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Readers sound off over construction and development in Alhambra

Dozens of readers wrote in to Alhambra Source to answer the question posed by a July 17 article: Are Alhambra leaders abusing their power and overdeveloping the city?

Alhambra Source community contributor and Alhambra City Council candidate Eric Sunada, along with his campaign manager and fellow contributor Michael Lawrence, argue in their opinion piece that city leaders are using a planning tool called the Specific Plan to circumvent city guidelines for density, open space, parking, and zoning, allowing excessive commercial and residential development. Many readers agreed, saying that city staff does not consider residents' needs or quality of life when making development decisions. Other readers defended the city and new mixed-use developmlents throughout Alhambra, arguing that the city is adapting to less land availability and creating more jobs and walkable neighborhoods.

Read some of the responses below, check out the full discussion, and let us know what you think!

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4 thoughts on “Readers sound off over construction and development in Alhambra”

  1. A previous poster says “it must also accommodate growth.” As the son of a career city planner, I’d like to ask: why do you say that? There is no law that says that. There is no “must.” Various cities (Santa Barbara comes to mind) have adopted low- or no-growth policies. It is NOT our moral obligation to provide more inner-city-like living space! There is NO law that says ground floor restaurants and buildings must have umpteen stories of condos overhead. Without sufficient parking, like they are trying to slide in at Fremont and Carlos…without doing a traffic study at the 7-11 intersection two blocks away!

    Good grief. For years and years the various Alhambra City Councils complain about traffic, then develop hundreds more cars into the city boundaries. Very very few if any of those new condos will house anyone working directly downstairs; that is a fantasy. They will house people working downtown who want to be closer and will clog our streets ever-more, as the Council foams at the mouth about the 710.

    And yet, the voters repeatedly return the same cast of clowns into office…THAT is the REAL problem. It is time to vote for new blood…

  2. It’s important that City Council consider the city’s Master Plan and abide by provisions that attempt to preserve the quality of life in our city.
    I understand that, in addition to the mixed-use, mixed success development along Main Street, there may be a major housing development on on Fremont, just north of Mission of all places! This will further choke 710 traffic along Valley and Fremont!
    Have appropriate hearings and environmental/community impact studies been made to ensure that our citizens’ goals take priority over well-connected developers? I don’t believe that the council has made an effort to behave with transparency by announcing and informing our residents on a timely manner.
    Whatever happened to improving bicycle safety and connectivity? I would suggest that safe bicycle corridors be proposed and planned that join parks, schools and shopping hubs to discourage automobile traffic; not exacerbate it with overcrowding, residential development.

  3. Alhambra is developing more property and I think it’s great! It gives it more of a downtown Alhambra feel to it than a Downtime boringness.

  4. The City of Alhambra is being choked by the high density developments and the traffic attributed with the rise in population. Along with the congestion comes more smog, longer commute times, increased crime (not all reported), and lower quality of life. For those of us who grew up in Alhambra, the changes are an insult. While we embrace the cultural changes in diversity, we do not appreciate a City Council who makes decisions based on their own opinions and pocketbook vs the will of the people and expertise of qualified master planners (and no, I’m not referring to private developers as master planners $$). Compare what Alhambra used to look and feel like with cities like Arcadia, South Pasadena, even San Marino. Now, we’re striving to be like an inner city. Thanks for ruining my city.

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