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Vote.Button.FINALAlhambra Preservation Group, with the League of Women Voters – Pasadena Area, will sponsor a Meet the Candidates Forum on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.  The Meet the Candidates Forum will take place from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at Almansor Court’s Lakeview Room, 700 South Almansor Street, Alhambra, CA  91801. The event is free to the general public and light refreshments will be served. Alhambra residents are encouraged to attend.

All Alhambra City Council candidates have been invited to participate in the pre-election event. A moderator from the League of Women Voters – Pasadena Area will ask each candidate the same opening question, followed by a series of written questions from the audience. “The purpose of the Meet the Candidates Forum is to give city council candidates the opportunity to address policy issues vital to Alhambra’s future and give residents the chance to ask questions of candidates,” stated Joyce Amaro, President of the Alhambra Preservation Group. “Given the many issues facing our city, we invite all Alhambrans to attend this event and receive the information they need to cast an informed vote on election day.”

Community planning, environmental sustainability, public health and safety, historic preservation, transportation and infrastructure are just a few of the topics that may be addressed at the forum. The November 8, 2016 election will decide two of five Alhambra City Council seats.

Photo courtesy of start2finish.org.

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IMG_7364On January 13, the City of Alhambra hosted the second General Plan Community Meeting at the Civic Center Library. Approximately 100 Alhambrans attended the workshop. The presentation given by the city’s consultant included information about the surveys that were collected this past summer and recommendations for Alhambra’s future. Here are a few of the evening’s highlights:

– Consultants conducted 400 random phone surveys from June 25 – July 9, 2015 with respondents prioritizing the enhancement of existing city services, the protection of the city’s character/quality of life and ensuring the health of the city’s economy and job market.

– Consultants collected 360 written surveys with 13% of respondents wanting to preserve historic homes and buildings, 13% of respondents expressing an interest in protecting open space/parks and trees and 9% of respondents interested in preserving the small-town community atmosphere.

– High priorities identified from the written surveys included the improvement of traffic flow (58%), the preservation of historic areas and buildings (52%) and the improvement of the maintenance of city streets (50%).

– Concerns expressed by respondents included the opinion that there is too much development in Alhambra. Sixty-six percent of respondents felt that there were too many condominiums, 60% expressed that there were too many apartments, and 58% said that there was too much mixed-use housing.

– Other ideas presented included the identification and enhancement of gateways entering Alhambra, linking neighboring community bike connectors into Alhambra, and the maintenance of Alhambra’s core industrial area while transitioning select industrial areas to commercial mixed use.Linear.Park.Railroad.Trench

– One idea that generated a lot of interest was the creation of a linear park over the current railroad trench, which runs parallel to Mission Road.

The January 13 community workshop presentation can be viewed here. The results of the community survey can be found here.

After the presentation, participants rotated through three stations – (1) Land Use & Economic Development, (2) Community Design & Character and (3) Mobility, providing additional input on elements/issues that need to be prioritized or were missing. The consultant team encouraged residents to e-mail comments or concerns to generalplan@cityofalhambra.org.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of people who submitted a written survey last summer stated that the preservation of historic areas and buildings should be a priority for the City of Alhambra. The commitment and dedication of APG’s members last summer to filling out and submitting the written surveys and taking the online survey paid off! The next step in this process is the writing and release of the draft General Plan, which should take place in late Spring. After the release of the draft General Plan, there will be a required 45-day public review period.

Yes, it may seem like we are inching our way toward a historic preservation ordinance, but that’s how change happens – one step at a time. APG is committed to advocating for the adoption of a historic preservation ordinance. The more Alhambrans who join us, the faster we’ll get to our goal of Alhambra adopting legislation that will protect and preserve our city’s architecturally significant homes and buildings.

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Jan.20.Planning.CommissionLast Tuesday night, Alhambra’s Council chambers were filled with residents attending the Planning Commission meeting where the City Ventures LLC Midwick project was discussed and considered.
Alhambra Preservation Group had six board members in attendance with three board members speaking against the project. “While none of the buildings in the proposed construction zone are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or included in Alhambra’s list of historic buildings, that does not mean the buildings aren’t significant. Some of them date back to 1937, and most were built between 1947 to 1968,” stated Christine Olson, APG President. “The city of Alhambra … has not compiled a list of its historic resources in more than 30 years, and that one was limited in its scope. What that means is that no one really knows if there are locally significant historic buildings in Midwick that will be demolished by this project,” she continued.
The meeting lasted until after 10 p.m with almost two and a half hours of public comment. Resident after resident gave informed, rational and heartfelt reasons why the project, which will be located at 2400 South Fremont Avenue in the Midwick Tract, should not move forward. Unfortunately, the Planning Commission approved the project by a vote of 7 to 2. Tom Maloney and Ross Maza were the only commissioners to vote against the project, which will demolish all existing structures, build 70 new residences and re-zone a portion of the area. The proposed project’s specific plan will now go before the City Council for final approval.
You can read more about the Mickwick project and last Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting in the Alhambra Source and Pasadena Star News. For ongoing updates about the Midwick project, follow Alhambra Preservation Group and Grassroots Alhambra on Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Oscar Amaro.

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