2008 Newsletter

The Grapevine

No. 3        News from East Eaton Wash Neighborhood Association       February 19, 2008

Time to Vote!

Please vote in our Association’s annual election of officers at our March 8 meeting at Hastings Branch Library from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm. Officer positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Nominations for willing candidates may be made via e-mail [email protected] or phone 626 792-2927 by March 3. Please provide the name, address, and a contact phone number for the candidate.

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

allstatemapThe city’s Ice Rink project has continued 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 was June of 2009.

Last March the project went to the city’s Design Commission for a “final design review”, really more of a consultation. At the time there was a lot of discussion about spectator seating. A major concern being whether the planned seating was of sufficient quality and quantity. City planners spoke about an alternative they were looking into for sort of glass booths above the locker rooms on the eastern side. That notion was subsequently dropped.

A major concern all along for our neighborhood has been the route by which cars will access the site. In the fall, the City Council approved an easement with PCC which will allow access to the ice rink building from Foothill via the PCC driveway and parking lot.

Unfortunately, PCC has reportedly refused to allow access via this route for construction of the project. A condition we got on the Conditional Use Permit bans access for construction vehicles via Alameda Street. The road from Maple that runs north next to the power substation is reportedly too fragile and incapable of being upgraded. This left city planners talking about building a temporary construction road from Orange Grove Blvd. through the eastern side of Viña Vieja Park. Limiting use to low traffic hours with flagmen to direct traffic. A major stumbling block is managing to keep a pedestrian path open from our neighborhood, which is another requirement of the Conditional Use Permit. No matter where the path starts, if a construction road goes through the park then pedestrians from our neighborhood will have to cross it.

The city also needs an agreement with Edison for access to the ice rink site. Since the demise of the proposals for self-storage on other Edison lands in the city, communication between the city and Edison has reportedly improved. It is possible there is an understanding about what will be done for ice rink access, but no agreement has been made public. We have heard that there have been discussions with Edison about the pedestrian path to the park and that maybe it can be moved to the original planned location just south of Las Lunas and go underneath the “too low” wires after all.

In December 2007, the city accepted and opened bids for construction of the ice rink project. City planners did so with an expectation that the bids would probably be over budget. They hoped to gather information that would let them figure out viable alternatives. The lowest bid is reported to have been $5 million over budget. Since the construction budget was in the vicinity of $12 million, that is a huge difference. City staff was reportedly hoping to figure out the options going forward by the end of January but there has been no further word.

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 meetings in January and March of 2007.

Kaiser Medical Offices Moving Here

Kaiser Permanente purchased the building on the southwest corner of Foothill Blvd. and Sierra Madre Villa Ave. They are in the process of remodeling empty portions of it in order to move their medical offices from Lake and Villa. They were originally planning to move this spring, but it will be sometime later.

Walnut and Kinneloa cut-through

The city is planning a major road project just to our south this spring. Walnut Ave. is to be cut through behind the auto dealers between Sunnyslope Ave. and Kinneloa Ave. (just west of Target). Titley Ave. is to be extended under the freeway (using the existing fenced off underpass) to connect to Kinneloa Ave.   Virginia Ave. is to be cut through to Walnut, and the intersection of Walnut and Altadena Drive is to be normalized. This project is called for by the East Pasadena Specific Plan, which was developed in the early 1990s. The Plan requires completion of these “improvements” to enable additional development in the area, such as the condos planned for the southeast corner of Sierra Madre Villa and Foothill. Those developments are supposed to pay for the work via fees, but the city is fronting much of the money. The last publicly reported schedule was for the work to begin this spring and finish by the end of the year.

Plan to wipe-out “Allstate” property

In June of 2007, a developer put forth a plan for a massive office complex that would replace everything south of the triangle corner lot between Sierra Madre Villa Ave. and Rosemead Blvd, and north of the existing building on Electronic Drive that includes 24-Hour Fitness. This includes the former Allstate building, the two newer buildings, all parking lots, and all landscaping. The plan called for six buildings three and four stories high. Almost all parking would be underground, but it might be less then normal due to proximity to the Gold Line. This plan became public as a Pre-Plan Review on the City Council agenda. Going through the review would have started an official entitlement process, but it was pulled from the Council agenda before it was heard, reportedly for “re-work”. It has not re-emerged yet.