Proposition 19, the CAR-backed initiative to enact property tax portability has passed. The measure was heavily supported by REALTORS® along with 15 million voters in California. Prop 19 provides needed housing and tax relief for seniors and wildfire victims while generating much needed revenue for schools and local governments. Proposition 15, the Split Role initiative, has lost, with 51.9% of the voters saying NO. Proposition 15 would have eliminated the Proposition 13 protections for commercial and industrial properties; resulting in the largest property tax increase in California history. Proposition 21, the rent control initiative, has been defeated with 59.8% of voters saying NO. Proposition 21 went down in every county in California with the exception of the city and county of San Francisco. The defeat of Proposition 21 is a big win for property rights.
In regard to the elections for local government, Assembly, Senate and Congress, many are still waiting to be called. Once certified, I will provide a report on the winners. In the meantime, you can stay up to date by going to the Secretary of State, Los Angeles and San Bernardino County websites:
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved $95.3 million for the first year of funding for the regional Safe, Clean Water Program. The money will be used to fund 41 infrastructure projects, 16 technical resources projects, 4 scientific studies, and 12 Watershed Coordinators.
The San Gabriel Valley will receive more than $25.1 million this cycle, which will fund 9 infrastructure projects, 2 scientific studies, and 12 technical studies.
The ideas for the projects, personnel, and studies funded were developed and recommended by nine steering committees representing watershed areas throughout the county. Each area has compiled a Regional Program Stormwater Investment Plan which includes infrastructure, technical resources and scientific studies. The nine SIPs will receive $378.9 million over the next 5 years. Of the $358.1 million budgeted for infrastructure projects, $320 million will be invested in disadvantaged communities.
The board also directed Public Works staff to hire 12 watershed coordinators with a budget of $2.3 million annually for the next three years.
The Safe Clean Water Program, or Measure W, is a parcel tax that provides local, dedicated funding for rainwater and urban runoff management to increase the region’s local water supply, improve water quality, and protect public health. The regional program makes up half of the Safe Clean Water Program’s budget, which is estimated to generate $285 million per year.
As the project list is extensive, below are highlights of the projects that will receive the most money for this first cycle:
East Los Angeles Sustainable Median Stormwater Capture Project ($7 million) – Los Angeles County
Garvey Avenue Grade Separation Drainage Improvement Project ($4 million) – City of El Monte The development over the last 85 years has increased stormwater runoff and flooding, specifically at Garvey Avenue’s grade separation sump. This project proposes a new storm drain and infiltration system to alleviate the flooding. The proposed storm drain improvements are located south of the 10 Freeway and the general alignment is southeast along Maxson Place, then across Garvey Avenue running through an easement on private property to the existing storm drain system at Durfee Avenue. The project is expected to receive more than $13.5 million over the next 5 years.
Bassett High School Stormwater Capture Multi-Benefit Project ($3 million) – Los Angeles County
This project is expected to receive more than $31 million over the next 5 years. The project would create a regional, multi-benefit, stormwater capture project at Bassett High School in the city of La Puente.
Adventure Park Multi-Benefit Stormwater Capture Project ($2 million) – Los Angeles County Public Works. This multi-benefit project is located at Adventure Park in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier. The project will collect up to 50 cubic feet per second of runoff from Sorenson Drain, and convey it to a pretreatment system and 19.5-acre foot of underground storage, and sending some to the sewer system for treatment and reuse. The project will also include recreational features: athletic fields, trees, and bioswales planted with native species. The project is expected to receive more than $13.5 million over the next 5 years.
For a full list of projects, contact the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
The city of Chino has extended its Microenterprise Business Grant Program application period to business owners who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Microenterprise businesses will be eligible to receive $10,000 or up to three months of rental assistance. Click for applications.
A four-acre vacant parcel at the intersection of Soquel Canyon Parkway and Pipeline Avenue in Chino Hills will be the site of a new fire station, after the Chino Hills City Council and the Chino Valley Fire Board of Directors approved the letter of intent during their respective meetings.
The new Station 68 is proposed on the south side of Soquel Canyon Parkway where Pipeline comes to an end. The site was originally in the area of Pipeline Avenue and Woodview Road but plans fluctuated over the years as the population grew and housing developments changed.
Fire Chief Tim Shackelford said the station will improve response times within that general area of the fire district as well as other areas of Chino Hills. The station would be the fourth in Chino Hills.
If the process goes smoothly, he estimates construction could begin in mid-2021. A firm date for construction has yet to be determined, since the agreement is finalized, an architect needs to be hired, the project has to go to bid and environmental issues would have to be addressed.
The station will fill a gap in coverage is between Station 62 at Sagebrush Street and Butterfield Ranch Road in southern Chino Hills and Station 66 on Peyton Drive near Grand Avenue in northern Chino Hills.
The fire station has been included in the city’s longterm plans since at least 2005. In 2016, the city of Chino Hills and the Chino Valley Fire District formed ad hoc committees to come to a resolution.
The City of Chino Hills will provide the land at the Pipeline-Soquel Canyon Parkway location and $8 million for the construction of the fire station and purchase the apparatus. The fire district will provide the city with .62 acres of property at 4040 Eucalyptus Avenue, the site of former Fire Station 62 which has been vacant for about 20 years.
City Attorney Mark Hensley said the plan involves the transfer of land and development impact fees to the fire district for the construction of the fire station. He said there will be hearings before the city council and possibly the planning commission with regard to an agreement.
With a 4-1 vote, the council introduced an ordinance that would ban smoking in and within 20 feet of restaurants, bars, and other drinking establishments, which includes outdoor patios and parklets. Smoking tobacco and cannabis cigarettes, use of e-cigarettes and vaping all would be prohibited.
The proposed ordinance would be enforced by administrative citations that would begin at $100 and, after a third citation within the same year, go up to $500. New sign templates are to be given to restaurants and bars to place on their businesses specifying that smoking is not allowed. All restaurants with outdoor dining areas must also place no smoking signs nearby, according to a city staff report.
There are also plans to add both prohibition of vaping and cannabis language to the city’s current smoke-free resolution at the council’s next meeting on Nov. 24.
Smoke-Free Claremont, a local organization, brought the topic back to the City Council in September. The city has since met with representatives from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to get feedback on pursuing additional smoking bans.
The city sent surveys to local business owners to get their say on the proposed ordinance. Out of 49 responses received, 43 wrote that they would be in favor of a smoking ban in and around outdoor eating areas in Claremont, a city report read.
There’s a new mayor in town for El Monte, as election results show a likely victory for Councilwoman Jessica Ancona, who managed to unseat Mayor Andre Quintero. She won nearly 44% of the vote, holding a nine-point lead over the incumbent, as of last week.
Ancona’s win, coupled with City Council victories from incumbent Councilwoman Vicky Martinez and challenger Alma Puente, means every member of the council is a woman, at least until Ancona’s seat is filled by appointment or special election.
El Monte’s city manager, Alma Martinez, is also a woman. This has only happened a handful of times in the history of California—at least four cities since the state was founded.
Countywide, there are some number of ballots that still remain to be counted, but it appears mathematically impossible for Quintero to catch up at this point. Election officials say final certified results will be available in the coming days or weeks.
The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2B Project, also known as the Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair (Project), underwent a supplemental environmental review and the public is invited to review the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (Draft SEIR).
The Construction Authority is considering modifications to the Project to construct surface parking lots (instead of enclosed parking structures, as previously approved) at the Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, and Pomona Stations. Constructing surface lots would reduce the number of available parking spaces. To accommodate the reconfigured parking conditions, the Authority proposes increasing the property size of the Glendora and San Dimas Station parking facilities, and a property location change is proposed for the Pomona Station parking facility. No changes are proposed for the location or property size of the parking facility at the La Verne Station.
Changes in vehicle and pedestrian access and new or relocated turnabouts are also proposed, along with a proposal to reduce parking at the Claremont Station. Two Claremont options will be considered wherein reduced parking is accommodated either fully in a parking structure or via parking surface lot combined with leasing of additional parking spaces from available locations within 1/4 mile of the Claremont Station. In response to these proposed changes, a SEIR has been prepared to evaluate the potential for significant impacts that may result from the potential changes at the five stations.
The proposed changes do not alter the scope of the Project as previously approved by the Construction Authority. The Draft SEIR has concluded construction of the Project Modifications would not have new or more severe significant impacts or require new mitigation measures.
The Draft SEIR (Supplemental Environmental Impact Review) was made available for public review for a 45-day comment period. Public comments on the Draft SEIR will be received during this period. The Draft SEIR, along with other project information, is available for review and download online at the Construction Authority’s website at www.foothillgoldline.org.
Molson Coors Beverage Company announced the completion of the sale of its brewery property in Irwindale to Irwindale Brew Yard, a subsidiary of Pabst Brewing Company, LLC. This will help the company streamline its operations to boost efficiency across its network and reinforce liquidity. Molson Coors, the producer of Coors Light and Miller Lite, informed in January 2020 that it will stop production at its 40-year-old Irwindale facility by September 2020. The company had transitioned the production from Irwindale to the breweries in Golden, CO, and Fort Worth, TX. According to the earlier-negotiated settlement agreement, Pabst Brewing had the option of buying the brewery for $150 million.
Metro Gold Line crews will be reconstructing the railroad crossing at Wheeler Avenue in La Verne. This activity will require a full closure of the street at the railroad crossing for vehicles and pedestrians until late January 2021. Information on the work ahead, including available detours. Local access to homes and businesses on Wheeler Ave., north and south of the closure, will be maintained at all times.
Airspace Link, Inc., the leading North American provider of state and local government drone flight authorization and management solutions, announced it partnered with the city of Ontario to launch the first-of-its-kind digital drone infrastructure in the sky. Ontario is the first city in California to use Airspace Link’s innovative platform called AirHub, a GIS-based digital mapping system to determine the safest, most efficient route for a drone to take on the way to pick up and deliver items.
The initiative will unlock new advanced, autonomous drone solutions to enhance both public safety and business operations, such as package delivery and emergency first responder operations, resulting in a better quality of life for the citizens of Ontario. The digital infrastructure establishes compliant and safer drone flights in the community, as well as safety benefits critical to help pave the way for future UPS, Amazon and Alphabet’s Wing Drone deliveries that will drive future economic growth throughout California.
Airspace Link co-founder Ana Healander says the growth of recreational flight and commercial drone traffic is increasing rapidly, and Ontario is leading the state of California when it comes to embracing the drone industry. One study by Brad College shows California already has roughly 55.6 drone pilots per 100,000 residents.
With safety in mind, Airspace Link, the city of Ontario and Ontario International Airport are also collaborating with the Federal Aviation Administration to open up more airspace to support drone flights through the use of Airspace Link’s technology.
The economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic has led the Fairplex to lay off more than half of its full-time employees. In total, 82 employees who were originally furloughed this spring, were notified of the layoffs on Oct. 30. The cuts leave 28 full-time workers at the Pomona venue, a 58% drop in employees.
Employees who were laid off have been offered career management services to help with transitioning to a new job and health care will be provided to them through the end of the year.
Fairplex President and CEO Miguel A. Santana said the decision had to be made, since there are legal issues with keeping employees furloughed for an extended period of time. Meanwhile, the organization continues to operate in a limited capacity due to Los Angeles County public health restrictions.
The pandemic has had a huge economic impact on Fairplex, most notably the cancellation of the Los Angeles County Fair in May. Typically, the fair has an estimated economic impact of $324 million annually in the county, and $58 million in the city of Pomona, according to Fairplex.
Santana, who is set to leave his role in January, said the Fairplex has a few drive-in events planned over the holidays but the core of its operations will continue to be focused on helping the region with coronavirus response efforts. This includes testing, hosting drive-thru food pantries and offering free childcare for the children of health care workers, first responders and essential workers at its Child Development Center.
The Sheraton Fairplex Hotel, located on the Fairplex campus, also opened up 244 rooms to quarantine coronavirus patients, an agreement that runs through the end of the year.
Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has partnered with National Community Renaissance (National CORE) to provide $1.5 million to support construction of the Day Creek Senior Villas in Rancho Cucamonga. These villas will provide affordable housing to hundreds of low-income seniors.
Through this partnership with National CORE, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing, the health plan will receive access to 10 apartment units in the newly-constructed facility. These units will provide permanent housing for homeless seniors who are IEHP members transitioning out of long-term care.
A part of IEHP’s Housing Initiative, members housed in this facility will receive intensive case management services and step-by-step guidance through the medical system. This service will teach members how to optimize their benefits so they can get the care they need, when they need it.
In addition to the hands-on care IEHP residents will receive at this facility, all who reside at the Day Creek Senior Villas will have access to amenities such as a swimming pool, spa, patios, outdoor lounges and a community center. Along with Dr. Hansberger, Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s chief executive officer, recently toured the new facility for the first time.
For more information about the Day Creek Senior Villas, visit: nationalcore.org.
Chris Constantin will start the new year as the City Manager of San Dimas, taking the spot of a retiring city manager. The San Dimas council approved the agreement on Nov. 10.
Constantin, currently Assistant City Manager of Chico, joined the Chico team in 2013, serving as finance director, human resource director and information technology director before stepping in as assistant city manager.
Tasked with helping the city manager turn around the finances of the town, along with a number of other challenges that have materialized, including several major disasters, have given him a good foundation for the new job.
He wasn’t looking for a new town, he said, but encountered representatives of San Dimas during a conference who spoke highly of the good path their town was on.
CBRE has brokered the sale of Stewart Plaza, an 84,498-square-foot medical office campus in Upland. Harbor Associates and The Bascom Group acquired the asset for $10.3 million.
Located at 400 N. Mountain Ave., Stewart Plaza is situated 1 mile from Interstate 10. Stewart Plaza sits on a five-acre lot in an opportunity zone.
Harbor Associates revealed plans for a multimillion-dollar capital improvement program, which will include upgrades to the entry and lobby, elevators, a new roof and replacing the HVAC units in both buildings. Additionally, the refurbished Spanish-style property will receive LED lighting retrofits, new signage and will feature rent-ready spec suites.
The joint venture owns a portfolio of 28 office buildings in southern California and Colorado, consisting of more than 3.7 million square feet, according to Bascom Managing Partner Jerry Fink. In March, Harbor Associates paid $34.2 million for a four-building office park in Carlsbad.