Glendora city officials are planning to pursue annexation of unincorporated county islands to move along the Monrovia Nursery development according to its Specific Plan.
The intended annexed portions will include 60 homes near the Monrovia Nursery development, according to Planning Director Jeff Kugel.
The city had originally planned to annex just portions of the unincorporated land around Sierra Madre and Barranca avenues to keep 124-home development of 20,000-sq-ft lots in accordance to the city’s Specific Plan.
But a wrench was thrown into that plan when the city’s application for annexation was denied by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).
According to Kugel, city officials were told it was contrary to state law to annex portions of small county islands. Although the city reached out to County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office, the original decision on the city’s application stood – the city must annex entire portions of unincorporated islands for a successful application.
The news did not sit too well with the roughly 40 residents attending a city meeting on the issue at Wednesday evening. City Manager Chris Jeffers, Planning Director Jeff Kugel, City Attorney Wayne Leech and two representatives of developer City Ventures fielded questions during the contentious meeting. Many of the residents in attendance opposed annexation into the city.
“Our assumption, right or wrong, is that no one in the unincorporated island wants to be in the city,” said Kugel. “Our main interest is not to annex anyone. It’s to keep the Specific Plan intact.”
According to the city’s Environmental Review for the Monrovia Nursery development, the Specific Plan covers “a street circulation system, the alignment of major utilities such as electrical, gas, sewer, water, storm drain, and flood control improvements,” among other required infrastructure advancements.
Without the Specific Plan, the developer will have to contend with presenting plans and proposals to both the city and county, causing potential delays. Loss of the Specific Plan could also expose the area to piecemeal development that threatens millions of dollars of improvements that the developer would be required to provide under the Specific Plan.
Faced with the possibility of losing its Specific Plan – a 10-year city effort – Kugel said the city has no choice but to annex the entire county islands near the Monrovia Nursery area.
That action would affect about 60 homes in the area.
City officials at the meeting said residents could petition LAFCO in requesting that they do not require this annexation.
However, according to Kugel, residents in currently unincorporated areas would not see many changes should annexation occur.
Kugel said zoning in the area will remain single-family residential similar to county zoning, and property taxes will remain the same. Although residents were concerned about retaining the rural character of their neighborhood, Kugel said the city would not require the installation of curbs, sidewalks or street lights unless the residents request them and share in the improvement costs.
Residents would, however, be served by the Glendora Police Department rather than Los Angeles County Sheriffs. Trash services would be provided by Athens Trash rather than Waste Management.