La Verne

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City of La Verne Budget Efficiency Strategies Implemented to Reduce Costs and Improve Fiscal Stability

Over the last 10 years the City has taken the following actions to shrink expenses and improve fiscal stability:

  • Reduced staffing levels by 10 full time employees, including 7 positions at the management/administrative level
  • Worked cooperatively with employee labor groups to institute the following:
    • Employee contributions towards their retirement costs
    • Suspended all median salary adjustments since 2017
    • Reduce medical insurance coverages for new hires
  • Reduced retirement benefits for employees hired after 2014 in accordance with PEPRA
  • Merged operational areas for cost efficiencies, such as folding parks maintenance into the public works department
  • Installed solar panels throughout city facilities for greater energy efficiency
  • Purchased street lights and converted to LED technology
  • Hired a grants management consultant to help identify and pursue new funding sources for major projects
  • Improved the city’s investment strategy to increase the city’s return on investment for idle cash balances
  • Renegotiated contracts with various service providers
  • Extended service life of city owned vehicles
  • Contracted jail services with the City of Pomona
  • Improved collection practices for annual business licenses
  • Adopted the 2018 Fiscal Sustainability Plan to further reduce costs and increase revenues, which included such things as:
    • Contracting for street sweeping services,
    • Issuance of a pension obligation bond,
    • Implementing full cost recovery from utilities
    • Negotiating a new waste hauling contract
        

In addition to cost containment measures, the City has actively pursued new opportunities for revenue enhancement including:

  • Economic development marketing resulting in new developments such as Gilead Sciences
  • Downtown revitalization efforts, which have increased restaurant sales threefold
  • Leasing of underutilized infrastructure and facilities

La Verne Funding Measure FAQ

How do residents rate the quality of life in the City La Verne?

The City of La Verne consistently ranks among the best places to live, raise a family and retire. Safe neighborhoods, community parks and quality local schools make La Verne a desirable community, which creates demand for local homes and keeps property values strong. 

A recent resident survey found that more than nine-in-ten respondents share favorable opinions of the quality of life in La Verne. La Verne is one of the few cities in Los Angeles County with its own Police and Fire Departments, which means our police officers, firefighters and paramedics are available when needed. Fast emergency response to 911 calls saves lives.

      

What is the state of the City’s finances?

Over the past decade, the City of La Verne’s revenues have not kept pace with rising costs required to maintain city services and facilities. The City has been proactive in responding to this challenge by reducing expenses wherever feasible and enhancing revenues. Despite extensive cost-saving measures, La Verne’s current and projected revenue growth are insufficient to maintain current service levels into the future. Without added revenues, the prospect of maintaining City services at current levels is uncertain.
   

What has La Verne done to control costs and improve its fiscal stability?

The City implemented a set of budget control measures more than 10 years ago and it has continued those practices ever since. For example, the City as a whole has fewer employees than it did in 2008 and administrative costs are less than the average of neighboring cities. In fact, 90% of City of La Verne expenditures are directed to providing services to residents. In addition, the City has merged operational areas for cost efficiencies, worked cooperatively with employee groups to shift certain retirement costs to employees, and maximized its ability to generate additional revenues without increasing taxes. For a detailed list of budget efficiencies implemented or planned, visit: www.cityoflaverne.org/lvfundingmeasure.
   

What actions has the City taken to increase revenues without increasing taxes?

In addition to cost containment measures, the City has actively pursued new opportunities for revenue enhancement including:

  • Economic development marketing resulting in new developments such as Gilead Sciences
  • Downtown revitalization efforts, which have increased restaurant sales threefold
  • Leasing of underutilized infrastructure and facilities
           

What does the City’s budget challenge mean for maintaining public safety services?

To attract and retain the best employees, including our own police officers and firefighters, La Verne has historically maintained a policy of compensating staff at the median of other comparable cities in our local area. Without additional revenue, this policy will no longer be possible, and La Verne will either have to reduce service levels or potentially lose police officers and firefighters to neighboring communities that offer better pay.
   

What is the state of roads, buildings and other public areas in La Verne?

La Verne’s aging infrastructure – including alleyways, streets, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, fields, courts and playgrounds – requires repairs and upgrades. The longer the City waits to complete these repairs, the more expensive the work will become due to ongoing deterioration and cost escalation. Current City revenues and reserves are insufficient to address these needs while maintaining existing service levels.
   

What options are being considered to protect City services?

In addition to continued budget efficiencies, the City Council must consider additional revenue sources to protect existing service levels. Today, nearly all of the sales tax revenue generated in La Verne goes to the State of California or the County of Los Angeles. To protect and improve the quality of essential city services and infrastructure and to keep more of our local sales tax dollars here in La Verne, the City Council has unanimously supported consideration of a local funding measure, in the form of a ¾ cent sales tax, on the ballot in the March 2020 election.
  

How would this measure impact the City of La Verne’s sales tax compared with neighboring cities?

This proposal would increase La Verne’s sales by 0.75 percent, placing it at the same rate currently held by a number of neighboring cities within LA County. Several other communities are also considering an increase including Azusa, Claremont, and Duarte.


   

Does La Verne receive all sales tax generated in the city?

Currently, La Verne only receives a 1% share of the current 9.5% sales tax, so nearly all sales tax revenue generated in our city goes directly to the State, L.A. County, or other taxing entities such as Metro. A local sales tax measure would provide necessary funding to protect and improve the quality of essential city services and infrastructure and keep more of our local sales tax dollars in La Verne for La Verne services.

How would funds from a local sales tax measure be spent?

If approved by La Verne voters, the measure would authorize a ¾ cent sales tax, generating approximately $3.1 million annually, with 100% of this revenue staying in La Verne to:

  • Attract and retain high-quality police officers, 911 dispatchers and firefighter/paramedics to maintain rapid emergency response
  • Maintain and enhance police services, including neighborhood police patrols and investigations
  • Maintain and improve local streets and sidewalks, repair potholes and keep public areas clean and free of graffiti
  • Prevent gang activity and drug related crimes
  • Maintain and improve parks and recreation facilities, including courts, fields, pools and playgrounds
       

Could funds from this measure be taken away by the State?

No. By law, all funds generated by a local funding measure must be used locally for public services and infrastructure. The measure would require a clear system of accountability, including:

  • An independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee to ensure funds are spent as promised
  • All funds subject to mandatory annual independent audit and reports to the community
  • A requirement that no funds can be taken by the State, the County or other cities
  • Food, medicine and other essential purchases are exempt from sales tax
        

How much would this measure cost?

The  proposed increase would mean an additional 75 cents on a $100.00 taxable purchase, $7.50 on a $1,000.00 purchase. Essential purchases, including rent, utilities, groceries, and prescription medicine are exempt from sales tax.
   

How does this proposal relate to the schools in our community?

Public education in La Verne is provided by the Bonita Unified School District (BUSD).  This measure is not associated with BUSD nor will it support public school programs.
   

Does the sales tax proposal impact my water or sewer rates?

No. The city’s water and sewer operations are operated as enterprise funds. Both utilities are funded solely through their respective rates and fees. Neither receives any support from the city’s General Fund.
    

When would this measure appear on the ballot?

The City Council will be meeting on November 18, 2019 to review and potentially place a measure on the March 2020 municipal election ballot. The public is invited to attend the meeting, held at 6:30 pm at City Council Chambers, 3660 "D" Street, La Verne, CA 91750.
    

We welcome your input. As the City finalizes a local funding proposal, the public is invited to share to share opinions and priorities to help shape the final proposal. To provide your input or for more information, please contact City Manager’s office at 909-596-8725, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

La Verne Funding Measure

Protecting Quality of Life in La Verne and Keeping Tax Dollars Local

The City of La Verne consistently ranks among the best places to live, raise a family and retire. Safe neighborhoods, community parks and quality local schools make La Verne a desirable community, which creates demand for local homes and keeps property values strong. To help preserve our outstanding quality of life, the La Verne City Council is currently considering options to maximize funding for our local community to protect and improve essential public services.
   

Locally Supported Police, Fire and Paramedic Services

La Verne is a full-service community providing a range of services from public safety to community services, which means our police officers, firefighters and paramedics are available when we need them. Fast emergency response to 911 calls saves lives. 

In addition to maintaining public safety and other essential services, keeping our city streets, parks and other public areas safe and clean is also important for protecting our quality of life and property values.
   

Responsible Budgeting for a Better Future

Over the past decade, the City of La Verne’s revenues have not kept pace with rising costs required to maintain city services and facilities. The City has been proactive in responding to this challenge by reducing costs wherever feasible without impacting services. Details about our Fiscal Sustainability Plan and more information about our budget can be found on the Resources sidebar on the right.
   

Strengthening the City Budget to Maintain Vital City Services and Infrastructure

Existing city revenues will not support the quality and level of service that residents have come to expect, despite budget efficiency measures already in place. For example, to attract and retain the best police officers and firefighters, La Verne has historically maintained a policy of compensating public safety staff at the levels competitive with comparable cities. Without additional revenue, this policy will no longer be possible, and La Verne will either have to reduce service levels or lose police officers and firefighters to neighboring communities that offer better pay.
   

Keeping La Verne Tax Dollars Local to Protect and Improve Local Services

Currently, nearly all sales tax revenue generated in La Verne goes to the State or L.A. County. To protect and improve the quality of essential city services and infrastructure and to keep more of our local sales tax dollars here in La Verne, the City Council has unanimously supported consideration of a local funding measure on the ballot in the March 2020 election. If approved by La Verne voters, the measure would authorize a ¾ cent sales tax, generating approximately $3.1 million annually, with 100% of this revenue staying in La Verne to:

  • Attract and retain high-quality police officers, 911 dispatchers and firefighter/paramedics to maintain rapid emergency response
  • Maintain and enhance police services, including neighborhood police patrols and investigations
  • Maintain and improve local streets and sidewalks, repair potholes and keep public areas clean and free of graffiti
  • Prevent gang activity and drug related crimes
  • Maintain and improve parks and recreation facilities, including courts, fields, pools and playgrounds
       

Mandatory Fiscal Accountability

The proposed local funding measure would require a clear system of accountability, including an independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee to ensure funds are spent as promised per approved spending guidelines and annual independent audits. No funds could be taken by the State, the County or other cities. Food, medicine and other essential purchases are exempt from sales tax.
   

We welcome your input. As the City finalizes a local funding proposal, the public is invited to share opinions and priorities to help shape the final proposal. To provide your input or ask questions, please contact the City Manager’s office at (909) 596-8725 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Questions and Responses Regarding Sierra La Verne Country Club Closure

(Last edited October 31, 2019)

  1. When was the Country Club built?

RESPONSE | The Sierra La Verne Country Club originally opened in 1978 as a 9-hole course open to the public; however became a private, members only 18-hole Country Club circa 1988.

  1. Has the Country Club always been under the same owner?

RESPONSE | No. City records identify change of ownership circa 1988, 1993, 2014, and 2016. 

  1. When is the Country Club anticipated to close?

RESPONSE | A notice was provided to members of the Country Club of the impending closure set for July 21 at 5:00 pm. Members of the Country Club shared this notice with City staff.

  1. Why is the Golf Course Closing?

RESPONSE | As part of the purchasing of the property in 2016, the  property owner (Sol Long Term Investment Trust, LLC) leased the golf course and country club to Zaruka Investment Properties, which ran the country club and golf course until January of 2019. At that point, Western Golf was brought in to manage the golf course, and see if there were changes that could occur to make the business profitable. According to the owner, since taking over the golf course operations, the golf course manager applied strategies to try and increase membership, but has not seen a large enough increase for the golf course to be sustainable into the future. In addition, the amount of water required to keep the course green has become too costly to overcome. In short, the golf course continues to lose money, and as a result is closing their doors. 

Overall, the current golf course operators are not interested in continuing to operate the golf course and the property owners have been unsuccessful in locating another operator to take over. 

  1. When the Country Club closes will the wedding venue close also?

RESPONSE | No. The operator of the wedding venue is separate from the owner/operator of the Country Club facilities. City staff reached out to the owner of Wedgewood Weddings and the owner indicated to City Staff they have entered into a long-term lease (20-years) for the operations of the banquet facilities. The owner of Wedgewood Weddings has no intention of ceasing the wedding operations so long as it remains profitable.

  1. Can the property owner build housing on the site?

RESPONSE | Not under the current General Plan Land Use designation. The Sierra La Verne Country Club has a zoning designation of “A-1,” or Agriculture. The zoning designation would allow the construction of up to one single-family home for every parcel. The site is comprised of four parcels in total.

However, the General Plan land use designation for this site is “Open Space.” The Open Space designation includes city parks, utilities, easements, flood control channels, and some hillside designated areas. Housing is not listed and as such would be prohibited under the current land use designation.  

  1. Is there an application submitted to the City to develop the golf course?

RESPONSE | No. While an application for any type of development has not been submitted, City staff met with representatives of the golf course as early as August of 2016 and expressed they did not see a development path moving forward which staff could support.

  1. Does the City want to support an application to change the zoning and land use to allow development?

RESPONSE | The City of La Verne’s primary objective has always been to preserve the golf course. The same position was reiterated in letters dated August 14, 2018 and November 5, 2018.

Furthermore, City Staff contacted The Hoffman Company (representatives of the property owners) immediately after they released marketing material for the sale of the Sierra La Verne Country Club. During the discussion City Staff clarified the development of the Country Club into housing was not supported by Staff. Additionally, the marketing material appeared misleading as the current General Plan designation would not allow for residential development.

  1. What has the City done to stop the development of the property?

RESPONSE | The City cannot stop the submittal of a proposal for development of any private property within the City. Since August of 2016, City Staff made the property owner and Western Golf Properties aware of City Staff’s opposition to the development of the site, and have been focused on continuing to identify a path forward to keep the golf course open.  

  1. Does the City of La Verne have standards regarding the placement of chain-link fencing on the Country Club?

RESPONSE | The City of La Verne’s Municipal Code addresses walls and fences within the Hillside Development Overlay Zone; Chapter 18.68. In this chapter fences or walls shall provide an interesting streetscape. The municipal code does not have provisions which prohibit chain-link fencing city-wide.

In addition, the Community Development Director has made a determination requiring the proponent of any proposed fence or wall to apply for a Precise Plan Review due to the extensive length of fencing proposed.

  1. What kind of maintenance will be required for the property?

RESPONSE | The City does not have municipal code regulations which regulates dormant landscaping for vacated sites or buildings. However, the City does have regulations regarding nuisance conditions, and would hold the property owner to the same standards and requirement as any other property owner with a vacated site or building within the City.

  1. Will the property owner be required to remove dead trees on the site, due to potential fire hazard?

RESPONSE | Not unless the La Verne Fire Department determines said tree is within 200 feet of a structure and a fire hazard. First, City Staff believes it is important to point out there exists a number of mature trees located on the Sierra la Verne Golf Course. In fact, there are native oak trees which existed before the development of the golf course. These trees are well adapted to our local environment and should maintain both health and vigor into the future. Other trees throughout the course include, pine, eucalyptus, palm, and other varieties. Most of these trees have the canopy lifted and thinned so as not to provide obstructions on fairways. These trees are less receptive to ground fire transitioning into the canopy and spreading embers.

City Staff will work with the County’s Weed Abatement Program to provide annual weed abatement to the golf course property located adjacent to homes. Each year, City-wide abatement typically takes place in the late spring or early summer.

  1. What was the purpose of the workshop meetings between March and April with the potential developer, New Urban West, LLC?

RESPONSE | In short, to gather community input and understand community concerns and community interest regarding the potential closure of the Country Club. As a point of clarification, the developer, New Urban West, LLC has not disclosed to City Staff whether they are in escrow to purchase the property.

  1. Has this property owner managed other private Country Clubs in Southern California?

RESPONSE | Possibly. We have been informed that one of the ownership members has had interest in other golf course property(s), which were closed some time after acquisition.

  1. Once the golf course closes, can the owners restrict access on the Marshall Canyon Trail?

RESPONSE | No.  The portions of the trail that go up to the golf course are technically part of Los Angeles County’s Marshall Canyon Trail.  The City has already contacted the County to ensure that they also make sure that the trail remains accessible.

  1. Since the City is currently drafting an update to the General Plan, will the “Open Space” designation change?

RESPONSE | The draft update to the General Plan does not change the “Open Space” designation for the golf course.  This document is not final until the City Council approves it, but staff is not recommending any changes to this designation.

  1. What will happen to the ponds?

*UPDATE* (8/14/2019) RESPONSE | The Corporate Project Manager for Western Golf Properties recently stated there would be no immediate changes to the ponds. The water level of the two decorative ponds will continue to be monitored by the Corporate Project Manager, and will continue working with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife as well as the San Gabriel Valley Vector Control District regarding on-going compliance. We know Mosquito and Vector Control will need access to the ponds. Any reports on mosquitos should be made directly to Jason Farned at (626) 814-9466.

  1. What if a tree is dead on the golf course property?

RESPONSE | A dead tree is not automatically a code violation.  However, if the Fire Marshal were to determine that it is an immediate fire hazard (or is otherwise a safety risk), the City could require the removal of the tree. Issues regarding trees may be reported, with related photos, on the City’s website here: https://www.cityoflaverne.org/index.php/sierra-la-verne-country-club-activity-log.

  1. What if activity is observed on a Friday, weekend, or holiday when City Hall is closed?

RESPONSE | If something is actively happening (i.e. a fence is being installed, grading or other construction is occurring, or trespassing by others), please call the Police Department when City Hall is closed at (909) 596-1913.  If you want to report a potential violation that does not require immediate attention, you can submit it here: https://www.cityoflaverne.org/index.php/sierra-la-verne-country-club-activity-log.

  1. The golf course property currently has Conditional Use Permits for the two wireless communication (cell) towers.  Can these be revoked if there are violations on the property??

RESPONSE | The Conditional Use Permits for the cell towers have specific conditions related to the cell towers and not the maintenance of the golf course.  As such, these permits cannot be revoked if there are general violations on the property that are not directly related to the cell towers.

  1. What parties own the land that make up the golf course?

RESPONSE | Please see this map that shows property ownership:  pdf SLVCC Ownership Map (330 KB)

  1. *UPDATE* (8/27/19) What other agencies have the City of La Verne contacted regarding the golf course closure?

RESPONSE |  Even before the closure of the golf course the City Staff has been and continues to reach out to agencies to gather information and keep informed of aspects that might be of interest. The agencies contacted to-date includes the following:

    • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
    • California Water Boards
    • US Army Corp of Engineers | L.A. District
    • Senator Anthony Portantino Office
    • L.A. County Supervisor Katheryn Barger Office
    • Assembly Member Chris Holden’s Office
    • L.A. County Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures
    • L.A. County Parks & Recreation

    • San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District
    • Inland Valley Humane Society & S.P.C.A.
    • L.A. Department of Water and Power
    • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
    • City of Chino Hills | Vellano C.C.
    • City of San Ramon | San Ramon G.C.
    • San Diego County | Cotton Wood G.C.
    • City of Camarillo | Camarillo Springs G.C.
    • City of Escondido | Escondido C.C.
  1. *UPDATE* (10/31/19) Is there a proposal for a new cell tower to be built on the property?

RESPONSE | Yes, the City has received an application for a Verizon Wireless 4G Telecommunications Facility to be built near the clubhouse next to the two existing 4G towers (T-Mobile and Sprint share a tower and AT&T has a tower). This proposal required the approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and a Variance for the height of the tower . The Verizon tower is being proposed as the same height as the other towers, which also had to obtain a CUP and a Variance before they were built. The proposal is scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission at their December 11, 2019 meeting. Provided this date is kept, all property owners within 300’ of the property will be sent a notice of the public hearing during the last week in November. The staff report and plans will be available on the City’s website by December 5, 2019.

City Hall Information

AnnouncementsAddress & HoursPhone Numbers
City Manager Newsletter
General Plan Update
2018 La Verne Water Quality Report
2019 Summer/Fall Recreation Guide
Coyote Management Plan
City Hall
3660 D Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Monday-Thursday -- 8AM to 6PM
Fridays & Weekends -- Closed
1st & 3rd Mondays -- 8AM - 6:30PM
Administration 596-8726
Community Development 596-8706
Building 596-8713
Public Works 596-8741
Water Billing 596-8744
Community Services 596-8700
Community Center 596-8776
Finance 596-8716
Police 596-1913
Fire 596-5991
After Hours Emergency
    Water Service
282-7184
 
All phone numbers are in 909 area code

General Election Information

La Verne Funding Measure

 Video Tour of La Verne