Claremont Insider: City News

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

City News

For our 1,000th post, news of the mundane -


The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is open again after being closed for a few days due to high fire danger. We also hear that work on the emergency remediation is underway to repair the damage done during the city's summer brush clearance.


Claremont's annual Halloween Celebration will take place Friday in the Village. The city's website has the details:

Co-sponsored by the City of Claremont, Claremont Chamber Village Marketing Group and local businesses, everyone is invited to Claremont's Annual Halloween Celebration in the Claremont Village on Friday, October 31. There will be trick-or-treating, free games, and a lot of entertainment.

Over 50 Village businesses, marked with balloons and a special poster, will be handing out free goodies to trick-or-treaters from 3-5 p.m. Maps listing all participating locations will be available at the Claremont Depot (200 W. First St) and City Hall (207 Harvard Ave).

The Claremont Depot will have free games and entertainment, including a puppet show and a live animal show, as well as a children's costume contest from 4-7 p.m. Additional entertainment will be located at the Packing House, Village Square, and a variety of other locations. The entertainment will include live music, clowns, and a magician. At 5 p.m., a Dog Costume Contest will take place at TruCare Pet Boutique (346 Yale Ave).

For more information about the City of Claremont's Halloween Celebration, call (909) 399-5490.


The Claremont City Council meets tonight beginning with a special closed session at 5:15pm to discuss price and terms for the ground lease agreement for the Padua Theatre.

The Council will reconvene in its regular session at 6:30pm. Among the items on the agenda are:
  • The second readings and adoptions of:
    - The ordinance allowing dogs on the Thompson Creek trail.
    - The city leaf blower ordinance.
    - The solid waste collection fee hike.
    - The city public park smoking ordinance.

  • A staff report on the city's investment funds showing that in the quarter ending September 30th, the city's investments in certificate of deposits and the state's Local Agency Investment Fund declined by $3,544,846, from $24,106,427 to $20,561,581.

    The report also stated that the Claremont Redevelopment Agency's investments declined by $1,106,396, down from $3,286,039 at the end of July.

    The staff report states that the declines were "primarily as a result of the outflow of funds to maintain operations."

  • A business climate survey commissioned by the City and conducted by the Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College. The survey reported:
    The Rose Institute of State and Local Government conducted a survey of local businesses in the City of Claremont during July and August of 2008. Interviews were conducted by telephone with a random sample of businesses in Claremont. Additional personal survey interviews were conducted by Rose Institute staff with the some of the top twenty sales tax generating businesses in the city. Relevant graphs describing selected questions accompany each section.

    Results from the survey indicate that businesses owners are not likely to provide strong support for a campaign to increase the transient occupancy tax in Claremont Survey results also show that gross receipts for local businesses have been relatively stable despite the general downturn in the broader economy. Most Claremont businesses are relatively small with less than ten employees but usually have a significant non-Claremont customer base. There are substantial differences between the types of businesses that are located in the Village and outside of it. The Village has a heavy concentration of retail clothing, gift retail, and restaurant business while non-Village business is generally professional offices, accommodations or other major businesses such as car dealerships, and grocery stores. Despite differences in categorization, Village and non-Village businesses responded similarly to a number of questions regarding the local business climate.
    What was that about a hike in the transient occupancy tax? And, it's difficult to believe that there local businesses sales have remained relatively stable. All you have to do is see the number of businesses in the Packing House and the Village Expansion and elsewhere in the Claremont Village that have closed in the past year. Or consider the drop-off in auto sales at Claremont Toyota.

    The survey also said that 75% of the respondents believed that it was the business owner's responsibility to market their business - not the City or the Chamber of Commerce. A similar number also said that it was the job of business owners to pay for that marketing, all of which should make warm the hearts of the City Council and the Chamber, since it takes them off the hook for marketing the Village.

  • A resolution supporting a 75,000-seat NFL football stadium in the City of Industry near the junction of the 60 and 57 Freeways, because traffic at that interchange isn't bad enough already.

  • Consideration of a mitigated negative declaration and the lease agreement for the Padua Hills Theatre. Staff recommends taking public comment and continuing the matter until the Council's next meeting in November.

  • Review and adoption of the Claremont's proposed Sustainable City Plan.

  • Review of the city's Housing Element Land Inventory Sites. The infamous Base Line Rd. affordable housing site gets a special mention. According to the staff report by Claremont Director of Community Development Tony Witt:
    The Planning Commission reviewed the draft Housing Element on October 7, 2008. The commission recommended on a 4-3 vote that the Base Line site be removed from the land inventory. The majority felt that the site was not suited for affordable residential development because of the negative air quality impacts of being next to the freeway and the fact that the site is not within close proximity to parks schools, public transportation or grocery stores.
    Yet, despite the Planning Commission's recommendation, Witt's staff recommendation is to include the Base Line site on the list of potential affordable housing locations. We suspect this is being done at the behest of Mayor Ellen Taylor, Claremont League of Women Voters president Barbara Musselman, and former Police Commissioner Helaine Goldwater, all of whom cannot stop themselves from meddling unnecessarily in this affordable housing issue. They've got it in their little heads that there is only one way to accomplish meet the state affordable housing goals -their way, which means putting it on the Base Line Rd. site, come hell or high water.

Goldwater, who is responsible for giving Ellen Taylor, isn't through with her machinations (hint: municipal election time is nearing). More on that in a future report.