2007 Newsletter

The Grapevine

No. 2        News from East Eaton Wash Neighborhood Association       February 10, 2007

Time to Vote!

Two elections are coming in early March.

The municipal election is on Tuesday, March 6. It includes races for Pasadena’s Mayor and our district’s City Council Member, three seats on the Pasadena Unified School District’s Board of Directors, and an initiative to continue the special parcel tax that supports the Pasadena Library system. The race for our District 4 City Council seat might be close, so it’s important for you to vote your choice. More information on Measure C is included below.

Our Association’s annual election of officers will take place at our March 10 meeting at Hastings Library from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm. Officer positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. There are not yet any candidates for Secretary. Nominations for willing candidates may be made via e-mail [email protected] or phone 626 792-2927 by February 28. Please provide the name, address, and a contact phone number for the candidate.

Measure C – Library Parcel Tax

This is a measure on the March 6 municipal election ballot to continue Pasadena’s existing Special Library Tax for another 15 years, from July 2008 through June 2023.  It requires a 2/3 favorable vote to become law. The existing tax is a renewal approved in 1997 and has been providing about $2 million a year for the Pasadena library system, a significant portion of the library budget. Voters first approved the tax in 1993 after years of declining library service and threats of more severe cuts, such as closing all the branch libraries.

It is a special parcel tax on real property – levied as part of property tax bills. It has been at the rate of about $28 per year for a single family dwelling. The new tax would start at about $32 per year, but would be automatically adjusted for inflation in subsequent years. An apartment unit would be assessed a tax of about $21 and a non-residential parcel about $230. Property owned by non-profits is exempt and low income residents can request an exemption. The special tax proceeds cannot be used for anything other then our city libraries, and the city must maintain its existing level of library funding from other sources.

The “Neighborhood Association”

Anyone age 18 and above who lives within its boundaries is automatically a member of East Eaton Wash Neighborhood Association. The boundaries are from Foothill Blvd. north to the south side of Orange Grove Blvd, and from Eaton Wash east to Sierra Madre Villa Ave. There are no dues.

The Neighborhood Association mission is to help improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.  It does this by:

  • helping us get to know and communicate with each other,
  • keeping us informed of local developments and issues affecting the neighborhood,
  • helping us work together to safeguard and improve our neighborhood,
  • providing an avenue for organized feedback and input to the city.

Meetings: Second Saturday of each month at 11:15 am at Hastings Branch Library.

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site: https://eewna.org

Ice Rinks Project

The city’s Ice Rink project continues to slowly move forward. The project would build an approximately 500 x 120 foot building ranging from 34 to 40 feet tall (plus a non-functional 54 foot parapet). It would be located between Eaton Wash and the Edison lines, south of the dog park and north of the water well/PCC parking lot. It would house two NHL sized rinks for public recreational use, locker rooms, skate rental, party room, and hot dog type food facility. There would be 143 parking spaces in a lot between the building and the dog park.

The latest public estimate for opening is now June of 2009. As of mid-January, the city still had no agreements for site access with PCC or Edison.

In July 2006 there was a hearing for the required Conditional Use Permit. The permit was granted, but with some important conditions, including:

  1. Hours of operation are limited to 6 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week.
  2. The city must have a written agreement with Edison for access before building or grading permits are issued.
  3. The CUP must be changed if plans are changed to put parking on the Edison property.
  4. Parking management and traffic control plans for major events must be submitted before issuance of any building permits.
  5. The city must have a written agreement with PCC for access before building or grading permits are issued.
  6. Our residential streets are not to be used for construction access to the site.
  7. The traffic signal at the project (PCC) driveway must be operational prior to the facility opening.
  8. A pedestrian path from our neighborhood to the park must be maintained for the duration of the project. It has to be moved, but it can’t just be blocked or eliminated.
  9. All night lighting shall be shielded and directed on-site.

icerinkmapIn December 2006, city staff informed the City Council that the estimated cost is now considerably higher then the pre-design estimate, but that by modifying the design some, and obtaining another million dollars from the Civic Center expansion project, it is supposedly still financially viable. The proposed design modification would move the upper east wall in, reducing the building volume and also reducing the quality and quantity of spectator seating.

In January 2007, the plans were presented to the Design Commission for it to make a recommendation to the City Council. Commissioners are volunteer citizens appointed by the City Council. The Design Commission was not happy with what they were presented. They felt they should have been given an opportunity to review the project earlier in its life. They didn’t like the location. But forced to use that location, they didn’t like the positioning on the site, the lack of necessary access agreements, and the incomplete and vague state of the plans as presented to them. They voted to recommend the City Council reject the plans.

Although it was not clear at the meeting, city planners now say that meeting was a “concept” review, and they expect to go to the Design Commission for a “final” review soon – perhaps on February 26. After that the plans will go to the City Council for approval.

If you have internet access, visit our web site to find out the latest information, obtain more details, and view the drawings made available at the Design Commission meeting in January.