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Rowland Heights, California
Location of Rowland Heights in Los Angeles County, California.
Location of Rowland Heights in Los Angeles County, California.
CountryUnited States
CountyLos Angeles
 • Total9.0 sq mi (23.4 km2)
 • Land9.0 sq mi (23.4 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
525 ft (160 m)
 • Total48,553
 • Density5,380.7/sq mi (2,077.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)626, 909
FIPS code06-63218
GNIS feature ID1661344

Rowland Heights is an unincorporated community of 11.4 square miles (30 km2), located in and below the Puente Hills in the San Gabriel Valley, in Los Angeles County, California. The population of the census-designated place (CDP) was 48,553 at the 2000 census. Because Rowland Heights is an unincorporated community instead of an incorporated city, it is dependent upon County of Los Angeles representation (County Board of Supervisors).


This area of the Los Angeles basin was once an inland sea before the last ice age. Many fossils can still be found around the area. One place that still has exposed fossils from ancient sea life that once swam this prehistoric sea is located behind the McDonald's on Stoner Creek Road across from the Stoner Creek Car Wash, which locals called fossil hill. Local kids would go there to find treasures, such as sea life encrusted in sand dollars.

The Mexican land grant Rancho La Puente was granted to John Rowland and William Workman in 1842. In 1868, John Rowland and William Workman divided Rancho La Puente, leaving Rowland the eastern half and Workman the western half. Rowland Heights was originally part of the Workman Temple homestead in California's rancho days. The original John A. Rowland homestead is now behind the 99 Ranch Market near the corner of Gale Avenue and Nogales Street. The homestead is no longer there and it's going to be developed into a commercial zone.

Rowland Heights has grown significantly during the 1990s. Originally built on a pig farm that covered much of modern day Rowland Heights, the Rowland Homestead was mostly orange groves until the eastward sprawl from Los Angeles spawned working-class communities and affordable housing developments then formed. As the 60 freeway was extended beyond the western boundary, the community continued growth equal to that of most communities in Southern California. Development next to the freeway, zoned for industrial investment, eventually helped to support the housing developments that continued well into the 21st century.

A panoramic image from Vantage Pointe

Since the 1980s, many upper-middle-class immigrants from Taiwan and South Korea have settled in the hillside homes of Rowland Heights (and in neighboring regions such as Hacienda Heights, Walnut, and Diamond Bar). Also, Rowland Heights has also attracted immigrants from mainland China because the area is advertised in China as having good homes and convenient shopping. Additionally, working-class Latinos have settled in the lower, flat sections. The city has developed an eclectic suburban "Chinatown" and "Koreatown", mostly in the form of upscale strip malls mostly on Colima Road, with another concentration around Nogales Street. There are several large Asian supermarkets - such as a 99 Ranch Market (billed as the chain's largest location during the late 1980s, but no longer), Hong Kong Supermarket, and Monterey Park-based Shun Fat Supermarket (a relatively recent development that replaced Vons market) - in the area. Also there are Korean supermarkets such as DoReMi Market (it used to be known as HanGook Market but changed its name recently) and Greenland Market.

Once predominantly Anglo and Hispanic, this area has gradually become one of the Chinese centers in the greater Los Angeles. Originally formed by the stream of business expansions from Monterey Park (now a heavily mainland Chinese enclave), which is the undisputed "Chinatown" of Los Angeles, Rowland Heights has become an area comparable to a "Chinatown" by itself largely populated by Taiwanese. Locals refer to Rowland Heights as "Little Taipei", due to its high concentration of Taiwanese restaurants and businesses. It has become the center for Chinese commercial and cultural activity in the southeastern region of the San Gabriel Valley. While Rowland Heights and adjacent areas are still predominantly waishengren (mainland Chinese refugees who fled to Taiwan in 1949), in recent years many mainland Chinese] emigres have also been increasingly purchasing homes and starting small businesses in the area. As an example, some eateries of Taiwanese cuisine are now actually operated by mainland Chinese. Additionally, there are several popular eateries in the area, including Supreme Dragon (serving mainland Chinese noodle and dumplings), a Taiwanese-style food court inside a strip mall, and Happy Harbor Seafood Restaurant (inside of the 99 Ranch Market center) as well as several trendy restaurants geared towards the young and affluent Asian population such as a large Thai restaurant called Coconut Bay Bar & Grill across from 99 Ranch Supermarket. More recently, a popular branch of the Taco Bell fast-food franchise very close to a local high school was replaced by a Vietnamese beef noodle soup (or Pho) restaurant, located at the corner of Colima Road and Otterbein Avenue. There is a Cue! photo/sticker store which is a popular hangout.

Possibly owing to Rowland Heights as evolving into the cultural center for the Chinese diaspora, [1] mostly 49er Taiwanese (multi-generational natives of the island formerly known as Formosa),[2] with a growing number of mainland Chinese - and as the connection to and from northern Orange County (mostly to the city of La Habra), Fullerton Road in Rowland Heights is among the heavily traversed roads in the region with frequently an all too often gridlock.[1]

As with most housing patterns in the Southland, pricier homes are usually found on the nearby hills, while more affordable housing is located close to the freeways. In this case, these are located near Highway 60 by the City of Industry.

Local politics

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Alvarado Intermediate School

As part of an unincorporated community, Rowland Heights residents,circa 1980, formed a series of community based organizations, including the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council(or RHCCC) to give input to their government representatives (the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors) and their State and Federal legislators. Among the items of concern for the residents was the growth of the community away from a semi-rural setting to a more highly congested area. As a result, the Rowland Heights General Plan was formed to govern the growth of the community. Over the years these Rowland Heights community based organizations slowly disbanded until approximately 2000, when the Rowland Heights residents reestablished the RHCCC to take on the issues of unmitigated and unplanned growth (increased building density), traffic, lack of community services, among other items. Through hard work, the residents were able to work with their County of Los Angeles representatives to put in place building density and design standards to control growth to some extent. To this day, the RHCCC continues to exist as a community-based organization of resident volunteers consisting of a Nine Person Board of Directors, a Development Committee, Community Improvement Committee, Membership Committee and other committees and task forces. The RHCCC is dedicated to provide a forum and a conduit for the flow of information for the residents of Rowland Heights regarding issues that affect the community and quality of life. It conducts a general meeting to present information to the public (including proposed development projects), a Board meeting to analyze community input and concerns and formulate a plan regarding how to address the same, a Development Committee to study proposed projects and their impact on the community, a Membership Committee to promote and increase awareness of community issues, and a Community Improvement Committee to address concerns with items such as graffiti abatement and community beautification.[citation needed]

Public Library Branch

Unlike its unincorporated neighbor to the west (Hacienda Heights), Rowland Heights has never held a cityhood election. However, recent talks about the County shortchanging the area in terms of basic services, the views of the RHCCC, the potential development of the hills above Rowland Heights along with annexation from the ever-encroaching Diamond Bar - concerned residents have banded together in a Political Action Committee the Rowland Heights Advocate for City Hood ID#1296887 to research the possibility of becoming a city.[3]

Law enforcement

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Walnut/Diamond Bar Station in Walnut, serving Rowland Heights.[4] In addition the LASD operates the Rowland Heights Asian Community Center.[5]


Rowland Heights is located at 33°58′51″N 117°53′23″W / 33.98083°N 117.88972°W / 33.98083; -117.88972Invalid arguments have been passed to the ((#coordinates:)) function (33.980962, -117.889791).Template:GR

Pathfinder Park

Rowland Heights is located in Los Angeles County. It lies where Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Bernardino County meet.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 9.0 square miles (23 km2), all of it land.


Rowland Heights CDP
Population by year [1]

2000 48,553
1990 42,647
1980 28,252
1970 16,881

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there were 48,553 people, 14,175 households, and 11,963 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 5,380.7 people per square mile (2,078.3/km²). There were 14,543 housing units at an average density of 1,611.7/sq mi (622.5/km²). The racial distribution of the CDP was 29.26% White, 2.61% African American, 0.46% Native American, 50.32% Asian, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 12.83% from other races, and 4.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.32% of the population.

There were 14,175 households out of which 41.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.6% were non-families. 11.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.41 and the average family size was 3.64.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $52,270, and the median income for a family was $56,065. Males had a median income of $40,669 versus $30,432 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $19,315. About 9.5% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.9% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.

County, state, and federal politics

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Pomona Health Center in Pomona, serving Rowland Heights.[6]

In the state legislature Rowland Heights is located in the 24th and 29th Senate Districts, represented by Democrat Gloria J. Romero and Republican Bob Huff respectively, and in the 58th and 60th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrat Charles M. Calderon and Republican Curt Hagman respectively. Federally, Rowland Heights is located in California's 38th and 42nd congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of D +20 and R +10[7] and are represented by Democrat Grace Napolitano and Republican Gary Miller respectively.


Colima/Nogales intersection

Foothill Transit and the Metro provide bus transit services throughout the San Gabriel Valley. The main Metro Bus Terminal is in El Monte. In addition, the Metrolink commuter train runs west towards Downtown Los Angeles and east to San Bernardino through the Valley.

Several cities such as Monterey Park and West Covina provide their own in-city transportation shuttles. The fare is usually 25 cents.

The San Gabriel Valley is served by several major freeways, including the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10), Foothill Freeway (I-210), San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605), and the Long Beach Freeway (I-710). State highways include the Orange Freeway (State Route 57), the Pomona Freeway (State Route 60), Ventura Freeway (State Route 134), and the Pasadena Freeway (State Route 110).

The Long Beach Freeway (I-710) ends abruptly (or begins, depending on one's perspective) on the western border of Alhambra, near California State University, Los Angeles. For several years, the extension of the 710 Freeway to the 110 Freeway in Pasadena has generated a long, controversial, and contentious debate. Many residents in South Pasadena fear losing their homes and businesses to clear the way for construction. The MTA, an ardent proponent of the extension, has proposed the idea of constructing an underground tunnel connecting the two freeways.

In 2002, the Foothill Freeway was extended beginning from San Dimas and La Verne, just outside of the San Gabriel Valley area. It replaced the State Route 30 and it reaches into San Bernardino County.

State Route 39 (Azusa Avenue and San Gabriel Canyon Road) leads north into the San Gabriel Mountains to the Crystal Lake Recreation Area. The portion connecting to the Angeles Crest Highway (State Route 2) is inaccessible and has been closed off since the early 1970s due to rockslides.

China Airlines operates private bus services to Los Angeles International Airport from Hong Kong Super Market at 18414 Colima Road in Rowland Heights, 91748 to feed its flight to Taipei, Taiwan.[8]


Rowland Unified School District Public high schools in Rowland Heights:

Alternative Schools

Public primary/middle schools

Mount San Antonio College is in nearby Walnut, to serve area High Schools.

Political Representation - Government

U.S. Senate: California
Barbara Boxer (Democrat)
URL: Senator Boxer's Homepage

U.S. Senate: California
Dianne Feinstein (Democrat)
URL: Senator Feinstein's Homepage

U.S. Congress: 38th District
Grace Napolitano (Democrat)
URL: Congresswoman Napolitano's Homepage

U.S. Congress: 42nd District
Gary G. Miller (Republican)
URL: Congressman Miller's Homepage

California State Senate: 24th District
Gloria J. Romero (Democrat)
URL: Senator Romero's Homepage

California State Senate: 29th District
Bob Huff (Republican)
URL: Senator Huff's Homepage

California State Assembly: 58th District
Charles M. Calderon (Democrat)
URL: Assemblyman Calderon's Homepage

California State Assembly: 60th District
Curt Hagman (Republican)
URL: Assemblyman Hagman's Homepage

Los Angeles County: 4th Supervisorial District
Don Knabe (Republican)
URL: Supervisor Knabe's Homepage


Killian Elementary
John A. Rowland High School


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Rowland Heights Advocates for Cityhood".
  4. ^ "Walnut/Diamond Bar Station." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "Rowland Heights Asian Community Center." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  6. ^ "Pomona Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 27, 2010.
  7. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  8. ^ "Complimentary Bus Service to LAX," China Airlines