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San Gabriel debates new hotels; residents along 710 extension route face higher rents; one year after the windstorms

Weekend news from around the West San Gabriel Valley:

San Gabriel approves a hotel bed tax increase measure for the March 2013 ballot (Pasadena Independent)San Gabriel City Council approved last Tuesday a measure proposing an increase on occupancy tax from 10 to 12 percent. City officials are hoping the tax measure will remedy their budgetary problems, which they say stem from the loss of redevelopment agencies and a reduction of federal resources. If approved in March, the funds would add an additional $200,000 to the city's general fund each year, according to City Attorney Robert Kress.

Caltrans residents along the 710 extension route face higher rents (Los Angeles Times)The California State Auditor found in August that Caltrans was charging below-market rents and overlooked repair work for properties purchased along the 710 Freeway extension route. The agency is now looking to raise rents for almost 500 homes in Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Los Angeles, even as residents complain of the inadequate landlord-tenant conditions.

Damage in South Pasadena house fire estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars (South Pasadena Patch)A large house fire Friday night in South Pasadena leaves three residents with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. No one was injured in the fire, and the majority of the damage was confined to the rear of the house and the chimney, where the fire started. Fire fighters from Alhambra, Pasadena, San Gabriel, and Glendale joined the South Pasadena Fire Department to fight the fire, a feat that took over two hours because of the large size of the house.

San Gabriel debates new hotels along Valley Boulevard (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)While three new hotels on Valley Boulevard may bring in big money for the city, San Gabriel residents say that adding out-of-town guests will increase traffic and negatively affect neighborhoods.

One year after the windstorms, some San Gabriel Valley residents still mourning their losses (Whittier Daily News)Powerful windstorms one year ago downed power poles, blew trees into homes and vehicles, and caused more than $34 million in public sector damages in Los Angeles County. One year later, many local residents are still trying to rebuild what they lost.

Our news roundup includes stories from Monterey Park, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, El Sereno, San Marino, Rosemead, and Temple City.

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