Walnut Council Recap

By Natalie Kim

Walnut – The Sept. 23 Walnut City Council meeting began with the recognition of Maintenance Supervisor, Kenny Martinez. Due to his efforts, Walnut remains verdant and beautiful despite the harsh drought, and the trees across the town remain healthy and strong because of his care. The Council also declared Oct. 10 as Arbor Day.

During Communications, numerous complaints were made about the solar farm project on Grand Ave. proposed by Mt. San Antonio College. One complaint was made by a resident of West Covina, who agreed with several other Walnut residents that the solar farm’s proposed location would deprive Walnut of the majesty of the hills and result in an “eyesore” along Grand Ave. Other complaints noted the increase in traffic in the already busy intersection of Amar Rd. and Grand Ave. that would occur if construction were approved.

“We’re not against solar,” one resident clarified, “we’re fighting the location.”

In response to the widespread unrest concerning the proposed location of the college’s solar farm, the Council agreed to make the solar farm an item on the agenda for the next meeting on Oct. 14.

Council then approved the minutes from the Aug. 26 Study Session; and after minor adjustments, approved the minutes from the Aug. 26 and Sept. 9 City Council meetings.

After the Public Hearing, the Council adopted a resolution amending the fees and charges for services provided by the Community Development Department. The Council also approved an ordinance amending the City’s municipal code concerning purchase and sale of equipment and supplies. A second ordinance concerning the City’s municipal code on the drawing of warrants was discussed, but ultimately was unsatisfactory to the Council. The ordinance will be revised and brought back in the Oct. 14 Council meeting. The Council also awarded a bid of $99,545.26 to Greenfields Outdoor Fitness to begin constructing outdoor fitness equipment in Creekside Park; and appointed Ben Zhang to the Youth Advisory Commission. The Council also adopted a resolution allowing $647,584.01 in claims and demands on a 3-1-1 vote – with Councilwoman Tragarz voting against on the grounds that the claims and demands in the resolution should have been covered in a separate item brought before the Council, and Councilman Ching abstaining.

The Council then approved all items on the Successor Agency Consent Calendar, including a resolution allowing $41,586 in claims and demands; approval of a Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule for Jan. to June 2016; and a resolution approving the administrative budget for Jan. to June 2016. The Council also approved a sale agreement with Standard Pacific Corporation.

A multitude of residents came together at the Council meeting to protest Verizon’s appeal of a site plan concerning a Monopine at 555 Gartel Dr. Residents from all walks of life argued against the Monopine –  from professors to mothers and fathers concerned for their children, even to 10-year olds disquieted by the potential telecommunication construction project – all voiced their concerns to the Council and refuted the need for another cell tower, especially at the proposed address of 555 Gartel Dr. In line with the sentiments expressed, the Council denied Verizon’s appeal.

The Council approved a 30-day extension of time for the rear wall found at 20638, 206230, 20624, and 20618 Loyalton Dr. in light of a new proposal brought to the Council. The Council will revisit the proposal and discuss further action at their next meeting.

Following individual comments and announcements, the meeting was adjourned until Oct. 14, at 7 p.m., at the City Council Chambers at 21201 La Puente Rd.