May 9, 2009 Meeting Summary


E-mail reminder was sent and some phone calls were made


Susan brought delicious cupcakes.


8 members


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:20 am

  • Alameda Street work
    • The electrical work has continued another month. Streets dug up and poorly patched each day.  Substantial damage to some of the parkways and curbs too. Plenty of mud or dust.  Piles of asphalt.
    • Upgrading the underground system from 4kV to 17kV.
    • Several electric vaults have been installed, with ventilation ducts surfacing near the sidewalk on nearby street corners.
    • Although there was no notice about it, it appears that “while the patient is open” they are stubbing out conduit to the property lines for all the houses on Alameda and a couple corner houses on Vineyard and Santa Paula.  Eventually this would be used to underground the electric service.
    • It appears they are also connecting the electric pole systems on each of the connecting streets.  This could immediately allow removal of some of the aerial electric lines crossing the street.
    • It was noted that work has been starting at 7 a.m., including some recently which was seriously shaking nearby houses.
  • Grapevine Directory of tradespersons
    • Sharon has the recommendation forms printed and ready for distribution throughout the neighborhood.
    • She needs volunteers to help distribute them. If you are willing to help, send an e-mail to [email protected] and it will be forwarded to her.
    • A printable recommendation form has also been put on our website HERE.
    • An online fill-in and submit version is under development and should be ready soon.
  • Street sweeping and refuse fee increase
    • City staff pulled back the proposal to spend $625,000 to put up no parking signs and change street sweeping to daytime in all residential areas of the city.  The April 27 staff report says they will seek additional public comment and do additional analysis.
    • Council was to approve paying for street sweeping with a new $0.79 per month fee instead of from the General Fund.
    • Council was to approve a 2.79% increase in refuse fees.
    • However, the April 27 agenda was so full and had so far to go at about 8:30 pm when they got to it, that they “continued” the item to May 18 without hearing anything.  “Sorry” to those in the audience waiting to address them. (The Council meeting continued on other subjects to 1:25 am)
    • New fee and increased fees take effect July 1, 2009.
    • The effect on the usual residential refuse services is:
      • 32 gallon mixed waste, monthly fee will go up by $1.19 to $14.51.
      • 60 gallon mixed waste, monthly fee will go up by $1.45 to $23.54
      • 100 gallon mixed waste, monthly fee will go up by $1.82 to $36.43
    • Since these are montly rates, double them for what you see on our two-month bills.
    • If you are using one of the larger size cans, seriously consider whether you really need that much space.  You could save $18.06 to $43.84 per bill by downsizing.
  • Water waste and shortages ordinances
    • On April 27 the City Council approved ordinance changes for water waste and water shortages as described in more detail last month.
      • a permanent water waste ordinance which provision (in part):
        • no watering between 9 am and 6 pm except by hand
        • no watering during rain
        • no letting water run-off
        • no washing down hard or paved surfaces except by limited means for health & safety
      • changing the water shortage ordinance  (in part):
        • no more water rationing allocations based on past use
        • each level of declared water shortage has additional restrictions on usage such as how often watering is allowed
        • each level of declared water shortage reduces the size of the water rate blocks above the first block
        • each level of declared water shortage increases the price of water for all the blocks above the first block
    • The fee and price increases are scheduled for hearing on June 8.  Everyone who pays utility bills should now have received two notices of the hearing (one original and one revised). In summary:
      • the existing water block sizes are reduced and two more are added
      • the rate for water in block 2 and above is raised dramatically
      • the fixed water service rate you have to pay no matter how much water is used will be almost doubled after one increase this July 1 and another next July 1.
    • Expect a level 1 water shortage to already be in effect on July 1.  This means the block tiers will be smaller, and the rates for each will be higher, then what appears on the rate hearing notice.
  • Park – new pedestrian walkway planning
    • Planning continues for moving the pedestrian entrance on Avocado from where Alameda intersects to where Las Lunas intersects.
    • The Dept of Transportation decided the following is needed:
      • a handicapped curb cut on the southeast corner of Las Lunas and Avocado
      • a crosswalk painted from there across Avocado to the new pedestrian entrance
      • “trail blazing” signs
      • maybe pedestrian crossing warning signs
      • this has pushed cost up significantly so estimates are above what has been budgeted.  Not clear how that will be dealt with.
    • The city has gone back to Edison with revised rough drawings and gotten preliminary ok.  Detailed drawings are being completed.
    • A drip irrigation line is to be extended down from the park between the path and the backyards of the houses and the Edison eastern fence line.
    • Most recent drawing
  • Ice Rink project status
    • Construction bids were opened by city staff and a winning bidder picked.
    • Rumor has it that the winning bid is lower then city staff had expected.  This makes it more likely that they’ll be able to put together a financing plan and recommend to the City Council that the project go forward.
    • The April timeframe for bringing a recommendation to City Council has been missed.  Councilman Tyler will no longer be there to dig into the financial numbers.  No idea on the new Councilman’s view point.
    • Have heard that City Staff did a new search for potentially better locations for the ice rink facility but did not find anything.
  • Variance hearing for 475 Mercury Lane
    • Public Hearing by a Zoning Hearing Officer on
      May 20, 6 pm, Permit Center Hearing Room, 175 N. Garfield Ave. (Enter via side entrance on Ramona St.)
    • Request for Variance to provide only one covered parking space when two covered spaces are required. V11657
    • Notice says “applicant is applying for a variance to leglize an existing, non-permitted addition of 811 square feet to the 932 square foot, one-story residence.  The Zoning Code requires that when new construction to a residential site is 150 square feet or more, that the parking be brought up to current development standards”.
    • The city zoning staff recommendation to the Hearing Officer should be posted by May 18 on the city’s planning and development website:
  • planning permits extension
    • City Staff is developing a recommendation to allow projects that currently have permits, or have had one expire within the past year, to apply for a one year extension of the time allowed to complete the project.  The Director of Planning and Development would have the authority to grant the extension.
    • The reason given is “Numerous projects that have secured entitlements for development have not been able to proceed with construction due to current economic conditions.”
    • Interestingly, the Ice Rink project’s Conditional Use Permit is already in the one year extension allowed by current ordinance, so that project would probably be taking advantage of this proposal if it goes forward.
    • Authority to grant this extra extension would automatically sunset on December 31, 2010.
    • The public notice is inviting the public to submit any comments on this proposal by May 15 through the City’s webpage:
    • For more information contact John Poindexter 626 744-7232 or Jose Jimenez 744-7137
  • Bike week
    • “Bike Week Pasadena” runs from Monday May 11 through Saturday May 16.
    • There are a series of events which are free and open to anyone.
    • Friday from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Rose Bowl there is going to be a festival with activities for kids and a “family friendly” ride around the Rose Bowl loop.
    • Saturday from 10 am to 12:30 pm is a “workshop” that starts at Gwinn Park.  (That is the park just across the wash from Viña Vieja park.)  The description is
      • “Check out grocery-getting gear, tips and tricks on traffic negotiation, great bike routes and basic bike mechanical safety. After the workshop, join us for a short ride to Whole Foods Market in Hastings Ranch where special treats await us. Special discounts from Pasadena Cyclery for all workshop participants. Please RSVP by Wednesday, May 13 to reserve your goodie bag, courtesy of Whole Foods Hastings Ranch. Write [email protected], or call 323.478.0060.”
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • 2nd Pasadena Marathon
      • Officially set for Sunday February 21, 2010.
      • Registration is open.  Go to:
      • Through Sunday May 10, there are “deep registration discounts” of 37.5% off the “Early Bird” fees that will apply until September 7, 50% off the “standard” fee that will the apply until December 27
    • Pasadena Water and Power Smart Sprinkler Controller Giveaway
      • Contest in which they are drawing one winner each day in May.  Sooner you enter the more chances of winning.  You must be a customer and already have a timed sprinkler system.
      • Smart Sprinkler Controller replaces a regular timer.  It supposedly automatically adjusts the watering schedule based on weather and plant needs.  Regular cost is hundreds of dollars.
      • Enter online at
        or call 744-6970 for an entry form.
    • Bowling Alley reopening
      • Someone saw a note somewhere that the revamped bowling alley is supposed to open on May 14th.

Next meeting is June 13, 2009.

Adjourned about 12:30 pm