Cities Reports

Dec. ’19-Jan. ’20 Cities Report

Compiled by Bill Ruh, CVAR Government Affairs Director 


AZUSA

Avison Young announced the $7.5 million sale of Rockvale Apartments, a 34-unit, multifamily property located at 333 N. Rockvale Ave., Azusa.

Avison Young’s Irvine office represented the seller, a private company with offices in Covina, as well as the buyer, a private investor group based in Arcadia. The cap rate was 4.3% and the price per unit was $220,588.

Built in 1960 and situated on .8 acres of land, the property is a two-story garden-style design, consisting of 19 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit. Amenities include a large pool area and on-site laundry facilities.

This sale marks the third apartment property this Avison Young team has sold over the past year in the city of Azusa. In November 2019, the team completed the $16.76 million portfolio sale of The Riviera and Rainbow Gardens in Azusa. The two nearby apartment properties total 72 units and were also constructed in the early 1960s.

Over the past five years, Azusa has been the fastest-growing city in the San Gabriel Valley, with 6.6% population growth during that period. The area has also seen a significant amount of capital infusion with new planned developments in various stages of construction in all property sectors.

CHINO

The Chino City Council on Dec. 17 approved paying Gruen Associates of Los Angeles more than $240,000 to develop a master plan to improve the aging city hall complex.

The civic center was completed and went into use in the 1970s, according to Deputy City Manager Vivian Castro in a report to the council. The site comprises approximately 15.29 acres in downtown Chino, on the west side of Central Avenue, between Chino Avenue and C Street. Approximately eight acres include the city hall and vacant police and courthouse facilities. A vacant fire station and former Human Services building, owned by the city, are directly across Central Avenue.

The civic center property also includes the Chino Branch Library, the Chino Senior Center, the Seventh Street Theatre, the Chaffey College Chino Center, parking lots and open space. In addition, the city owns the Chaffey IT Center on the southwest corner of Central Avenue and C Street, as well as the Gray Building (Chamber of Commerce building) and the Chino Youth Museum building.

Three bids, ranging from $244,461 (from Gruen) to $667,560 were received. The council agreed to pay an additional $18,232 to Gruen for community input and stakeholder meetings, social media content and development of a project website, for a total contract of $262,393. Work on the plan is expected to begin in January and be completed by late July or early August, according to the contract documents.

CHINO HILLS

The city of Chino Hills was named with three other entities in a class-action lawsuit filed Dec. 17 in San Bernardino Superior Court by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for not submitting a water conservation report required by the state for three consecutive years.

The other entities were San Bernardino County, Rancho Cucamonga and Redlands.

The NRDC is a non-profit environmental organization established in 1970 with offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco, other states, and abroad.

The state’s Department of Water Resources began requiring cities and counties to report annually on their landscape permitting programs in 2015 to ensure that new irrigated landscapes are water efficient.

The four entities are singled out as “named respondents” and approximately 300 cities and counties are in the “proposed respondent” class.

Chino Hills and the other three entities had robust new growth and are representative of all jurisdictions that failed to file one or more of the annual reports between 2015 and 2018, according to Ed Osann, director of national water use efficiency for the NRDC.

The city of Chino Hills issued permits for approximately 1,500 units between 2015 and 2017 without submitting the required reports. According to Chino Hills building reports, new dwelling unit permits were issued as follows: 110 permits in 2015, 448 in 2016, and 1,030 in 2017.

The residential growth included Bristol Chino Hills, Vila Borba, Santa Barbara and Jade Tree in southern Chino Hills, the Founders development on Grand Avenue and Founders Drive, and The Crossings at Chino Hills on the northeast side of Fairfield Ranch Road and Monte Vista Avenue.

IRWINDALE

Molson Coors Beverage Company announced plans to cease production at its facility in Irwindale by September 2020.

The second largest U.S. beer manufacturer also announced an agreement with Pabst Brewing Co., giving the Los Angeles-headquartered beer company the option to purchase the Irwindale facility for $150 million.

The 40-year-old Irwindale facility employs about 470 workers and produced 4.8 million barrels of product last year—including Miller Lite, Coors Light, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft, Steel Reserve, and Miller 64, among others—which was shipped to 261 independently owned wholesalers.

Molson Coors will begin moving production from Irwindale to its facilities in Golden, Colorado, and Fort Worth, Texas, over the next nine months.

As for Molson Coors’ arrangement with Pabst, the maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon will have 120 days after receiving notice from Molson Coors of Irwindale’s closure to exercise its option to buy the brewery, according to a U.S. SEC filing. The document notes that as part of the agreement between Molson Coors and Pabst, both companies have “executed mutual release of claims related to their ongoing litigation and dismissed the litigation with prejudice,” referencing Pabst’s lawsuit against the former MillerCoors over a nearly two-decades-old contract brewing arrangement. Both parties announced a settlement in that case in November 2018.

This past November, Pabst reached a long-term agreement to brew the majority of its production volume at City Brewing Company by December 2024 and maintain contract production at City facilities until 2040.

For Molson Coors, the announcement of Irwindale’s impending closure follows last October’s announcement of new CEO Gavin Hattersley’s sweeping restructuring and revitalization plan aimed at reinvesting $150 million annually in its core products, above-premium offerings, new beyond beer innovations and digital capabilities.

As part of that initiative, Molson Coors consolidated its corporate center and four business units into two business units–North America and Europe. Molson Coors’ Chicago office became its North American headquarters and the company closed its Denver office. The company also moved its functional support roles to its offices in Milwaukee, WI.

At the time, Molson Coors said it would cut as many as 500 jobs as part of the effort. The layoffs came a little more than a year after MillerCoors announced it would eliminate 350 salaried positions by the end of October 2018.

Although the Irwindale closure marks another major streamlining effort by Molson Coors, the planned Irwindale closure is unrelated to the larger effort, the company said.

POMONA

Construction has begun on Agoura Hills-based AMCAL’s Veterans Park Apartments at 444 W. Commercial St. in Pomona.

Veterans Park Apartments is an affordable apartment community featuring 61 multifamily units ranging from 600 to 1,000 square feet, and will serve veteran families and their needs. The 1.27-acre site is located two blocks from the Pomona Transit Center, a major hub with the regional transit authority. It is also within walking distance from Pomona’s Arts District and lively downtown area.

Non-profit Hope Through Housing Foundation will provide assistance coordinating services available to Veterans.

The community will include 25 one-bedroom/one bath units, 15 two-bedroom/two-bath units, and 20 three-bedroom/two bath units. One unit will be reserved as an unrestricted manager’s apartment.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA

Renovations to 9494 Haven in Rancho Cucamonga are finishing up and will deliver 61,000 square feet of modern office space in a two-story building. Originally built in 2004, the renovations have more than doubled available office space with the addition of second floor.

Ownership is also modernizing 9494 Haven’s building exterior, creating a new identity and curb appeal for the space. All renovations are scheduled for completion in February 2020.

The property represents the largest contiguous block of space now available in the Rancho Cucamonga/Ontario submarket.

SAN DIMAS

A Vroman’s Bookstore, a high-quality organic grocery store, and a 50-room boutique hotel could be built on vacant property near downtown San Dimas.

The project known as Pioneer Square replaces the once-proposed four-story hotel on the south side of Bonita Avenue between Acacia Street and Cataract Avenue, adjacent to Pioneer Park.

The town square would have subterranean parking, which allows for more open spaces throughout the project. The layout draws on European influences with paseos and courtyards throughout, as well as pop jet fountains in one area.

At its Dec. 10 meeting, the City Council in closed session “selected Pioneer Square LLC as a developer for the purposes of negotiating a purchase and sale, subject to validation of project viability and financing,” City Manager Ken Duran said.

The selection of Pioneer Square is a departure from the original plans for the site.

About three years ago, the council decided to designate a hotel development as the preferred use of the site, after a city-commissioned report found it was a viable option.

In November 2017, the council entered into an exclusive negotiation agreement with Fine Hospitality Group to build a 110-room Fairfield Inn by Marriott and 11,000 square feet of retail space on the vacant lot. But in December 2018, residents asked city leaders to revisit the types of development that could go there.

The city hired consultant Kosmont Companies of Manhattan Beach in February 2019 to determine if other types of businesses would be viable there.

Creative Housing Associates, which specializes in transit-integrated neighborhoods, was drawn to the property because it is a five-minute walk from the future San Dimas Foothill Gold Line stop, he said.

This proposal lends itself to those with a car-optional lifestyle, he said. Which is why there will also be a small high-end grocery store on-site. Meanwhile, the retail portion will be anchored by Vroman’s, which will be located at the center of the project.

Plans for the west corner of the site include a 50-room boutique hotel complete with a rooftop bar and restaurant. The  hotel will be a contemporary version of the historic Walker House. Next to the boutique hotel, 50 apartment units are planned. The hotel and apartments would wrap around the western and southern part of the site. A historic Oak tree will be preserved and become a dominant feature of a courtyard for the hotel.

The development may include a variety of other commercial uses, such as a Pilates or yoga studio.

UPLAND

Upland residents and members of the City Council have clashed with the developer of a proposed e-commerce logistics warehouse/distribution center over the adequacy of the project’s environmental review.

About 25 residents testified Jan. 9, against the project brought by Bridge Development Partners, telling city leaders the review—known as a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND)— underestimates the amount of noise, air pollution, health effects and traffic they would experience. Three others spoke in favor of the project.

The review concluded that the 201,096-square-foot warehouse to be built on 50 acres on the north side of Foothill Boulevard near the terminus of Central Avenue “would not cause new substantial direct or indirect adverse effects on human beings.”

An EIR could take a year and set the project construction time frame back. The developer wants to start building in the summer. A rumored tenant is Amazon, the mega e-commerce company, but no tenant has yet been signed, Kotler said.

Originally, Bridge proposed three warehouse buildings of 275,000, 330,000 and 370,000 square feet, eliciting a hue and cry from many residents concerned about traffic, noise and pollution.

Bridge came back with a smaller project — a single warehouse building — that has been further scaled back for about an 80% reduction in size. The warehouse would operate 24/7 but trucks would be capped at 25 per day—five in the daytime and 20 at night, for a total of 50 truck trips per day.

The warehouse would have 16 dock-high doors for trucks and 16 van-loading doors; 224 parking spaces; 12 stalls for truck trailer parking; 1,104 van parking stalls and 1,000 new trees planted around the perimeter and between the parking spaces.

Of the 20 effects measured, 13 were determined to have no significant impact on the residents of northwest Upland and nearby Claremont, while seven will be fixed using 28 “mitigation measures.” These areas include noise, air pollution and traffic, of primary concern to residents.

The fix-it measures include setting back the building 700 feet from Foothill Boulevard and surrounding the perimeter with mature trees to block noise, adding electric vehicle charging stations for 6% of the parking spaces, and limiting truck idling to five minutes, according to consultant Kimley-Horn, hired by Bridge to do the MND study.

Adding substantial delays in the process could bring the larger project back onto the table, increasing the environmental impact, he said.

Though Bridge stuck to its report about the adequacy of its environmental review, others at the joint City Council, Planning Commission and Airport Land Use Committee workshop criticized the document.

As far as cars and trucks running on gasoline and diesel fuel, the study concludes no air quality impact. But Nilsson said Bridge’s consultant based that conclusion on every van from a fulfillment center traveling 6.9 miles maximum, which he said was way too low.

WEST COVINA

Months after upholding the city’s regulations on accessory dwelling units—commonly known as granny flats—West Covina is gearing up to discuss them again, this time to change them in accordance with several new state laws.

In February 2019, the City Council voted to maintain several city standards on granny flats, which are considered a quick, short-term fix to Southern California’s affordable housing crisis.

Current city regulations allow owners of properties 12,000 square feet and larger to build granny flats as large as 1,000 square feet when detached from the main house and no closer than 25 feet to the rear property line.

However, a suite of new state laws signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom—Senate Bill 13 and Assembly bills 68, 670 and 881—prohibits minimum lot size requirements like West Covina’s and reduces the minimum distance to property lines to 4 feet or what is “sufficient for fire safety.”

With the new laws in effect as of Jan. 1, the Planning Commission was pressed to initiate a code amendment to get city regulations in compliance, Community Development Director Jeff Anderson said. The commission voted 3-2 to start the process, with a majority of commissioners expressing disdain for the new state laws.

The 12,000-square-foot minimum lot size was intended to ensure neighborhoods could sustain increased density, and the 25-foot minimum setback was meant to ensure neighbors’ privacy, the commission decided last fall.

The commission also criticized a change allowed by the new laws that says the owner is no longer required to live on the property in either the main home or the granny flat. Commissioners believed that this change creates a speculative or “spec” market in which investors will buy up homes, build granny flats and offer little oversight over the people who rent them.

August 2019 Cities Report

Compiled by Bill Ruh, CVAR Director of Government Affairs

CVAR REGION

Bill-Ruh-at-groundbreaking-Gold-LineTwelve-million people rode Metrolink in 2018, making this the highest annual ridership ever, the commuter rail agency announced in August. With the expansion of the Gold Line, those numbers are likely to grow.
A contract was decided for the design-build part of the Gold Line expansion to Pomona, slated to cost $1.5 billion. Additionally, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments Governing Board voted favorably on use of $126 million discretionary transportation funds to complete the much-anticipated project.
According to the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority, the 12.3-mile extension will extend beyond Pomona and not stop at La Verne, as was the original plan. According to a report from the SGV Tribune, the Metrolink will reach Pomona by 2025, making the Gold Line the longest in the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority system.
The extension was announced just before Metrolink declared that they have reached their highest annual ridership, ever. The new record is an increase of 247,000 boardings from the prior year, and eclipses the previous record of 11,796,086 set in the 2008-09 fiscal year.
Compared to July 2018, there were 3.7 percent more riders in July 2019. Additionally, mobile ticket sales reached their highest month ever in July 2019, at more than $3 million, Metrolink reported.
Metrolink cited a robust local economy and more workers commuting through Los Angeles Union Station as reasons for the uptick in its travelers.

AZUSA

A proposed dry-mix concrete manufacturing business, whose operations would start at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday, in Azusa drew the ire of nearby residents at a Planning Commission study session.
For several years, Consolidated Ready Mix, at 162 N. Aspan Ave., has been the focus of contention for people living in the surrounding neighborhood of single-family and multifamily homes not even a block away. The business began operating illegally without the proper permit in 2017 and was issued a cease-and-desist letter by the city in December of that year.
Later that month, applicant Rondell Fletcher began the process to seek the proper permitting and to expand the operation, but the business continued operating nonetheless. The city issued a second cease-and-desist letter to the business in May 2018. Fletcher said the business stopped operating about a year ago, and in that time, the environmental study for the proposed on-site improvements was completed and has been made available for public comment through Sept. 6.
The city estimates that the Planning Commission will consider approving Consolidated Ready Mix’s expansion proposal—as well as its request to operate 5:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday—in October.
The 50 people in at the study session voiced concerns over the business’ bad actions, its possible pollutants and the noise it would generate, especially as early as 5:30 a.m. six days a week.
Consolidated Ready Mix’s environmental study states that an 8-foot masonry wall would be constructed to reduce noise.
The Azusa Unified School District is opposing the development because of potential health hazards to students and families nearby, and because it’s close to the now-closed Mountain View Elementary School, which could be used for other educational purposes in the future. .
Planning Commission members asked a handful of questions of city planning staff and of Fletcher, but took no position on the proposed business expansion. Fletcher did not respond to the residents’ comments, but asked that they base their criticisms on fact instead of emotion.

CHINO

Chino Police Department Capt. Wes Simmons was named the city’s 18th Chief of Police, taking over for Chief Karen Comstock, who retired in July. Capt. Simmons, 48, has worked for the Chino Police Department for 23 years as a police officer, corporal, detective, sergeant and lieutenant, and earned the title of captain in 2014.
He was sworn in during a private ceremony on July 25, and in a public swearing-in ceremony on Aug. 1 at the Chino Police Department headquarters.
Simmons is a 2014 graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cal State Fullerton. He also has a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.
Simmons has overseen the department’s budget, worked in its professional services, the criminal investigations unit, crisis response unit and is a founding member of the Chino Police SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team.

CHINO HILLS

Dog Haus celebrated the grand opening of its first Chino Hills restaurant on Aug. 10. Located at 3330 Grand Ave. (across the street from the Shoppes at Chino Hills), this was franchisee Marcus Chan’s first Dog Haus location.
The 1,300-square-foot restaurant, designed to elevate the hot dog and burger-eating experience, by serving up its acclaimed menu offerings within the contemporary aesthetic of a modern industrial space. Dog Haus Chino Hills will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

CLAREMONT

Claremont residents are voicing concerns about the Village South plan, a 24-acre area that is still being worked out. Elements the environmental impact report (EIR) have already drawn the ire of residents worried about the potential density of the project.
A scoping meeting was held to discuss potential environmental impacts of the future project. Those attending the meeting were concerned about the number of potential residential units that was first unveiled in the notice for the meeting—up to 1,140 units, with a 73-room hotel.
Sargent Town Planning, the developer of the project, noted that the number was the maximum number of units that could be scrutinized during the EIR process.
The environmental review process would be split into two tiers—Tier One estimates a mix of two- and three-story buildings with a maximum of four stories, with up to 30,000 square feet of retail, up to 20,000 square feet of office space, and up to 736 residences, which they say would mostly be two bedroom apartments and condos.
Tier Two is what could happen if there was a community benefit program in place that would allow for more density on the project. That program would allow for a developer to build more units and create more density in exchange for community amenities such as a park or more retail space.
Under tier two, up to five stories could be allowed in the interior of the plan area, with up to 60,000 square feet of retail, 50,000 square feet of office space, a 73-room hotel and up to 1,140 units. Those units would mostly be studios and small apartments.
Residents voiced concerns about parking, density and design.
There will still be ample time for public comment in the future. After the draft EIR is presented, there will be 45 days for additional comment and a public workshop, according to the city. More comment will be received when the final EIR is presented.
Written comments can be directed to City of Claremont, 207 Harvard Ave., Claremont CA 91711 Attn: Christopher Veirs. Comments can also be emailed to cveirs@ci.claremont.ca.us.

 

COVINA

Partial preservation is in the cards for the San Gabriel Valley’s Googie-style Covina Bowl.
When the midcentury bowling alley closed two years ago, its future was uncertain. Now Trumark Homes says it plans to save as much of the building as possible–although it will not reopen the lanes.
Trumark is not the first developer to try to build on the site, but it did sign a purchase agreement for the Covina property in May. It plans to ultimately fill much of the site with three-story townhomes.
In the years following the closure of the bowling alley, the Los Angeles Conservancy voiced concerns about the property being adequately secured. The building was broken into and vandalized; even the copper wiring has been stripped from the interior.
Bringing bowling back to the site, even if Trumark wanted to, is not possible: The property’s deed stipulates that bowling operations can’t continue. The family that owned the bowling alley owns another one nearby in West Covina. Not wanting to “oversaturate” the area with bowling, they took reopening Covina Bowl’s lanes off the table.
It’s too early to say for sure how many homes would be built on the 4.3-acre site, but the plan as it stands now is to keep about 12,000 square feet of the Covina Bowl building, or roughly 75 percent of the façade. That will including the recognizable A-frame over the entrance, the wavy awning that extends out toward the parking lot, and the fantastic “Bowl” sign.
The preserved section of the building would be repurposed into an office building, or possibly a retail space.
The river rock that gives the Covina Bowl that Flintstone, midcentury look would be reused in the facades of the townhomes. Trumark is looking into having the townhomes, in some way, mimic the Googie glamour of the 1950s building. The idea emerged through early meetings with the conservancy. Those meetings were about finding ways to retain what we can and pay homage to the original use.
The project is still in the very early development phases. It could take a year to 18 months before that process is complete. When the planning department approvals are finalized, the sale will officially close.
The Covina Bowl was completed in 1956 and was built for members of the family that sold it to Trumark. The bowling alley was designed by Powers, Daly, and DeRosa, which went on to design almost 50 bowling alleys in California between 1955 and 1962, and were “widely recognized as the masters of the form,” according to the Los Angeles Conservancy.

EL MONTE

Rideshare drivers could find themselves making $30 an hour in the city of El Monte, home to one of the largest transportation hubs in Southern California.
The El Monte City Council voted to draft an ordinance guaranteeing a $30-an-hour minimum wage for rideshare drivers. The move is supported by members of Mobile Workers Alliance, a driver-led organizing project of Service Employees International Union Local 721 in Los Angeles. If the ordinance becomes law, it would be the first of its kind in the United States.
At the state level, a bill working its way through the Legislature seeks to classify drivers for companies such as Lyft and Uber as employees, rather than independent contractors.

GLENDORA

JLL has brokered the sale of Glendora Commons, a grocery-anchored retail center located in Glendora. Seagrove Property Group sold the asset to a private foreign investor for $13.6 million. Located at 1241-1251 Lone Hill Ave., Glendora Commons features 41,689 square feet of retail space. Completed in 2017, the property is currently occupied by Aldi, Guitar Center, Chick-fil-A and Pick-Up-Stix.

LA VERNE

Monarch Home Sales, a mobile homes and manufactured housing maker based in Huntington Beach for more than 25 years, is opening a new office in La Verne, at 3845 Emerald Ave., according to a statement.
Monarch Home Sales’ President and CEO Elizabeth Alex said the company wants to expand to the Foothill Corridor.

Pedestrian safety a concern.

 

ONTARIO

The city of Ontario has been approved for nearly $5.8 million in state Active Transportation Program funding to improve pedestrian access and safety around Haynes, Vista Grande and Oaks Schools.
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently adopted its 2019 Active Transportation Program Metropolitan Planning Organization Component, which includes $5.764 million for pedestrian improvements around the three Ontario Schools. The project will construct more than 3 miles of missing sidewalks, nearly 200 handicap ramps, enhanced pedestrian crossings, street lights and plant more than 900 street trees.
It is the fourth Active Transportation Program grant the city has received over the past six years, accounting for more than $10 million in public improvements to improve pedestrian facilities. These improvements are in addition to the $7.7 million of active transportation projects that are being funded through a $35 million Transformative Climate Communities grant awarded last year by the state Strategic Growth Council to redevelop the city’s historic downtown.
The combination of these grants will result in nearly $18 million in active transportation improvements in the city, increasing pedestrian access to local schools, parks, commercial centers and transit stops.
The projects also include educational activities for students, parents and community members about the positive health benefits of walking and bicycling, as well as traffic safety and the rules of the road.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA

Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. has secured a $12.7 million bridge loan for the acquisition of Sunrize Center, a shopping center at 8639 Baseline Road in Rancho Cucamonga, which features 100,224 square feet of retail space.
The debt placement is a floating-rate program starting at 6 percent with a five-year term and 12 months of interest-only payments and a loan-to-value ratio of 71 percent.

Fore Property has announced the opening of a new apartment community in Rancho Cucamonga, Arte, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development at 10130 Foothill Blvd.
The property features 182 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including five live/work units. It has a rooftop lounge, swimming pool, spa, two-story fitness center, dog park, karaoke room, outdoor grilling areas and an entertainment patio with an outdoor fireplace. The complex is scheduled to be completed in late September. Monthly rents will range from $1,900 to $3,100, with average rents going for $2,300. The units are designed by Architects Orange, based in the city of Orange.

SAN DIMAS

Advocacy Development Partners has broken ground on The Terraces at Via Verde, a 32-unit memory care community in San Dimas. The project is scheduled to open in early fall 2020.
Upon opening it will be the only stand-alone memory care community in the San Dimas area, according to the developers. The community will be split into two 15,000-square-foot neighborhoods with 16 suites each, all located on 1.2 acres near parks and shopping centers.
Frontier Management will operate the community upon completion. Irwin Partners Architects designed the project, with PacifiCore Construction serving as general contractor and Conley Design handling interiors. Fremont Bank, which recently announced an expansion of its seniors housing lending platform, is providing the construction and bridge financing for the project.

SOUTH EL MONTE

A proposed light rail line from East Los Angeles to either South El Monte or Whittier will help raise property values and make it easier for people without cars to commute to downtown Los Angeles—or is an expensive boondoggle that will prompt homeowners to sell.
Those were some of the views shared at community meetings Metro is hosting, designed to solicit input on what should be included in the environmental analysis for the proposed Eastside Gold Line extension.
The environmental impact report will consider four alternatives:
• One along the 60 Freeway ending in South El Monte.
• One going south on Atlantic Boulevard and then east on Washington Boulevard, ending near PIH Health in Whittier.
• A third containing both alignments.
• A fourth calling for no project.
The report is expected to be completed in 2021.
The meeting was held at the Whittier Community Center, and residents traveled from all along the proposed routes, including some from the Justice and Equality for the Eastside Coalition in East Los Angeles, to attend.
That group, consisting of more than 400 residents in the Via Camp neighborhood south of the 60 Freeway, from Atlantic Boulevard to Findley Avenue, opposes the 60 Freeway alignment.
The group said the proposed, at-grade and aerial design will cause “permanent, severe detrimental and negative impacts to our long-established neighborhood. These negative impacts, to name a few, would be increases in dust contaminants, including substances known to cause cancer, noise and vibrations, visual impacts, loss of privacy, traffic congestion and gridlock and decreases in property values.”
The group could only support the 60 Freeway option if it was constructed underground. The group also would like to see the Atlantic route underground, he said.

WEST COVINA

West Covina is one step closer to allowing beer and wine sales at gas station convenience stores in the city. The Planning Commission voted 3-2 to send a proposed municipal code amendment to the city council that, if approved, would lift a decades-old prohibition on alcohol sales at “service stations.”
West Covina’s planning staff isn’t certain when the law was added—it appears in the current municipal code adopted in 1977—but the fact that no existing gas stations have been grandfathered into selling alcohol, “is also a clue that it has been in place a long time,” Planning Director Jeff Anderson said.
This is the fourth time in a little more than a decade that city leaders have considered lifting the ban, with unsuccessful efforts in 2008, 2010 and 2016.
The municipal code provision in question bars alcohol sales at “service stations,” which is one of the most obvious indicators that the ban is outdated, according to the Planning Commission.
The amendment comes with 11 standards by which business owners would have to abide if they were to sell beer and wine, including provisions that, among other things, prohibits single-container sales and requires clear signage be posted in and around the store, indicating alcohol cannot be consumed on the premises.
The city council will consider the code amendment during a public hearing at a future meeting.