Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sierra Madre Comes In At Near the Top In Overall Assessed Property Value Increase Percentages

You know you've all been waiting for it. The 2011 Annual Report from the Office of the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office is finally in. And I do understand, it has been a long and painful wait. The sleepless nights, days spent pacing the floor, those irritable moments when you just couldn't deal with the world because nothing else really mattered, all that is now over. The Assessor's report is in. We can live and breath again.

And do you want to know what is amazing about it? Out of all the cities in Los Angeles County, and there is an ungodly bunch of them, Sierra Madre finished at near the top for percentage gain in overall property values. That is, if you took the value of every piece of real estate in town, and then added them all up, only a small elite group of cities had a higher property value percentage gains than us.

Might not be the best news for your property taxes, but when is there ever gain without pain?

So how can this be, you ask? This backwards little refusenik of a town that would not accommodate the kinds of tweedle dee and dum development that other cities in the area fell all over themselves to invite in, is now outpacing most in overall percentage growth in property values? Bart Doyle, John Buchanan, hide your eyes!

Here are Sierra Madre's numbers:

2010 Assessed Valuation: $1,590,436,220 / 2011 Assessed Valuation $1,637,641,253 / Increase $47,205,033 / Percent Change +3.0%

Note that Sierra Madre's percentage increase is 3% in one year. Which is a pretty good increase when you consider the dire economic straits this region finds itself in.

Here are the percentage increases of many of our finest LA County neighbors:

Los Angeles + 1.3%
Long Beach + 0.8%
Torrance + 1.1%
Glendale + 1.7%
Pasadena + 2.1%
Beverly Hills + 1.2%
Santa Clarita + 0.3%
Irwindale - 2.6%
Burbank - 0.7%
Carson - 1.1%
Redondo Beach + 1.4%
Arcadia + 2.8%
Rancho Palos Verdes + 2.7%
El Segundo - 3.0%
Monrovia + 1.7%
Palmdale + 0.5%
West Covina + 1.9%
Downey + 1.8%
Lancaster - 0.5%
Irwindale - 2.6%
West Hollywood + 1.0%

This list goes on. Out of the 90 or so cities listed by the LA County Assessor, only 10 experienced a higher percentage growth in overall property value than ours. And we're talking towns like San Marino, Manhattan Beach, La Canada Flintridge and Malibu. A pretty rarified bunch, and property value powerhouses all. Take out the premiere big money towns and we pretty much rule the wasteland.

So how is it that Sierra Madre, there amongst all of our middleweight competition, has done so much better in this regard? Here is the big secret. We did nothing. That's right, nothing. And by staying exactly the way we always were, and despite all the hot air from the Downtown Investors Club and the rest of that bunch about how awful things would become if we didn't succumb to the development mania that engulfed most of our neighboring towns, our 2011 overall assessed property value percentage increase outpaced most.

And as far as all those cities that accommodated big development a few years ago? Back when money was cheap and common sense was going for pennies on the pound? Not doing quite as well it seems.

And consider this. The overall 2011 percentage increase for all of Los Angeles County is 1.49%. Which is good news when you consider that in 2009 and 2010 that percentage was a negative one. However, Sierra Madre's 2011 number shows an increase of more than double that. And even during those two years of overall Countywide decline, Sierra Madre always remained firmly in positive territory. Not too many cities can make that claim, either.

Are you surprised? I'm certainly not.

To view the entire report: click here. To view reports from previous years: click here.


  1. Hey Gang of Four! Why mess with success?

  2. The the gang o'4 and their supporters insist on seeing Sierra Madre as fancier than it is and simultaneously in dire need of branding and de-blighting. Warped thinking.

  3. Sierra Madre home ownerAugust 24, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    "if it ain't broke....don't fix it"!!!!!!!!

    No new grandiose plans, gang of 4.

    I would like to thank Kurt Zimmerman, Don Watts, Kevin and Katina Dunn and SMRRD for saving the city from the destruction of the Downtown Specific Plan!

  4. Measure V saved our property values. Despite all that the lyin' DIC said.

  5. We are a boom town.
    Higher property values, big development at the SNF, new condos on the Blvd and Sierra Place, new restaurants every time you turn around (Taco Fiesta, Wisteria), hillside developments that (unfortunately) might one day take off, Highlander gone and something much better taking its place, potential development at Highland Ave, and ongoing projects on Montecito.
    Looks like Measure V has saved Sierra Madre.

  6. Measure V did save us. It will continue to save us.
    The only current city councilmember who had a YES on V sign in their yard was MaryAnn MacGillivray.
    Buchanan and Mosca were strong supporters of the developer financed No on V campaign.
    Josh Moron didn't even live here at the time, but used to get up at city council meetings and blast the Yes on V campaign.
    Nancy Walsh signed the petition to put Measure V on the ballot, then switched her opinion and went over to the dark side.
    Nancy can easily be led. Which is obvious, seeing her performance or lack of at the council meetings.
    Nancy is a misguided fool. Josh is a carpetbagging little creep. Joe and John are well......working against the residents and the future of this town.

    MacGillivray's integrity speaks for itself.
    So does her intellegence.

  7. Unfortunately the people who tried to kill Sierra Madre are still in power. And they are getting ready to try again.

  8. Members of the General Plan if you are reading this. Don't change our General Plan.

  9. The mania for growth would be laughable if it were not so insidious. Those who hope to profit financially from development are supported by those who simply think that bigger is better.

    A bigger library, taller buildings, more stores, more houses--as if the treasure in Sierra Madre was mass instead of simplicity.

    You see it here with Dr. Sami "supporters" envisioning salvation from disaster with a bigger medical office. Yes, the building will be bigger, but what emergency supplies will he stock? IV fluids for hundreds of people, dressings and cast material for hundreds of people, a pharmacy to replace medications for hundreds? Beds or cots for hundreds of people?

    Obviously every little bit helps, but supporting a bigger medical office in the name of disaster preparedness is pure fancy. It's analogous to thinking that in an emergency a local restaurant (or expanded liquor store) is going to supply your need for groceries.

  10. Be ready, when The Edge read that he could have Sierra Madre for just 1.6 billion, he immediately got together with 2 other environmentalists, and formulated his plan to buy the 3 square miles for himself under eminent domain rulings. Mosca and Bucahnan are facilitating the purchase.

  11. Yeah, 8:59 am. And The Edge has got enough $$$ to bring in a white whater view as well! So there, Malibu! Oh, wait... Malibu was on the list, too.

    Good post this morning, JC. It's nice to see the ole Tattler can also post the good news from time to time.

  12. Location location locationAugust 24, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    People are willing to pay a premium to live in Sierra Madre. Developers know this and that is the reason why there is such a push to build bigger. The assisted living project could be smaller but the developer knows that families will pay a premium to be able to visit their parents in a safe neighborhood. They could have built their project in So. El Monte or East LA. It is all about the money.

  13. A lesson for us and the coming big one. You watch on TV the thousands of high rise dwellers being escorted, & encouraged to vacate their high rises into the canyon streets, One big after shock would have severed heads and lacerated thousands from the falling windows above them. How can a city this size and sophisiticated not know such a basic rule
    following an earthquake?

  14. So what do the wise ones in the G4 have planned for us? Homeless and low income mass housing. Nobody ever accused them of being geniuses.

  15. Been there done thatAugust 24, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    The commonality that Sierra Madre shares with the cities of San Marino, Manhattan Beach, La Canada Flintridge and Malibu is not income per capita, but rather the lack of development in those towns as well. They had the means and political connections to keep out the developers during the boom in order to preserve their character as primarily R-1 residential areas.

    Sierra Madre was late to the developer party, and if the residents can keep them out with activism, they will achieve the same results. Measure V was a radical solution, but necessary. Now's the time to enforce zoning regs and institute design review standards that will keep the development at the appropriate scale when it starts up again.

    You need written standards so that findings can be made that will stand up at the State Supreme Court if a developer can't take its chunk of profit out of the city at the City Council level. That's why those development shills are sitting up there on the dais.

  16. Why does this report come out in late August when half the world is on vacation?

  17. Great point 10:03. Thanks!

  18. Does this mean that Sierra Madre will get our unfair share of the RHNA numbers?

  19. The towns that have seen the greatest growth in property values are those that tell SCAG and their flunkies to take a hike. San Marino, Manhattan Beach, Malibu, places like that. The "RHNA process" is a property value killer.

  20. "just think, the property values would really skyrocket if we dumped another 300 condos in the downtown area"

    josh moran
    realtor - junk mortgage saleman

  21. Development standards adopted and brought to a public vote are extremely important.
    These should only be set at a local level.
    If NOT done so, you will have a chaotic system of developer driven zoning. A free-for-all system.

    Over the last few years, I come to the realization, most zoning issues will be settled in court rather than in local planning commissions.
    We need a Council and City Attorney willing to challenge them.
    The state and their developer allies will be seeing more and more local zoning issues settled that way.
    Let zoning be adopted by a vote of the people, just as Measure V was adopted.
    Sierra Madre, stiffen your backs, if not, all the years of preserving and maintaining your property values could be lost by not paying attention.

  22. the suggested homeless shelter on Montecito will add to the aura of wanting to move to Sierra Madre

  23. John Buchanan may be right after all, since we are so affulent.

    We may need that 7 million dollar library he was sneaking in and hiding from us with the illusion of exploding water pipes.

    if he only hadn't lied to us

    guess it's in his nature to lie, after all he is a human resoures lawyer for socal edision

  24. These people are just low echelon real estate hustlers. They don't give a damn about this town.

  25. Durn it, this what we get for higher property values, we should have done the DSP and welcomed in the homeless shelter sooner, all this "preservation" of this town has done nothing but made it more valuable. Shucks!

  26. Isn't that what DSP stands for? DogSPatch?

  27. I read this news with mixed feelings. One the one hand I am very glad for all of us who have our homes here that they are holding their value, but on the other hand, I really reject the fancification of Sierra Madre.

  28. Doesn't take too long living in this town before a person realizes not to trust the city councils.
    City-wide votes need to be held for all decisions that could change the city.
    The councils need to stick to basic administrative tasks and stay out of the development business.

  29. Had the DSP passed, we'd be facing a lot of ripped-up half-finished destruction/construction and bankrupt developers.

  30. Harkening back to some bad times, one of the hillside developers made an interesting comment at one of the One Crater hearings, you know, those hearings where the community was so shamelessly ignored? The developer said "All developers in California are desperate for land." Couple that with the California Realtors Association feeling the need to publish its manual, "How to Defeat Slow Growth Initiatives at the Local Level" and you get a good understanding of what we're up against. Old school developers and their realtor underpinnings are facing extinction and it makes them vicious.

  31. That is why we have things like RHNA numbers and laws like SB 375. The state government is trying to help the development industry force their way into towns that they haven't been able to get into on their own. You can only wonder how much money exchanged hands to make that happen.

  32. 1:33 How about massive donations to one's election campaign. Sacramento is rife with unions, developers and realtors who love to fatten their wallets by electing those who will do as they say.

  33. Why do you think Mosca is offering to support big fee cuts to developers? He's running for Assembly and needs cash. That is how all the pols do it.

  34. "Here comes Shanty Clause! Here comes Shanty Clause! Right down Shanty Clause Lane!" Has anyone thought that the gang of 4 may be using the "homeless" shelter as beard for something bigger???? Like the Assisted living plans for the old SM SNF. We're talking" 96 living suites" that are at least 700 sq. ft. ea. Who are they kidding??? We're better off turning it into a child day care & pet rock petting zoo as it is.

  35. It must be something grand and highly profitable. Befitting the amount of money spent for the SNF by the DSP investor. Like all Downtown Investor Club owned properties, it's special.

  36. it's S-A-U in the U-S-AAugust 24, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    It would be shenanigans-as-usual to poison-bait with the homeless shelter, and then sugar-switch to a landscaped condo development.

    Don't underestimated the creepy self-serving greed of Buchanan.

  37. There is a CRA meeting going on tomorrow night with the board, which is also the city council. In Council Chambers no less. Looks like it was called kind of hastily. Anyone up on this?

  38. My guess would be some kind of special meeting to fork over the $650,000 (or is it $675,000?) in order to continue the fraud about the massive amounts of blight we have here in the town that came in near the top for percentage gain in overall property values.

  39. Must be something important for them to interrupt the council's vacation.

  40. That's a mighty fine example of doublethink 4:15.

  41. Is Josh's meeting suit dry cleaned? Did they get the ketchup stains removed?

  42. You can download 2 documents. They're meeting at 5:30 to make their payments to the state.

  43. There is an assisted living in Sierra Madre already according to Goggle:
    Contact Information
    Carter Place, The
    400 W. Carter Ave.
    Sierra Madre, CA 91024

    Phone: (626) 374-4920
    Assisted Living facilities have very strict state and federal guidelines, as well as a state osbudsman to follow up on code violations.
    Also the "kitchenette" is usually made up of: small sink, small refrigerator and a microwave. Most units are studios or one bedrooms. Most activity occurs in a common space and/or dining area.

    The rendering of the proposed ASL is very grandiose.
    The floor plans are key to a full discussion.

  44. Will there be some armed guards from Brinks there? I can imagine there will be some big white canvas sacks with dollar signs drawn on the sides. Hopefully it will all be in 20 dollar notes so the take will look more impressive.

  45. I think the facility on Carter is for just a few people at a time. The British Home has 37 residents.

  46. slow on the uptakeAugust 24, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    I don't understand how that project can be proposed for the old skilled nursing facility if it doesn't fit with Measure V.

  47. We're supposed to be so incredibly grateful that somebody is doing something with the old SNF site that we'll forget about everything else.

  48. But what is the development company thinking? Oh look, they have a cute little local ordinance that we'll manipulate to our liking?

  49. If you hold to 2-30-13 for the proposed assisted living center, you might find yourself getting a lecture on corporate cosmology.

  50. I am sure the usual suspects told them it was nothing to worry about.

  51. Thanks Capt. For turning me on to this blog. I am a former resident and moved north 37 years ago. You sure have a lot of anonymous' posting. Does anybody use their real name? I can't wait to catch up on SM gossip.


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