The thing is that the City of Sierra Madre, when it casually capitulated and sold you out to the likes of One Carter developer CETT, agreed to a project that the city is not capable of handling. It is very large, and far too much work for them to deal with and still be able to take three day weekends. The time requirements on applications alone make the job impossible for so wee a planning department on a limited time budget.
So they must have always known they would have to outsource it all, and now they are. But try and find any admission of that in this report. You won't. That would be a little too transparent. So instead you get vapid jargon like "Contract Planning Services for Entitlement Processing."
Check out the agenda report and see how much this is going to cost you. I am not going to do everything for you. But while doing that also search your feelings and ask yourself how comforted you are to know that so sensitive a project is now going to be largely handled by an outside third party outfit whose main priority will be how to get this work done and still turn a profit.
It is one thing to be completely sold out by a City Council that claimed when running for office that it would fight such predatory development. It ought to be quite another discovering that you are now having to pay for it.
Also under consideration this evening is this bit of callow timorousness.
The driving force behind the need to "do something about Kersting Court" is the perceived legal requirement to remove any seasonal religious displays (read: Christmas) from government property. The city fears lawsuits from the usual nasty jerks. This is part of a much larger issue, and hardly limited to just Sierra Madre. It has been discussed here before and I won't be doing that again today.
But the City Council will once again refuse to share that information with you. They don't think you can handle it in a way that is convenient for them, and frankly they prefer not to use that much energy at meetings. Instead you will get condescending nonsense like this:
Were you aware that there is a move in town to get rid of the flag pole? Is there a "war on the flag pole?" You probably weren't in the know about this, most likely because such a thing isn't happening.
However, what this should inform you of is there will no longer be any room for traditional seasonal religious displays at Christmas time. Instead Kersting Court will now be filled with reverential "Native Drought Landscaping," which you will not be allowed to walk on.
Kersting Court will become a quasi-sacred plant museum designed a lot like the fussy shrubbery in front of City Hall. Look, but do not touch. Keep your kids under strict control, and a stout leash on Fido. Dispose of your Starbucks cups properly.
Again, the City Council will prefer not to discuss any of that with you. It is a real issue, and as is almost always the case with the Fab 5, they don't do reality. At least not for the likes of you.