City Manager's Update: July 16, 2019
In an effort to provide an update of important news and notes from this last week, the following report has been prepared. As always, please feel free to let me know if you have a question about any of the items contained in this update – I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!
Quote of the Week
What consumes your mind controls your life.
– Carl Flanders
It’s Official… New Lowe’s Store Is Coming To Monrovia! Appliance-Focused Concept Will Be Located In The Former OSH Site On Huntington Drive!
We wanted to let everyone know that we received confirmation late this past week that Lowe’s is coming to Monrovia! If you recall, after OSH closed their store earlier this year at the shopping center now anchored by Petsmart (725 West Huntington Drive), the City has been in fairly close contact with numerous individuals who either represent or are interested in the now vacant OSH site.
This past week, we were able to confirm that Lowe’s will be opening a store here in Monrovia at the former OSH location! In particular, Lowe’s owned OSH, and given the closure of all OSH locations, during the past several months, Lowe’s has been reviewing their portfolio of now-vacant sites to determine their next steps. Based on that review, Lowe’s informed the City that they want to open a new appliance-centric store concept here in Monrovia that will also provide opportunities to purchase home improvement related items that are typically found in a Lowe’s store.
Of note, the proposed store concept being put forward by Lowe’s is likely a response to the reorganized Sears that exited bankruptcy protection earlier this calendar year. Under Sears’ new business plan, they are focused on transforming into a niche, appliance-focused retailer, and Lowe’s is likely looking to compete in that particular retail space with their proposed store in Monrovia.
From a timeframe perspective, Lowe’s has shared that they want to move quickly, and that they are aiming for a new store opening in September of this year. Given tenant improvements / store upgrades processes, to open in September 2019 would require Lowe’s to move very quickly. To that end, we are tentatively anticipating that Lowe’s will be appearing before the Development Review Committee (DRC) on July 31 to present their overall store signage plans for consideration.
This is a terrific development for Monrovia, and kudos to the City’s Community Development Department for their expert coordination of various processes in working with and convincing Lowe’s to open a store here in Monrovia! We’ll be sure to pass along new details as that information becomes available!
Join Us For The First Of Our Summer Movies In The Park This Saturday, July 20, At Kiwanis Park At Grand Avenue For Incredibles 2!
The Community Services Department is excited to present Summer Movies in the Park! Join us on the following dates to watch a movie under the stars. All movies will begin at dusk. Be sure to bring your lawn chair, blankets, and snacks for a smashing good time that the whole family can enjoy!
- July 20 – Incredibles 2 at Kiwanis Park at Grand Avenue
- July 27 – Ralph Breaks the Internet at Julian Fisher Park
- August 3 – Mary Poppins Returns at Rotary Park
- August 10 – Wall-E at Library Park
Canyon Park’s Family Night And Campout Program Continues To Be A Hit, With Four More Weekend Sessions Scheduled Through September 2019!
Earlier this month, our talented Canyon Park and Library staff hosted a Family Hike & Campout event in our very own Canyon Park! This popular program fills up fast, as families are eager to make memories under the stars, and enjoy a BBQ dinner, s’mores, a hike, story-time, and more! Luckily, there are still chances for you and your family to attend the campouts this summer, so we encourage you to sign up as registration opens for each event!
- Upcoming Campouts:
- July 27 - 28
- August 25 - 26
- September 7 - 8
- September 28 - 29
- Check In: 2:00 p.m., Check Out: 12:00 p.m.
- Registration opens three weeks before each event. Be sure to sign up early to get your spot!
- Cost: %50
Should you have any questions about these terrific events, please call the Community Services Department at (626) 256-8155!
Charter Communication To Begin Work On The 100 Block Of West Lemon Avenue
An underground communications conduit set to be installed by Charter Communication will impact Lemon Avenue between Myrtle Avenue & Primrose Avenue. The construction work will begin on Monday, July 15, and will be completed by Thursday, July 18.
Of particular note, the work on Monday will shut off complete access of the alley on the south side of Lemon Avenue, located just west of Myrtle Avenue. However, there will be a construction crew member to direct 2-way traffic at all times during construction! Also of note, on Tuesday, July 16, the alley will be shut off on the north side of Lemon Avenue where the traffic configuration on the north side will allow 2-way traffic.
All businesses in the area will be accessible at all times. And please contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575 with any questions regarding this work!
City Entryway Improvements At Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue Set To Take Place In Mid-July - City Council Study Session To Review Monument Sign This Tuesday At 6:30 P.M.
During the past year, staff has been engaged in coordinating a capital improvement project that will result in a reconfiguration of the intersection at 5th Avenue / Huntington Drive. The planned improvements are funded through a variety of different sources, and the overall elements associated with the enhancements include:
- An initial reconfiguration of the Southeast entryway corner of Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue to facilitate future phases of the improvements
- Installation of a new entryway monument at the location (along with corresponding entryway monuments / public art along the entire stretch of Huntington Drive in Monrovia), along with new landscaping
- Widening Huntington Drive at 5th Avenue in Monrovia to facilitate improved traffic flow at the location
- Installation of new traffic signals at the Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue intersection to facilitate protected left turn movements in all directions
Given the coordination that has occurred to date, the first phase of the planned improvements – reconfiguring and widening the southwest entryway corner of Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue to facilitate all of the other enhancements – is scheduled to begin in a few weeks in mid-July. As part of that work, the existing entryway monument will need to be removed, and staff is in the process of coordinating that removal process now.
In order for the reconfiguration of the southwest entryway corner on Huntington Drive to proceed, the City needs to expand the area of this particular corner to facilitate all of the planned future work. To accomplish this task, the City’s contractor will work to expand the covering over an existing underground pedestrian trail that travels below Huntington Drive, along the Santa Anita wash.
Utilizing some of the existing structure, a box culvert will be built in the wash that will include a traffic rated deck to match the existing grade of the corner. This will add more than 100 additional square feet of space to this corner and will form the basis for the eventual installation of new welcome monuments, improved landscaping, new traffic signals, and pedestrian space.
This initial work is slated to begin in mid-July, and as part of the construction activity, we will be removing the existing entryway monument (and don’t worry… the City will be saving the monument!). In addition, existing fencing and landscaping will also be removed as a part of preparing the corner for work. Once everything is cleared, City contractors will begin building the structural support for the expansion, which will take place below the road along the pedestrian trail. Once that is complete, contractors will focus on constructing the deck at grade.
The overall work will take around 4-weeks to complete, and although the work will take place out of the roadway, there may be times when contractors will be encroaching onto Fifth Avenue and Huntington Drive during the construction activity. Of course, in those instances, proper and thorough traffic control will be installed to ensure that the work zone is safe at all times. In addition, due to the potential traffic delays, our team has been in touch with our counterparts at the City of Arcadia to advise of potential impacts. Finally, we ask all motorists and pedestrians in the area to be please be safe and expect delays.
Of note, given the visibility of the entryway monument at 5th Avenue / Huntington Drive for Monrovia, staff is planning to coordinate a City Council Study Session to review the planned improvements at the intersection location on July 16. At that meeting, we’ll describe all of the planned work in greater detail, including a review of design concepts for the newly planned entryway monument. The new entryway monument art components that we’ve been developing have been inspired by the Station Square art / signage program, and we look forward to sharing these new design concepts with everyone once they are vetted a bit further. However… as a sneak peak of where we’re headed… see the draft rendering below!
In the meantime, if you have any questions about this matter, please call Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or email PWComments@ci.monrovia.ca.us.
The Monrovia Historical Society Presents Their Own Fun Version Of Antiques Roadshow On Saturday, August 3, 10 A.M. – 1 P.M.
The Monrovia Historical Society invites you to their answer to television’s Antiques Roadshow! Ever wanted to bring something to an Antiques Roadshow event and have someone tell you about it? How old is it? What’s it worth? How do you fix it?
Bring that “it’s treasure to me, but is it really treasure?” that’s been sitting in your curio cabinet, and satisfy your curiosity! Solve a mystery or get some advice from our local experts (not the TV ones):
- Chris Shackelford, Pasadena Architectural Salvage, antique house parts (hardware, fixtures)
- Norm Haley, expert in antique automobiles and rehabbing old structures
- Steve Baker, City Historian, antique furniture, Early American Glass and Monroviana
- We may also have an expert from a major auction house or two.
Join the investigative fun on Saturday, August 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Library Community Room (321 S. Myrtle Avenue). Participants should bring 1-2 items you are curious about. If it’s large (like a desk or an airplane), or attached to your home, just bring a picture.
While this may not be an actual taping of the TV show, it should be just as enjoyable! This event is free to Monrovia Historical Society members and a $5 donation for non-members. RSVP to the Historical Society to get an early place in line, or call/text (626) 675-8323. Read more about the Historical Society via their website.
Save The Date! Monrovia Community Garden Pilot Program’s Official Ribbon Cutting Set To Take Place On July 20 At 9:00 A.M.
The City is so excited to be launching the Monrovia Community Garden Pilot Program with a formal Ribbon Cutting event to commemorate the Monrovia Community Garden project on Saturday, July 20, at 9:00 a.m.! We invite the entire community to come and celebrate this exciting new program for Monrovia.
If you have driven by 303 West Colorado Boulevard recently, you may have seen the garden beds, which include:
- Individual irrigation for each garden bed
- Organic soil in each plot
- An educational demonstration garden
- Permanent fencing
- Decomposed granite pathways
- Fruit trees that have started to bear fruit
Program participants have even started their gardening activities! After receiving tremendous interest from 27 individuals wanting to participate in the program, 21 burgeoning gardeners were accepted for the available private garden plots.
If you have any questions about this program, find us online at www.monroviacommunitygarden.org. You can also follow the Monrovia Community Garden program on Facebook and Instagram.
For more information on the Ribbon Cutting event, see the flyer! And we do look forward to seeing everyone there!
Monrovia Community Garden Program Set To Host A Veggie Gardening 101 Workshop On July 27 At 9:00 A.M. – The Event Is Free And Open To Everyone Interested In Participating!
As part of the Community Garden program, the City will be coordinating gardening educational workshops throughout the year, and all of these workshops will be free and open to the public. The first of these workshops will be held on Saturday, July 27, at 9:00 a.m., and will be focused on Veggie Gardening 101. Additional details can be found on the event flyer below!
If you have any questions about this program, find us online at www.monroviacommunitygarden.org. You can also follow the Monrovia Community Garden program on Facebook and Instagram.
Monrovia Weekly Hosted Open Forum And Received Valuable Insight And Input
Just a note that on June 27, Monrovia Weekly met with readers to hear their concerns about the community’s newspaper. A few key requests that were made included:
- Increasing visibility by including more pick-up locations around the city
- Increasing coverage on schools and city news
- Increasing columnists to cover the city history, Old Town and local businesses
If you would like to view the full list of requests, or have a suggestion of your own, please take a look at the article.
New Public Parking Lot on Lime Avenue Now Open for Public Use!
Just a quick note to let everyone know that a new public parking lot is now open for use on Lime Avenue just east of Ivy Avenue (see the highlighted parking lot in the map below). During the past month, City staff have coordinated a re-slurrying of the parking lot, and we have also installed new striping and signage, and the new parking facility is now open and available to the public for use!
Of note… the City will be asking that all City employees park in the new parking lot during the day, in order to free up public parking spaces in the more convenient parking lot located across the street from the Police Department (located at the northwest corner of Lime Avenue / Ivy Avenue).
To that end, we have installed a number of “Reserved for City Staff Parking” signs in the new parking lot to reserve parking for City personnel between the hours of 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Monday – Thursday).
Monrovia To Be Featured In A True Crime Documentary Called Fatal Attraction, Regarding The Murder Of Lajoya Mccoy
We wanted to let everyone know that the Monrovia Police Department is set to be featured on a true crime documentary being filmed for the TvOne Network for a series called, Fatal Attraction. Jupiter Entertainment will be producing the show, which is focused on telling the story of the LaJoya McCoy murder case from 2015, where the defendant in the case (her boyfriend, Jose Turner) was recently found guilty of the heinous crime. See the LA Times story here, and the Pasadena Star News story here.
As you may recall, the Monrovia Police Department were the first to address the situation when our police officers responded to a welfare check at Ms. McCoy's residence on Olive Street after she was reported missing. And kudos to the men and women in our fabulous Police Department here in Monrovia for their work in helping to solve this crime, and for the hard work that everyone is engaged in each and every day to make Monrovia the most premier place that it can be.
The team producing Fatal Attraction will be interviewing a number of people associated with the case, including Monrovia police officers who worked on the case, prosecutor Fernanda Barreto, family members of Ms. McCoy, and her closest friends. The documentary will highlight key moments in the investigation and prosecution of the overall case to illustrate how the crime was eventually solved.
The series will be filming for the next few weeks, and we will be sure to pass along additional information about the show as it becomes available. Also, additional information about the production company Jupiter Entertainment can be found online.
Athens Solid Waste Service Rates Increased By 4.77% As Of July 1, 2019 – The Typical Residential Customer Will See An Increase Of $1.50 / Month
Just a quick reminder for everyone that Athens solid waste service rates will be increasing 4.77% effective July 1, 2019. This particular adjustment takes into account both CPI and California State minimum wage cost increases, and in terms of impact to the customers, the cost increase will be as follows:
- For the typical residential customer (who is enrolled in the 90-gallon trash / recycling barrel program), solid waste services will increase by $1.50 / month, from $31.53 / month to $33.03 / month.
- For the typical multi-family customer (who is enrolled in the one 3-yard bin which is serviced once per week), solid waste services will increase by $8.63 / month, from $180.83 / month to $189.46 / month.
- For the typical commercial customer (who is enrolled in the one 3-yard bin which is serviced once per week), solid waste services will increase by $8.77 / month, from $183.94 / month to $192.71 / month.
Staff has also rolled out our annual 1-on-1 Solid Waste Services Optimization Meetings as part of the rate increase. These meetings, with representatives from the City and Athens, provide any interested customer with a personalized assessment of their current solid waste service levels to ensure that they currently enrolled in the best program to ensure proper waste removal services at the best cost level. For additional details, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Jamie Bumia, Public Works Outreach Officer in the Public Works Department, at (626) 932-5575.
Summer Concerts In The Park Every Weekend Throughout July And August!
The Community Services Department will be hosting the 2019 Summer Concert Series! Bring the entire family for an evening of free musical entertainment from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chair or blanket, sit back, relax and enjoy the variety of music. We are excited to offer dance lessons at 6 of our concerts! Mark your calendars and don't miss out!
Saturday Concerts @ Station Square Amphitheater
- Address: 1601 South Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016
- Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
- July 20 - Blue Breeze Band, Jazz Band
- July 27 -Salsa Caliente, Salsa Band
- Free Salsa Dance Lesson!
- August 3 -The Hodads, Variety Band
- Free Zumba Dance Lesson!
- August 10 -The Skinny Ties, 80's Rock and Roll Band
- August 17 - Mark Easterday Band, Country Band
- Free Line Dancing Lesson!
- August 24 -Langston Theard & Adoration, Gospel Soul Band
Sunday Concerts @ Library Park, Rotary Club Bandshell
- Address: 321 South Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016
- Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
- July 21 -Kelly Rae Band, Country Band
- Free Line Dancing Lesson!
- July 28 -Smokin' Cobras, 50's Retro Band
- Free Swing Dance Lesson!
- August 4 - Hit Me 90's, 90's Pop Band
- Free Pop/Hip Hop Lesson!
- August 11 - Bumptown, Old School/Disco/Latin Band
- August 18 - Yachty by Nature, Yacht Rock Band 70s & 80s
- August 25 - The Answer, Classic Rock Band
- July 21 -Kelly Rae Band, Country Band
For additional information, please contact the Community Center at (626) 256-8246!
Monrovia Renewal North Area Road Work Construction Activities Set To Continue, With Major Street Work Now Underway!
Street reconstruction activities are underway in the North Section of the City’s Monrovia Renewal Project. As this is the largest section of Monrovia Renewal, street improvements will continue between now and August 2019. For purposes of managing a project of this scale, Sully-Miller is conducting the paving work in phases and each area will receive a subsequent schedule and notification prior to work taking place in their immediate area. If your street is not listed in the information below, it will be coming shortly!
Work will continue in the North Section and will include:
- Water Tie-Ins will continue on Prospect Avenue
- These activities may require water shut downs to complete the work. All impacted customers will be notified at least 24 hours in advance of water shut down.
- Saw cutting and removals will continue on Encinitas Avenue
- Concrete Pour
- Streets include: West side of Highland Place, East side of Melrose Avenue, Hidden Valley Road and Encinitas Avenue
Work will continue to focus on concrete improvements as well as water and sewer work. Street construction and paving activities are set to resume around the end of July. The project area map below indicates the specific road work that will take place on each street. More details on the upcoming road work for Monrovia Renewal will be included in future updates, including dates and specific street locations. We appreciate your patience and support while we work to execute these improvements throughout our community! If you have any questions regarding Monrovia Renewal, please feel free to contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or email@example.com.
Additional Monrovia Renewal North Area Improvements (Water Main Repairs, Concrete Work) Also Continuing On Highland, Greystone, And Prospect – Key Updates For The Week Of June 15!
In addition to the roadwork activities outlined above, the following Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the North section will continue this week. Sully Miller Contracting will:
- Continue water main repairs on: Greystone Avenue and Prospect Avenue
- Concrete improvements throughout the project area
We will do our best to minimize the impacts on residents. Sully Miller will deliver notices to all residents in the impacted area(s) prior to work taking place. The notices will outline the work taking place, a schedule overview, and information on associated impacts, such as parking restrictions and driveway access:
- Initial Notice – This notice will be distributed approximately one week prior to work commencing.
- Two Day Notice – A final notice will be provided two days before the activity begins to serve as a reminder of the upcoming work and associated impacts.
In addition, parking signs will be posted in the areas where parking will be impacted; please adhere to all posted signs. During these activities, there may be intermittent road closures and parking restrictions. Streets and driveways may be inaccessible for intermittent periods during the day but will be accessible every night.
We recognize that construction can be messy and inconvenient, and thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work through these improvements! For more information on what work will be happening on your street and general inquiries about the Monrovia Renewal project, please contact the Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575 or email the Monrovia Renewal Project Team. In addition, you can visit the Monrovia Renewal webpage for all the latest project news and updates. View the map below to see what road work improvements are coming to your street!
Suspension Of Street Sweeping Enforcement In North Section Construction Area As Monrovia Renewal Work Continues Through End of August
As we have embarked on Monrovia Renewal North area improvements and have assessed the extensive nature of the construction activity, the City has measured the need to suspend traditional street sweeping operations and enforcement while construction is underway. Beginning Monday, June 17, posted street sweeping restrictions will not be enforced in the current work area, specifically, the portion of the City that is north of and including Hillcrest Boulevard, Grand Avenue, and Greystone Avenue.
While construction activity continues in this section, residents are advised to adhere to all posted construction parking signs! The suspension of enforcement applies only to street sweeping restrictions; all other parking and vehicle code sections will remain enforced. The suspension of citations related to street sweeping will take into effect June 17, 2019 and will continue through August 31, 2019.
We appreciate all of your patience as we continue Monrovia Renewal. Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call (626) 932-5575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monrovia Renewal South Section Project Completion Plan Developed - City Working To Finalize Updated Schedule with New Contractor, Work Set to Begin Within the Next Few Weeks!
As we’ve been reporting for the past several weeks, we have had a bit of a delay in completing all of the planned work located in the South Section of Monrovia Renewal. For reference, the South Section of our overall Citywide infrastructure improvement plan includes the entire portion of the City located south of the I-210 Freeway, and during the past few months, the City has been working to develop an alternative plan to complete the street repair work for that particular section of town. We had been working with one contractor (Sequel Construction), however, for a variety of coordination and scheduling issues, here at the City, we have had to develop an alternative plan in order to finish the identified work, which includes (among other things) around 1.35 million square feet of street improvements!
Well… after some delay, we’re delighted to share that we’ve finalized a plan to complete the remaining work, as the City has formally engaged another contractor to finish out our South Section upgrades! We spent significant time this past week working through project details with our new contractor (Sully-Miller), and we expect to have a full run-down – including an updated work schedule – ready to distribute within the next week or two. In addition, based on our discussions to date, we do anticipate that the construction work in the South Section will begin within the next few weeks as well!
A map highlighting the streets that still require additional work is included above. In addition, all of us here at the City appreciate the patience that the community has had with us as we’ve worked through executing our signature capital improvement initiative. Monrovia Renewal has certainly been messy, but the end result is upgraded infrastructure throughout our community.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of our project team (626) 932-5575 or at email@example.com.
Friday Night Teen Scene Set To Occur Every Friday Through August 16!
We are excited to share that our annual Summer Teen Scene program has kicked off and will be held, every Friday, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in Library Park. And what’s more… the program has been reimagined and improved!
Now the basics of the program will stay the same… the City of Monrovia, in partnership with several youth service organizations, hosts FREE activities at Library Park every Friday evening for teens in our community. And the purpose of the program continues to be focused on giving teens a space to gather with friends, engage in games and art activities, as well as enjoy live music… all while grabbing a bite to eat!
However, during the past few months, our Community Service Team has been hard at work to coordinate improvements related to this program, and under the direction of Nathalie Wilcox, Recreation Coordinator, along with our YES Intern, Vanessa Mills, we have secured new partnerships, developed brand new programming, and have started the marketing and promotions for our annual Friday night summer teen program.
As part of the reimagined initiative, each week, leaders from various groups (such as the Monrovia Fire Department Explorers, the Monrovia Police Department Explores, the Monrovia Area Partnership Youth Leadership Program, the Monrovia Youth Commission, and the Monrovia Teen Advisory Board) will be hosting a FREE meal, while sharing with the teens different ways they can get involved in the community. There will also be a variety of activities and events to engage the teens, and we have developed some innovative programmatic ideas, including a Cell Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt, and an initiative for teens to discover various public art installations located throughout Old Town Monrovia.
Also of note, the Monrovia Association of Fine Art (MAFA) will be on hand to help with various art projects throughout the summer for program participants, and we’ll have live youth band and performance groups on stage (in addition to regular DJ music)!
The program runs every Friday through August 16, with activities set to be offered from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. each week. For more information, please call, 626-256-8246 and ask about the Friday Night Summer Teen Scene!
Improvements To Intersection Of Huntington & Mayflower Completed On Sunday, June 23 – Staff To Continue To Monitor Conditions At Intersection
On June 23, Los Angeles County Public Works Crews implemented improvements to the operations of the intersection at Huntington Drive and Myrtle Avenue. The improvements include a revised striping and signage plan as well as changes to the traffic signal operations, all of which will:
- Close the gap in the median on Mayflower Avenue to prevent left turn movements
- Changing the signal operations to a “Split Phase” whereby traffic on Mayflower Avenue will cycle with all northbound traffic at one and then all southbound traffic so that they are not on the same cycle; this will improve left turn movements for vehicles traveling both directions on Mayflower Avenue.
- Implement new lane configurations for the Northbound traffic on Mayflower Avenue, including:
- Number 1 Lane: Left Turn only
- Number 2 Lane: Left Turn or Straight/Through
- Number 3 Lane: Right Turn only
Staff worked with Los Angeles County Public Works, over the last several months, to review the conditions at this intersection and design the implemented improvements. The primary concern that was hears was issues with motorists on northbound Mayflower Avenue as they approach Huntington Drive. This area has been known to back up severely due to capacity of left turns at Huntington Drive, the left turns of vehicles into and out of the shopping center on the East side of Mayflower. These improvements will increase the throughput of vehicles on northbound Mayflower to alleviate these conditions.
Public Works and Engineering staff will continue to monitor conditions at this intersection to ensure that the improvements are operating as designed. If necessary, minor changes and improvements will be implemented if necessary. Please contact Public Works if you have any questions or concerns.
Check Out the New Monrovia Today to Start Planning Your Summer Fun!
Summer is jam-packed with fun activities in Monrovia! Summer classes begin July 8, so find something new to learn and make some friends by registering for classes today! Browse the online flipbook to easily search using key words and click on live links to register for each class or learn more on the City website! We’re very excited to showcase all of the amazing programs, services, and events that will be in our community this summer, and hope you’ll like it as much as we do! Take a look at the latest happenings in Monrovia and register for classes by visiting the City’s website: Monrovia Today Activity Guide.
Join Us For The Second MAFA Summer Art Walk In Old Town On July 27!
The June Art Walk was a huge hit! If you missed it, fear not for there are still two more chances! The Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) Summer Art Walks offer a glimpse into the local arts scene. Visitors get to enjoy art along the sidewalk in the 400 block of South Myrtle Avenue on Saturday, July 27 and August 24. Additional information can be found on the flyer below, by visiting the event page or by calling (626) 483-0560. Many thanks to MAFA for all that they do to advance arts and culture here in our community!
City Council Adopts Resolution To Call For A Special Election To Keep Monrovia Revenue Local Sales And Use Tax Proposal On November 5, 2019
Over the past few months, staff has coordinated more than a dozen outreach meetings to discuss the possibility of calling for a special election in November 2019 for our community to consider a sales tax increase. The genesis of this idea was borne from the propensity of LA County to continue gaining approval for local sales tax rate increases, which have placed Monrovia on the precipice of hitting the State maximum rate of 10.25%. Currently, we only have 0.75% of sales tax capacity remaining, and there are several potential regional sales tax increase proposals being considered.
Throughout all of our outreach efforts, the response from most of the community regarding the possibility of increasing our local sales tax rate to keep Monrovia’s revenue local (and away from regional agencies, like LA County) has been generally positive. Given that feedback, on May 7, staff prepared a study session overview for City Council regarding our efforts to date, and also outlined a staff proposed spending plan should the measure be approved. The proposed spending plan was developed based on looming future fiscal threats, and to fund aspirational local priority projects that have been put on hold due to lack of funding. The key priority funding areas include:
- Fund an upgrade to the City’s Community Center
- Achieve a AAA Rating
- Give money back to residents by lowering the monthly municipal services bill
- Continue to invest in capital upgrades, including parks, facilities and infrastructure
- Set a fixed amount of money aside for community priorities, such as affordable housing, community based organizations, and schools.
These items were discussed in greater detail at the May 29 and June 4 Budget Study Sessions with the City Council. Additional details regarding the proposed spending plan and sales tax initiative can be found online.
Following all of the consideration regarding this matter, the City Council last Tuesday voted to adopt the requisite resolutions needed to call for a special election to allow the community to consider the Keep Monrovia Revenue Local Sales and Use Tax Proposal. The item will be considered by Monrovia voters on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
During the next several months, staff will continue to reach out to various community groups to gather additional feedback, and as the spending plan continues to develop, staff will continue to keep everyone apprised of any new information.
City Council And Planning Commission Approve Moving Forward With Initial Parking And Traffic Mitigation Plans
Last Tuesday, the City held a joint City Council / Planning Commission meeting to review and discuss additional parking and traffic mitigation plans in the Station Square area, given the increased development interest Monrovia is currently experiencing. While the City has instituted significant development mitigation programs in our attempt to find a way to balance the competing need to address increasing housing costs with protecting our existing quality of life, both our policy makers and staff have wanted to spend additional time thinking about parking and traffic related concerns.
All of the proposed development projects, along with the City’s current development mitigation program, can be found online at www.buildingmonrovia.com.
Regarding parking concerns, staff has been working to develop additional parking mitigations for consideration as we prepare to consider entitlement of the next wave of development projects. After much analysis, we have developed a mitigation effort for policy maker consideration that would require all major residential projects in the Station Square area – and anywhere in the City, for that matter – to establish in their lease agreements a requirement that prohibits their tenants from parking on any City street. Furthermore, our proposed condition would require that all developers establish a Parking Violation Eviction Program, whereby any individual who continuously violates the parking rule could be evicted from the housing complex.
In addition, regarding traffic impacts, staff has for the past several months been working on an overall analysis of the potential cumulative traffic impacts that could result from establishment of the proposed development projects currently in our pipeline. To that end, we recently completed a comprehensive review of a study area of the entire City located south of Huntington Drive. As part of that review, we analyzed 29 separate traffic intersections, and modeled what would happen if we were to have all of our currently identified projects approved.
As we conducted our review, our assessment priorities included:
- Our General Plan has identified the minimum acceptable operational level during peak hours for each of our intersections.
- We modeled future traffic conditions through the target year of 2040, and included in our assessment regional growth patterns, known development projects, and other projects allowed by the General Plan by 2040.
- This assessment was intended to see what would happen in the year 2040 at each of the intersections if we do nothing to improve the situation.
Based on the analysis, our review concluded that by 2040, development patterns will add a total of 2,048 morning peak hour trips, and 3,457 afternoon peak hour trips. Also, the review indicates that if we do nothing, in 2040, 12 of the 29 study intersections will be operating at less than the requisite level of service as articulated in our General Plan.
Given this analysis, State law allows us to assess a Traffic Impact Fee on all new development that would require that project proponents pay for their proportional share of the additional traffic being generated by their developments. To that end, we are working to institute a Traffic Impact Fee in Monrovia, which if approved, would raise funds from each of the new developments to make traffic / intersection improvements as identified in our study. The identified improvements are highlighted in the map below.
We will be taking steps to institute the actual implementation of the Traffic Impact Fee program and the proposed parking mitigation program with the Planning Commission and City Council in the next several months.
Visit www.buildingmonrovia.com For All Of Your Development-Related Questions
To provide more information on the unprecedented development interest taking place in Monrovia, the City has spent the last few months creating a new website focused on helping residents and businesses not only learn more about each project that is being considered, but also answer frequently asked questions about the impacts these development may have on the community. The website includes pages on all the major areas of concern, such as:
- Affordable Housing
- Public Safety
- And more!
The City held a joint City Council / Planning Commission to review the upcoming major development projects that will be considered for entitlements starting later this year. The Commission, Council, and community members provided valuable feedback at the meeting that will help guide next steps as these projects move through review. The major projects that are likely going to be considered by the City this year include:
- Trammel Crow Residential - "The Alexan Specific Plan"
- A 436-unit project proposed to be built at 1625 South Magnolia Avenue
- Fifield Realty Corporation - "West Pomona Transit District"
- A 310-unit project proposed to be built at 123 West Pomona Avenue
- MW Investment Group - "Arroyo at Monrovia Station"
- A 284-unit project proposed to be built on the City block bound by South Magnolia to the west, South Primrose to the east, West Evergreen to the north, and West Pomona to the south
- City Park-and-Ride Lot
- A proposed ~130 key Cambria hotel project located on the City's park-and-ride lot at the southwest corner of Myrtle Avenue / Pomona Avenue.
We do hope that you take the opportunity to look through www.buildingmonrovia.com and learn more about all of the exciting developments that are taking place in Monrovia! For in-depth details on each project and to track each project as it moves through the development process over the next several months, you can also visit the Development Spotlight page on the main City website.
Check Out The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District’s New Music Video For Mosquito Prevention!
The summer of 2019 is kicking off with a music video that may not be a Top 40 hit, but it’s certainly priority public health advice against Aedes mosquitoes – the same type of mosquitoes responsible for Zika outbreaks in the United States! The music video “Don’t Bring Back the Aedes” educates students and the public about the threats of Aedes mosquitoes in Los Angeles County. Check it out online!
“Ever since mosquito control officials discovered widespread Aedes mosquito infestations in L.A. County eight years ago, the traditional prevention tips against Aedes mosquitoes have not been very effective,” said Levy Sun, SGVMVCD public information officer. “We need to cut through the buzz with something different, and that’s what the music video hopes to achieve.”
While West Nile virus persists as the biggest threat to residents, vector control officials are also concerned about aggressive, day-biting Aedes mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya. There have been no local outbreaks of these viruses in San Gabriel Valley; however, the presence of Aedes mosquitoes increases the risk.
Mosquito control experts advise residents take the following steps to bite back against mosquitoes.
- Prevent bites by applying insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Always read label instructions.
- Tip and toss all sources of stagnant water on your property, including in flower pots, old tires, buckets, pet dishes and trash cans.
- Install screens on windows and doors, and keep them in good repair.
- Report neglected swimming pools to mosquito and vector control.
- If, after dumping stagnant water, residents continue to experience mosquito problems, they can submit a tip to SGVMVCD at sgvmosquito.org or call 626-814-9466.
In response to year-round mosquito-borne disease threats, SGVMVCD’s programs continue its efforts to reduce mosquito populations.
- Vector control specialists monitor and control for mosquitoes in stagnant water sources in public areas and on residential properties.
- The surveillance staff traps mosquitoes and sends samples of adult mosquitoes to be tested for diseases, such as West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis.
- Outreach and education continue its spring education push in schools and community events to remind everyone to take preventative measures against mosquitoes.
Southern California Edison Planning Electrical System Improvements That Will Impact Portions of Myrtle, Walnut and Primrose
Construction crews and inspectors from Southern California Edison (SCE) are coordinating a significant electrical system undergrounding improvement project that will impact the area of Myrtle Avenue, Primrose Avenue, and Walnut Avenue. The construction work, which is anticipated to last 6 – 8 weeks, will involve trenching and excavating portions of the 800 block of South Myrtle Avenue, along with portions of Walnut Avenue adjacent west of Myrtle Avenue, in order to install new conduits, ducts, and other underground structures to reroute existing SCE infrastructure. Of particular note, as part of the work, SCE will need to have a trench cut across Myrtle Avenue, which will require robust traffic control efforts.
Work began on June 17 with crews trenching and installing conduit within the roadway to connect all of the underground vaults and facilities that were previously installed. Work began on Primrose north to Walnut and down Walnut eastbound to Myrtle. Work is taking place along one side of the street so through traffic will be available; motorists are advised to be cautious when traveling through work areas. All businesses and residences in the area will be accessible at all times. Please contact Public Works with any questions about the work progress and schedule!
Annual Citywide Sewer Cleaning Program Has Begun, With 200,000 Linear Feet Of Sewer Lines Set To Be Cleaned By July
We wanted to let everyone know that the City has started our annual sewer maintenance program, and our team has been deployed in concert with a private contractor (Houston Harris) to coordinate an initial cleaning of ~250,000 linear feet of sewer lines throughout the City. And just in case you didn’t know… 250,000 linear feet is equivalent to nearly 47 miles!
Overall, the City’s sanitary sewer system contains approximately 92 miles of sewer line comprised of various sizes (ranging from 6” to 24” diameters) and materials (including iron, steel, and vitrified clay). Given that quantity of sewer lines, our sewer maintenance program includes the cleaning of around 250,000 linear feet of sewer pipelines annually. The crews in the field now are using a method known as hydro jetting to clear any possible sewer blockages, and additionally, our team will be coordinating the inspection of the sewer lines utilizing closed circuit video. Other maintenance activities include root removal and pest control programs.
During the next few months, we will be coordinating this sewer maintenance work, and if you see large equipment located throughout town at sewer manholes… rest assured, our team is hard at work keeping the brown in the round!
New State Regulations Have Further Eroded Local Control Over Housing Decisions
As the City prepares to consider several large-scale development projects, one housing note that we wanted to share with everyone relates to the impact that recent State legislation has had on our local land use controls as it relates to housing development. As you may recall, in 2017 and in 2018, the State approved a series of legislative amendments to the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), which combined has reduced local government authority to deny or reduce the density of proposed housing development projects.
To highlight how those pieces of legislation impact a municipality’s ability to regulate development, a full memo on the matter can be found online. In particular, I wanted to highlight some of the key changes that staff is currently grappling with:
- The new regulations adopted by the State stipulate that if a project conforms to a City’s applicable development standards (i.e., no variances or exceptions are sought), it will be extremely difficult for the City to legally deny any housing project.
- Furthermore, while a City can still institute a design and neighborhood compatibility review process, the City essentially now cannot deny a housing development project, or impose conditions that the project be developed at a lower density, unless strict findings can be identified which indicate that a project would have a specific, adverse impact on public health or safety.
Again, a memo outlining all of the new State mandated housing development regulations that we are contending with can be found online.
Are You In Need Of Accessible Transportation? Register For Monrovia's Dial-A-Ride Program!
As of March, Monrovia Transit serves passengers with ADA needs only. This change is being made to ensure the ADA accessible vehicles are reserved for those who need special accommodations. All passengers with ADA-related needs wishing to take advantage of this service should complete this short, one-time application, including providing back-up documentation showing disability eligibility, sign the waiver, and return both to the Community Center (119 W. Palm Avenue).
Summer Reading Program 2019 @ Monrovia Public Library
Looking for some FREE fun in the sun this summer? Then head over to the Library for Summer Reading 2019. We have programs for all ages, plus if you can receive prizes and free books by logging your days of reading! This year we have a special Grand Prize, a $500 Disney Gift Card, generously donated by Creative Woman. For your chance to win, collect all 10 Learning Icons over the summer. Each Learning Icon represents one of the skills you can learn by attending library programs, such as Critical Thinking, Community Building, and Adventure & Discovery. Visit the Library's website to learn more about the Summer Reading Program and Learning Icons. You can find the Summer Reading 2019 Programming Brochure HERE. Let’s make this the best summer ever!
This Week’s Happenings At The Monrovia Public Library!
The Monrovia Public Library is a special community gathering place that makes a difference in the lives of children, teens, adults, and families of all kinds. Experience all that the Library has to offer by visiting us in person at 321 S. Myrtle Avenue, and if you have any questions, contact the Library at (626) 256-8274!
SCILAB: 3D Printing Academy
Learn the basics of 3D design, then take it to the next level with more advanced skills and troubleshooting tips. All materials provided. For Grades 1st & up.
- Tuesday, July 16, 3:00 p.m., Library Story Room
Laser Reader with Prismatic Magic
Generously sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Monrovia. This performance combines technology, art, and popular children’s music. Fun for all ages!
- Thursday, July 18, 3:00 p.m., Community Center - Kay Dalton Room (119 W. Palm Ave.)
Conversation Groups @ Monrovia Public Library
Culture and Conversation: Practice speaking English by discussing and reading the ‘News for You’ weekly newspaper in a friendly and relaxed setting. Build confidence in your work, school, family and social life. For more information, call (626) 256-8273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Every Wednesday, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Library Heritage Room
Speak Easy: Join us for round-table talking and practice speaking English in a friendly and relaxed setting. New topics weekly, including: popular culture, work and jobs, health, and more. Build confidence in your work, school, family, and social life.
- Every Thursday, 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., in the Library Heritage Room. For more information, call 626-256-8273 or email email@example.com
Key Links & Help Keep Monrovia Beautiful:
- City News and Highlights
- Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- GoMonrovia Details to Get Around with Lyft
- Sustainable Landscape Recognition Award
- Graffiti Removal and Gift Card Program
- Abandoned Bulky Items Reporting and Raffle Program
Questions? Key Contacts:
- Monrovia City Hall
- (626) 932-5550
- Public Works
- (626) 932-5575
- Community Center
- (626) 256-8142
- (626) 256-8274
Interesting Story Of The Week – Now We Have to Worry About Asian Longhorn Ticks
It was cockroaches last week… so of course it’s ticks this week.
The Asian Longhorn Tick, to be exact!
Our interesting story of the week comes to us from The Oregonian, which reports that the Asian Longhorned Tick, which is “sometimes called ‘clone ticks’ because they can reproduce without mating,” killed five cows in North Carolina recently.
Now that fact probably isn’t that newsworthy, or interesting.
What is interesting is the way the Asian Longhonred Tick killed the cows.
You see… the ticks killed each cow. By. Draining. Each. Cow. Of. All. Its. Blood.
Oh. And the average cow has around 39 liters (which is… 10.3 GALLONS) of blood.
As the article states…
“Worried about a Cascadia subduction-zone earthquake? Worried about nuclear war? Worried about climate change? Phhffft! Those potential calamities are nothing.”
Asian Longhorned Ticks are extremely aggressive, and historically, these pests have been contained in Russia and Asia. But they’re here in the US now, with the first reported case having been identified in 2010.
In addition, what makes these particular ticks troublesome is that the ticks can reproduce “parthenogentically.” Which means, “without a male.” And that factor means that “a single fed female tick can create a localized population.”
Thankfully, we live in California, and the ticks aren’t here… yet. To date, Asian Longhorned Ticks have been detected in Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Hard to believe that something so small (see the picture below!) can inflict so much damage!
To read more about this very interesting… and disturbing… story, please feel free to click here!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period July 3 - 10, 2019, has been included for your review and reference.
A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report