August 10, 2013 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


8 members


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:25 am

  • PCC-CEC issues: parking, litter, …
    • Manuel Vargas went to the last meeting of the PCC Board of Directors to complain about the problems caused by Pasadena City College students parking in our neighborhood instead of in the PCC-CEC parking lot.
    • Joe Simoneschi, Executive Director of Business Services, was asked to meet with residents and determine what could be done to help solve the problem.
    • A meeting was arranged for July 31 at 6 pm on the corner of Santa Paula Ave and La Tierra St.
      • At the meeting Joe Simoneschi was joined representing PCC by Ruben ?, and by Pasadena City College Police Officer Chan(sp?).  Officer Chan works the graveyard shift at PCC-CEC.
      • About eight residents attended the meeting. Short notice prevented widespread notice of the meeting.
    • Problems:
      • Parking on our streets instead of in parking lot.
        • Makes parking spaces unavailable to residents and their guests.
        • Greatly increases traffic and hazards on our small streets.
        • Extra problems on trash pickup day (Monday), when the cans need to be out.
      • Trash, such as from fast food, is frequently dumped from parked cars onto neighboring property and the street.
      • Parking is often done in hazardous locations, such as too near driveways, on corners, near fire hydrants.
      • Students walking to/from their parked cars frequently trespass on front yards, especially through corner lots.
      • Students often go over the fence on La Tierra to avoid going the long way around.
      • The area off of La Tierra behind the bungalows is shielded from the rest of the PCC area and is being used for pot smoking.
    • PCC representatives responses at the meeting:
      • There is a state law that requires PCC to charge for parking in its lot.
      • PCC police do patrol the neighboring streets, the graveyard officer patrols several times during a shift.
      • PCC police cannot issue citations for parking violations or any other infractions outside of PCC property.  PCC has no authority off campus.
      • PCC police could try to work more with Pasadena Police and parking enforcement.  For example when PCC police see parking violations, they could call Pasadena’s parking enforcement.
      • Perhaps Pasadena could paint the curb corners red to make it clear that parking on the corner itself is not allowed.
      • PCC is already intending to increase the fencing along La Tierra because with more night classes they have security issues.
      • Could issue flyers to students when they register for classes encouraging them to use the parking lot and to be respectful to the neighborhood.
      • Do not think they could use police cadets to create a presence and talk to students parking off campus.  Worried about lack of authority.  Also, not very many cadets currently.
      • Pasadena’s residential permit only parking might be the best solution.
      • The bungalows are “temporary”, but will be there at least a couple more years.  The bungalows were put in to help deal with a shortage of space when the health and sciences building on the main campus was closed due to earthquake hazards.  PCC has just received the go ahead to design and build a replacement building.
    • At the meeting we noted that No Parking signs had recently been posted on the south side of La Tierra west of Santa Paula, a location that previously had always been fully parked.  This had resulted in increased parking further away on our streets.  No one indicated knowing why that street segment had recently been changed to No Parking.
    • This past week, an e-mail was received from Joe Simoneschi. Here is the content:

“This is a follow up to our meeting with you on Wednesday, July 31st and the steps the District has taken to mitigate some of the issues that have been presented.

  1. Our PCC Chief of Police, Don Yoder, and Officer Tyler Robins conducted a walk of the neighborhood and spoke with residents of the area.
  2. Chief Yoder has met with the City of Pasadena Parking Enforcement and they will be working with our PCC Police Department  to:
    1. Conduct parking enforcement.
    2. Determine if “No Parking Signs” will be posted.
    3. Tow any vehicle, at vehicle owners expense, that is blocking a driveway or entryway.
    4. Students who liter will be cited.
    5. Vehicles that are parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant will be cited.
    6. Will discourage students from walking across private property.
    7. Extra patrols of the area will be conducted.
    8. Extra patrols will monitor vehicles parked in alleyways blocking business and apartment driveways, however business owners will need to notify Parking Enforcement of violations.
  3. A notice to our PCC students will be sent out advising them of parking enforcement.
  4. A contractor has been identified to install fence extensions and bushes.
  5. Kaiser Permanente has informed PCC that they have completed their parking structure so parking by their employees should be diminished.

Officer Robins has been assigned as the District’s internal point of contact with the City, and Chief Yoder will be sending out weekly updates to you with information.

In addition, the following contact information can be used if you have questions or concerns:

Pasadena City College Police and Safety Services
1570 E. Colorado Blvd., B210
Phone Number: 626-585-7484

Thank you for bringing the needs of the community to our attention.”

  • Item 2b may not be desirable because residents are already suffering from parking restrictions intended to stop PCC student parking.  Additional No Parking zones may relieve some traffic and trash issues where imposed, but will also insure the residents and their visitors can’t park in front of their homes and will likely just cause additional problems on other street segments.
  • As indicated, the point man for PCC is now Officer Tyler Robins.  He sent a separate e-mail requesting that residents having issues with PCC student activities in the neighborhood contact him.  His e-mail is [email protected] . The phone number he provided is also 626-585-7484.
  • PWP construction activity, traffic, …
    • Pasadena Water and Power contractors are using the lot north of the Goodrich Power Plant for storage of trucks and materials, including dug up materials and fill, as they work on the new water main.
    • Details from last month’s meeting.
    • After our last meeting, complaints and suggestions were forwarded to the Project Manager, Natalie Ouwersloot. Responses are:
      • The contractor was immediately told to stop making noise before 7 am.  (By City Ordinance, they are not allowed to do so without a special permit.)   At least the backup beeping did stop.  If they are making noise before 7 am again, contact Ms Ouwersloot.
      • Regarding dirt and gravel left on the streets, the contractor was requested to get a new sweeper instead of the “dinosaur” they had been using.
      • The contractor has been “spoken” to about not breaking tree branches.
      • No explanation was given for why the trucks are using Santa Paula instead of the larger Alameda (guessing to avoid the Sierra Madre Villa/Foothill intersection).  However, she said the larger trucks do use Alameda because they have a hard time with the turn to/from Santa Paula.
      • The Fire Department is still using the Shakey’s Pizza property, so it is not available to use for storage of PWP contractor trucks.
      • PWP has been looking into alternate routes to access their lot.
        • Examination of potential access through the PCC parking lot showed it would not be feasible due to the traffic flow and the way the cars are parked.  They also have access issues with Edison and PCC.
        • They are trying to find out if LA County might let them use the road on the Eaton Wash side, but the contractor supposedly already asked the County about doing that.
    • There is also a big metal ribbed device at the entrance to the dirt road across the Edison easement that looks like it is intended to capture some of the dirt/gravel the truck tires may have picked up. It may also serve to slow the trucks down.
  • Gophers and Edison land
    • An explosion of gophers has been occurring on the Edison high tension wires land, affecting the park and surrounding homes.
    • Homeowners from the Canyon Wash Neighborhood Association spoke at the City Council July 29 meeting during public comment.
      • The Canyon Wash Neighborhood is the area of newer two story homes between the Edison lines and Eaton Wash, between Orange Grove and Sierra Madre Blvd.
      • They reported on how their properties are now being overrun by gophers, and how no matter what they do on their own property the Edison land provides a continuing supply.
      • At least one resident also reported on damage from runoff a few years ago and how unresponsive Edison has been to take any measures to remedy it then, or prevent a re-occurrence the next time we have substantial rain.
      • The Canyon Wash neighborhood association has met with the Edison public relations representative (arranged by Council member Masuda), but Edison is not accepting any responsibility as a landowner to deal with the problems on their land.  Statements reportedly have been made along the lines that Pasadena residents are not customers, so they don’t have any obligation to them.
      • Residents pointed out that, at a minimum, Edison has the same responsibilities as any other property owner.
    • Council members noted recent problems with Edison in the Hahamonga area where an Edison contractor brought in bulldozers and scraped and moved dirt without any prior notice to the city or environmental review that the city believes is required.
    • Council members requested City staff to gather information and bring it to a discussion at the Economic Development and Technology Committee of the City Council.  (However, the next meeting of the committee is not until Oct 7.)
    • Information to be gathered includes:
      • Edison’s legal obligations, both as a property owner and by the language of any easements or contracts with the City.
      • How gophers are managed by other large property owners, such as golf courses.
      • Health and safety concerns posed by large number of gophers.
    • The Canyon Wash neighbors are considering using the “Safe Streets Now” program against Edison.  Under this program, each affected neighbor would file a Small Claims suit.  It is a means of trying to force the target (Edison) to take notice and take action.  There is a $75 fee for each filing.  If you are interested in possibly joining this action, contact Jim Hartley at [email protected] or (626) 577-9183
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from
      • Mon July 22, 10:06 pm, 3100 block Mataro St, Petty Theft
      • Wed July 31, 3:48 pm, 3300  block E Orange Grove Blvd, Domestic Violence
      • Saturday night 8/10 through Sunday 8/11, there were three residential burglaries reported in Daisy Villa (west side of Eaton Wash)
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Night construction noise from Old Navy
      • Construction work has been taking place during the night at Old Navy.  The jack hammering and backup beeping has been disturbing neighbors on or near Sierra Madre Villa.
      • Police were called several times.  The construction people told them they have a permit to work at night.  The police have no way to verify that, so they told the caller to check with the City’s Permit Office.  The permit office says they do not have a permit to work at night.
      • According to the City’s Permit database, on Saturday August 10 an inspector checked at 6:15 am and found nothing happening.  He returned on Monday August 12 before 7 am and found construction underway.  A warning was issued to “marcos”.  A return visit the morning of August 13 did not find any construction, so the case was closed.  Case number CTP2013-01494.
      • If anybody is disturbed by more construction at night, call Code Compliance the next morning and tell them it is continuing and reference that case number.
    • Southeast corner Sierra Madre Villa and Foothill plan for 212 units
      • A permit hearing sign was noted posted in the empty lot on the south east corner of Sierra Madre Villa and Foothill.
      • This lot has been in use for construction staging by the builder’s of the Kaiser parking structure across the street.
      • A search and digging in the City’s Permit website shows that there was a Design Commission hearing for Concept Review of a plan for 212 apartment units on the site.  Presumably this is a modified version of what the developer previously had approval for (which were condos).   The concept design was approved.  This now being in the past (no notice given), none of the documents presented to the meeting are available online anymore.
    • Former Pacific Hastings Theater becoming LA Fitness
      • A construction trailer has appeared next to the parking lot of the former Pacific Hastings Theater.  Presumably this means construction work to make it into LA Fitness is going to start soon.
      • A search of the City’s permit database shows that there was lots of activity in recent months with many permissions to proceed given in July.   No details available beyond the permit titles:
        • Renovation and construction of health fitness facility at 42,762 square feet (LA Fitness)
        • Construction of a new pool 75×24′ and spa 12’x8′ for new LA Fitness
        • Grading for site improvement .256 CY of cut and 2600 CY of fill.
    • Southwest corner Santa Paula and La Tierra
      • Derelict looking house on south west corner of Santa Paula and La Tierra was sold last February.
      • Owner is currently in process of getting permits to rehab the house.
    • Avocado Ave humps need repainting
      • The paint on the humps is fading to the point that the humps are becoming invisible, resulting in more drivers accidentally hitting them too fast and the resulting noise jolting the neighbors.

Next meeting is September 14, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library

Adjourned about 12:15 pm