One Mile Square and All There – Covina – San Gabriel Valley Real Estate

Covina

Covina (Photo credit: Fire Monkey Fish)

Covina is a small city about 22 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley region.  The population as of the 2010 census was 47,796.  The city was only (some say slightly less than) one square mile, making it the smallest city in area in the country, hence the city’s slogan, “One Mile Square and All There.”  In spite of that, there are eight parks in the city.

Covina is often confused with West Covina which is larger in both area and population, located to its south and westside.  Covina was incorporated in 1901.  It would be orange and grapefruit trees, not vineyards, that would soon blanket the area and make it famous.  By 1909, the city was the third largest orange producer in the world, and it still claimed to have “the best oranges in the world” as late as the 1950s.  Since World War II, however, the orange groves have been largely replaced by single family and multiple family dwellings.

The Covina Valley Historical Society maintains an extensive archive illustrating the city’s history in the 1911-built Firehouse Jail Museum, Covina’s first municipal building, located immediately behind City Hall in Covina’s Old Town.

Today, Covina claims to have the largest movie multiplex in Los Angeles County.  The Covina AMC 30, located at Arrow Hwy. and Azusa Ave., opened in 1997,  was one of the busiest theatres in America.  The movie theater was built on the site of a former Sears building.

2008 marked both the opening as well as charter season of the Covina Center for the Performing Arts, a newly remodeled multimillion dollar theatrical venue in downtown Covina.

Covina has a total of eight parks in its one mile square area.  For more information, please go visit their webpage.

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The City of Trees and Ph.D.’s – Claremont – San Gabriel Valley Real Estate

Claremont, California

Claremont, California (Photo credit: Snap Man)

Claremont is a small, affluent town approximately 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.   As of the 2010 census, the population is 34,926.  Claremont is known for its many educational institutions, its tree-lined streets, and its historic buildings.  CNN/Money magazine rated it in July 2007 as the fifth best place to live in the United States, and was the highest rated place in California on the list.  Due to its large number of trees and residents with doctoral degrees, it is sometimes referred to as “The City of Trees and PhD’s.”

The city is primarily residential, with a significant portion of its commercial activity revolving around “The Village,” a popular collection of street-front small stores, boutiques, art galleries, offices, and restaurants adjacent to and west of the Claremont Colleges.  The Claremont Colleges are a prestigious American consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate schools of higher education.

A multi-use development in 2007 includes a cinema, a boutique hotel, retail space, offices, and a parking structure on the site of an old citrus packing plant just west of Indian Hill Boulevard.  Residential developments of large homes now dominated the northern portion of the city where once citrus groves and open space dominated.

Stone Canyon Preserve is one of the final residential tract developments in the north of the city, which started in 2003 as part of a complicated agreement between Pomona College and the City of Claremont.  This agreement also created a 1,740-acre Wilderness Park.  The northern, foothill area also includes the Padua Hills Theatre, a historic site constructed in 1930.

Claremont has been a winner of the National Arbor Day Association’s Tree City USA award for 22 consecutive years. When the city incorporated in 1907, local citizens started what has since become the city’s tree-planting tradition.  Claremont is one of the few remaining places in North America with American Elm trees that have not been exposed to Dutch elm disease.  The stately trees line Indian Hill Boulevard in the vicinity of the city’s Memorial Park.

Metrolink provides commuter train service to Claremont from the Claremont Metrolink Station. The station is on the San Bernardino Line, with trains traveling to Los Angeles and San Bernardino several times each day.

Find out more about Claremont here

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“Preserving Rural Tranquility” – Bradbury Homes – San Gabriel Valley Real Estate

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los A...

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Bradbury is a small, affluent residential/equestrian-oriented community of approximately 1,048 (at the 2010 census) at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains below Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County.  It is a General Law City operating under the City Council/City Manager form of government.  The City Manager oversees all city functions.   It has a small full-time staff and contracts for many of the services provided to its residents.

Bradbury is bordered on the west by the City of Monrovia and on the south and east by the City of Duarte.  The city has three distinct areas—the Bradbury Estates, which is a gated community consisting of 5-acre minimum estates; Woodlyn Lane, which is also a gated community with minimum 2-acre lots; and the balance of the city, which is not gated, which has lots generally ranging in size from 7,500 square feet to 1-acre .  A significant portion of the properties in Bradbury Estates and Woodlyn Lane are zoned for horses, and several horse ranches still exist within these communities today.

In 1957, while the City of Duarte was considered for incorporation, the Bradbury Estate Property Owners Association realized that if development continued at the same pace in Bradbury they would lose the ability to control their vision for the future of this special area.  These residents valued the unique foothills and were fearful that they would become victims to the bulldozers of tract developers.  To ease their fears and to control their vision for the future the residents of the Bradbury Estates joined with property owners located within the area, surrounded by Woodlyn Lane, Bradbury Hills Road, Royal Oaks Drive North, Mount Olive Drive and Lemon Avenue, to generate the 500 minimum number of registered voters required to create a new unincorporated City.  The incorporation drive was successful and upon approval of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the City of Bradbury became a municipal corporation on July 26, 1957.

Now Bradbury faces similar challenges.  On October 18, 2011, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 322 to impose a Utility Users’ Tax to pay for continued and increasing costs pushed onto the City by the Federal and State Government, to remain an independent city and keep local control.  Otherwise, Bradbury could:

  • Become a minor neighborhood of Duarte or Monrovia;
  • Be given to LA County as an unincorporated area, faceless and without representation; or
  • Be handed a fate determined solely by Sacramento.Keeping local control would mean:
  • Power over services and standards of the community
  • Ensures tax money goes directly to the community
  • Ensures the needs of the community are met and addressed at City Hall
  • Ability to call City Hall for code enforcement concerns
  • Ability to get building permits at City Hall instead of downtown LA
  • Preserves homeowners’ property values
  • Maintains decisions about land use policy at their local City Council and not in downtown Los Angeles.

The City of Bradbury continues to fight to preserve its uniqueness – its rural tranquility.  Visit their webpage here.

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Baldwin Park – Baldwin Park Homes – San Gabriel Valley Real Estate

Baldwin Park in LA County map

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Baldwin Park is a city located in the central San Gabriel Valley region.  It began as part of cattle grazing land belonging to the San Gabriel Mission.  It eventually became part of the Rancho Azusa de Dalton and the Rancho La Puente properties. The community became known as Vineland in 1860.  By 1906 it changed to Baldwin Park. It was named after Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin. In 1956 Baldwin Park became the 47th incorporated city in the State of California.

Baldwin Park is home to the first In-N-Out burger stand, opened on October 22, 1948.  It was the first drive-thru in California and was replaced in November 2004 with a new building. The new In-N-Out University and company store opened in 2006 on Francisquito Avenue.  Also, the company’s sole meatpacking plant is located down the street from the locations at the company headquarters on Hamburger Lane.

Currently the city is pushing to revitalize its economic base. There are six active Project Redevelopment Areas located in strategic areas of the city.  Projects within these redevelopment areas are as diverse, including high-quality senior housing, Home Depot, Starbucks, Harley Davidson, a transit oriented district (TOD) near the Metrolink Train Station and various other thriving businesses.

There are 23 schools within the Baldwin Park Unified School District. The budget is well over $100 million.  Currently the district is building new school structures to accommodate growth. The district is adopting data driven strategies to help students achieve better scores in the API tests.  There is an active push by the district to hire new teachers while providing retirement incentives for teachers who wish to retire.

For up-to-date information on what is going on in the city, you can access Baldwin Park Now Spring 2012 news magazine

and archives of earlier issues here.  The Winter/Spring Recreation and Community Services magazine 2012 includes information on recreational programs, city transit, city parks, city facilities, schools and other points of interest.

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The Canyon City – Azusa Real Estate – Azusa Homes for Sale

Azusa City Hall, 213 Foothill Blvd., Azusa, Ca...

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Azusa is a city located at the entrance to the San Gabriel Canyon (hence the city’s nickname, The Canyon City) and on the east side of the San Gabriel River.  An old Jack Benny joke suggested that it is a compaction of the phrase “everything from A to Z in the USA.”  But Azusa originally referred to the San Gabriel Valley and river, and the name likely came from the Tongva place name Asuksagna.

The rugged mountains and foothills of the San Gabriel Canyon serves as a diverse and spectacular back drop to the city, and provides a destination for recreation, mountain biking, hiking, and fishing.

You’ll find living in Azusa a friendly experience, meeting personalities through community churches, local schools and civic events.  Azusa is an excellent place to raise a family.  The ambiance is that of a small community with strong historical roots.

You can go here for information about demographics, schools and many other information.
Azusa’s official website offers information about the history of Azusa, community development, government resources, doing business in Azusa, different city services, recreation and opportunities.  If you like the outdoors, you will enjoy the link on hiking trails and fishing holes in the San Gabriel Canyon as well as the San Gabriels and beyond.

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Where Ranch and City Meet – Arcadia Real Estate – Arcadia Homes for Sale

Wander, Wander Arcadia: Peakuh?

Wander, Wander Arcadia: Peakuh? (Photo credit: http://www.jeremylim.ca)

Arcadia is approximately 13 miles (21 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley and at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.  Arcadia is part of a cluster of cities, along with Temple City, Rosemead, Monterey Park, San Marino, and San Gabriel, in the west San Gabriel Valley with a growing Asian population.  It is the site of the Santa Anita Park racetrack and home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.  The city had a population of 56,364 at the 2010 census, up from 53,248 at the 2000 census.  In 2010, Bloomberg BusinessWeek named Arcadia as one of the “Best Places to Raise Your Kids: 2010” for the second year in a row.

Arcadia’s beginnings go back over 3,000 years to the Tongva/Gabrielino Native American settlement.  Arcadia: Where Ranch and City Meet is a comprehensive and  excellent history of Arcadia, written by Pat McAdam and Sandy Snider.  It has long been out of print but is now digitized and available here.

“Not an old-fashioned dates-and-names sort of history but a ‘people’ story with all the color and ‘magic’ of the human spirit as it moved into and through this fast moving corner of the world.  It is the story of a vast 19th century California ranch, dependent almost entirely for its existence on the food it could grow so abundantly there, and also of the vicissitudes, pushes and pulls, gives and takes, dreams and realities that go into the making of a modern, high quality suburban city.  Here one can live again the story of Victoria, the
Indian from San Gabriel Mission, and her husband, the Scottish Hugo Reid, who made the first modern impact on the land, on up to E. J. (Lucky) Baldwin whose money, drive and dream made Santa Anita the show place of the San Gabriel Valley.  In these pages the story of Arcadia comes alive.  You can witness again the bitter battles over saloons and bawdy houses, over the race track and gambling, its emergence from a scattered area of
small ranches and chicken coops into a modern city of subdivisions comparable to the finest in the world,”  F. Harold Roach wrote in his Introduction to the book.

For information about living in Arcadia, click here.

For a copy of the 2012 City Calendar, click here.

For Arcadia’s Spring 2012 Newsletter, click here.

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Alhambra – The Gateway to San Gabriel Valley – San Gabriel Valley Real Estate

The City of Alhambra has a wonderful combination of housing, business, employment and recreational opportunities.  This enabled Alhambra to achieve its vision of serving as the premiere family-oriented and economically prosperous community in the San Gabriel Valley.

English: a welcome sign sr:Слика:Alhambra

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Alhambra has many historic homes with charming good looks, fine design and excellence in workmanship.  You will find classic styles such as Craftsman, Bungalow, Spanish Mediterranean, Spanish Colonial, Italian Beaux-Arts, and Arts & Crafts.  Alhambra is today, as it was in early advertising, an elegant “City of Homes” in the heart of the famous San Gabriel Valley between Los Angeles and Pasadena.”

Today, the City of Alhambra has over 30,000 housing units including:

Fun, family-oriented activities are always taking place in and around Alhambra.  Check out the calendar of events here.  Don’t miss these March events:

Sat., March 3-Sat., March 24 – “Look at This, Look at That: A Tribute to Dr. Seuss” at the Nucleus Gallery. Sun-Thurs: 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Fri-Sat: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Over 35 artists will pay homage to Dr. Seuss, one of the most renowned children’s book writers and illustrators. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Location: 210 E. Main St., Alhambra 91801. For more information, call 626-458-7477, or visit www.gallerynucleus.com.

Sunday, March 11 – Alhambra Certified Farmer’s Market: Free Children’s Craft: “Lucky Shamrock Lapel Pin” – 9 a.m.-11 a.m. The Alhambra Certified Farmer’s Market becomes the perfect family outing as children ages 12 years and younger have an opportunity to create a craft “masterpiece” while you shop for fresh California-grown fruits and vegetables. There is a limit of one craft per child, and all crafts are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. All crafts and supplies are provided free of charge. The Alhambra Certified Farmer’s Market takes place each Sunday, on Monterey Street, 1 block east of Garfield, ½ block south of Main Street. For more information, call 626-570-5081 during weekday business hours.

Saturday, March 17 – Family Excursion: “Taste of Solvang”– 8 a.m.-7 p.m. The Alhambra Community Services Department offers a unique family outing to Solvang with a full day of shopping, dining and exploring. The “Walking Smorgasbord” features 40+ taste stops around the quaint European village. Fee: $40 (all ages welcome). Register by phone (626-570-3242), fax (626-284-0310) or in person at the Alhambra Park Office, 500 N. Palm Ave., Alhambra, CA 91801.

The City of Alhambra Community Services Department offers a wide variety of leisure service programs and activities to suit a variety of interests, ages, cultures and abilities.  The Alhambra After-School Playground program enables participants to take part in team & individual sports (baseball, basketball, badminton, bowling, cheerleading, flag football, dance, drill team), and alternative activities (arts & crafts, table game tournaments, four square, kickball, and other games).  Participants can come and go without restriction.  (Sites may be closed in case of rain.)

Free play activities at the Almansor Park Gym include Adult Volleyball Leagues, Adult Basketball Leagues, Table Tennis, Open Play Badminton, Open Play Volleyball and Open Play Teen Basketball.  Activities at the Granada Park Gym include Table Tennis.  The schedule at the gym may change due to facility rentals and special events.  For specific scheduling of activities, view the City of Alhambra Leisure Activities Guide

Alhambra is truly a great place to live and raise a family.

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