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City Cited in 'Rape' of Monterey Park

November 09, 1989

Monterey Park Mayor Patricia Reichenberger hit the nail on the head when she said developers "who are complaining about the standards are the ones who want to rape the city." (Times, Nov. 5.) There is no question that developers have been raping Monterey Park for the past 15 to 20 years, but the city should be held as an accessory to the crime. Loose development standards attract developers who, like anyone else, are interested in making the maximum profit possible. Very few builders will, out of the goodness of their hearts, provide more open space or off-street parking than is required. Proposition K was approved in 1982 because residents of the community had become fed up with wall-to-wall condominiums and unbearable traffic.

An all-out moratorium is not the answer to Monterey Park's problems. Strict development standards, including lower densities, together with a Planning Commission and planning staff that are not willing to grant variances at the drop of a hat, would be a great starting point for a "get-tough" policy.

I have no sympathy for the developers who claim that they are disillusioned, can't make a profit, or are losing money in Monterey Park. That's too bad, because it's safe to say the millions of dollars in profit were made in the last two decades at the expense of the city's residents, who now have to deal with the results. City Planner Margo Wheeler should not let the complaining of a few developers concern her. The overriding fact of Monterey Park's excellent, close-in location will attract other builders, hopefully some who are concerned with something other than making obscene profits.

STEVE LUSTRO, Pomona

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