On Sat, March 9, the L.A. County Regional Planning Dept collaborated with the Homestead Museum on an event called “History, Open Space, and Resiliency in the East San Gabriel Valley” to engage resident to provide input into the East San Gabriel Valley Area Plan update.At the event, Paul Spitzzeri, the Director at Homestead, presented the history of the East San Gabriel Valley and Erin Johnson from the Theodore Payne Foundation talked about native plants. Between talks, L.A. County planners asked audience members to draw maps of how they navigate their community on a typical day and asked them how they feel about the current design of their area and how they would like to see their area improved. After the mapping exercise, each audience member shared one aspect of their community they liked and what they hoped could be improved. Below are some key themes:
LOVE OF NATURE — CONNECT THE HILLS WITH RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
- Build a bridge to span the San Jose Creek with the San Gabriel River
- Allow kayaking in the San Gabriel River
- Create a Class 1 bike and equestrian trial along San Jose Creek
- Conserve the hills between Roland Heights and Diamond Bar
FAVORITE TYPES OF OPEN SPACE
- Local parks
- Soccer fields
- All participants drive, although some wish they did not have to and could bike instead.
- Parks can be nearby, but are only accessible by car
Sources of delight for residents include: family time, friends, dog parks, favorite spots to eat, hot weather, trees, concerts in parks, hiking trails, and scenic views of the hills and wildlife.
- Children wished there were more trees and fewer trucks along her path to school.
- Young adults desire cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating, streets where bands can play outside, festivals such as CicLAvia and farmers markets, and more affordable housing,
- Older adults prefer parks with “a nice walking path around the perimeter”, exercise spaces, and scenic vistas.
- Many residents lamented increasing traffic on the routes to open spaces
- Many noted the lack transit connections to the Gold Line.
- MORE BUSES from the Gold line/Metrolink to shopping areas like the Puente Hills Mall and other gathering spaces
- “More bus lines that run more often . . . so we have to transfer less and/or don’t have to worry about missing our next bus”
- “Upgrade the Heights Hopper system”
- “Small shuttle buses”
- More dedicated and protected bike lanes
- More sidewalks
- More hiking paths
- Conserve the hills to the East of Rowland Heights.
- “We need a regional park that services East Rowland Heights and West Diamond Bar. The owners of land that make up Royal Vista Golf Course want to sell and it would make a great park”