April 8, 2006 Meeting


An e-mail was sent to each member who has provided a contact e-mail address.
Susan Chu & Kathy Vacio phoned other members on the phone contact list.


Susan Chu brought refreshments.


9 members and 1 guest.


Agenda Items:

  • Updates
    • Ice Rink Project status
    • Adding street lights to existing poles
    • Viña Vieja Park status
  • Upcoming Area Events
    • Viña Vieja Park Grand Opening Celebration, April 29, 10 am – 2 pm.
    • Tour de Fourth walk/bike event, May 13, 9 to 11 am.  Right before our meeting.
  • Proposed by-laws on-going discussion
  • City’s Tree Protection Ordinance Summary
  • City Code regarding businesses in single family residential districts
  • City Code regarding secondary living space in single family residential districts
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

The meeting began shortly after 11:15 am in Hastings Branch Library’s meeting room.

  • Updates
    • Ice Rink Project status
      • CUP and Design Commission hearings now projected for April or May.
      • Been told we will have at least 25 days notice, which now precludes April.
      • Cost troubles with convention center project are a likely indication city will also have cost trouble with the ice rink project.  And, if convention center project is tossed, that could remove impetus for ice rink project.
      • Running power to location more difficult then expected because next door power station does not have sufficient capacity.
    • Adding street lights to existing poles
      • Completed petitions for adding street lights at 494/500 Avocado, and 3217 and 3193 Del Vina have been sent in.
      • Signatures are still being collected for street lights on Vineyard.
    • Viña Vieja Park status
      • Top for historic picnic shelter will not be ready in time. Picnic tables and benches won’t be placed under it until it is installed.
      • Edison is supposed to put the fencing around its “safety zone” in south-east corner and along south-east side of park.  They aren’t going to get it done in time.  Instead temporary orange plastic fencing is going to be there!
      • Grapevines are to be planted just north of the dog area, south of children’s play area
      • Some residents noted that some of the newly planted trees did not appear to be doing very well.
  • Upcoming Area Events
    • Viña Vieja Park Grand Opening Celebration, April 29, 10 am – 2 pm.
      • Expecting lots of people and dogs.  Pulling permits for “special event”.
      • Parking for event is probably the most difficult issue.  It has been decided to put the parking north of Orange Grove under the edison lines.  A temporary cross walk will be put across Orange Grove at the Canyon Wash intersection.  The southern eastbound lane of Orange Grove will be blocked off.  There will be handicapped parking along that side.  Sign trucks will be placed on either side to slow and direct traffic.   Department of Transportation personnel are coordinating.  Two police officers are being hired by the city to handle traffic.
      • They will be bringing in porta-potties for the event to supplement the park bathroom.
      • Planned goings on include:
        • Grapevine planting event
          • 4 out of 16 grapevines will be left for neighbors to plant.  Holes will be already dug.
        • Return to creators of ceramic tiles not used on the park monument sign
        • Free raffle
        • Fun activities for children:
          • Face painting and balloons
          • Armory Center for the Arts probably doing something
        • Event “favors” (free stuff given to attendees)
          • bubbles
          • imprinted bandanas (for dogs or kids)
          • welcome dogs
          • dog biscuits in bags
        • Food
          • Firefighter’s hot dog unit cooking hot dogs
            • 500 donated by Firefighter’s Union, 1000 donated by Ralphs
          • Coffee from Peet’s
          • Popcorn
        • Jazz band
        • People related exhibits:
          • Pasadena Police Kid ID program and Motor Unit
          • Pasadena Water and Power
          • Human Services & Recreation
          • Pasadena Senior Center
          • Armory Center for the Arts
          • Pasadena Fire Department
          • Compassionate Friends
          • Human Servies and Recreation
        • Dog related stuff:
          • May be frisbee and/or agility demonstrations
          • Humane Society mobile unit with dogs, cats, rabbits and info
          • Dog license purchase for Pasadena (also maybe LA County)
          • Rabies vaccinations for $10.
          • Micro-chipping for $25.
          • Dog adoptions
          • Police K-9 will be present
          • POOCH
          • Various dog related vendors will be present with information/give-aways and/or have donated raffle items.  They are not allowed to sell stuff at the event.
        • City’s cable channel will film event.  Some local newscasts have indicated they will attend.
        • And more … details still being determined.
    • Tour de Fourth walk/bike event, May 13, 9 to 11 am.  Right before our meeting.
      • According to Rhonda, firefighters will cook hot dogs for this at Victory Park, but probably not until 11 am.   Route will be somewhat different this year, including new park and going down Halstead instead of continuing down Rosemead.
  • Draft by-laws on-going discussion
    • Does anybody have questions, suggestions, other comments?
    • Plan is to discuss again and finalize at May meeting, then distribute and vote on at June meeting.
  • Tree Ordinance Summary
    • Adds protection, even on private property, for three kinds of trees:
    • Landmark trees are specifically identified trees that have to be special because of their size and association with something historic.  They are protected everywhere – you can’t prune or remove them without a permit.
    • Native trees are one of 13 specific types of trees.  To be protected they have to have a trunk diameter of more than 8″ at 4.5′ above natural grade.
    • Speciman trees are assumed to be special based on their type and size.  There is a long list.  Palms seem to be designated by height (as little as 10′ for some types) while other trees are designated by diameter (some as small as 8″ and some as much as 30″).   Even Chinese Elm is on the list at 25″.
  • If a tree has multiple trunks their diameters are added together.
  • A native or speciman tree is protected on single and multi-family residential property if it is located in the established front or corner yard or required side or rear yards.  It is protected anywhere on all other types of property.  You are allowed to prune it without a permit provided no harm is done to it, but a permit is required to remove it.
  • The city manager, police, and fire can grant emergency exceptions to getting a permit after looking at a tree and determining it to be hazardous.
  • Not only is it forbidden to do anything to a street tree, planting in the parkway any tree that isn’t the designated street tree species is also forbidden.
  • Businesses in Residential Districts
    • Home Occupations – zoning code section 17.50.110
  • Definition – A business conducted in a dwelling unit or accessory structure and is accessory to a residential use.
  • Home occupation is allowed as long as it does “not detract from nor is incompatible with the surrounding residential uses”.
  • A Home Occupation Permit is required.
  • For rental property, the property owner’s written authorization is required.
  • A home occupation must be conducted entirely within a structure and occupy no more than 500 square feet of floor area.
  • Only products crafted on the premises are allowed.
  • Only residents of the dwelling unit can be employed.
  • Commercial vehicles.
    • At most one truck for the business can be kept on site
    • The truck must not exceed seven feet high and must be able to easily fit within the universal stall dimension of eight and one-half feet wide by 18 feet long.
    • The residence must have the normally required number of off-street parking spaces for a residence
  • Client/customer visits must be only with prior appointments.
  • No alteration to the residential character of the premises is allowed.
  • The existence of the business use must not be apparent beyond the site boundaries.
  • No outdoor storage or display of equipment, appliances, materials, or supplies is allowed.
  • No signs advertising the business are allowed.
    • Offices – Administrative business professional
  • These include authors, writers, engineers, computer programmers.
  • Not allowed in a RS or RM-12 zone except as a home occupation.
    • Child day care
  • Is permitted in all residential districts, with a permit.
    • Child Day Care (land use) Definitions:
    1. Child Day-Care Centers. A child day-care facility other than a family day-care home which includes infant centers, preschools and extended day-care facilities. A day-care center is considered a business, not a residential use, and may provide 24-hour service.    There are special zoning rules in section 17.50.080.
    2. Large Family Day-Care Homes. A family day-care home that serves 9 to 14 children, including children who reside at the home.   There are special zoning rules in section 17.50.080.
    3. Small Family Day-Care Homes. A family day-care home that serves eight or fewer children, including children who reside at the home.  Seem to be no special zoning rules.
    • Large family day-care home zoning requirements:
  • In a residential district, a Minor Conditional Use Permit is required for one large family day-care home to be allowed within 300 feet of another large family day-care home or child day-carecenter.
  • A plan for the location of loading and unloading children is required.
  • A large family day-care home must comply with the noise regulations of Municipal Code Chapter 9.36.
  • Off-street parking shall be provided at a ratio of one parking space for each employee other than the resident. Parking may be tandem and located on a driveway that leads to covered parking.
  • Play equipment shall not be located within the front yard.
  • Signs shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 17.58 (Signs).
    • Child day-care center zoning requirements include:
  • Outdoor play space must be at least 75 sq ft per child.  It must be more than 25 feet from residences on abutting lots, and it must be screened by a wall or fence.
  • If there are adjacent residences, there are requirements for landscape buffers.
  • If it is in a residential district the hours of operation must be established by the Conditional Use Permit.
  • Outdoor activities may only be conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in residential zoning districts and 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in non-residential zoning districts.
  • Secondary living space in Residential Districts
    • A lot with a single-family residence may rent a maximum of two bedrooms.
    • Zoning section 17.50.250 restricts residential accessory structures and uses
      • Accessory structures include garage, carport, workshop, gazebo, greenhouse, pergola, pool, hot tub and related equipment
      • Prohibits use of an accessory structure for sleeping quarters.
      • Prohibits bathtubs, fireplaces, and full or partial kitchens.
      • Washtub, and/or washer and dryer facilities are explicitly allowed
      • Air conditioning, heating, shower, and/or toilet facilities, require a covenant stating that the structure is an accessory structure and shall be maintained as an accessory structure and not be usedfor sleeping quarters or be converted to a residential use. The purpose of the covenant is to ensure that subsequent owners of the property are aware of the restrictions on the property.
      • The Zoning Administrator may approve other items not specifically listed.
      • Cannot be constructed before the main structure.
      • Cannot occupy a required front or corner side setback.
      • May be located in a required side or rear setback, provided it is more than 100 feet from the front property line or in the rear 25 feet of the site.
      • Must be at least 2 feet from the property line.
      • Height limits:
        • The “top plate” (top of the wall under roof) can not be more than 9 feet high.
        • The top of the roof may be as high as 15 feet, but is also limited by its distance from the property line.
        • A minor conditional use permit can modify the height limit, and there are special provisions for historic districts and landmarks.
      • At most 22 feet of an accessory structure can be located only two feet from the property line.  Anything more then 22 feet must be at least 5 feet from the property line.
      • Separation distances:
        • Accessory structures must be at least 4 feet from utility poles and at least 6 feet from other structures.
        • Pools, hot tubs, related equipment, and all mechanical equipment must be at least five feet from a property line. The Zoning Administrator may modify this requirement for pool equipment when adjacent to an alley.
      • The maximum floor area of all accessory structures  combined cannot exceed 600 sq ft or six percent of the lot size, whichever is greater.  But if the accessory structure has a roof which is at least 50% open, it is not included in the calculation.
      • If the lot is wider then 50 feet, then a visible attached garage cannot occupy more then 50% of the structure frontage.
      • A carport shall only be located behind the main structure and not visible from a public right-of-way, and shall not be allowed on a corner lot.
    • Zoning section 17.50.275 specifies restrictions on Second Dwelling Units
      • May be constructed on any legal parcel of 15,000 square feet or more in any RS zoning district.
        (There are not any lots large enough in our neighborhood.)
      • Must be a minimum distance of 500 feet between properties with second dwelling units constructed under these provisions.  This limits their density within a neighborhood.
      • The property owner must occupy one of the dwelling units for the other to be occupied.
      • Existing single family structures cannot be demolished to enable a second unit.
      • Trailers or prefabricated housing cannot be used for a second unit.
      • Limited to 1 story and 800 sq ft, must be behind primary residence and at least 6 feet away.
      • At most 20 second units will be allowed per year anywhere in the city.
      • Basically this zoning section came about because the state recently required cities to provide for second units, but the city doesn’t want to allow them.

Next meeting is May 13, same time, same place.

Adjourned about 1 pm?