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Community Profile: Diamond Bar : Community Voices

August 22, 1995

In November elections, 11 people are running for two seats on the Diamond Bar City Council. The primary campaign issue is growth--some residents believe the general plan allows too much, others see it as far too restrictive. All sides spoke with BERKLEY HUDSON.

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Franklin Fong

Soils engineer and member of the planning commission Previously there were city council people with connections to development and real estate and it presented an image of a conflict of interest which raisedthe suspicions of the citizens.

Communities like Monterey Park have been all built out and people don't want that here. They came here because of the open space and rural lifestyle. It is one of the few places in Los Angeles County where there is a lot of open space adjacent to a large urban population. You can see cows grazing here when you drive down two-lane roads lined with barbed-wire fences and white picket fences.

It's also one of the few areas that developers find profitable to build in, where you can get a good return. There is a large influx of Asian home buyers who want a good school district, nice homes, hilly terrain.

The natural beauty that draws people is something that people who already live here want to keep.

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Fred Scalzo

President of Diamond Bar Chamber of Commerce and owner of Casa O'Brien's Restaurant. One of my concerns is the protectionist image that "no growth" presents. Good, tax-paying, quality businesses would not be interested in investing in Diamond Bar if the city took that approach.

The key word is sensitivity. Sensible growth can't be argued with. Everywhere I'm aware of, every "no growth" movement has failed and has hurt cities. Leaving all vacant lots vacant is not the answer. Making sure what goes on those lots benefits Diamond Bar is a reasonable answer.

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Max Maxwell

Consultant to JCC Development, which has 13 homes under construction and plans another 92 homes int he $1- million range.

No one in Diamond Bar wants any more development. They don't want any more traffic, smog, noise. The city council is pro-development. There is no question about that.

Diamond Bar should put its foot down and say, "We want to keep pristine Tonner Canyon, Sycamore Canyon and Sandstone Canyon." There are legal reasons forthem not to be developed. The city council and most of California seems to think that you don't stop development until houses are climbing all over the hills.

If you want congestion, go to Alhambra where there are condos and condos. We don't want that.

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Bernie Mazur

Consultant to JCC Development, which has 13 homes under construction and plans another 92 homes in the $1- million range.

In Diamond Bar there really isn't a heck of a lot left to develop. What is left is high-end property. It's extremely costly to develop.

The development game has become rough, time- consuming, chancy and burdensome from governmental checks and balances. This is true not only in Diamond Bar or Rancho Cucamonga but all up and down our state. The "danger" of overdevelopment is, for the time being, overblown. There is no danger.

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