The city of Baldwin Park has been selected along with 46 other cities to be part of a grant program to confront rising homelessness in their communities. The program, created by Los Angeles County and United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Home for Good Funders Collaborative and launched in July 2017, called on cities to submit applications outlining how they would create localized blueprints for action. The project is in collaboration with Los Angeles County and its contractors, who are funded by the voter-approved Measure H quarter-cent sales tax.
The selection process was led by United Way’s Home for Good Funders Collaborative, which approved the proposals from the 47 cities. Each city will receive a planning grant ranging from $30,000 to $70,000, depending on the number of homeless families and individuals within its municipal boundaries. The program is financed by an allocation of more than $2 million from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and underscores the county’s continuing determination to pursue regional solutions to the homeless crisis.
Individual cities will help complement and advance the county’s Homeless Initiative action plan. The 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count revealed a 23% increase in homelessness over the previous year—a total of more than 57,000 people experiencing homelessness across the county. Each city will have until March 2018 to create an individual plan. For more information on United Way’s efforts to end homelessness, visit www.unitedwayla.org. For more on Los Angeles County’s Homeless Initiative, please visit www.homeless.lacounty.gov.
El Monte leaders attended a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the Baldwin Rose Family Veteran Housing facility, a 55-unit affordable veterans housing project to be built by nonprofit, affordable housing developer Mercy Housing. Baldwin Rose will have buildings on both sides of Baldwin Avenue near Rose Avenue, connected by the existing walking bridge in the area. The development will feature 22 units for homeless veterans, 32 units for low-income veterans with families and a managerial unit. By 2019, El Monte will have helped build 144 units of affordable housing for veterans with the El Monte Veterans Village, Baldwin Rose and the under-construction Palo Verde Apartments. On any given night, 213 veterans are homeless in the San Gabriel Valley, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s 2017 homeless count. El Monte city economic development director Minh Thai said if a few neighboring cities built just one affordable veteran housing complex, that number would drop to zero.
Glendora voters rejected a ballot measure Nov. 7 that would have provided $98 million in bonds to the Glendora Unified School District. Measure GG needed 55 percent approval to pass, but 54 percent of voters turned it down. School board president Cory Ellenson said he was “very disappointed” with the news. According to the ballot measure, GG bonds would have funded projects including classrooms, science labs, career training facilities, computer systems, and instructional technology, as well as repairs for aging plumbing, electrical and ventilation systems, and improvements to student safety and campus security systems. Officials said the repairs that GG intended to fund are necessary. They said the district will find a way to fund them, whether or not it’s through a bond measure.
Members of the Pomona City Council voted 5-1-1 on Nov. 20 to direct the city’s Planning Department personnel to begin work leading to the crafting of a proposed ordinance to address zoning regulations for Fairplex. Councilman Rubio Gonzalez cast the one opposing vote and Mayor Tim Sandoval abstained. This process, council members said, will address the concerns of some residents living near Fairplex who argue that current regulations give officials at the fairgrounds the opportunity to grow its programming without taking into account the effects on surrounding neighborhoods. Referring the matter to the city’s planning staff will also result in regulations that allow Fairplex to prosper while providing a clear picture of what is expected of the organization and what how to meet those expectations. The decision came after the City Council listened to about 50 speakers—about half calling for changes to the existing regulations while others said the suggested changes presented in a city staff report would hurt Fairplex and its ability to retain events such as the National Hot Rod Association drag races.
Los Angeles County owns Fairplex, but it is operated by the Los Angeles County Fair Association. Fairplex supporters say the amendments could have detrimental fiscal and operational impacts to a number of events held at Fairplex and have far-reaching consequences for the county and its lessee, the Los Angeles County Fair Association.
Sending the matter to the Planning Department comes several months after a City Council Committee consisting of Council members Cristina Carrizosa, Robert Torres and Mayor Tim Sandoval began meeting to review this city’s zoning regulations for the land that makes up Fairplex. The committee was created after residents living near Fairplex urged city leaders to revert to a 1970 version of the F-zone. In 1970, an ordinance was adopted that authorized 13 different land uses within the F-zone without a need for permits. The 13 uses were connected to the LA County Fair. Uses outside of the 13 spelled out in the ordinance required permits. The zoning regulations adopted in 1970 were in effect until 2004, when City Council members approved a new ordinance. The 2004 ordinance expanded the list of permitted activities within the F-zone. Along with expanding the permitted activities, the 2004 zoning regulations made it possible for Fairplex to expand and make changes to buildings without permits. After reviewing the regulations, the City Council committee made some recommendations, including requiring Fairplex to secure permits for events that will draw 10,000 or more visitors, drawing concerns from Fairplex.
New Haven, a master-planned community in Ontario Ranch, is among 2017’s five best-selling communities in California, and among the top 50 nationwide, according to a report by RCLCo. The survey measures master-planned community sales in the first six months of 2017. Developed by Brookfield Residential, the 124-acre New Haven masterplan offers attached and single-family detached residences and resort-style living with abundant recreational amenities, social events and the opportunity for a “well-balanced lifestyle.” Brookfield Residential has seen more than 170 sales for far this year, making it the most successful new community in California’s Inland Empire. Sales were particularly strong among first-time buyers and millennials, with millennials accounting for 39%, and New Haven’s share of first-time buyers was 41% of all sales in Q1 and Q2 of 2017.
New Haven is set in the larger, regional Ontario Ranch masterplan spanning 8,200 acres, planned with new neighborhoods, modern amenities and recreation. Ontario Ranch will build approximately 47,000 homes over a 20-year period for up to 162,000 residents. Residential neighborhoods include Park Place by Lewis Community Developers and Stratham Communities, and West Haven by Lennar.
Developers looking to build a new hotel in the city will be required to take an additional step, at least for the next 10 months. City leaders approved an interim ordinance which would require a conditional use permit for any new hotel or the expansion of an existing hotel. This move would give staff time to set up permanent recommendations on things such as zoning and standards of operation.
Goals for a permanent ordinance:
Ensure proper site for new hotels
Develop standard operating requirement to ensure consistent operations over the long-term
Avoid negative community impacts by developing the proper land use
Prevent the development from impacting city operations, particularly fire and police.