Baldwin Park approved a 20-year development agreement for marijuana distributor Rukli Inc.
The agreement was first described in a city staff report as a lifetime agreement for Rukli’s second location at 4150 Puente Ave., but city Community Development Director Gus Romo issued a corrected version that clarified the term for the agreement.
The language of the previous agreement stated that the agreement “shall automatically renew for successive 10 year terms unless one party provides written notice to the other party at least 90 days in advance of the end of the existing term.”
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the agreement for Rukli as well as agreements for marijuana cultivation and manufacturing businesses The Grown Folks, 14712 Arrow Hwy., and W&F International Corp., 4276 Elton St., whose agreements were both set for 15-year terms.
All of the city’s marijuana businesses are required to pay an annual $50,000 public safety fee that can be used by the Baldwin Park Police Department.
In addition, Rukli CEO Shaun Bershatski said that the business would have armed guards outside and inside its warehouse.
Bershatski added that Rukli will pick up marijuana and cannabis products from cultivators and manufacturers in the city, bring them back to their warehouse for testing, then take the products out of the city to retailers throughout California within an estimated 72 hours.
The city of Chino Hills has reached a $560,000 settlement agreement with San Bernardino County over the property on which Edison’s transition station was built as part of the Tehachapi renewable energy project.
The transition station, consisting of steel structures and electrical components with a nearby 200-foot lattice tower, is located at the old Chino Hills city yard on Pipeline Avenue, south of Eucalyptus Avenue, 25 feet away from the Chino Hills Montessori School.
The city was leasing the property as a maintenance yard under an agreement with the county when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ordered Edison to bury its transmission lines through a portion of the city in 2013.
As an inducement, the city committed to the CPUC to provide the property to Edison for the transition station, where the lines transition from overhead to underground.
The agreement was finalized May 14.
Edison filed an eminent domain lawsuit in 2014 against the county and the city of Chino Hills, alleging that the transition station land was a public use necessary for the distribution of electricity.
The city once owned the land but transferred it to the county in 2006 under a land swap deal.
The city had planned to build a community center on the city yard site and entered an agreement where the county would allocate $4 million for the community center in exchange for the former sheriff’s station land on Peyton Drive and Grand Avenue where Wood Ranch Barbecue is now located.
Eventually, the idea was abandoned after Edison informed the city it would not allow parking there once the Tehachapi power lines went up.
The city ended up building the community center adjacent to McCoy Equestrian Center and Edison was forced by the CPUC to bury the lines.
Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors, a national real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in retail property sales, announced that they completed the sale of a two-tenant retail building occupied by dd’s Discounts and Stars Gymnastics at 404-410 North Azusa Avenue in Covina. The 39,159-square-foot building is part of the Covina Shopping Center, situated at the intersection of North Azusa Avenue and West San Bernardino Road. The shopping center includes Smart & Final Extra! and CVS/Pharmacy. The sale price for the two-tenant net-leased investment was $6.36 million.
The two-tenant inline building, which was built in 1979, sits on 3.83 acres and features a 27,359-square-foot dd’s Discounts, a tenant since 2005, and an 11,800-square-foot Star Gymnastics, which has been in business for nearly 25 years in the area and at Covina Shopping Center since 2017.
Neighbors of Cornerstone Bible Church at 400 N. Glendora Ave., who for the past two months have publicly expressed their frustration and opposition to the church’s push to expand, have worked out an agreement.
During the city’s most recent Planning Commission meeting in June, residents who live near the church and Pastor Bruce French, lead pastor at Cornerstone Bible Church, stood together in a symbolic display of unity.
The 180-degree shift in the neighbors’ stance follows the church leaders’ decision to scrap their original building plans and collaborate with neighbors to create new ones which will satisfy both sides.
Leaders at Cornerstone Bible Church first submitted plans to build a bigger campus in November 2017. The proposal included constructing a 9,287-square-foot sanctuary and demolishing four old, nearby homes the church had purchased over the years to accommodate a new 53-space parking lot.
The Planning Commission considered the plans in April, and some 20 residents said the expansion would destroy their neighborhood and bemoaned living next to a parking lot. The commission suggested Cornerstone reach out to residents to address the concerns and postponed a decision to the June 2018 meeting.
It was during that two-month waiting period that church representatives began meeting regularly with residents. The church sent an email to Glendora’s Planning Department on May 9, requesting that the commission push approval to a future, uncertain date so that the leadership could continue to collaborate with neighbors on the project.
Representatives from Cornerstone Bible Church noted in the email that they plan on taking several months to submit new construction plans. The commission approved the church’s request for the delay at the June 5 meeting.
On June 9, Brandywine Homes held a grand opening at Bradbury, 747 Del Valle Ave., a new infill community in La Puente, offering 45 single-family detached homes on 3.87 acres.
The gated community, which includes a community recreation area, is offering two-story homes with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, designed with Spanish, Craftsman and Farmhouse architecture, and range in size from 1,843 to 2,087 square feet on 2,500-square-foot lots.
The homes have great rooms, lofts, private yards, patios and two-car garages. The gourmet kitchens feature large islands with breakfast bars, and spacious master suites include large soaking tubs and walk-in closets.
La Puente, with a population of about 40,000, has very limited housing stock. The last new home housing tract was built almost 40 years ago, according to city officials. The Bradbury community is located close to Puente Hills Mall, Mt. San Antonio College, California PolyPomona, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Golf Course and more, Bradbury offers convenient access to the 60, the 605 and the 10 freeways. For information see www.bradburynewhomes.com.
La Verne may go into its savings and spend $400,000 to balance its budget for the upcoming fiscal year; meanwhile, City Council members are considering the elimination of their city offered benefits.
The City Council received a preliminary review of its 2018-19 budget, which begins July 1, during a study session. In it, elected officials discussed the strategies to reduce costs and generate revenue as the city prepares to meet its rising pension obligations.
La Verne City Manager Bob Russi projects $32.5 million in expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year, while revenues are only expected to total $27.8 million. The city will also transfer $4.2 million from other revenue sources—such as paramedic services fees—into its general fund.
Year-end estimates for 2017-18 fiscal year show expenditures will outpace revenues, forcing the city to pull $328,000 from its savings. The city has started this year with an $800,000 budget gap, but revenues were a little higher than anticipated.
By the end of 2017-18, which ended June 30, La Verne will had about $8.7 million in its rainy-day fund.
As for the upcoming fiscal year, the budget sets aside $3.2 million for pension obligations. There is no funding included for updated employee contracts. For that reason expenses are flat for the next fiscal year.
The discussion then turned inward, with council members Robin Carder and Tim Hepburn requesting the city manager bring back an analysis of what other cities pay their elected officials in benefits.
Council members are eligible for the same health insurance and dental package afforded to department managers. This fiscal year, La Verne paid $42,000 for three members who opted in for the benefits. In 2018-19, that number is expected to increase to $44,000.
Carder and Hepburn say they sympathize with employees and want to do their part in making cuts.
Although Councilman Muir Davis was in favor of conducting the analysis, he doesn’t support the idea of eliminating benefits for the council.
The upcoming fiscal budget will take into account a series of strategies intended to both cut costs and generate revenue which the council requested earlier this year. Some of the measures include:
• An accounting maneuver that moves $300,000 in expenses originally from the general fund to the utilities fund
• Incorporating about $85,000 in new inspection and city facility rental fees
• For a second consecutive year, the council will suspend taking $250,000 from the general fund for capital improvement projects
The session was the first time the council reviewed and gave their input on the financial document. Staff will spend finalize the document, and review it in a study session, then get final approval during a regular council meeting.
The city of Ontario celebrated the ground breaking of the Element by Westin Hotel with hotel developer Glacier House Hotels and representatives from the business community. The 90,000-square-foot hotel is being constructed at the 4.5 acre site, at 900 N. Via Piemonte, across from Citizens Business Bank Arena. The four-story, 131-room hotel will include amenities such as a pool, fitness center, and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant. The project is expected to be open by Fall 2019.
The development of this new hotel is the next phase in implementing the city’s vision for the Ontario Center area. Complementing this new hotel will be high-density residential units, a grocery-anchored shopping center, new restaurants and brew pubs. This integrated lifestyle center will create a vibrant entertainment district for Ontario’s residents, employees and visitors.
The November election is several months away, but Pomona voters’ choices are beginning to emerge: They may be deciding whether the city should regulate hospitals, but they won’t be asked to impose rent control.
Healthcare workers say they submitted 8,845 signatures to get a proposed measure on the November ballot that would establish staffing levels for housekeeping personnel and a higher minimum wage at the city’s acute care hospitals.
But proponents for a rent control measure informed City Clerk Eva Buice that they would not submit signatures in time for the November election. According to the Election Code, the group has six months from when the process started, which was in April, to turn in signatures.
“The ideal would have been to have it on the November ballot, but we’re going to explore our options,” said Benjamin Wood, of Pomona United for Stable Housing. The measure could end up as a special election, Wood said.
A third initiative, from resident John Mendoza, proposes a 0.75 percent utility-user tax increase, which would set the rate at 9.75% for a 10-year period. The increases would be allocated to the city’s General Fund to pay for services such as police and fire. Residents who are legally handicapped would be exempt from the tax increase.
In late May, proponents of a fourth initiative, which aims to overturn Pomona’s ban on commercial marijuana operations, turned in signatures to the city clerk for verification. That is expected to go to the council next month for review.
Buice said the signatures from the healthcare workers were submitted late on June 8, surpassing the minimum requirement of 6,456 signatures. The proposed measure calls for hospitals in Pomona to increase the hours for housekeeping staff. If the hospitals have infection rates higher than national benchmarks, the facilities would have to increase housekeeping staff by 20% until they meet those benchmarks for three consecutive years, according to an advocate, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West.
The hospitals would also have to increase the minimum wage for employees to $18 an hour in January 2019, as a way to retain workers.
A statement from Protect Our Community Hospitals and Health Care, an alliance that includes the hospital as well as Casa Colina Hospital, called the initiative unnecessary.
The coalition noted that Los Angeles County, the state and the federal government regulate hospitals and argued that the measure would make delivering care more expensive while imposing administrative oversight on City Hall. It alluded to the fact that Pomona Valley and SEIU have been fighting for several years over the unionization of the staff.
At a January City Council meeting, Councilman Robert Torres requested city staff and workers’ representatives draft an ordinance that mirrored the proposed initiative. The council reviewed the proposed ordinance during a study session in March and at a later council meeting that same month, when council members put off a decision until the ballot measure qualified. At that time, Mayor Tim Sandoval said it was clear to him there were still too many legal uncertainties if Pomona moved forward. A lawyer for the cities’ two hospitals has threatened to sue if either the ordinance or the measure passes.
Torres said he needs time to discuss with his colleagues what action, if any, to take if the signatures are verified.
Sean Wherley, spokesman for SEIU-UHW, said whether or not the council enacts an ordinance, the measure would be on the November ballot.
Buice said she has 30 days, or until July 20, to count and verify the signatures. Once the signatures are verified, it will go to the City Council for review at the next meeting, which will be Aug. 6. She said Aug. 10 is the deadline to submit ballot initiatives to Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder.
Rancho Cucamonga seeks a partner to rehabilitate its historic Etiwanda Pacific Electric Depot for adaptive reuse.
Those interested in the project are asked to register and submit proposals for the 104-year-old depot, at 7092 Etiwanda Ave. All plans will be reviewed by city staff.
The chosen applicant would be responsible for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the long-vacant, city-owned depot. The applicant also would be financially responsible for its ongoing maintenance and operations, likely through a lease agreement with the city.
The city acquired the 3,200-square-foot depot about 10 years ago from the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, according to the Request For Proposal on the city’s website.
The depot was built in 1914 to serve the citrus industry. It later provided access to passengers riding the red cars of the Pacific Electric Railway, according to the city.
The depot is immediately adjacent to the north side of the Pacific Electric Trail, a 21-mile commuter and recreational trail spanning from the San Bernardino County border at Claremont east to Rialto.
The city will select a partner based on their knowledge, skills, experience, past performance and proposal quality as well as several other criteria, such as the design, amount of detail in the proposal, financial plan, proposed reuse, project feasibility and references, according to the Request For Proposal.
The partner can either be the tenant or sublease to another tenant.
The city is open to reuses that would complement the adjacent Pacific Electric Trail, nearby schools and neighborhoods, and allow for some level of public access to the depot.
Those interested in the project are required to register by 5 p.m. Aug. 9. Proposals are due by Nov. 15.
Site tours are planned for 8 a.m. July 3, July 19 and Aug. 1. A pre-submittal conference and site tour is planned for 8 a.m. Aug. 22 at the depot.
To register, email Melinda.firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information contact Sassoon at email@example.com or 909-774-2400.
San Dimas city leaders are interested in finding out what it would cost to demolish its
37-year-old Community Center and replace it with a new one.At a special meeting, the City Council directed staff to begin exploring design and financing options for a new building.
In 2016, staff was presented with two preliminary designs to renovate the outdated 14,000-square-foot concrete structure. But the project cost estimates came in higher than expected, between $10 million and $12 million, and the process was put on hold.
The facility currently has a spa, pool, two racquet courts but it’s not ADA compliant, she said. The center also runs a teen program, which has about 80 users a day during the school year.
The meeting was an opportunity for the council to not only discuss the recreation center, but provide staff with direction on numerous other topics, including implementing a minimum wage policy for part-time employees starting in January 2019.
Upland has a new balanced budget, but also longer-term concerns over higher pension costs and a need for money to hire police and repair infrastructure.
The city plans to spend less than it will bring in during the fiscal year that started July 1, however, officials need to look to the future, Assistant City Manager Jeannette Vagnozzi told the City Council.
The city has been working to cut expenses for many years, including staffing, and is not sure what is left to cut, she said.
Here are five things to know about the new spending plan.
1. It’s balanced
In 2018-19, the city expects $139.8 million in revenues across all its funds, including $41 million to the general fund.
It plans to spend $135.5 million overall, including $40.9 million from the general fund. The general fund, the city’s main fund, is up by $2.6 million over last year from property taxes and various fees. Expenses are expected to go up by $2.76 million, because of increases in salaries and benefits, mostly because of the higher pension costs, maintenance and operations expenses and requests by departments, a city report shows.
2. Pension costs are higher
The state’s Public Employees Retirement System is lowering its expectations on investment returns, which means public agencies across the state face higher contribution costs over the next few years. Upland is bracing for a $959,412 increase in 2018-19, the report states. The city has set money aside and officials will later approach the council with options to help cover the increases.
3. Less to be spent on fire protection
The city is paying less in fire services after the annexation into the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District in July. Before that, Vagnozzi said, the city would be in the hole, and that amount would continue to grow every year. Upland and San Antonio Heights property owners, however, now will pay about $150 a year for fire services.
4. More cash for police
Upland’s Police Department will get additional dollars to hire part-time employees and a full-time police service technician to help resurrect crime-prevention programs cut during leaner times. Police also can handle less serious cases at the desk and keep patrol officers in the field, he said.
5. Long-term needs a challenge
The current budget is stretched to the max, Vagnozzi said, which makes it a challenge to add police or expand services. The city has paid for some infrastructure repairs and tree maintenance, but by using one-time and special funds.
Still attempting to close what was last calculated to be a $7.2 million deficit, West Covina will head into fiscal year 2018-19 without a new budget in place.
The fiscal year ended June 30, and with the city’s next budget workshop meeting set for July 2, the City Council voted to continue spending at 2017-18 levels until that meeting.
But, the City Council is not expected to adopt a budget at the July 2 meeting, which means it will have to vote again to further extend the spending levels.
In light of the budget gap, Councilman Mike Spence had suggested that each city department cut its spending by 10% until a new budget could be passed.
However, it was questioned whether a 10% across-the-board cut may not be feasible or even legal, especially in cases where the majority of expenses come in the form of unionized employee salaries, such as those for police officers and firefighters.
City staff had originally proposed extending the current spending levels through August in case budget deliberations extend past July, but it was suggested to wait until the July 2 meeting so the council could have a better picture of how much more work remains.
Based on the draft budget presented June 11, in addition to the city’s $7.2 million general fund shortfall, the city’s reserves—considered its rainy-day fund—must be replenished to the tune of $1.5 million, meaning the city’s budget gap is about $8.7 million.