Thursday, July 18, 2013

We're Changing Our Name...

Greetings!  After some careful thought, we've decided to officially change our name from the “Development Spotlight Blog” to the “Over the Counter Blog.” The name “Over the Counter” is a nod to our roots.  The Counter is the place where development activity begins as an idea, sometimes not more than a doodle on paper passed across a wooden counter. 

Despite the moniker, Community Development, our Department’s duties are as varied as Monrovia itself.  Our Staff wears many hats.  Since our Blog posts sometimes include items not related to development, this name change gives us a little more freedom to cover a range of topics related to the Community Development Department.  (Don’t worry we’re not going to start blogging on sports, food, or music anytime soon; although we’re a fan of all three).

You may have picked up that we’re partial to old movies, so with that explanation aside, we’ll tap into our inner Yul Brynner as we say, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”  The era of the “Over the Counter Blog” is under way.  We look forward to many more enjoyable years with you, our readers talking about things “over the counter”.

DRC Recap - July 17, 2013

Again, DRC had a fairly large agenda for their July 17 meeting.  Many of the items, while important, were fairly routine.  So without getting into all the minutia of the meeting, we’ll focus on some of the highlights. 

Building signs for Living Spaces at 407 West Huntington Drive are being replaced with very attractive, contemporary signs. 

Outdoor dining permit was approved for S’Links, a new restaurant specializing in gourmet hot dogs that will be opening soon at 630 South Myrtle Avenue.  

Façade remodel for the building at 720 East Huntington Drive for Lumber Liquidators.

Review of a new training facility at 2055 South Myrtle Avenue—that’s Monrovia Fire Station 102.

Support Monrovia businesses.  Shop local!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Planning Commission Update - July 10, 2013

The summer lull has hit.  The one and only public hearing was for a new beer and wine license for a new restaurant in Old Town.  Still, there was a whole lot of change going on…beginning with the annual reorganization of the Commission.  At the start of each year, fiscal year that is, the Commission elects a chair and vice chair for the upcoming year.  Following tradition, the Commission elected Vice Chair Carlos Parrague as the Chair of the Planning Commission and Commissioner Anne McIntosh as the new Vice Chair.  Additionally, the Commission welcomed the City’s two newly appointed Planning Commissioners, Robert McClellan and Karen Suarez.

With Commissioner Parrague assuming the chair, the meeting continued to the public hearing: review of a request for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a new restaurant to serve beer and wine.  The restaurant, which will be called Meridian, will serve Mediterranean fare…kabobs, fattoush, hummus, gyros…our mouths are watering already. Meridian will be located at 342 South Myrtle Avenue.  The CUP was approved. 

An Illustrative Example of Typical Mediterranean Food

The Commission then moved to the topic of stormwater regulations.  OK, so it’s not the most glamorous of topics, but making sure that stormwater, which eventually makes its way down to the ocean, has minimal pollutants is important—and mandatory under the Clean Water Act.  There are more acronyms than letters in the alphabet related to this topic: NPDES – National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System; MS4 – Municipal Separate Storm Water System; SUSMP – Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plan…and the list keeps on going.

So what does this all mean?  Well, we’re still working on that, but luckily we’ve got some really smart, dedicated staff members over in the Environmental Services Section that are figuring it out for the City. Bottom line, most new development will need to capture the majority of rainwater on site and either for reuse (think rain barrels) or allowed to percolate down to the water table which will help to recharge the aquifers that supply most of our water.  The presentation was for information only and no action was required at this time.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DRC Recap - July 3, 2013

Hi Readers!  We hope you had a good 4th of July.  Below is an update from the Development Review Committee's (DRC) July 3, 2013 meeting.  (If you're asking "What's DRC?," check out some of our prior posts for an overview.)  

Unless stated otherwise, the following items were reviewed and approved by DRC at the July 3rd meeting:

Residential Properties
  • 122 N. Alta Vista Ave. – Review of 3,250 sq. ft. home.
  • 123 McKinley Pl. – Minor exception to encroach into minimum side yard setback for an addition.
  • 732 Bonita St. – Review of window removal and replacement.  DRC did not approve this application.
  • 239 E. Hillcrest Blvd. – Review of new 2,992 sq. ft. home.
  • 873 Ridgeside Dr. – Minor exception, 5 ft. fence in lieu of 4 ft. in front yard setback and a patio cover setback 21.5 ft. in lieu of 25 ft.
  • 946 W. Colorado Blvd. – Review of 100 sq. ft. addition to west side of house.

Commercial Properties
  • 241 W. Huntington Dr. – Advisory review of Conditional Use Permit (C.U.P.) for a second-hand store with façade removal and Zoning Code Amendment.  DRC did not recommend approval.
  • 1451 S. Mountain Ave. – Review of architectural addition of a car on the building wall.
  • 925 W. Foothill Blvd. – Advisory review of C.U.P. for second-hand store.  Forwarded to Planning Commission with recommendation of approval with conditions.

Sign Review
  • 702 E. Huntington Dr. – Advisory review for Code Amendment to allow LED (Electric) price sign at service (gas) stations.  Forwarded to Planning Commission with a recommendation for approval.
  • 702 E. Huntington Dr. – Review of modification to canopy and sign face change for Shell Service station.
  • 720 E. Huntington Dr. – Review of wall sign for Lumber Liquidator.  
If you'd like to know more about Business Signage in the City of Monrovia, click here.