City Manager's Update: August 6, 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 email@example.com!
And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!
Quote of the Week
Every real story is a never ending story
– Michael Ende
City Council Set To Discuss City Manager Transition In Closed Session At August 6 Meeting
We wanted to let the community know that the Monrovia City Council will be meeting in Closed Session on Tuesday, August 6, to discuss possible city manager transition plans. As you may be aware, the City of Huntington Beach has named me to serve as their next city manager, and my intention and hope is to work closely with the Mayor and City Council during the next two months to help coordinate the process for identifying a replacement city manager.
One personal note… I just don’t have words to describe how much being part of Monrovia has meant to me, and while I am excited about the new opportunity, I’ve been struggling with the thought of not being part of the Monrovia organization. Many thanks to everyone for supporting the City’s efforts to make our community as premier as it can be. Also, we’ll be sure to share more on this topic in the next few weeks.
Camphor Trees Located Adjacent To The High School On Madison Avenue Set For Removal Prior To The Start Of School, City Will Also Replace These On A 2-For-1 Basis Moving Ahead
We wanted to let everyone know that as part of our improvements at Monrovia High School (MHS), the City is currently making plans to remove the camphor trees located on Magnolia Avenue, between Colorado Boulevard to the south and the high school tennis courts to the north. As further outlined in the informational item about the improvements being coordinated in front of MHS on Colorado Boulevard (see the next update item below), the camphor trees we’ve identified for removal are not only an invasive, inappropriate parkway tree option that damages sidewalk infrastructure, but further, the ones located on Magnolia Avenue are diseased.
Of course, the City will be maintain our 2-for-1 replacement policy, and our plan now is to have the trees removed prior to the start of the new school year, with the replacement trees set to be planted in early fall. As all the green-thumbed Monrovians out there probably know (and as our City arborists have shared!), the fall is the best time to plant trees. Root structures for trees grow best in cool soil, and fall planting allow the tree to grow roots in the fall and again in early spring, before having to dedicate energy to growing leaves when the weather warms up.
As this process unfolds, please do not hesitate to contact our project team at Public Works with any questions or concerns at (626) 932-5575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Set To Rebuild The Lifted And Crumbling Sidewalks In Front Of Monrovia High School On Colorado Boulevard, Project Will Result In Removal Of 20 Trees, With A Commitment From The City To Replace Every Removed Tree On A 2-For-1 Basis
As we shared with everyone last week, the City is working to coordinate a major public improvement project to repair the entire stretch of crumbling and lifted sidewalk on Colorado Boulevard in front of Monrovia High School (MHS). Of note, this effort required the removal of 20 mature camphor trees located on the north side of Colorado Boulevard, directly in front of MHS. As the pictures below (or a drive down Colorado Boulevard) will show, work has progressed quite quickly to remove the trees and existing concrete from the site to prepare for the improvements.
Here at the City, we are always sensitive when it comes to removing any parkway trees, and we always try to avoid any tree removals here in the City. However, after spending significant time and consideration thinking through the options at hand, we identified that the camphor trees needed to be removed and replaced with a more appropriate parkway tree as part of our planned sidewalk improvement project.
We have heard a number of concerns from the public regarding the removal of the nearly 20 camphor trees from in front of the high school, and we do certainly understand the concern.
Of note, staff did assess the possibility of leaving the trees in place and performing root pruning activities as part of the sidewalk enhancements. However, when we had our team further review that particular option, it was identified that the camphor tree root systems were so invasive that the root pruning effort would result in the trees failing.
Next, staff assessed the possibility of moving the new sidewalk further away from the camphor trees, however, that option was a non-starter as well. Given the City’s existing right-of-way options, and the need to maintain ADA access, relocating the sidewalk was not a feasible option.
Finally, it was brought to the City’s attention that the camphor tree, which is native to Eastern Asia, is actually considered an invasive tree species. Per the University of Redlands, “[B]ecause of the ability to adapt drastically and the ease of reproduction, the [Camphor] tree is considered invasive. In the US, the camphor tree is found in California and southern states. The Camphor is considered invasive on all continents…”
However, simply removing the trees was not a consideration for staff either, and we did want to share that the City will be abiding by our current practice of coordinating a 2-for-1 tree replacement program. This means that the City will be replacing the 20 camphor trees that we are removing by replanting 40 new trees in Monrovia. Most of those trees will be replaced in front of MHS as part of our planned work, and any additional trees that don’t fit in that particular location will be planted in other parts of the City.
As has been shared, the City is committed to trees as we are a Tree City USA; however, it was infeasible to both keep the trees and provide safe, accessible sidewalks in this location. As such, we are committed to replanting the trees on a 2-for-1 basis, meaning that we will replant forty (40) trees to replace the twenty (20) that were removed. While they may not all go back in front of the high school, they will certainly be planted within the community. Staff is currently working with our counterparts at the MUSD to develop and coordinate landscape improvements that will incorporate the replacement trees and other improvements to the front of the school site. We should have some concepts and timelines to share within the coming weeks.
By replacing all of the sidewalk, curb, and gutter, we will be able to construct a wider and safer sidewalk that will allow for easier student drop-off and pick-up at MHS. In addition, as mentioned previously, the City will be instituting a new landscape plan at the location as part of our improvement efforts.
As for the construction work, Sully-Miller’s crews completed all demolition this week and are beginning to install the new concrete! This project will include replacement of curb and gutter as well expansion of the sidewalk, both of which were heavily damaged by the trees roots. These improvements will create a wider and safer sidewalk that will allow for easier student drop-off and pick-up at MHS.
Work is well underway and Sully-Miller is committed to completing this work prior to the first day of school!
Please do not hesitate to contact our project team at Public Works with any questions or concerns. They can be reached at (626) 932-5575 or via email. Thank you for your patience while we work to implement these necessary capital improvements!
YES Intern Presentations Set For August 7-8
One quick scheduling reminder… the YES Intern end of summer presentations are scheduled to take place over two days on Wednesday, August 7, from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., and on Thursday, August 8, also from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend the event, which will be hosted in the City Council Chambers. Each of our interns will have 10 minutes to present their findings from the work they have been engaged with during the past several weeks, and we are certainly looking forward to seeing what the interns come up with!
Also of note, the YES Intern graduation program will take place in advance of our City Council meeting this coming Tuesday, August 6, at 6:30 p.m., in the City Council Chambers. A YES Intern graduation event flyer is included below for your reference.
MAP-Edu Community Meeting Scheduled For Saturday, August 10, 11 Am – 1 Pm, At Community Center
The Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) believes that community meetings are a key aspect of knowing what's going on in your city and staying informed on current issues, trends, and hot topics. Now knowing that, MAP offers "MAP-edu", free community meetings dedicated to informing all of our residents of the NEW things going on around town.
The next MAP-edu will be taking place on August 10, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at the Monrovia Community Center – Senior Game Room. The topics that will be presented are the “Top 10 Secret Resources in Monrovia” and the Sales Tax Measure. We encourage all residents to attend for a chance to receive some great information, an opportunity to network with your neighbors and City staff, while enjoying free food provided by MAP! RSVP online!
Sign Up For The Monrovia Area Partnership Youth Or Adult Leadership Academies This Fall!
The Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) is excited to present our youth and adult leadership academies for the fall season! MAP is a city program facilitated by Neighborhood Services staff that hosts events and meetings to train and connect community members dedicated to improving Monrovia. Stay connected by liking MAP onFacebook , and we hope you’ll consider signing up for one of our academies below!
MAP Adult Leadership Academy
One major goal of the MAP Program is to encourage residents' involvement in their neighborhood and in the community. Through the MAP Leadership Academy, we train residents to recognize and utilize city resources; provide leadership skills; and encouragement to become engaged in the community.
- Thursdays, September 12 - October 24
- 7:00 - 9:00 PM, Library Community Room
- RSVP Online
MAP Youth Leadership Academy
The Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) Youth Leadership Academy is similar to the Adult Academy but is designed for middle and high school aged youth. The Academy’s goals are to assist the youth in learning, developing and growing. We start by exploring with them how they themselves are leaders (even if they don’t know it yet!); then they are given examples of how others use their skills to make a difference. After learning from others, they learn how we work together as a community and ends with putting all that they learn into ACTION.
- Wednesdays, September 11 - October 23
- 3:00 - 5:00 PM, Library Community Room
- RSVP online
Friends Of The Monrovia Public Library Book Store
The next time you visit the library, don’t forget to check out “the only book store in town”, the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library Book Store! Located in the library, the store provides bargains and hidden gems for those who love books, wish to build their children’s libraries, or are looking for a unique gift for the bibliophiles in their life. All proceeds from the book store fund library programs and collections. Summer Reading, Veterans programs, the Makerspace Collection, and the Chinese Language Collection are just a handful of the items the Friends have supported over the years. The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library, established in 1957, have been raising funds and supporting the library for 52 years. The book store opened with the new library building in 2009 and is staffed by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers. We are grateful for their time and their willingness to serve.
If you would like to support the Friends and the important work they do for the library and community, drop by and stock up on some of your favorite reads at the store. You can also join the Friends, members receive special discounts and offers at the store! Membership rates start at $15 a year and make a wonderful gift. The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit their website or stop by the Friends Book Store and pick up a membership application.
Friends of the Monrovia Public Library Book Store Hours: Monday – Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Oak Crest To Be Presented With Award From By San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership At Their Annual Gala In September
Our very own Oak Crest Institute of Science has been chosen by the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership to receive the “Success Within Workforce Development” award! Oak Crest, along with three other organizations, will be presented at the Pasadena Rose Bowl on Saturday, September 21, during their annual gala. For more information, please visit their website. And again, congratulations to Oak Crest on this achievement, and many thanks for all of the wonderful work they do!
Paving Activities Set To Resume In Monrovia Renewal South Section Beginning Next Week!
As everyone may be aware, construction activity in the Monrovia Renewal South Section (the entire section of town located south of the I-210 Freeway) stalled in recent months due to scheduling and coordination issues with our prior contractor. Fortunately, the City was able to coordinate a process to engage Sully-Miller Contracting Company to complete all of the remaining pavement work in the South Section project area last month. And now… we’re so excited to share that the paving roadwork is slated to resume this week!
The work remaining in the South Section includes the construction of a 2” asphalt overlay on a number of streets in the project area, which combined totals around 1.35 million square feet of street improvements! Based on our current work schedule, the construction will take place according to the following timeline:
- Week of August 5th – Utility adjustments and work preparation activities will be engaged
- Week of August 12th – Existing pavement where streets will be improved will be ground down by 2”
- Week of August 19th – Paving operations will begin and last approximately 2 weeks
As we get closer to the work taking place, a more detailed schedule will be provided to outline the dates of impacts to particular streets.
As with all sections of Monrovia Renewal Work, impacted residents will be notified at least 48 hours prior to any work taking place. Residents are advised to adhere to all notices received and posted parking restrictions. More information can be obtained by contacting the Public Works Department at (626) 932-5575 or email@example.com. Additional information will be provided weekly in this update. Thank you for your patience as we work to complete these improvements!
Monrovia’s Very Own Wine Of The Month Club Is In The Running To Be Named The Best Wine Club By Usa Today – Let’s All Vote Today!
Just a quick note to let everyone know that Monrovia-based Wine of the Month Club is currently ranked 2nd in an online vote being coordinated by USA Today! Given the company’s local roots, we thought we’d share the news, and encourage everyone to vote early and vote often for this local gem that’s been satisfying vino-cravings here in Monrovia for multiple decades!
To vote, click here! And best of luck Wine of the Month Club!
National Night Out Event With The Monrovia Police Department At Library Park Is Scheduled For Tuesday, August 6, 6:30 – 8:30 P.M.!
We hope you can join the Monrovia Police Department for National Night Out on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Library Park! The Monrovia Police Department will be hosting the National Night Out program, which is a community-building initiative that promotes police and community partnerships with a sense of neighborhood camaraderie. This event is a fantastic opportunity for citizens to come together to promote crime awareness, drug awareness, and to meet some of the amazing men and women of the Monrovia Police Department!
Oak Crest Institute Of Science Awarded Major Economic Development Grant
We are so delighted to announce that Oak Crest Institute of Science (Oak Crest), a local non-profit science research and education organization, has been approved for full funding support through the i6 Challenge program under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program. The prestigious grant award will help fund the Monrovia – Oak Crest Science and Technology Incubator Program (MOST-IP), an innovative science and technology initiative aimed at building regional capacity to translate innovations into jobs through proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs.
Of note, the i6 Challenge program was highly competitive, with only 22 awardees out of 183 applications in 2019. Furthermore, Oak Crest is one of only two awardees from California.
In collaboration with the City and Newton World Enterprises, LLC, Oak Crest launched the MOST-IP to develop and mature internal and external discoveries into products; provide access to laboratory infrastructure, scientific know-how and high-end equipment; teach scientists and diverse students basic entrepreneurial concepts; and support the formation and sustainability of startups through continuing business services.
This effort expands on the initiatives that the City has been championing during the past several years, as Monrovia has been working to solidify our community as a premier location for technology and science-focused businesses, such as Oak Crest. The ongoing relationship with Oak Crest has flourished into a vibrant local science and technology eco-system in Monrovia that links educational institutions with the business community to support continued social and economic growth, and provides workforce development opportunities with a dedicated school-to-jobs pipeline.
Of particular note, Oak Crest attracts highly skilled scientists who impact their respective disciplines and inspire the next generation of scientists through mentored research. Furthermore, Oak Crest has a strong commitment to the local community, where they consistently engage efforts to mentor Monrovia youth interested in the STEM field, participate as an employer in the City’s summer Youth Employment Service program, and help lead elements of the City’s Junior Researcher Academy and Spring Break SciLab initiatives.
Congratulations to Oak Crest! With the additional grant funds just awarded, we can’t wait to see the enhancements that will be made to our MOST-IP program moving ahead!
Senator Portantino To Host Senior Scam Stoppers Discussion This Thursday, August 8
Caregivers and senior care providers are invited to join Senator Portantino on Thursday, August 8, at Westminster Gardens in Duarte, for a free panel discussion on how to help protect seniors from fraud and scams. The panel consisting of state, county, and city agencies, will begin at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a mixer from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please RSVP by sending an email to Kristi.Lopez@sen.ca.gov or calling 909-599-7351.
Join Us For Our Last Summer Movie This Saturday At Library Park For Wall-E
Speaking of movies… the Community Services Department is excited to present the last Summer Movie in the Park! Join us on Saturday, August 10, to watch Wall-E under the stars at Library Park. 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!
- August 10 – Wall-E at Library Park
Do You Have Sustainable Landscaping… And Want To Save $25 On Your Water Bill?
If you’ve said yes, please visit www.monroviaconserves.org to submit your application for our sustainable landscaping program. Through this program, residential water customers may enter their sustainable landscape to showcase efforts to conserve water! For more information and to submit your application, please visit www.monroviaconserves.org or call (626) 932-5575!
As part of our Water Conservation efforts, the City’s Sustainable Landscape Recognition Program provides Monrovia residents the opportunity to showcase their drought tolerant landscapes in an effort to promote water conservation.
In order to qualify for this program, the project area should include:
- Drought-tolerant area should be in the front yard visible from the street
- No more than 50% of your landscape should be turf
- No more than 30% of your landscape should be non-permeable, such as concrete
We encourage you to include:
- Drought-tolerant plants, such as succulents or other cacti, and plants native to Southern California
- Installation of drip irrigation or rotating nozzles
- Permeable hardscape such as decomposed granite or permeable pavers
- Inclusion of mulch areas
- Please complete the application and attach three photos of your landscape.
- Qualified participants will be recognized by the City and receive a one-time $25 credit on their water bill.
Veterans Service Officer (VSO) @ Monrovia Library On Mondays
The library has partnered with the County of Los Angeles Military and Veterans Affairs Office to coordinate an on-site Veterans Service Officer (VSO). He is available in the Monrovia Public Library’s Veterans Resource Center on Mondays from 10am-4pm. Please call (626) 256-8294 for an appointment.
The VSO is available to provide assistance to veterans and their families in preparing and submitting claims and in representing claimants before the federal, state and local agencies providing veterans benefits. These services and benefits include:
- Service Connected Disability Compensation for injuries/issues related to military service
- Non-Service Connected Disability Pension/Aid and attendance benefits for certain wartime era Veterans
- Education benefits for Veterans and children of Veterans with service connected disabilities
- Veteran Designation on California Driver License and ID Card
- Life Insurance
- Healthcare benefits and enrollment in the VA health care system
- CalVet Home loans and VA loan guarantee benefits
- California specific veterans benefits including: college tuition fee waivers
- Burial benefits
- Upgrading discharges that are less than Honorable
- Information and referral to other programs that may be beneficial to Veterans and their families
Elevator Repairs Continuing At The Colorado Commons Parking Structure
Just a quick note to let everyone know that the contractor is continuing to work on the public elevator at the Colorado Commons Parking Structure. Mitsubishi is coordinating additional parts and repairs that have been identified through this course of work. In addition, these improvements require inspections and support from the State’s Department of Industrial Relations, who is responsible for oversight of elevators, which have also contributed to the slower progress. At this time, we believe that the elevator should be back, operational by the end of this week.
We do apologize for the inconvenience and will be sure to let everyone know when the elevator is operational again! In the meantime, please contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575, should you have any questions regarding this matter!
Monrovia Renewal North Area Construction Continuing, With Major Street Work Set To Begin In Late August
Monrovia Renewal construction activities are continuing in the North Section Project area, which is the area of the City located to the North of and including Hillcrest Boulevard, Greystone Avenue and Grand Avenue. Work on the water and sewer system improvements are nearly completed and road work activities will resume in late August / early September. At this time, crews are continuing to focus on concrete curb and gutter, sidewalk, driveway approaches, and other concrete improvements in the project area.
Over the coming week, work will include:
- Backfill & Slot Paving
- Areas that have had concrete poured will be followed by slot paving and backfilling of the work area
- Streets Include: Encinitas Avenue
- Areas that have had concrete poured will be followed by slot paving and backfilling of the work area
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suspension Of Street Sweeping Enforcement In North Section Construction Area As Monrovia Renewal Work Continues Through End of August
Just a reminder that as the construction activity continues in the Monrovia Renewal North area, the City has suspended enforcement of street sweeping parking restrictions. This action will, hopefully, alleviate the burden of the construction related parking restrictions and make it a little easier for residents to access their properties while construction is taking place.
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 effect from June 17 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 email@example.com.
City Has Been Following-Up With Supervisor Barger’s Staff After Successful Breakfast Meeting Event
Recently, the City Council held a special meeting with LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to discuss a variety of issues that overlap between the City and LA County. The meeting was successful, and all of us at the City appreciate the work that Supervisory Barger does to support Monrovia and the rest of her district.
We wanted to share that based on the Supervisor’s comments at our meeting, coupled with follow-up discussions that we had with her staff following the meeting, it appears that some tangible take-away results from the meeting include the following:
- Consideration by LA County to allocate $300,000 (from LA County Parks & Open Space District Excess Funds) to support our efforts to upgrade Lucinda Garcia Park
- Commitments to improve the process of allocating LA County Measure H homeless funds to support successful local homeless response models, with a particular emphasis on Monrovia’s very own Housing Displacement Response Program
- An allocation of $5,000 from LA County to support our Youth Employment Services internship program
- Continued support from the Supervisor for our rWMP stormwater programs
A copy of the presentation that we used to guide the discussion with the Supervisor can be found online, and of course, we will be certain to keep everyone informed as to our progress on each of the above referenced partnership projects with LA County!
Concept Plans Developed For The Lucinda Garcia Park Improvement Initiative As Part Of Our Proposition 68 Grant Application
During the past few months, the City has been hard at work a preparing a grant application to fund improvements at Lucinda Garcia Park. This effort has been undertaken in response to the State of California issuing a notice of funding availability regarding funds to be distributed via Proposition 68, the State Park Bond Program, and applications are due August 5.
As part of our grant application efforts, the City has coordinated substantial public outreach efforts, including:
- May 30 – City staff hosted a Pop-Up Outreach Event at the entrance of Lucinda Garcia Park in an effort to gather feedback from families picking up students from Monroe Elementary School about possible improvements at the park
- June 8 – City staff conducted door-to-door outreach to the neighbors living adjacent to Lucinda Garcia Park to gather their feedback regarding possible improvements to the park, while also advertising a special Community Meeting on June 15 to discuss specific proposed park improvements
- June 13 – the City hosted a special meeting of the Community Services Commission at Lucinda Garcia Park, which provided an opportunity for the Commission to walk the park facility and provide feedback to staff as it relates to the proposed enhancements.
- June 15 – the City hosted a special Community Meeting to further explore and gather feedback from residents regarding potential enhancements at Lucinda Garcia Park
Based on the information received from the above referenced outreach efforts, the City recently developed a conceptual design of the improvements to Lucinda Garcia Park that we’re hoping to incorporate into our Proposition 68 Grant Application. That conceptual site plan is included below, which highlights 22 proposed park improvements.
Many thanks to our Community Services Department team for their terrific work in coordinating a robust community outreach program as part of our grant application, and for shepherding along the review / design process to in such an expert manner.
Monrovia Library Awarded With The Beacon Media News’ Reader’s Choice Award For Recommended Library!
We wanted to share with everyone some good news we received this past week! It appears that congratulations are in order for the Monrovia Public Library, because as part of the Beacon Media News annual Reader’s Choice awards program, our very own library facility was named the Recommended Library!
All of us here at the City are so pleased with this award and recognition, and special thanks to the hard-working team at the Monrovia Public Library for their dedication and commitment to providing a superior customer service experience at our library facility! Additional details regarding the award will be made available in the coming weeks, we just wanted to get the word out now and share the good news!
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.
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 scheduled a City Council Study Session to review the planned improvements at the intersection location on July 16 at 6:30 p.m. At that meeting, City Council approved proceeding with the initial design details, samples of which are included below for reference!
Moving forward, we will be sure to update everyone as we make progress on these improvements at 5th Avenue / Huntington Drive! 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.
Western City Entryway @ Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue
Eastern City Entryway @ Huntington Drive / Mountain Avenue
Make Plans To Join Us For The Third And Last MAFA Summer Art Walk In Old Town On Saturday, August 24, 7:00-10:00 P.M.!
The June and July Art Walks have been a huge hit! If you missed them, fear not for there is still one more chance! 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, 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!
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.
We are pleased 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!
Canyon Park’s Family Night And Campout Program Continues To Be A Hit, With Four More Weekend Sessions Scheduled Through September 2019!
Our talented Canyon Park and Library staff hosted another successful 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 three more chances for you and your family to attend the campouts this summer! Be sure to sign up early to get your spot!
- Upcoming Campouts:
- August 25 - 26 - Registration opens Saturday, August 3
- September 7 - 8 - Registration opens Saturday, August 17
- September 28 - 29 - Registration opens Saturday, September 7
- Check In: 2:00 p.m., Check Out: 12:00 p.m.
- Cost: %50
Should you have any questions about these terrific events, please call the Community Services Department at (626) 256-8155!
Summer Concerts In The Park Every Weekend Through August 25!
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.
- 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.
- 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
For additional information, please contact the Community Center at (626) 256-8246!
Two Weeks Left To Enjoy Friday Night Teen Scene In Library Park!
Our reimagined Summer Teen Scene program has two weeks remaining on Fridays, August 9 and 16, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in Library Park. 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. This program focuses 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!
Under the direction of Nathalie Wilcox, Recreation Coordinator, along with our YES Intern, Vanessa Mills, this year’s program has new partnerships and brand new programming. 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!
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.
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
Recently, 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.
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 is impacting the area of Myrtle Avenue, Primrose Avenue, and Walnut Avenue. Work is anticipated to resume in the next week after a couple of weeks of delays due to design issues. The remaining work includes significant trenching to install conduits and electrical infrastructure. Staff will coordinate with SCE and the contractors to alert the businesses in the area of any pending impacts fur to the construction. It is anticipated that work in this area will continue through September. Please contact Public Works with any questions about the work progress and schedule!
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).
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!
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
- 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 – And You Thought Your Trip To The Dentist Was Awful...
Imagine if on your next trip to the dentist, you were told that you had a “bag-like structure” in your mouth which contained 526 teeth. And that you would have to be put under so that dentists could remove the extra choppers?
Well… consider yourself lucky that it didn’t happen to you, because it did happen to a 7-year old boy in India named P. Ravindran, where he initially thought he was being treated for “swelling on his lower right jaw.” As reported by www.sciencealert.com, “the tumour-like growth prevented permanent molar teeth growth in the boy in the affected side,” and “doctors determined surgery was necessary to treat the rare condition.”
Eventually, after the hour-and-a-half surgical operation, surgeons needed an addition “five hours to remove the 526 teeth from the sac.”
That literally sounds like the worst trip to the dentist office… ever! To read more about this very interesting story, click here!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period July 25 - 31, 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