DIAMOND BAR: Ending a deadlock over development...

DIAMOND BAR: Ending a deadlock over development proposals for Sandstone Canyon, the Diamond Bar City Council last week approved a developer's plan to build 91 homes on 40 acres of canyon property.

On the following night, the Walnut Valley Unified School District, which has delayed building a new middle school until a place could be found to deposit dirt excavated from the site, voted to purchase 77 acres of adjacent land, including the southern portion of the canyon.

The decisions came unexpectedly after several years of stalemate during which the City Council was unable to reconcile the developers' plans with the concerns of those who feared that construction in the canyon would upset its rich ecological diversity and destroy hundreds of ancient oak trees that shade the canyon floor.

ALHAMBRA: About 50 people--police officers, their families and residents--marched on City Hall Monday evening to protest a tentative police contract that they say would cut benefits for officers hired after the agreement is signed.

Protesters marched along Main Street just over a mile through the city's business district carrying signs proclaiming: "Alhambra Police: Tops in Service Lowest in Pay." Alhambra Police Assn. President Joseph Flanigan said officers could not sign a contract that creates second-class police officers. Monday's protest was the second since officers rejected a tentative contract two weeks ago that offered a 3% pay raise but cut some benefits. Police have said they want a 6% pay raise.

Talks are scheduled to resume today, with the association represented by new negotiators. City management and the officers association both blame each other for the dispute. City officials say they negotiated in good faith and it's the police association that cannot get its act together.

MONROVIA: In a move toward building more affordable housing in the center of town, the City Council acting as the Redevelopment Agency's board of directors has approved the purchase of 131-133 W. Colorado Blvd. for townhomes.

The city will pay $423,000 for the property at the south end of the Myrtle Avenue shopping district. The site is currently occupied by an automobile repair shop. The agency had already purchased another property at 145 W. Colorado Blvd. for $280,000 and is negotiating for a third. Together they would provide a one-acre site for 18 to 22 townhomes for those with low to moderate incomes.

PASADENA: A Pasadena Water and Power Department supervisor has requested a restraining order against Councilman Isaac Richard.

A Pasadena Superior Court judge will decide Aug. 2 whether to issue the order.

The supervisor, Glenn Boggs, in court documents said he suffered headaches and chest pains after two run-ins with Richard in recent weeks. Richard has said that Boggs' work crews were causing a traffic hazard in his Northwest district.

The city took the unusual step of hiring a law firm to file the request for a restraining order on Boggs' behalf against Richard. A judge has already issued an order telling Richard to keep his distance for the next three years from Councilman Chris Holden. The restraining order was issued to Holden after a run-in with Richard at a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl. Richard has been censured twice before by the council for his behavior toward city employees.

SOUTH EL MONTE: Close to 300 residents attended a town hall meeting held by the City Council to hear arguments for and against an Aug. 9 ballot measure that if approved would allow a card club to be built in the city.

Opponents of Proposition A outnumbered supporters by a 4-1 margin at the city's senior center last week.

Most of the opponents objected to placing the club 200 yards from South El Monte High School and cited concerns about crime. Representatives of San Gabriel Valley Enterprises, which proposed building the club, countered by passing out an artist's rendering and literature depicting the club as a Mission-style building with restaurants, a coffee shop and meeting rooms separated from the school by a grassy area and row of shrubs.

The club would be built on 21 acres of open land on the west side of Santa Anita Avenue, just South of the Pomona (60) Freeway. Company representatives also guaranteed that the city would receive a cut of the club's gross revenues. But opponents said no formal agreement had been signed.

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