Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 4, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 4

Mountain View News Saturday, March 4, 2023 4 CONVERSATIONSCONVERSATIONS 
Mountain View News Saturday, March 4, 2023 4 CONVERSATIONSCONVERSATIONS 
Whether you vote YES or NO, there will be The Yes for Measure M argument seems 
a housing project on Mater Dolorosa. Your designed to threaten voters about the 
vote decides which project will be built. prospect of an even worse construction 
project if they vote No. 
The petition authors created a loopholeIt's simple! A NO vote on Measure M will 
that per state law allows a housing project stop "The Meadows at Bailey Canyon" 
to be built by challenging only Ordinance project ("The Meadows"). 
1461 (which approved the Meadows proj-Stopping "The Meadows" is what Sierra 
ect specifically), but not Resolution 22-58 Madre is voting on in this election-not 
(that allows general residential develop-what could happen in the future with anment 
on the property). other potentially worse housing project 
that is still largely a pipe dream. The facts 
As a result, a NO vote would allow a project are: 
with 50+ houses, no park, fewer controls • A No vote on Measure M will stopon tree removal, more traffic, and greatly construction of "The Meadows": a sub-reduced funding for City departments. division of 42 oversized, multimillion-The vote-no backers claim the Meadows dollar McMansions on Passionist Retreatproject will have many impacts, but they Center land.don't tell you that the replacement project • "The Meadows" doesn't conformwill have even more traffic, more water to our General Plan or R1 Residentialuse, more impacts on the environment and zoning, sets a dangerous precedent forCity finances, no park, and limited project future developments, and doesn't followreview. the zoning rules that all other residents of 
Sierra Madre must follow.Unlike the misleading claims of the vote• 
"The Meadows" destroys theno backers and the hidden impacts of the meadow and wildlife habitat, removesreplacement project, evaluation of the every existing tree on the 17 acres,Meadows project was transparent and markedly increases traffic and fire risk,community wide. The project was detailed and will look nothing like the adjacentin thousands of pages of documents, dis-neighborhoods.cussed in many public meetings, and vetted 
by the Planning Commission and City The City and developer negotiated "TheCouncil in nine public hearings, nearly Meadows" behind closed doors and pretwice 
the allowable meetings for the entire sented it to Sierra Madre residents as areplacement project. done deal as Covid lockdowns went into 
effect. Little of significance about theA YES vote on Measure M will instead project has changed. We will continuelimit the project to 42 design-reviewed to fight any development in the futurehomes, provide a 3-acre park, preserve that does not adhere to our Sierra Madretrees, widen Carter Avenue, and provide General Plan and zoning rules. But firstsignificant funding for water, police, and we must defeat ''The Meadows" by Votingfire departments. NO. 
Let's continue to PROTECT Sierra Madre.Don't fall for the bait-and-switch claims. 
Vote NO on Measure M. Preserve our 
Vote for the better project. Vote YES on community and send a message that Si-
Measure M. erra Madre residents can't be bought or 
intimidated by an out-of-town developer. 
We deserve better. We can do better. 
Dear Editor: 
After reading last week’s letter to you “Ms. Helen Wong: The best naturalist of Eaten 
Canyon - but where is she?” I was struck by the immense value Helen has contributed 
to her community through the Eaten Canyon County Park and Nature Center. 
It was eye opening to see that one of our county’s and city’s treasures should be treated 
in such an irresponsible and irreverent way, because after all shouldn’t someone 
who has given so much of herself including exemplary leadership and awesome 
creativity, obviously way beyond work hours, be acknowledged and valued? 
Now there is both a void of leadership and county funds are not usually adequate 
for excellent programs. We need Ms. Wong more than ever. I would like to celebrate 
her contributions not wonder what happened to her leadership. We need intelligent 
leadership in our county community centers. They are vital to our communities 
cultural and ecological life for which she was a champion. 
I regularly attended many programs that she began over the last 25 years. She was 
the person who made possible many programs my children and many others have 
been benefitting from over the years. I think the county owes it to us to straighten 
out whatever was done to cause Ms Wong’s absence.
Julie Jesseph-Balaa 
Have you heard the arguments against Measure M? Probably 
not, because there are none. In a new effort to stop the 
Meadows project, Measure M is being forced upon the city byProtect Sierra Madre and Preserve Sierra Madre (PPSM) at a 
cost of $400,000. 
PPSM solely focuses on opposing the Meadows project and 
completely ignores the alter-native project already submittedto the city. If the 42-home Meadows project is shot down the 
developer will move forward with the 50-home SB 330 project allowed under state law. This alternative 
project will result in the park being replaced by eight additional homes, and the city forfeiting 
other negotiated concessions, such as $1 million for net-zero water offsets, $250,000 for public safetyinfrastructure, and 40 hillside-acres being placed in conservancy. 
PPSM argues against building “tract housing” in a “Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone” “adjacent 
to Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park” affecting the “tranquility of the surrounding communities.” 
They continue saying it will “destroy habitats of native animals” cut down “more than 100 trees” 
and will “increase traffic” and “impact our water supply.” We can argue the merits of each of those 
claims, but there is no point, that ship has sailed. 
While both projects will have some impact, the SB 330 project will have a greater negative impact 
due to its larger number of homes, decreased open space, and the loss of $7 mil-lion in negotiated 
concessions. The opposition is in denial, chooses to completely ignore the alternative project, and 
they are unconcerned with wasting taxpayer funds for their personal vendetta against both the city 
and the developer. 
PPSM ends by saying, “Let's ensure that Sierra Madre is preserved, and we maintain our quality of 
life.” Did you notice that they have not presented any plan for stopping devel-opment. They have 
In an editorial last week, it was questioned why the developer refused to reduce the num-ber of 
homes from 42 to 34. The developer 1) successfully negotiated the 42-home pro-ject with the city and 
2) defeated Measure HR. The two-time losers don’t get to set new terms moving forward. Any negotiating 
the developer was willing to do was only to try and save the city the cost of another election. 
Support your city leaders’ hard work of creating the best project for Sierra Madre.
Vote YES ON M - Sierra Madre for Parks and Public Safety 
As a 5 year member of the General Plan Steering Committee, and a contributor to Preserve Sierra Madre, 
there’s a few things I want to clarify. 
I’m opposed to the Meadows development plan, not because I oppose property rights, but because I oppose 
granting special property rights that no one else in the city gets to people that don’t live here so they can make 
a huge pile of money and then leave us with the impacts. It’s not fair. 
The Meadows proposal breaks core values established in the General Plan, which was based on 5 years of polling, 
interviews, town halls, etc. with the citizens of Sierra Madre. To sum it up, the General Plan was designed 
to prevent “McMansions”, very closely spaced large homes, volume and overall shape considerations so that 
any new developments fit in with the existing character of our town. That character is what attracted us all to 
Sierra Madre, and we want to preserve that. 
The Meadows project would be the largest development in our history. It won’t look like the rest of Sierra 
Madre. It will be a closely spaced cluster of huge homes on a highly visible hillside that has been a scenic part 
of our town for around a century. 
I wish it could be preserved as a park, but as I do believe in property rights, I’m resigned to the probability 
that it’ll be developed. But I’m appalled at the special privileges granted to the Santa Monica Developer and 
the Chicago land owners, so they can rake in around $200 Million dollars and impact our town forever. Our 
previous City Councils were aligned with the General Plan. I’m baffled at how blindly the current council has 
marched in lockstep with the developer and granted nearly everything they’ve asked for. Maybe it’s the fear of 
being sued, or the money the developer has sprinkled the city with and promised as part of the deal. But the 
impacts will be forever, and we’ll all have to bear them forever as well. 
500 additional car trips a day on our streets and downtown. Water impacts that will last forever that their 
drop-in-the-bucket payment won’t mitigate. And yes we’re still in the biggest drought in a 1000 years here,
despite all the rain.
And finally, the vision of 42 houses crammed together on that beautiful hill, where old oak trees thrive and 
wild deer roam free. 
The city and the developer know we don’t like multi-million dollar McMansions. And now, cynically, the 
same developer submitted a pre-proposal using a recent California law to build 50 houses on the property if 
we don’t approve the Meadows project. 
That’s amazing! It is a scare tactic: if we don’t approve their huge Meadow’s project, they threaten to build a 
bigger one! Well, that law (SB330) allows the City Council to require them to conform to the General Plan! 
i.e., there is legal room for resistance against that proposal, if the city has the gumption to do so. 
Vote NO on measure M, which says NO to the Meadows Project, to send a clear message to the City Council. 
The people don’t want this kind of development. 
If they develop that property, its only fair that it should at least be in accordance with the General Plan the 
rest of us must follow, so it fits the character and feel of this beloved town we chose to live in. Please vote No 
on Measure M.. 
Ed Miller, Sierra Madre 

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