In-N-Out Burger expects to open a restaurant this year at the corner of Alosta and Calera avenues (Route 66), across the street from Azusa Pacific University and Citrus College, the site of a closed Acapulco Restaurant.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen recently opened a drive-thru next door.
This will be In-N-Out’s second restaurant in Azusa (the other one is at 324 S. Azusa Ave.). The chain has one other Southern California restaurant opening soon, in Eastvale.
All city-owned wells that provide water to Chino Hills have been out of service for 13 months because of a new contamination level set by the state’s Water Resources Control Board for the chemical TCP.
Public Works director Nadeem Majaj said the city has been importing all its water from neighboring water districts, the Metropolitan Water District, and the Chino Desalter Authority since the wells were taken out of service in December 2017.
The cost to purchase water will be approximately $1 million a year until a treatment facility is built to remove the chemical, Majaj said. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020, after a study addressing the contamination and identifying treatment options is complete.
The city has not been using its wells since a more stringent contamination level of five parts per trillion went into effect in December 2017, according to Mahal. TCP is a manufactured chemical used as a cleaning and degreasing solvent and is associated with pesticide products, according to the water resources control board.
It has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is recognized by the State of California as a human carcinogen, according to the board.
Photo Courtesy San Gabriel Valley Tribune
The Temple City City Council on Jan. 16 directed its attorney to sue El Monte over the latter city’s plans to allow a marijuana growing facility. The El Monte City Council has given two of the three votes of approval needed for a proposed medical cannabis business at 4400 Temple City Blvd., on the Temple City line. Temple City officials and residents have been among those pushing back against the project.
Temple City’s city attorney plans to file a lawsuit arguing that El Monte officials failed to conduct an adequate environmental review of the project and take into account the impact it would have on nearby Temple City’s resources, according to a Temple City release. It’s unclear exactly when the lawsuit will be filed.
“As the cannabis facility (would be) located across from Temple City neighborhoods and fully serviced by a segment of Temple City Boulevard within Temple City’s jurisdiction, the lawsuit will primarily focus on project-related impacts associated with public safety services, traffic circulation, and the onsite storage and handling of hazardous materials,” the release reads.
Temple City officials also allege that El Monte failed to take into account the combined impact of possible future marijuana businesses nearby when completing the environmental review for this project.
Developer Teresa Tsai wants to remodel the 71,658-square-foot building currently housing a furniture store to organically grow, package and distribute medical marijuana to retail businesses elsewhere. El Monte does not allow any recreational cannabis businesses in the city.
Gregory Murphy, Temple City’s attorney, wrote in the letter that Temple City was not given the opportunity to provide any input into the intersections that were studied as part of the environmental review. He called the review “over-simplified,” a sentiment echoed by a Rosemead planner.
The review was completed by environmental consultant Marc Blodgett, who said in November that he stands by his work and noted that by his count traffic at the cannabis business would be less than the building’s current use.
El Monte officials have said that neighbors have no reason to be concerned. Tsai is required to agree to a long list of conditions outlining everything from safe hazardous waste disposal to hours of operation, or else risk being shut down by the city.
The loudest opposition to the project had previously come from a group of hundreds of mostly Asian-Americans from around the San Gabriel Valley who held a march, showed up in large numbers at public hearings and held press conferences in attempts to quash the project.
They have a list of concerns, including about chemicals used to produce marijuana products such as concentrates.
Access to Wilderness is being debated. (Liset Marquez/SCNG)
La Verne Planning Commissioners are split on whether or not the city should create public access to more than 300 acres of open space La Verne owns near the Angeles National Forest.
A draft of the plan was first presented to the Planning Commission in October. It was then that many homeowners raised opposition to a component of the plan—the creation of a nearly 1-mile multipurpose trail—citing concerns of privacy as well as potential parking and traffic snarls.
A large number of outdoor enthusiasts attended the meeting, shifting a majority of the dialogue about a loop trail to a plea for a single-track trail that instead connects to existing paths for cyclists, hikers and equestrians.
Voting for the plan, the Planning Commission on Jan. 9 was stuck 2-2, with Commissioner Jason Simison recusing himself because of a conflict of interest with his employer. The matter now heads to the City Council.
According to a staff report, in 2006 the city acquired 208 acres in North La Verne through state grant funds obtained in partnership with Los Angeles County, the Trust for Public Land and the La Verne Land Conservancy.
La Verne combined that land with 150 acres it owned to create the 358-acre open space preserve now known as the Wilderness Area.
Since then, staff has been devising a plan to preserve the area but also looking at ways to provide limited access, because local officials believed the latter was a requirement for the funding.
The decision in October was postponed while staff sought input from Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, which provided Proposition A money for the acquisition. Since then, the county has assured La Verne its current and very limited plan for access is sufficient, which is why planning staff decided against devising an alternative.
Commissioners did hear from numerous cyclists and hikers who believe La Verne received public funds and therefore should open the wilderness area to the public.
Cycling enthusiasts pointed out that current trail access promoted by the city has a 40 percent-plus grade, adding the only way to use it is if they carried their bikes. They also stressed access should be within city limits.
In the end, commissioners Wendy Lau and Gilbert Ivey supported the two-phase plan, while Norm Faustini and Phil May opposed it.
With a split vote, the plan goes to the City Council for a decision.
Ontario’s Mayor and City Council have unanimously appointed Ruben Valencia to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in 2019 for a one-year term.
Valencia, a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff who was elected to the Ontario City Council in November 2016, was selected as Mayor pro Tem during the council’s meeting on Jan. 15.
Since his election to the council, Valencia has worked toward improving the lives of at-risk teens by launching the Youth Activities League of Ontario. The group pairs at-risk students with positive mentors in the community. Students also participate in a variety of activity classes such as golf.
During the meeting the unanimous motion also called for Debra Dorst-Porada to serve as Mayor pro Tem in 2020.
The first phase of a multimillion-dollar soil cleanup effort at a yard owned by Pomona should wrap up late next month, officials said.
The city’s water administration buildings and its annex facilities are on two separate adjoining lots near the Commercial Street-Hamilton Boulevard intersection. The soil was contaminated decades ago by the previous occupant, a former manufactured gas plant, a predecessor of both Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas Co.
In late 2017, Pomona and the utilities entered into a $3.8 million settlement agreement, a majority of which would pay for the demolition of structures at the city’s water and annex yards, as well as pay for the annex yard’s temporary facility at a city-owned property on First Street.
The relocation costs are separate from the cleanup costs, which are undisclosed and are the sole responsibility of the utilities, according to the city.
Cleanup started in September on the annex yard, which required moving the city’s indoor and outdoor equipment, materials and the vehicle storage facility to the First Street property.
The Water Resources Department’s administration building at the water yard has not been relocated yet. Once the annex yard is cleaned, Pomona will build a $10 million centralized waste and water department building on that site.
The other buildings at the water yard will then be demolished and the contractor hired by the utilities will focus its effort to decontaminate the soil. Once cleaned, Pomona will return a majority of its equipment and operations from the First Street location. Full cleanup of the sites is expected by 2021.
According to a 2017 staff report, the city had been in negotiations with the utilities over the cleanup for more than 10 years. Previous attempts have been unsuccessful “due to disagreements on two significant points: relocation costs and the value of the existing structures,” the report stated.
Of the $3.8 million, $520,000 paid for past legal expenses, while $3.3 million was dedicated toward the relocation efforts.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control is overseeing the cleanup, Cruz said.
As of December, the contractor hired for the cleanup had already removed two buildings at the annex site and removed 7,000 tons of asphalt, concrete and contaminated soil.
The San Dimas Dog Park within Horsethief Canyon Park has been closed for annual renovation. The 1-acre dog park includes two separately fenced areas designated for large and small dogs, as well as doggy water fountains. According to the city’s weekly newsletter, the park is expected to reopen Feb. 26.
Bill Velto, Tarbell
When Councilwoman Janice Elliott was elected to a District 2 seat on Nov. 6, it left her at-large seat vacant for the remaining two years of the term. At a special meeting on Jan. 7, the City Council narrowed the field of 13 would-be council members seeking appointment to the at-large seat to eight finalists, seven of whom were interviewed at a special board meeting Wednesday, Jan. 16. (Finalist Ralph Cavallo dropped out after being selected.)
In the end, the council voted 3-1 to appoint Bill Velto to fill Elliott’s former seat, with Councilman Rudy Zuñiga dissenting.
Former council member Glenn Bozar, former chair of the Upland Parks and Recreation Committee, Lois Sicking Dieter and Upland Community Foundation Vice President Neil Gerard were each nominated first, but neither got more than Elliott’s and Zuñiga’s votes. Both Elliott and Zuñiga initially advocated for Bozar, who served on the council from 2012 through 2016. On the fourth try, the council finally agreed on Velto.
Velto is the executive vice president of the Tarbell real estate agency, and a Navy veteran. Prior to his appointment on Jan. 16, Velto served as vice chairman of the Upland Planning Commission.
The West Covina City Council appointed former West Covina Unified school board member Jessica Shewmaker to the council in a near-midnight vote on Jan. 16. The vacancy on the City Council was created when Mayor Pro Tem Tony Wu was elected Nov. 6 to serve to represent District 5, vacating the at-large seat he was elected to two years prior. The council voted 3-1 to appoint Shewmaker, with Mayor Lloyd Johnson opposed. Shewmaker served three terms on the West Covina Unified school board and was unsuccessful in her bid for re-election in November. She said she would not have applied for the City Council appointment had she been re-elected to the school board. Shewmaker was on the school board as the district implemented Measure ES. Some bond-funded projects, such as the revitalization of West Covina High School’s Thyberg Stadium, finished in the past year, and construction is in early stages on others like the Edgewood Event Center and WCUSD Aquatic Center.