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Today in WTF: Arcadia Developer Goes on Hunger Strike For Looser Zoning Rules

Henry Nunez, a 51-year-old real estate developer, has a dream for the city of Arcadia. A dream of a dense, urban downtown with five-story mixed-use developments around a light-rail station. Unfortunately, it seems Arcadians do not share his dream.

So he has taken a page from movement leaders like Cesar Chavez and Mahatma Gandhi. He has gone on a hunger strike.

As the Pasadena Star-News reports, Nunez has cut his diet to water, coffee, tea and Mountain Dew as he tries to raise awareness about next week's city council election.

"I didn't know how (else) I would get my message out," Nunez told the paper. "I'm not a freak. I'm an educated man. I'm not a radical. I'm a conservative. But they weren't listening."


Nunez wants to develop multi-million dollar projects around Arcadia's planned Gold Line light-rail station, but fears that the city's general plan -- which holds development in the downtown area to three stories -- is too restrictive.

He's backing two challengers in next Tuesday's election, Paul Sheng and Sho Tay, as well as incumbent Peter Amundsen. He's opposing incumbent Robert Harbicht, who says that upzoning the area "would be a very dramatic change from what Arcadia has been in the last 100 years" and is not what Arcadians want.

Nunez, who, incidentally, weights 245 pounds, said his doctor told him to end the strike. But so far he's holding on.

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