Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 18, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 3

Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 18, 2021 

GENERAL PLAN....continued from page 1 

So, what does this all mean? Well, most residents 
in Sierra Madre fall into one of three residential 
categories: R1 (Residential Single Family), R2 
(Two-Family Residential), and R3 (Multi-Family 
Residential). These properties are spread across 
the four different quadrants of the city. A straight 
correction of the inconsistencies in the land use 
designations would mean many residents would 
incur a negative change in residential designation. 
For example, an R3 homeowner might be changed 
to an R1 homeowner, which could greatly affect 
the value of their property. 

History in a Nutshell

So how did this happen and what’s been done to 
correct it? Back in 2015, City Council approved 
changes to the General Plan, the long-term plan 
for development in the city. The update included 
amendments to the Land Use Map, which 
changed land use designations of a number of 
parcels across the city. The update also included 
revisions to the zoning map for consistency with 
the amended land use map, as required by state 
law. During a later review of the General Plan 
and Zoning Maps, city staff found inconsistencies 
between designations of some parcels. 

In May 2021, The Planning Commission 
reviewed changes recommended by city staff. The 
Commission sent for some revisions and on June 
3, 2021, City staff sent the corrections back to the 
Planning Commission and City Council approved 
those changes on June 17, 2021. 

On July 13, 2021, Council was first presented 
with General Plan Amendment 21-01 during an 
outdoor public hearing at Memorial Park. After 
a confusing discussion and many comments 
and concerns from residents, Council voted to 
continue the discussion and review all available 

October 15, 2021 is the deadline for filing in order 
to meet obligations in this Housing Element Cycle, 
and with the huge Monastery housing project 
already on the Planning Commission’s plate, 
time isn’t really on the City’s side. Negotiations 
between Zoning and Planning Commission could 
possibly lead to further inconsistencies to what 
the General Plan intended. 

Options and Opinions 

City staff presented Council with two alternatives. 
Alternative 1: They can approve General Plan 
Amendment 21-01 and Zone Change 21-01 as is, 
possibly affecting residential designation changes 
to many residents, or Alternative 2: they can 
approve General Plan Amendment 21-01 and 
Zone Change 21-01 and also direct staff to address 
the properties that would be designated for a 
lower density land use by the 2015 General Plan. 

Several residents voiced their concerns via email 
and at the podium at the meeting on Tuesday 
September 14, 2021. 

“I purchased my property six months ago with the 
plan to build a few houses on it,” said Eric Lin. 
“I’m now in that strange gray area where I would 
like to find out what I can do with it. Or is it just 
going to be a loss for me? I paid for an R3 and now 
it’s an R1,” Lin said. 

Mark Lamb has been a Sierra Madre resident for 
13 years and purchased an R2 property which 
had two houses on it. Now it’s zoned an R1. “My 
best path is if you agree to your option 2,” Lamb 


September 13, 2021 to September 11, 2021 During this period the Sierra Madre Police Department 
responded to 183 calls for service. 

A vehicle was stopped for a vehicle code violation on 9-5-21 at 12:48AM in the 500 block of W. 
Sierra Madre Bl. The driver was found to be impaired and under the influence of an alcoholic 
beverage. Following a consented Field Sobriety Test, the driver was arrested and transported to 
Pasadena Jail for booking.
Case to the DA’s office 

On 9-7-21 at 1:30AM in the area of Baldwin Ave and Sierra Madre Blvd. a vehicle was stopped 
for a vehicle code violation. The driver was impaired and combative, later arrested and taken to 
the Pasadena Jail for booking for D.U.I. and battery. Case to the DA’S office 

On 9-6-21 at 6:53AM, in the 700 block of Baldwin Court, officers responded to a call of a verbal 
dispute where a male was subsequently arrested for brandishing a firearm and taken to the 
Pasadena Jail. 
Case to DA’s office 

A residential burglary in the 00 block of S. Baldwin Ave. occurred between the hours of 10:30PM 
on 09/06/21 to 3:00AM on 09/07/21. Unknown suspect(s) unlawfully entered the residence and 
ransacked the interior of the home. Case to Detectives 

Theft of Vehicle 
On 9-10-21 at 11:59PM, officers responded to the 400 block of Mountain Trail Ave. to take a 
report of the theft of his truck that was parked in his driveway by unknown person(s). Case to 

On 9-10-21 at 11:48PM, a vehicle was stopped for an expired registration. During the vehicle 
inventory, drug paraphernalia was discovered. The driver was cited and released and the vehicle 
was impounded. Case to the DA’s office 

stated. “Then based upon current land use it can 
be rezoned to an R2.” 

There were several emails siding against the 
redesignations. In addition, there is also concern 
over non-conforming ordinance protections. In 
other words, say a property that was an R2 with 
two houses is now an R1 designation and the 
second house suffers earthquake or fire damage. 
Will the property owner be able to rebuild what 
was lost or damaged? According to Joshua Wolf, 
these properties will receive protection and will be 
able to rebuild under these protections. 

Legal Implications

So, what if the city did nothing? What if they left 
the General Plan and Zoning as is? According to 
City Attorney Aleks Giragosian, “the state requires 
that the city amend its zoning to comply with the 
General Plan. If the city doesn’t, then someone 
can sue to ensure that the city does.” 
A writ could be sent from the court forcing the city 
to do so. In order to grant design or Conditional 
Use Permits for development, “certain findings” 
need to be made to make sure development is 
consistent with the General Plan. If it’s not…the 
permit cannot be issued, according to Giragosian. 

City Council is also limited to the number of 
amendments to the General Plan they can have 
in a year. According to Associate Planner Wolf, 
the earliest we would see a revised General Plan 
after reviewing all the affected parcels would be 
January 2022. 

So, What’s the Verdict?

“So um, quite frankly…this sucks,” Council 
Member Robert Parkhurst bluntly said as the 
conversation came back for Council discussion. 
“It’s a very difficult situation that we’re in. The plan 
before us…brings us into compliance with law. 
That’s important. But it creates a difficult situation 
for a short period of time. We want to do the right 
thing and it pains me the most is amount of time 
it will take to get to the right place,” Parkhurst 

“I feel like we’re in a bad situation now, with 
the inconsistencies in this map,” said Council 
Member Kelly Kriebs. “We need to do what we 
are obligated by law to do which is to make them 
consistent, while still exploring the possibility of 
reverting to the prior, higher zoning and land use 

Mayor Rachelle Arizmendi agreed with her 
colleagues about the difficulty of this situation for 
the staff and residents, and the need to address 
the inconsistencies and comply with the law. She 
then took charge of the motion herself and moved 
to approve General Plan Amendment 21-01 and 
Zone Change 21-01 and also direct staff to address 
the properties that would be designated for a 
lower density land use by the 2015 General Plan. 
This was Alternative 2. 

“As you’ve heard tonight, people are talking about 
the direction the state’s going in, higher density in 
the city, we’re looking for multi-family, and those 
of you who’ve had R3 and are planning to do work 
on R3, we want you to be able to do that,” Mayor 
Arizmendi said. “And we think we’ve found a way 
to do it, unfortunately it just can’t be today. These 
two maps need to come in compliance,” she said. 

The motion past unanimously. The full staffreport, including zoning maps can be viewed on 
the city website at 


by Deanne Davis 

“That old September feeling, left overfrom school days, of summer passing,
vacation nearly done, obligationsgathering and football in the air.
Another Fall, another turned page;
there was something of jubilee in thatannual autumnal beginning, as if lastyear’s mistakes had been wiped clean 
by summer.” Wallace Stegner 

Sitting down at my computer, looking 
at the blank page again and wishing it 

would fill itself with words of wit and 

wisdom, I realize September is already 

half over! How time flies, whether 

you’re having fun or not. Another 
pumpkin picture this week because 
October is just around the corner.
“September tries its best to have us 
forget summer.” Bernard Williams 

Of course, in our region of the world, 
September and October are frequently 
the hottest months of the year. We 

recall sending our children off into the 

blazing inferno we referred to as the“back to school heat wave.” 

“It is the mark of an educated mind to 
be able to entertain a thought without 
accepting it.” Aristotle“Education’s purpose is to replace an 
empty mind with an open one.” – Malcolm S. Forbes“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your

self-confidence.” – Robert Frost 
“It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with is to teach them to think, if that is possible, and always to think for themselves.” –

Robert Hutchins 

What we hope when we send our precious children off to school is that their teacher will love 

them, accept them as they are and see the hidden treasure buried inside each one of them. It wouldbe nice if this teacher could awaken a love of reading in them which will carry them through their 
lives; teach them spelling and grammar are necessities, not just useless frills; help them appreciate 
math and science; be kind to others, use nice words only and aspire to be on Jeopardy! one day. 

As our little ones, and our not so little ones head off to another year of school, another year of 

learning to cope with other kids, some of which may not be so nice; to learn to be responsible(no, your mother can’t do your math homework for you); to be respectful, to simply grow and 
learn how to learn, the best thing we can do for them is pray. Make their lunch and pray. Give 

them frosted flakes for breakfast and pray. Take them for ice cream and pray. Put them to bed, 
thankfully close the door...and pray. Please God, keep them safe. Please God, don’t let anyone 
hurt them. Please God, help me be more patient. Please, God... 

As a child, I got sent to boarding school when my mother could afford it or sent to live with my 

grandmother, Nana, and my Aunt Helen when she couldn’t. Auntie Helen worked at I. Magnin’s 

– a wonderful store filled with beautiful things which is now, sadly, long gone -in downtown Los 
Angeles and was gone all day. Hence, Nana was stuck with me. Out of desperation, she taught me 

to read and I started working my way through Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, 1922 version, 

which was pretty much all there was to read. I started with A and just read. These are beautiful 

books, filled with pictures of far-away places and a “Thought” at the beginning of each book. 
Here is part of the one that kicks off Volume 8: 

“We come into a world that is open to receive us; for a few short years we live in the world as we 

find it; but soon, perhaps almost sooner than we know, we are making our own world, carving 

our own way, shaping our own thoughts, controlling our own destinies. What shall we take, and 
what shall we reject? The things we put into our pockets may be as nothing, though they may be 
made of gold; but the things we put into our minds are all the world to us, though they fall from 
the skies or rise from the valleys or pour out upon us from the hills, and cost us nothing. We are 
what we think. We are as old as we feel, as rich or as poor as our imaginations. We are as strong 
as our faith or as weak as our fears. It is these things that make up life for us; it is your mind that 
makes your world, and your mind is what you make it.” Arthur Mee 

These words, written in 1922, or maybe even before, certainly apply now, don’t they! Reading 
was my salvation, books my constant most faithful companions. Reading is still my favorite thing 
to do. I am a big fan of authors Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston. They have a series featuring 
an FBI agent, A. Pendergast, which now encompasses over twenty books. I have devoured them 
all, spending quite a bit of time last Monday finishing the latest, “Bloodless.” These guys are 
prolific writers and have published a number of titles on their 
own, all of which I have also 

devoured. I admire them tremendously and recommend their books highly. 

As I mention below, I have a new story about to be added to my Amazon page, you might take a 
look. AND, the Library’s Used Book Sale is October 2nd. Treasures to be found, my friends! 

Speaking of reading, I have really appreciated and been enlightened by the articles by Nancy 

Beckham which have been in the Mountain Views News the last few weeks about the potential 
changes in Sierra Madre the new zoning ordinances could bring about. Very helpful information. 

One last thing: September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Just saying. 

My book page: Deanne Davis 
For you Emma Gainsworth fans, all her escapades are there AND, there’s a new Emma 
adventure about to release as a Kindle book! 


Governor Newsom’s California Comeback Plan will lead to over 84,000 new housing units and 
exits from homelessness, including today’s announcement of $1.75 billion in affordable housing 
funding for the new California Housing AcceleratorSB 8 extends the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 to jumpstart more housing production 
SB 9 gives homeowners additional tools to add critically needed new housing and help ease California’s 
housing shortage 
SB 10 establishes voluntary, streamlined process for cities to zone for multi-unit housing — making 
it easier and faster to construct housingSACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed bipartisan legislation to expand housing 
production in California, streamline housing permitting, and increase density to create more 
inclusive and vibrant neighborhoods across the state. The suite of bills also will help address the 
interrelated problems of climate change and housing affordability by promoting denser housing 
closer to major employment hubs – a critical element in limiting California’s greenhouse gas emissions. 
The Governor also highlighted the state’s ongoing work to spur more housing production, 
tackle barriers to construction and hold local governments accountable.
“The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California Dream for families across the state, 
and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity,” said Governor Newsom. “Making a meaningful 
impact on this crisis will take bold investments, strong collaboration across sectors and 
political courage from our leaders and communities to do the right thing and build housing for all. 
I thank Pro Tem Atkins and all the Legislature’s leaders on housing for their vision and partnership 
to keep California moving forward on this fundamental issue.” 
Today, California officials announced the new California Housing Accelerator – a $1.75 billion 
component of Governor Newsom’s California Comeback Plan to expedite construction of an estimated 
6,500 shovel-ready affordable multi-family units in projects stalled due to constraints on 
the supply of tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits.
The California Comeback Plan invests an unprecedented $22 billion in housing and homelessness 
which will lead to the creation of over 84,000 new affordable homes for Californians, including 
over 44,000 new housing units and treatment beds for people exiting homelessness. This Plan 
marks the most significant investment in housing in California’s history with $10.3 billion proposed 
for housing and over $12 billion for the unhoused.
The Governor today signed California State Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins’ SB 9, 
the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (HOME) Act, which the White House 
this month commended to increase housing supply. The HOME Act facilitates the process for 
homeowners to build a duplex or split their current residential lot, expanding housing options for 
people of all incomes that will create more opportunities for homeowners to add units on their existing 
properties. It includes provisions to prevent the displacement of existing renters and protect 
historic districts, fire-prone areas and environmental quality.
“I appreciate Governor Newsom’s continued commitment to solving one of the most vexing issues 
facing our state – increasing the amount of housing and widening access for more Californians,” 
said Senate Pro Tem Atkins (D-San Diego). “SB 9 will open up opportunities for homeowners to 


The Sierra Madre Fire Department is excited to announce its 34th Annual Fire Prevention Festival 
taking place on Saturday, October 9th, at Memorial Park, from 9AM to Noon. 

The Sierra Madre Fire Department's goal is to educate our community members on how to 
best prepare for, and stay safe during, a fire emergency. Stop by the fire prevention festival to 
get important educational information, meet with local agencies, and participate in a variety of 
fun activities. Bring the kids for a fun and engaging activity hub that will include games, arts 
and crafts, goodie bags, and a chance to meet Smokey the Bear! 

Many local agencies will be represented at this year's festival, including the Sierra Madre Police 
Department, LA County Fire Department, Angeles National Forest, Sierra Madre Search & 
Rescue, Pasadena Humane Society, and many more. Stay tuned for more updates. 

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