The June 27, 2021 newspaper article, “The Alhambra’s controversial housing project continues to transform,” cites changes in the total number of units, but it does not provide comments on how the project is always too big, too crowded, and not continuous. maximum heights of apartments and condos and setbacks of apartment and condo units that the city has had. Therefore, the project is unacceptable from the point of view of community standards. It is also unacceptable for a myriad of other reasons.
It’s incredible that every city council meeting since February has asked for more time from the developer to correct or update their environmental reports. They do the minimum every time and try to get away with poor work and minimal commitment. If they do this in the application process, imagine what they will do if they get the approval and once the monstrosity is built! It’s too risky for our city. This developer is clearly here for profit and not for the benefit or improvement of our city.
Did you catch them saying at the June 17th meeting that “the air inside the building will be safe”? Maybe that’s why they offer a minimum of green space and outdoor recreation – the air is toxic !! And how can a developer even apply for a residential project on a site where the EPA’s safety and clean-up plan is pending. The Council should vote not only on this point! The way Megan Moloughney, senior director of development and spokesperson for the Ratkovich company, tried to split hair with Mayor Katherine Lee over whether The Villages site is a Superfund site or a Superfund “zone”. Why?
The Labor Party generally has a tight grip on candidates like City Councilor Adele Andrade-Stadler and newly elected City Councilor Sasha Renee Perez, who enjoy worker support for their campaigns. They very recently raised concerns about the lack of a local hiring and fair wage deal in the developer’s proposal. Rather, worker-backed elected officials should be concerned with ensuring an inclusive local hiring ordinance for all construction projects. The fact that local hiring is an afterthought at such a late stage in the approval process by the city and a developer as large as this and a project as large as this is outrageous. Local hiring, fair wages should be part of the initial application requirements.
Elected leaders should work on more impactful labor policies instead of using the developer’s forced “will” to add local hiring as a reason to support a project that harms the city’s character and quality of life. residents. A work contract yet to be determined (and symbolic “affordable” rental housing and only $ 1 million in community benefit payments, for that matter) is not a sufficient reason to approve this project in light of the many problems it would bring to our city.
RHNA? – oh please, elected leaders must stop wasting time on this project and get to work on an equitable strategy to identify locations across all districts for low income and affordable housing to reach the State Mandated Housing Goals (RHNA). There are plenty of opportunities. This project will not solve the city’s housing problems. In fact, it creates new ones. For example: proponents of this development repeated almost at the same time the mantra: “Much Needed Housing”. But at probably 800 ka pop plus an extra $ 300 a month for homeowners association fees, only a fraction of society can afford it, and this project does nothing to help solve the horrific landlord crisis. -shield, as provided by RHNA.
Council members asked the developer to come up with a transportation plan to resolve the traffic jams on Fremont, as the developer wants to build more than 4,200 parking spaces, but suggested – as a transportation proposal – that residents will use the bus! To go where? Which bus? Metro is cutting services. Again, the elected leaders of the Alhambra must focus on developing a local and regional plan to increase transportation options and improvements.
First of all, stop thinking of Fremont as a main thoroughfare. All roads lead to it – stop it! For example: Carpool lanes end and start at Fremont exits. These should be staggered with Garfield and Atlantic.
Stub 710 is used as the primary direction route on GPS / satellite mapping services (Google maps, MapQuest, etc.). This is a software fix with immediate impact, free or at low cost. How about making section 710 a fast route for carpoolers only. To follow traffic on the I-10 interchange, open the exit ramp on Section 710 to Cal State LA
Other such ideas need to be explored and tested. Either way, our city must stop sitting on its hands when it comes to arguing with “commuter crossing” traffic. We need a plan (with neighboring towns) to make sure that the bus lines and shuttles connect to the light rail and make “park and ride” bus connections (similar to the park at the San Gabriel mission. ). However, the developer clearly has no idea about this issue and does not have the responsibility and authority that the city’s elected leaders have on this issue. The city should not delegate the transport strategy to promoters, Caltrans or Metro, or comply with what they dictate.
The bottom line is that our city and our elected representatives are the ones with the responsible and accountable affordable housing strategy, labor and wage policy and tax revenue. Plans for these must make sense for our city – elected leaders must stop acting like our city has no say – it does !! Also, if our own elected representatives do not speak up and advocate on our behalf, then who will? And if they don’t, why do we need them? They will be rejected or revoked.
The Alhambra Council must vote no on Les Villages! The residents are tired and frustrated. It is clear that the city and the promoter intend to tie up the inhabitants until they manage to get the project through. Reminder: the Alhambra planning commission recommended a “no” vote on the project.
City Council must realize that the time of selfish developer lap dog board members is over, and Alhambrans expects better.
Ari Arambula lives in the Alhambra.
The Alhambra City Council will consider The Villages candidacy at a special meeting on Tuesday July 6, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Email public comments by 4:00 p.m. that day to [email protected]