Welcome to the Community Development Department web page! The Department administers the coordination of all land planning and development activity in the City, along with managing a myriad of services available to Montclair residents and business owners. The Department is also responsible for coordination of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program with the County of San Bernardino Housing and Community Development Department. Montclair's share of CDBG funds, which is currently just over $280,000 annually, is typically used to construct public improvements and to help finance graffiti abatement and code enforcement activities in the City's target neighborhoods.
The Community Development Department consists of four divisions: Planning, Building, Code Enforcement, and Human Services. The relatively small size of our City allows us to provide a responsive, high level of personalized customer service not often experienced when dealing with other governmental agencies. While the summaries below provide an overview of each Division's responsibilities, you are invited to visit each Division's web page to obtain more detailed information, including such things as downloadable application forms, handouts, adult and youth recreation class schedules, after-school programs, senior citizen activities, and facility rentals. Please click on any of the sub-heads below to go directly to that Division's web page.
Planning Division staff is responsible for ensuring the orderly physical improvement of land and property in Montclair through the administration of ordinances, codes, and policies related to land use and development. An important objective is to ensure that new development is of high quality, attractive, and compatible in character and scale with surrounding development in order to encourage reinvestment in the community. Our experienced staff is charged with guiding residents and developers through the development process, coordinating project review with other City departments and public agencies, and processing requests from the public for information at the counter, over the phone, or online. Planning staff administers the provisions of the General Plan, Zoning Code, North Montclair Specific Plan, Holt Boulevard Specific Plan, North Montclair Downtown Specific Plan, and various City policies related to development. Staff members provide technical and administrative support to the City Council and Planning Commission, and are active participants at Development Review Committee meetings.
The Building Division is responsible for establishing and enforcing minimum building standards for the purpose of protecting the health, safety, and general welfare of those who live, work, shop and play in Montclair. Building staff provides public counter information, handles phone and online inquiries, issues building permits, and performs building plan checks and on-site inspections. The relatively small geographic area of the City allows Building staff to spend the amount of time necessary with residents, business owners, and developers to ensure that projects move forward in an expeditious manner. Further, staff members interact regularly with other City departments to address any issues of mutual interest early in the construction process in order to avoid needless delays. The Building Division also plays an integral role at regularly scheduled Development Review Committee meetings.
Code Enforcement Division
The Code Enforcement Division's responsibility is to ensure that all property owners and businesses in Montclair are in compliance with various sections of the Montclair Municipal Code. Code Enforcement staff maintains a presence throughout the City seven days a week through the use of full- and part-time staff, who conduct regular, proactive inspections Citywide, in addition to responding to complaints from citizens.
Some of the most common violations and reasons for Code Enforcement to seek voluntary compliance:
- "Appearance violations." Such things as unmaintained landscaping, peeling paint, broken windows, and inoperable vehicles in a neighborhood not only are unsightly, but have the potential for negatively impacting property values, quality of life, and indirectly leading to increased criminal activity.
- Illegal garage conversions and room additions. These types of unauthorized residential property improvements often can lead to life safety hazards such as improper construction and insufficient exit routes in case of fire or other emergency.
- Unpermitted uses of land or buildings. The Montclair Municipal Code allows specified types of land uses in the City's various zoning district to ensure compatibility with surrounding uses. Establishment of an unpermitted land use has the potential to negatively impact nearby properties and create a public nuisance.
- Illegal signs. Montclair's Sign Code is designed to afford the City's businesses adequate opportunities to identify themselves while observing a minimum aesthetic expectation. Permanent and temporary signs and advertising devices that create visual clutter and detract from the character of the City's commercial areas are generally not permitted.
Human Services Division
The Human Services Division plans and oversees a wide variety of activities, services, and programs benefiting City residents. Human Services administers recreational and sports programs for residents of all ages, provides professional medical health services, health education, early childhood education, and operates a variety of senior citizen activities, including a daily nutritional program and free curb-to-curb paratransit service for Montclair residents age 60 and over. Human Services staff provides technical and administrative assistance to the Community Action Committee and also coordinates involvement with various community groups, such as social service agencies, medical liaisons, and law enforcement groups. We are proud of our partnership with the Ontario-Montclair School District in providing after-school programs at 12 elementary and middle school sites in Montclair. The programs begin after school and end at 6:00 p.m. Program components include academic assistance (homework), enrichment programs, and recreational activities. The City's long-established Community Center and Recreation Center provide opportunities for casual and competitive sports activities such as basketball, volleyball, racquetball, and weight conditioning. In 2010, two projects in the Civic Center were completed to better serve Montclair residents. The City's Youth Center provides a place for Montclair youth in grades 6 through 12 to quietly study or complete homework, use computers in the cyber cafe, play table games such as billiards and air hockey, or grab something to eat at the snack bar. In November 2010, the 8,000 square-foot Senior Center welcomed its first guests to a full menu of activities, including the popular daily nutrition program, bingo, bunco, and various classes and workshops. Immediately adjacent to the Civic Center in Alma Hofman Park are lighted sports courts for basketball and tennis. Skateboard and roller blade enthusiasts are invited to test their skills in the City's popular Skate Park (remember to wear your helmets and pads!) The most recent addition to the park is the Splash Pad, a zero-depth aquatic play facility that features various elements that spray water on kids and adults of all ages to provide a cool respite on hot summer days between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Grab your swimsuit and try it out!
Meet the Director
Steve Lustro, Community Development Director, has been part of the Montclair team since 2000 and oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department. Prior to arriving in Montclair, Steve worked for eight years in the neighboring City of Claremont in Planning and Code Enforcement. Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cal Poly Pomona and is a member of the American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). His involvement in the local community includes six years of service as a member of the City of Pomona Planning Commission, participation on the Design and Construction Committee of Habitat for Humanity's Pomona Valley Chapter, and serving as a governing board member of the Pomona Unified School District from 1997 through 2005 and 2008 through 2009. Steve is a native of Monterey Park as has been a Pomona resident since 1982.