Mountain Views News, Combined edition

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Inside this Week:

SM Community Calendar:

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
SM Calendar of Events

Pasadena – Altadena:

Altadena · So. Pasadena · San Marino:
San Marino Events & Programming

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:

Around The San Gabriel Valley:
All Things
Letter to the Editor

Education & Youth:
Newspaper Fun!

Best Friends and More:
Christopher Nyerges
Katnip News!
Pet of the Week
Pasadena Humane Society

The Good Life:
Out to Pastor
Senior Happenings

Now That's Rich
Stuart Tolchin On …
Dinah Chong Watkins
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Support Your Local Businesses:

Support Your Local Businesses:

Support Your Local Businesses:

Section B:
History of the Vine

Visit the Historic Vine:

Festival Map & Schedule:
Guide Map
Entertainment Schedule

Fun & Games:

Food, Drink & More:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
In the Kitchen
The Tasting Room
SM Playhouse Presents

Sports & More:
Fitness for Life
The Funnies

Support Your Local Businesses:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day:

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Rich Johnson
Gustavo Lira
Christopher Nyerges
Michele Silence
Rev. James L. Snyder
Stuart Tolchin

Recent Issues:
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1
Volume 17:
Issue 52

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

Webb Martin Group | DPP Real Estate Sierra Madre Real Estate - Sierra Madre, CA Homes for Sale | CENTURY 21 Village Realty (c21village.com) Eileen Benson, Real Estate Agent - Pasadena, CA - Coldwell Banker Realty (coldwellbankerhomes.com)

MVNews this week:  Page 1



webbmartingroup.comJan Greteman 
626.975.4033 | lic #01943630Judy Webb-Martin 
626.688.2273 | lic #00541631Katie Orth 
626.688.0418 | lic #00942500WISTARIA 
FESTIVAL2024Come Spend a Day in the Charming 
Village of Sierra Madre, California 
Sunday, March 17, 10AM–6PMCompass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing 
Opportunity laws. Lic. #01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational 
purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes 
in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as 
to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate. If your 
property is currently listed for sale this is not a solicitation.
Embrace Sierra Madre’s 
Charm with Local ExpertsAs residents deeply rooted in this community, our 
commitment goes beyond just transactions; it’s 
about fostering relationships and nurturing the 
vibrant spirit of Sierra Madre. At the forefront 
of this legacy stands Judy Webb-Martin, the 
visionary leader who became the first woman to 
run a real estate office in Sierra Madre. Join us in 
celebrating our past, present, and the promising 
future ahead as we continue to serve Sierra Madre 
with dedication.
95 Combined Years in 
the Real Estate Business
VOLUME 18 NO. 11VOLUME 18 NO. 11


By Kevin McGuire

Sierra Madre residents have raised concerns over how some one-family 
(R-1) property owners are taking advantage of Home Occupation Permits 
(HOP) and Temporary Use Permits (TUP) to engage in activities that may 
not be authorized, with no code enforcement to punish offenders. 

For example, the TUP exemption, allowing small events of less than 25 
people, is being used more frequently to justify small commercial activity, 
which negatively impacts surrounding neighbors.

One property that some residents have expressed concerns about is the 
Lavender Cottage, owned by Justin and Kim Brandstater. The historic 
property, located at 89 Olive Ave., is open for tours and wedding events 
and has a rental property. Residents have complained about parking and 
noise issues. Alverno School has also been a big topic of discussion in the 
city for its significant events and film projects. 

Joshua Wolf, Sierra Madre's Senior Planner, presented before the City 
Council on Tuesday, March 12. He outlined the issues, hoping to hear from 
the community and uphold community values through code enforcement 
and direction on regulating HOP and TUP by adopting a new ordinance. 

Home Occupations

In 1998, Chapter 17.85 of the Sierra Madre Municipal Code was adopted 
to allow home occupations in residentially zoned neighborhoods. The 
Chapter defines home occupations as “ongoing or repetitive businesses 
or professional uses, activity or utilization of residentially zoned and 
improved property, by the inhabitants of said property, which is incidental 
and accessory to the primary residential use and does not generate an 
adverse impact to the surrounding neighborhood.”

But, in order to get a HOP, you must comply with the following:

• The use shall not generate any pedestrian or vehicular traffic above 
what is usual or reasonable for the district where the home occupation is

• In no way shall the appearance of any structure or the conduct of
the business be such that any portion of the premises may be reasonably
recognized as serving a nonresidential use, either by color, form, materials 
of construction, lighting, sounds, noises, odors, vibrations or other means 

• No portion of any garage shall be used for the home occupation,
except for work and storage areas, which will not conflict with the
minimum residential parking requirements under Chapter 17.68 of the
Sierra Madre Municipal Code.

• There shall be no visible signage or other forms of exterior
identification that identify the home occupation.

• There shall be no generation of objectionable odors, heat, humidity, 
glare, noise, refuse, radiation, interference with the transmission of
communications, or other objectionable emissions, effects, hazards,
storage of hazardous materials, or any activity that creates a potential
danger or is detrimental to the surrounding neighborhood.

A home occupation is permitted by-right if all of the following apply:

• The home occupation conforms to all conditions at all 

• All aspects of the home occupation shall be conducted 
entirely within an enclosed structure

• Not more than 50 percent of the total floor area of
all structures on the property, excluding the garage, shall be
occupied for the home occupation.

• There shall be no on-site employment of help other
than members of the resident family.

The City may exercise discretion on an application for a 
home occupation permit if the applicant requests any of the 
following and can demonstrate no detriment to the residential 
character of the neighborhood: 

• Activity outside of an enclosed structure

• Occupancy of more than 50 percent of the area of the

• Employing up to one person not residing at the residence, further
providing sufficient on-site parking is available for the employee.

The staff report for this item on the city’s website (cityofsierramadre.com) 
lists all the rules that must be followed to receive a HOP.

Wolf pointed out that Sierra Madre was liberal regarding floor area 
limitations compared to eight surrounding cities and that the city doesn’t 
explicitly prohibit certain business types. He also feels that “vehicular 
traffic above that which is normal or reasonable” can be defined better. 
Accomplishing this may require more objective standards to measure 

Sierra Madre also does not have regulation standards for visitors, such 
as the number, types of vehicles, or visitation hours. Wolf recommends 
tightening up regulations in these areas and making a list of home 
occupations permitted and prohibited. 

Temporary Use Permits

TUPs allow the city to authorize use on private property otherwise 
inconsistent with the permanently entitled authorized uses applicable to 
the property. Examples of events that required a TUP include: 

• St. Rita School Harvest Festival

• The British Home June Faire

• RT Rogers Anniversary Celebration

• Hardy Californians Native Plant Nursery Pop-up

• Wedding ceremonies and receptions in residential zones.

In 2022, Ordinance No. 1458 made numerous amendments to temporary 
use permit regulation. The amendments summarized below are found to 
be performing against intention: 

• Exemption from requiring approval of a temporary use permit for 
“small events” gatherings of less than 25 people

• Exemption expanded to “house parties,” private, noncommercial
events gatherings of up to 75 people

• Regulation based on the number of guests in attendance

• It is a requirement that neighbors within a 300-foot radius of the
event site be notified of an application's approval and informed of their
right to appeal.

Wolf noted that residents report the “small events” exemption as being 
used for unauthorized activity and that keeping these gatherings under 
25 persons is problematic for city staff to enforce. Wolf has also noted that 
residents and businesses have expressed “shock” at the steep fee hike to 
acquire a TUP. Permit seekers have seen a 200 percent jump in fees. There 
is also a charge for informing neighbors of upcoming events, which can 
add hundreds of dollars in fees. 

According to Wolf’s presentation, a comparative study of TUP regulation 
with eight other nearby cities concludes that while foundational similarities 
exist, all are administrated uniquely. One aspect distinguishing Sierra 
Madre is its requirement to make specific findings for approval of a TUP, 
contrasting to other cities that do not require conclusions. (Cont. Pg. 3

Eileen Benson626.278.0187CalRE# 01880650Barbara Rogers626.484.8135CalRE# 01169115Not intended as a solicitation if your property is already listed by another broker. Affi liated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2023 Coldwell Banker. All 
Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offi ces which are 
owned by a subsidiary of Anywhere Advisors LLC and franchised offi ces which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing 
Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.
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Sierra Madre News

Pages 1,2,3


Page 4

So. Pas./San Marino

Page 5

Duarte News

Page 6

Around San Gabriel 

Page 7

Education & Youth

Page 8

Best Friends Page 9

Good Life.... Page 10

Opinion Page 11

Legal Notices




 Section B




Phyllis Chapman

Page B1



Page B4



Page B5

Mario RodriguezClaudia TorresMatt DrushalWelcome to the newest members of our Team! 
We are always looking for awesome agents to join our Family! Call Today!!
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