Of course the zoning code update in Arcadia has had no effect. The egregious FAR is based on current practices. So mansionization was grandfathered in for most areas of the city. In fact, the non-HOA areas (over half of the city) now have the same FAR as the most expansive lots in the Rancho, thanks to Mr. Chandler and Mr. Tay who sold their souls to the developers (i.e., speculators), along with John Wuo, Bob Harbicht, and so many of Arcadia’s former mayors.
So the density of building on lots of all sizes will continue to increase, compared to the city’s General Plan and the original neighborhood developments. Mansionization will continue to crowd out open spaces, trees, play areas, views, and many of the things that used to give Arcadians a better quality of life. This is the heart of the problem with mansionization. It’s not about big homes. It’s about homes that are too big for the lots, too close to the neighbors, too tall, and too much for the neighborhood.
Only the Highlands and Village HOA areas were spared. The city owes a thank you to the courageous leadership of David Arvizu, Laurie Thompson, April Verlato, and many, many others.
The fact that modification requests are being questioned now with a little more frequency only means the planning commission and city staff are finally doing their jobs. Why is that? Because they know that City Council Member April Verlato will support them when a developer whines and complains.
No one deserves special thanks for doing their job. Not the planning commission, not the city council. It’s the lack of responsibility in Arcadia, over the past two decades, that makes it appear as though real change has finally come. It hasn’t.
The bulldozers and green fences are alive and well, and continuing their decimation of a once proud community of homes.
– Chang Hsia