Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pomona Council Compost


RAIN or SHINE: This Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. is the community tour at Cal Poly Pomona's Center for Regnerative Studies. Parking and admission is free. Click on visitor information here for directions to the Center's parking lot. This will be informative and kid friendly, and if even a handful of us attend, it could be a starting point for grassroots efforts to make Pomona more green and liveable.

Thanks to Ren for creating today's visual: a re-use of the deserted gas station at Alvarado and Garey. Click on the photo to blow it up. The imaginary "Pomona Council Compost" is home to communal composting, a virtual community garden and a flyer-starved cork bulletin board. Hey that's the Goddess of Pomona van parked out front. Don't worry, I promise not to park there longer than 72 hours at a time :0 The planters may look familiar to regular readers...they've been Greenlee-ized.

Imagine how many Lincoln Park residents would get out of their cars and walk to the local Stater Bros., if there is actually a community scene at that corner. And wait, Ren will soon be creating a cyber frozen yogurt shop slash virtual coffee house in the vacant restaurant across the street.

My Pomona native friend A told me that the restaurant and gas station at Garey and Alvarado have been vacant for at least 15 years. It's been five years that I have been fantasizing about the possibilities each time I pass by. The California property boom has come and gone, yet these two vacant corners remain at one of the most visible and promising Pomona intersections.

Over the weekend, I got the chance to speak with Justin, the son of the owner of the gas station property. He explained that his father purchased the property about four years ago with the intention of opening up an auto repair shop. He said that neighbors were against the shop opening up due to noise concerns. He said that the City would not allow the shop, so the property has sat vacant. Justin said that the property is currently on the market.

I spoke to Justin about the idea of a community garden there, which would be a win-win situation -- making the property more attractive and thus more valueable. Justin was very understanding, but I got the feeling that dad would be a hard sell. Justin took my number and agreed to speak with dad about the idea. To his credit, dad can often be seen cleaning up trash from the empty lot.

Perhaps it would be more worthwhile for dad if he was offered rent money for lending his property to the community good. Maybe working with Cal Poly, we could get a grant for a sustainability project there -- obviously some project that would be safe on land that previously housed a gas station.

In any event, I hope to see you on Saturday.

THE END

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

...that old restaurant at the corner of Gary and Alvarado is our beloved old fire station...I always thought it would be fun to restore it and make it a firefighting themed restaurant...

Anonymous said...

Kingsley Kitten: Which council person shall we compost first?

Anduhrew said...

since it was a gas station it might be a good idea to even make it a biodiesel station (possibly even in conjunction with cal poly) who knows, I've always had dreams of being able to fill up locally. maybe even willie nelson can help! HA! http://www.biowillieusa.com/

me said...

A: Has it always been a fire station? There's sure a lot of venting out back, like for a big kitchen.

KK: I'll let others chime in on that one.

Anduhrew: Your idea for a biodiesel station is interesting. Your idea to start a blog called "Student in Pomona" is even better! I've linked you at my side bar and will do a post once you're up and running.

G of P

Jennifer said...

Funny green is on my mind too.

ren said...

in the early 60`s i used to stop there on the way home from school and talk to the firemen about how much i wanted to become a fireman.lol as you can see that didnt work out lol.

Anonymous said...

From what I have heard... the former fire station has had many proposals but it has asbestos & earthquake reinforcement issues that just don't pencil for success.
Mark

Anonymous said...

Good idea anonymous 9:40 but you are on the late train. The building use to be The Firehouse Inn, and if you are interested there is an original coctail napkin being auctioned on E-Bay.

Pomona since 1925

me said...

who owns the old fire station? Someone needs to just get creative and use it for an outdoor business. REnovate the outside of the building, but leave the inside alone and locked up. That, or lower the asking price if that much work needs to be done.

G of P

me said...

Oh, and POmona since 1925: you don't look a word over 30!

G of P

Ms. Lois said...

G of P

Thanks for lightening up the green on your blog. The darker green was hard to read. :)

Anduhrew said...

Biodiesel station may be out of the question. the gas tanks have been removed. found this real estate site that has the location posted for sale.
http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/MainSite/Listing/Profile/ProfileSE.aspx?LID=15524752&linkcode=10850&sourcecode=1lww2t006a00001

Anonymous said...

...I should have said...I always thought it would be fun to open a SUCCESSFUL family friendly firefighting themed restaurant and do a COMPLETE and TASTEFUL restoration of the building...I have never been impressed with any of the restaurants that have come and gone there.

me said...

The description on loopnet is interesting, in that it implies 7-11 wanted the property at one point, or did a feasibility study (what we don't need is another liquor store there). Also, it's amazing that 44,000 cars pass by each day.

G of P

ren said...

you know alot of these parks around pomona have these lil community centers,i know most of them are for kids but i think us grown ups need one too.so why not the old fire station

Anduhrew said...

Apparently there are a number of community centers for rent
http://www.ci.pomona.ca.us/city_departments/community_services/pdf/Community_Center_Rental_Rates.pdf
It's a good idea to use the old fire house for the community but what exactly would it be used for?

ren said...

well am hoping i might have planted a seed in someones mind,i like to hear some ideals of what could be...

Pride in Garfield Park said...

As I sipped my latte at Boveldt Coffee yesterday, I overheard two men talking about "land use consulting." Come to find out, Albert Cruse is a land use consultant. He said his services are used by people trying to figure out how to approach projects that involve buildings/architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, etc. He's evidently worked previously on developing community gardens. I'm guessing his is a for-profit business, but he might be willing to point us in the right direction. His contact information, which I'm posting with his permission, is (909) 990-9794 and cornerstonedev88@yahoo.com.

calwatch said...

The actual ADT (Average Daily Traffic) at that location is about 25000. Not 44,000. http://www.ci.pomona.ca.us/city_departments/public_works/pdf/traffic.pdf

ren said...

thats great pride,the seed has roots now,lets keep an eye on it make sure it doesnt die.i think just working on the outside would be a BIG help

Andrea said...

I am so glad to read about those corners that I spent much of my life looking at and hating. The old firehouse has indeed been a restaurant. I think one would have to take a good look inside to determine a new use for it. And the gas station just needs to be something fresh and new. A destination complimentaty to the Stater Bros center. Pomona needs some TLC and a GREEN makeover. The greening of White Ave at the Fariplex was a good start now if it can just spread across the city...that would be something to see.

Anonymous said...

Our street was once lined with Black Olive Trees and every three or four years the city would come and trim them up nicely. However when they began to die from age the city removed them one by one, but only when they finally fell over or when they got complaints from citizens about the dead branches coming down on their cars. Replacing them would be investment in Pomona's future but what are the odds.