This is an update of what has been happening in Arcadia.
The ballot initiative that Saving Arcadia proposed did not get enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
Despite collecting over 3,500 signatures, some of the signatures were invalidated by the County Recorders Office and others were disqualified by the Arcadia City Clerk. Most of the signatures that were disqualified did not match the “Signature Card” on file with the County Recorders Office.
We considered legal action against the city to recover some of the signatures that were disqualified. After a thorough analysis, it became clear that our odds of success in court would be very slim.
But all of our hard work collecting signatures was not in vain.
Your signatures were instrumental in getting the city to adopt new building codes for the HOA's that are more restrictive than the previous codes. For the first time, the use of the FAR (floor area ratio) was defined and put in the code, as other adjacent cities have been doing to control home sizes.
Also, due to the heightened awareness of the mansionization problem in the city, residents came out in large numbers to elect April Verlato and Peter Amundson to the City Council. April and Peter support our goals of keeping Arcadia a "Community of Homes"--not a city of mansions.
In other news, on July 19th the City Council denied an appeal by the residents of S. 5th Avenue regarding plans for a 3,588 sq. ft. two-story home located at 1101 S. 5th Avenue. Despite the signatures of over 23 residents and direct opposition from neighbors on both sides, behind and across the street from the project, the City Council voted 3 to 2 to approve the project.
Most surprising (and disappointing) was the vote by our Mayor, Tom Beck. Despite his repeated assurances that he is in favor of curbing oversized construction, he voted in favor of approving the project. In response, the neighbors filed a lawsuit against the City of Arcadia on August 23rd in Los Angeles Superior Court.
You can call Tom Beck and ask him why he voted this way at (626) 355-3300.
In better news, on July 26 the Planning Commission denied the appeals of two builders to construct oversized homes in South Arcadia. One project is located at 920 S. 5th Avenue. The second project is located at 1510 S. 4th Avenue. We are pleased that the Planning Staff adhered to the Design Review Guidelines and denied the appeals. We can expect at least one appeal from Phillip Chan in regard to 920 S. 5th Avenue. That appeal will be reviewed by City Council in a few weeks.
On August 9th the Planning Commission heard an appeal from a builder regarding 1817 Mayflower Avenue. The planning staff recommended denial of the appeal and the Planning Commission agreed.
At that same meeting the Planning Commission approved construction at 2119 Holly Avenue. It will be a 4,691 sq. ft. prairie-style, two-story residence with an attached 333 sq. ft. one-car garage, a 427 square-foot detached two-car garage and a 692 square-foot basement. The development requires a proposed zoning modification for a 25’-½” front setback in lieu of the required 41’ setback. The FAR on this property will be 49.3% and that doesn’t include the basement. Council member, April Verlato, questioned the decision. It will be reviewed by City Council.
Lastly, the residents near 405 Hillcrest Boulevard agreed to file an appeal with the Planning Commission regarding proposed construction on their street. The proposed development would be the largest house on the block--on the smallest lot. That hearing will be in September.
You can stay up-to-date with what builders are proposing in Arcadia by visiting the city's website and looking at the notifications page. I've included the link below:
Your signatures to support the ballot initiative have shown the city council that the residents of this city need to be listened to. Saving Arcadia will continue to keep you informed and ask for your help.
President, Saving Arcadia