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Alhambra Mayor To Give State of the City Address for First Time at City Council Meeting

Alhambra Mayor Adele Andrade-Stadler will deliver the State of the City address at Monday's City Council meeting. Photo courtesy of the City of Alhambra.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

Alhambra Mayor Adele Andrade-Stadler will give her State of the City address at Monday’s City Council meeting, the first time such an address has been presented free to residents during a council meeting.

Andrade-Stadler delivered her address on April 9 at a luncheon at Almansor Court sponsored by the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce and the Alhambra Rotary Club. In her address, she detailed the accomplishments of each city department. Accomplishments included the passage of a private property tree protection ordinance. Residents can read about the State of the City luncheon here and view the accompanying PowerPoint presentation.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sharon Gibbs said that giving the state of the city address at City Council would benefit those who were unable to attend the luncheon. “The luncheon has been the traditionally hosted event, but I think adding the evening will allow more folks to be a part of the event,” she told the Alhambra Source in an email.

Alhambra’s City Council will also consider a number of measures Monday night, most notably involving construction of a new condominium complex, and a new city ordinance pertaining to property owners paying for public right-of-way improvements.

The construction issue the Council will consider involves an appeal of a Planning Commission decision to deny a permit for the construction of a three-story, four-unit condominium complex on 510 N. 3rd St.

The Planning Commission denied a permit to applicant Eric Tsang on Jan. 7, who wanted to build two three-story duplexes of two condo units each on an 8,918 square-foot lot. The Commission said the project’s proposed contemporary architectural design was not consistent with the character of the neighborhood, according to a staff report. The Commission also said that this new building would be the only three-story building on the block. Some neighbors also testified that they were afraid that the new building would block sunlight from reaching their homes.

On March 25, several City Council members raised concerns that the new building would cause privacy concerns, with tenants in the upper stories possibly able to see into their neighbors’ homes. They also asked Tsang to conduct a shadow study to see if the project would cast a shadow onto neighboring properties. And they asked for renderings that would demonstrate the project’s compatibility with the other dwellings in the neighborhood. The Council voted to continue the hearing until April 8 and then to April 22, to give Tsang time to address these concerns. On Monday, they may vote on whether to uphold the Planning Commission’s decision or to grant Tsang’s appeal, thus approving the project.

According to the staff report, Tsang will make a presentation showing that the project’s driveways will be placed between the new complex and the neighbors’ properties, providing a setback of 16 to 24 feet that would not allow people to see into their neighbors’ homes from the third floor windows or proposed roof deck. The line of sight from the third floor and roof deck would be onto the neighbors’ roofs.

Tsang’s presentation will also include a shadow study showing how much shade the new project would cast on their neighbors’ properties from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during each season of the year, according to the staff report. The study shows that the neighbors’ properties would cast more shadow into their own yards than the new project would cast onto the same land.

In terms of the architectural compatibility, the presentation slides show that the existing block doesn’t have a uniform architectural style and that the project is not the only building with three stories, with a garage level and then two apartment levels. All other responses from Tsang are available in the staff report.

The City Council will also consider the first reading of an ordinance to clarify Chapter 13.44 of the municipal code. This section allows the city to require residents to pay for public right-of-way improvements in front of their property to construct a dwelling on their property that increases neighborhood density or traffic. The new ordinance would state in writing that this section of the code would not apply to Accessory Dwelling Units, or secondary homes built on the same property as an existing single-family home, unless if a connection to the sewer or water is required or if any damages are made in the course of the ADU’s construction.

This clarification comes after Alhambra resident and Planning Commissioner Danny Tang challenged the city on Chapter 13.44, after he said that Public Works was trying to get him to make costly repairs to city property in front of his house as a condition for allowing him to convert his garage into an accessory dwelling unit. State officials informed the city that this part of the municipal code could not apply to Tang’s project. City staff agreed with this assessment from the state and proposed amending the Alhambra Municipal Code to include this clarification.

As part of the consent agenda, the City Council is set to award a contract of $105,000 to Phoenix Decorating Company to design a Tournament of Roses parade float for the city. The project would be funded from Alhambra’s Art in Public Places fund.

On March 26, city staff issued a request for proposal for Alhambra’s parade float. The city’s Arts and Cultural Events Committee chose a design centered around the parade’s 2020 theme “The Power of Hope” featuring a train called “Hope Keeps Us Going.” This was part of a contest conducted in Alhambra’s elementary schools to get local children engaged in the city’s float design. Phoenix Decorating Company was the only firm to submit a proposal, which included a professional drawing of the float based on the winning idea. Phoenix Decorating Company has been retained by Alhambra’s Chamber of Commerce in the past to build Alhambra Rose Parade Floats, including the city’s 2019 float, “Home Tweet Home,” which won the Tournament of Roses’ Princess Award. 2020 will be the City of Alhambra’s 92nd year participating in the Rose Parade.

Mayor Andrade-Stadler will also present certificates of service to departing commission members and declare May 2019 Older Americans Month and April 26, 2019 Arbor Day in Alhambra.

Read the City Council agenda here.

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