CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2021!- Special Section B Honoring Area Graduates

Mountain Views News, Combined edition

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Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
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Local City News:
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Around The San Gabriel Valley:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
L.A. Covid-19 Update

The Good Life:
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Out to Pastor
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Opinion … Left/Right/Center:
Tom Purcell
Stuart Tolchin On …
Dinah Chong Watkins
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):
Letter to the Editor

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Class of 2021:

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Congratulations Graduates:

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Christopher Nyerges
Pet of the Week
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Jeff Brown
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Marc Garlett
Chris Leclerc
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Rev. James Snyder
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Recent Issues:
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CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2021!-Special Section B Honoring Area Graduates 

VOLUME 15 NO. 23 


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broker lic. #01514230 | source: CoreLogic, Freddie Mac, Bankrate 
The California Conservation Corps is a 
department within the California Natural 
Resources Agency. They are the oldest 
and largest conservation corps in the nation 
and they recently completed a project 
that cleared both the Mt. Wilson and BaileyCanyon Trails. 

The group cleared at least 20 acres of overgrown 
brush on our trails. The project took almost 
12,000 hours by individual volunteers and 
over $380,000 of in-kind funding!

The program provides young adults 18 

– 25 years old a year of paid service to theState of California. During their year ofservice, Corpsmembers work on environmental 
projects and respond to natural andman-made disasters. Through this work,
they gain skills and experience that lead tomeaningful careers. Their motto is ‘HardWork, Low Pay, Miserable Conditions andMore!’ We are dedicated to developing ourCorpsmembers into citizens with character, 
credentials, and commitment. 
Thank you CCC volunteers and staff for 
helping us keep our trails safe! 


By Kevin McGuire 

During a discussion which was 
supposed to focus on the composition, 
term and appointments to boards 
and commissions, many members of 
the Sierra Madre community voiced 
their concerns over the PlanningCommission’s lack of involvement in 
the design review process and their 
desire to return the Commission to 
seven members. 

But, the Planning Commission and 
community fell short on convincing the 
City Council to budge on either issue. 

This has been a hot topic in the 
community for about eight months 
now when City Council passed 
Resolution 20-16 back in October 2020 
which put administrative authority of 
design review in the hands of city staff 
over the Planning Commission, which 
includes one qualified architect seated 
on the commission. 

During the May 25th regular CityCouncil meeting at Memorial Park,
a handful of emails were read and 
community members took to the 
podium calling for more inclusion and 
transparency. There were calls to bring 
the Planning Commission back to seven 
members, after being reduced to five 
last year. Others mentioned concerningadditions to houses that could possiblydisrupt the small-town feel of Sierra 
Madre. The 42-unit project approved 
on the Monastery grounds is one such 
project causing an uproar over the 
potential for traffic increases and loss of 
the beautiful mountain views so many 
residents have been accustomed to. 

“There is absolutely no transparency 
to us citizens—to the people of Sierra 
Madre who vote,” said Carol Parker, aSierra Madre resident. “That means 
when a conditional-use permit to 
build or remodel a home that is 
non-compliant with our zoning, for 
example over 3,500 sq. feet, [before] the 
Planning Commission would have this 
debated in a public meeting. Now that 
this is the purview of the staff, there 
is absolutely no transparency. Please 
restore the voice of us, your residents, 
your voters and it is important for the 
future of our town,” Parker exclaimed. 

As defined by the PlanningCommission, a design review is 
the process that ensures gooddesign principles and compatibilitythroughout the city. The design review 
shapes the quality of development inSierra Madre to preserve the villagecharacter. Some Planning Commissionmembers had their say as well in theoutdoor forum at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. 

“I would plead with you to make the 
Planning Commission as wholesome 
and as strong as possible. The PlanningCommission is your voice and the first 
stop on appeals to you,” stated Planning 

Commissioner Bob Spears. “You 
want the discussions on the PlanningCommission to be as in-depth and as in 
detailed as possible. You want to know 
that the complaints and concerns of the 
public get an in-depth review. When 
the Commission was cut from seven 
to five people, we lost a good architect. 
The Planning Commission has an 
important role and we want to do that 
role well and we take it very seriously,” 
Spears said. 

Planning Commission Vice Chair 
and architect, Joe Catalano resigned 
from his position at the request of 
former Mayor John Capoccia for an 
undisclosed reason. There was already 
one open position on the Commission 
before the reduction to five seats. 

Mayor Pro Tem Gene Goss pointed 
out the difficulty in filling seats on 
commissions with qualified personnel. 
Currently, the requirement calls 
for three active applicants before a 
candidate can be considered. Most 
commissions don’t reach that threshold 
of applicants. Council Member 
Robert Parkhurst highlighted that 
many surrounding cities with similar 
populations have 5-member PlanningCommissions. He also requested a 
collection of email addresses from 
those who spoke at the meeting and 
encouraged them to possibly serve on a 
commission when terms are up. Though 
personally Parkhurst disagreed with 
the need for a 7-person commission. “I 
have yet to see why seven is better than 
five,” Parkhurst said. “We have a really 
good commission…these are reallydedicated people. I want to keep that 
quality up,” he said. 

When it comes to design concerns 
in Sierra Madre, the project at the 
Monastery seems to cause the most 
anxiety. And withstaff now being the first 
voice on such projects, those concerns 
have certainly grown. Mayor Rachelle 
Arizmendi spoke on this subject 
briefly. “There’s a misunderstanding 
that is out there in the community. 
Even if design review was reinstated 
to the Planning Commission, when 
it comes to proposed development,
because our Planning Commission 
has subjective standards that are being 
utilized at this time, we are unable to 
have the Planning Commission make 
any recommendations or approvals for 
the proposed Monastery. The HousingAccountability Act will not allow for it. 
It’s a state law that has been enacted,” 
Mayor Arizmendi stated. 

No further action will be taken at this 
time. In addition to these hot topics,
discussions also took place on the 
topics of better training for commission 
members and adding youth 
commissioners to various boards. CityCouncil’s next meeting will take place 
on June 8, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. 


The Sierra Madre Community Foundation (SMCF) recently 
awarded the following grants to local Sierra Madre 

• The Sierra Madre Public Library was awarded a grant 
to fund its “Walk This Way Story Adventure” in MemorialPark. The short tour highlights a new book each week andprovides the community with an outdoor reading opportunity. 
While the initial target population was young families,
many Sierra Madre seniors, including Kensington residents,
make the story adventure part of their weekly schedule. The 
Foundation grant will fund the program through the end ofJuly. 
• The Sierra Madre Playhouse received a grant to supports 
its return to live theater with “You’re a Good Man,
Charlie Brown.” The outdoor program will run in Memorial 
Park in July and August, with the grant used for lightingequipment. 
• The Creative Arts Group’s ImaginArt program received 
a grant to fund its “Ceramic Witches/Warlocks” tosupport a discussion of the history, symbols, and community 
traditions of Halloween. The project for 3rd grade students 
from Sierra Madre Elementary School uses clay toolsand two colors of clay to enhance students’ engagement withthe fundamentals of ceramics. 
So far in 2021, the Sierra Madre Community Foundation 
has provided grants totaling $5,900 to support local civic 
and community organizations. 

“We’re pleased to support local organization who have 
worked so hard during the pandemic to provide unique and 
engaging programs and services for our community,” said 
Frank Moore, Community Foundation chair. “Through the 
generous giving of local residents, the Foundation is proud 
to help our unique community rebound from a very difficult 

Sierra Madre Community Foundation is singularly devoted 
to Sierra Madre and solicits donations to support and enhance 
the community by making direct grants to civic and 
local organizations. In addition, the SMCF assists other Sierra 
Madre community groups in the collection and distribution 
of their funds that enables ongoing program support 
and continued operations. 

To learn more and to donate visit

Useful Reference Links

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