Hello everyone!

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 ochi@ci.monrovia.ca.us!

And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!

Best regards,

Oliver


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hello everyone!

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 ochi@ci.monrovia.ca.us!

And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!

Best regards,

Oliver

Quote of the Week 

Love doesn’t make the world go round.  Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

– Franklin Jones

City Works to Find Balanced Solutions as We Prepare for a Housing Development Renaissance

Here in Southern California, we are faced with the daunting reality that things are about to get a lot more crowded.  Based on the latest demographic projections available, in the next 25-year planning period, the SCAG region (which includes LA County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Ventura County, and Imperial County) will, through natural growth patterns unrelated to immigration, add the equivalent population of the states of Oregon and Washington… combined!

That’s around 11 million more people in the greater Southern California region!

Against that backdrop, California is in the midst of a true housing crisis.  An oft-cited report published by McKinsey Global Institute illustrated the depths of the housing crunch here in the Golden State, where real estate prices are rising 3x faster than household income… where 50% of the State’s population cannot afford housing… where California needs to build 3.5 million more homes by 2025 to truly stabilize the housing situation.

And here in Monrovia, we’re impacted by these broader housing trends facing the State.  Because did you know that in our City, the average rent for an apartment these days is around $3 / square foot.

$3 / square foot… which means that a 1,000 square foot apartment will cost you $3,000 per month in rent.

That’s just not okay.

While there are many different proposed solutions to the housing issues we’re faced with today, there is only one for which there is near universal agreement… that if we are to stabilize housing costs in California, we need a massive increase in the supply of available housing.

For us here in Monrovia, we have been planning for this increase in housing during the past 20+ years.  Our initial ideas were developed through a 2004 Urban Land Institute Study commissioned by the City.  Those concepts were then codified in a 2008 General Plan Update that created areas of focused housing density in the edges surrounding Old Town, at Station Square, and on the west end of Huntington Drive.  Finally, in 2014, the City adopted the Station Square Transit Village Planned Development Area to allow for greater housing densities around our Gold Line Station.

And now, during the next several months, all of those plans will be coming to life as Monrovia is set to consider several large residential development projects that truly do reflect our community’s long term plans and vision for the City.  All told, there are currently around 2,200 housing units / rooms in the development pipeline, which constitutes a 15% increase in our total housing supply.  The map below outlines the location of these proposed development projects in the City.

 

Now in the next few months (from June 2018 – September 2018), the City will be considering three major projects that will feature close to 600 units / hotel rooms (highlighted in blue in the map above – Richman Development, Marriott TownePlace Suites, and AvalonBay).  Certainly, without proper context, these eye-popping numbers can be somewhat startling, and may elicit a strong initial reaction.  Because when dealing with policies related to growth, housing, and development, the issues often times end up pitting two sides against one another. 
 
On the one extreme, there are those who advocate for no-growth… that is, until we have more water, clean air, and no traffic, we should not allow any development whatsoever.  And on the other extreme, you have those who advocate for a pure free-market approach… that government should allow developers to build whatever they want, so long as the market will allow for it.
 
Here in our community, what we’ve been working on for the past 20+ years is to find a better way… a more balanced way… a true Monrovia way… in order to solve the pressing challenges facing our City.  And in an effort to offset the impacts associated with new development, the City has instituted several new policies and programs to mitigate growth issues that could erode the quality of life in our community.

  • First, on the environmental front… the City recently adopted a New Development Water Rate, which will require that any new project adding 5 or more units to the City pay the full cost of importing water from outside the region for their use.  This New Development Water Rate means that any new development projects will have to pay an effective water rate that is 34.4% more expensive than the normal water rate that current Monrovians are charged.  This policy enhancement will ensure that our existing residents and businesses are not forced to bear the added cost of importing more water into the City to serve a new population base.
  • Next, on the service delivery front… the City has adopted a policy that will allow us to create Mello-Roos Districts that overlay on significant new development projects.  Through this policy, all significant new developments will be required to pay an extra property tax assessment annually to offset the increased costs for police and fire services that are necessitated when major projects are constructed.
  • And finally, on the traffic front… the City recently instituted a new model of suburban mobility that provides Monrovians with simple, easy, and cheap public transportation options to combat increasing traffic and parking congestion trends.  The program we developed, which is called GoMonrovia, provides enhanced public transportation options provided through Lyft and LimeBike.  Under the GoMonrovia initiative, individuals have access to $0.50 Lyft rides anywhere in our service area.  In addition, the partnership developed with LimeBike has resulted in the deployment of dockless, shareable bikes located throughout town that can be accessed for $1.00 for a 30-minute ride.

 

During the next several months, as Monrovia contemplates the significant development projects that have been proposed here in our community, we do hope that you stay informed and stay involved with the issues at hand.  All of us here at the City have been working hard to try and find balanced solutions to the most important issues of our day.  Because while we do have to make sure that we have strong environmental policies, and while we need to develop premier mobility / transportation options for our residents… we also have to find a way to do our part to address the severe housing crisis we are confronted with today.  I know that by engaging in honest dialogue and working hard together… we can take the steps forwarded today that are needed to ensure that Monrovia has an even better future tomorrow.

City Establishes a New Web Page for Those Interested in Learning More About Significant Development Projects in Monrovia!

Given the significant development projects that are pending in Monrovia, the City has created a new “Development Spotlight” page on our website.
 
This site will become the web portal for all documents related to each of the projects being considered, and information will be uploaded as it becomes available.  In addition, each project will have its own page with links to all the environmental and entitlement documents for public review. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hello everyone!

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 ochi@ci.monrovia.ca.us!

And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!

Best regards,

Oliver

Quote of the Week 

Love doesn’t make the world go round.  Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

– Franklin Jones

City Works to Find Balanced Solutions as We Prepare for a Housing Development Renaissance

Here in Southern California, we are faced with the daunting reality that things are about to get a lot more crowded.  Based on the latest demographic projections available, in the next 25-year planning period, the SCAG region (which includes LA County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Ventura County, and Imperial County) will, through natural growth patterns unrelated to immigration, add the equivalent population of the states of Oregon and Washington… combined!

That’s around 11 million more people in the greater Southern California region!

Against that backdrop, California is in the midst of a true housing crisis.  An oft-cited report published by McKinsey Global Institute illustrated the depths of the housing crunch here in the Golden State, where real estate prices are rising 3x faster than household income… where 50% of the State’s population cannot afford housing… where California needs to build 3.5 million more homes by 2025 to truly stabilize the housing situation.

And here in Monrovia, we’re impacted by these broader housing trends facing the State.  Because did you know that in our City, the average rent for an apartment these days is around $3 / square foot.

$3 / square foot… which means that a 1,000 square foot apartment will cost you $3,000 per month in rent.

That’s just not okay.

While there are many different proposed solutions to the housing issues we’re faced with today, there is only one for which there is near universal agreement… that if we are to stabilize housing costs in California, we need a massive increase in the supply of available housing.

For us here in Monrovia, we have been planning for this increase in housing during the past 20+ years.  Our initial ideas were developed through a 2004 Urban Land Institute Study commissioned by the City.  Those concepts were then codified in a 2008 General Plan Update that created areas of focused housing density in the edges surrounding Old Town, at Station Square, and on the west end of Huntington Drive.  Finally, in 2014, the City adopted the Station Square Transit Village Planned Development Area to allow for greater housing densities around our Gold Line Station.

And now, during the next several months, all of those plans will be coming to life as Monrovia is set to consider several large residential development projects that truly do reflect our community’s long term plans and vision for the City.  All told, there are currently around 2,200 housing units / rooms in the development pipeline, which constitutes a 15% increase in our total housing supply.  The map below outlines the location of these proposed development projects in the City.

 

Now in the next few months (from June 2018 – September 2018), the City will be considering three major projects that will feature close to 600 units / hotel rooms (highlighted in blue in the map above – Richman Development, Marriott TownePlace Suites, and AvalonBay).  Certainly, without proper context, these eye-popping numbers can be somewhat startling, and may elicit a strong initial reaction.  Because when dealing with policies related to growth, housing, and development, the issues often times end up pitting two sides against one another. 
 
On the one extreme, there are those who advocate for no-growth… that is, until we have more water, clean air, and no traffic, we should not allow any development whatsoever.  And on the other extreme, you have those who advocate for a pure free-market approach… that government should allow developers to build whatever they want, so long as the market will allow for it.
 
Here in our community, what we’ve been working on for the past 20+ years is to find a better way… a more balanced way… a true Monrovia way… in order to solve the pressing challenges facing our City.  And in an effort to offset the impacts associated with new development, the City has instituted several new policies and programs to mitigate growth issues that could erode the quality of life in our community.

  • First, on the environmental front… the City recently adopted a New Development Water Rate, which will require that any new project adding 5 or more units to the City pay the full cost of importing water from outside the region for their use.  This New Development Water Rate means that any new development projects will have to pay an effective water rate that is 34.4% more expensive than the normal water rate that current Monrovians are charged.  This policy enhancement will ensure that our existing residents and businesses are not forced to bear the added cost of importing more water into the City to serve a new population base.
  • Next, on the service delivery front… the City has adopted a policy that will allow us to create Mello-Roos Districts that overlay on significant new development projects.  Through this policy, all significant new developments will be required to pay an extra property tax assessment annually to offset the increased costs for police and fire services that are necessitated when major projects are constructed.
  • And finally, on the traffic front… the City recently instituted a new model of suburban mobility that provides Monrovians with simple, easy, and cheap public transportation options to combat increasing traffic and parking congestion trends.  The program we developed, which is called GoMonrovia, provides enhanced public transportation options provided through Lyft and LimeBike.  Under the GoMonrovia initiative, individuals have access to $0.50 Lyft rides anywhere in our service area.  In addition, the partnership developed with LimeBike has resulted in the deployment of dockless, shareable bikes located throughout town that can be accessed for $1.00 for a 30-minute ride.

 

During the next several months, as Monrovia contemplates the significant development projects that have been proposed here in our community, we do hope that you stay informed and stay involved with the issues at hand.  All of us here at the City have been working hard to try and find balanced solutions to the most important issues of our day.  Because while we do have to make sure that we have strong environmental policies, and while we need to develop premier mobility / transportation options for our residents… we also have to find a way to do our part to address the severe housing crisis we are confronted with today.  I know that by engaging in honest dialogue and working hard together… we can take the steps forwarded today that are needed to ensure that Monrovia has an even better future tomorrow.

City Establishes a New Web Page for Those Interested in Learning More About Significant Development Projects in Monrovia!

Given the significant development projects that are pending in Monrovia, the City has created a new “Development Spotlight” page on our website.
 
This site will become the web portal for all documents related to each of the projects being considered, and information will be uploaded as it becomes available.  In addition, each project will have its own page with links to all the environmental and entitlement documents for public review. 

Quote of the Week

But I must admit I miss you quite terribly.  The world is too quiet without you nearby.

– Lemony Snicket


Good News From CalPERS (Finally)… And More Proof That Our “CPR Plan” Is Really Paying Off… To The Tune Of ~$5.7 Million!

This past week, CalPERS reported some good news (for a change!)… during FY 2017/18, the world’s largest pension fund earned an overall return of 8.6% across all of its investments, which means that the overall funded ratio for CalPERS has increased from 68% up to 71%.   Additional related details can be found online at: CalPERS Reports Preliminary 8.6 Percent Investment Return for Fiscal Year 2017-18

While this bit of good news will not make a noticeable dent in overall pension cost issues facing California jurisdictions (the 8.6% return was made against an expected return of 7.0%... which means that all CalPERS agencies got “ahead” by 1.6%), the news is still good… and it helps bolster the CalPERS Response (CPR) Plan that we engaged in Monrovia late last year.

If you will recall, our CPR Plan involved paying off all of our unfunded liability, which meant sending CalPERS ~$100 million at the start of 2018.  Those funds we sent to CalPERS were invested in our pension account, and the money we sent earned 8.6% interest for roughly one-half the year.  When you couple those earnings with the reduction in interest payments that we would have had to make for our unfunded liability, the bottom line during the first fiscal-year of our CPR Plan decision has been this…

We are ~$5.7 million ahead of where we would have been had we not engaged our CPR Plan! 

This is terrific news, and helps add additional evidence that we made the right call in executing the CPR Plan.  Furthermore, we spoke to our CalPERS actuary this past week, and we should be getting our next CalPERS Valuation Report in August 2018.  That repot will provide us with additional details regarding the health of our pension fund, and we will be certain to keep everyone apprised of that information as we move ahead.

CalPERS


 

Feature Article On GoMonrovia Is The Most Read Story Of The Week On BISNOW – Los Angeles!

This past week, BISNOW, which is a leading digital commercial real estate trade publication, published an article about our GoMonrovia program.  In the feature, BISNOW outlines how the overall initiative has worked to date, and they titled the article, “This Lyft Partnership Program May Change City Transportation.”

The response to the article has been overwhelming, as staff has received comments from numerous development entities and curious readers since the story was published.  And to further illustrate the popularity of the story, we were told by our BISNOW contacts that the GoMonrovia story was their number 1, most read story of the week in the BISNOW LA platform, as illustrated in the graphic!

BISNOW

Take a look at the story, and if you are interested in learning more about the GoMonrovia program, you can view the presentation that staff provided the City Council during a study session meeting on Tuesday, July 17. 


 

Monrovia Hosted A Successful Regional SGVCOG Update Regarding GoMonrovia Partnerships This Past Week!

This past week on July 11, the City worked with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments to coordinate a region-wide meeting to discuss the overall GoMonrovia program.  This effort was coordinated to provide other interested jurisdictions an opportunity to hear about our initiative, and to begin the process of developing partnerships with Lyft and LimeBike to help meet their individual transportation needs.  Around 60 people from our neighboring cities across the San Gabriel Valley were in attendance to hear the nuts and bolts of setting up these partnerships, and to hear about how the GoMonrovia program is going thus far. 

Limebike Has Had Some Turnover On Their Team, Which Is Leading To Increased Lead Times Before Bikes Are Being Rebalanced.  But… If You’re Interested In Working For Limebike To Help Move Bikes Around In Monrovia, Apply Today For Their Operations Specialist For Monrovia Role ($15 / Hour)!!!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that there has been some turnover for the LimeBike operations team, which has contributed to increased time before bikes get rebalanced!  Given the turnover, LimeBike’s staff at Cal State Northridge (which is LimeBike’s next closest partner agency) will be visiting every other day to help rebalance bikes.

All of us here at the City and at LimeBike apologize for any inconveniences this has caused, but we do have some good news to share!  LimeBike is now looking to recruit someone to take the lead in Monrovia when it comes to all things LimeBike related!  The company is currently hiring an on-the-ground Operations Specialist who is responsible for collecting the bikes and rebalancing them in Old Town, along business corridors, in residential areas, and at Station Square.  If you or someone you know is interested in applying, the job flyer has been attached for your reference… and the position pays $15 / hour!  As the job flyer indicates, send your resume, along with a short blurb about why you’re interested in the job, to Vany Jourian (vany@limebike.com)!

In the interim, while we look for a new local Operations Specialist for Monrovia, if you see an issue with a LimeBike, please feel free to call Sophia Nakov, Senior Administrative Assistant, who works here for the City, at (626) 256-8235, and we will work to resolve the issue as soon as possible!

LimeBike Job


 

In Light Of The Drought, A New Deep Tree Watering Overview Has Been Developed For Resident Use!

In an effort to aide those residents who are torn between the need to water their trees and our current serious drought situation, staff has developed a deep tree watering overview that illustrates how to more efficiently water our trees.  The flyer outlines both the supplies needed and the process involved with creating your own deep watering system.  We hope that this tool helps provide interested individuals with an added way to keep their landscaping alive, all the while helping to conserve water.

Deep Watering

 


 

Canyon Park’s Family Night And Campout Program Continues To Be A Hit!

Over the weekend, our talented Canyon Park and Library staff hosted another 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!  There are still five more campouts scheduled this summer, so we encourage you to sign up as registration opens for each event!

  • Upcoming Campouts: July 21-22, August 11-12, August 25-26, September 15-16, and September 29-30
  • Registration will open for each three weeks before the event. Be sure to sign up early to get your spot!
  • For questions, please call Canyon Park Naturalists at (626) 256-8155!

Campout

 


 

Continued Phone Issues – Additional Testing To Take Place On July 18, 6:00 P.M.

Over the past couple of months, the City has been experiencing audio delays and echoes on a portion of its incoming calls.  We have been working closely with our telephone company, Frontier Communications, and our telephone system provider, Protel Communications, to try to resolve these issues.  In an effort to isolate the issue, the City will be conducting testing on the phone system on July 18, starting at 6:00 p.m. and going late into the evening.  If you call into the City and experience an echo, silence, or audio delay, please try calling back until you get through!  Thank you for everyone’s continued patience in this matter!

 


 

Keep Up-To-Date On The City’s Upcoming Housing Projects By Visiting Our Development Spotlight!

Given the significant development projects that are pending in Monrovia, the City has created a new “Development Spotlight” page on our website. This page gathers all of the major projects in one place for you to explore and see what’s in the pipeline. The City Council recently approved the 296-unit Richman Residential Project, and the City is currently coordinating entitlement hearings for two additional significant projects: The 109-room Marriott TownePlace Suites Hotel Project on the SW corner of Myrtle Avenue / Huntington Drive, and the 154-unit AvalonBay Project on the NW corner of Myrtle Avenue / Chestnut Avenue.  An overview of where each of these projects is in the entitlement process is included below for your reference:

Richman Residential at Station Square South Approved by City Council July 3

  • The Richman Residential Project is a 296-unit multi-family housing development located just south of our Gold Line stop at Station Square (located at the NE corner of Duarte Avenue / Magnolia Avenue). The City Council approved the project on July 3, 2018.
  • For more information, visit the Station Square South Specific Plan

Richman

Marriott TownePlace Suites Being Reviewed at Special DRC Meeting on July 18 at 4:00 p.m. 

  • The proposed 109-room Marriott TownePlace Suites Project will be presented to the Development Review Committee on July 18, at 4:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers. Based on the current timeline, the project will be ready for Planning Commission consideration on August 15, 2018.
  • For more information, visit the Monrovia Towneplace Suites by Marriott.

Marriott TownePlace Suites

AvalonBay Project Being Reviewed at Special DRC Meeting on July 18 at 4:00 p.m.

  • The proposed 154-unit AvalonBay Project will be presented to the Development Review Committee this Wednesday, July 18, at 4:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Based on the current timeline, the project will be ready for Planning Commission consideration on August 15, 2018.
  • For more information, visit the Avalon Monrovia Specific Plan.

Avalon Bay

 


 

The Santa Anita Food Crawl Is Back! Enjoy Delicious Food While Supporting The Boy & Girls Club Of The Foothills

Enjoy a dozen dishes at 4-5 eateries, and experience how Westfield is redefining mall food. The expert tour guide, Michael Lin, revisits classic favorites and introduces new dishes that will blow your mind. Best of all, all proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills in support of their summer program, which provides meals and educational enrichment to more than 500 area youth. Each $75 raised will provide a grocery bag of food for a BGCF family in need. In addition, Westfield Santa Anita will match the donations at the end of our series.

Visit Westfield Santa Anita online to view dates, times, and description for each tour and to purchase your tickets!

Food Crawl


Monrovia Renewal Phase II Project Dedication set to Take Place on July 19, 2018, at 4:00 p.m., at Library Park

We invite you to attend our Monrovia Renewal Phase II Project Dedication event this Thursday, July 19, 2018, at 4:00 p.m.!  We hope that everyone can join us that day at Library Park (the corner of Palm Avenue / Primrose Avenue) as we christen the completion of the Northwest Section of our overall Monrovia Renewal infrastructure improvement program!  Additional information is included in the flyer!

Monrovia Renewal

 


 

City to Host a Community Meeting in Partnership with the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA Regarding “Coexisting with Wildlife” on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., in the Library Community Room… And We Would Ask That Everyone Stop Feeding the Wildlife!

Wildlife Community MeetingMark your calendars for a joint community outreach meeting presented by the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA with the City of Monrovia.  The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA will be highlighting the unique hillsides of Monrovia, and the natural habitat of bears in that area.  They will be offering information and suggestions in diffusing conflict to coexist in harmony with wildlife. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room.  If you have any questions, please call (626) 256-8226 or visit the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA website.

The meeting has been coordinated in part due to the increased visibility of wildlife in our residential neighborhoods.  During the past few weeks, the City has observed our normal summer increase in calls for service related to bear and other wildlife sightings, and in fact, since the start of May 2018, we have had 100 calls for service regarding bear sightings alone!

Given the overall situation, staff has been working to closely with the Pasadena Humane Society to coordinate the urban wildlife interface seminar.  Because in addition to the increases in human-wildlife interfaces during the past few months, we have also heard reports here at the City about some disturbing trends.  Representatives from the Pasadena Humane Society have notified the City that during the past few weeks, there have been several incidents where raw meat was left in open bags at locations where we have had frequent bear sightings in Monrovia.  Given the recurring nature of this situation, the Pasadena Humane Society is having the meat sent to a lab for testing to determine if the meat was laced with any sort of poison that could harm animals that are attracted to and end up eating the raw meat.  In addition, our team at the Monrovia Police Department is providing support for the ongoing review of the matter.

Obviously, no one should not be putting raw meat out for the wildlife, regardless of intention!  And the Pasadena Humane Society shared with us a few reasons why, which include:

  • It is illegal – it is against the law to feed wildlife per The California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 251.  Furthermore, it is also illegal to litter.
  • It can attract potentially dangerous wildlife – as predatory animals and vermin become aware of food sources in domestic areas, they will become more inclined to scavenge and search in neighborhoods they might not otherwise, increasing chances of human interaction.
  • It can increase exposure to disease – with increased traffic from vermin and other wildlife seeking food comes increased exposure to disease and illnesses that are associated with their presence; this poses a threat for both domestic animals and humans.
  • Raw meat is dangerous in itself – raw meat contains a plethora of bacteria and pathogens that can cause salmonella and other dangerous illnesses for domestic animals and young children who may inadvertently come into contact with the meat.

Given all of the interest and attention surrounding wildlife interfaces, we wanted to anyone who has a concern or an interest in the issue to attend the Wildlife / Urban Interface Community Meeting on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room!


Enjoy the Friday Night Teen Scene Every Friday Through August 10, 2018!

The new Friday Teen Scene program at the Friday Night Family Street Fair that launched on July 6 is a hit!  The program is being held on Myrtle Avenue / Colorado Boulevard between Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant and the Monrovian every Friday night, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., through August 10, 2018.  As part of the program, the City’s YES Summer Internship Program, Raw Inspiration, and staff have coordinated to have a variety of free activities take place each week, and the area is furnished with teen-inspired equipment and furniture to create a welcoming space.  The flyer provides some additional program details, and we are looking forward to hosting this revamped Friday Night Teen Scene program that was fully developed by teens themselves!

Teen Scene 2018


Monrovia Renewal South Section Infrastructure Improvements – Work for Week of July 16, 2018

The Monrovia Renewal Improvements in the South section are continuing to make great progress! This work includes a full battery of water, sewer, street, and sidewalk improvements to the areas of Monrovia located south of the 210 Freeway.  Sequel Contractors broke ground on this project in April 2018 and the work will last through the remainder of the year.

Based on our progress to date, the following work is scheduled to take place over the next week:

  • Removal and Replacement of concrete curb, gutter, sidewalk, and driveway approaches:
    • Evergreen Avenue
  • Removal and Replacement of water service lines:
    • 6th, 8th, 9th, and Encino Avenue
  • Saw Cutting:
    •  Mountain Ave, Enterprise Way, and Duarte Road 

If Construction is in Your Neighborhood, Be on the Lookout for These Notices!

Advance notices will be distributed to residents and business owners in the areas where work will take place. Parking restrictions have been posted in the areas where parking will be impacted, pursuant to the following notification process:

How and when will you be notified? The contracting team will distribute notices on the following schedule, which will vary by the specific work in each location:

  • Initial Notice – All residents and businesses in the construction area to inform them of pending work.
  • Five Day Notice – Specific notices will be delivered to the impacted areas five (5) days prior to work commencing. This notice will outline the work taking place, overview the schedule, and provide information on the associated impacts, such as parking restrictions or driveway access.
  • Two Day Notice – A final notice will be provided two days before the activity begins to remind folks of the coming work and impacts.

As the work in this section progresses, we will be sure to keep you updated on any developments.  As always, we thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to execute this project!  Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575 or monroviarenewal@ci.monrovia.ca.us.

 


 

City Continues to Explore Possible Bike Lane and Pedestrian Improvements to Better Connect All Parts of Monrovia With Old Town and Station Square

The City is currently developing a grant application to explore the possibility of installing a protected bike lanes and pedestrian walking path that aims to better connect all parts of Monrovia with Old Town and Station Square.  The proposed initiative has been dubbed “ACTV Monrovia.”  This effort builds on the mobility plans we have been coordinating here in the City during the past few years, from the development of our Bike Master Plan in 2016, to the implementation of our interconnected Class III bike “sharrow” lanes in 2017, to the establishment of our GoMonrovia initiative in 2018.

The ACTV Monrovia Plan - or Active Community Travel Vinculum – involves the possibility of converting both South Primrose Avenue and South Ivy Avenue into one-way streets beginning at Lime Avenue.  The plan would allow for the establishment of protected bike lanes without any loss of on-street parking, encourage traffic to slow down in the identified areas, and would also facilitate the “greening” of South Primrose Avenue and South Ivy Avenue, to create a more park-like setting for residents throughout the length of the identified project area. 

A map of the proposed bikeways is included below.  Over the coming months, the City is committed to continuing to gather community feedback on this important project as it develops. 

ACTV Map


Athens Solid Waste Service Rates Set to Increase by 5% Beginning July 1, 2018 – The Typical Residential Customer Will See an Increase of $1.50 / Month

Pursuant to the City’s current contract with Athens Services (Athens), the company is allowed annual rate increases, pursuant to an agreed upon schedule which factors in mandated State of California minimum wage adjustments, along with CPI related cost increases.

Representatives from Athens have notified the City of their formal request to institute a 5% increase for solid waste services effective July 1, 2018.  This particular adjustment takes into account both CPI and State minimum wage cost increases, and is actually less than what Athens could have contractually requested as a rate increase.  Based on CIP increases and mandated minimum wage increases in California ($11 / hour in 2018, $12 / hour in 2019), Athens was eligible for an increase of 5.51%.  After discussions with staff, Athens agreed to cap their increase request at 5% effective July 1, 2018.

Based on this cost adjustment request, the cost for trash / recycling services will be increasing by 5% beginning July 1, 2018.  The actual dollar cost impact of the rate adjustment is projected to 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 $30.03 / month to $31.53 / month.
  • For the typical commercial / multi-family customer (who is enrolled in the one 3-yard bin which is serviced once per week), solid waste services will increase by $11.70 / month, from $172.24 / month to $183.94 / month.

As City staff analyzed the proposed adjustments, we have also developed a unique program for Athens customers.  There are times when adjusting solid waste service levels can end up saving a customer money, without impacting their trash service needs.  To that end, if any Athens Services customer would like to have a 1-on-1 Solid Waste Services Optimization Meeting to explore possible ways of saving money for on your trash / recycling services bill, please contact Alex Tachiki, Senior Management Analyst, at (626) 932-5553, or via e-mail at atachiki@ci.monrovia.ca.us.  Alex will review each individual situation and work with each customer to determine the feasibility of making service changes that save money but don’t impact trash / recycling needs.

In addition, if anyone else has any questions / concerns regarding this matter, please feel free to contact Alex Tachiki, Senior Management Analyst, at (626) 932-5553, or via e-mail at atachiki@ci.monrovia.ca.us.


“STIP Program” With Oak Crest Institute of Science Already Yielding Great Results, With a New Incubator Facility Currently in Development!

During the past few years, the City has been engaged in a directed effort to further advance the science and technology ecosystem that exists here in Monrovia.  Those efforts have involved facilitating the establishment of LabLaunch Monrovia, which was only the second bio-tech incubator in the San Gabriel Valley (with the first being Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative), along with directed business attraction efforts aimed at the science and technology sector.

Those efforts have produced real and meaningful contributions here in Monrovia during the past 36 months, as we have seen the addition of more than 300,000 square feet of new office space users here in our City, which have brought along with them more than 2,000 new jobs, primarily in the science, technology, and corporate office markets.

In an effort to continue building on these initiatives, and to further develop the burgeoning underground science and technology ecosystem here in Monrovia, the City entered into an agreement with the renowned Oak Crest Institute of Science (which is based right here in Monrovia on Chestnut Avenue!) to develop a Science & Technology Incubator Program, or STIP Initiative.

The overall program includes the establishment of additional incubator space for early and mid-phase start-up firms focused in the science and technology industries.  In addition, the City and Oak Crest are also collaborating to establish the following:

  • A shared-use program which allows entities participating in the STIP Initiative cost-effective access to key science and technology R&D equipment.
  • A workforce development program that is aimed at creating a school-to-jobs pipeline for students interested in pursuing a career in the science and technology fields.
  • A community-building program which incorporates routine social gathering events in Monrovia to further development of the local science and technology ecosystem.
  • A Junior Researcher Science Academy, which includes the offering of a summer science camp for interested youth, where participants will be engaged in graduate-school level science research work.

The flyer includes additional information about the overall program that the City and Oak Crest have established together, and we’re excited to start rolling out additional program details in the coming weeks and months!


Is Your Teenager in Grade 8 – 10 Looking for a Premier Summer Science Program? If so… The New Junior Researcher Summer Academy, Hosted by the City and Oak Crest Institute of Science, Is Absolutely for You! Sign up Today for the Last Summer Session! 

As part of the City’s new focus on educational programming for our youth, we are pleased to announce the Junior Research Summer Academy, hosted by the City and the Oak Crest Institute of Science! Now, teens in Grades 8-10 can participate in one of three summer sessions for $40 per researcher:

  • Session 3: July 23 – August 3

Participants have so much to look forward to, including getting introduced to a variety of scientific fields through hands-on experiments with real research scientists!  To register or if you have any questions, contact the Monrovia Community Center at (626) 256-8246 or visit us online.

Summer Science Program


Sign Up for a YMCA Teen Membership and Participate in “Get Summer” Teen Night Events!

The YMCA is back offering its popular “Get Summer” Teen Initiative for the 3rd summer in a row!  Get Summer makes YMCA membership free for all teens 12-17 years old for June 1 thru July 31!  Teens can join any of the 27 LA-Y’s for FREE!  In addition to the FREE membership, teens can enjoy Final Friday Teen Nights each month (June 29, July 27, & August 24)!  After closing at 8:30pm on Fridays, the YMCA shuts their doors to all adults (except their staff, of course), and teens have full-run of the YMCA!  That includes pool, gym, special teen fitness classes, karaoke, etc., until 11 p.m.!  Learn more on the YMCA website and sign up today for fun summer activities!


As Summer Heat Increases Water Usage… The City Has Collected a Series Of Rebates That Are Available to Help You Conserve Water

Water usage in Monrovia has jumped up nearly a quarter since Governor Brown announced the drought is over last year.  Groundwater levels in the Main San Gabriel Basin aquifer, where Monrovia gets its water, remain at dangerously low levels as water usage continues to rise and our region draws down available water resources.

During the summer, water use spikes dramatically as individuals use extra water on their lawns and plants.  Unfortunately, much of this water is wasted due to overwater, water runoff, and evaporation.  Remember to water early in the morning or late at night to minimize water loss, and only water once every four days.  Limiting our outdoor water use can add up to huge water savings, and is a key tool in conserving water.

Want to make improvements to your home or yard to start conserving more water? Luckily, rebates are available that can help you make a water-wise investment!

Available Residential Rebates from SoCal Water $mart:

  • High-Efficiency Clothes Washers – Uses 55% less water than standard clothes washers. Less water means less energy needed for water heating, lowering your energy bill too. Rebates start at $85. Clothes washers must meet or exceed the CEE Tier 1 standard.
  • High-Efficiency Toilets - Uses 20% less water than the WaterSense standard and flushes the same amount of waste just as, if not more, effectively.
  • Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles - Multi-trajectory, rotating streams apply water more slowly and uniformly to your landscape, encouraging healthy plant growth.
  • Rain Barrels & Cisterns - Collecting and re-using rainwater from lawns and gardens minimizes the amount of water flowing into your storm drains, sewer systems, and local waterways. Rebates start at $35 per barrel or $250 per cistern.

These are just some of the rebates available! You can estimate your rebate amount, subject to eligibility and current funding levels, and apply online when you’re ready!

Please watch and share Monrovia’s water conservation video to help spread the word about what’s happening in our region, and how it will be impacting us all in the coming months and years.  You can watch the full video online on the Monrovia Conserves webpage, where you will also find additional information on how you can make a difference by conserving water and limiting your outdoor water use.

Be sure to visit Monrovia Conserves for more information on Phase IV Water Regulations and for tips on how individuals can help our community save water together!

Water Wednesday Water Wednesday_May 30


Monrovia Reads Van Will be Active all Summer Long!

We wanted to let everyone know that even though the summer is here… our Monrovia Reads Mobile Literacy Van will not be taking a break!  Here at the City, we have been making plans to deploy the Literacy Van at several events and programs over the summer, and of particular note, we have coordinated a summer reading partnership with the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center on Huntington Drive by the I-210 Freeway.  As the advertising documents outline below, we will be at the Huntington Oaks shopping center on the first Saturdays during the months of July and August to provide summer reading fun!

Monrovia Reads

A full outline of our current schedule for deploying the Monrovia Reads Literacy Van this summer is also outlined below!

 

  • August 2018:
    • Saturday, August 4, 2018
      • Huntington Oaks 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (checkouts, cards, activities, storytime)
    • August Date TBD
      • Foothill Unity Back to School Event @Santa Anita (cards & kids activity)

 


Save the Dates for MAFA's Summer Art Walk Events on July 28 and August 25!

The Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) first Summer Art Walk this past weekend was a hit!  If you missed out, worry not!  You have two more chances to enjoy art along the sidewalk in the 400 block of South Myrtle Avenue on the last Saturday evening of July (on July 28, 2018) and August (on August 25, 2018). 

Additional information can be found on the flyer below!  Many thanks to MAFA for all that they do to advance arts and culture here in our community!

MAFA 2018


Narrated Tour

Just Two Week 'Til the Next Monrovia Historical Society's Narrated Tour!

Don’t miss out on the Monrovia Historical Society’s 2018 Narrated Tours of Historic Monrovia with City Historian Steve Baker telling the history of each area of our fair City!  The tours have historically sold out quickly, so reserve early today!

The tours will be conducted as follows:

  • Tour 2:  Northeast Monrovia, Saturday, July 28, 2018, 10 am
  • Tour 3:  Southeast Monrovia, Saturday, August 25, 2018, 10 am
  • Tour 4:  Southwest Monrovia, Saturday, September 22, 2018, 10am

Tickets can be purchased at the Monrovia Community Center ($40 per tour for Historical Society members; $50 for non-members).  Also, please keep in mind that each tour (which is facilitated on air-conditioned Monrovia Transit vans) only has 14 available seats, so make sure you get your tickets today!

Tickets are available for purchase at the Monrovia Community Center (119 West Palm Avenue, 626.256.8246) or by contact the Monrovia Historical Society (monroviahistoricalsociety1896@gmail.com, 626.256.3423).  Additional information is available on the flyer!


Interested in Learning More About Monrovia’s Rich History? Then Look No Further Than Monrovia Legacy Project!

The Monrovia Legacy Project’s vase online collection is now available to peruse!  It’s taken nearly three years to organize, digitize, and load our City Historian’s collections of historic photographs and papers to create this online database. Now, you can browse over 5,000 historic photos and nearly 1,000 documents on our city’s rich history, including: city directories from the 1900s, house histories, out of print Monrovia history books, and so much more!

Dive in and explore!  You can find the resource on the Library’s website under the heading, Monrovia Historical Collections and Monrovia Legacy Project.  Click on “Photos” to see individual records.  Click on ‘’Documents” to find the link to open each document.  Search for things of special interest using “Keyword Search,” and use quotation marks to narrow your search.  Eventually, we will also link to online databases for the Monrovia Historical Museum and items from our own local history collection.

Please enjoy learning about Monrovia’s long history and help share this wonderful new resource with the community!  Marketing materials and a program at the Library hosted by the Monrovia Legacy Project Team will be coming soon.  If you have any questions, please call the Monrovia Library at (626) 256-8274, or contact the Historical Society, home of the Legacy Project, at monroviahistoricalsociety1896@gmail.com.

Monrovia Legacy Project


Summer 2018_Monrovia Today

Keep up with the City’s Busy Summer Schedule by Perusing the Summer Issue of Monrovia Today! Take Advantage of Our Digital Flipbook and Embedded Link Design to Register for Classes and More!

The new flipbook version of the Monrovia Today, which allows you to search using key words and uses live links to get you to the pages you want even quicker, has been hugely popular!!  Even better…users are able to click on any class and be redirected to our RecPro class registration system in Recreation to register in just a few easy clicks!

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! View the Monrovia Today Activity Guide today!


This Week's Happening at the Monrovia Public Library!

The Monrovia Public Library is 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!

Summer Reading 2018 is Here! 
Don’t let summer slide get you, keep your brain healthy by reading or listening to books all summer long.  The Monrovia Public Library has tons of great books and audiobooks to keep you happy so drop by and sign up for Summer Reading.  For every 7 days you read or engage in a reading activity, you get fun, FREE stuff including books, STEAM projects, and other prizes!  Sign up at cityofmonrovia.beanstack.org or drop by the Library.+

Night Owl Story Time  
Get comfy in your jammies, cuddle up with your favorite teddy, and join us for stories, songs, and activities. Designed for children ages 2 and up and their caregivers.

  • Wednesdays, July 18, 6:00 – 6:30 p.m., Library Story Room

Summer SciLab: Geology Rocks! 
Calling all future scientists! Stop in and experiment at the library’s SciLab! Examine slides on microscopes, learn about circuits, and more! Experiments will rotate throughout the summer. This week’s theme is Geology Rocks! SciLab is designed for children grades K-5. This weekly program is made possible by the SCLC Innovation Station grant in collaboration with Oak Crest Institute of Science.

  • Thursday, July 19, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., Library Story Room

Meditation Transformation Series 
Do you want to feel less stressed, at ease, and happier? Join us for an introduction to meditation for life balance and self-care with a transformational coach. Learn techniques to feel less anxious, stressed, and overall more blissful. The series will last for seven weeks during June and July. Space is limited and it's BYOM (bring your own mat). Adults & Teens 16 & up.

  • Saturday, July 21, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Library Community Room

Grown-up Story Time – Game of Thrones 
Reading aloud is not just for kids! The library is hosting story time for adults. Join us in reading snippets from a novel, watching screen interpretations, followed by discussion of the book and film versions. All those attending are welcomed and encouraged to dress or cosplay as their favorite characters. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin is currently a hit HBO series, with Season 8 returning next year. This program is for adults 18 & up. 

  • Saturday, July 21, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., Library Community Room

Friends of the Monrovia Public Library Book Store – NEW Hours 
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 51 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 www.friendsofmonroviapubliclibrary.org or stop by the Friends Book Store and pick up a membership application.

Friends of the Monrovia Public Library Book Store Hours (NEW):
Monday - Saturday
12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Weekend Code Enforcement Activities in Full Swing! 

In response to community concerns of unpermitted construction activities and other violations happening on weekends when City Hall is closed, the City hired a part-time Code Enforcement Officer, Cassie (Rodriguez) Pineda, to enforce during these times. Cassie works on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays, and will be a big help monitoring weekend activities throughout the community.

Our new weekend code enforcement activities will also include the ability to follow-up on the following activities:

  • Staff will canvass the City and retrieve signs that have been posted on utility poles.  Notices of violations will be sent to those with identifying information.
  • Staff will canvass the City for unpermitted construction, document activities, and issue Stop Work notices when appropriate with instructions to obtain proper permits.  Code Enforcement cases will be initiated and followed up with the code enforcement process though compliance.
  • Staff will also be canvassing the City for abandoned shopping carts, abandoned items in the public right of way, and unpermitted yard sales.

We are looking forward to the added benefits of this new level of code enforcement service for the community!

 


 

Helpful Programs To Keep Monrovia Beautiful:


Interesting Story of the Week - Be Careful What You Say To Teenagers, Because The Wrong Approach Could Lead Someone To Not Cut Their Fingernails… For 66 Years!!!

Our interesting story of the week comes to us from Newsweek, which reports that “a man with fingernails longer than a bus finally cut them off… after 66 years of growing them out.”

Yes, there lived a man who did not cut his fingernails – on his left hand – for 66 years.  Mr. Shridhar Chillal is an 82-year old from Pune, India, and he had been growing his nails out since he was 16 years old.  According to the article, he was inspired to do so in 1952, after a teacher berated him for accidentally breaking one of her nails.  The teacher told Mr. Chillal that he would never understand the level of care required to grown out nails unless he experienced it himself.  And so he decided to take those words to heart… by not cutting his nails for 66 years!

So what do nails left uncut for 66 years look like?  Well…

Nails_1Nails_2

 

This past week, Mr. Chillal travelled to New York City to have his nails removed for a museum display at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.  Using power tools, a nail technician performed the surgery to have the nails removed, and now, “his nails will be forever memorialized inside Ripley’s Believe It or Not Times Square.”

To read more about this truly unique and interesting story, please click on the link below! 

Man With World's Longest Fingernails Cuts Them Off After 66 Years, Sells Them To Museum


Police Department Weekly Report

View the most recent Police Department weekly neighborhood watch report for the period of July 3 - July 11, has been included for your review and reference. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hello everyone!

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 ochi@ci.monrovia.ca.us!

And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!

Best regards,

Oliver

Quote of the Week 

Love doesn’t make the world go round.  Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

– Franklin Jones

City Works to Find Balanced Solutions as We Prepare for a Housing Development Renaissance

Here in Southern California, we are faced with the daunting reality that things are about to get a lot more crowded.  Based on the latest demographic projections available, in the next 25-year planning period, the SCAG region (which includes LA County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Ventura County, and Imperial County) will, through natural growth patterns unrelated to immigration, add the equivalent population of the states of Oregon and Washington… combined!

That’s around 11 million more people in the greater Southern California region!

Against that backdrop, California is in the midst of a true housing crisis.  An oft-cited report published by McKinsey Global Institute illustrated the depths of the housing crunch here in the Golden State, where real estate prices are rising 3x faster than household income… where 50% of the State’s population cannot afford housing… where California needs to build 3.5 million more homes by 2025 to truly stabilize the housing situation.

And here in Monrovia, we’re impacted by these broader housing trends facing the State.  Because did you know that in our City, the average rent for an apartment these days is around $3 / square foot.

$3 / square foot… which means that a 1,000 square foot apartment will cost you $3,000 per month in rent.

That’s just not okay.

While there are many different proposed solutions to the housing issues we’re faced with today, there is only one for which there is near universal agreement… that if we are to stabilize housing costs in California, we need a massive increase in the supply of available housing.

For us here in Monrovia, we have been planning for this increase in housing during the past 20+ years.  Our initial ideas were developed through a 2004 Urban Land Institute Study commissioned by the City.  Those concepts were then codified in a 2008 General Plan Update that created areas of focused housing density in the edges surrounding Old Town, at Station Square, and on the west end of Huntington Drive.  Finally, in 2014, the City adopted the Station Square Transit Village Planned Development Area to allow for greater housing densities around our Gold Line Station.

And now, during the next several months, all of those plans will be coming to life as Monrovia is set to consider several large residential development projects that truly do reflect our community’s long term plans and vision for the City.  All told, there are currently around 2,200 housing units / rooms in the development pipeline, which constitutes a 15% increase in our total housing supply.  The map below outlines the location of these proposed development projects in the City.

 

Now in the next few months (from June 2018 – September 2018), the City will be considering three major projects that will feature close to 600 units / hotel rooms (highlighted in blue in the map above – Richman Development, Marriott TownePlace Suites, and AvalonBay).  Certainly, without proper context, these eye-popping numbers can be somewhat startling, and may elicit a strong initial reaction.  Because when dealing with policies related to growth, housing, and development, the issues often times end up pitting two sides against one another. 
 
On the one extreme, there are those who advocate for no-growth… that is, until we have more water, clean air, and no traffic, we should not allow any development whatsoever.  And on the other extreme, you have those who advocate for a pure free-market approach… that government should allow developers to build whatever they want, so long as the market will allow for it.
 
Here in our community, what we’ve been working on for the past 20+ years is to find a better way… a more balanced way… a true Monrovia way… in order to solve the pressing challenges facing our City.  And in an effort to offset the impacts associated with new development, the City has instituted several new policies and programs to mitigate growth issues that could erode the quality of life in our community.

  • First, on the environmental front… the City recently adopted a New Development Water Rate, which will require that any new project adding 5 or more units to the City pay the full cost of importing water from outside the region for their use.  This New Development Water Rate means that any new development projects will have to pay an effective water rate that is 34.4% more expensive than the normal water rate that current Monrovians are charged.  This policy enhancement will ensure that our existing residents and businesses are not forced to bear the added cost of importing more water into the City to serve a new population base.
  • Next, on the service delivery front… the City has adopted a policy that will allow us to create Mello-Roos Districts that overlay on significant new development projects.  Through this policy, all significant new developments will be required to pay an extra property tax assessment annually to offset the increased costs for police and fire services that are necessitated when major projects are constructed.
  • And finally, on the traffic front… the City recently instituted a new model of suburban mobility that provides Monrovians with simple, easy, and cheap public transportation options to combat increasing traffic and parking congestion trends.  The program we developed, which is called GoMonrovia, provides enhanced public transportation options provided through Lyft and LimeBike.  Under the GoMonrovia initiative, individuals have access to $0.50 Lyft rides anywhere in our service area.  In addition, the partnership developed with LimeBike has resulted in the deployment of dockless, shareable bikes located throughout town that can be accessed for $1.00 for a 30-minute ride.

 

During the next several months, as Monrovia contemplates the significant development projects that have been proposed here in our community, we do hope that you stay informed and stay involved with the issues at hand.  All of us here at the City have been working hard to try and find balanced solutions to the most important issues of our day.  Because while we do have to make sure that we have strong environmental policies, and while we need to develop premier mobility / transportation options for our residents… we also have to find a way to do our part to address the severe housing crisis we are confronted with today.  I know that by engaging in honest dialogue and working hard together… we can take the steps forwarded today that are needed to ensure that Monrovia has an even better future tomorrow.

City Establishes a New Web Page for Those Interested in Learning More About Significant Development Projects in Monrovia!

Given the significant development projects that are pending in Monrovia, the City has created a new “Development Spotlight” page on our website.
 
This site will become the web portal for all documents related to each of the projects being considered, and information will be uploaded as it becomes available.  In addition, each project will have its own page with links to all the environmental and entitlement documents for public review. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hello everyone!

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 ochi@ci.monrovia.ca.us!

And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!

Best regards,

Oliver

Quote of the Week 

Love doesn’t make the world go round.  Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

– Franklin Jones

City Works to Find Balanced Solutions as We Prepare for a Housing Development Renaissance

Here in Southern California, we are faced with the daunting reality that things are about to get a lot more crowded.  Based on the latest demographic projections available, in the next 25-year planning period, the SCAG region (which includes LA County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Ventura County, and Imperial County) will, through natural growth patterns unrelated to immigration, add the equivalent population of the states of Oregon and Washington… combined!

That’s around 11 million more people in the greater Southern California region!

Against that backdrop, California is in the midst of a true housing crisis.  An oft-cited report published by McKinsey Global Institute illustrated the depths of the housing crunch here in the Golden State, where real estate prices are rising 3x faster than household income… where 50% of the State’s population cannot afford housing… where California needs to build 3.5 million more homes by 2025 to truly stabilize the housing situation.

And here in Monrovia, we’re impacted by these broader housing trends facing the State.  Because did you know that in our City, the average rent for an apartment these days is around $3 / square foot.

$3 / square foot… which means that a 1,000 square foot apartment will cost you $3,000 per month in rent.

That’s just not okay.

While there are many different proposed solutions to the housing issues we’re faced with today, there is only one for which there is near universal agreement… that if we are to stabilize housing costs in California, we need a massive increase in the supply of available housing.

For us here in Monrovia, we have been planning for this increase in housing during the past 20+ years.  Our initial ideas were developed through a 2004 Urban Land Institute Study commissioned by the City.  Those concepts were then codified in a 2008 General Plan Update that created areas of focused housing density in the edges surrounding Old Town, at Station Square, and on the west end of Huntington Drive.  Finally, in 2014, the City adopted the Station Square Transit Village Planned Development Area to allow for greater housing densities around our Gold Line Station.

And now, during the next several months, all of those plans will be coming to life as Monrovia is set to consider several large residential development projects that truly do reflect our community’s long term plans and vision for the City.  All told, there are currently around 2,200 housing units / rooms in the development pipeline, which constitutes a 15% increase in our total housing supply.  The map below outlines the location of these proposed development projects in the City.

 

Now in the next few months (from June 2018 – September 2018), the City will be considering three major projects that will feature close to 600 units / hotel rooms (highlighted in blue in the map above – Richman Development, Marriott TownePlace Suites, and AvalonBay).  Certainly, without proper context, these eye-popping numbers can be somewhat startling, and may elicit a strong initial reaction.  Because when dealing with policies related to growth, housing, and development, the issues often times end up pitting two sides against one another. 
 
On the one extreme, there are those who advocate for no-growth… that is, until we have more water, clean air, and no traffic, we should not allow any development whatsoever.  And on the other extreme, you have those who advocate for a pure free-market approach… that government should allow developers to build whatever they want, so long as the market will allow for it.
 
Here in our community, what we’ve been working on for the past 20+ years is to find a better way… a more balanced way… a true Monrovia way… in order to solve the pressing challenges facing our City.  And in an effort to offset the impacts associated with new development, the City has instituted several new policies and programs to mitigate growth issues that could erode the quality of life in our community.

  • First, on the environmental front… the City recently adopted a New Development Water Rate, which will require that any new project adding 5 or more units to the City pay the full cost of importing water from outside the region for their use.  This New Development Water Rate means that any new development projects will have to pay an effective water rate that is 34.4% more expensive than the normal water rate that current Monrovians are charged.  This policy enhancement will ensure that our existing residents and businesses are not forced to bear the added cost of importing more water into the City to serve a new population base.
  • Next, on the service delivery front… the City has adopted a policy that will allow us to create Mello-Roos Districts that overlay on significant new development projects.  Through this policy, all significant new developments will be required to pay an extra property tax assessment annually to offset the increased costs for police and fire services that are necessitated when major projects are constructed.
  • And finally, on the traffic front… the City recently instituted a new model of suburban mobility that provides Monrovians with simple, easy, and cheap public transportation options to combat increasing traffic and parking congestion trends.  The program we developed, which is called GoMonrovia, provides enhanced public transportation options provided through Lyft and LimeBike.  Under the GoMonrovia initiative, individuals have access to $0.50 Lyft rides anywhere in our service area.  In addition, the partnership developed with LimeBike has resulted in the deployment of dockless, shareable bikes located throughout town that can be accessed for $1.00 for a 30-minute ride.

 

During the next several months, as Monrovia contemplates the significant development projects that have been proposed here in our community, we do hope that you stay informed and stay involved with the issues at hand.  All of us here at the City have been working hard to try and find balanced solutions to the most important issues of our day.  Because while we do have to make sure that we have strong environmental policies, and while we need to develop premier mobility / transportation options for our residents… we also have to find a way to do our part to address the severe housing crisis we are confronted with today.  I know that by engaging in honest dialogue and working hard together… we can take the steps forwarded today that are needed to ensure that Monrovia has an even better future tomorrow.

City Establishes a New Web Page for Those Interested in Learning More About Significant Development Projects in Monrovia!

Given the significant development projects that are pending in Monrovia, the City has created a new “Development Spotlight” page on our website.
 
This site will become the web portal for all documents related to each of the projects being considered, and information will be uploaded as it becomes available.  In addition, each project will have its own page with links to all the environmental and entitlement documents for public review.