The General Plan update unanimously approved!
This is the blueprint for our community. As Mayor John Capoccia once said, "The City will become what the General Plan says it will become." The General Plan generally "trumps" the Municipal Code
There are many improvements in that document both in the land use section as well as in other vital areas that provide further protections so that the Sierra Madre will all know and love stays Sierra Madre for decades to come. This is a huge accomplishment and we at Preserve Sierra Madre extend our gratitude and sincere thanks to all the many people who played such a vital role in this accomplishment.
Now that the dust has settled, we can look back on some of the accomplishments in preservation that have occurred over these last couple of years:
1. The passage of the building and water meter moratoriums.
2. The passing of the demolition moratorium and demolition ordinance that makes it more difficult to tear down historically significant homes built before 1940.
3. Saving 126 E. Mira Monte from demolition - the 1926 Craftsman home also known as the Henry A. Darling House.
4. The denial by the City Council of the first home proposed for One Carter/Stonegate
5. Turning away New Urban West, the developer chosen by Mater Dolorosa for possibly one of the biggest housing projects over on the Monastery Grounds
6. The City Council's approval of almost all of the Planning Commission's recommendations to improve the R-1 Zoning standards including lowering the floor area limits (how big a home you can build on a given size lot), lowering the thresholds for when a CUP (conditional use permit) is triggered and making a CUP mandatory for all 2nd story new homes and additions insuring that the Planning Commission and the immediate neighbors can give their input on a development project.
7. The improvements made to the General Plan and now its final passage.
All in all, a job well done. But it could not have been accomplished without our loyal supporters, the city staff, Planning Commission and City Council all working together towards a common goal - preserving one of the last mountain villages at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. While we have several challenges ahead, we go forward with confidence that working together, anything is possible.
The Sierra Madre Municipal Code Code 17.20.010 C states that "In order to maintain the historical, architectural and ecological integrity and quality of the existing single-family residential areas within the city, the following purpose is set forth:
A. To encourage development that preserves the small town, mountainous flavor of this closely-knit foothill community;
B.To encourage preservation of historical structures;
C.To encourage architectural diversity while maintaining architectural accord with the character of the existing neighborhood;
D.To promote design in accordance with recognized principles of architecture. Individual designs should reflect only one style of architecture, avoiding the mixture or combined use of several different ones. Classically defined styles would include Craftsman, Victorian, Tudor, Classic Box, Mediterranean, Board and Batten, California Ranch House, etc.
E.To promote consideration of one another's valley and mountain views:
1.Designs should consider, to the extent reasonably practicable, the neighbors' existing view,
2.Plan should consider the existing and finished grades of the site to be improved in relation to adjacent properties encouraging retention of building heights, mass, scale, orientation, configuration and colors that blend in with the character of the neighborhood;
F.To ensure adequate light, air, privacy, and open space for each dwelling and in relation to adjacent dwellings;
G.To encourage appropriate scale and size of new construction and reconstruction that is compatible with the existing neighborhood and surroundings."