Monrovia Neighborhood Study

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City_logo_leaf_brown -Left The Neighborhood Study Process

The City of Monrovia’s architectural heritage is an important part of the character of our community that appeals to residents and visitors alike. Indeed, the impressive collection of historical homes here in Monrovia is an integral component of what makes our City unique. Yet to keep Monrovia financially strong and to keep our businesses vibrant, it is important to encourage growth and development as well. Preserving the old – while embracing the new – requires a careful balancing act.

Based on concerns of many residents of the community, the Monrovia City Council adopted two moratoria. The purpose of the moratoria was to “take a breath” and give the community an opportunity to discuss and provide input on the status and future of Monrovia’s neighborhoods. Since the beginning of 2015, the City has been focused on a comprehensive study of regulations that affect our neighborhoods. There are three phases of the Study:

  • Phase 1 – Community Outreach (January to June 2015)
  • Phase 2 – Analysis of feedback, identify issues and alternatives (May to September 2015)
  • Phase 3 – Develop, adopt and implement regulations through the public hearing process (October 2015 - present)
    Within Phase 3, there are four separate study tracks:
    • Track 1 – Development standards for single family zones and compatibility review; lifting of the morato
    • Track 2 – Development standards in multifamily zones and targeted topics, such as parking regulations.
    • Track 3 – Development of Compatibility Design Review Guidelines
    • Track 4 – Historic Preservation

We are now in Phase 3 of the study which is focused on the adoption and implementation of new ordinances. More information about Phase 1 and 2 of the Neighborhood Study can be found here.

Phase 3 – Policy Development and Implementation

With the input received from the Community, Commissions and the City Council, City staff has developed a comprehensive set of proposed changes to the City’s Zoning regulations pertaining to the maximum allowable house size, building setbacks from property lines, and compatibility design review for single family zones. In the first part of 2016, another round of community meetings were held to present the conceptual policies and get additional feedback to ensure that the concerns raised at the beginning of the process were being addressed.

During this period, the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission and City Council also reviewed the conceptual policies at public meetings. Further study and information was requested, specifically on the compatibility design review process. Presentations were made to the Planning Commission and City Council on the final piece of Track 1. The City Council Special Meeting that reviews the proposed compatibility design review process can be viewed here.

Staff was given direction to prepare an ordinance and schedule the public hearings. The public hearings are scheduled for:

  • July 13, 2016 – Planning Commission
  • August 2, 2016 – City Council

Concurrently, progress has been made in reviewing the City’s Historic Preservation Program (Track 4). Based on the policy direction adopted by the City Council, the Historic Preservation Commission prioritized a long term work program. This feedback was used to develop a set of preservation initiatives which were reviewed at a joint meeting of the City Council and the Historic Preservation Commission on June 20, 2016. The presentation was recorded and is available here. (The meeting starts at the 56:00 minute mark).

Direction was also given to move forward on the Historic Preservation initiatives. Public hearings are tentatively scheduled for:

  • July 27, 2016 – Historic Preservation Commission
  • August 10, 2016 – Planning Commission
  • September 6, 2016 – City Council

The agenda and staff reports for public hearings are generally available Thursday afternoon the week before the meeting and will be available to download.

While the proposed regulations include some significant changes in Monrovia’s regulations, there is still more work to do on Track 2 and 3. Also, City Staff will continue to monitor the new regulations to ensure that they are achieving their desired outcome.

Change and development are a natural part of a community’s evolution. How the evolution is managed is the key. The ultimate goal will be to define a balanced approach to retaining and enhancing the unique character of Monrovia’s neighborhoods as they continue to change with renovations, additions and new housing construction. Any modification to the City’s regulatory processes and standards should be focused on managing change, not preventing it.

Want to share some specific thoughts or ideas? Shoot us an email at planning@ci.monrovia.ca.us.

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