Claremont Insider: Q & A

Monday, December 17, 2007

Q & A

A reader wrote in with a number of questions and observations regarding ongoing issues and events in Claremont:

Hi Buzz -

Can Buzz be a nickname for ombudsman (ombuzzman)?

1) What's behind the frequent 'chlorine' smell in our tap water the past few days? Is it just at our house? We haven't had any recent plumbing changes. What's the water company up to?

2) At the City's tree lighting ceremony, why was the host so intent on catering to and recognizing the out-of-towners? "Who's visiting from out of town?!?!?!? Raise your hands!!!!" I didn't hear much appreciation for those who live here in Claremont. The whole evening, however, was a fun one - both at the tree lighting and throughout the Village. I know the city hopes that the Village expansion brings in visitors (and their sales taxes), but tout Claremont and its citizens first and foremost at public events, and then give a brief welcome to any visitors.

3) Regarding the trolley news, wasn't the original route supposed to include the Old School House, with north/south runs up Indian Hill and down College? Why not include that Foothill/Indian Hill corner if so much development is going on there. The smaller route through the Village, the Expansion and the Metrolink parking lot is far too limited and short-sighted.

4) Regardless of the parking spots, what exactly is the store (or stores) going in right on the corner at the Sprouts Center on Mountain and Foothill?

5) Is that a temporary test road closure on the west end of Santa Barbara where it joins Mountain (across from the future store spot mentioned above)? Unlike the roundabout, I think this is a good idea. Santa Barbara is too close to Foothill, and there is too high a chance for accidents.
Our responses:
  1. We don't know what the chlorine smell is from. If anyone has any information on this, please pass it on. The Golden State Water Company's Region 3 office phone number is (909) 394-3600. Give them a call with any questions.

  2. We suspect the focus on out-of-town visitors at the tree-lighting ceremony probably has some connection with the city and the Chamber of Commerce's ongoing print and cable TV ad campaign.

  3. Yes, when the trolley idea was first floated, there was some talk of a longer route incorporating the colleges and the Old School House. However, the Traffic and Transportation Commission's Citizen's Committee for Off Track Trolley System Subcommittee studied the matter and issued a report on December 10th that found it would be best to start small and focus on two groups: visitors and people using the parking structures on First St. because they are supposed to be more likely to spend in Claremont (this takes us back to question #1).

    Incidentally, the Citizen's Committee included the ubiquitous former Mayor Judy Wright, who is listed a "citizen."

  4. The retail developmont at the northwest corner of Mountain Ave. and Foothill Blvd. is a 9,900 square-foot, single-story retail space proposed by James Harris and Foohill Mountain LLC. You can read more about it in the 10/24/07 Architectural Commission agenda report on the matter.

    The site, at 805 W. Foothill, used to have a Chevron gas station.

    Here is a description of the project taken from the staff report for the Architectural Commission:

    (Click on Image to Enlarge)

  5. Yes, the city had received requests from a majority of residents on Santa Barbara Dr. to have the street closed off at Mountain Ave. in order to discourage through traffic from people trying to get past traffic at Mountain and Foothill Blvd.

    According to the 10/25/07 Traffic and Transportation Commission agenda report for the matter, city staff, under City Engineer Craig Bradshaw, had originally recommended the closure be placed at Colby Circle rather than Mountain. Staff later opted to keep the temporary closure at Mountain. The 10/25/07 staff recommendation was to keep the temporary closure in place and to study the effects with a possible permanent closure in the future.

    The resident complaints didn't seem to include the proposed development at Mountain and Foothill.

    This contrasts a similar matter that came before the Traffic and Transportation Commission several years ago when some residents, notably then-City Economic Development Director Scott Miller, had requested a permanent closure at Kemper Ave. and Padua. No formal traffic study was done and the permanent closure was put in place - a typical waiving of rules by the Claremont 400 for one of their friends.
Here's a map of the Mountain-Foothill area showing the Santa Barbara Dr. closure and the proposed retail development at the old Chevron station site:

(Click to Enlarge)