Planning CommissionLet’s start with the Planning Commission, they reviewed 43 entitlements in 2013 a 35% increase over 2012. Too numerous to mention all of them, some of the highlights include:
Monrovia’s first microbrewery—or any brewery for that matter—Pacific Plate located at 1999 South Myrtle Avenue was approved at the beginning of the year and opened their doors a few months ago. Hope you got a chance to try their "Christmas in a glass".
|5th & Huntington|
Del Taco is under construction at 945 East Huntington Drive, next to Fast5Xpress car wash which is also well under way. Both businesses should be open in several months. This was truly a collaborative process involving the residents of the mobile home park to the north, the developer, City Staff and also Duarte’s staff (since the City of Duarte owns half the street).
|New Restaurants in Huntington Oaks|
Chipotle, Smashburger, Panera have opened in a beautiful new building that replaced Acapulco in the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center. Menchie’s frozen yogurt will be joining them soon.
Additionally, an expanded Union 76 service station and Giving Hands thrift store both received their approvals this year. A 21-unit and 4-unit Planned Unit Development were approved at 1323 South Magnolia Avenue and 535 West Lemon Avenue, respectively. The 18-unit Ivy at Monrovia condominiums should be completed mid-Winter 2014.
Old Town continues to attract new restaurants. Planet Cookie has transformed into Meridian. S’Links at the south end of Old Town along with a new Japanese and bar and grill will make the 600 Block a hot dining destination. Travel the world of food in the 600 Block.
|What's left of Wendy's|
|New Signs in Foothill Park Plaza|
Wendy’s in the Foothill Park Plaza is undergoing its transformation…and speaking of Foothill Park Plaza, there have been several upgrades in 2013—new paint, parking lot improvements and a whole new sign program.
|Literally, driving up the wall...in a good way|
We’re happy to see that the car business is getting better too, both Sierra Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (that’s a mouthful) and Mini Cooper completed big remodels. Check out their new “sign”. It puts a whole new spin to driving up the wall. We weren’t sure about it on paper, but really like it in person. Watch for further changes to Auto Row in 2014…big changes.
|505 North Alta Vista Avenue|
Advance PlanningAlso known as long range Planning, this section of the Division is responsible for the update of the City’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinance. In addition to a couple of project-specific amendments to the City’s General Plan, the primary focus in 2013 was the update of the Housing Element. Over the year a consultant was hired to assist in the preparation of the Element. This included a community workshop as well as a citywide survey was conducted earlier this year. Public hearings will be held by the Planning Commission and City Council in early 2014.
FilmingOur staff processed an agreement to turn over the day-to-day activities related to monitoring film production in the Monrovia to FilmL.A., a non-profit organization to promote filming in Los Angeles County. Working as adjunct staff, they will take over much of the legwork required in processing permits for filming production…at no cost to the City.
TransportationThe City’s flagship transit program, Monrovia Transit dial-a-ride provided over 50,000 trips in 2013. Watch for new vehicles in 2014. The City’s portion of Proposition C monies (one of three countywide ½ cent transportation taxes) funded the resurfacing of the majority of Olive Avenue.
Gold Line construction is going full steam ahead and while the City’s Public Works Department is taking the lead on the interface with the new light rail system, many of the City’s divisions, including Planning, have been involved. We’re all feeling the pain of construction, but in the end, we’re confident that this will be a great thing for Monrovia and the San Gabriel Valley.
Well, there you have a very brief…ok not so brief overview of what’s been going on around “the counter.” Although we’re not prone to make resolutions, we are striving to blog more often. So stay tuned, there’s going to be a lot more good stuff coming soon.
Happy New Year!