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Proposed General Plan in Diamond Bar

August 22, 1993

As a concerned citizen of Diamond Bar, a homeowner for 21 years, who has seen the deterioration of this community, I am writing this letter to rebut the allegations of Nick Anis in his letter to the editor (Aug. 12).

All citizens of Diamond Bar have a right to their opinions and also have a right to petition their government to redress a wrong.

The facts are simple. An original General Plan was written, with which plan certain citizens did not agree. They went to the City Council to request changes. When they did not receive satisfaction, a petition was circulated and presented to the city. The City Council dismissed the petition as invalid because it lacked the proper number of valid signatures. Therefore, the citizens went to court saying that the petition was rightfully drawn and should have been received as such by the city.

Subsequently, the City Council has revised the General Plan, with the assistance of professionals.

The revised plan is a great improvement over the original. However, concerned citizens felt that safeguards were still necessary to protect the quality of life in Diamond Bar. Their expressed concerns were ignored, and certain changes that had been included in the revised plan were later deleted.

Those concerned citizens asked the council to reinstate these provisions into the General Plan. Their request was ignored, and therefore they are rightfully seeking a "petition" from all the citizens of Diamond Bar to put the General Plan on the ballot.

Anis tries to cloud the issue by references to the behavior of these concerned citizens, without at the same time stating the unusual behavior of certain members of the City Council who prevented the presentation of opposing views.

The issue remains--"Should this General Plan be accepted as presently revised, or does it still contain provisions and wording that is detrimental to the community?" I feel that it must be again revised to see to it that Diamond Bar remains a community that I am proud to live in.

I hope that all the citizens of Diamond Bar can meet and reason together, and stop the diatribe and character assassination and constructively plan for the betterment of our community.

JOHN J. HEALY

Diamond Bar

*

For the past two weeks, voters in Diamond Bar have been confronted at local supermarkets by petition-gatherers saying "Sign here to get the General Plan on the ballot. All we want to do is be able to vote on the plan."

What's not being said is that this group, Diamond Bar Citizens to Protect Country Living, wants a five-year moratorium on all residential and commercial development in and around Diamond Bar.

Their letter to the City Council on June 29 stated that, since the council hasn't made the changes wanted by "those who participated," they would do a referendum and a recall. This was 30 days before the General Plan was adopted.

The facts about the council's official position on development in Diamond Bar are:

* The council reduced potential residential growth from what Los Angeles County would have allowed by 70%, from 6,249 new homes to 1,905.

* Only 140 new homes have been built in Diamond Bar in the past four years, less than 1% development.

* Tonner Canyon is not controlled by the city of Diamond Bar. It is Los Angeles County unincorporated land which is currently zoned agricultural with three permitted uses: recreation, agriculture and open space.

We have spent more than four years of council participation, staff time, open hearings, working with various community groups in an effort to create a positive, vibrant and working General Plan for our community. The actual monetary costs to the city exceed $500,000.

We now have a well-negotiated plan which allows for restricted growth, provides methods of ensuring quality parks and recreation, job and business development, and helps maintain the quality of life we all want in our hometown.

A free copy of the General Plan is available to every Diamond Bar resident upon request. If you are interested in verifying these facts, you are encouraged to pick up a copy, read the land-use and housing elements and call me or the city staff, who will be more than happy to clarify any confusion or questions.

PHYLLIS PAPEN

Mayor Pro Tem Diamond Bar

*

Assemblyman Paul Horcher showed more than a little courage for organizing a forum on illegal immigration in Diamond Bar on Thursday, Aug. 12. Considering the volatility of the subject, I am surprised he would expose himself to the usual cries of racism and prejudice.

We have heard this tune before, and it just won't fly. The citizens of this state have been more than generous to immigrants of all nations, legal and illegal, and for that sin we are rewarded with the shrill cries of racism.

Well, I'm sorry. I am fresh out of "white guilt".

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