Here’s a copy of Steve Lamb’s letter to the Star News about the Lincoln Crossing “mis”development. 

Other comments, anyone? 

Speaking the truth

As a member of the public who has been concerned about the development called Lincoln Crossing and its impacts on the Altadena economy for several years, I would like to both publicly commend and thank Los Angeles Planning Commissioner Ester Valdez for her comments regarding the unacceptable conduct of the developer and the existing poor design and build of that development.

Commissioner Valdez was courageous in her comments regarding the county of Los Angeles’ role in the build quality of this project.

The land acquisition for this project was heavily subsidized by the county of Los Angeles for the developer. The land cost $90 a square foot to buy and was sold to the developer for $15 a square foot, according to the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission.

The subsidy was in fact so high that it amounted – according to Greg Galletly himself, who stated that the buildings cost less than $65 a square foot – to more than the cost of the buildings. In other words, the developer has the entire development for less than the fair market value of the land.

Not a bad deal.

I wonder what the local business owners could do with that kind of a deal from the county.

One would think with such a large subsidy given for what one supposes was to be a public benefit, that the developer would have low rents, a high building quality and close supervision by the county of Los Angeles. One would be incorrect to believe this.

The county of Los Angeles has allowed unpermitted sewer main lines and connections; changes in building size, height and shape without resubmitting to plan check; and a laxity of building code enforcement that, frankly, would shock and anger anyone who has ever built anything through the permit process in this county.

In spite of the generous subsidy and outrageous lack of normal enforcement granted this developer, he has the highest commercial rents in Altadena.

The county of Los Angels has the authority, power and responsibility to enforce the building code, the health and safety code and its contracts with this developer.

So far, most of the county agencies have been providing cover and cover up for the developer. Commissioners Valdez and Bellamy have courageously stepped forward and said this is unacceptable, immoral and wrong.

Altadena owes them our thanks for their honesty and courage.

Steve Lamb