October 21 Neighborhood Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


8 members


Sheila Gonzaga brought a variety of pastries


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:20 am

  • Space Bank development
    • The Space Bank property is on the south side of Foothill between the Kaiser medical offices on the east and Kinneloa Ave on the west. It is over 9 acres in size. A development of 550 apartments has been proposed and is in the process of environmental review.
    • For background on what we already knew, visit eewna.org/2016/08/august-13-2016-neighborhood-meeting-summary/#spacebank
    • Members of the development team for the Space Bank property came to our meeting to update us and discuss possible uses for an additional small parcel on the other side of Kinneloa Ave. They were:
      • Brad Cox, Senior Managing Director, Trammell Crow Company
      • Jim Anderson, Senior Vice President, Development & Investment, Trammell Crow Company
      • Scott Baker, landscape architect
      • Sheila Gonzaga, public relations consultant, Executive Vice President of Marathon Communications
    • The City, and the environmental consultant the City has contracted with, did an Initial Study and decided the project should go through a new State environmental process called Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA) instead of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). A SCEA study is very much like an EIR but is tailored specifically to be more “efficient” for transit adjacent mixed use projects.
    • They have been providing the City with the information they ask for. Other then doing that they are not active participants in the environmental study.
    • David Sanchez is the City planner for the project. Mike Bagheri (sp?) is the Transportation department person.
    • They have been doing a lot of research on the history of the parcel, specifically its use by the Naval Undersea Research and Development Center from 1946 to 1978. Plan to include references to that history around the project.
    • At some point in the past year, the project went back before the Design Commission for another review. (As usual, we received no notice of that).
    • They have been fleshing out the design of the buildings and landscaping.
      • The basic plan of eight buildings remains the same.
      • Heights and setbacks of buildings along Foothill vary.
      • 22 to 26 feet from curb to building walls
    • Some stats:
      • apartment units are an average of 800 sq ft each
      • 69 “affordable” units
      • 25% open space across the site
      • about 9800 square feet of retail. Intend that to be “neighborhood serving” such as coffee/sandwich shop, small grocer,… Do not know who the tenants will be yet. Want them to be local small businesses, not big chains.
    • traffic/parking
      • In response to concerns by some residents of our neighborhood that we’ll get through traffic from/to the development by folks looking to avoid the Sierra Madre Villa/Foothill intersection, the City is looking to put a “pork chop” median on Foothill so that vehicles cannot go directly between the development and Santa Paula Ave. Vehicles will be able to turn left or right from either side, but not go straight across.
      • The main entrance of the development, which is across Foothill from Santa Paula, is designed to be multi-modal with a de-emphasis on vehicles. The vast majority of vehicle traffic is expected to access the garages from/to Kinneloa Ave and via a driveway from/to Foothill on the eastern side of the property.
      • 835 parking spaces, 400 of those in the structure at the back of the property, the rest underneath the Foothill adjacent buildings
      • parking for the retail will be reserved in the garage underneath it along Foothill and also parallel parking along Foothill
      • residential parking will be unbundled. Residents will lease assigned spaces. Developer expects there will be an excess of parking
      • planning a large amount of secured bicycle parking
      • planning to have package delivery lockers for residents. (Mentioned Amazon lockers, but not sure they intend to only work for Amazon).
    • landscaping
      • want it to be “permeable”, drought tolerant
      • want to reflect the Eaton Wash historical environment
      • but will have a grassy area because “cannot sit on bushes”
      • many trees (of course their drawings reflect what they might grow into after some years, not what they’ll be initially)
      • there is also a reflecting pool; people are not supposed to go into it
      • in resident only areas, there are at least two swimming pools
    • parcel across Kinneloa, “companion space” to development
      • About 6000 sq ft wedge shaped parcel on the west side of Kinneloa, adjacent to the freeway and behind Dewey Pest Control. Currently has a mess of vehicles parked on it.
      • Very aware of the transient/homeless problem. Want to avoid having an attractive nuisance.
      • Although thinking to make it a publicly accessible/sharable space, it will still be private property so it will be fenced and the property manager will be in charge of setting the rules and providing security.
      • trying to decide what to do with it, they have developed several concepts and wanted feedback. Could have combination.
        1. celebrate Eaton Wash history. bioswales, natural, river vernacular. picnic tables, etc
        2. community garden for fresh produce, flowers, … Could have mentorship program by community members with experience for those lacking it
        3. play area, artful, multiple demographics. No specific courts or facilities, just various surfaces.
        4. open air community space where events can be programmed
      • Our feedback included:
        • Safety crossing Kinneloa to/from the site will be an issue, consider a pedestrian bridge.
        • Eaton Canyon already provides natural environment experience.
        • Community garden concept seemed like something some apartment dwellers would especially appreciate
        • Maybe should wait and see what the apartment tenants would like
  • Sierra Madre Villa re-stripe meeting notes
    • guesstimate about 75 people attended
    • Masuda made introductions, then let City Staff do all the talking
    • City staff present included:
      • Steve Mermel, City Manager
      • Fred Dock, Director of Transportation
      • Richard Deluvio, ?? Transportation
      • Joachim Siques, Acting Principal? Traffic Engineer, Email: [email protected]
    • They apologized several times for not having told anybody they were going to change the striping and promised to do outreach in advance of any such changes in the city in the future
    • Gave a presentation about “Complete Streets”. A few notes from this portion of the presentation:
      • The drawing of an ideal “complete street” had only one car on it.
      • A list of “populations” that a “complete street” should be designed to serve did not include anyone who works.
      • No one was able to answer a question as to what the penalty is for not doing “complete streets”. Just said that would be out of compliance with state’s required General Plan process.
    • Specifically for Sierra Madre Villa:
      • 15,000 vehicles per day, 600 at peak hours
      • Average increase from Sept 2016 to Sept 2017 in transit times were 11 seconds  northbound and 13 seconds southbound
      • PM peak from 4 – 6 pm increase was 20 seconds northbound and 18 seconds southbound
      • Timing northbound includes signal at Orange Grove, southbound includes signal at Foothill
      • Average speed was reduced by 1 to 2 mph
      • Traffic volume was about the same year to year.
      • Traffic volume counts and speed are done via the hoses in the street.
      • They are now using data from apps like google maps and waze to get traffic delay information. Someone questioned how valid that data is given that the same people using those apps are also using them to avoid congested areas.
      • Intent was to reduce speeds. Not done for bike lanes.
      • Don’t have bicycle counts.
      • Accident record really didn’t matter.
      • Had no knowledge of the bad accident that occurred at Bed Bath Beyond driveway.
      • They are aware that many accidents are not reported. They have a database of all reported accidents.
      • Backup at Orange Grove can get thru on one light. Said detector in pavement knows when last vehicle has passed.
      • Said initially discovered in-pavement detectors southbound at Orange Grove were faulty and were causing that light to stay on too long, when no cars were there
      • Looking at changing center lane north of Hermanos into left turn pocket because no driveways. (Actually, there is a driveway on east side to the 600 building).
      • In response to question, said might extend the treatment north to Sierra Madre Blvd in the future if there is a resurfacing opportunity in the future, but is was just resurfaced a few years ago.
      • Traffic signal at Electronic is in Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), but is extra expensive due to utilities under sidewalk on west side which have to be moved to do required handicapped ramp, and the church driveway also has to be signalized.
        In the meantime, looking at putting a Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon on the north side of the intersection. (Learned subsequently that this device would flash when a pedestrian starts to walk across the street. There is no button, it just uses cameras and software to detect the activity).
      • Transportation dept always looking for grants in order to make local funds go further. (This is why lower priority projects sometimes get done faster then higher priority ones).
      • Comment from attendees:
        • Object to taking large percentage of street’s capacity for bicyclists who are not there. In response they said it wasn’t done to add bicycle lanes; done to calm traffic.
        • merge situation is ripe for collisions
        • great to have Sacramento to blame, but don’t use to avoid looking at complete picture of each street
        • does see bicyclists and thinks if slows traffic to save even one life it is worth it
        • thinks those who don’t like it just want to speed through and slowing traffic is good for neighbors
        • a cyclist who thinks bike lanes are dangerous due to all the pot holes in them and having to come in and out of them all the time. Said better to ride in the lane with traffic
        • do not account for creating rage in drivers who then speed around congestion and thus increase likelihood of accidents
        • the more complicated and unusual the traffic pattern, the more likely to have collisions
        • as we age, the less able to bike or walk. Reliant on vehicles. Unrealistic.
        • What needs to be done to get it back the way it was?  Could/would not answer. After repeatedly raised, City Manager finally stepped in and said would need to get five City Council members to direct it be changed, but if they did so they would be violating the state’s Complete Streets directive.
        • Should make the westbound Rosemead to northbound Sierra Madre Villa transition a full stop instead of the yield it is now. Surprised there aren’t even more accidents there.
    • Mentioned other east Pasadena locations being put in Capital Improvement Program to happen some time when get funding:
      • Upper Hastings:  Michillinda at Startouch/Carriage ? intersection. Will change it to make is full stop each direction.
      • Daisy Villa:  Sunnyslope at Estado will be made a full stop all around and also complete sidewalks.
      • Daisy Villa:  Orange Grove Blvd at Sunnyslope. Currently has in-pavement flashing lights on crosswalk. Planned to have a signal someday, but no funding so in meantime looking at putting Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons to improve pedestrian visibility to motorists.
      • Del Mar Blvd at Kinneloa Ave. This is adjacent to Urgent Care Center, Ability First, bus stops. Slated for full traffic signal and complete sidewalks
      • Orange Grove is coming up for re-construction in the next couple of years. Claimed just starting to look at it and don’t know yet if/where lanes might be reduced. Did not acknowledge east of Hill is in bicycle plan to be changed to one lane each direction with buffered bike lanes replacing traffic lanes.
  • Announcements
    • Construction on Paloma until Nov 3
      • from Altadena Dr east for 900 feet
      • to continue Mon – Fri until Nov 3
    • E-Waste and Document Shredding Nov 4
      • Saturday November 4, 9 am – 3 pm
      • Brookside Parking Lot I (south of Rose Bowl, south side of loop)
      • Note:  Apparently the document shredding has become too popular. They have reduced the limit to Three (3) legal size boxes, say that the shredding will stop early if the truck is full, and that they will require proof of Pasadena residency.
    • Tournament House (Wrigley Mansion) Tour and Meeting Oct 26
      • Arranged by Councilmember Gene Masuda for District 4 residents
      • Friday October 27, 5 pm – 7 pm
      • Tours are from 5 to 6 pm
      • Meet with 2017-18 President Lance Tibbet and Executive Director David Eads
      • Free, but reservations are required. Contact Noreen Sullivan at [email protected]
      • For info on the house, visit www.tournamentofroses.com/history/tournament-house
    • Fall Festival – City Sponsored Family Fun Event Oct 28
    • City Council District 4 Annual Community Meeting Nov 16
      • Thursday November 16
        • 6:30 pm – 8 pm
        • A.G.B.U. Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School
        • 2495 East Mountain St, Pasadena 91104
      • Agenda
        • Representatives from Pasadena Police Dept will address area crime
        • Planning Dept staff will discuss development projects in District 4
        • Questions & Answers
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month in our neighborhood, from crimemapping.com:  (note that time is typically when reported, not when it happened)
      • Friday Sept 15, 3:59 pm, 400 block Avocado Ave, Overdose
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Pasadena Sandwich Company’s Share A Meal
      • Pasadena Sandwich Company (on Sierra Madre Villa at Mataro St) has a program for helping needy families at Thanksgiving.
      • See www.pasadenashareameal.com

Next meeting is November 18, 2017 at 11:15 am, in Hastings Branch Library meeting room.

Adjourned about 12:45 pm