The unanimously voted not to reinstate customer-requested address changes, regardless of a Chinese superstition surrounding the number 4 that makes some homes difficult to sell.
The superstition originated because the number four sounds like the Mandarin word for death. The council stopped allowing customer-requested address changes in 2006 as staff could not keep up with the sheer volume of applications.
Council members debated reinstating customer-requested address changes several times in the last year at the behest of a cadre of Realtors and homeowners. However, it ultimately decided Tuesday that accommodating the superstition would open the floodgates for homeowners to request address changes simply to gain a "lucky" number.
For instance, a homeowner might wish to change his or her address to 161, which adds up to eight — a number some Chinese deem auspicious because it sounds like the Mandarin word for prosperity.
"Where do you stop?" Council Member John Wuo said, adding, "I just don't think city policy should be influenced by peoples' superstitions or religion.
Former Arcadia resident Daniel Luong, who staunchly lobbied for the policy's reinstatement, told the Pasadena Star-News via email that he finally sold his home at 44 Wistaria Drive in April for nearly $300,000 less than another offer he had received that remained contingent on changing the home's address.