September 10, 2016 Neighborhood Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


8 members.
Plus 5? student observers from a Cal State LA master’s level class assigned to come to our meeting. They did not know how or why our meeting was known and picked.


Susan brought red grapes and some kind of thin cookies (didn’t see them up close)


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:23 am

  • Fire Department Survey
    • The Chief of the Pasadena Fire Department is asking “members of the community” to complete an online survey regarding the fire department and the services it provides.
    • The representative of the agency contracted to help the process said they would like responses as soon as possible, hopefully by this coming week. Questions to which you have no answer may be left blank.
    • Here is the request letter, including a link to the survey:

Dear Neighborhood Association Member:

The Pasadena Fire Department has retained ETA Agency to facilitate a community-wide resident satisfaction survey, as part of the Department’s strategic planning process. We encourage your participation in the survey as PFD looks to provide the best possible service to all of us. Below is a message from PFD Chief Bertral T. Washington.

Dear Pasadena Resident:

As part of our Department’s strategic planning process, which includes a focus on providing the best service possible for our residents, we have retained ETA Agency to facilitate a confidential resident survey.
The following link, which can also be pasted into your browser, will take you directly to the survey website designed specifically for the Pasadena residents.

The survey measures opinions and perceptions to help us understand the needs and/or challenges of the residential communities so that we may better serve you. There are no right or wrong answers. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete and the results are completely confidential, only to be presented as part of our overall organizational profile by ETA.

As we work towards enhancing and improving all aspects of our Department, your timely response to the survey and your candid feedback are critical to helping us serve you. Thank you in advance for participating.

Should you have any questions about the survey, please contact Cindy Allen, 562.499.2305 or [email protected]

Chief Bertral T. Washington

  • Transit Oriented Development ordinance update hearing Sept 19
    • The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) ordinance imposes additional regulations on the types of businesses and building styles allowed, and limits on available parking, within designated TOD areas (mostly within a radius of the Metro Gold Line stations, but also all of Pasadena’s central business area).
    • Possible amendments to the Transit Oriented Development ordinance have been under discussion and re-discussion for at least a year and a half and are once again headed to the City Council on Monday September 19 at 7 pm.
    • What the staff is proposing this time will not be revealed until the Council’s meeting agenda is posted here on the evening of Thursday September 15.
    • Originally the request for amendment was spurred by the unrealistic maximum parking currently allowed for new facilities in the quarter mile TOD around the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line station. But as discussions progressed it morphed into vastly expanding the other TOD areas, banning new automobile service related businesses, and potentially eliminating any minimum parking requirements for the central district.
    • Here is a link to the last of the previous reports on this subject: December 2015 meeting summary
  • Utility Undergrounding program questions/input requested
    • As previously reported, the city is considering terminating the program under which electrical, telephone, and cable wires are put underground instead of on poles.
    • All Pasadena power customers have been paying a surtax on their bill for many decades to pay for the program.
    • As a result of City Council members asking questions about the program, it was revealed a couple of years ago that the fund in which the surtax revenues were kept was embezzled for over over a decade by the one city employee responsible for managing the program.
    • So far about 46 miles have been completed, and it is estimated that the remaining streets capable of being undergrounded would take 400 years at the current funding level.
    • Experience has shown that not only is undergrounding very expensive to start with, underground lines are also more costly and difficult to maintain.
    • It has also been difficult to get the phone and cable companies to cooperate with the process. They really have no incentive.
    • The City Council has now transferred responsibility for the program from Public Works to Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) to improve the management of the program. They also directed PWP to conduct outreach to customers/residents to educate about the current situation and learn what they think about it.
    • PWP says it plans to have community meetings about the program in October. Places and dates have not been published yet.
    • PWP has created a web page with an overview of the program:
      The page includes a form for submitting questions/comments.
    • Note that the PWP web page also mentioned it has long had a separate “Electrical System Conversion Program”, which it says will continue. It has a different revenue source. Realistically, it is difficult for non-insiders to understand which one is involved in any particular street dig. It may be that the Alameda St and Vineyard Pl situation in our neighborhood is mostly, if not entirely, the result of this other program. If the Underground Utility Program was terminated, would the underground system continue to be extended down the adjacent streets as homeowners pull permits for any major work?
  • Voter Registration event Sept 27
    • A “National Voter Registration Day” event is being held on September 27 from 9 am to 6 pm at

      60 N. Daisy Ave.

    • The Pasadena League of Women Voters is involved.
    • The invitation doesn’t actually say what the purpose is, but presumably those eligible can register to vote.
    • The contact info provided is Joanne Lane of LSS/Avanti, 626 564-0191
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from (note that time is typically when reported, not when it happened)
      • Wed Sept, 7, 7:29 pm, 3200 block Hermanos St, Residential Burglary
      • Tues Aug 16, 7:45 pm, 500 block Avocado Ave, Petty Theft
      • Sat Aug 13, 11:08 pm, 3100 block Alameda St, Domestic Violence/Assault
      • Fri Sept 2, 9:51 am, 3200 block Foothill Blvd, Grand Theft Auto
    • More info about the burglary on Hermanos. A nearby security camera caught some information. Looks like thief had some information to target the house specifically. A big black SUV, perhaps an Escalade, showed up shortly after the resident left around 3:45 pm. Person went to the front door briefly, then left. Drove off, but came back about a minute later. Jumped over the fence to the backyard. Apparently broke in through a back window. Opened the garage from inside and backed the SUV in, loaded up, and left. Did not take long.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Miscellaneous discussions
      • We veered off on a few other tangential topics:
        • Large homeless encampment now under the Foothill bridge.
        • Mosquitoes are bad this year.
        • Large black pickup racing down Avocado Ave several times recently (in spite of humps). Dangerous. Motorcycle has also been doing it.
        • Whether or not to call 911 when somebody is already dead; because paramedics are required to try to resuscitate. Unless, maybe, there is a valid DNR on hand. Still should call unless death was expected. Can call even if in hospice, but medicare hospice won’t pay for it. (Some of the student observers interjected because they are social workers and/or have worked for hospice).
        • Paying attention to people sitting in vehicles parked on the street and/or going up to houses. Make it obvious neighbors are watching. Can even ask questions or call non-emergency police number if it seems suspicious. Can take vehicle/license plate pictures just in case. But at the same time, remember they are public streets and people have the right to walk, drive, and park on them, have a phone conversation, rest, read, eat, visit neighbors, without being harassed. Our observers pointed out that sometimes social and/or medical workers cannot legally disclose who they work for and/or who they are visiting for privacy reasons.

Next meeting is October 15, 2016, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library meeting room

Adjourned about 12:?? pm