July 14, 2007 Meeting Summary


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


13 members


Agenda Items:

  • Proposed redevelopment between Sierra Madre Villa and Rosemead/Halstead
  • Baker’s Square area redevelopment rumor
  • Kaiser moving next door on Foothill
  • Perssons nursery and Edison right of way
  • Ice Rink planning status
  • Too tall wall at new homes development on Sierra Madre Villa
  • Strip club settlement
  • Campaign to again locate urgent/emergency care at St Luke site
  • East Pasadena Resident’s Association?
  • Safe Streets Now program
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

The meeting began about 11:25 am

Proposed redevelopment between Sierra Madre Villa and Rosemead/Halstead

  • A Pre-Plan Review for a development was on the City Council agenda for June 18, but was withdrawn before the meeting by the developer.
  • Here is the agenda report, and a picture of the concept drawing (which is unintelligible in that online agenda report).
  • The proposal would demolish all buildings and trees on the block between Sierra Madre Villa, Rosemead, and Halstead except for the building on the northern tip and the building along Electronic Drive.
  • Six new office buildings, each three to four stories tall (plus mechanics screen) would be built.
  • This would increase the available floor area by about four times, but the impact would be greater because most of the current floor area (former Allstate building) has been unused for 15+ years.
  • Almost all parking would be in underground garage(s).   Because the site is within one half mile of the gold line, it might have much less parking then would otherwise be required.
  • The East Pasadena Specific Plan has a very large amount of office space development permitted once the Walnut/Kinneloa cut throughs are completed.  This proposal depends on that happening and undoubtedly the city staff foresaw it as a major contributor of fees to the cost of that work.
  • The many city ordinance protected trees that are proposed to be removed is one hurdle the proposal must get over.
  • The Allstate building was potentially eligible for historic status, but at some point in recent years someone in the city staff made a determination that it had already been modified too much to qualify.
  • Traffic is obviously an issue for us.  If the traffic evaluation follows the usual course, they will just use as a base traffic study done many many years ago as part of the development of the East Pasadena Specific Plan.   So much development has occurred or is occurring in the area since then, with an unanticipated mix, a thorough new study should be required.
  • The developer was going to request that the two parcels be merged into one and also some special consideration on the height limits.  Under the East Pasadena Specific Plan the height limits for the south east portion of the area are higher (at 56′) then those for the rest of the area (40′).  Based on a developer drawing in the staff report, the building height is to be calculated from the high side of the slope and does not include the “mechanical screen” area on the top of the buildings.

Baker’s Square area redevelopment rumor

  • multiple parcels have same owner
  • that all the businesses under that ownership are to be zapped and a big box retailer go in
  • rumor includes the theater and bowling alley parcels

Kaiser moving next door on Foothill

  • Kaiser Permanente is planning to move their medical offices to 3258-80 Foothill.  The building on the southeast corner of Foothill and Sierra Madre Villa.
  • Have heard that they’ve applied for a minor conditional use permit to have tandem and valet parking on site.  They also propose leasing an additional 100 spaces in the Gold Line parking structure.  Councilman Haderlein has been contacted by someone from a different neighborhood association and has asked city staff to investigate and report back.
  • In addition to added traffic concerns, the difficulty/expense of patrons parking leads to concern they may park in our neighborhood instead.
  • A Conditional Use Permit hearing may occur on or about August 9.

Perssons nursery and Edison right of way update

  • Mayor Bill Bogaard reportedly got involved in negotiating for Perssons to stay
  • Perssons tentatively will get a 20 year lease to the property where it is currently and has been located for 35 years.
  • A Star-News story also mentions “augmenting Viña Vieja Park”.  Nothing else has been heard about this or what it might mean.  Potentially it could mean raising the high tension lines and extending the park south along Avocado.  There is also mention of a bike path but not a location for it.
  • Star News story also mentions providing for use of land for accessing the Ice Rink.
  • Nothing was mentioned about the fate of Present Perfect nursery (previously slated to close in August) or any of the rest of the right of way south of Colorado Blvd.
  • A revised application from the self-storage developer is expected to be filed soon.
  • A big question is what deals the developer may believe it has with the city which have not yet been subject to any public scrutiny much less the required public hearings.

Ice Rink planning status

  • there has been no public news/activity since the March Design Commission hearing
  • The tie-in we’ve always suspected with what happens with the rest of the Edison right of way becomes more evident with the Star News story on Perssons staying.

Too tall wall at new homes development on Sierra Madre Villa

  • The wall has been lowered from 14 feet to 10.
  • Although there is still some debate, city staff has said it appears the developer is within their rights to raise the ground level by 10 feet and build on top of that.
  • A reason nothing was happening for quite a while was they have to allow enough time for the cement to cure before filling behind the wall with topsoil.

Strip Club settlement

  • The city was on tenuous legal grounds for changing the applicable ordinances after the business had already filed its permit applications.  The business owner sued the city, and vice-versa.
  • The city settled its legal dispute by paying nearly $4.7 million to the owner for the land, his legal expenses, and to settle the lawsuit.  The owner’s lawyer admitted the owner cleared about $1.5 million in profit in the deal.

Campaign to again locate urgent/emergency care at St Luke site

  • Caltech bought St Luke from Tenant health care several years ago after the hospital was closed because Tenant said they couldn’t make enough profit on it.
  • Caltech intended to use it for laboratory and dormitory space.  But after changes in the JPL budget and operations and other factors, Caltech decided it isn’t useful in the way they had expected and put it up for sale.
  • The emergency room has been left pretty much intact and used a number of times for television/movie shoots involving emergency rooms.
  • Currently existing urgent care and emergency facilities are not close by and are frequently overwhelmed.
  • A grassroots group named Emergency Care Now is advocating for part of the St Luke site being reopened as an emergency or urgent care facility.  Copies of their Flyer were passed out, as well as blank copies of the Petition on which they are gathering signatures to show decision makers that there is broad support for the concept.  More information can be obtained via e-mail to [email protected] or calling 626 390-2801.
  • The city already has an effort underway to locate an urgent care facility in East Pasadena.  It has been negotiating with a group of doctors to use a city owned building on Del Mar just south of the intersection with Kinneloa, next to the power lines.   This effort seems to be stalled.

East Pasadena Resident’s Association?

  • proposed association of neighborhood associations
  • to better distribute information about goings on and organize to take action when needed
  • know nothing more about proposed organization
  • does this seem like a good idea?  Yes.

Safe Streets Now program

  • In discussions about some local trouble spots, a city sponsored program for handling nuisance causing rental property has come to our attention.  It has reportedly been successfully used elsewhere in Pasadena.
  • The Safe Streets Now program is coordinated through the city’s Neighborhood Connections office.  If tenants of a rental property are causing problems for the neighborhood, neighbors can request a meeting with a facilitator trained in the Safe Streets Now program.  They’ll discuss what is going on and how to keep logs of all the problem behavior, the police calls, etc.  Then a letter will be written to the landlord with the Safe Streets Now facilitator as the contact. It will explain the problem and that now that the landlord has been notified, he/she could be held liable in Small Claims Court if action is not taken to resolve the nuisance.  In most cases the landlord chooses to take action, such as evicting the tenants.  If not, neighbors file suit in Small Claims Court.

anything else attendees wish to discuss

  • One member attending had received a survey in June from the city which requested ratings of many city services and departments and had a deadline for returning by mail.  No one else attending the meeting had received such a survey.
  • Some problem locations in the neighborhood were discussed.
  • Reinforced that the police need to be called whenever illegal activity is occurring, even if that is over and over again and you feel like you are being a nuisance to the police.  If they don’t get the reports they will assume all is well and needed resources will never be allocated to deal with our area’s problems.
  • The new street light system has/is being installed on Estado.  One of the new lights is located right between two big palm trees which block its light.
  • Something has been going on with big construction trucks coming and going via the Alameda/Avocado gates.  They start before 7 in the morning.  They are creating a lot of noise and dust.   They appear to be dumping a lot of fill dirt on the PWP property just south of the water well. The dust is causing health problems for some residents and there are questions whether the dirt may contain or have been treated with something toxic.   It also appears that area may be being used as a staging area for construction somewhere else, and that trucks are being stored there overnight.
  • Lots of trash, including broken glass, is accumulating on both sides (PCC and Edison) of the park pedestrian path fencing.  In addition to being unsightly, it could be dangerous to pets and children.

Next meeting is August 11.

Adjourned around 12:45 pm