The long contested Midwick Tract development has received the first of two approvals from City Council on Monday. The Council voted 4-1 in favor of the project, with Councilman Stephen Sham being the only dissenter.
Developer City Ventures revised their design to meet community demands. “What we came back with, we basically listened,” City Ventures CEO Phil Kerr said.
The new blueprints will retain the five homes along Carlos Street that Midwick residents had wanted to preserve. Ventures has also reduced the size of a structure on the corner of Fremont Avenue and Carlos, cutting it down from three-stories to two-stories tall. “The majority of what people see will be while walking down Carlos Street. They’ll see exactly what they see today,” said Kerr, adding that the five homes on Carlos will be renovated and sold.
The former plan also had a gate restricting vehicle access, which some residents said was a sign of exclusivity. Ventures has now eliminated the gate.
The edits to Ventures' plan come after Councilman Luis Ayala hosted discussions between city staff, the developer and community representatives. “I wasn’t in charge, [the community representatives] weren’t in charge, City Ventures wasn’t in charge – we just sat down and let each other speak cause at the end of the day we just wanted to resolve the issues of concern for the benefit of the community,” Ayala told the Source.
Elizabeth Salinas was part of the latest discussions with City Ventures and found the current proposal as favorable but not perfect. “I’m not 100 percent happy but I’m happy that I was part of the process, that my neighbors and I were heard," said Salinas. "And now we have something that will preserve Alhambra, that will preserve the beauty of Midwick.” Salinas has been a part of the “Preserve Midwick,” movement since 2011.