Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 25, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 25, 2023 



Protect/Preserve Sierra Madre – Stop Housing Project 
(PPSM) has been working feverishly to undermine the city’s 
council’s approval of the Meadows project. Approval took 
place after two years of negotiations and almost 20 public 
meetings where we won $7 million in concessions from the 
developer, New Urban West.


What is PPSM’s main objective? In recent campaign material they have a picture of people 

carrying signs that say, “Stop the Housing,” “Stop the Development,” and “Save the Meadow.” Is 
that really their goal?


With measure HR they tried to rezone the Passionists’ property to the Hillside Residential zone. 
Contrary to “saving the meadow,” HR would have allowed at least sixty-four 6,500 sq ft Arcadia-
style mansions across the entire property with no public open space. HR was a lost cause from 
day one.


Now PPSM is forcing another vote on us with Measure M, at a cost of $400,000, where they want 
to overturn the Meadows project.


Will Measure M “save the meadow?” Nope. The developer has submitted two projects to the 
city. If Measure M loses, this alternate project will replace the 3-acre park with eight additional 
houses, including very-low-income housing, built under the State’s relaxed fast-tracking SB 330 
standards. This SB 330 project was only made possible by PPSM’s referendum. PPSM used Huntington 
Beach as an example of how cities can snub these state housing laws. Well, their case was 
just tossed out of court before it even started.


It is fair to ask what PPSM is trying to accomplish. Either they knew what they were doing with 
HR and wanted Arcadia-style mansions, and now since they lost that battle, they purposefully 
filed a referendum that would allow replacing the park with eight additional houses, or they are 
just incompetent and don’t know what they are doing. In either case, it is not good.


Why are these people working so hard to allow larger and more homes, decreasing public open 
space, while at the same time collecting money and signatures by telling people they will “save the 
meadow”? That is the sort of lie we expect from a greedy developer, not a supposed “protector” 
of Sierra Madre. Their true agenda may remain unknown, but it is evident that the majority of 
people are not being deceived by it.


We are intent on limiting the number of homes and holding the developer accountable to 

providing the $7 million in promised concessions, including the 3-acre park and $250,000 for 
public safety infrastructure.


VOTE YES ON M! Supported by our city’s leaders, Fire and Police Associations, and Sierra Madre 
Little League – Sierra Madre for Parks and Public Safety


It looks like for the next few weeks we’ll 
have side-by-side arguments on this 
page with opposing views on Measure 
M, whether to allow those 42 McMansions 
in Bailey Canyon, with a vote on 
May 9. But for a change, I’d like to note points we agree on – in particular, those 
expressed by former Mayor Rachelle Arizmendi in her article last week.

She decries those who “don’t seem to care about the financial burden to the 
City” by incurring the $400K cost of this special election. I and others urging a 
“No” vote agree, which is why we’re dismayed our City Council chose to do so.

I agree we’re “at a point where we only have 2 options”, one being a “Yes” to 
allow the 42 McMansions, the other a “No” on Measure M to stop that development. 
I agree that now “there’s no third option”. None of us know what may be 
brought up for consideration in the future and how it might be dealt with. But at 
this point there’s only one proposal on the table – for the 42 McMansions – and 
only two options, whether to allow that development or not.

Ms. Arizmendi notes the “property is privately owned”, an important point we 
can all agree on. But I disagree with her suggestion that it’s up to voters to 
determine “How many homes will be on the Meadows with what benefit to the 
community”. That’s up to the property own-er. It’s up to the voters, however, 
to insist that any development conforms to our general plan and restrictions in 
place to protect and preserve our community; restrictions that apply to the rest 
of us (who actually live here).

Yes, “opponents (of the McMansions) have refused to budge and will not withdraw 
from the fight.” She’s right – Sierra Madre means too much to us that we’d 
acquiesce to any developer’s demand they be granted special privileges to inflict 
this on our town.

I agree “The choice is simple” – whether or not to allow those 42 McMansions 
crammed into 17 acres in Bailey Canyon. But it goes beyond that. With the 
potential availability of scarce open space from East Grand View to the remaining 
Monastery property to portions of the Alverno site, it’s a choice whether to 
make clear we’ll stand firm to protect our town, or that the floodgates are open 
to whatever might bring the highest return for a developer. (“Game Over”)

“This is OUR Village of the Foothills.” And with our “No” vote on Measure M, 
we’ll be making clear nobody will “take that away from us.”

Rachelle – I couldn’t agree with you more.

Howard Hays

Sierra Madre

YES Just launched…


Someone famously said “Taking crazy things seriously is a serious 
waste of time”. I disagree. Sierra Madre, you need to take this 
crazy election thing seriously. 

If Measure M is defeated, the Meadows project will be stopped. 
But guess what? It will then be replaced by a “by right” development 
whereby MORE homes will be built (50 vs. 42), Sierra Madre 
will NOT get a three acre park, will NOT get $250,000 for public 
safety, will NOT get a $900,000 water offset, will NOT get improvements 
to Carter ave, and 40 acres of hillside land will NOT 
be put into a conservancy. 

If that’s not bad enough, Sierra Madre will have very little to say 
regarding the design of the fifty houses in the replacement project, 
because of state law constraints on local municipal oversight. 

John Capoccia 

Opposing Measure M is crazy, and there’s no other way to describe it.

Worse yet, opponents have forced the city council to budget $400,000 to pay for the May 9th special 
election. The council, acting in Sierra Madre’s best interest, did this to keep the alternative 
project from moving ahead, thereby preserving the above-mentioned benefits, and preventing 
the construction of the additional houses on the three acres that would otherwise be city parkland. 
(Thank you, City Council, for acting in the best interest of those that have elected you!).

Again, opposing Measure M is crazy, and is also very stupid. Opponents are fantasizing that 
state law can be ignored. The substitute project has already been submitted, it conforms to our 
general plan and state law, and the only thing that can stop it is to re-affirm the Meadows project 
by Voting YES on Measure M.

There have been at least a dozen public meetings over the past two years on the Meadows project. 
The project has been fully and carefully vetted. The process culminated with the city council’s 
approval, citizen support evidenced by the landslide defeat of Measure HR, and the election and 
re-election of council members that enthusiastically supported the Meadows project.

Sierra Madre, take the lead from your City Council, Planning Commission, and respected community 
leaders and volunteers that work tirelessly to keep Sierra Madre the charming, safe “Village 
of the Foothills” that we know and love.

The individuals opposed to Measure M have selfish and/or irrational motives, and they certainly 
don’t have Sierra Madre’s best interest in mind. 

When opponents of Measure M call you or knock on your door, just ask them what they expect 
to happen if they prevail. If they tell you anything other than fifty houses will be built instead 
of forty two, they’re either crazy, or lying, or both.

Don’t let CRAZY prevail. On May 9, Vote Yes on Measure M. 

Former Mayor John Capoccia served on Sierra Madre’s City Council from 2012 to 2020.

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