July 12, 2014 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


4 members


Kathy hosted at her house and provided cold water, orange juice, cookies, and seedless grapes.
Susan brought additional seedless grapes.


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:30 am

  • Undergrounding requirement for electric service upgrade
    • Last month we learned that a homeowner on Vineyard Pl getting a permit to upgrade the electric service to their house was being required to also underground the electric line to the street.
    • Subsequently we have been told that whenever a property owner within 200 feet of an underground system upgrades their electrical service, then they have to go underground.   This only applies to upgrades, it doesn’t apply if you just replace the electric panel but keep the same maximum amperage service.
    • This requirement affects anywhere within 200 feet of the undergrounded electric lines on Alameda St or Sierra Madre Villa Ave, as well as within 200 ft of any house on an adjacent street that has already undergrounded.  In other words, once a homeowner on an adjacent street has done something that extended the undergrounding to their property, then all other properties 200 feet beyond them will be required to go underground if and when they choose to upgrade.
    • No good answer was received about why Pasadena Water and Power didn’t notify affected property owners of this requirement when the underground system was installed.  An employee said that people should always talk to the permit office to find out requirements that will be imposed for a permit before they get bids from contractors or apply for a permit.
    • In regard to having to upfront the cost until the rebate is received, it was suggested that you can make your contract with the contractor specify the rebate as the final payment, either passed through you or assign the rebate to be paid directly to the contractor.
    • It was claimed the rebate will be paid right after the city signs off on the work.  However, our subject homeowner was not automatically provided the rebate form and has not been able to find it through a thorough search.  She now awaiting a response to a phone message.
    • For the undergrounding work in the street that the city takes care of directly, a representative claimed it would get done within two weeks of being notified that the homeowner’s undergrounding work is complete.    They don’t want to do the work ahead of time because the funding is dependent on the homeowner completing their undergrounding.   The contractor completed our subject homeowners work on Thursday; we’ll see how long it actually takes.
  • Alameda trucks meeting summary
    • Kim on Alameda St got Council member Masuda’s office to arrange a meeting to try to get different entities to talk to each other to enable 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.  The meeting took place on June 18 after 3 pm.
    • The meeting ended up being held at the gate entrance on Avocado Ave at Alameda St.
    • Attendees included:
      • Kim of Alameda St.
      • Laura Ellersieck the President of EEWNA
      • Jim Hartley, President of Canyon Wash Neighborhood Association
      • A nearby resident of Avocado Ave who happened to see all the people
      • Noreen Sullivan, Field Rep for Council member Masuda
      • Steve Wright of Pasadena Public Works Dept.
      • Alberto Felix, Pasadena Transportation Dept.
      • Marissa Castro-Salvati, Edison’s public relations representative for our service area  (arrived quite late)
      • Alex ?? of Edison’s land management (except he also said he works for Marissa Castro-Salvati)
      • Numerous (5 or more?) guys from Pasadena Water and Power, all of whom seemed to be from the power side.
    • None of the PWP, city, or Edison attendees except Noreen and maybe Marissa seemed to have any clue about what the meeting was about.
    • No one seemed to have been identified to lead the meeting.  It was left to Kim to ask her questions and there was just kind of a free for all of multiple discussions the whole time.
    • A seemingly senior PWP person (did not get a name) and Alex of Edison were fairly confrontational with Kim and did most of the talking.
    • Senior PWP guy started out with the statement that the project is done, so what’s the problem.  Answer was concerned that they’ll do it again.  Just as this was a repeat of it being used by PWP twice before in recent years (which led to the humps being requested and installed).
    • Kim asked why trucks couldn’t go on the road to the west of the electric substation.
      PWP guy said that the substation is a critical facility which is energized all the time.  Having all those big trucks go past it so close would be too dangerous.
      (Interesting, this is the first time we ever heard this excuse.  During planning for the ice rink construction it was said the road was too small.  More recently it was said the road was owned by County Flood Control and no one with that agency was responsive to inquiries about using it).
    • Kim asked why the trucks couldn’t go south through the PCC lot to Foothill.  She said she was told Edison had been asked and said no.
      The Edison guy said he’d never heard of such a request.  But eventually he did articulate what we already knew – that the land is leased to PCC and therefore PCC would have to agree to it and we could ask PCC but they’d not be likely to agree because it would be a safety hazard.  (Which is why the proposed agreement for ice rink access included the city paying for reconfiguration of the PCC lot and entrance on Foothill, including a traffic light).
    • Sending truck traffic through the park was mentioned as an obviously not viable alternative.
    • Over and over the PWP guy and Alex of Edison said that taking regular streets made the most sense.
    • PWP guys and Steve Wright of Public Works agreed with each other that they do not foresee any big projects that would require massive truck access for at least the next 5 years.  Said they knew using the PWP lot for construction staging was a bad idea and should be avoided.  Claimed that if something did come up they would notify the council member and get community input.
    • The resident on Avocado brought up the bad fence and ugly weed view and discussion turned into why Edison doesn’t maintain their property.
      • Marissa of Edison says the Edison policy is to mow twice a year, but had done additional mowing when notified by cities that it is needed. Noreen got involved in the discussion at this point.  She was confused about who to talk to.  She’d met with someone named Pam who is the vegetation manager.   Marissa said if additional work is needed, she is the contact to get it done; she will call Pam to arrange it.
      • The Edison reps said fencing is considered landscaping and Edison doesn’t do landscaping.  If a city wants to take on the maintenance the city can get a beautification license or a park license from Edison and do it.   Edison won’t do anything extra out of the goodness of their heart or for public relations because, if they did, then other cities would hear about it and demand equal treatment.  Edison has to consider the hundreds of miles of right of way involved.
      • There was a discussion about how much it would cost to landscape the fence line.  Of course, as either a city or Edison project it would be very expensive.  One of the Edison reps noted a replacement fence would have to be plastic to meet their current requirements for non-electrically conductive fencing.
      • In this discussion Steve Wright of Public Works chimed in about how the city was working on a project to fix up the field in conjunction with putting in the soccer field.  He said they are getting close to bringing it public.
        • (Here are the last details we received about this at our June 2013 meeting. And concerns expressed at our July 2013 meeting).
        • The Avocado resident indicated he really wants to see the fence replaced and landscaping along Avocado.  Would like to see the park extended south, but would be opposed to a lighted soccer field.
    • Also discussed informally before and after the meeting was the (at that time upcoming) re-paving of Alameda St.
      • It was explained that Alameda St was getting extra special treatment, a true repaving rather then just the slurry seal it normally would get.
      • It was being paid for by the Water side of PWP because the truck traffic was for their project.
      • It was only happening because it was promised to the Council member as a salve for the disruption and consideration of expected damage to the street.  Alameda was getting this treatment only because Kim had complained and continued to contact the council member and PWP about the contractor activities. Santa Paula Ave, which also took a lot of truck traffic, and is in much worse shape then Alameda was, got nothing because nobody raised a ruckus for it.  Just shows that sometimes a squeaky wheel does get greased whether it really needs it or not.
    • Meeting disbanded.  Nothing resolved and nobody has any particular action items but vague promises made.
  • Nextdoor online neighborhood vs. our boundaries
    • Nextdoor is a website nextdoor.com that implements a private social network of neighbors to share information with each other.   We discussed it at our April meeting.
    • In Nextdoor, the area covered by our neighborhood association is included in a larger area named “Madre Oaks”.  It includes the streets to our north up to Sierra Madre Blvd, and also the Canyon Wash neighborhood.
    • A couple of weeks ago, an inquiry was received from the Madre Oaks lead, asking if we’d be interested in expanding our Association’s area to include the streets to our north up to Sierra Madre Blvd, an area which currently does not have a Neighborhood Association.
    • Your President responded that she thought that would probably be too unwieldy.  While we have some common concerns, we also have significantly different issues.  We can always work together on common concerns.
    • The Madre Oaks lead said she understood.  She said that when the Nextdoor neighborhood was formed it only included those northern streets, but then Nextdoor asked them to also include our area and Canyon Wash.  Now that smaller Nextdoor neighborhoods are being formed all around us, she is considering asking Nextdoor if our areas can be split so Madre Oaks can represent just the actual Madre Oaks development.
    • Looking at the current sign ups online, there are not enough within our boundaries to support a separate Nextdoor neighborhood.
    • Don’t know where this is going, just informing.
  • Latest proposed dog/cat sterilization requirement
    • Requiring dog and cat sterilization is back again on the City Council agenda for Monday July 14.
    • Here is the staff report.  It includes interesting statistics from the Pasadena Humane Society, including how many of which animals were taken in last year and how many it killed.
    • Pasadena Humane Society has not yet completed canvassing all the residences in the city about dog licensing.  It is still incomplete south of the 210 freeway.  It expects to finish in September.  Then it will start a second round from October 2014 to October 2015.
    • Since it was last on the Council agenda in January:
      • An attempt to treat dog breeds differently has been dropped.
      • The sterilization deadlines has been changed to 6 months instead of 4 months old.
      • An additional exemption has been added for age or infirmity likely to result in serious bodily harm, documented by a veterinarian.
      • Exemptions for purebred dogs are expanded so it doesn’t necessarily have to be actively shown if the dog is registered as a working dog or the owner is a member of a recognized purebred association.  (Exemptions still specify dog, nothing allowed for any kind of cat or other pet, even old and infirm).
      • It now states that : “PHS will not actively seek violators, but enforce the requirement as secondary enforcement when a violation of existing state or local law pertaining to obligations of a person owning or possessing a dog or cat occurs. The ordinance may be enforced by PHS during the second round of dog licensing canvassing commencing in October 2014.”  … “PHS would issue those who violate the mandatory spay and neuter ordinance a warning for the first offense and give the owner 30 days to comply with the sterilization
        requirement. PHS recommends subsequent offenses be enforced in accordance with Chapter 1.24.020 of the Pasadena Municipal Code.”
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:
      • Thurs June 17, 8:44 pm, 3100 block Del Vina St, Residential Burglary
      • Lower Hastings shows 4 daytime residential burglaries
    • Saturday morning June 28, about 7 am or shortly after, an intruder was noticed by neighbors at 3180 Las Lunas St, where the house is under reconstruction.  The man arrived and left on a bicycle. He entered and exited the site by going over a short side wall behind where the construction fence stops.  (Now blocked off.)  When a neighbor saw him through a window and made noise, he quickly exited and took off on his bike, riding east to Sierra Madre Villa Ave and then south. He reportedly had a large and heavy looking backpack. Police were called and came and took a report, but he was long gone.  It is not believed he actually stole anything at this site on this occasion.  crimemapping.com does not show this case.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

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

Adjourned about 12:45 pm