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Preservation Takes Years of Effort

Do you remember when you first discovered Sierra Madre? And what made you want to move here and raise a family? Everyone has a story of how they wanted to live in this unique “Village of The Foothills” in the middle of the surrounding metropolis. Whatever you liked about Sierra Madre, you may not have recognized that community members have come together over the years to preserve our special way of life. In 1978, Margaret Buckner started the ‘Homeowner & Residents Association’ in response to community concerns over developers failing to follow established building codes. In 1987, the community came together again when variances were being granted that circumvented building codes. In 2001, Margie Simpson, as Coordinator for the “Residents For The Preservation of Sierra Madre“ published an eight page mailer giving voice to more than 30 families who spoke out against plans to build a high school complex in the hills above Baldwin Avenue. In 2014, the “Stop the Monastery Housing Project" was formed to respond to the Monastery’s plans to sell part of their land to a residential developer. The group called 'Preserve Sierra Madre' was formed from the 'Stop the Monastery Housing Project' coalition when the water moratorium was imposed and it became important to monitor other projects in the city as well. When the water moratorium was lifted in February, 2020, the planning for the Monastery development began again in earnest. Many hours have been spent attending meetings and following the progress of the plans with the developer - New Urban West, the Monastery and the City of Sierra Madre.

In August, 2020, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mater Dolorosa Community for the building of ‘up to 42 single-family detached residential units...’ The Project will require the City Council to adopt a Specific Plan, amend the General Plan and Land Use Map, and amend the Zoning Code and Zoning Map.

Dealing with the pandemic this last year has made it very difficult for the community to understand what is going on with the MOU. ‘Preserve Sierra Madre’ has a web page and newsletter to provide residents with useful information on the development. For further assistance, the City Manager, Gabe Engeland, has agreed to answer questions from the community that will be published on line or in the Mountain Views News.

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