CVAR's March-April Cities Report is here! Take a deep dive with us, city by city, and get all the latest industry relevant updates for the Greater San Gabriel Valley!

Cities Report, March-April 2022



With a 47 million dollar loan in hand, construction is getting underway for another mixed-use apartment complex next to the L Line in Azusa.


A recent groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of work on The Lumia Apartments, a new project from Serrano Development Group located on a 1.2-acre site at 826 N. Azusa Avenue. Plans call for the construction of 127 market rate residential units atop 9,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space and two levels of subterranean parking.


AO is designing the podium-type apartment complex, while Pacific Empire Builders is serving as general contractor.


The construction loan was provided by Buchanan Mortgage Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Buchanan Street Partners, L.P., in its third deal with Serrano.


Serrano is already an active developer in the Azusa community, having built the 163-unit Orchard apartments a few blocks south of the L Line stop at 626 N. Azusa Avenue. The developer is also in construction at a similar mixed-use project near a future West Sana Ana Branch stop in the City of Bellflower.




The Baldwin Park City Council unanimously approved a strengthened campaign finance ordinance, placing greater limits on financial contributions to candidates for Baldwin Park City Council, City Clerk, City Treasurer and Mayor.


The Council’s vote lowers the maximum allowable contribution to $750 per candidate per election cycle, an 84% decrease from the former contribution limit of $4,900 per candidate per election cycle.


In lieu of a local campaign finance ordinance, the State of California, via Assembly Bill 571, applies the state contribution limit to candidates for city and county office. The city’s new rules will take effect April 1 and will apply to the 2022 election and all future elections.  


The city council’s goal in creating a Baldwin Park-specific campaign finance ordinance is to create a level playing field for candidates seeking an elected seat in city government. By lowering barriers to local public service, the city hopes to expand opportunity for all residents who want to serve their community.  


The ordinance, adopted at the city council’s regular meeting on March 2, restricts campaign contributions from applicants with pending or recently approved entitlements for a project, as well as city contractors with pending, recently approved or active contracts with the City. It also restricts when contributions can be solicited to October the year before an election through February of the year following an election.


Starting on January1, 2023, the maximum allowable contribution will automatically be adjusted every two years to reflect the California Consumer Price Index. The ordinance will be enforced by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and anyone who knowingly and willingly violates the ordinance will be guilty of a misdemeanor.  


Baldwin Park joins179 other California cities who have also adopted stricter campaign finance limits, including neighboring cities in the region, such as Alhambra, El Monte, Long Beach, Los Angeles and many others.




KB Home  announced the grand opening of Lily, a new community of paired homes situated within the Seasons master plan in Chino, California. The new community is located at Tanzinite Lane and Bickmore Avenue, just east of U.S. Highway 71.  Lily at the Seasons is close to shopping, dining and entertainment at Chino Spectrum Towne Center.


The new homes at Lily at the Seasons showcase desirable design characteristics like spacious kitchens overlooking large great rooms, expansive bedroom suites with walk-in closets, ample storage and private outdoor living spaces. The community’s floorplans feature up to four bedrooms and three baths, and range in size from approximately 1,600 to 1,900 square feet. The master plan offers stunning mountain views as well as future amenities like a pool, children’s play area and sports courts. Additionally, Lily at the Seasons is zoned for the highly ranked Chino Valley Unified School District.


Every KB home is designed to be ENERGY STAR® certified thanks to the quality construction techniques and materials utilized that ultimately deliver significant savings on utility bills compared to used homes. Additionally, all new KB homes are designed to deliver an enhanced indoor environment and include high performance ventilation systems, low- or zero-VOC products and other features guided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor airPLUS standards.


The Lily at the Seasons sales office and model homes are open for walk-in visits and private in-person tours by appointment. Homebuyers also have the flexibility to arrange a live video tour with a sales counselor. Pricing begins from the mid $600,000s.


For more information on KB Home, call 888-KB-HOMES or visit




The City of Chino Hills will receive $565,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)funding to support a fuel reduction project that will enhance the city’s ability to remove fire hazards in close proximity to homes.


The funding will allow the city to supplement its annual weed abatement efforts with a program that enlarges defensible space and removes dead and declining plant material in the landscaped buffer zones between the city’s habitable structures and its open space hillsides.


The project will use environmentally friendly techniques that are cost effective and will result in long-term greenhouse gas reductions.


The funding was approved as part of the Federal Government’s omnibus spending bill that will provide government funding across multiple divisions on a federal level, and for the first time in 12 years, includes local projects as requested by their legislative representatives.


The project was supported by U.S. Representative Young Kim, who represents California’s 39thCongressional District that includes Chino Hills, and U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla who represent California.


The city is comprised of 3,350 acres of city-owned open space and is adjacent to the14,107-acre Chino Hills State Park that has burned in previous fires and abuts residential neighborhoods in the city.


Rep. Young Kim said the city worked with her to assess the need for the project and get it through the finish line in Congress.




During a Claremont City Council meeting, Community Development Director Brad Johnson presented the annual Housing Element Progress Report, which the city is required to submit to state officials on April 1.


The report includes an update on the city’s progress in fulfilling its portion of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation for the planning period from 2014 to 2021. For this seven-year span, Claremont was allocated 373 new housing units as its fair share of the 412,137 total number needed to meet forecasted population growth in the Southern California Association of Governments region.


A critical part of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation is planning for affordable housing. However, Claremont fell short of its target numbers in every category except for above moderate income units, for which it exceeded its allocation by 282,for a total of 434 homes built. The city reported just 17 very low-income units from an allocation of 98, and 13 low-income units short of the target of 59. It did somewhat better among moderate income units, for which it reported 46 out of an allocation of 64.


That poor performance may soon change with Claremont’s revised Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, plus several low income housing projects in the works. There has also been an uptick in another common type of affordable housing, thanks in part to new state laws that make it easier to construct accessory dwelling units, commonly referred to as ADUs.


ADUs, also known as second units, in-law suites, casitas and granny flats, are stand-alone or attached housing built on a lot with an existing residential unit, usually a single family home. The ADU includes its own living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation facilities, allowing one or more people to live independently, and by design, more affordably. Another related type of housing which is contained within an existing structure is called a junior accessory dwelling unit.


According to a city report, the California Legislature found and declared that, among other things, California is facing a severe housing crisis and ADUs are a valuable form of housing that meets the needs of family members, students, the elderly, in-home health care providers, people with disabilities and others. Therefore, ADUs are an essential component of California’s housing supply.


ADU’s  have become a focus of affordable housing advocates because they generally cost less to construct than other types of housing, and because the vast majority of residential land in California is zoned for single family homes, so there are thousands of potential ADU locations in nearly every town across the state.


Because ADUs must be built on lots with existing or proposed housing, they do not require paying for new land, dedicated parking or other costly infrastructure required to build anew single-family home.


In addition, ADUs can be built in established cities that have little or no land available for large developments, which helps the state meet critical housing needs inlocales that also have plentiful, well-paying jobs.


A number of state laws have been passed recently, with the intent of preventing local ordinances from standing in the way of building ADUs, including eliminating owner occupancy requirements, doing away with minimum lot sizes and reducing the application review time by the city. Local agencies can impose development standards such as setbacks, height limits and design guidelines, as long as ADU approval and permitting is conducted without discretionary action, meaning the units are not up for a hearing.


The new laws allow cities such as Claremont to include ADUs in their Regional Housing Needs Allocations. For the most recent cycle of the existing housing element, which spans one year ending October 15, 2021, a total of 17 ADUs were permitted in Claremont, including 12 for very low income residents.


A chart associated with the  presentation to the council showed 44 ADUs across the city for which applications had been submitted last year. Of those, just four were for personal use and one was withdrawn, meaning 39 will be future housing. And it seems likely that this type of development will become more common in Claremont


The city noted that Assembly Bill] 671 requires local agencies’ housing elements to include a plan that incentivizes and promotes the creation of ADUs that can offer affordable rents for very low, low, or moderate-income households and requires HCD to develop a list of state grants and financial incentives in connection with the planning, construction and operation of affordable ADUs. Development.




On April 5, the El Monte City Council passed the second reading of the ordinance to establish and implement district-based elections of the City Council. With a vote of 3-2, the City Council approved Map 117, creating six (6) council districts, expanding the City Council seats from five (5) members to seven (7) members. During elections, voters will now elect one member representing their district to the City Council and a Mayor at-large.


El Monte made the historic transition to district-based election with the goal of ensuring that all residents are represented equally and fairly. Through this undertaking, the City aligned with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) requirements which discourage cities from using at-large voting systems that impair the ability of legally recognized protected classes of voters from electing candidates of their choice or otherwise influencing the outcome of an election. Protected classes include members of the same race, color, national origin, religion, sex/gender, age (over 40), and disability.


In accordance with Elections Code Section 10010, the City hosted two public hearings to receive general public comment on the proposal to move to district elections, two public hearings for the public to provide feedback on the proposed district maps created, and two additional public hearings to approve an ordinance that formally adopts Map 117 and the implementation of district-based elections.


With a population of 109,905 residents, the City of El Monte conducted robust outreach to the community to inform them about the process, what this means to them, and encouraged them to provide input on how the districts should be drawn.


Councilmembers in support of the ordinance to establish district-based elections included Mayor ProTem Alma Puente, Councilmember Dr. Maria Morales, and Councilmember Martin Herrera. Mayor Jessica Ancona and Councilmember Victoria Martinez Muela voted in opposition to the ordinance.




Real term has announced the acquisition of a 136,580-square-foot final mile warehouse located at 359 N. Covina Lane in La Puente, Calif. The facility sits on 9.2 acres and includes 5,000 square feet of office space, 23 dock-high doors and three grade-level doors.


Situated at  359 N. Covina Lane is strategically located with access to I-605, I-10, Route 60 and I-5 within 15 minutes. With immediate access to the region’s key highway network, the property can easily service more than 17 million people within 50 miles. Additionally, the property is 22 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, 30 minutes from Ontario International Airport and 35 minutes from both LAX International Airport and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.


Highlights of the property include:

 Square feet:136,580 SF

 Land area: 9.2acres

 Loading Positions:26

 Access: I-605,I-10, Route 60 and I-5




After anticipating dipping into its rainy day fund, the city of La Verne now expects to end the 2021-22 fiscal year with a $4.6 million surplus.


The rosier-than-expected financial outlook is due primarily to the unbudgeted $5.6 million sale of city-owned property at 2820 Amherst St., finance director Marla Pendleton said during a mid-year budget review Monday, April 4.


The city anticipates transferring $4 million of the surplus to a trust for employee pensions, leaving $646,461 in its reserves.


Other revenue highlights include an anticipated $2.7 million from license and permit fees, $910,000 higher than original budgeted. Building permits are the most significant revenue source here.

Sales tax revenues are up $644,000 over original projections, the city reported.

Overall, general fund revenues for the first six months of the year were $5.8 million higher than the same period the previous fiscal year, according to a city report.


Meanwhile, the city had to make some adjustments on expenditures, including a $40,000 boost for electricity costs, which have been higher than expected.


The city expects to spend $40.8 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, with revenues reaching $45.4 million. Measure LV, a 0.75% sales tax increase approved by La Verne residents in March 2020, is projected to bring in $4.6 million, compared to the $3.5 million budgeted. A cumulative total of $6.5 million in taxes have been received since the measure was passed, according to the city.




Amazon has signed a 4.1 million-square-foot lease for what will be its largest warehouse in the nation, located in the country’s top industrial market: Southern California’s Inland Empire.


The property is part of an industrial development in the city of Ontario in San Bernardino County, according to The Real Deal, which cited a report from CBRE. 


Prologis, which is known to be Amazon’s favorite landlord, happens to be the only developer currently building a 4.1 million-square-foot warehouse in Ontario. The five-story project is set to open next year on Merrill Avenue between South Grove and Carpenter Avenue. It’s part of a larger development plan named Merrill Commerce Center that will include more than 7 million square feet of fulfillment center warehouse uses and a 1.2 million-square-foot business park.


The development is near other major existing logistics facilities and distribution hubs, including Walmart, FedEx and Kenco, as Ontario is a top target amid the top market. Earlier this year, Home Depot signed a lease to occupy a 1.1 million-square-foot structure in the master-planned Ontario Ranch community by Clarion Partners.


Amazon has indeed been Prologis’ top customer, with 31million square feet of space leased, as of a third-quarter 2021 report from Prologis. But in the last couple of years, Amazon has let it be known that it intends to largely own its vast order fulfillment space, rather than rent it.




The city of Pomona recently opened a new bikeway along Valley Boulevard. The March 25 opening celebration event included a ribbon-cutting, after which cyclists toured a 10-mile Town and Gown Ride looping through the city.


It should be noted that the Valley Blvd bikeway is the first protected bike facility in Pomona. That’s true, but it’s even better: Pomona’s Valley bikeway is the first significant-length curb-protected bikeway in all of L.A. County. The Valley Boulevard bikeway shares some design elements with protected bikeways else wherein the county (in Hermosa Beach, downtown Long Beach, Temple City, and downtown L.A.’s My Figueroa, Los Angeles Street, Main and Spring bikeways), but none of those feature more than a quarter-mile of continuous two-way curb protected bikeway; Pomona’s includes 1.35 miles of curb-protection.


The bikeway doesn’t quite extend into central downtown Pomona; it stops just east of the 71 Freeway. It does makes needed safe bike connections between west Pomona neighborhoods and Cal Poly Pomona University (connecting via the recently installed Kellogg Drive bike lanes), Kellogg Polytechnic Elementary School, Cesar Chavez Park, and International Polytechnic High School.


Most of the Valley bikeway is asphalt at street level, and separated from adjacent car traffic by a narrow curb/median.


The bikeway has relatively few interruptions (typically at driveways) as the southern half runs parallel to now-abandoned railroad tracks.


The Valley bike facility was part of the larger reconstruction/resurfacing of Valley Boulevard, which cost roughly $7million..


The five-street resurfacing/bikeway project received a $3 million active transportation grant from Metro. The rest of the project was funded by the city of Pomona using a combination of transportation sales tax and CA gas tax monies.




The first of what may be three apartment complexes built along Historic Route 66 in northeast Rancho Cucamonga won the Planning Commission’s approval.


A developer received permission to build a mostly residential project with some commercial uses on one of the three nearly adjacent empty lots in the northeast section of Rancho Cucamonga, located east of the 15 Freeway and north of the Auto Club Speedway.


The Planning Commission on April 13 approved Wood Partners’ plan to construct a mixed-use project with apartments and commercial spaces on a 5.2-acre empty lot at the southeast corner of Foothill Boulevard (also known as Historic Route 66) and Etiwanda Avenue.


An apartment complex with some commercial units was approved on April 13, 2022 for the “project site” in Rancho Cucamonga. Developers have expressed interest in other empty lots to the north.


Other housing developers have expressed interest in building similar projects on two other vacant lots adjacent to the Wood Partners parcel. One is located directly north, on the other side of Route 66, and the other northwest, across Etiwanda Avenue.


Wood Partners’ project was approved, having gone through design and environmental reviews. The next step would be construction, once the developer takes out a building permit, Burris said. He did not have a timetable for when construction would start.


The project will consist of 259 apartments, plus one live-work unit and two true commercial units on the ground floors. There will be 184 one-bedroom apartments, 55 two-bedroom units and 20 three-bedroom units. The live-work unit is a one-bedroom, two-story apartment with about 816 square feet of commercial space.


The project will have a density of 50 dwelling units per acre. Each building will be inspired by Spanish-style architecture and each will have a courtyard with trees and a pedestrian walkway with patio furniture.

The project’s amenities will include: a business center, gym, pool and spa, a children’s play area and a fenced dog run.