I love Alhambra. It has been my home for 37 years. This city is where I grew up, attended K-12, purchased my first home and it’s where I am raising my children. During these past three decades, Alhambra has gone through many changes — some good and some not so good. All one has to do is drive down Main Street to see how Alhambra has been transformed from a beautiful and charming city to a bustling, traffic-congested, and noisy one.
Builder/Developer City Ventures, LLC is currently building 88 townhomes at the site of the old Alhambra Library on Main Street. To the dismay and anger of many Midwick Tract residents, myself included, City Ventures has also now partnered with the owners of the former Front Porch Retirement Community located at 2400 S. Fremont to build 93 housing units: a mixture of townhomes, single family houses, and 9 “luxury suites.” I vehemently oppose City Venture’s proposed project and all the inevitable problems that a project that size will bring to our quiet and beautiful, Midwick Tract Neighborhood. I also ask myself if such a project is even necessary when there are currently so many homes for sale or rent in Alhambra and when there are at least four multi-housing complexes planned or currently underway in the City. Who stands to benefit from this project? Certainly not the residents of the Midwick Tract.
The Midwick Tract is a historical, residential part of Alhambra, made up, primarily of single-family residences. Its central jewel is Granada Park. City Ventures’ proposed high-density housing project threatens to disrupt our tranquility by bringing with it an increase in noise, traffic congestion, parking nightmares, safety concerns, pollution and a whole host of other problems we don’t want or need. While multi-housing complexes may be, to some, a welcomed sight for our downtown area, it has no business invading our residential districts. Is nothing sacred anymore? In our elected officials’ quest to maintain Alhambra’s title of “Most Business-Friendly” city in the county, has the city’s soul, its beauty and its residential districts been sacrificed?
I first learned of City Ventures’ plan four months ago when it notified the neighbors of the Midwick Tract to come view their “conceptual plan” for the project. At first we were told that they were planning to build 81 units. That number has now increased to 93 units. Since our first meeting with City Ventures, the neighbors of the Midwick Tract have organized and mobilized in protest of the City Ventures’ project. To date we have gathered over 300 signatures of residents opposed to the project and we have made our voices heard at City Council meetings. Our numbers are growing and our voices will not be silenced. I have never been prouder to be a resident of Alhambra than I am now; seeing my neighbors unite to protect our quality of life. This is a fight worth fighting and I will continue to do so, proudly, with my neighbors next to me. My only hope is that our elected officials will do the right thing and truly listen to the community when it becomes their time to act on this project.