Mary Sessom – Mayor of Lemon Grove |

At least one official has publicly emphasized the need for more basic services along the trolley lines.

The sense conveyed is that this can’t be remedied without extensive studies or a significant shifting of resources. But one way to study that idea would be to check their own backyard: Just look to Lemon Grove.

Lemon Grove is a small, blue-collar city with a diverse population. More than that, it’s a city on the move.

Young families looking for affordable housing close to employment centers turn to Lemon Grove for options. New stores and restaurants are opening, as businesses take advantage of the growing residential density in the downtown core. It’s a city that emphasizes serving the public.

The trolley station at Lemon Grove Avenue and Broadway is an example of that. The Lemon Grove transit station has amenities that other stations lack. It’s park-adjacent, with public art in the nearby promenade inviting transit riders to explore our city’s history. Traditional and futuristic windmills provide electricity to the park’s solar trees. The station itself has shelter for both bus and trolley riders, and a convenience store with city-required healthy food choices.

But this took years to develop. In 1998, recognizing that our city was “98 percent built out,” the City Council got to work on a plan for downtown. After considering input from various community stakeholders, the Council adopted the Lemon Grove Downtown Specific Plan in 2005. The plan emphasized providing attractive public spaces, carrying out transit-oriented development and building on the unique character and community of the city. Read more