September 8, 2012 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


6 members


Sharon hosted in her cool family room.  Susan brought yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.


Agenda Items:

The meeting formally began about 11:30 am

  • Potential soccer fields update
    • You may recall our April 14 meeting discussion of a city proposal to build one full size and one youth size soccer field south of the dog park.
    • Edison reportedly outright rejected the proposed full size soccer field, which would have extended under their high tension wires.
    • Reportedly they also initially rejected two smaller “youth sized” fields which would be located on city land with just access and parking on Edison land.  However, there is word that discussions are ongoing and city staff believes a plan for two youth sized fields can be worked out.
  • Freeway sound walls
    • One of our residents sent an e-mail to some city staff and Council member Masuda last week asking when our neighborhood will get sound wall protection.  This has initiated a bit of activity this past week.
    • A response from a city staffer provided a link to this website:
    • Council member Masuda separately followed up with city engineering staff after driving the freeway himself to see where the walls are and are not.  He reports that he will continue to pursue the issue because he remembers getting complaints from many people when he was walking the neighborhood.
    • The city’s chief engineer sent this brochure to him: MTA Retrofit Soundwall Program brochure. It includes some information which does not seem to be on the website.
    • City engineering staff says that an environmental study was completed from the eastern city limit to the 134 interchange.  They did not say when the study was done.
    • They say that although sound walls built when the freeway was constructed are shorter then what is built now, they bring the sound in adjacent residential areas below the 67 decibel limit.
    • A project to build sound walls along the freeway from Fair Oaks to Wilson Ave has been designed and will be implemented ahead of when it would otherwise happen because the city got a grant from somewhere to put toward its cost.
    • Our residential neighborhood does not qualify for consideration of sound wall protection because it is not immediately adjacent to the freeway.   Commercial, retail, and open space areas do not qualify for sound walls.  Thus the commercial area along Foothill and the open space of Eaton Wash and Edison disqualify us.  Apparently anything between the freeway and the residences is disqualifying, no matter how small.
    • Note that developers of new residential areas built next to a freeway are responsible for funding sound walls, and adjacent developments can always choose to privately fund sound walls.
    • The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is responsible for prioritizing and funding the building of sound walls in LA County.  Caltrans is still responsible for eligibility rules, design, construction, and maintenance.
    • Although the introduction page of the referenced web site says $2.4 million per mile, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) information says the estimate is $10 million per mile as of November 2005.  They mention a $2 billion backlog of sound wall construction in LA County, an amount that continues to grow as traffic gets worse and makes more areas eligible.
  • Electronic Drive traffic signal
    • Council member Masuda reports that he has met with city transportation staff regarding getting a signal put in on Sierra Madre Villa at Electronic Drive.  He also has brought it to the attention of his District 4 appointee to the Transportation Commission.   He has urged looking for potential sources of funding.
  • Street Tree planting volunteer event Sept 29
    • Volunteers are being requested to help the city plant street trees west of Eaton Canyon Wash (other side from us) on Saturday September 29.
    • It is an effort involving the City’s Public Works Department, the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation, Odwalla’s Plant-A-Tree program, the Pasadena Community Foundation, and Council member Masuda.
    • They expect to plant more than 75 trees that day.
    • Meet at 8:00 a.m. at Eaton Sunnyslope Park (aka the “hilly” park), on Sunnyslope Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard.
    • A live tree-planting demo begins at 8:15 a.m.
    • Planting teams will head out into the field 8:30 a.m. with designated City Crews.
    • A Volunteer Lunch will be provided by the Pasadena Firefighters Local 809 back at the park.
    • Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes or boots and comfortable clothes that can get dirty.
    • Bring gloves and shovels if you can.
    • Children under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
    • Interested volunteers can contact Public Works’ Division of Parks and Natural Resources at (626) 744-4321 or Darya Barar at (626) 744-3846,[email protected].
  • Local crime summary
    • From
      • Nothing is listed for our neighborhood in the past month.
      • The shopping centers and Gold Line station show relatively few incidents compared to recent months.  But there was an armed robbery at the Citibank on the corner of Rosemead and Foothill on August 20.
      • Attendees have noted more security in the Gold Line station recently, at least partially because of the change to requiring TAP cards or proof of ticket purchase.
      • Lower Hastings and Rosemead Blvd show an unusual number of Petty and Grand Theft incidents.
      • Upper Hastings and upper Sierra Madre Villa (above the golf course) show quite a few residential burglaries again.
  • Avocado Ln to be slurry sealed
    • Avocado Lane is scheduled to be slurry sealed sometime between October and December this year.  No other streets in our neighborhood are on the list.
  • October meeting location
    • Hastings Branch Library should be open again on October 1 at the latest.
    • Therefore, we should be able to meet there again on October 13.  Sharon said that if for some reason the library is not available, she would be willing to host again.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • “Advanced” gas meters
      • Southern California Gas Company bills delivered recently include a brochure titled “Advancedmeter”.
      • It says they will be upgrading our meters in the next few years so that they will report gas usage wirelessly to the gas company.  The will just be adding/changing a component; not switching the whole meter out unless there is some problem they discover.
      • Hourly data on our usage will be available via your account on the gas company web site, but the meter will send the data just once per day, so you won’t be able to see it until the next day.
      • The brochure references their web site for an estimated installation schedule.  That says our area would be upgraded sometime between November 2013 and December 2014.
    • BMW repair shop and limo parking
      • A big limo is being stored in the BMW repair shop on the corner of Santa Paula and Foothill at night and being parked on Santa Paula or Alameda during the day.
      • Not illegal, but annoying to some residents.
      • One attendee thought that a resident, perhaps living on the corner of Alameda and Santa Paula, uses it for his business and apparently has an arrangement to park in the BMW repair lot overnight.
      • Another thought is that the BMW lot is storing it while waiting for parts or something to fix it, but has to move it out during the day to have room to operate.
      • One indication would be whether the limo is in the lot right after the business closes, or only appears there much later at night.  Because a limo business would normally be busiest in the evening.
    • Homeless activity in neighborhood
      • There is a perception among at least some residents that homeless activity has increased in the neighborhood and that the new Kinneloa road under the freeway has a lot to do with it.
      • Do others have observations to confirm or refute this?
      • Attendees at the meeting noted they’ve seen both new faces and some long time area homeless have returned.
      • There was discussion about a home on Vineyard that was just cleaned up after at least ten months of neglect.  Neighbors contacted code enforcement and ?? Turns out to be owned by Bank of America, which contracted a crew to clean up the outside mess.  Sleeping bags visible on the floor inside may indicate it had squatters in it at some point. The house is reportedly going to be auctioned soon.

Next meeting is October 13, 2012, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library

Adjourned about ???