February 17 Neighborhood Meeting Summary

February 18, 2018

Preparation

E-mail reminders

Attendees

5 members

Acknowledgments

Susan brought home-baked scones.

Meeting

Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:40 am

    • Draft Environmental report for Space Bank site
      • The Draft Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA) has been released for public review and comment.
      • It is available on this web page:
        cityofpasadena.net/planning/3200-east-foothill-boulevard-project/
      • The Planning Commission will discuss the draft SCEA during its regular meeting on February 28, 6:30 pm, in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  They will not be making any decisions at this meeting but instead will be getting their first look at the project.  It is also an opportunity for the public to make comments and ask questions.
      • Comments must be submitted by March 9.
        • They may be submitted via e-mail, mail, or at the Planning Commission meeting on Feb 28.
        • See the referenced web page for details.
      • Notes from the environmental report:
        • The estimated construction schedule is now:
          • Site remediation: May 2019 – July 2019
          • Grading: August 2019 - September 2019
          • Construction: October 2019 - March 2022
        • Estimated new residents in the 550 units: 1,353
        • Proposed mix of units: 481 market rate, 23 moderate income, 46 low income in 165 studio, 165 one bedroom, 192 two bedroom, 28 three bedroom
        • Retail: 9800 square feet of retail/restaurant
        • Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendix H):
          • Used computer modeling to estimate incremental changes in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per capita and Vehicle Trips (VT) per capita.
          • Average Daily Trips (ADT) generated by the proposed project would be 3,648; including 344 AM peak hour trips and 333 PM peak hour trips.  (No explanation of how these numbers are determined, apparently its just what the computer model spit out).
          • Nearest arterial monitoring station for determining traffic impacts according to the requirements of the county's Congestion Management Plan (CMP) is Foothill at Rosemead.  For the freeway it's also at Rosemead.  (Each of these are east of the project, opposite the most likely direction of travel, but apparently that is irrelevant).  Because the model showed fewer added trips at these intersections then the "threshold of significance", no more detailed analysis of traffic impacts is needed.
        • Transportation Impact Analysis specifies for traffic flow:
          • That the driveway on Kinneloa to the parking structure is to be exit only.  No reasoning given.  This would force those who want to park in the structure to go around to Foothill.  The whole point of having the driveway to Kinneloa is to allow the traffic to go back and forth to the south on Kinneloa and stay off of Foothill.  (It would make sense to not allow left turn in since that would mean the vehicle was coming from Foothill and it would more likely cause backups in the roadway).
          • Driveway on the eastern edge of the property on Foothill is to be right turn in-only.  No left turn in.  No right turn out.  Seems to severely limit its utility.  If you were coming east on Foothill, you might as well have already turned in at the main entrance.   These limitations mainly have to do with conflicts with the adjacent Kaiser driveway.  Essentially the main purpose of this roadway between Foothill and the underground garage entrance is as a fire lane.
          • Traffic would be blocked from going directly between the project's main entrance/exit on Foothill and Santa Paula on the north side. A barrier in the middle of Foothill (previously has been described as a "pork chop") would prevent this in order to keep Santa Paula from easily being used as a short cut by the new residents.
        • Transportation Impact Analysis specifies for vehicle trip mitigation, the developer/owner is to:
          • Unbundle parking from unit lease. So no requirement to lease parking and can lease extra spaces if needed and available.
          • Purchase 275 Metro EZ passes and offer them to the interested residents at 50% discount for five consecutive years from the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
          • Fund improvement of the bus stops at Foothill/Santa Paula and Foothill/Kinneloa
          • Do an annual traffic demand management survey for five years, starting one year after occupancy, to show a minimum reduction of 23% of vehicle trips.  (It doesn't say what happens if that reduction cannot be demonstrated).
        • Hazardous waste
          • Many details in report.  Recommend reading if interested.
          • They will dig out two hot spots of ground contamination, testing margins to get it all.
          • They will dig out and remove all the on-site drainage facilities and treat them as toxic waste.  In the process they are supposed to watch for evidence of leakage and test for contamination of the soil if found.
          • There is some leftover water in a tank in one building that is yet to be tested, and there is some "surface water" in one building that is to be tested.
          • Here is information about the concern of deeper contamination.
            City of Pasadena Water and Power Department municipal water well known as the Jourdan Well, located on an adjacent property, was shut down in 1997 due to the presence of perchlorate and nitrates.  Space Bank site is a suspected source, although it has not yet been detected on the site.  Deeper soil samples, as well as groundwater samples, are necessary to determine if perchlorate exists in deep soils and groundwater beneath the project site.  That testing will be done during development, but remediation is not necessary to protect the health of construction workers or future residents.
        • Site description of surrounding land uses.  Page 29, Table 2.  For the south, east, and west it lists uses far beyond the immediately adjacent use, but for the north it only mentions PCC-CEC and the narrow parcel width of "assorted retail stores", omitting our single family residential neighborhood beyond.  Our neighborhood is much closer then the stuff on the other side of the freeway and the other side of Sierra Madre Villa.  (The noise study section did take into account our residential area as a sensitive receptor).
        • Historic and Cultural resources sections have a story line about the history of Pasadena and the site.  But between the local Indians, for which no specific information was found, to WWII it is completely focused on the wealthy and tourists and makes no mention of working class Pasadenans, and in particular the residents in what was then unincorporated East Pasadena.  No mention of Chihuahuita.  No mention of Titley.  No mention of the Mexican American church our oldest residents remember.   A furniture building company and stone works that appear on an insurance drawing are mentioned.  Nothing about the smaller properties and buildings, including a "San Juan Church", shown along Titley Ave.  (Titley Ave was what has now been re-named Kinneloa north of the freeway, except that Titley was a straight road that ended at the railroad tracks).  There are a couple interesting insurance map drawings and aerial photos.  There is quite a lot on the Navy torpedo research timeline from the 1940s to 1970s.
      • Should we request a meeting with a City transportation department engineer, and possibly the developer's traffic person, to explain their thinking about how the traffic will flow to, from, around, and within the site, including why they think it is good to force traffic to use Foothill rather then allowing it to stay on the under-utilized Kinneloa?  Our meeting attendees thought it would be worthwhile.
      • Should we request that a condition of approval be put on the project to include a liaison for the neighbors during the construction phase who would be available 24-hours a day for the express purpose of dealing with any issues that arise?  Construction plans typically rely on City inspectors for enforcement of rules and mitigation measures, but inspectors are few and far between, and those officially imposed measures may prove inadequate.  Our meeting attendees thought it would be worthwhile.
    • Orange Grove proposed lanes reduction
      • As noted previously, the City put East Orange Grove Blvd from Rosemead to Lake in its bicycle master plan to reduce it to one vehicle lane in each direction, add a center turn lane, and change the current bike lanes into "buffered bike lanes".  Essentially it would re-stripe it in the same way as Sierra Madre Villa has been.
      • In his February 1 newsletter, the City Manager released an announcement that the City is preparing to move forward with this, but first they are going to do "outreach".  Here is what the announcement says:
          "           The Department of Transportation has contracted with The Arroyo Group and sub-consultants Iteris, Hunt Design and Productivity Consulting to perform traffic analysis and public outreach for a potential reconfiguration of Orange Grove Boulevard from two lanes in each direction to one travel lane in each direction, a two-way left turn lane and the addition of buffered bike lanes. The entire east-west portion of the street, from Lincoln Avenue to Sierra Madre Villa Avenue, will be evaluated in the traffic analysis, but public outreach and near-term restriping is currently only envisioned from Lake Avenue to Sierra Madre Villa Avenue.

 

        •             According to Frederick Dock, Director of Transportation, the Arroyo Group team will conduct two public meetings in March, where they will present the results of the traffic analysis (including estimated speed reductions and the amount of potential additional motorist delay) graphic depictions of what the street will look like, benefits to livability, health and other items. The Arroyo Group team will be reaching out to Council District Liaisons to coordinate and schedule these meetings.

 

        •             To increase awareness about the project and attendance at the meetings, The Arroyo Group team will set up a project website hosted by the City to inform the public that the corridor is under study and provide the results of the traffic analysis. Pedestrian-scaled signs will go up along Orange Grove Boulevard and flyers will be placed in public places and, sent to all residents within 500 feet of the corridor, neighborhood groups, schools, and community groups.  The Arroyo Group team will also conduct a door-to-door survey of Orange Grove Boulevard homeowners and other street users."

 

      • Translation:  A consultant is getting a bundle of taxpayer money to try to educate us that increased traffic congestion is good for us, that it will slightly slow traffic down on average, and the result will be safer for everyone.   Other then the relative few who live on the street, they are especially reaching out to the constituency they believe is most likely to believe and support them.  (They aren't reaching out to the most negatively affected users, the majority of motorists who drive the street, who are admittedly the hardest to reach).
      • In response to unhappy e-mails from a couple of people who live near Orange Grove, the Mayor gave this response:
          "Thank you for your comments regarding Orange Grove Blvd.

 

        • As you probably know by now, this is the beginning of a process, not the end.

 

        • While the restriping of OG is consistent with the General Plan & the idea of complete streets is to have our street network function in a way that serves adjacent uses, pedestrians and bicycles – not just speeding cars,

 

        • we are vitally interested in making sure that everyone is heard before we make a big change. I am sure that you along with everyone you copied on your email will actively participate in that discussion."

 

    • This appears to confirm the purpose of the "outreach" is just to allow folks to vent, and is not intended to make any difference to the outcome.  The Mayor knows that he and most of the Council have supported the new orthodoxy in traffic management that the City's Transportation Department has been pushing in recent years. It is written into the new General and "Mobility" plans. And it gets the City grant money it might not otherwise get.
  • Pasadena Heritage Community Meeting
    • "Pasadena Heritage will host a community meeting (PARTICIPATE PASADENA) on Wednesday, March 14, to discuss Mansionization and to introduce the upcoming Specific Plan process that will be launched by the City of Pasadena."
    • Pasadena Heritage’s Participate Pasadena community event
      • Wednesday, March 14, 2018
      • 6:30 pm. till 8:30 p.m.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
      • Lake Avenue Church, 393 North Lake Avenue, Pasadena 91101
      • Free parking is available immediately west of the church, off Maple Avenue.
    • The meeting is free but registration is required because of limited space.
    • Register at pasadenaheritage.org/participate
  • Pasadena Transit, free February rides
    • Pasadena Transit operates the city's local bus routes.
    • These are the buses that used to be "ARTS" but now are just decorated with a big P for Pasadena Transit.
    • There are more, and more extensive, routes now then ever before.
    • Normally it costs 75 cents for adults, 35 cents for seniors, ...
    • In celebration of "Friendship February", they are offering free rides
      • Every Friday in February
      • Every Saturday in February
      • February 19 (President's day)
      • (the 12th and 14th were also, but that's past now)
    • For details on routes, times, usual fares, ... visit http://www.pasadenatransit.net
  • E-Waste & Shredding in Pasadena March 3
    • Electronic Waste Collection and Free Document Shredding
    • Saturday March 3, 2018, 9 am - 3 pm
    • Brookside Park, Parking Lot I (that's south of the Rosebowl Loop)
    • Limit 3 legal size boxes for document shredding.  Proof of Pasadena residency may be required.
  • Hazardous Waste Collection in Monrovia March 3
    • This one comes from a posting of the flyer on NextDoor.  For some reason it still isn't listed on the County's Household Hazardous Waste Collection website.
    • Saturday March 3, 2018, 9 am - 3 pm
    • Huntington Millennium Center
    • 181 W Huntington Dr, Monrovia
  • Retired Senior and Volunteer Program
    • RSVP is the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
    • "to help connect volunteers to various nonprofits in our community"
    • "RSVP is a federal program which began in 1971 and is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). RSVP is part of Senior Corps, and is America's largest volunteer network for people age 55 and over. There are nearly 300,000 participants across the nation who are providing invaluable volunteer services in their communities."
    • "AARP Foundation recently won a federal grant from the CNCS to implement the RSVP project in the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys. ... Our RSVP program will focus on two priority areas: healthy futures (i.e., soup kitchens, food banks, combating loneliness and isolation, and meals on wheels) and economic opportunity (i.e., tax preparation for low-income seniors, food/clothing drives or assisting individuals to re-enter the workforce). However, we are also able to place volunteers with a general focus on community needs."
    • "Cristina Romero
      RSVP Pasadena Project Director
      1055 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 500
      Pasadena, CA 91106
      (626)230-9673"
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month in our neighborhood, from crimemapping.com: (note that time is typically when reported, not when it happened)
      • nothing shows up as being reported in our neighborhood during the past month.  Two months in a row!
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

Next meeting is March 17, 2018 at 11:15 am, in Hastings Branch Library meeting room

Adjourned about 1:20 pm

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