values (small lots, not over built, historic fabric of small town, etc) is very, very fragile when it comes to builders and developers pushing for all the square footage and lot coverage they can get.

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  25. 10:55 Because you have not taken the time to know what goes on in this city, you make absurd remarks in your report. Preserve has never been about retaining walls or porches. You need to get a grip and read all of the posts. Maybe you’ll find some answers. Are you upset because you miss your Trump bashing?

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    1. 1:54, I think 10:55 is upset because there's no opportunity to defend Rump today.

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    2. Speak of the madman in the White House, his poll numbers are in free fall.

      Trump approval down 6 points in a month, hits low among independents
      https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/10/politics/cnn-poll-trump-approval-independents/index.html?utm_source=twCNNp&utm_term=image&utm_content=2018-09-10T20%3A32%3A09&utm_medium=social

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  26. 1:01pm and 1:54pm stop spreading false information YOU MUST ATTEND PLANNING COMMISSION MEETINGS before yoh make any more absurd posts.

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  27. I am 1:01. What is there about my post that is absurd?

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    1. I am 1:54 and I feel I’m in good company with 1:01. Nothing absurd.

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    2. You two should get a room.

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  28. Excuse 1:01am. They are a citizen of Arcadia and just mentioned Sierra Madre as they post on this blog.

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