Measure HR, on the ballot on November 8, 2022, is a response to the proposed housing development on the property at 700 North Sunnyside, a 38-acre property owned by the Congregation of the Passion Mater Dolorosa Community and referred to as the Monastery. The property is now zoned “Institutional.” If passed, Measure HR would change the zoning designation to “Hillside Management.”
By Lauren Pressman
Both sides of this contentious Sierra Madre November ballot initiative are adamant about their positions and want your vote. To say the least, the issue is complicated and difficult to muddle through.
The City Council unanimously approved the development of the property in its current “Institutional” designation. The Monastery opposes Measure HR. The proponents of HR are now circulating a petition for a referendum to stop the developer from breaking ground until Sierra Madre residents can vote, in a future election, on whether to allow the housing project.
The Sierra Madre Women’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce sponsored a forum last Saturday evening to inform attendees about Measure HR.
The proponents of Measure HR (a YES vote) claim that its passage will:
– Stop the possible development of an institution on 270,000 square feet;
– Stop overdevelopment in general on this property;
– Allow for the building of one home per two-acres, up to 6500 square feet;
– Reduce the density of future development in a high-severity fire zone during a drought;
– Reduce the loss of trees and wildlife;
– Reduce traffic by restricting the number of homes that can be built; and
– Allow Mater Dolorosa to expand under a non-conditional use permit.
The opponents of Measure HR (a NO vote) claim the passage of HR will:
– Cancel certain private property rights of the Monastery:
– Cancel the Monastery’s right to develop its property in accordance with current zoning and to maintain its other structures without additional limitations;
– Change City laws to make expansion of the Monastery or its ministry illegal;
– Discriminate against one religious group and prevent them from exercising their religion;
– Disrespect the decisions of the City leaders and staff, and of the Monastery and
– Prevent our elected leaders and professional City Staff from doing their jobs.
The debate that has ensued is complicated and could potentially result in costly lawsuits.
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