July 8, 2006 Meeting


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


11 members


Agenda Items:

  • Community Development and Utility Corridors
    A presentation about proposed development underneath the Edison lines in Pasadena.
    Diane Smith and George Minter of Greer/Dailey/Minter, the public relations firm representing the developer of self storage facilities will present and discuss plans that will be submitted to the city soon.
  • Discussion of results of Ice Rink CUP Hearing on July 5
  • Discussion of upcoming Design Commission review of Ice Rink Project
  • Dog Park and dog bronchitis outbreak
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

The meeting began about 11:25

  • Community Development and Utility Corridors
    Diane Smith and George Minter introduced themselves.  They are from the public relations firm Greer/Dailey/Minter, which represents the self-storage developer (Pacific Storage Partners) that has now submitted plans to the city for areas of Edison land north of Sierra Madre Blvd and south of Colorado Blvd.  They discussed the plans for public storage and also shared their knowledge of other things going on in the Edison corridor through the city.
    • Edison has found that self-storage is an industry which can fit within the under-power-line restrictions and make significantly more money then nurseries.   The claim is that self-storage has a low traffic impact (less then residential, retail, or commercial), high security, and makes minimal noise.
    • One self-storage facility would be located north of Sierra Madre Blvd, on part of the land where Perssons Nursery has been.  As with Perssons, the office and storage units would be located well back from the street – beyond the Edison towers.  Landscaping would be put along the street frontage.
    • An area of more self-storage units would be located further north, to the north of a street named Bradley.  Bradley comes off of New York Drive and serves the industrial park.  There would not be another office in this location – the office off Sierra Madre Blvd would control this area too.
    • In between those areas of self-storage under the lines there is an existing parking lot south of Bradley which is used by Avery and the Earthlink buildings.  That parking lot would remain in place.  There is an empty parcel owned by Avery next to the Avery building which is being looked at for development by YMCA.   (Think I heard some additional Edison land in that area would become parking).
    • The area south of Sierra Madre Blvd and north of Orange Grove has been designated by Edison for a commercial nursery.  Perssons has chosen not to take the offer of a long term lease and assistance with moving into that location.  Reportedly three other commercial nurseries have expressed serious interest and are now evaluating it.  The idea is that the nursery office/store would be located off of Sierra Madre Blvd.  The smaller area between Paloma and Orange Grove would probably be just for plant growing/storage, probably not open to the public.
    • The self-storage developer still holds development rights with Edison for the area adjacent to us, south of Viña Vieja Park and north of the PCC parking lot.  The intent is that they will turn those over to the city for use in accessing the ice rink and possibly expanding PCC parking.
    • More self-storage would be developed south of Colorado Blvd.  The southwest corner of Colorado Blvd and Kinneloa (former extra parking for Fedco) would be the location for the office.  The three nurseries in the area to the east of Kinneloa south to Del Mar and just beyond would be replaced with storage units.
    • To the south of that, behind Willard Elementary, two AYSO size soccer fields would be constructed.  This would then be turned over to the city for the park system.  The idea is that Willard would be able to use these fields during school hours and they’d be available for public use at other times.  But these details, including parking, would be up to the city to work out with the school district.
    • In 2002 the City of Pasadena changed the commercial zoning code to eliminate the abilty to build self-storage facilities by right.  They did not ban the building of self-storage, but it now has to be approved on a case by case basis.  The self-storage developer is asking the city to rezone the land as a Planned Development and asking for approval for their self-storage plans for it.   With a planned development, the city and developer have the ability to negotiate what is to be done relatively free of the standard zoning rules (the dense housing development north of PHS was a planned development).  The City Council will have to make the decision of what to allow.
    • Question was asked whether Edison might raise the “too low” lines which caused a chunk to be cut out of Viña Vieja Park.  Answer was that Edison very rarely raises lines.  Calculation of what is allowed under lines depends on how thick the wires are, how they are supported on the towers, how much current is running through them.  The more current on the lines, the hotter they get, and the more they sag.   How close development can be to towers depends in part on whether lines change angle at the tower – if they do then more clearance is required.
    • PCC actually owns the land for some distance from their driveway on Foothill before the parking access crosses onto Edison land.  This gives them additional leverage on the city’s ice rink plans.
    • There was quite a bit of confused discussion about who is supposed to be doing what with the Edison land in the “safety zone” between Avocado Ave and the new white Edison fence on the edge of the park.  Also questions about why Edison doesn’t clean up their mess, such as their dug up fence posts that are lying in piles.  George Minter promised to take a look at our local eyesore and try to find out for us who is supposed to be in control and taking care of each piece of land.
    • Unrelated to the Edison land or self-storage plans, it was mentioned that there is a piece of land on the north side of Sierra Madre Blvd just east of Washington Blvd (and PHS) that is being looked at for development of an AYSO soccer field.
  • Discussion of results of Ice Rink CUP Hearing on July 5
    • The hearing was attended by Laura Ellersieck, Kathy Vacio, Gloria Vacio, and Susan Chu.  Kathy Vacio spoke for us.  Tim Price attended and spoke for Daisy Villa, our neighbors across the wash.  Another Daisy Villa resident also attended.
    • The CUP was approved, with conditions including:
      • Hours of operation limited to 6 am to midnight, 7 days a week
        • Tim Price requested that it close at 10 pm.  This request was denied.  The hearing officer said that if there turned out to be unresolvable problems in the late hours, residents could request a change in the permitted hours.
      • Need a Master Sign Plan for all signage on the site.
        • Because the site has no street frontage, it is not automatically (by right) allowed any signage.  A Master Sign Plan has to provide details of every sign and go through an approval process.
      • Cannot get grading or building permits until agreements with Edison and PCC for access are completed.
      • Construction traffic is not to go through our neighborhood.
      • Traffic signal at the PCC driveway on Foothill is to be completed before the rinks open for business.
      • They have to keep a working pedestrian path from our neighborhood to the park throughout construction.  The can (and have to) move what is there, but they can’t just block access.
      • Night lighting is to be limited to the site.
    • Other bits of information learned:
      • The building and the parking access road along its east side could not fit within the boundaries of the city land and still preserve the trees on the west side.  Therefore, in order to keep those trees (as the environmental initial study said would be done), the building will be at the eastern edge of the city property and the access road will have to run on Edison land.  This means the city will have to obtain a lease from Edison for that purpose.
      • The area of the building between the two rinks was described in December as having two stories, with offices and meeting rooms on the second story.  The plans have now changed so that there is just one story in that area.
      • City staff is intending to design and construct the signal and street improvements at the driveway entrance on Foothill as part of the Capital Improvement project that will cut Kinneloa through to Titley and cut Walnut through from Sunnyslope to Kinneloa.  There is intent to use one signal controller for the driveway and Titley because they are so close together (though still 150 feet apart).   City staff did not want to commit to having the signal in place by the time the ice rink opens because the capital improvement project has not yet been designed and the funding is not complete.  The hearing officer told them he thought there was enough time to get that done and put in a condition requiring it be done before the ice rink opens.
      • A person attending from the current ice rink operators said that adults, and adult accompanied children, are welcome to come into the facility and watch the skating anytime for free, except on the rare occasions of special events when admission is charged.  He also said they want to be good neighbors.
      • An additional modification to the parking plans has been under consideration.  That would put a row of parking to the west of the access road, facing the east side of the building.  Because the building entrance is in the middle of the east side of the building, these spaces would be the most frequently used and the parking lot would only be needed during busier times.  From a practical usage standpoint, this makes a lot of sense.  In order to make such a change, more space would need to be leased from Edison and the Conditional Use Permit would need to be modified.
      • The developer (city) representative stated during a discussion of potential screening of residential areas from the parking lot and access road that they “plan to provide shrubbery screen on Avocado”.  There was no followup questioning to verify he meant it.
        It was also stated that it would not be practical to put a wall on the west side of the parking lot due to the slope of the land and that putting in the foundation for a wall would damage the existing trees.  Landscape screening is doable.
  • Discussion of upcoming Design Commission review of Ice Rink Project
    • Design review by the Design Commission is expected to occur on July 24 or August 14.
    • The Design Commission just gets to make a recommendation on the design.  The City Council will make the decision of approval and/or requiring any changes in design.
    • The areas outside the building, parking and landscaping, and anything glaring to our neighborhood, are the primary area of interest.  Facility users may care about the interior design.
  • Dog Park and dog bronchitis outbreak
    • On Friday July 7 we received a report from one of our members that bronchitis seems to be going around among dogs who go to the dog park.  The symptom reported is coughing.  Do not take sick dogs to the park, take them to the vet and don’t return to the park until they are completely recovered.   Vets prescribe antibiotics.
    •  It is not the same thing as Bordetella, and  Bordetella vaccinations may or may not help prevent it, but it is important to have those vaccinations anyway.
    • Attempting to contact Pooch to try to get a warning sign up at the park and also have them distribute a warning through their mailing list. (Have since learned they won’t put up a sign at the park because “at the limit of what can be posted and actually absorbed by people coming to the park”, but have put information on their website.)
  • other things attendees wished to discuss
    • Dog park and dog caused problems in the park
      • poop is not getting picked up
        • dog walkers are coming with way too many dogs to watch
        • some people apparently just don’t want to do it
        • lots of poop is getting left in the people areas of the park
      • humane society is supposed to be doing license checks and leash enforcement but a regular visitor has never seen them or any other rule enforcers there
      • ordinary folks are not going to ask potentially hostile people to pick up their dog’s poop
      • Pooch promised to keep it clean and orderly – where are they?
    • The newly built massive two story “mansion” on Estado is reportedly up for sale for 1.25 million.  “They’ll never get anywhere near that much.”  Questioning how it can be within legal size limitations (floor area not including gargage must be < 30% of lot square footage).  How could it get the needed building permits?  Fountain in patch of remaining back yard is reportedly a nuisance because of being used at night by noisy children while lit by a very bright light.   What are rules for outdoor lighting in residential areas?
    • Re-expression of concern about manufactured house being put in on Estado. Will it fit in with neighborhood?  Particularly odd is entrance midway between front and back of house facing the driveway.  Some think that once it is completed and landscaped it won’t look so different from many other houses in the area.

Next meeting is August 12, same time, same place.

Adjourned about 1:15 pm.