Case Study: El Monte Transit Village
The Titan Group, in partnership with the City of El Monte, is planning a “Transit Village” centered at the current El Monte Transit Terminal. The multi-million dollar “Transit Village” project would include major retail, residential units, entertainment facilities, office space, and would preserve and expand open space and parkland. It will be a mixed-use development project closely centered on an existing train station with links to other community amenities, creating an urban lifestyle where shopping, dining, jobs, entertainment and transit all converge. The site is approximately 65 acres and is currently owned by the City of El Monte, MTA, Caltrans and the Titan Group.

The Titan Group embarked on an extensive community outreach campaign for the Transit Village project. DSO was hired for this community outreach effort. The purpose of the outreach program was to involve residents of the City of El Monte in the planning, design and public comment hearings for this proposed project. In order to accomplish Titan’s goal of a public-private partnership, the outreach campaign has been extensive in order to assure the public’s participation.


One-On-One Meetings
DSO conducted key one-on-one meetings with stakeholders in the City of El Monte. The purpose of the meetings was to brief the participants, solicit ideas, and acquire additional names of community members for one-on-one meetings. Additionally, some of the meeting participants were asked to serve as chairs for the study groups that were conducted.

Group Presentations
DSO organized group meetings to raise awareness of the Transit Village project. DSO accepted requests from community members to host meetings with their groups, as well as reaching out to additional organizations in the City of El Monte. We met with over 20 clubs and organizations throughout El Monte. The purpose of these meetings was to educate groups regarding the project as well as to recruit stakeholders for participation at future meetings community and study group meetings where they would provide their input.

Study Group Meetings
The purpose of the study group meetings was to solicit key input from stakeholders on the related topics of discussion for each study group. The study groups consisted of 10-15 residents and focused on the ten critical areas of the project: open space/athletic use, historical preservation, retail, office use and business development, education, security, housing, education, cultural and community facilities, traffic and connectivity. Community and business leaders were invited to chair the groups because of their expertise on the areas of discussion in regards to their community. Through the study group process DSO was able to produce a set of recommendations for planning, constructing, and design of the Transit Village. This process also yielded a sense of ownership from the residents who participated. Certain aspects of the development will incorporate their input.

Elected Officials Briefings
After initial individual meetings with Elected Officials, DSO committed to holding bi-monthly briefings to keep local, state and federal legislators updated on the project.

Community Events/Festivals
DSO attended events throughout the City of El Monte in order to raise awareness about the Transit Village project. Among them was the annual Police IMPACT Conference, a citywide gathering to discuss the progress of the IMPACT community-policing program, where we sponsored a booth at the conference and asked residents to fill out cards if they were interested in receiving more information about the proposed Transit Village project. Approximately 85 residents filled out forms to receive more information about the project. Information was distributed to residents at numerous other community events as well.

Community Barbecues
The momentum gained in the study group process continued with neighborhood barbecues in key areas in the City of El Monte. The barbecues provide an informal setting in which residents came together at a neighbor’s home to learn more about the proposed Transit Village project. DSO hosted 9 barbecues in the 5 neighborhoods that immediately surround the project site.

We asked members of the study groups to host a barbecue at their home or at their local park. Since the hosts had received information about the project they were well equipped to serve as neighborhood ambassadors for the project. They could invite their neighbors to learn more about the project at the local barbecues. In addition to the host inviting friends and neighbors, DSO developed a door-to-door canvassing operation to invite other local residents to the barbecues. The canvassers would cover approximately 300-350 homes in the neighborhood and drop off invitations as well as speak to local residents about the proposed project. While only a fraction of the residents canvassed attended the barbecues, as a result of the canvas all of the residents in the surrounding area received general information about the proposed project.

The outcomes of the barbecues included producing a set of recommendations for the Titan Group for planning, constructing, and implementing the Transit Village. This process yielded a sense of ownership for the project from the residents who participated in the barbecues. Certain aspects of the development will incorporate their input.

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