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Public comment at the City Council meeting last Tuesday night was very interesting and revealing. One Preserve member, speaking as a member of the pubic, said: “There are many residents who are highly disturbed by the bias that has been shown in favor of the developer who has already paid $50,000 to the Neighbors for Fairness group and donated $250,000 to the City”.

A member of the Fairness group responded and said these comments were completely false and inappropriate. He further stated that his group “would love to have that kind of money”, its “not happening that way” and “its all self”…the “money we put from ourselves”. “New Urban West (the developer of the 42 unit tract housing project called the ‘Meadows’) is not involved in our process”.

It is important to take this opportunity - since a member of the Fairness Steering Committee brought it up - to point out that every ad, mailer, flyer, and doorknocker has stated clearly, as required, “Major funding from New Urban West”.

It is startling (and hard to believe) that the Fairness Steering Committee members are unaware of the tens of thousands of dollars that fund their pictures in the paper and the incessant marketing needed to try and convince the residents of Sierra

Madre that this ill-conceived housing project is good for us. In fact, the total the developer NUW has contributed to the Fairness group after a recent donation of $70,000 now totals $120,000!! In three months!!

We have written in the past about the similarities of “The Meadows” housing project with Measure V. At that time, the building industry spent $180,000 on ads and mailers with the goal of confusing us into believe all kinds of dire problems would occur if it passed. Sound familiar? Did it work….NO!! Of course not! The residents of Sierra Madre are too smart to be misled by marketing schemes, scare tactics and false promises.

The same thing is happening again– you can see the same effort and funds being spent by another developer to try and convince/confuse us into supporting a housing project that does not meet any of the standards of Sierra Madre. Once again, dire consequences are predicted – and the truth is ignored.

The reality is that on the lower parcel, there will be 7 houses under the “Vote Yes on Measure HR”, as opposed to 42 houses if it doesn’t pass. Vote Yes on Measure HR to:  Stop high-density housing in a high-severity fire zone  Require minimum lot sizes of two acres

 Reduce the number of houses; reducing potential water use and fire

 Stop the possibility of development of a 270,000 square-foot institution on the upper 18 acres of the property  Keep the peace, quiet and small-town charm that drew us to Sierra Madre in the first place

What makes stopping this overdevelopment even more critical at this time is that the 91 acre Stonehouse property is again up for sale. The same property that went into the Hillside Management Zone after the developer tried to build Meadows type houses. There is no doubt that the purchaser will use the Meadows project as a precedent if Measure HR does not pass.

An awful lot of money is being spent by an out-of-town developer to convince us that a 42-unit tract housing development that destroys a beautiful part of our community is in our best interests.

Don’t be fooled or bought off – follow the money - $120,000 and $250,000- - and the money train will continue. It is easy to predict that New Urban West will continue its campaign of misinformation and confusion to further its goal of building a housing project that does not belong here.

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