ALHAMBRA — A face-lift along Valley Boulevard would be incomplete if the city ignores growing traffic congestion on the commercial strip, residents told city planners last week.
At a meeting attended by more than 90 residents Wednesday night, some residents focused on growing traffic in alleys that have been absorbing overflow from Valley Boulevard, said Mark Persico, an associate planner for the city. To control the overflow, some alleys should be made one way, residents told city officials, he said.
Others expressed concern that a new city plan might change zoning in residential neighborhoods and affect property values. Persico assured them that the plan would affect only commercial areas of the street.
These suggestions and concerns, as well as others collected at a second meeting last week, will be passed on to the city's Valley Boulevard Steering Committee, Persico said.
Drafting New Plan
The committee is drafting a plan that would help shape development along the three-mile-long section of the boulevard. Under the plan, the city would determine the types of businesses that would be allowed on the boulevard, as well as height and design restrictions.
A building moratorium on Valley Boulevard is in effect until January, when the plan is expected to be finished. But a recent City Council decision allows exemptions if proposed projects comply with the steering committee's preliminary development standards.
Previously, the council had agreed to review exemptions only for projects that had Planning Commission approval before the moratorium was adopted late last year.
The steering committee has adopted tentative guidelines on minimum lot size, building height and floor-area ratios, Persico said. It is working on such other rules as building design and land use, he said.
Under the new plan, seven categories of use would be allowed along the boulevard, ranging from a financial district to multifamily residential areas, Persico said.
Developers and property owners granted exemptions from the moratorium could build according to the city's preliminary guidelines, Persico said. But he cautioned that there is a risk because final guidelines may be different and compliance might be ordered in the future.
He said, however, that "the chance of there being a problem in the future would be slim."
Exemption applications will be reviewed by the steering committee, City Council, Design Review Board and Planning Commission.
The city is open to suggestions on how development should proceed along the boulevard, Persico said. "Nothing is final at this point."