June 14, 2014 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


6 members


Susan brought blueberry mini-muffins


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:25 am

  • Undergrounding required for electric service upgrade
    • A homeowner on Vineyard Pl planning to upgrade the electric service to their house (to 100 Amp) just learned when the permit was issued  that the city now requires the homeowner to also underground the electric line to the street.  The homeowner has to pay for the work, but may get up to a $3000 rebate The city will do the work to extend the main line down the street to in front of the house, but with a delay of up to several months.
    • The electric service main on Alameda Street was undergrounded a few years ago as part of a project to bring extra power capacity to the undergrounded circuit on Sierra Madre Villa Ave.  The property connections were not undergrounded (except maybe one or two), but laterals were put in the street to the front of each address so the street should not have to be dug up again.
    • In other places in the city where electric undergrounding has taken place (such as the work still underway on Hill Ave), a special Underground Utility District is formed, with City Council hearings and notices to all affected property owners.  All the overhead utilities are undergrounded at the same time, and then property owners have to have their lines undergrounded within a certain amount of time.  The city either does the work to underground the property owners itself or pays up to $3000 in a rebate toward the cost of the property owner’s own contractor doing the work.  This is all in a municipal ordinance.
    • An underground district was not formed for the Alameda St work – the ability to underground the electric connections of the adjacent properties is just a side effect.  Were homeowners on Alameda St given any notice that they would be required to underground their electric line if they upgraded their electric service?
    • Homeowners on Vineyard Pl were not given notice.  This came as a complete surprise.  When a house was rebuilt recently as a “flip it”, they undergrounded the electric line and a contractor dug up the street and brought electricity from Alameda as far as that house.  None of the adjacent property owners were informed about what was going on or why.  At the time it was assumed the developer had wanted to do the undergrounding for some reason and was paying for it.  But in retrospect, maybe the city forced them to.  If the city forced it, was it because all streets adjacent to Alameda are subject to this requirement?   Or was it a special negotiated circumstance to get the developer out of legal problems with the city? (Did not even seek any building permits before taking the house apart.  Got caught when neighbors called code enforcement).
    • Is this a requirement for all the streets adjacent to Alameda St?  If so, how far down each street does it extend?   We haven’t heard of such a requirement elsewhere in the city where the main electric lines have not already been undergrounded.  How does the city budget for this work?  Unlike an Underground Utility District, the city has no idea where and when property owners might choose to upgrade their electric service.  Do property owners some distance from Sierra Madre Villa Ave (undergrounded about 1996) face the same requirement?
    • The affected homeowner intends to ask questions and hopes to obtain answers so others who are affected by this policy can plan accordingly.
  • Truck traffic on Alameda
    • Kim on Alameda St has continued to work at trying to get Pasadena Water and Power to stop utilizing Alameda St for truck traffic to and from their lot north of their substation on the other side of the Edison wires.
    • She has arranged a meeting of Council member Masuda and representatives of Edison and Pasadena Water and Power this coming week.  It will be interesting to see if any plan for doing something is forthcoming or if it will just be a public relations check mark.
  • Our July meeting (if, date, place)
    • Our regular meeting time on July 12 has been usurped by the library for a Summer Reading Club event. (Our reservations run from July 1 to June 30.  This year, reservations could not be requested until May 27.  Meanwhile library events were being scheduled without regard to past practice).
    • That left us with three options: cancel the meeting, move it to another day, or move the meeting somewhere else.
    • Kathy offered to host us in the shade in her back/side yard at our regular day and time.   Our meeting attendees chose to accept her offer.  She promises to have fans making a breeze if its hot that day.
    • That’s 463 Vineyard Place.  Vineyard Place is a dead end street which runs north from Alameda St between Santa Paula Ave and Avocado Ave.
  • Transportation performance measures workshop
    • This is part of the General Plan Update process
    • Tuesday June 17, 6:30 – 8 pm, Pasadena Presbyterian Church, Gamble Lounge, 585 E. Colorado Blvd
    • “New Ways to Measure Mobility
      Presenting Proposed Transportation Measures that collectively assess the quality of walking, biking, transit and vehicular travel in the city
      For information, please call (626) 744-7464.”
    • From a staff report:
      “Pasadena is currently using a conventional set of performance measures for evaluating
      system performance and in reviewing the impacts of new development. Intersection
      volume to capacity ratios and Level of Service are the primary measures. The city also
      uses a volume-based analysis of change in traffic on street segments to assess impact.
      When looked at in the above context, the current measures are silent with regard to
      system performance of non-auto modes and tend to generate mitigation solutions that
      encourage widening of intersections and streets, which may compromise the
      performance of non-auto modes and are increasingly contrary to community values.
      Consequently, a more robust set of measures has been developed that decreases the
      emphasis on additional vehicle capacity and on reducing individual intersection delay in
      favor of increasing the emphasis on network management and travel time reliability. To
      achieve this shift in emphasis, the metrics shift in scale, away from individual location
      specific measures to corridor or area wide measures.”
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:
      • Wed June 4, 4:17 pm, 3200 block Orange Grove Blvd, Burglary
      • Thurs June 5, 11:16 am, 3200 block Orange Grove Blvd, Residential Burglary
      • Thurs June 5, 12:48 pm, 3200 block Orange Grove Blvd, Residential Burglary
      • Our area and nearby areas were remarkably quiet.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

Next meeting is July 12, 11:15 am, at 463 Vineyard Place.

Adjourned about 12:10 pm