Those for, and those against The Villages at Alhambra are squaring off over the proposed project. The controversy has led to a back-and-forth as to how many housing units the mixed-use development will incorporate amid arguments over a host of other issues. The number of units had shrunk markedly from the proposed 1061 units sown to 775. As a result of a council meeting on June 17th, the number went back up to 790.
The project has turned into the most contentious housing debate in Alhambra history. Detractors argue that the development would increase traffic, congestion, air quality and ultimately lower the quality of life for residents. Many also feel that as the proposal stands, there wont be enough low income housing.
Additionally, there are concerns that the development rests on a superfund site which is historically contaminated.
"We don’t want more pollution. We don’t want more traffic. If you came and lived where I live, and where all the residents live who are going to be affected by this project, you might think twice before voting,” Local resident Meehar Tom said as he addressed the City Council.
The Ratkovich Company - project developer - has addressed all of these issues as well as other concerns raised by various speakers at the June 17th council meeting. One question brought up by multiple attendees and echoed by Alhambra Councilwoman, Sasha Perez, was if local labor would be used, and if they would be prevailing wages.
A Ratkovich representative says that the developer will have a labor agreement ready for perusal by the next special council meeting in July.
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