April 11, 2015 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


5 members


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:25 am

  • Mansionization control? – Community Meetings
    • As the result of the outcry from residents of some neighborhoods that have experienced recent building of humongous out-of-scale and/or context homes, the City Council directed City Planning staff to hold meetings and figure out which neighborhoods want additional regulations to limit size and/or style and, if so, what those regulations should be.
    • City planning staff have held two Community Meetings so far, and two more are currently scheduled:
      • Thursday April 16
        6 – 8 pm
        Lamanda Park Library
        140 S. Altadena Dr.
      • Thursday April 30
        6 – 8 pm
        Allendale Library
        1130 S. Marengo Ave
    • After the first meeting on March 26, the planning staff sent out a letter that
      • apologizes for too small a room and the lack of information on the announcement postcard.
      • says that due to the high level of interest, they will arrange additional meetings at larger venues, and that one of those will be in East Pasadena.  They expect the added meetings will be in May.
      • says they “will create an improved format for future meetings that will allow you to share your specific experiences or concerns about the impact of Mansionization on your neighborhood”.
      • says they “will be sure to provide existing single family zoning regulations as well as other zoning information that may be helpful in understanding the current regulatory framework”.
      • says they “are happy to attend any future neighborhood association meetings to receive input on this zoning study if that would be helpful”.  (Is that something you would attend?)
    • If you have think houses are being built too tall, or too close to property lines, or just too massively within our existing neighborhoods or, conversely, if you think the current regulations are enough already, you really should attend one of these meetings and let your voice be heard.
    • If you are in favor of more regulation, think about how regulations could be formulated to reasonably be applied to many different sizes and shapes of lots and all the different types of both tear-downs and modifications of existing houses.  Regulations have to be written so they can be applied to all parcels of the same type in a defined area.
    • The outcome of this process for the vast majority of city neighborhoods is very open and undecided at this time.  The feedback received at these meetings will make a big difference in whether any changes are made and, if so, the details of those changes.
    • If you have comments, questions, or concerns, you can write a note to one of the city planners:  Arthi Varma at [email protected],  Ha Ly at [email protected], or Martin Potter at [email protected]
    • The beginning of this process was discussed at our September meeting: eewna.org/meetings/140913-meeting-summary.html#mansionization.
  • City Mayor General Election on April 21
    • The General (run-off) election is on April 21.
    • The two candidates are both current Council Members: Terry Tornek and Jacque Robinson.
    • A candidate debate was held on April 7.
  • 710 freeway extension proposal meetings
    • On March 6, Caltrans and Metro released their Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement for the five alternative options they picked for extending the 710 freeway from Alhambra to Pasadena.
    • It can be accessed online at www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/draft_eir-eis
      A printed copy is available at the Pasadena Central Library.  The Executive Summary can be found at Hastings Branch Library.
    • The most publicly discussed and controversial option would build a very long and expensive tunnel.  A surface freeway, originally planned half a century ago, is not being considered.
    • The 120 day review and comment period ends on July 6.
    • Four Public Hearing meetings are being held to show maps and allow discussion with “subject matter experts”, and to take spoken and written comments.   Comments can also be submitted online via the Caltrans Public Comment page.
    • The remaining meetings are:
      • Tuesday, April 14, from 5 pm – 9 pm
        Pasadena Convention Center
        300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (Parking entrance on Euclid Avenue)
        Map viewing is from 5 – 6 pm, the actual meeting is from 6 to 9 pm.
        The meeting will be LIVE streamed from 6 pm – 9 pm at www.ustream.tv/channel/sr-710-study
        It will also be streamed and recorded by Pasadena Media http://www.pasadenamedia.tv
      • Wednesday, May 6, from 5 pm – 9 pm
        La Cañada High School Auditorium
        4463 Oak Grove Drive, La Cañada – Flintridge, CA 91011
      • Thursday, May 7 from 5 pm – 9 pm
        Los Angeles Christian Presbyterian Church
        2241 N. Eastern Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90032
    • The Pasadena City Council meeting on Monday April 13 at 6:30 pm will include a discussion of the 710 freeway alternatives.
      • The meeting is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center in anticipation of heavy attendance.
      • Parking for this meeting will be available in the Paseo Colorado structure at 400 E. Green St. and will be validated.
      • The SR-701 Pasadena Working Group studied the alternatives and has released their own report.
      • That report and related material can be accessed at www.cityofpasadena.net/sr710/
  • Police & Fire budget & compensation dispute
    • About a month ago you may have received a campaign type mailer from the Pasadena Firefighters union which did not mention anyone specifically but said the election is important and contended that firefighters and the Fire Department have been shortchanged.
    • City management and the police and fire fighter unions have been negotiating new contracts for a long time and the unions are turning to the public for support.
    • Shortly after that mailer, the Mayor sent out a letter written by the City Manager which doesn’t mention the mailer but appears to be in response to it.
    • A large number of police officers attended a recent City Council meeting’s public comment to show solidarity with a plea for better pay and benefits.  They say they are losing a lot of experienced officers to other departments because the pay in Pasadena has fallen well below average.  As the department becomes more short staffed due this and retirements, the job becomes less desirable and the incentive to leave grows.  The police chief referenced this recently in speaking to the Council, saying that the department makes a large investment to train new officers and that investment is wasted if they move to another agency once they have some experience.
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:
      • Thur April 2, 12:07 pm, 3100 block Estado St, Grand Theft Auto
        • This crime was perpetrated against one of our active members.  It actually took place sometime over night in a carport off Avocado Ln.  The yard gate the thief entered was closed, but not locked.  The thief opened an unlocked shed and took tools from it to use in attempting to hot wire the older model car.  He did not succeed in getting the car, but did substantial damage.   The police told the victim that they caught the thief in the act of trying to steal a car in a different location later the same day.
      • Fri April 3, 3:28 pm, 3200 block Hermanos St, Assault – Domestic Violence
      • Wed March 25, 3200 block Foothill Blvd, Petty Theft
    • Less activity listed on crimemapping for our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods this past month.
    • Also reported on nextdoor.com neighborhood website were:
      • Theft of a dog from her fenced yard by a women and two young girls in the 3100 block of Estado St at 12:15 am March 8. (Observed by security camera of a neighbor)  Neighbors report the dog was found/returned within a few days.
      • Carjacking at intersection of Del Mar and Raymond on March 7.  #1 safety tip – keep your doors locked.
      • Purse snatch on March 17 3:30 pm.  Victim visited the bank and then drove home to Upper Hastings.  As she was in her driveway opening the garage door, the thief reached through her open driver’s window and grabbed her purse from the passenger seat.  He then ran away.  Police tip:  Keep doors and windows locked and valuables out of sight/reach.  When visiting banks, watch out for being followed.  If you think you’re being followed, don’t drive home, go in a circuitous route to verify if you’re being followed.  If you are being followed, call the police and/or drive to the police station.
      • Noisy, fast, and reckless driving of a big long bed black Ford truck, March 26 at 1:30 am on Alameda St.
      • Repeated annoying stupid IRS scam calls (which, according to the news, some people were taken by)
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

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

Adjourned about 12:15 pm