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Wilderness Park, Foothill upgrades on tap for next council meeting

The Claremont City Council will meet for the first time this year to discuss a longstanding topic of debate: the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. Plans surrounding the park and its upgraded parking facilities are just one of many items that will keep councilmembers busy this Tuesday, January 8.

The council will vote to officially adopt new hours of operation for the Wilderness Park and its associated parking lots. The council approved 12 sets of rotating park hours at its last meeting in December. Hours will rotate based on the year’s fluctuating dawn and dusk times. The park will be open as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 8:30 a.m. in the summer months, with hours ranging from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the fall and winter. Operating hours of the Thompson Creek Trail will remain the same, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The parking lot hours will correspond with those times.

Trying to make the park available to the public as much as possible while heeding noise and safety concerns, the council says the new set of flexible hours, though numerous, present the best solution for both sides.

The council will also evaluate what should be done with street parking near the crowded park. Following the completion of the expanded north parking lot, the city is suggesting that parking be restricted along Mills Avenue north of Pomello and on Mt. Baldy Road from Mills to Via Padova. The city is also suggesting the council approve the creation of a master plan to more thoroughly handle the Wilderness Loop’s overarching parking issues to ensure problems aren’t relocated to a different street.

 

Foothill Boulevard makeover

Creating a master plan for the enhancement of Foothill Boulevard will also be discussed. After years of negotiations, Caltrans relinquished Claremont’s portion of Foothill Boulevard last August. Along with the rights to the street, the city was given $5.7 million to make necessary repairs and enhancements. The city is asking for the council to approve the use of $350,000 to conduct immediate, needed repairs while also asking for approval to conduct a search for a consulting team capable of conducting the master plan.

Other administrative matters on Tuesday night’s agenda include adopting a city policy regarding social media, amending the city’s sewer policy to include the unincorporated areas of Claremont and establishing an ordinance to enter into a franchise agreement with the Southern California Gas Company to allow use of the city’s public right-of-ways to provide natural gas services.

The council will evaluate the performance of City Manager Tony Ramos in closed session before the regular council meeting. Those who wish to speak on the evaluation may do so before the council adjourns into closed session at 5:15 p.m. The regular meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. View the council’s full agenda at www.ci.claremont.ca.us.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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