Chino Hills’ new Council Chambers seats more than 100 and has overflow seating for another 50 or so, plus plenty of standing room. A sign gives the maximum capacity as 214.
City spokeswoman Denise Cattern told me the room is available for rent, and I know who ought to rent it out: Pomona. Its cramped chambers are half the size of Chino Hills’ — even though Pomona has twice the population.
Even a moderately attended meeting like Dec. 15’s filled the room in Pomona, forcing some to watch on TV from the lobby.
Someday I’d like to know why Pomona’s ’60s leaders, visionaries in many ways, approved such a puny room. Even Montclair has a larger meeting space, I think. It’s hard to believe Pomona’s space was adequate even in 1968, not to mention looking ahead to future growth.
Not only is the room small, but the rows of seats are closer to each other than in a movie theater. It’s all but impossible for anyone to squeeze into a row without everyone else standing up or moving into the aisle for them to pass. People must have been shorter in the ’60s.
(Remodeling wouldn’t seem to be an option. With a round building, you can’t really add on.)
However, the exterior is kinda cool, even if the reflecting pool around the building’s perimeter was replaced years ago with plants. I like the Pomona Civic Center complex quite a bit — the architect was Welton Becket — with its City Hall, Council Chambers, Library, Courthouse, Police and Fire stations and Health Center.
But the council-meeting seating, it must be said, is perhaps the Inland Valley’s least comfortable.