Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Citizen About Town

Citizen About Town

By Nancy C Arcuri, Editor and Publisher

Email: nancyarcuri@thectizensvoice.net

The November 3rd Election ballot with its many issues is almost ready to print.

I am voting for Donald Trump to be our next United States President.  He has spent his current term bring back more jobs into our country from overseas. He has made better trade agreements with Europe, China, Mexico and other countries then other Presidents. He has helped to provide education and trades to all people especially our citizens who have been ignored by other administrations. He has made tax cuts that provide more spending money into our pockets.  Our small businesses were prospering under his administration.

Then in March the COVID-19 virus struck our United States of America.  He banned visitors from China where the BUG originated. The Democrats are jealous of his many successes. They call him a racist.  He listened to some doctors that demanded that our country be shut down to stop the virus.

According to several scientists we should not have shutdown the whole country. We should have shut down only the areas with highest cases of the virus.

If you read or listen to the news various doctors disagree with the facts about this virus.

I wonder if these decisions were made along party lines.

Since the Democrats could not impeach Donald Trump but wasted valuable time that could have been used to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Our United States is facing violence in the street of several cities across the nation in the name of “Black Lives Matter”.

If your read or see the national news you will learn that most of the victims of the violent acts are young children of color.

The highest percent of violence on record are Black people killing or maiming other Black people according to many government agencies.

If you read or see the news you will learn that most of the violence is condoned in cities, counties or states led by Democrats.

They are trying to destroy our United States of America for their own socialist and violent reasons.

These radicals should be arrested for their crimes, not be allowed to post bail and stand trial for their crimes against their fellow citizens.

They should be sentenced to Federal or State prisons and forced to pay back their victims for destroying their families, their homes, their businesses and private or public property.

Since these radicals believe that are justified by their actions then the victims are justified to demand these thugs make them financially whole or pay for the loss of their loved ones.

Do you know that our Los Angeles Board of Supervisors majority: Hilda Solis, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Shelia Kuehl and Janice Hahn are putting a Ballot Measure on the November ballot (Measure Number Unknown at this time) that will ask the county voters if they want to defund the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Budget by 10% and give the funds to their Social Services?

It seems that they rather protect a few people and not all of us taxpaying residents in Los Angeles County.

I will be voting NO!

I value our Police Department in Monterey Park that does their best to protect all of us from harm.

Due to the virus shutdowns of many of our local business sales tax funds will be reduced.

I will never vote for Hilda Solis again. She seems to be following the Democratic trend that some people’s lives are more important than the rest of our lives in the United States of America.

I strongly support Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who is thinking of the future of Los Angeles County. She believes in our American Dream.

I will be voting YES on Monterey Park’s Measure JJ – It is the revised version of Monterey Park 2040 Land Use Element Proposition.

This plan lays out the residents’ future plans for our hometown.

To review our Monterey Park 2020 Land Use Element, Please visit www.montereypark.ca.gov/MPKLUE/Noc2020.

I will be voting NO on Proposition 15 that will ask the voters to “split roll” on property tax. It would be a direct attack on Proposition 13. It would repeal part of Proposition 13 and require reassessment to market value of business properties.

I will be voting NO on Proposition 18 that will ask the voters to change the voting age in California to allow 17-years-olds to vote in primaries and special elections. If they turn 18 by the date of the next general election. This would allow high school students to vote on tax increases like Proposition 13 and Proposition 218 that require a voter approval.

I will be voting NO on Proposition 19 that will ask the voters to take away important taxpayer protections.  Voter approved Proposition 58 allows parents to transfer a home and limited other property to their children without an increase in property taxes. Voter approved Proposition 193 gives the same protection to transfers between grandparents and grandchildren if the children’s parents are deceased.

I will be voting NO on Proposition 21 that will ask the voters to change the state law to allow radical rent control laws to be passed in cities that are already suffering from an inadequate supply of housing.  According to the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Control Act housing provider have the right to raise the rent on a vacant unit to market value after a tenants out. This proposition would repeal this law and allow unelected rent boards or elected rent boards to impose radical rent control and regulations even on single-family homes.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has provided this information on these propositions.

Please review your November 3rd Ballot and be sure to vote.

The ballot box maybe our only chance to tell our elected officials how we want our cities, counties, states and our federal government to work for us the American taxpaying voters.

During the September 2nd Monterey Park City Council Meeting Council Agenda #2-A was an Appeal of Planning Commission Resolution No. 20-01, adopted on May 12,2020, approving a Conditional Use Permit (CUP-19-13) to allow a retail eating establishment with a drive-through in the S-C (Shopping Center) Zone – 1970 South Atlantic Boulevard.

During the Public Hearing Monterey Park residents Gina Castellas and Rafael Gastellas and Maria Mejia, their attorney tried to have the Planning Commission’s decision to allow Raising Cane’s development project with a Conditional Use Permit denied. You should read all of their correspondence attached to the Agenda.

They and seven other supporting residents livings on the hillside overlooking South Atlantic Blvd. tried to stop the project sighting the guidelines were changes without their knowledge. They claimed their did not given due process on their request to appeal their objection.

City Attorney Karl Berger reminded them that they were give notice and attended each and every one of the Planning Commission Meetings as well as this Public Hearing.

They were given 20 minutes to state their facts and their claims over the phone.

The City Clerk had a clock counting down their time since this was a ZOOM meeting.

Raising Cane’s development group that included Kristen Roberts, the project developer, their Attorney named Adam, their Engineers named John and Sami. They were also given 20 minutes to state their case.

They reminded the Council that they followed the city’s guidelines on this project. They are willing to work with the staff on each and every issue.

Their policy is to be good neighbors with the residents in the city. They will hire residents to work in their restaurant.

Two residents supported Raising Cane’s restaurant that will bring in jobs to the city as well as sales and property taxes.

Mark McAvoy answered the questions from the Council as well as the members of the development team.

The Councilmembers asked several questions about the possible increase in traffic, the alley behind the project site, the hillside behind the site and the cleanup of the old gas station sight.

Mark McAvoy said staff has already answered all of these issues. This project will be done in a safe manner for everyone.

Adam, the developer’s attorney said these residents don’t want the old gas station site to be redeveloped for their own reasons.

The Raising Cane’s staff asked the Council to please approve this project.

City Manager Ron Bow said that the project was explained and clarified.

Councilmember Hans Liang asked the city attorney to please explain the facts on their discussion.

Karl Berger reminded the Council they are acting as a Court to approve based on the evidence that the Planning Commission approved the project. You can approved or deny the appeal.

On April 1st the new Councilmembers presented their new Planning Commissioners.

On June 3rd the City Manager along with staff and the Council changed the zoning laws. They were not denied their due process.

Councilmember Fred Sornoso said that he understood the testimony could be used but not their opinions.

Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Yiu asked about the hours of service. Can we reduce the hours?

Karl Berger reminded the Council that the CUP becomes part of the property.

Yvonne Yiu asked if the Council could review the CUP?

Kristen Roberts said they hoped to be opened until 1:00 AM. She will have to check with the Corporate Headquarters.

Councilmember Henry Lo asked about public safety?

Fire Chief Matt Hallock said they have reviewed the results. The Fire Department has no issues with this project.

Yvonne Yiu asked about the number of cars that will use the restaurant?

John, the developer’s Traffic Engineer said he is not able to determine the number of cars that will use the drive-thru.

Mayor Peter Chan asked the city attorney if the Council could uphold or overturn or modify the Planning Commissioner’s decision?

Karl Berger said it would be OK to change the business hours.

Peter Chan said he was OK on the CEQA. We are following the letter of the law.

Mark McAvoy said we have processed this project as a Class 32 exemption. There has been no new information to change their professional opinion.

Peter Chan asked if the hours of service could be from 9:00 AM until 11:30 PM? He was concerned with the traffic in the quay. The two exit lanes would be a right turn only onto South Atlantic.

Mark McAvoy reminded the Council that the quay is centered in the drive thru lanes. There will be no extra traffic. The City Engineer will approve any extra traffic.

Peter Chan asked if Raising Cane would handle the noise, pollution, etc. since they will be good neighbors? They could plant trees to reduce the noise and pollution. Can they cover the drive thru lanes?

Karl Berger said they must insure that drive thru noise be reduced before their occupancy permit is issued. The business and residents concerns on the CUP are already in place. All of the questions have been answered.

The CUP is the right of the property. The Council can review it but they need to be clear that any changes would be made using due process. They can review it in six months.

Fred Sornoso asked if the closing hour could be changed from 1:00 AM to an 11:30 PM closing?

Yvonne Yiu asked the closing hour be changed to 10:00 PM and that the city does not get any complaints from the residents.

Henry Lo asked about the alley that runs behind the project next to the Shopping Center?

Mark McAvoy said the owners (TRC) of the South Atlantic Shopping Center are thinking about remodeling the center and they would coordinate with the city on the alley when they bring their plans in City Hall.

Hans Liang said the Council is here to make a decision based on the facts. The lot has been vacant for a long time. It is OK to modify the time. The city’s guidelines have been met. This is a National Retail store. We need more diversity for the residents. He is OK with this project.

Fred Sornoso was concerned with the alley with the houses in the hillside overlooking it.

Mark McAvoy said the alley is between the two businesses on Atlantic. The developer will build a retaining wall and refurbish the alley. The cars will be serviced on their site and not on South Atlantic.

Yvonne Yiu asked it the developers would be offering community funding to these neighbors?

Kristen Roberts stated that their Corporation would decide the outreach on all of this.

Henry Lo asked if the other businesses in the area have any issues with this project?

Mark McAvoy said they did not raise any issues with this project.

Ron Bow said many of the restaurants in the area have closing times from 8:00PM until 3:00 AM.

The City Council voted to uphold the Planning Commission’s approval of the Raising Canes’ Drive-thru Restaurant with two changes on the CUP the new store hours would be 9:00 AM until 10:00 PM and the CUP would be reviewed in six months.

It was a very interest issue discussed on the September 2nd City Council Meeting, You can see and hear the replay on the City’s TV stations.

Monterey Park is no longer called “The First Suburban Chinatown” by developers since the Grand Opening in 2018 of our Market Place. American or Brand Name businesses are enjoying hearing their cash registers sing with the sales of their products to all of the residents of Monterey Park, Montebello, Rosemead, East Los Angeles and people driving by on the 60 Freeway.

Monterey Park is suffering the financial loss of sales tax since the COVID-19 virus like most cities, counties and states across our America.  The virus was declared a Health Emergency so the County and State Health Departments have forced the closure of our many restaurants, stores, barber shops, hair dressers, houses of faith, public buildings and public park just to name of few.

We have been forced to shelter in place and wear masks in public to end this Public Health issue.

Many Americans are very angry that our some of our elected officials have disregarded these laws for their own personal reasons but fine us if we proceed to follow their actions.

I guess that these elected officials do not believe that each and every life matters in the eyes of God!

May God continue to bless each and every one of us since we are His children!

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