Developer pulls plug on affordable housing project near San Dimas, La Verne

by Steven Felschundneff |

A proposed affordable housing project a few miles west of Claremont has been scrapped after the developer backed out of the plan last week.

In a February 2 news release, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said her office had received confirmation from the LA County Department of Regional Planning that the developer, National CORE, had officially withdrawn its land use application for the project at 740 E. Foothill Blvd. in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

The proposed 54-unit permanent supportive housing development was intended to serve very low income unhoused seniors. Residents who live directly adjacent to the property in San Dimas and La Verne voiced strong opposition to the development, citing concerns about potential safety issues.

“I thank National CORE for having listened to the community,” Barger wrote in the news release. “Their willingness and participation in discussions with neighbors, residents, and local officials was critical and helped clarify the concerns with this location.”

The mayors of both San Dimas and La Verne expressed strong opposition to the development back in May, calling on county officials to reconsider approving money for the project. However, due to a host of state laws that streamline the approval process for affordable housing, there was little the county could do to stop it.

“National CORE made the right move listening to the community in pulling their application for the 740 E. Foothill Project,” San Dimas Mayor Emmett Badar wrote in a statement. “Now, we will continue to work on considering a more appropriate site that ensures the community is heard and that any project is the right fit for the location.”

La Verne Mayor Tim Hepburn echoed his colleague. “National CORE pulling their application is the right thing because the project was incompatible with the community,” he wrote in a statement. “We support working with them on alternative sites, but they must listen to the communities and design a project that fits.”

The developer announced its intention to build the affordable apartments last May and many neighbors were surprised to learn the development was well on its way to being approved despite no one from the county or the developer having asked for the community’s input.

According to Helen Chavez, Barger’s assistant chief deputy and communications director, National CORE did not give a reason for its decision to pull the project and the supervisor received word of its withdrawal straight from the Department of Regional Planning. She said several alternate sites have been considered and city officials are getting closer to identifying the top prospect.

“I am hopeful through collaboration a more suitable site can be identified to best serve the intended population and community at-large providing better access to resources, transportation, and jobs,” San Dimas Mayor Pro Tem Ryan A. Vienna wrote in a statement “Thank you to Supervisor Barger, her staff, county stakeholders, our neighboring city, and our members of the public for working together for the betterment of our communities. I remain committed to supporting a project to serve our formerly unhoused seniors and veterans.”

“During our joint city council meeting with San Dimas and La Verne, both cities received direction to discuss the potential for alternate sites,” San Dimas City Manager Chris Constantin wrote in an email. “We have been meeting with National Core and the county. At this time, I do not have further information that I can provide. Both our cities and the county remain open to discussions and consideration of sites, but as stated during our joint meeting, the right site, development and conditions are necessary for a viable path forward on any project. More discussion needs to occur before any site can be selected.”


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