Baldwin Park Mixed Use Controversy

It looks like Baldwin Park is facing a situation similar to Alhambra, only even more extreme. The character of these mixed used projects is different from the mixed-use we're seeing in Rosemead today. Look at the map! It's HUGE!


Baldwin Park Citizens Against Eminent Domain

For Immediate Release – Thursday, November 15, 2007

Baldwin Park CA – Home and Business Owners to protest at wine tasting event hosted by Century City based Bisno Development

WHO: Baldwin Park Citizens Against Eminent Domain, a group of concerned homeowners and concerned residents who have organized to educate Baldwin Park citizens of the intent of Bisno Development to seize their property and businesses through eminent domain to make way for a new community that will accommodate young wealthy professionals. Residents are concerned by the public comments made by Councilwoman Marlen Garcia who stated at the Council meeting of September 19, 2007, that anyone who was not in agreement could “go to TJ (Tijuana).” Councilman Anthony Bejarano, when asked at the same meeting where the current occupants of the area would go, he replied “they can go to East Los Angeles.

WHAT: Homeowners and concerned residents will protest Bisno Development-hosted Wine Tasting event designed to sell local Chamber of Commerce members on a 125-acre development project without warning of eminent domain dangers. The 125-acre development, to be located in the heart of Baldwin Park, has identified the demolition of hundreds of homes and businesses. The demolition will make way for a mixed use project proposed by Century City-based Bisno Development.

WHEN: 6:00p.m. – 9:00p.m., Thursday, November 15, 2007

WHERE: Bisno Development Inc., 4153 N. Maine Avenue, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (at Ramona Blvd.)
BACKGROUND: Baldwin Park home and business owners have united as “Baldwin Park Citizens Against Eminent Domain” to fight the proposed demolition of 125 acres to make way for a mixed use development proposed by Century City-based Bisno Development. The developer has launched an aggressive community outreach campaign to gain support from Baldwin Park citizens, particularly targeting senior citizens and community organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Club and others. Among their community outreach tactics targeting senior citizens and other organizations includes the sponsoring/hosting of such things as a turkey dinner at the senior center on November 14, 2007 and Chamber of Commerce events to promote their proposed 125-acre project.

Bisno Development has hired political strategist Ricardo Monroy as their Vice President of Public Affairs. Mr. Monroy, a former political strategist to Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and others, has been aggressively selling the residents of Baldwin Park empty dreams and promises of prosperity. Through Mr. Monroy, the developer has showcased several renderings of his proposed project, highlighting promised amenities and services that will be offered by the new project.
Baldwin Park City Council has made numerous accommodations for Bisno Development the following are only a few actions taken:

On February 7, 2007 they approved an amendment to their Exclusive Negotiating Ageement (ENA) to fast track the entitlement process in an effort to beat the impending 2008 legislation; if passed by California voters the legislation will limit eminent domain action.

August 1, 2007 At Bisno’s request City Council approves amendments to Section 153.315 through 153.316.5 of the City’s Municipal Code which modifies the Redevelopment Area Overlay (RDAO) criteria to allow “redevelopment” related office uses; previous overlay prohibited new offices as a land use within the City’s RDAO Area. Former Councilmember Olivas inquired about the validity and verbiage of the ordinance and if whether or not other businesses such as anti-redevelopment groups could conceivably locate within the targeted zones. City Attorney Stephanie Scher responded that the ordinace as written met the Council’s goals of certain uses.