Claremont Insider: LWV Lines Up Against Neighborhood - AGAIN

Monday, September 29, 2008

LWV Lines Up Against Neighborhood - AGAIN

Next week, Claremont's Planning Commission will review the draft 2008-2014 Housing Element of the City's General Plan. The city's website has this information:

A Draft 2008-2014 Housing Element has been completed and will be reviewed by the Planning Commission. The Draft contains goals, policies, and programs to achieve the community's vision of a diverse and sustainable community that increases housing choice for current and future residents.

  • When: Tuesday, October 7 [7:00pm - ed.]
  • Where: Council Chamber, 225 W. Second Street
The public is encouraged to participate in this review process. Copies of the Draft are available for review at the City Hall public counter, 207 Harvard Avenue, and you may click the link below to view the Draft.

For more information, contact the City's Planning Division at (909) 399-5470.

The draft Housing Element did have some useful information. For example, it contained a couple tables that showed how the city's age distribution seems to be changing - something we've written about in the past. One table showed that between the 1990 and 2000 US Censuses, the number of children of preschool age (0-5 years old) declined by 7.1%. Also, the number of adults ages 25-34 declined by 11.4%. And the number of adults 35-44 declined by 9.7%. The last two groups are the ones whom one would expect to be starting families, so those declines feed into the diminishing preschool-age cohort.

In contrast, older adults, the groups ages 45-54, 55-64, and 65 and older, increased by 26.5%, 5.5%, and 23.3%, respectively.

Click on Images to Enlarge

Household sizes, too, declined between 1990 and 2000, also sign of fewer children:

Like almost any city enterprise, the draft Housing Plan is a political document shaped in large part by the League of Women Voters of the Claremont Area. Affordable Housing figures prominently in the plan, and there is every indication that the local LWV has not forgiven the residents who live around the site of the former Base Line Rd. affordable housing site at the southeast corner of Base Line and Towne Ave.

You might recall that the LWV squared off against those residents and lost when they tried to push their affordable housing project at that location. The LWV lost primarily because a Los Angeles County agency decided it would change the rules by which it allocates certain affordable housing funds, ruling that projects within 500 feet of a major highway cannot receive the funds in question.

The LWV hasn't given up, and the Base Line Rd. site with its potential for up to 46 affordable housing units is still mentioned in the list. Also, an adjacent Base Line site 1000 feet east of Towne Ave. is listed in the draft Housing Element as one of the top potential affordable housing locations in Claremont and could hold up to 78 homes.

Of course, that second Base Line site would have the same problems as the first one - it is next to the 210 Freeway and so would not be ideally suited to affordable housing.

Still, the LWV and the city's establishment, including Mayor Ellen Taylor, have had it in for this neighborhood for a long time, going back to when the 210 Freeway was being planned and they wanted to dump the westbound traffic onto Base Line Rd. with hook ramps. The city lost on the 210 Fwy. ramps, and they lost Round One of the affordable housing debate. Out of spite, rather than as a matter of public policy, they're coming back for Round Two.

Should be interesting.