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Monrovia Nursery Development Clears Hurdle, County Islands Annexation Approved

The Glendora City Council voted to annex 72 acres of county land to progress a major residential project.

The city of Glendora moved a step closer to begin construction on a 124-home development, approving the city’s annexation of about 72 acres of county islands near the Azusa border.

The Glendora City Council unanimously approved the annexation Tuesday night, adding 4.2 acres to the original plan of annexing 68 acres of the land near the former Monrovia Nursery site into the city.

To better enforce the low-density requirement of the Monrovia Nursery development, the land must be in city limits, according to city officials.

The city had previously planned to annex only 68 acres of county land, but the city and the project were dealt a blow when the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) rejected the city’s application for annexation.

LAFCO told city officials that partial annexation of county islands was illegal and that the city must annex entire county island areas.

Those opposed to the annexation were dismayed over what they said was a previous promise the city made to residents in the newly annexed areas that their properties would not be affected in the annexation process.

“The response has been mixed,” said Doug Boyd, chairman for S.O.S. Glendora, a group made up of concerned residents over the proposed Monrovia Nursery development. “There are about 30 residents who really oppose this, who feel the city has broken its promise not to annex their land.”

But City Manager Chris Jeffers said it was always the city’s intent to annex only the areas impacted by the development.

“This isn’t just our decision,” said Jeffers. “LAFCO has a right to go thumbs up or thumbs down [on this annexation]. Our preference is, and not to disparage anyone, but we only want people who want to live in Glendora.”

But Jeffers said the annexation will ultimately benefit the residents in the annexed area, with the city now able to make flooding drainage improvements between Sierra Madre and the railroad tracks.

“Without this development, I don’t see anything in the horizon, not from the city or the county, to remedy that biggest problem,” said Jeffers.

Others were concerned about change of services, namely the change to Athens Trash services and the switch to Glendora Police from Los Angeles County Sheriffs.

City officials argued that because of closer proximity, residents would receive better service from Glendora Police.

“The Sheriff’s response time is not nearly as quick as Glendora PD’s response time,” said Councilman Doug Tessitor.

City officials also addressed horse owners’ concerns of whether annexation would affect their ability to keep horses.

“Staff was able to respond to these concerns, assuring the residents that they could continue to keep horses on their properties as existing non- conforming uses and that the City does not have any plans to upgrade any streets in the neighborhood,” according to city documents.

Jeffers said annexation of the county islands would take anywhere between six to 12 months to be finalized.

Secret I'm Listed September 26, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I can't imagine why anyone would want to depend on the sheriff's department. One of the best things about being annexed was getting rid of the sheriff's department and getting the Glendora Police Department. The only bad thing about being annexed, in my opinion, is having to stay in the Azusa School District.
v johnson September 27, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I find it hard to "believe" that the city did not know the guidelines to get LAFCO's approval before the project was submitted. No one did their homework? What a poor excuse for the City to blame LAFCO. It doesn't take much to read between the lines in knowing the City got what they wanted all along & feel vindicated to put the blame on someone else. I feel for the 30+ who were trusting and will lose more than gaining the Glendora PD.
Terry September 27, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Don't underestimate the incompetence of government staff and officials--they probably really didn't know.

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