San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments staff recently recommended $15 million for a seven-city active transportation and complete streets project in east San Gabriel Valley...

Cities Report, November-December 2021


November/December 2021




San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments staff recently recommended $15 million for a seven-city active transportation and complete streets project in east San Gabriel Valley.


The East San Gabriel Valley Sustainable Multimodal Improvement Project is being recommended for funding through the SGVCOG Measure M Multi-Year Subregional Program. The east SGV project would stretch from Azusa to Claremont and would implement active transportation, bus and first/last mile improvements.


The Measure M MSP funding is broken down into two categories. The first category — $15 million — funds planning, design and construction of major corridor projects, while the second category — $7 million total — funds just planning/design of major corridor projects, with each project being able to receive up to $1 million.​


The SGVCOG governing board approved guidelines for this cycle’s Measure M MSP funding that prioritized multi-jurisdictional corridor projects that can maximize regional transportation benefits.  The funds would be made available between 2022 to 2025.


The recommended East SGV Sustainable Multimodal Improvement Project, which is planned to be completed by August 2025, includes the following:


Design Activities:


Azusa – San Gabriel/Azusa Avenues Complete Streets and First/Last Mile Improvements

Claremont – Arrow Highway and First/Last Mile Improvements

Covina – Grand Avenue Conceptual Plan and Improvements

Glendora – Glendora People Movement Project (First/Last Mile and Urban Trails), Little Dalton, Big Dalton, and San Dimas Washes first/last mile projects

La Verne – Pedestrian Bridge and first/last mile projects

Pomona – Arrow Highway and first/last mile improvements

San Dimas – Conceptual plans for three east/west connections

Construction Activities:

Claremont – Arrow Highway and First/Last Mile Improvements

Covina – Wayfinding Signages along Grand and Glendora Avenues

Glendora – San Dimas and Little Dalton Wash Urban Trail, Glendora Avenue, Foothill Blvd.

La Verne – Pedestrian Bridge and first/last mile improvements

Pomona – First/last mile improvements


SGVCOG staff did not recommend any planning and design proposals for the $7 million funds because they did not reach a level of regional benefit that warranted an award, Fung said. So, staff are seeking governing board approval to have more time to work with project applicants to refine their project scopes to include more regional benefits. Once updated, applications would be resubmitted for review by the public and SGVCOG committees.




Community members and officials were on hand Saturday, Nov. 20, to celebrate the opening of a village of 25 tiny homes in the city of Baldwin Park.


Esperanza Villa is the first tiny home village of its kind in the San Gabriel Valley, and unsheltered residents are scheduled to move into their tiny homes during Thanksgiving week.


The tiny homes are heated and air-conditioned and include a bed, desk and outlet for charging devices. The homes are intended to provide bridge housing for about three months before residents are placed into permanent housing; this allows up to 100 people to be served per year.


The city of Baldwin Park, San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust and San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments joined forces for this project. The city provided the site at 14173 Garvey Ave., dedicated staff time and labor.


The Housing Trust and SGVCOG provided technical assistance, $500,000 in grant funding for preparation of the site and the acquisition of homes and facilities as well as $800,000 for the first year of operation with options to fund additional years, according to a news release.




In an effort to address an increase in code violations, the City of Chino will add four new positions to its code compliance division.


In November, the Chino City Council unanimously approved a resolution to add a new full-time code compliance technician, two full-time code compliance inspectors, and one part-time code compliance inspector to address the issue.

The city currently has 4.5 code compliance inspectors but more are needed to deal with an increase in unauthorized activities such as unlicensed vending and a rise in population numbers, according to a city staff report.


Within the last five years, code compliance inspectors have performed an average of 11,226 inspections per year, compared with past years when the average number of inspections was 7,724 per year.

Chino Deputy Director of Development Services Michael Heroux told the council that with more residential units, there is a greater potential for code violations.


The reorganization will result in an increased salary cost of $291,274, according to a staff report.




The State of California’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) has reviewed the City of Chino Hills’ housing plan and requested numerous revisions, such as reaching out to lower-income and special needs households, including the elderly, for feedback.


In addition to the request for more public participation, HCD asked for supporting information regarding special housing needs, the condition of the city’s housing stock, and evidence showing that rezoning efforts were completed.

The HCD submitted a nine-page letter to the City of Chino Hills in September listing the necessary revisions to comply with the state’s housing element law.


For example, the city was asked to provide an explanation of the cumulative effectiveness of actions in addressing populations such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, female-headed households, and homeless persons. The state noted that the city’s estimate of 457 accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to accommodate a portion of lower-income household mandates was based on applications and plan check submittals, not permitted ADUs.


The city responded that the city counts ADUs as a buffer if some of the identified sites don’t pan out, and does not rely on these units to fulfill the housing numbers mandated by the state.


The city developed a 15-page response letter addressing the state’s concerns including the addition of a special housing needs section.


The city also provided statistics, tables, and narratives on actions taken to address special housing needs, including seniors 65-plus, the disabled, large households, the homeless, and households in poverty.


According to the city’s housing element, 16.2 percent of Chino Hills households are extremely low income, with incomes below 30 percent of the county median. Of the senior renter households, 35.5 percent are very low income.


The city incorporated the revisions into the housing element that will be presented to the Chino Hills Planning Commission at the Tuesday, Dec. 21 meeting at 7 p.m. in council chambers.


The updated housing element will then be brought to the Chino Hills City Council at a meeting in January, and submitted to the HCD for a subsequent review.


To address the request for additional public participation, the city has designed a survey for residents, property owners, business owners, developers, special needs housing groups, and housing service provides.


The survey was emailed to more than 100 property owners who participated in the workshops and housing element update process. 

The individuals included owners of both commercial and residential, developed and undeveloped properties.


The survey was also emailed to developers, nonprofit housing developers, religious facilities, special needs, and fair housing groups.


Notices of the survey are being mailed to residents of neighborhoods identified as having a higher proportion of households with low incomes and-or housing affordability burden, including the Los Serranos and Sleepy Hollow neighborhoods and the city’s three mobile home parks.

The city has also made the survey available on the city’s website, social media platforms, the city/TV channel, and a current message in the residential utility bills.


The survey will close on Jan. 11, 2022.

To access the survey and for information on the housing element including the HCD’s letter and the city’s response, visit




The Claremont City Council has opened its chambers to the public once again on Dec. 14 after spending more than a year holding its meetings virtually.

City officials began holding their meetings using a hybrid format, according to a statement from Claremont officials. Officials have been holding meetings online for more than a year because of COVID-19.

Meetings will still be streamed online through Zoom. Residents can submit public comments in person, in writing or through Zoom, city officials said. City Council meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

Seating will be limited in the council chamber, and attendees will be required to wear face-coverings. Proof of vaccination status will not be required, officials said.




The Diamond Bar City Council has chosen Councilwoman Ruth Low to lead the city through 2022 as its next mayor.


Low was unanimously chosen by her fellow council members. She takes over for outgoing Mayor Nancy Lyons, who remains a city council member.


Low praised Lyons tenure as mayor during Tuesday's meeting, saying she was a hard-working advocate for the city at the county and state level, getting "awesome results."


Low has been on the Diamond Bar City Council since 2015 and previously served as mayor in 2018, city officials said. When not on the council, she works as a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.


Councilman Andrew Chou was also elected the mayor pro tem.


Chou joined the City Council in 2018, and this is his first time serving as mayor pro tem, according to city officials. He owns a financial advisory firm in Diamond Bar.




El Monte Police Chief David Reynoso will retire at the end of December, capping off six years as the first Latino to lead the department.


Reynoso’s hiring in 2015 was out of the ordinary for a community that had previously selected its police chiefs through internal promotions for more than a century. The prior five chiefs rose up through the ranks and each had roughly four decades in El Monte. Reynoso, by comparison, was an outsider, though he spent much of his career next door in Baldwin Park.


In an interview, Reynoso said he felt the timing was right to retire, not only for him, but for his family and the department.


The 53-year-old plans to continue teaching at Rio Hondo College and is pursuing “several different areas of employment right now,” he said. He expects he’ll be busier post-retirement than he is now, he joked.

Reynoso pointed to the roll-out of body cameras for his officers as one of his greatest achievements

over the past six years. A recent audit of the program found officers are at “nearly 100% compliance” with departmental policy.


The chief said he will miss putting a uniform on every day and the camaraderie that comes from working with his officers and civilian staff “towards a common goal of making this city as safe as possible.” He credits his employees’ efforts for declining crime rates in El Monte, with the 2019 statistics reaching the lowest point in three decades. That year, the city had a violent crime rate of 310 per 100,000 and a property crime rate of 1,925 per 100,000, according to data released by the FBI.


By comparison, violent and property crimes rates were at 430 and 2,272 per 100,000, respectively, for the state.


City Manager Alma Martinez said that the city will begin a recruitment for a new Police Chief. Although the final decision rests with the city manager, she plans to include the City Council in the process. She also intends to reach out to the police officers union, rank-and-file officers, and residents to find out what the community is looking for in its next police chief.




Meta Housing Corp., Western Community Housing Inc. and the City of La Puente have opened Arboleda Senior Apartments, an affordable, 74-unit multifamily community for adults aged 62 years and older.

The property features one- and two-bedroom units with rents ranging from 40 percent to 70 percent below market rate.


Inspired by Spanish-style architecture, the housing complex offers 59 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units. Amenities include a large community room, fitness room, technology center, library, gated parking, and offers an accessible design.  Residents also have opportunities to congregate outdoors on a ground-floor courtyard and a second-story terrace.


Meta Housing partnered with Bank of America, California Community Reinvestment Corp., Los Angeles County Development Authority and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee to finance the project.


Arboleda is located at:  1040 N Unruh Avenue, La Puente CA 91744.  




A portion of White Avenue in La Verne will be closed to motorists for the next five months as construction continues on the Foothill Gold Line Project.


The street will be completely closed to pedestrians and motorists at the railroad crossing for construction starting Monday. Some of the construction work includes underground utility work, median construction and new track installation, according to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.


White Avenue should reopen by April 30, 2022.


Traffic reroutes are through Wheeler Avenue, and motorists can use Foothill Boulevard and Arrow Highway as alternative routes.


The Foothill Gold Line Project is a 9.1-mile extension of Los Angeles Metro's L Line, formerly Gold Line, from Glendora to Pomona. The extension will add six stations to the line and construction should be done by early 2026.




CBRE has arranged the sale of Hallmark at Mission, a multifamily property in Ontario. A private investor sold the asset to a private foreign investor for $28 million in an all-cash transaction.


Located at 840 S. Magnolia Ave., the four-story property features 75 units in a mix of one- and two-bedroom layouts. Community amenities include a swimming pool, spa, clubhouse, fitness center and private attached garages. The property was constructed in 2019.




Waterford Property Company  in partnership with California Statewide Community Development Authority (CSCDA), a joint powers authority, has announced the acquisition of 777 Place, a 472-unit multifamily property located at 777 E. 3rd Street in Pomona, CA. Waterford and CSCDA acquired the property for $149.4 million from Picerne Residential.


Waterford will immediately lower rents for qualified new residents making between 60 to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI) for the community’s non-income restricted units. Originally constructed in 1986, 777 Place was built with 94 “very low” income units, for residents making 50 percent AMI, with affordability restrictions set to expire in 2025. Waterford will extend these affordability restrictions an additional 30 years increasing the project’s “very low” income units from 94 to 157.


777 Place is a garden-style apartment community that benefits from a central location in downtown Pomona and adjacency to Western University of Health Sciences with access to Cal Poly Pomona and Mt. San Antonio College. Waterford will immediately initiate an $18 million rehabilitation of the property improving exterior and interior units.


The Pomona City Council unanimously approved the acquisition during their October 18, 2021 City Council meeting in a 7 to 0 vote.


Waterford now administers 11 communities in Southern California that have been converted from market rate to essential housing bringing its portfolio to 3,220 units and over $1.8 billion of tax-exempt bond issuances, confirming the firm as the most active sponsor in CSCDA’s middle income housing program in California.




Rancho Cucamonga Fire District announces they have purchased a Rosenbauer RT electric fire truck.


Rosenbauer is the world’s leading manufacturer of firefighting vehicles and equipment. The RT is the first fire truck to incorporate an all-electric drivetrain that eliminates the engine, transmission, and drivelines typically found in a traditional apparatus. 


The RT was purchased through Velocity Fire Equipment & Sales, which represents Rosenbauer in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. Rancho Cucamonga now joins the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD), which was the first department in North America to purchase an all-electric fire truck. LAFD will place their RT in service early next year.  Worldwide, there are three RTs in service; Berlin, Amsterdam and Dubai.  


Rancho Cucamonga Fire District’s relationship with Rosenbauer started in 2015 with the purchase of a Rosenbauer 100’ Viper Tractor Drawn Aerial.  Additionally, Rancho Cucamonga has purchased a Rosenbauer Custom Pumper and a Heavy-Duty Rescue.


The RT is North America’s first all-electric apparatus and boasts a high level of safety, excellent driving dynamics and maneuverability, innovative safety features, and is fully networked.  These features and more make the RT the most modern emergency vehicle on the market and sets an entirely new standard within the fire industry, according to Rosenbauer.


Rancho Cucamonga’s Rosenbauer RT fire truck will feature:


·         1500 GPM Rosenbauer pump

·         550-gallon water tank

* Revolutionary Open Crew Cab with Command Center

* (2) 66 kW hour batteries – 132 kW total with a Backup Diesel Range Extender for uninterrupted extended operations

* Adjustable height suspension including off-road mode and flood mode that allows the vehicle to operate in up to 3 feet of flood waters

* All Wheel Drive & All Wheel Steering - including counter steering and crab steering mode.


The Rancho Cucamonga Fire District is taking active steps towards a sustainable future by becoming one of the first agencies in California to purchase an electric fire engine. As the City updates its General Plan, the Fire District is committing to contributing to a healthier community by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and embracing clean vehicle technology. This fire engine supports the City Council’s vision to build on our success as a world class community, to create an equitable, sustainable, and vibrant city, rich in opportunity for all to thrive, according to city officials.


Environmental benefits of the RT include:


·         Electric and long-lasting - The RT has a charging capacity of up to 150 kW, which means that the built-in batteries can be recharged quickly. Short-range operations are not a problem, even when used frequently in large metropolitan cities. Due to the built-in range extender, the RT can extend its electrical driving range and pumping operations. The range extender consists of a small diesel engine powering a large generator, without any limitations.


·         Reduced emissions - The RT's electric drive is not only extremely powerful, but also noise emission-free. This greatly reduces the noise level at the scene of the emergency, making it easier for the crew to communicate, reducing stress, and benefiting nearby residents.



·         Flexible and versatile vehicle - The RT is conceived as a multipurpose vehicle, a pumper first and foremost, a connected mobile command unit, and a vehicle for assistance in wildland fires. This in part due to its adjustable ride height and crew cabin concept with its rotating front seats.


To learn more about the Rosenbauer RT, visit




On Tuesday, December 7, West Covina residents and activists held a picket line and rally in front of the proposed location of an Amazon Logistics facility


Residents have also recently filed a CEQA lawsuit in an attempt to halt a recently approved Amazon project in the City of West Covina. The lawsuit alleges that the City's granting of the Project Approvals violates CEQA and other applicable zoning/planning laws.


The proposed Amazon Logistics facility would be a 177,240 square foot distribution center in the heart of West Covina, operating 24 hours a day. The Development Agreement proposed states that the facility is estimated to create 914 daily vehicle trips and does not include proper remedies and more specificity as to the timing and nature of the testing. It is well known that Amazon facilities impact traffic wherever they are located. Recently, community residents in San Diego, California, successfully stopped an Amazon development in the region because of a proposed law that would require stronger protections for workers and communities impacted by the project.


Residents say they don't want Amazon's typical high rates of injury, high rates of turnover, and low pay coming into their community. West Covina City Council could do more to support good, family-sustaining middle-class jobs, but Amazon's proposed facility does not accomplish this goal.