We want to thank everyone for your emails, sign requests, words of encouragement and support for our efforts. Right now those efforts have been directed towards coming up with a win-win solution in which Mater Dolorosa can get what they need and the open space is preserved forever.
For good reason, Mater Dolorosa is listed as a landmark in the Sierra Madre General Plan. It is the largest undeveloped open space in Sierra Madre. If a significant portion of that landmark were to be sold off and turned into perhaps another One Carter debacle, then it will be just a matter of time before Sierra Madre transforms into Arcadia with our quaint architecture and charm replaced by modern McMansions. That is not the vision or the future we have in mind for Sierra Madre and we don't believe you want to see that happen either. The open space that became the One Carter/Stonegate development appears to be lost such that a new line in the sand will need to be drawn at Mater Dolorosa.
In addition to all the other problems associated with another housing project, Sierra Madre has an acute water shortage. On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown declared a drought emergency. Why in the world would we want to put further stress on our existing wells which would virtually guarantee that the "temporary" connection to the Metropolitan Water District becomes a permanent connection resulting in inferior water at a substantially higher cost to all the residents of Sierra Madre.
Last week, three members of the Steering Committee for the Coalition to Preserve Mater Dolorosa and Stop the Housing Project had a lengthy meeting with a representative from the Passionist Fathers in Chicago who own the property and representatives from Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center. We requested that meeting because we wanted the opportunity to present to Mater Dolorosa alternatives to this unwanted housing project. We appreciated that we were granted that request and obtained a fair hearing to make our case. While we hope that a viable solution can be found, we are not there yet. There will be another meeting in a few weeks. We are hoping for the best.
Because we essentially represent you, our valued supporters in this effort, we wanted to communicate the latest news to you and welcome your ideas to save this property as open space and at the same time satisfy a financial need on the part of the Passionist Fathers. As we continue to negotiate for a win-win solution, it is vital that we continue exploring all potential avenues to preserve this open space.
Feel free to contact us and give us your input.
Coalition to Preserve Mater Dolorosa and Stop the Housing Project