Although each council member voiced concerns about the proposal, an old agreement reared its head at the Jan. 8 meeting of the La Puente City Council.
The agreement, a disposition and development agreement, was entered in April 2011 between Jasmine Real Estate Investment and the city’s now dissolved community development commission.
When commissions are gone, it falls to the successor agency.
The meeting’s agenda item had the council considering a memorandum of understanding between the city’s successor agency and the company, because the company is owed a certificate of completion after doing such to the property.
The company has done everything asked of it, but they are now waiting on the city.
A previous city manager had told Jasmine Real Estate Investment to develop a traffic light south of the Hacienda Boulevard Pizza Hut, near Fairgrove Avenue. This city manager has had a storied legend of not working in the city’s best interests from comments made by the council.
Council member John Solis said that individual pushed for the traffic light while it was being planned to get money out of the developer.
Currently, this MOU states that the developer must make an initial deposit of $150,000, which they have done, and states that the developer must follow up with $150,000 after bids. This makes for a maximum total of $300,000 on the developer’s end, and the city will pay the remaining tab.
The engineer’s current estimate is $385,000.
The representative who spoke at the meeting said they were fully willing to do this and the traffic light, but that they did not push for the traffic light.
Several council members said that this traffic light was going to cause more congestion than it would alleviate, and argued that traffic does not stop people from going to the El Super and shops in the area.
Mayor Valerie Munoz said travelling down there was “horrible altogether” currently and expressed concerns about having an outdated traffic study from seven years ago as a reference point.
Solis said he thought there would be more complaints with this new proposed light after having pulled the matter from the consent calendar.
Council member Dan Holloway brought up how close the light was to the other lights, and mayor pro tem Charlie Klinakis said he was never in favor of the traffic light idea as a planning commissioner and still is not.
Instead of outright failing the MOU or changing anything about its terms, like removing the traffic light provision, the matter has been held off until the next meeting on Jan. 22.
Prior to that meeting, staff will provide them with updated information by traffic engineers,