June 10 Neighborhood Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


7 members


Susan brought cookies.


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:22 am

  • Meetings moving to 3rd Saturday of each month
    • Starting with July, our meetings will be on the 3rd Saturday of each month instead of the 2nd.
    • Same time: 11:15 am to 12:45 pm.
    • This is supposedly as a result of not lining up some unknown time before the library opened on May 16, at which time it took applications for the upcoming fiscal year. Arriving about 20 minutes later, we lost our 2nd Saturday slot of 12 years to somebody else. So far, the library calendar only shows our old slot being used in July (for a SAT prep class).
  • Accessory (2nd) unit regulation to City Council on June 19
    • Proposed changes in regulations for Accessory Units (also known as 2nd units or granny flats) will be presented to the City Council for a decision:
      • Monday June 19 at 7 pm
        Pasadena City Hall, Council Chambers  (100 N. Garfield Ave, Room S249)
    • Reportedly, one change to City staff’s recommendation requested by the Planning Commission at its May 24 meeting is to reduce the minimum lot size for newly constructed Accessory Units to 5000 square feet. Staff had proposed 7200 square feet. This would vastly increase the eligible lots in our neighborhood since very few south of Las Lunas are 7200 square feet or more.
    • The staff report containing the proposed changes should be published with the City Council’s agenda by the end of the workday on Thursday June 15:
    • For background in the meantime, see our previous reports on this regulation process here:
  • Grocery store upheavals
    • Our nearby Ralphs is all torn up for yet another “remodel.”
      • This time we hear it is being “upgraded” from a “mid-level” store to an “upscale” store.
      • So, you can expect even more fancy and relatively expensive stuff and less selection of basics. (Like what happened to the Vons on Colorado and Sierra Madre Blvd. )
    • The Vons at Washington Blvd and Allen Ave may close soon, even though it is now extra busy with the closure of the Ralphs in Altadena on Lake, and the Vons at Fair Oaks and Orange Grove.
      • Even though its interior was just remodeled within the last couple of years.
      • The new head company, Albertson’s, is reportedly having difficulty negotiating a new lease for the location.
      • The landlord has reportedly said that if Vons moves out, they’ll find some other grocery store to take its place.
      • Although this store is somewhat cramped, it has a better selection of basics then the enlarged up-scaled Vons at Colorado and Sierra Madre Blvd.
    • Aldi’s in open on Lake in Altadena, next to the former Ralphs location.
      • It has generic items, with good everyday prices on many things. But selection is limited.
      • Many people seem to be put off by the utilitarian feel of the place. So far it does not seem very busy.
    • The building of the former Albertson’s at Sierra Madre Blvd and Michillinda still seems to have no prospect of a new tenant.
  • Neighborhood Connections to be formally eliminated
    • The proposed Operating Budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 officially eliminates the City’s office of Neighborhood Connections.
    • The former “coordinator” left last year and that made it really easy pickings. But its functioning had already been severely degraded over recent years.
    • The program has existed since 1987.
    • The City Manager described most of its services as a “luxury” and said that social media has largely replaced its communication role.
    • Neighborhood Associations will no longer be registered or tracked by the city. Their creation and existence will not be encouraged or facilitated and those that exist will no longer be formally used as a vehicle for communications.
    • There will be no one within the City tasked with encouraging and coordinating communications by all the different City entities with the community. It will be totally up to community member efforts to figure out the communications channels for each Council person, each City department, each City initiative, study, or project. Currently it seems that each City official and staff member has their own e-mail list(s) and/or preferred social media platform with widely varying consistency of usage.
    • The referral service function of Neighborhood Connections is being moved to “Consumer Services Representatives” at the Jackie Robinson Recreation Center and to some extent, Villa Park.
    • The “Safe Streets Now” program will continue through a Consumer Services Representative. The City Attorney’s office is supposedly now going to actively work to resolve issues instead of just passing the buck to Safe Streets Now.
    • The “Map my neighborhood” program is terminated.
    • The “Neighborhood Leadership Institute” program is terminated. It was explained that this was grant funded and those grants are no longer available.
    • Mayor Tornek asked for an explanation of this decision right off with the Human Services department’s budget discussion, but did not express any opinion.
    • Council member Masuda seemed particularly concerned about the Safe Streets Now program and a bit skeptical about the explanation of how it will continue. He indicated he was not happy about the decision to eliminate the office, but did not try to fight for it.
    • Council member Kennedy asked some pointed questions, but did not defend the office or attempt to change anything about the proposal.
    • The rest of the Council members did not have anything to say about it.
    • No member of the public spoke to the Council during public comment. In response to a question from the Mayor, the head of Human Resources admitted that he had gotten some negative feedback from community members, but the way he said it indicated he did not think that was of any importance.
  • Hazardous waste collection on July 15
    • Los Angeles County will be holding a Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste collection event
      • July 15, 2017
        9 am to 3 pm
        Brookside Park Parking Lot I (south of the Rose Bowl)
    • No evidence of the collections they used to hold in Arcadia and Sierra Madre in August.
    • When you can’t wait up to a year for the next collection, you may be able to go to the closest “permanent” site:
      • Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation Plant
        4600 Colorado Boulevard,
        Los Angeles 90039
        Saturdays and Sundays
        Closed on holidays and during “rainy weather”
        They don’t accept medical/biological waste (except sharps in approved containers), ammunition, explosives, firecrackers, flares, tires
    • Here is the County web site: dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/hhw/
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from crimemapping.com:  (note that time is typically when reported, not when it happened)
      • Fri May 26, 7:16 pm, Orange Grove Blvd & Lomora Ave, Grand Theft
    • Not a crime, but suspicious behavior, reported on Wed May 24 at 5:30 pm on Santa Paula between Mataro and La Tierra.A man in a large black truck repeatedly pulled up to a middle aged resident walking her elderly large dog and tried to get her to engage in small talk.She was not carrying or wearing anything one could think was valuable. The odd circumstances, and being aware of the kidnapping of a woman by a stranger from a street elsewhere in Pasadena a few days before, gave our neighbor quite a fright. The man finally drove off, in a hurry, after she walked up to the door of an adjacent house. There has been subsequent debate about whether it would have been a good idea, if she’d had a phone with a camera, to try to take a picture of the guy/truck. Would it have scared him off, or would it have provoked him to escalate?
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • There has not been any new information about the Avon site (potential Home Depot) or even the Space Bank project. Very quiet.
    • Our discussion meandered around  a range of topics including local homeless, trains, buses, fruit, fruit stand (check out new one at New York/Altadena Drive).

Next meeting is July 15, 2017 at 11:15 am, in Hastings Branch Library meeting room

Adjourned about 12:30 pm