October 12, 2013 Meeting Summary

October 12, 2013

Preparation

E-mail and phone reminders

Attendees

6 members

Acknowledgments

Susan brought delicious pumpkin bars.

Meeting

Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:25 am

  • PWP construction activity, traffic, ...
    • New large water main is being put in on Foothill east to Halstead, on Sierra Madre Villa from Foothill to Sierra Madre Blvd, east on Sierra Madre Blvd to the reservoir on the north side under Hamilton Park.
    • Foothill west of Sierra Madre Villa is completed.  Last week they were on Sierra Madre Blvd.  This week they were rapidly progressing down Sierra Madre Villa.
    • Details from last month's meeting
    • Rumor contractor bought house at NE corner of Alameda and Avocado to use as an office. Permits have been pulled for electrical panel and new plumbing fixtures.
    • Heavy smell of diesel exhaust thoughout neighborhood every morning recently, especially bad shortly after 7 am.  Seems likely the result of all the trucks coming, going, and idling.
  • Avon to get tax rebates to stay
    • Last Monday the City Council approved an agreement with Avon Products to give it a 40% rebate from the city's share of the sales tax it generates in return for it staying there.
    • Avon had announced earlier this year that they would close this plant by next July.  This facility is located on the south side of Foothill Blvd, just west of the freeway overpass was opened in 1946 and has 350,000 square feet. It employs 200 people.
    • The agreement allows Avon to get back up to $600,000 per year for up to three years, for a maximum of $1.8 million.  Avon has consistently been in the top 10 of sales tax generators for the city, but the amount of sales tax it generates is confidential by state law.
    • The agreement is based on a Sales Tax Incentive program approved by the City Council in 1990 as a "tool to retain/attract large sales tax producing businesses".   (It is probably the same thing that was used to give back sales taxes to the Hastings Village development for many years as incentive to build it.)
    • Under the agreement, Avon must re-invest the money on "facility enhancements", such as upgrading equipment.  According to the staff report, some of it will be spent installing equipment removed from a facility in Georgia that it is closing.
    • The agreement does not require Avon to stay the three years, just that to the extent it stays and makes facility improvements those sale tax revenues can be used to pay for them.  There is also no agreement to either stay or leave after the three years.
    • The staff report says city development staff will continue to work with Avon in planning for the disposition / future use of the property.
  • Development resuming on SE corner Foothill / Sierra Madre Villa
    • The development of 212 residential units on the southeast corner of Foothill Blvd and Sierra Madre Villa Ave is underway again.
    • A development agreement was originally approved by the city back in 2007.
    • During the recession one of the two original development partners, BRE, left the project.  Last December the remaining partner, SMV Technology Partners sold the project to Hines MIP Foothill LLC.
    • The new developer has agreed to fulfill the development agreement.  They have until next October to break ground.
    • 32 of the 212 units are to be "affordable" units.
    • A Design Commission hearing agenda this summer described the project as apartments, but in 2007 they were to be condos.
    • The design in April of 2007 had the 212 condo units in 4 and 5 story buildings 60 feet high totaling 237,706 square feet.  Access to the parking was to be from northbound Sierra Madre Villa to a road between the buildings and the Gold Line Station.
    • The original project included development of what is now the A Noise Within theater.  In 2009 the land parcel and design were split to allow the theater to go forward without completing the design process for the corner residential project.  A contentious remaining design issue was an access path required from the Gold Line station to Foothill between the theater and the residential buildings.  By splitting the parcel to put that path on the residential project parcel, the need to resolve the path issue was avoided at that time.  Do not know what the plan is now.  Since the members of the Design Commission, the developer, and city staff are now different, the issue may be ignored.
  • Former theater destruction to LA Fitness construction
    • The "renovation" of the former Pacific Hastings Theater to construct an LA Fitness is well underway.
    • As we can see "renovation" is an euphemism since all but about 1 1/2 walls have been demolished.
    • The demolished structure has been ground up into the tall cone piles visible above the construction fence.  Those are to be used as part of the new foundation.
    • The foundation work in underway and new walls are supposed to start going up in a couple weeks.
    • The project is expected to take six to seven months.
    • The new facility is to be 42,762 square feet, including a 75'x24' pool and 12'x8' spa.
  • Foothill Blvd road construction in Arcadia
    • Foothill Blvd between Baldwin Ave and Santa Anita Ave is being repaired for the next 6 weeks.
    • Work is being done on the eastbound lanes first, but the street may be reduced to one lane in each direction at times.
    • The concrete street has required little maintenance since its construction in the 1930s.  Now damaged concrete is to be replaced, pot holes repaired, joints sealed, and the surface ground smooth.
    • It is described as a multi-year project, but it isn't clear from the description whether westbound lanes in that section will also be repaired during this time or if the multi-years has to do with other sections of the road.
  • Old medicine disposal drive Oct 26
    • You can turn in unwanted or expired medicines for safe and proper disposal at this Pasadena Police Department event:
      • Saturday October 26, 2013
      • 10 am - 2 pm
      • In front of Pasadena Police Department, 207 N. Garfield Ave., Pasadena 91101
    • If this in inconvenient, remember that the Altadena Sheriff's Station, 780 E. Altadena Dr., has a permanent collection box outside its doors.
  • Used Book Sale Oct 19
    • Used book sale at Hastings Branch Library on Saturday October 19 from 10 am to 2 pm.
    • Mostly donated books, but also library books that have been removed from circulation.
    • Come early for best selection but higher prices ($1.00 hardback, fifty cent paperback).  Come in the middle for half price.  Come late for buck a bag.
    • Proceeds go to branch library programs and improvements through the Hastings Associates, a branch of the Friends of the Pasadena Public Library.
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:
      • no reports within our neighborhood
      • Two daytime residential burglaries in Lower Hastings and one in 3100 block of Paloma.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

Next meeting is November 9, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library

Adjourned about 12:15 pm

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