City officials and consultants fielded questions about traffic, amenities, and street improvements Tuesday night at an open house for the planned $25 million Station Square project.
Monrovia hosted the event at the Knights of Columbus Hall to give a presentation on the project and to get feedback from residents about any concerns they might have.
"This is really for you, not for us," said Jerry Penrose, a consultant with IBI Group. "So, your input is very important."
Several boards were posted up where residents could use sticky notes to share how significant the historic depot is to Station Square and help the city prioritize amenities they would like to see.
Bike share, shade, sustainable plants and greenery, and retail food and beverage options were among the amenities with the most Post-It notes.
The city hopes to have the Station Square project done by the time Gold Line construction is done in 2015.
Penrose discussed two preliminary plans for the site. One of those would include a transit plaza, a depot promenade, a neighborhood park, and an area for commercial development. In the second plan, the commercial aspect is scaled down.
Also included in the plans is 22-foot-wide trail that starts at Magnolia and goes to Myrtle and would accommodate pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists and a neighborhood park.
One resident asked about traffic concerns at an already-busy Myrtle and Duarte.
Community Development Director Steve Sizemore said that staff has studied that intersection and is looking into possibly widening Myrtle on the west side and sychronizing signals to help at that spot.
Sizemore also said that property values will go up as a result of the train station and that public art is planned for the site. He also said that Metro plans to visit neighboring Santa Fe Middle School about six months before the train station opens to do outreach on safety.
The city also is looking into rerouting truck traffic near the station and the feasibility of installing left turn signals on Myrtle and other streets around the station.
Staff answered a question about the cost and who is paying. Sizemore said funding for the project is coming from federal funds, state grants, and Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority and Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority money.
"The city's not spending any money on the project," he said.
Also discussed was potential uses for the historic depot building.
Sizemore said the city is studying uses, adding that it will cost $1 to $1.5 million to restore the building.
The city is looking at what commercial uses might come in and do the work without costing Monrovia money, he said. He pointed to restaurant uses similar to the depots in the cities of Orange and Pasadena as examples.
With the planned 2015 opening of the Gold Line light rail, the City of Monrovia has been busy planning and pursuing funding for a new public improvements in the Station Square Planning Area.
City officials have said that Station Square will be the largest public works project in the city's history.
Alexis Newell, city spokeswoman, said Monrovia is aiming to finish the project in conjunction with the start of service on the Gold Line. The city plans to break ground in 2014, she said.
Residents will be kept informed about the project, with information posted on the city's website at CityofMonrovia.org/community development, she added.
Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said she "could not be more excited" that the Station Square project is getting underway. Community input is key, she said.
"What we want is for people to come off the Gold Line and know they are in Monrovia," she said, "and know this is the place to be."