Monday, April 14, 2008

Have I got an Empty Lot for you...

Empty Lot
Originally uploaded by smash_219
Use this post to inventory empty lots in Pomona.

Describe the lot as an empty field versus abandoned buildings. Specify if it is a corner lot, or contains a corner lot. Note anything else about the lot that is significant, what the "for sale" sign says, what it used to be, and/or if you happen to know who owns it.

Example: 9900 N. Garey - across from the hospital, one full block that contains a corner lot and abandoned buidlings. Available from real estate agent A at 909 909 9999. Used to be a hair salon.



Garrett Sawyer said...

Oops, lol..I didn't notice this post until now. I'll just repost my comment from the Coates post.

Well, I don't really think this one qualifies as being on major streets but heres one to add to your list, on the corner of Lexington and Auto Center Dr. there is a huge one, and across the street, there is another smaller one between Martin Luther King Jr. Park and a car dealer lot (not sure which dealer it belongs to, haven't payed that much attention). I think that could qualify because many people drive through that area, one of the many reasons why they decided to put a street there. Before that, people would walk through that field/lot or try to drive through it, that portion of Auto Center Dr. that is ahead of the end of White hasn't been there too long. I remember having to walk through that field to get to McDonalds as a kid. I haven't seen wild flowers grow in that area for years like they used to, it's just ugly now.

Anonymous said...

Vacant and Blighted lots eligible for Redevelopment? How about ALL of Garey Avenue between Indian Hill and Humane Way?

Here is my personal opinion of capturing Claremont's revenue at ONE Walgreens in Pomona: the traffic counts on Garey Avenue, peak a.m. and peak p.m. far outnumber Foothill/Towne's intersection counts for the entire day. Also, to determine it as a blighted area, they probably had to use Census tract demographic data that most probably correlates to the demographics on Garey and not the demographics at the Claremont border.

My first suggestion, review the demographic data. What census info are they pulling to determine/justify blight? Pomona is large, but not that large. The State does have specific rules about how to calculate economic blight through census data. You can't willy-nilly pull blighted tracts that aren't adjacent the project area to determine blight. Sure, it can be fudged a little but I think in Pomona an easy case can be made of where actual blight occurs and where it does not (certainly not at the Claremont border along Foothill).

GP, I'll be dropping off a Citizen's Guide to Redevelopment at your door soon. But for now I'll post my longest comment ever quoted directly from the Guide:
"Deficiencies in deteriorating or blighted areas include:
1.inadequate/obsolete infrastructure
2.aging/deteriorating/poorly maintained bldgs/structures intermingled with historically significant structures as well as some well-maintained bldgs.
3.absence of safe and convenient pedestrian circulation
4.clutter of utility lines, jumble of signs, lack of architectural unity/quality
5.code violations and unsafe conditions (i.e. crime)
1.stagnant commercial area
2. depreciated property values
3. loss of jobs/businesses
4.incompatible mistures of land uses
5.inadequate government revenue generation with increasing need for public services or improvements (i.e. CRIME)
2.unsafe/substandard housing (i.e. hourly motels as rental housing)
3.lack of community and neighborhood identity
4.crime, ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, overcrowding, juvenile dilenquency
5.absence of positive community image
5.lack of adequate/affordable housing

As citizens, find out what Pomona's RDA project areas and boundaries are. Perhaps they lumped the Foothill corridor in with the Garey corridor to capture those census numbers. Get involved in your Redevelopment Project Area Committe (made of citizens and local business owners).

The City of South Gate Redevelopment Case Study--a prodominently working class, ethnic community that successfully utitlized RDA process to transform a busy business corridor, that used to look just like Garey, into a thriving commercial corridor with a strong community identity.
Who says Starbuck's and Walgreen's are the only viable retail giants that Pomona can entertain?

Some homework in the meantime:

Sorry for the long post,
Lincoln Park Neighbor and ex-Redevelopment Agency employee in L.B.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I am sure that you ment either Holt or Mission and not Garey.
If not, I am puzzled.

Anonymous said...

The thing I find interesting about your picture is the fireplace surround that is still there on the face of the second floor.
It shows what is left of the humanity
in what was that building.

Garrett Sawyer said...

LOL! Anonymous, Those deficiencies pretty much have the whole city down as blight then, minus a few trickles here and there of niceness. lol. I think you mean't Mission or Holt! lol. As for Garey, I do notice some bad areas, like that huge lot where Shakies used to be...theres like a Uhaul and other businesses there...thats pretty dull in that area. There is empty lots across the street from that Uhaul on LaVerne and Garey. Also, futher up by the train tracks near the North Pomona Train station, there are some small lots near Grevilla St. on Garey. The City wants the Gold line Extenion from Pasadena to go through there and most people can't even see the station from Garey without cocking their heads as they drive by or even know where it is! lol. At least on south Garey you can tell theres a station there. I think the City should buy or "assemble" the properties from Santa fe st. to Grevilla st. between Garey Ave. and Pine st. Does anyone know why the Old Sante Fe station isn't used? It makes no sense! Then there's a bunch of crummy properties south of Mission on Garey (obviously). Pomona is sooo screwed up when it comes to property use, I don't know where to begin. If you look at google maps, mostly nothing but homes are along the 10 freeway, what poor planning that is. Question: what was there before the freeway was built? if anyone knows...

I think we should put all our ideas together and draw up a 'what if' plan for the city to give them some ideas, even if it means holding out on current offers. Seattle had a contest with Seattle Times for people to redesign the city center.
Pomona should have something similar (most likely not on such a grand scale as Seattle) on their website where people can submit ideas, also, hold workshops at all the schools and see what the kids come up with, after all...they're the ones who will be living in Pomona much longer than us.

me said...

Okay, these were just from one trip down to Towne:

2887 N. Towne - deserted business park building on west side of street, just above Bonita.

The entire southeast corner of Bonita and Towne - it almost looks like public utility grounds of some sort. Ideal corner location, has chain link fencing with green tarp all around.

2710 N. Towne - Empty lot

G of P

Anonymous said...

Oops! Sorry, I did mean Holt. Especially HOLT; what with the prostitutes being out early in the morning and mom's walking the kids to school on the same sidewalks. And yay for our motorbike cops that are always out on Holt catching the speeders but also looking out for the other trouble.

Sorry, it was late for me. But I do think there is a strong case that can be made about blight in other economically potential corridors and main gateways into the City.

Oh here is another questionable decision by our Council--approving new warehouse building construction on west Garey to put MORE truck traffic on a main thoroughfare instead of utilizing the existing industrially zoned parcels along Mission. How much in road improvements is that going to cost every year to reinforce the roads from that heavy truck traffic. AND, their aren't even enough lanes to handle that warehouse capacity. OY!!!!

For vacant parcels not zoned as parks and green space, the County Tax Assessor's website has a good GIS map that gives street address. No private owner information, but at least one can get parcel numbers and address. Cross reference lot info with a Google Earth or another online aerial mapping component. It will take time but that is one free way to get the info.

Does anyone know if Lantz will be running unopposed...again? Perhaps one of the reasons why we don't see real change in the City. (oh, did I say that aloud? Must be feeling snarky today.)

-Your Lincoln Park Neighbor

Tad Decker said...

To answer Garrett's question regarding land use along the 10 fwy...If you look at old photos of the construction of the freeway, the eastern stretch plowed through citrus orchards, primarily. Soon thereafter, large tracts of economical homes were thrown up (pardon the imagery!) alongside the new freeway, I think intended to serve commuters that worked in downtown L.A.

It is undeniable that having all these homes occupy what could be prime commercial real estate, appears to us today as a tremendous waste (and bad planning, as you stated, Garrett). I think it must be remembered, however, that the freeways were a very new idea at the time; they tended to bypass established commercial districts (like our then-thriving downtown) and were seen as a way to quickly move people throught the region. Although it is strange for us (with 20/20 hindsight) to imagine, few in the 1950's could have forseen that these freeways would become THE places for commerce. Pomona--being a well-established, prosperous city by the 1950's--suffers for having developed these prime parcels too early. By the time that backwater communities like Montclair, eastern Ontario, and Fontana started to boom, the commercial value of freeway frontage was well known.

Anonymous said...

I think there should be MORE undeveloped places in Pomona. They should become parks and community gardens and meeting places. There should be more places for people to be outdoors under trees and on grass. I used to love the open feeling of Pomona. I hate the way everything has been fenced, paved, and constructed. I loved the old town when there were orchards, farms, and small family owned businesses. Even the vacant fields of weeds were a wonder of wildflowers and edible herbs. When is the last time you saw a horse in Pomona? I used to have horses come visit over my fence as they folicked in the fields of Westmont hill. ~Robin

me said...

That sounds wonderful. Problem is that the vast majority of the empty lots are filled with concrete and surrounded by cyclone fences. I would love to see more parks and fields too, but instead the property owners, including the school district, seem to go out of their way to make the lots look as unattractive and blighted as possible, and more outrageous, is the fact that they are allowed to.

G of P

Garrett Sawyer said...

Robin- I don't know if you know this but as the Pomona city website claims- "Pomona has been named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry. It is the sixteenth year Pomona has received this national recognition. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. Pomona has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance."

I'm not entirely sure as to how each city earns such an designation, but I'd imagine that not all cities qualify. In my opinion, out of many of the cities in southern Califnornia that I've been to, only a few dozen have many many old established trees. A lot of cities in san bernardino county couldn't hold a candle to the amount of trees we have. Same goes for many of the other foothill cities and other cities nestled in the hills around southern California. Cities up against hill sides that block the wind are the best areas to have loads of trees without the santa anas affecting them (in some cases, snapping them before they even reach one year of being planted).

I do, however, agree with you about more parks. The only ways there are going to be more parks is if the city buys up the properties needed. They have to pay for them, and that comes out of our pockets or through fund raising. The other way is if a private property owner converts their property into a park. The best we can hope for at this point is that more citizens of Pomona take up gardening and practice good landscaping, if we can acheive that, then I'm sure the city would recognize the residents pride in nature which would eventually give them the incentive to allot more land for parks and green space.

I do disagree with the grassy areas though, I believe we SHOULD have grass, but then there are areas where grass serves no purpose at all.

About the horses, I've seen horses in southwest Pomona and in North Pomona. Strangely, I've even seen horses on Holt within the last ten years (not lately though) but in the other corners of the city I mentioned above, there are still horses.

As to the orchard feeling, last year I toyed with the idea in my head that Pomona could reclaim its former glory of being a citrus producer by lining the parking grass strips with citrus trees and other fruit trees, but only if the residents agree to take care of the ones directly in front of their homes. There are several spots on the city's side of the sidewalk where there aren't trees at all, and even where there are some pretty old trees there is still space inbetween the older ones for some fruit trees.

That would be a really great idea, but it is probable the city will not go for it, at least as wide spread as I envision it.

I'd love to think Pomona is a city for dream builders, but I've come to realize that there are far better places to build upon dreams. No offense Pomona!

Garrett Sawyer said...

By the way, in my neighborhood (In south Pomona near the 71), up on the hill near the golf course on Prospect Dr. there are mini ranch/farms (whatever they are), I think they have horses (or at least they used to when I was a child which was not too long ago), not sure if they still have them though.