January 10, 2015 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


4 members


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:28 am

  • City tree opinion survey
    • Pasadena Public Works has an online survey to get public opinion about street and parkway trees in the city, including questions about how well the city cares for them, the rules for removal, the street by street species plan, and what you would be willing to support to improve the situation.
    • Here is the link:  www.cityofpasadena.net/publicworks/urbanforestsurvey
    • This survey is an initial step in development of the city’s Urban Forest Management Plan.
    • The results of the survey are supposed to “help guide and shape public tree policies”.
    • The survey is supposed to be available until February 1.
    • The announcement says the survey was developed in conjunction with an environmental firm hired as a consultant.
    • The survey is very poorly written.  It is not clear what the all the question set ups are saying, or in every case what exactly the question is.  It is bad enough that city employees would present such shoddy work to the public and claim the results are meaningful, but paying a consultant for it is even worse.
    • Please fill out the survey anyway.  There are several fill-in response areas to say what you think.  Clearly it is an informal survey since it is anonymous and there are no controls over who is filling it out or how many times they do so.
  • Proposed regulations for CRV recycling facilities
    • On the City Council’s meeting agenda for Monday January 12, item 21 proposes new regulations of recycling facilities for CRV (California Redemption Value) containers.
    • There are just four such facilities currently in Pasadena, the only one in our part of town is in the northern Ralphs parking lot.
    • Existing facilities would have to be re-sited, designed, get a Conditional Use Permit and building permits, and be constructed to meet the new regulations within 6 months or be “subject to abatement”.  (Anyone familiar with the city’s permit process knows this deadline is likely very difficult to meet).
    • Proposed new regulations:
      • Require the entire facility to be enclosed.
        • Aside from moving into an empty store front, this would require finding a location with sufficient space that meets all the new expanded setback requirements and doesn’t take away too many parking spaces.
        • Obviously this would vastly increase the costs associated with a facility.
        • Being in a totally enclosed space would also concentrate all the current negatives and make using the facility even less desirable for ordinary folks who just want to recycle their own CRV items.
      • Further limit hours of operation to exclude Sunday and only 8 am to 5 pm on the other days. ( Thus it would become even more difficult for people with regular work hours to recycle their CRV containers.)
      • Require the facility to be at least 30 feet from Public Right-of-Ways (streets).  Under exceptional circumstances permits could be granted reducing the distance to 20 ft.
      • Require at least 200 feet from the nearest residential zone.  This is supposed to protect residences from noise impacts. It could be reduced to 150 feet as part of the permit process.
      • Prohibit obstructing pedestrian or vehicle circulation.  (A problem at the current Ralphs facility).
      • Signage to identify the owner/operation and contact information even when closed.
      • Use durable waterproof and rust proof collection bins that are secured inside when not attended.
      • Have at least one dedicated trash container for non-recyclable materials.
      • Require patrons to pre-sort all materials prior to coming to the facility.
      • Provide containers or facilities for collection of liquid contents to prevent dumping of “waste fluids” into storm drains and gutters.
      • Have an approved waste management plan for collecting and disposing of liquid wastes.
      • Have a litter/debris removal plan as part of the conditions of approval.
    • These proposed regulations are sufficiently difficult to meet that it is quite possible some or all of the recycling facilities will be closed and not replaced.  This would seem to be the goal of many of the proponents of the regulations.  The movement against the recycling facilities mostly got started by irate neighbors of the facility that used to be at the Food 4 Less on North Lake Ave.
    • State law requires that stores that sell products in CRV containers and do more then $2 million in gross annual sales must be within a half mile of a recycling facility.  If they are not, they must directly collect and pay for CRV containers inside their store, or pay a penalty of $100 a day.  The issues of cleanliness and health that would result from collecting the used containers in the store make it  likely they would choose to pay the $36,500 a year penalty.
    • For all the details being presented to the City Council, see Item 21 on the City Council Agenda.
    • If you have strong opinions about these proposed regulations, go to the meeting, or write a note to the Mayor at [email protected], Council Member Masuda at [email protected], or the the entire Council via the City Clerk www.cityofpasadena.net/CityClerk/Contact_Director/.  Be sure to start by indicating you are commenting about item 21 on the January 12 agenda.
  • Topics for annual newsletter
    • February is the month for creating and distributing our annual printed newsletter to every residence.
    • Each year so far, it’s been one standard size sheet of colored paper printed on both sides.
    • For the last several years, we’ve had to provide the paper and Neighborhood Connections has done the copying for us.
    • We’ll need volunteers to once again put on their walking shoes and distribute door to door.  Typically volunteers sign up for a block or a group of blocks.  It is especially great if volunteers can take some extra time to talk to neighbors, especially new neighbors.
    • Also need volunteer proof readers / editors.
    • Aside from the general introduction to the neighborhood association that appears every year, we need to pick some topics to include this year.  Potential topics include:
      • NextDoor Neighborhood website
      • blurb urging participation in City Mayor and Pasadena public school board election in March
      • note that soccer field still brewing – reference online info rather then explaining it all again
      • Pasadena Citizen Service Center via web, app, or phone
      • Safety tips, police general phone line, urge all theft and vandalism incidents be reported, online reporting
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:
      • Fri December 26, 12:06 pm, 3200 block E Foothill Blvd, Commercial Burglary
      • No residential reports in our area, in Daisy Villa (across the wash), or in Lower Hastings area
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

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

Adjourned about 12:50 pm