Mountain Views News, Combined edition

Combined Edition

Inside this Week:

Shop Sierra Madre:

Sierra Madre:
A Word from the Chief
Walking SM … The Social Side
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

SM Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events

Pasadena – Altadena:

Local City News:
Arcadia News and Notes

Around The San Gabriel Valley:
L.A. Covid-19 Update

Education & Youth:
Newspaper Fun!

Support Your Local Businesses:

The Good Life:
Family Matters
Out to Pastor
Senior Happenings

Best Friends:
Christopher Nyerges
Pet of the Week
Katnip News!

Opinion … Left/Right/Center:
John Micek
Tom Purcell
Stuart Tolchin On …
The Funnies

Fred Thomas
Portraits of Our Neighbors
Letter to the Editor

Legal Notices:

Shop Sierra Madre:

F. Y. I. :

Roderick Armalin
Deanne Davis
Marc Garlett
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder
Stuart Tolchin
Stuart Tolchin

Recent Issues:
Issue 2
Issue 1
Volume 14:
Issue 52
Issue 51
Issue 50
Issue 49
Issue 48
Issue 47
Issue 46
Issue 45
Issue 44

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1




VOLUME 15 NO. 03VOLUME 15 NO. 03

2broker lic. #01514230 | source: CoreLogic, Freddie Mac, BankrateJan Greteman 626.975.4033jan@jangreteman.com 
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0211530 Loma Alta – represented the buyer430 North Alta Vista – represented the buyer230 West Montecito – represented the seller381 Montecito #B – represented the seller901 Cabrillo Drive #32A – represented the seller180 South Michillinda Avenue – represented the seller162 East Sierra Madre Boulevard – represented the seller1115 Cordova Street – represented the buyer451 Camillo Drive – represented the seller690 Oak Crest Drive - represented the buyer381 Mariposa Avenue #B – represented the seller118 East Laurel Avenue #C – represented the seller60 Rancho Road – represented the buyer89 West Bonita Avenue - represented the seller5532 Freeman Avenue - represented the buyer700 East California Boulevard - represented the buyer707 Woodland Drive - represented the seller

By Kevin McGuire

In December 2020, Mountain Views News provided 
new information regarding the Housing 
Element update and how it may affect Sierra 

It was estimated that California is in need of 
200,000 new housing units to keep up with the 
booming population. Sierra Madre’s goal in that 
big picture was to present options to meet its 
goal of 204 new housing units.

One of the proposed sites is 30 Suffolk Ave. 
Currently, this property contains two lots containing 
a single-family house and detached garage. 
There is a pending application waiting for 
approval to merge these two lots. 

The plan? A 5-unit apartment project consisting 
of two buildings. One building housing four 
units and the second building for one additional 
unit. The project already has some residents 
unhappy and concerned. Some concerns raised 
include changing the small-town character and 
landscape of the beautiful city of Sierra Madre. 

“We know that our city has rightfully resisted the 
mansionization and overbuilding that other cities 
have succumbed to. If approved, two beautiful 
mature oak trees located in the parkway will be severely pruned 
and a 15-foot setback will be allowed rather than the standard 25-
foot setback so the builders can build the oversized project,” said 
resident Kathy Watson. 

According to Vincent Gonzalez, Director of Planning & Community 
Preservation, the property is zoned R-3 (Multi-family Residential). 
Pursuant to Sierra Madre Municipal Code 17.28.080(D), 
a front yard setback of 15 feet is permitted on the first floor and a 
front yard setback of 25 feet is permitted for the second floor.

As far as the two oak trees? “Observation made by a certified arborist 
have been reported and included as part of the record for 
the public to review. The reports indicate that pruning will be necessary 
and that all pruning shall be done with a certified arborist 
on site overseeing the work to ensure that no significant damage is 
done to the Oak trees,” Gonzalez said.

Project plans, elevation, grading, and tree impact have been reviewed 
by the Planning, Public Works, and Fire Departments. Review 
of construction plans by the Building and Safety Department 
will follow approval of the request to build the project as proposed, 
according to Gonzalez.

So far, the project has met all development standards except one, 
the floor area is too big, by 1,300 square-feet pushing the gross 
floor area to 9,935 square feet. But, pursuant to Sierra Madre 

Municipal Code Chapter 17.34 (Affordable Housing), because the 
development proposes 20% of the base density units as affordable 
at a moderate-income level, the development is entitled to two 
concessions or incentives. A request has been made to cash in one 
of those incentives for the additional floor area proposed. 

As parking is always a concern, each unit will have a two-car garage. 
Units are expected to be affordable at the moderate-income 

Well, doesn’t the community have a say? Why wasn’t there a City 
Council meeting? No public forum?

There is no requirement to present this project before City Council. 
It’s not a procedural requirement, does not require a Conditional 
Use Permit or a Design Review Permit. No public forum is 
needed either. 

As for maintaining that small-town feel, “The City recognizes that 
the development is in substantial conformance with development 
standards and is consistent with similar uses in the neighboring 
vicinity. Measures will be taken to ensure protection of the oak 
trees is maintained through the duration of the construction and 
pruning of roots and branches will not exceed that which the arborist 
has recommended. Should any impacts to the trees beyond 
those anticipated occur, recommended mitigation for those trees 
will take place,” Gonzalez assures. 

In addition to density concerns, residents are also very concerned about the fate of the 
two old oak trees picture above.


Sierra Madre has always been known for its beautiful 
landscapes, lovely homes and an array of unique, specialty 
shops and restaurants. It has that small town feel and a 
strong sense of community. 

 But, among all the great qualities this town has, it has a 
bad reputation for one thing—Internet. “The Blackhole of 
the San Gabriel Valley,” some have called it with it’s dropped 
calls, buffering videos and frozen Zoom screens. But, one 
day soon, Sierra Madreans may be zipping from website 
to website on something much faster than 90s quality 

 On Tuesday, January 12th 2021 during the first City 
Council meeting of the New Year, the City approved a land 
lease and revenue agreement with Eukon Group to build 
a new AT&T cell phone tower in Sierra Madre. Other cell 
phone providers will be able to lease space on the newly 
constructed tower as well. 

 The new tower will be built next to City Hall on the West 
side of the public safety building, according to the report 
presented by City Manager, Gabe Engeland. The City is 
expected to generate $30,000 in annual revenue from the 
project. Monies earned will be available in the General 
Fund. The tower will take up about 240 square feet on the 
City-owned property. This includes air space. The lease 
term will be five years with the chance to extend for an 
additional four to five years. 

 But, those anxious to talk to grandma without getting 
cut off mid-sentence, will have to wait approximately six 
months before the tower is up and operational. 

 The City Council meeting took place during its new time 
slot of 4 p.m. and featured its new lineup including Mayor 
Rachelle Arizmendi, Mayor Pro Tem Gene Goss, Council 
Member Kelly Kriebs, Council Member Rober Parkhurst, 
Council Member Edward Garcia and Assistant City Clerk 
Laura Aguilar. 

 The vote was unanimous and the public can view the 
report and lease agreement on the City website www.
cityofsierramadre.com. Kevin McGuire/MVNews


Los Angeles County will not begin vaccinating people 
age 65 and older until we complete vaccinations for 
healthcare workers and receive more vaccine from the 
state for this new priority group. 

Additional information on Page 7.

Useful Reference Links

Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548 www.mtnviewsnews.com