Claremont Insider: If It's a Second Tuesday It Must Be Council Night

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If It's a Second Tuesday It Must Be Council Night


The Claremont City Council meets tonight, minus the Claremont Unified School District board. The council will meet for a special meeting at 4pm in City Hall's Citrus Room (upstairs from the Council Chambers).

The special meeting will be a study session on "Institutional Zone Parking," meaning the Claremont Colleges, public schools, and retirement communities. Each institution is supposed to provide sufficient parking for the number of people staying or visiting their respective locations. The City has a formula for figuring the number of parking spaces needed.

According to the city staff report on the parking situation at the colleges, Claremont Graduate University, Pitzer College, and Harvey Mudd College have a parking deficit. Pomona College and Scripps College, and the 5C's as a whole have surpluses:

From Pg. 18 of the study session report on institutional parking
(Click to Enlarge)


Tonight's regular meeting has a number of interesting items listed:
  • City Manager Jeff Parker seeks council approval to spend $112,962 for Mobile Data Computers to be installed inside police vehicles, as well as $76,690 to purchase in-car digital video systems for CPD's vehicles.

    The City would contract with CDCE Incorporated in Yorba Linda for the mobile computing hardware and with Insight Video Net for the digital camera systems.

  • Staff is asking the council to approve a General Plan amendment and a zoning change that would change the land-use designations for three Caltrans properties along the 210 Freeway from Park/Resource Conservation (open space) to single-family residential use.

    The three Caltrans parcels were originally zoned for residential use and were changed to open space in 2005 when the City completed it's General Plan update. Caltrans then sued the City for inverse condemnation because the rezoning took away a potential revenue-generating use for its land.

    The parcels are located at:

    1. Live Oak and Base Line Rd., north of the 210 Freeway.
    2. The east side of Sumner, north of the 210 Freeway (between Webb Canyon and Towne Ave.).
    3. The southwest corner of Monte Vista Ave. and Base Line Rd., north of the 210 Freeway.

    The City and Caltrans reached a settlement agreement this past January, and rezoning the parcels for residential use was apparently part of that agreement.

    On April 21, the Planning Commission denied the considered a recommendation for the changes and denied the request on a 4-3 vote, so the matter goes back to the council. Four of the five councilmembers must approve the amendment.

  • The council will be asked to consider an amendment to the already approved special event permit for the Wednesday night Family Festivals in the Claremont Village Expansion. The amendment would extend the closure on Oberlin Ave. north to Bonita Ave. It would also add one hour to the festival, going from 5pm to 9pm, instead of ending at 8pm. And the street closures would run from 3pm to 10pm, adding an hour at each end.

    The city staff report, by Director of Community Development Tony Witt - or T. Witt, as he is affectionately known - also asks the city to approve the use of small, "quiet generators." You've gotta love the way Tony slips in a modifier, as if that really means anything. It's just an old Madison Avenue advertising trick ("New and Improved!") that's meant to assuage the concerns of people in the Village who might voice objections to the generators.

    And, as usual, Tony withholds the key information. He doesn't specify what exactly the generators would be used for. Whenever Tony employs this sort of obliqueness in a report, beware! You're sure to be in for big surprise.

    This one was fast-tracked by the City and Tony to avoid generating any controversy. It will set a record for time from idea to implementation.

    As we wrote last week, this Family Festival expansion seems to mix up the cart and the horse. Witt has based his decision on one data point -the initial April 29 festival night. If you went to the second one, last Wednesday, you would have noticed a marked drop off in attendance, so staff's expansion of the event may be premature.

    It's not unlike the Claremont Trolley - magical thinking in search of a staff report to justify it. It's sooooo Claremont! You just have to love it.

  • The council is also considering approval of an exclusive negotiating agreement with Jamboree Housing Corp. to develop 75 units of affordable housing on the old Claremont Courier site at 111 S. College Ave.

    The proposed development would be a mix of senior and family housing units. 59 of the units would be reserved for very low-income residents, and 19 units would be for low-income tenants.

    The landlord would be obliged by the agreement to give preference to families with at least one household member who works in Claremont. One should remember that this preference is only good for the initial leases. When the units turn over, there is no preference. With residency length in our area averaging around seven years, according to Councilmember Peter Yao, after that time we can expect the local preference to have been thrown out the window.

  • Lastly, the council will discuss the Metropolitan Water District's model water conservation ordinance. With the state entering its third year of drought, MWD is restricting the amount of water available for purchase by agencies like Three Valleys Municipal Water District.

    MWD has asked local government and water agencies to adopt water conservation ordinances to help reduce water consumption. The City is looking to vote on an ordinance by June 9, and implementing the ordinance will require the cooperation of Three Valleys and our local water company, Golden State Water.

    We've heard through the jungle drums that one of the proposals may included spying on your neighbors. Thank you, Tim Worley, for that one!

Claremont City Council
Study Session - 4pm
City Hall, Citrus Room
207 Harvard Ave.

Regular Session - 6:30pm
Council Chambers
225 W. 2nd St.

Call (909) 399-5460 for information.