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Opinion: Thoughts on Three Problems Monrovia Could Address

Not that anybody asked me, but since it's election time I'd like to outline a few problems that I believe the Monrovia city government should address:

1. Wildlife. Bears, coyotes, and even mountain lions are increasingly common in our streets, and they're moving further and further south into the heart of the city and they're becoming bolder and bolder. As people who have lost pets can attest, their presence can be a problem. Just a few days ago I encountered a bear casually walking right towards me in the middle of the street. It edged off the street as it approached me, but unlike years ago, it did not run away at full speed,. I suspect the next step will be for bears to become inquisitive, "Are you planning to eat all of that sandwich?" The only solution I've heard proposed is for people to "haze" coyotes - try to scare them. This may have worked at one time, but it does not anymore. Charge a coyote and it will just edge a bit away and continue on its way. I don't want to kill or injure our wild animals, but I want them in the hills, not town. Maybe shooting rubber bullets at them would persuade them to leave.

2. Sacramento has increasingly usurped control of matters that were once decided locally, and I wonder if the time hasn't come for cities to band together and take the state government to court to try to block some of its intrusive rules. For example, many people have been complaining about the size of developments in town, but a lot of the zoning for California cities has been overruled by the state government, which is allowing much denser development than cities have traditionally allowed. I'm not talking here about whether higher density is good or bad, I'm just saying that zoning was once controlled by local governments, but now Sacramento has taken over a lot of it. Maybe it's time to fight back.

3. Even if the drought ends, we are having more and more development and so we may continue to be short on water. The city is now fining people for using too much water, but I wonder if a positive approach might be worth trying. Just off the top of my head: Could Monrovia hire a landscape designer to come up with maybe 10 or 12 low-water landscape designs that would fit many of the standard front yards in town? And maybe the city could buy the plants for these designs in bulk? The idea being to minimize the cost to homeowners to install low-water landscaping by letting them use a standard plan for free with plants the city could provide at bulk-rate cost. Another thought: Should the city encourage gray-water systems (plumbing to use, say, shower water, to water outside plants) in new homes, or encourage retrofitting homes with gray-water systems?

Just a few thoughts...

- Brad Haugaard


  1. Those are some very interesting questions. I think it’s definitely time that we sue the state for infringing on our local Ordinances!

  2. I like the 3rd idea

    1. Current practice by SoCal waste water management folks actively discourage grey water systems by deliberately NOT adopting/advising on rules how homeowners can properly implement such a system for their respective property.