Thursday, July 17, 2008

love for pomona

Living in Pomona, I've gotten used to Our Fair City getting no love and being the butt of jokes (on The Simpsons and 90210, among others).

But if you listened to Larry Mantle on KPCC yesterday, you heard us get our props. A real-estate expert was on the air, talking about the state of housing in Southern California. He didn't really focus on Pomona, for one specific reason: Pomona, LaVerne, and Pasadena were mentioned as three municipalities who weren't suffering much from the mortgage crisis.

His precise point was that older cities, whose housing stock is "more established" (does that just mean old homes?), are the least affected by the current mess. Apparently, the main thing is how much action there was on the local market between 2003 and 2005 -- the "Loans Gone Wild" era. The fewer real estate transactions during that period (and again he mentioned Pomona as a fine example), the more protected the market -- and the less the drop in prices. So San Bernardino has seen a 31% drop in housing prices, while Pomona, Pasadena, and LaVerne have only had "a few percentage points" drop.

Finally, Pomona gets some respect. God bless us, every one.


LinknPark said...

The interest in the Pomona historic districts even during this downturn has also continued. Four houses on E. Jefferson alone cleared escrow in the midst of this whole downturn without being listed as bank owned or short sales. In the long run I think we should definitely be optimistic about home values in our area. Lincoln Park still remains the best value in Southern California for period, turn of the century houses (Orange, Pasadena, Monrovia, Long Beach are still insanely priced, even now). I really think we should start a neighborhood association to increase awareness of our area and potentially raise money for community improvements; I can start looking in how to go about doing this. We have the historical society, but this would be more community/neighborhood focused, and paired with an informative, photo heavy website could be a great tool for brining positive attention to our area and Pomona in general.

John Clifford said...

Remember Pomona Heritage. They/we were the ones who fought to get the districts (and the ordinance that allowed us to create districts) in the first place. We've got a web site that is currently being updated (not by me, but by someone who has some design skills--mine are all technical) and it WILL have more photos of the type of neighborhoods that exist in the city.

We've also just gotten a new brochure printed which highlights the various home styles and additional information on our group.

If you don't know us but want to, PLEASE come to our next event--The Old Home Restoration Workshop, which will be held on Saturday, August 9 at Trinity Methodist Church on Gibbs just north of Holt. There will be lots of workshops on how to do things like restore wood windows, herb gardening, collecting California Arts, and we'll even have city staff to discuss rules in the historic districts and THE MILLS ACT!!!!

Of course, those new glossy brochures will be available as well. The event is FREE and open to anyone who would like to attend.

Anonymous said...

You go John!
Many of the things that people love about the old houses in the historic districts would/could be obliterated by many of the things advertised by Lowes & Home Depot.
The work that made the historic districts is sometimes forgotten by those of us that live in these incredible areas. It was many hours of labor by Pomona Heritage members that made it possible. Their efforts continue on in the home tour and the restoration workshop. They are also great events to meet your neighbors & people of similar interests.
You will have a great time!

Anonymous said...

Why can't the whole city be made a historic district?
Pomona Joe

Tad Decker said...

I don't know if Pomona Joe's comment is tongue-in-cheek or not, but there are good reasons why the entire city cannot be made an historic district (there are criteria that must be met in order to qualify). Yet, it would make a good deal of sense to have city-wide design review of additions and major remodeling projects, to ensure that proposed changes are in keeping with the existing design of the structure. In many cities, I believe that this review is a routine part of the permitting process.

linknpark said...

Im completely aware of Pomona Heritage, and my wife and I have every intention of joining this year, but my impression was that Pomona Heritage was concerned with all of the historic districts and areas in Pomona, not the minute particulars of any one specific area. I was just trying to figure out something akin to the Rose Park Neighborhood Association in Long Beach that could raise money and construct, or push forward projects in their immediate neighborhood (i.e. park improvements, alleyway improvements, etc.). I am thinking neighborhood-wide events at Lincoln Park, fundraisers, community building and construction projects. Maybe this is stuff that can be handled through Pomona Heritage, but its my past experience that the larger the area that is encompassed the tougher it is to get anything done expediently.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tad. My comment was indeed part tongue-in-cheek yet part serious as well. I am somewhat aware of the tremendous amount of work people of conscience invested in creating the existing historical districts. I can easily guess that extending the rules people in Lincoln Park live under city-wide would be a work of monumental proportions.
However, I used to live in a home (built in 1911) outside of Lincoln Park and watched as the similarly aged homes around me slowly lost their box windows to hideous aluminum sliding jobs, and beautiful wood paneling was stucco-ed over. I can easily imagine that there are insurmountable reasons that the entire city can't be placed under historical protection, but it seems that a more controlling vision for city planning and zoning is needed.
However, I say this admittedly as someone unacquainted with the complexities of city planning and government. I totally appreciate the work of Pomona Heritage and the amazing gift they have been to this city.
Pomona Joe

John Clifford said...

Thanks Linknpark,

My main reason for my response was because you mentioned Historical Society and they have an even larger mission with the Adobes, Phillips Mansion, Ebell, etc.

I agree that each district could use its own sub-organization. But, as of now, PH and the neighborhood watches are the most responsive to NEIGHBORHOODS.

Anonymous said...


Keep the idea alive. I particularly like the emphasis on the park, as it offers a tangible goal for people to rally around. Walkways that aren't dirt would be a worthy addition. Drip irrigation for the roses would be another.

And as far as Tad's suggestion, I'm all for some architectural review in this city. I'm not a fan of exclusive homogeneity, but some review could be useful--if you get the right group of people.


LinknPark said...


Those would definitely be things in Lincoln park that we as a community in coordination with the parks department could do. I am actually trying to coordinate with my neighbors on Jefferson a time when we can all start replacing the fence along our back alleyway with a Arts/Crafts style cedar fence (everyone pitch in for the wood, and I will start kicking out the panels in my backyard). I am just suggesting small tangible things that we as a community can get done on our own instead of complaining to a city that may or may not listen.

Ed said...

Cool idea! Want to post about it?

And if anyone is interested, you can join the Pomona Heritage by using the online option on their website ( It will take just a few minutes.

LinknPark said...

Sure Ed, wouldnt mind posting on it. Coordinating the fences along the alleyway would to a long way to improving the situation back there. Secure fences and gates instead of the ones that are currently falling down in most places, along with an Arts and Crafts design. We could actually try to coordinate it block by block, and then bug the city about repaving them.

lalaland said...

I was just thinking that we could use some good PR for Lincoln Park and the historic neighborhoods in Pomona in general and I think this is part of what you are getting at.

I realized the other week that many homes in the area are turning 100 around now and what a great accomplishment that is. Publicizing the centennial of these properties could be a really great way to bring positive attention to these neighborhoods.