Walnut, Mt. SAC Settle Project Lawsuits

Mt. SAC's monogram hill
By Jill Dolan

April 13, 2018 - 12:52 AM

The City of Walnut and Mt. San Antonio College have agreed to settlement terms outlined in a Memorandum of Agreement that will resolve the City’s pending lawsuits challenging Mt. SAC’s Physical Education and West Parcel Projects. The Memorandum outlines several items on these and other projects that have raised concerns with residents in the City within the past few years. The decision was made by the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees and the Walnut City Council at their respective closed session meetings on April 11, 2018, following much negotiation.

“The Walnut City Council and staff are dedicated to protecting the quality of life valued by residents in our community,” said City of Walnut Mayor Mary Su, “By settling the lawsuits, both parties have agreed to work together to ensure Mt. SAC is able to meet the needs of its students and campus operations, while the City is able to uphold the health, safety and quality of life for its residents.”

“Our focus is, and always has been, providing our students with a high-quality education in the best facilities as well as being environmentally responsible. We look forward to reestablishing a relationship of cooperation with our partners at City Hall,” said Mt. SAC Board President Dr. Manuel Baca.

In 2014, homeowners began voicing their concerns regarding the proposed parking structure and its proximity to existing residential development. Following the parking structure, new concerns from residents were brought forth regarding the proposed solar panels for the West Parcel Project. The City formally filed a lawsuit against the projects.

As part of the settlement, the City will support ongoing construction and will exercise best efforts to complete review of grading and drainage plans submitted by Mt. SAC for the stadium project at the earliest possible time. Mt. SAC will also commit to stabilizing the West Parcel site and agrees it will not build the solar project or any similar energy project, but rather look for better and more efficient uses once the site is stabilized. The proposed multi-level parking structure will also be eliminated from the Mt. SAC Master Plan, but the agreement will allow Mt. SAC to consider alternate parking facilities near a proposed transit center.

The settlement also establishes guidelines that will allow Mt. SAC and the City to restore and maintain a productive working relationship. Going forward, Mt. SAC and the City will meet quarterly to review projects that affect both parties and to discuss planning and project implementation.