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Historic preservation ordinance in Alhambra's future?

Alhambra City Council discussed Monday a historic preservation ordinance in the city. Councilwoman Barbara Messina addressed concerns from residents regarding Alhambra's lack of policies on preserving historically significant sites in the city.

"From January 1986 to February 1992, Alhambra did have a historic preservation ordinance on the books as far as promoting the safeguard of landmarks and historic preservation," Messina said. "I am going to make it my responsibility to follow up and see what actions we will follow through and take up."

"It probably is the right time to start looking and having the discussion about what it is we need to do to preserve or not preserve depending on what the discussion leads to," Councilman Luis Ayala added. "I'm looking forward to having that discussion as well."

Chris Olson, president of the Alhambra Preservation Group, was hopeful after Monday's meeting. "I very much appreciate Councilmember Messina's efforts to explore and bring to light the information that Alhambra had a historic preservation ordinance in place for several years before it was allowed to lapse," Olson said. "And I was extremely pleased that she went on record to say that she is taking personal responsibility for moving this issue back into the forefront." 

Nissan of Alhambra also presented Monday plans for a new auto dealership at 801 E. Main St. The current Nissan dealership at 726 E. Main St. will be used for used car sales and selling other brands, while the new proposed dealership will sell new Nissan cars, said Steve Craney from Goree Architects and Tony Kraatz from Kengraff Automotive Group. 

Ayala, citing the staff report that said the 726 E. Main St. site "could be used for a new automobile dealership line in the future," asked if there were plans to sell either dealerships in the near future. Kraatz responded by saying that Nissan had no plans to sell. 

"We're trying to continue to grow and acquire other dealerships in California," Kraatz said.

The Design Review Board will meet on July 8 to discuss Nissan's proposal and the Planning Commission will examine the proposal on Aug. 4, according to Craney.

Council also approved all items on the consent agenda — an agenda allowing multiple items to be addressed with one motion — including a five-year contract with Southland Transit to operate the Alhambra Community Transit and Senior Ride programs.

Weren't able to attend the meeting? You can watch it here. 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. The next regular meeting will be on July 14 at 5:30 and 7 p.m.

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6 thoughts on “Historic preservation ordinance in Alhambra's future?”

  1. Show me the money with Messina! I don’t trust her. Alhambra needs historic preservation IMMEDIATELY! It’s a travesty what the City is allowing to happen in our town!

  2. While I applaud Messina’s “epiphany” after 20 years on council (40 if you count her husband Michael), it is not coincidentally, an election year for her. Not uncommon for an incumbent politician to say anything to get re-elected.

    Let us also remember she sits on the San gabriel Valley Council of Governments, one of the most developer-friendly (and corrupt) private organizations around that also has Alhambra Councilman Steve Placido on-board as well as former councilman/Mayor Paul Talbot.

    Alhambra has always been a “shady” little town—and I don’t mean trees.

  3. Linda Trevillian

    I strongly believe that we should have an historic preservation ordnance in our city. Too many historic buildings of significance have been destroyed, only to be replaced by nondescript, ugly modern buildings that simply have no character. Add to that the fact that the historic buildings most likely were better constructed. Although the proliferation of condominiums and apartment buildings on Main Street represent the wave of the future, there are way too many, and they all look too much alike. In a word, BORING! Not at all attractive.

    And, the beauty of our historic buildings cannot be overstated. Compare Alhambra with South Pasadena, Monrovia, and other nearby cities that have chosen to preserve their quaint hometown downtown areas, plus beautiful historic neighborhoods. All of that adds to the appeal of these cities and raises property values. Granted, Alhambra has a number of beautiful older homes in various neighborhoods. But, way too much of our history has been destroyed. Where did our fair city go wrong!

    1. @Linda: “Where did our fair city go wrong!”? The city followed Talmage Burke’s lead?

  4. I think this is a great idea — Alhambra has many lovely historic neighborhoods that should be preserved. It will help keep property values high and inspire pride in our community.

  5. Alhambra High School is having there 50 year reunion in September of this year. A number of people that live out of state. Wanted to know If they were planning on doing any kind of event in Alhambra And would like to see the old High School. A lot of these people have not been back to Alhambra in 50 years. But all the places and the school they remember are not there anymore. This is so sad. Everything Has changed. And our history is gone. You drive down the Alhambra streets Some look the same and others Don’t.
    Today Alhambra is not the town I grew up in.

Do you have a question you would like to ask Alhambra candidates?

Ask your Alhambra City Council OR your Alhambra Unified School Board Candidates a question ahead of the 2020 elections!