In narrow vote, Sierra Madre OKs measure to limit large developments

Times Staff Writer

Sierra Madre voters have narrowly adopted a measure to preserve the city’s small-town character by limiting building height to two stories and allowing a maximum of 13 dwellings per acre, a proposal that opponents said threatened to deter quality development and limit tax revenue.

The Measure V initiative passed by a slim margin of just 93 votes in Tuesday’s election, garnering 1,796 votes, 51% of those cast.

Pasadena voters also went to the polls this week and elected two new City Council members in runoff elections. They include newcomer Jacque Robinson and Planning Commissioner Margaret McAustin.

Robinson, a community labor organizer, defeated restaurateur Robin Salzer in District 1, taking 53% of 1,895 ballots cast. McAustin trounced Jim Lomako, who advocated slower growth for the city, in District 2 with 61% of the vote.


For the two available seats on the Pasadena Unified School District board, incumbent William A. Bibbiani was defeated by Bob Harrison, who garnered 53% of the ballots. Renatta Cooper handily defeated Mark Mastromatteo with 63.5% of the votes. The school district includes Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre.

In Sierra Madre, the hotly contested Measure V drew about half of the city’s 7,000 registered voters to the polls, more than last month’s City Council elections that drew 40% of voters.

The measure limits building height to two stories or 30 feet and permits a maximum of 13 dwellings per acre in the city’s downtown core, though certain affordable housing projects required by the state could be 18 residences per acre.

Exceptions could only be obtained through city general elections, currently held in April of even-numbered years.

Any sale, lease or development of parking lots, streets or other publicly owned land in the central district would also require voter approval.