Skip to content

Reasons to Vote Yes on Measure HR

Measure HR can Change the Monastery to Hillside Zoning 

Here’s why:

  • Stops over-development of multimillion-dollar tract houses squeezed onto small lots
  • Stops a large institution of up to 270,000 square feet from ever being built
  • Prevents destruction of more than 100 mature trees including the iconic Morton Fig tree
  • Prevents the doubling of traffic in the adjacent neighborhood compared to “the Meadows”
  • Reduces risk of fire to new and nearby homes in this very high-severity fire zone
  • Allows Monastery to continue and even expand their mission 
  • Allows for limited development of houses on 2-acre lots
  • Follows the General Plan and municipal code unlike the flawed Specific Plan created for “The Meadows” housing project by the developer
  • Substantially reduces water use compared to “the Meadows” project

Sierra Madre can do better than this!             Vote YES on Measure HR!

Don’t believe the disinformation being churned out by New Urban West. Once they get their money, they’ll go back to Santa Monica. They don’t have to live with what they leave behind.  

Unless Measure HR passes, we are left with the prospect of a slew of cookie-cutter houses —ten feet apart and 15 feet from the street that will be up to 80% larger than the current municipal code allows—all crammed together in a High-Severity Fire Zone.  Then, if the Passionists decide to sell the remaining acres, a developer can build a giant institution or another 82 houses. Without Measure HR, there’s nothing to stop them.

FYI: There’s a lot of FALSE information being paid for by New Urban West: 

If you’ve seen or heard the nonsense about Measure HR being spread by the “Meadows at Bailey Canyon” developer and their paid minions, you might think that the Measure HR goes against everything good and fair and decent in our community. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Let’s dispense with falsehoods and establish the facts about what is allowed and what is not allowed under Measure HR.  

First, under Measure HR, nobody can build 68 mansions on the Monastery parcel. Measure HR allows for a house (and other structures) up to 6500 square feet on a two-acre lot.  This means that in place of the 42 tract homes to be built under the Specific Plan, just 7 homes could be built on these 17 acres.   If the entire 35 Acres is sold, only 15 to 16 houses of a maximum size of 6,500 square feet could be built under Hillside zoning.  Under the current Institutional zoning, a developer can build a 270,000 square-foot institution such as a school or residential housing unit in addition to “The Meadows” project of 42 houses. If the city were to grant them a new specific plan in addition to the one that has already been approved for the bottom tract, a developer could build an additional 82 houses. There have been all kinds of extreme hypotheticals bandied about to spread confusion, including crazed lot-splitting and ADUs run amok but, realistically, we’re talking about the prospect of the developer’s 122 tract houses versus 15 or 16 houses under Hillside zoning.   

Second, ads and flyers paid for by the developer suggest that, under Hillside zoning, the Passionists will be prevented from continuing their mission. This is patently false. The Passionists are protected by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLIUPA) as well as Section 17.60.030 (A) of our municipal code that clearly states “Churches, temples and other places of worship” are uses that are permitted in the Hillside Management Zone.   As a result, there is no restriction on the Passionists’ mission.  Just like everybody else in town, they will need a building permit if they want to make additions or build new buildings—that’s all. The only difference under Hillside zoning is that the Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center will be designated as a non-conforming use, which means they will need a different type of permit. There is no reason on Earth that the city of Sierra Madre would not grant them that permit.

Third, the developer falsely claims that Hillside zoning circumvents Sierra Madre’s existing checks and balances. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black! If we citizens allow them to get away with it, their houses will be up to 80% larger on a given lot size than the city’s General Plan and building codes allow. The bottom line is, other property owners—the people who actually live here—like you and me, can’t build over-sized houses on little lots even if we wanted to, but New Urban West of Santa Monica can and will if we don’t stop them. 

 For quick and easy comparison, the chart below shows what can be built under current                               Institutional zoning with the Specific Plan (SP) for “the Meadows” and under Hillside zoning.

Current Institutional Zoning and SP for “the Meadows” projectMeasure HR Hillside Zoning
Houses/acre9 houses on 2 acres1 house on 2 acres
House size/lotUp to 3,955 square feet on 7,800 square-foot lotUp to 6,500 square feet on 87,120 square-foot lot
Floor area ratio (FAR): % of lot covered with house Up to 51% Up to 7.5%
Number of houses on lower 17 acres42 houses 7 houses
Maximum units with lot splits/ADUs/JADUs126 housing units (42 houses + 42 ADUs + 42 JADUs) 28 housing units (14 houses + 14 ADUs)
Entire 35 acres (not including roads)42 houses PLUS a 270,000 square foot institution  OR 124 houses (under 17 houses
Maximum units with lot splits/ADUs/JADUs 372 housing units68 housing units 

For more information, contact us at or