Jul 28, 2014
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Residents Demand Improvements to Local Historical Cemetery

Residents are hoping Monrovia Nursery developer City Ventures will meet their requests to help protect the nearby Fairmount Cemetery.

Residents Demand Improvements to Local Historical Cemetery

Members of S.O.S. Glendora, a group of concerned residents regarding the Monrovia Nursery development, have requested that City Ventures, LLC, the project’s developers, consider making several improvements to Fairmount Cemetery as part of the building plan to ensure that the cemetery is protected from potential trespassers and vandalism.

“Kids are always going up there and having parties,” said Doug Boyd, Glendora resident and cemetery trustee. “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve discovered trash left behind by trespassers, graves that have been defaced.”

The cemetery has significant historical meaning to both Glendora and Azusa. It was used as the area’s burial ground from the mid to late 19th century. More than 200 of the area’s early pioneers are interred in the cemetery, including veterans from the Civil and Spanish American wars.

Of the improvements cemetery trustees have requested from City Ventures include a six foot decorative block wall along Citrus Avenue near the future Gold Line station; a retaining wall on the east side of the cemetery; water, electricity and lighting for the cemetery grounds, and a monument sign on the southern base near the future development.

Cemetery trustee members believe the improvements will help keep out trespassers, a nuisance they say will increase with the number of new residents slated to move in to the nearby developments. Members say developers should be able to accommodate the input and concerns of local residents, especially regarding the well-being of a local landmark.

But city officials say under the Specific Plan, the developer, nor the city, are obligated to supply these improvements for the cemetery.

Planning Manager Dianne Walter said during a Sept. 4 planning commission meeting, the developer and city have done everything they can to make improvements to the cemetery, including adding a perimeter fence and drainage devices around the cemetery.

However, Walter said under the Specific Plan, the developer is not obligated to make the requested changes.

Still, cemetery trustee members and members of S.O.S. Glendora, attended the Sept. 4 planning commission meeting hoping that the commission would vote to include those improvements in the Specific Plan.

While those requests were not met, City Ventures representatives were granted an extension for the Monrovia Nursery project. They requested that several landscaping improvements be done during the fourth phase of construction rather than the first phase as initially planned, among other changes.

“It was like they’re saying, ‘We’re not going to do more than what the Specific Plan makes us do,’” said Boyd.  “They'll make changes that are favorable to them. But when it comes to us residents, they can’t make changes that’s favorable to us.”

City officials said cemetery trustees and the developer can discuss possible improvements to the cemetery as an agreement between the two parties.

“This does not preclude the developer from working with the cemetery to provide these items if the two parties agree,” said Walter.

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