Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 26, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 3

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website:


Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 26, 2011 

City of Sierra Madre



WHEREAS, the R-1 zoning requirements are ill-designed for the Canyon, and have created unnecessary obstacles to property owners from 
improving their lots without applying for a variance;

WHEREAS, there is a need for zoning standards that allow reasonable development of properties located while preserving the unique 
character and natural environment of this area and preserve the overall quality of life for its residents;

WHEREAS, to resolve these issues, in January 2009, the City Council appointed a five member Canyon Zone Committee (the “CZC”), to 
establish Canyon Zone residential development standards;

WHEREAS, the CZC conducted twelve monthly meetings, from April 2009 to April 2010, conducted a publicized walking tour of the 
Canyon, and held two publicized community outreach meetings in February and March 2010;

WHEREAS, the CZC reviewed the General Plan’s goals and objectives for the Residential Canyon land use designation and recommended 
various revisions to the zoning guidelines to apply in the Canyon; 

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission at its September 16, 2010 regular meeting recommended revisions to the General Plan Land Use Map, 
adding Chapter 17.30 to Title 17 of the Zoning Code to replace the R-1 zone with the R-C zone in the Canyon Areas, and revising Chapter 
17.60 to be consistent with these additional changes;

WHEREAS, these proposed changes are consistent with the General Plan in that they will help preserve the Canyon area of the City, protect 
the environment and obtain a balance between developed areas and the natural canyon area; 

WHEREAS, development that will occur under this code will be responsible and sensitive to the unique needs of the canyon;

WHEREAS, the proposed changes will maintain the proper balance between building floor area and open space and encourage sufficient on-
site parking spaces;

WHEREAS, in 2003, the City Council made the findings found in Municipal Code 17.22.005, relating to second units in the R-1 zone;

WHEREAS, the entire area that is will become the Canyon Zone has been in the R-1 Zone long before 2003, and the enactment of this 
ordinance will not affect the findings found in Municipal Code 17.22.005; 

WHEREAS, the relevant provisions of Chapter 17.22 will continue to apply in the Canyon Zone after the adoption of this ordinance; 

WHEREAS, the Initial Study for this Ordinance concluded that the proposal will not have any significant effect on the environment;

WHEREAS, a Negative Declaration was prepared pursuant to the provisions of Section 15070 of the California Environmental Quality Act 
(CEQA); and

WHEREAS, the City Council held a public hearing at its regular meeting of October 12, 2010 to take public testimony on the proposed 

WHEREAS, on October 13, 2009, the City Council adopted Ordinance 1299-U to establish a moratorium on development in the Canyon;

WHEREAS, on November 24, 2009, the City Council voted to extend the life of the moratorium; 

WHEREAS, on September 28, 2010, via Ordinance 1301-U, the City Council again extended the life of the moratorium until “October 9, 
2011, unless terminated by further action of the City Council”; 

WHEREAS, this Ordinance 1313 constitutes “further action of the City Council”, and the moratorium will expire on the effective date of this 
ordinance as a result.


Section 1. General Plan Amendment. The General Plan Land Use Map is revised to be consistent with the changes set forth in the attached 
Exhibit A. 

Section 2. Code Amendment. Chapter 17.30, entitled “R-C Residential Canyon Zone”, is hereby added to the Municipal Code to read as set 
forth in Exhibit “B.” 

Section 3. Zoning Map Amendment. The Zoning Map is hereby revised consistent with Exhibit C. 

Section 4. Code Amendment. The following sections within Chapter 17.60, entitled “Variances and Conditional Use Permits”, are hereby 
amended to read as follows: 

“17.60.025 Minor variances. The director of development services may grant a minor variance from regulations, as specified in Chapter 
17.20 or Chapter 17.30 of this code, as applicable. 

A. Application. Applications for a minor variance shall be initiated by submitting the following materials to the development services 

1. A completed application form signed by the property owner or authorized agent, accompanied by the required fees and plans; 2. 
Signatures from all owners of property abutting the project site and directly across the street from the project site or written evidence 
indicating approval of the request, and the posting of a sign on the property for ten days; or 3. A list, drawn from the last equalized property 
tax assessment roll showing the names and addresses of the owner or record of each lot abutting the property and each property on the block 
within one hundred fifty feet of the property, and the posting of a sign on the property for ten days.

B. Notice.

1. If the applicant is unable to obtain the written approval of the property owners abutting and directly across the street from the property, 
notice shall be given to immediately adjacent property owners and property owners on the block within one hundred fifty feet of the subject 
property to notify them that an application is being filed for a minor variance.

2. Comments shall be accepted by the director for a ten-day period following the application submittal.

3. The director may use any comments received to assist in making findings and conditions relating to the application.

C. Burden of Proof and Conditions of Approval. The director must find or conditions must be imposed to insure that: 1. The project does 
not adversely impact the public health, safety, and welfare; 2. The design of the home is improved with the granting of the minor variance.

D. An action by the director may be appealed to the planning commission and subsequently to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.66 of 
this title. 

17.60.030 Conditional use permits--When required.

The purpose of any conditional use permit shall be to insure that the use for which the same is required will be rendered compatible with other 
existing and permitted uses located in the general area of the same. The following uses, each of which possesses characteristics of such unique 
and special form as to render impractical their operation without specific approval, shall be permitted in the zones as hereinafter set forth, 
provided that a conditional use permit is first obtained pursuant to the provisions of this part, unless such use is designated as a permitted use 
in a particular zone.

A. Conditional Uses--All Zones except the R-C Zone.

Airports, landing fields, heliports, and helistops,

Borrow pits to a depth of over three feet,


Child care center (four or more children),

Children’s treatment center (emotionally disturbed),

Churches, temples and other places of worship, provided they shall be excluded from the C (commercial) zone, except as provided in Section 
17.56.120 of this title,

Clubs, provided they shall be excluded from the R-1 and R-2 zones (see Section 17.36.020(F) of this title),

Columbariums, crematories and mausoleums,

Crops, field, tree, bush, berry, and row, including nursery stock, the growing of (see Section 17.20.020(H) of this title),

Day center (mentally retarded), Day treatment hospitals, Dumps, Educational institutions, Equestrian establishments, Establishments or 
enterprises involving large assemblages of people or automobiles as follows: Amusement parks, Circuses, carnivals, or fairgrounds, Labor 
camps, Open-air theaters, Race tracks and rodeos, Recreational centers privately operated, Trailer (mobilehome) parks, Facilities for 
preparole adjustment/rehabilitation programs, Facilities for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, Family home (mentally ill), Family homes 
(mentally retarded), Fraternity, Golf courses, privately owned, Home for the aged, Hospitality houses, Hospitals and sanitariums, rest 
homes, guest homes, convalescent hospitals and similar institutions, Institutions for treatment of alcoholics, Livestock, care and maintenance 
for commercial or noncommercial purposes, Long-term facility, Mental hospitals, Mortuaries, Natural mineral resources, the development 
of, together with the necessary buildings, apparatus or appurtenances incidental thereto; provided, that no review or permit shall be required 
for the exploration of oil, rock, sand, gravel, or clay if any other section of this code makes separate provisions with respect thereto, 
Nonprofit organizations provided they shall be excluded from the C (commercial) zone except as provided in Section 17.56.120, Nursing and 
convalescent hospitals, Parking lots, commercial, Public utilities or utilities operated by mutual agencies consisting of water wells, electrical 
substations, gas metering stations, telephone exchanges, power boosters or conversion plants with the necessary buildings, apparatus, or 
appurtenances incident thereto when located in other than C or M zones, Public utility facilities and utilities operated by mutual companies 
except any public facility for which a building permit is not required pursuant to the city’s building regulations, and any such facility which is 
permitted by a city-granted franchise, Refuse, disposal of, Resident facility (mentally retarded), Resident school (mentally retarded), Rest 
home, Sewage disposal plants, Sorority, Swimming pools, hot tubs, spas and similar recreational facilities which are located within twenty-
five feet and/or are visible to or from a public or private street or alley, Veterinarians, kennels and small animal hospitals, Any use permitted 
pursuant to Section 5116 of the Welfare and Institutional Code of the State of California (certain licensed residential care homes);

B. Conditional Uses--R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-C Zones.

Maintenance of keeping of horses or mules, as enumerated in Chapter 6.08, “Animals Generally”;

C. Conditional Uses--R-1-9, R-1-11 and R-1-15 Zones.

Granny hospice;

D. Conditional Uses--R-2 Development in the R-2 zone;

E. Conditional Uses--H Zone. Development, structures, grading, or subdivisions;

F. All developments in the R-3 zone;

G. Wireless communications facilities, as provided in Chapter 17.93 of this title.”

Section 5. California Environmental Quality Act. The City Council has considered all of the evidence in the record, including the staff 
reports, the initial study, the testimony received during the public hearings on the matter held by the Planning Commission and the City 
Council, and hereby determines that pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15070, there is no possibility of a significant impact on the 
environment, and hereby adopts the Negative Declaration. 

Section 6. Severability; Continuation of Provisions. If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of 
this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the validity or 
enforceability of the remaining sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases of this Ordinance or the 
rules adopted hereby. The City Council of the City of Sierra Madre hereby declares that it would have adopted each section, subsection, 
subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase hereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, 
subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases hereof be declared invalid or unenforceable. To the extent the provisions of the Sierra 
Madre Municipal Code as amended by this Ordinance are substantially the same as the provisions of that Code as they read immediately 
prior to the adoption of this Ordinance, then those provisions shall be construed as continuations of the earlier provisions and not as new 

Section 7. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall take effect thirty days after its passage and adoption pursuant to California Government Code 
section 36937.

Section 8. Certification. The City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this Ordinance and shall cause the same to be published 
according to law.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED, this 22nd day of March 2011.

AYES: Mosca, Buchanan, MacGillivray, Moran, Walsh NOES: None ABSENT: None ABSTAIN: None


Plans for the Old Youth Activity Center on W. Highland To Be Discussed

 On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 6:30 p.m., City Council Members Josh Moran 
and Mary Ann McGillivray, along with city staff will meet with residents concerning 
plans for work force housing on the site of the old Youth Activity Center on W. 

 Residents who leave in close proximity to the project have expressed concerns 
about plans for low and moderate income, multi unit housing on the site. This 
meeting is being held to give the community the opportunity to further articulate 
their concerns and discuss possible solutions with the city.

 The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the City Council chambers.


Four Distinguished Poets to Appear at Sierra Madre Library

On Thursday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m., at the Sierra Madre Public Library, poets Carol Lem, Alex Luu, 
Zahava Sweet, and Urith Walker, will participate in a panel discussion, “Cultural Diversity in Poetry.” 
Each poet will discuss their views on poetry, the influence their personal cultural milieu has had on 
their work, and the role of poetry in today’s society. Audience members will have an opportunity to 
interact with the panel during a Question and Answer session. Lida Bushloper, also an accomplished 
poet, will act as moderator. Light refreshments will be served after the program.

Sierra Madre resident Carol Lem teaches creative writing and literature as East Los Angeles College. 
She has written five books of poetry and has had poems published in numerous prestigious literary 
journals, including, The Chrysalis Reader, Bloomsbury Review and The Asian Pacific American Journal. 
A reading of selected poems from her book, Shadow of the Plum may be heard on the CD, Shadow of 
the Bamboo.

Alex Luu is a critically acclaimed poet, teacher and performance artist. His autobiographical one-
man show, “Three Lives,” has been performed at more than twenty theatrical venues, including the 
Los Angeles Theater Center, Boston Center for the Arts, and the Asian American Theater Center. He 
is the facilitator of My Own Story, a writing/performance workshop for adults and teens. He has been 
most recently published in Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing.

Zahava Sweet is a native of Poland and Holocaust survivor. Her poetry, which she has performed 
globally, has regularly appeared in literary magazines and anthologies. Her latest book of poetry, The 
Return of Sound, was published in 2005. Ms. Sweet is an accomplished translator, having produced 
an English translation of the poetry of Julian Tuwim, and Abram Cytryn, who died in Auschwitz, for 
the Wiesenthal Center in L.A.

Award-winning poet and performance artist Urith Walker created, produced, and performed in two 
one-woman shows, Passages of the Heart and Ain’t Nothing But Something To Do. Ms. Walker is a 
versatile artist, working in various media, including painting, photography, and greeting card design. 
Her most recent book of poems is Then Sings My Soul.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information please call Sophia Duran at (626) 
355-7186. The Sierra Madre Public Library is located at 440 W. Sierra Madre Blvd, in Sierra Madre.

Sierra Madre Post Office To Remain Open

Route Changes Made

 Many local residents have been concerned 
about noticeable changes in their mail service 
lately. In the aftermath of the closing of 
the Post Office in East Pasadena, there has 
been speculation that the Sierra Madre Post 
Office was next. However, according to officials 
within the Postal Service, Sierra Madreans 
can relax. At least for now.

 “There are no immediate plans to close the 
Sierra Madre Post Office,” said one official 
who asked not to be identified. “The lease 
is up for this building very soon but we don’t 
know if it will be renewed or if we will be 
looking for another Sierra Madre location.”

 Although the station is not scheduled to 
close, there have been significant changes in 
its operations.

 The SM site no longer has a Postmaster assigned 
to it. In addition, the carrier routes 
have been reduced from 10 to 8. Carriers 
will also be located at another site, as yet 

 Lately, residents have reported mail delivery 
changing from noon to as late as 7 o’clock. 
This, according to several carriers, is the result 
of the route changes. The carriers expect 
the changes to be ironed out soon, and service 
will be back on a regular schedule.


LOS ANGELES COUNTY — Casting the lone vote against Governor Brown's proposal to shift state 
responsibilities to the counties and increase taxes, Mayor Michael D. Antonovich said: “Shifting the 
state’s budget problems to local government and then offering to take them back through contracting 
is an illusion from a magician’s bag of tricks. Clearly, shifting these programs is not cost-neutral -- 
otherwise why shift them at all? If contracting with the state means it would cost local governments 
more money out of their own general funds, then we ought to be concerned about what the state is 
proposing both fiscally and operationally.”

 “There is no constitutional guarantee that the state won't back out funding from existing programs 
to fund new programs. This is the same state that wants us to take more of their responsibilities with 
the promise to pay it back when it already owes the county over a half a billion dollars. The state’s 
track record is full of empty promises and hollow reform.”

 With regard to shifting certain prisoners to county jails, Antonovich said, “At one point, the state 
was talking about shifting only those offenders sentenced up to two years in prison -- but now, it has 
grown to three years.”

 Antonovich suggested structural reforms for the state. “The state has a structural deficit that cannot 
be closed with temporary taxes or temporary spending cuts -- or the smoke and mirrors being 
proposed today. Governors across the nation are making the hard choices and implementing meaningful 
structural reform. In California, however, we are still burdened by overspending, except now 
shifting that burden to every city, county and school district already suffering. We need structural 
reforms and an end to the overspending that has led to this fiscal crisis.”

Sierra Madre Police Blotter

During the week of Sunday, March 13th, to Saturday, March 19th, the Sierra Madre Police Department 
responded to approximately 323 calls for service. See for updated information.

Monday, March 14th:

11:27 AM- Vandalism, 160 N. Canon Ave (Sierra Madre Upper Campus). Unknown suspect(s) 
shattered the basketball backboard.

Tuesday, March 15th:

11:25 AM- Residential Burglary, 300 blk. N. Sunnyside Ave. Unknown suspect(s) pried open a 
rear window to gain entry. The resident had an alarm with motion detectors inside. There was no 
loss and the house was not ransacked. 

11:46 AM- Residential Burglary, 2000 blk. LiIiano Dr. Unknown suspect(s) entered a house 
through an unlocked side window while the residents were out hiking during the morning. 
Suspect(s) ransacked the interior and stole several items of jewelry and an Apple Mac computer and 
a tower. The possible suspect is a dark skinned male Hispanic, 5’8, driving a white utility truck with 
a ladder affixed to the back.

Thursday, March 17th:

2:10 AM- Possession of Marijuana in Vehicle, 100 blk. E. Grandview Ave. An officer stopped a 
motorist a Vehicle code violation and cited the driver and occupant for possession of marijuana and 
an illegal smoking pipe. 

2:31 PM- Suspicious Circumstances, 100 blk. W. Grandview Ave. The resident called the Fire 
Department to report that he had a 20 mm military artillery shell that he no longer wanted. 
Officers responded and notified the LASD bomb squad, who promptly deployed to the scene. The 
immediate area was evacuated. The LASD bomb squad determined that the device was an inert 
training shell, and took the device to dispose of it. 

Friday, March 18th:

12:26 AM- Possession of Narcotics for sale, Rodeo and Foothill Blvd. An officer stopped a 
motorist for a Vehicle Code violation. The officer determined that the driver was in possession 
of cocaine, hashish, Ecstasy, and LSD, all packaged for sales. The officer arrested the Monrovia 
resident and booked him at the Pasadena PD Jail. 

8:17 PM- Possess/Manufacture/Sell Weapon, Santa Anita Ave and Virginia. An officer stopped 
a motorist for a Vehicle Code violation. The officer lawfully found an illegal fixed blade knife in the 
glove compartment and arrested the driver. The officer booked the suspect at the Pasadena PD.

Saturday, March 19th:

12:23 AM- DUI Alcohol/Drugs, Sierra Madre Blvd and Sunnyside Ave. An officer stopped 
a motorist for a Vehicle Code Violation and determined that he was under the influence of a 
controlled substance. The officer took the suspect to the Pasadena Police Jail for booking. 

2:48 PM- Grand Theft Exceeding $950, 600 blk. W. Montecito. Unknown suspect(s) stole a 
wheelchair from the carport in front of her residence.