Readers comments 7-3-20
Open letter to city leaders
[Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the city manager and council, with a copy forwarded for publication. —KD]
We are not the only residents who have appreciated our city staff’s reading of comment emails and letters at public meetings. Unfortunately, our city manager’s recent weekly update contains the following:
“Beginning September 1, staff will no longer read written comments during the public comment portion of the meeting.”
Please do not adopt this backslide away from transparency and open government. Reading written comments aloud has the virtues of encouraging greater public participation and of sharing viewpoints. It has significantly lengthened a meeting only a couple of times. We hope that you will retain the reading aloud even after physical attendance again becomes safe.
The failure of our sales tax measure, although similar measures passed with strong support in other cities, has revealed that many Claremont voters lack confidence in our city government.
We hope that you will do everything possible to counteract that. Being open and transparent when you have the opportunity may be the simplest and one of the most important steps.
We’re rooting for you to succeed in winning our residents’ confidence.
Bob Gerecke, Freeman Allen
Pamela Casey Nagler, Jim Keith
Ronald Mittino, Elizabeth A.K. Smith
Last week’s Cable Airport crash is a reminder of one of many reasons that Claremont decision makers should not approve The Commons, the proposed housing development of over 100 units at Monte Vista Avenue and Foothill Boulevard (to be built partially in Claremont and partially in Upland).
The June 24 crash is the fourth at Cable Airport in just over a year, including a fatal crash into a home last November. We need to build housing, but it should not be built there.
The Commons site is southwest of Cable Airport, aligned with the runway. It is so close to Cable that it requires an emergency landing strip (avigation easement) through the middle of the development. Developers are calling it a park, planned not to have any trees or obstructions to potential landings.
The site is surrounded by (and will be isolated by) non-residential development, bordered by the noise and traffic of major arterials and in close proximity to the airport and its noise, fuel pollution including lead in small plane gas and potential for crashes.
Appropriately, the site has long been zoned commercial. Claremont recently had a failed ballot initiative to increase sales tax and now proposes to remove 6.5 acres of potential commercial property for the residential development (which includes only 5,000 square feet commercial use).
Cable is a private airport serving amateur pilots, including a flight school. Planes and helicopters, including police, fly day and night immediately over the proposed site. The mix of aircraft includes jets and planes of a wide range of sizes and vintages, many exceptionally noisy.
There is no tower to direct planes. Cable’s recommended flight paths to avoid nearby residential areas are frequently not followed. Neighbors farther from Cable than the proposed development have repeatedly asserted that the airplane noise greatly impacts their everyday living. With insight from our own experience, neighbors and others have opposed The Commons, where planes will always be immediately overhead.
Proponents say extra noise insulation will solve the problem, along with amending Claremont’s noise code to allow a higher inside noise limit. That only works if residents don’t open windows or go outside.
No clubhouse or indoor community amenities are included in the project. Isolated from other residential areas, with ongoing impacts of street traffic, planes and helicopters, there will be no quiet place to support community interaction.
The Commons will require changing the site’s general plan and zoning from its current commercial designation. According to the Cable Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan, residential and park use should not be built at the site because of its proximity to the airport and runway. Claremont’s General Plan also raises concerns regarding Cable’s proximity for residential development of the site.
Appropriate commercial, not residential, development should remain the future for the site. It’s common sense.
I am also a Trump supporter, and resident of Claremont. There are many more of us living in Claremont than I suspect you or other “intellectuals” care to admit.
With a single sentence, Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera outlines the disdain that Democrats have for those who do not agree with their political views or the left’s agenda. Drawing a direct distinction between Trump supporters and the city’s “intellectual acumen” sounds very similar to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment.
It’s unfortunate that the political environment that we live in is such that Kris M. Meyer has to have guts to the “nth degree” to admit to being a Trump supporter, given how inclusive, tolerant and understanding our city residents are (yes, that’s sarcasm).
It would seem that tolerance only extends to those that have the same political views, essentially creating an echo-chamber of ideas where any differences are a direct assault on our beliefs.
I have to admit that I am a fairly new resident to Claremont, and I was unaware of the “City of Trees and PhDs” slogan until I moved here. I rolled my eyes the first time that I heard it, given how pretentious it sounds.
I think many of those PhDs forget that there is no direct correlation between intelligence and wisdom, with many wielding their degrees as authoritarians, stamping out any dissent.
I am a Trump supporter, and I am also an immigrant to the United States of America. This is my home and my country. Don’t prejudge our beliefs and views based on the color of our skin, race or background.