The June 5 Monterey Park City Council meeting will remain sadly in the memories of the homeowners who live near Garfield Hospital. That night they were betrayed by Councilwomen Betty Couch, Judy Chu and Pat Reichenberger and Mayor Barry Hatch, who voted to allow the hospital to build a five-level parking structure that will affect the quality of the homeowners' lives.
The council members who voted for the garage didn't care because none of them would be affected by an ugly 40-foot wall, noise, more traffic congestion, pollution, fear of more crime in their area and devaluation of their property. The homeowners, concerned about the health and safety of their children and families, pleaded to the council for help, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Something is rotten in this city when huge projects don't require an environmental impact report. Instead, the city uses a wimpy negative declaration that conveniently always favors money interests. The council even refused to request a copy of the hospital's master plan. Why were they in such a hurry to pamper the hospital and shaft the homeowners?
Everyone sitting on the council promised voters the moon and protection from overdevelopment. By voting for a conditional-use permit for this project, it means they all said one thing when they were running for office but turned 180 degrees after they were elected.