Alhambra City Council enacted on Monday a 45-day urgency ordinance to place a temporary moratorium on approving mixed-use development on Main Street from Chapel Avenue to the east city border. City staff said that the stoppage will give them time to evaluate the impact on health and safety that development may have in the area.
The ordinance comes as the result of an improved economy, which has sparked discussions of development on East Main Street. City staff stated in a report that they anticipate a rise in project proposals. The same report notes that many single-family homes stand adjacent to East Main Street. Staff cited this as one reason to enact the moratorium, which will give them time to study the implications of development in the area.
Former City Council candidate Eric Sunada addressed the Council and noted that this ordinance does not prevent other high-density developments such as hotels. City Attorney Joseph Montes responded that the Council could include protection against hotels in the ordinance, but that ultimately there are no current discussions to bring a hotel to Alhambra. The ordinance was passed without any new amendments.
City Council members Luis Ayala and Barbara Messina encouraged the public to attend next Monday’s adjourned meeting to discuss the future of development on East Main Street. “We are choosing to look differently to development. I hope you guys will participate,” Messina said to those in attendance.
“This regulation is something that has been a long time coming,” Ayala added.
City Council was also presented an update on the Strategic Plan, a three-year plan to improve the quality of life in Alhambra. City Council meets with staff every six months to update the plan, in addition to City Programmer Paolo Kespradit providing monthly updates on completed and upcoming goals.
One of these goals was for the Alhambra Police Department to implement WeChat—the largest voice and text messaging application among mainland Chinese residents—to communicate with the Chinese-speaking community in Alhambra. Another goal was for the Fire Department to host Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes in Spanish. Kespradit said that 18 students attended the Spanish CERT classes, which began on Jan. 21 and will continue every Wednesday for the next six weeks. They are now looking for an instructor to teach a class in Chinese.
You can watch Monday's City Council meeting here. Next Monday’s meeting will be an adjourned City Council meeting consisting of a study session in the Ruth Reese Hall of the Alhambra Library at 5:30pm. The agenda and staff reports will be posted on Friday. City Council usually meets every second and fourth Monday of the month on the second floor of City Hall: 111 S. First St., Alhambra, Calif., 91801. However, the next meeting will be on Feb. 2 for a study session at the Ruth Reese Hall in the Library at 5:30pm.