Cerritos College tries to ease worries over Norm Reeves Honda partnership

Photo by Alex Dominguez

Photo by Alex Dominguez

With all eyes on the site of the former strawberry fields and school officials waiting for the OK to start development, Cerritos College has made moves to try and mitigate the concerns of residents in the surrounding area.

Cerritos College and Norm Reeves Honda recently entered a partnership that allows for the car dealership to store extra cars on the now empty lot, located at the corner of 166th Street and Studebaker Road.

Photo taken from Yelp

Photo taken from Yelp

The lot was previously home to a Manassero Farms strawberry field for over 12 years.  

The sudden change has not come without its fair share of controversy, however, as residents voiced their concerns during an open forum hosted by the college on August 23.

The concerns aired at that forum led to a meeting held on Wednesday last week, and a press release which was sent out the following day.

According to the release, The Board of Trustees approved a resolution addressing several of the concerns received. This includes:
-          Loading and unloading is to take place at the dealer site and not at the District. Vehicles will not be transported via a delivery truck. Cars will be driven individually through the College’s parking Lot 10 as demands for daily inventory arise. Hours of operations will be Monday – Sunday, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
-          A proposal to use an environmentally friendly type of decomposed granite to reduce dust.
-          The district will install durable, green vinyl fabric (privacy screens) to the fences to minimize visibility from the street.
-          The District will install durable, green vinyl fabric (privacy screens) to the fences to minimize visibility from the street
-          Based on a third-party report from the District’s current Facilities Master Plan (2011), the District does not expect its lighting fixtures to negatively impact residents. The District’s plan for lighting produces less illumination or brightness than normal street lights.

The new partnership will also bring a substantially larger amount of revenue than the previous occupant. The district will receive a monthly rent payment of $35,500 from the dealership, as compared to the $1,700 it received from the strawberry field.

Vice President of Business Services Felipe Lopez says that the lot is intended for temporary use.

“We are working with the city on a temporary use permit,” said “This is not a permanent solution for that corner lot…If the City Council approves it, our permit would be for a time period of four years for that use.”

Cerritos City Council will meet on September 18, where the lot is expected to be a hot topic of discussion.