March 17 Neighborhood Meeting Summary


E-mail reminders


6 members


Susan and JoAnn each brought home-baked chocolate goodies.


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:23 pm

  • 3200 Foothill (Space Bank site) update
    • The time period has been extended until March 26 for public review and comment on  the Draft Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA).
    • It is available, along with information on how to submit comments, on this web page:
    • The Planning Commission had a presentation, had a little discussion, and took public comment during its regular meeting on February 28, 6:30 pm, in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
      • It turned out the Commission Chairman had to recuse himself due to conflict of interest with his employment.sThis resulted in the item being moved to the end of the agenda so he would not need to stick around outside.sWith him recused, only the minimum of commissioners needed for a quorum remained.
      • SCEA is such a new environmental review process that this SCEA is only about the sixth one that has been done in California.
      • It took longer to do, and cost more, then would have been expected for a traditional EIR, so it is not clear that the SCEA process will accomplish its goal of saving time and money.
      • It was noted that, unlike an EIR, the City is not required to respond to comments on the SCEA.
      • After the City Staff presentation, the developer had three people present.
      • Then the City hired consultant who drafted the SCEA presented.
      • Two members of our neighborhood, and three from Lower Hastings, attended and commented with concerns and questions.
      • A representative from a Carpenter’s Union in Orange County commented that the City should watch out because the developer is allegedly using a subcontractor at a site in Orange County which is being sued for wage theft.
      • The owner of Hastings Village and Hastings Ranch shopping centers expressed his support for the project.
      • Sue Mossman of Pasadena Heritage expressed support for the mitigation plan for historical / cultural resources.
      • A commissioner asked how nearby projects are taken into consideration.sResponses included:
        • Orange Grove lane reduction has not been approved yet, so it won’t be considered.
        • The SCEA relies on the EIR done for the General Plan, so there is no requirement for further analysis
        • Director of Planning commented that the way the metrics analyze impacts is totally stand alone, which “sucks because it does have big impacts”.sHe said they are very aware and concerned about the combined impact of present and possible future projects along Foothill and that before any project is approved the staff will come back with a non-CEQA required plan for improving traffic on Foothill.
      • Several commissioner comments were along the lines of wanting to know more about parking requirements (seeming to want the parking availability further reduced), and encouraging more use of bikes and ride sharing, emphasizing greenhouse gas reduction.
      • One commissioner was questioning having the sizes of the “affordable” units at the same ratio of the sizes of all the units. He thought there should be more larger “affordable” units.
  • Orange Grove Lanes Reduction city meetings March 22 and 28
    • The City’s Transportation Department wants to reduce Orange Grove Blvd to one lane for cars in each direction, adding “buffered” bicycle lanes on each side and a center turn lane.sJust as was done to Sierra Madre Villa Ave.
    • They want to do it this summer from Lake Ave to Sierra Madre Villa as part of re-striping the road after repaving.
    • As a result of the uproar caused by their doing it to Sierra Madre Villa without first informing the public, they promised to have “outreach” before doing it to any other road.
    • Two “outreach” meetings to residents have been announced
      • Thursday March 22, 6:30 – 8 pm
        Pasadena City College, Foothill Campus, Multi-Purpose Room
        3035 E. Foothill Blvd
      • Wednesday March 28, 6:30 – 8 pm
        Marshall Fundamental School, Library Building
        990 N. Allen Ave, 91104
    • Although the first meeting is said to be focused on the stretch of Orange Grove east of Allen, and the second meeting for west of Allen, there is likely to be a large amount of overlap.
    • If you have an opinion, you are strongly urged to attend one, if not both, meetings.
    • City leaders continue to publicly claim that no decision has yet been made on whether this lane reduction will happen.sThat they await the results of the study and public input.s Although there has been a large amount of objection on NextDoor and segments on local radio, there is a much longer standing organized and vocal constituency that got converting traffic lanes into bicycle lanes put into the City’s plans in the first place.sThe opposition has a hill to climb to convince the majority of the City Council not to go forward with reducing lanes.sTurnout at public meetings is one critical factor.sThose in favor will be sure to be there.
    • The consultant the City’s Transportation Department hired to analyze traffic on Orange Grove, options for changing it, and to do “public outreach” put together a website for the City touting the lane reduction plan as “Livable Orange Grove”.
      • It is quite clear that the goal has been to make the “analysis” show whatever they need to allow them to make the changes they want to make.sThere is no acknowledgement or analysis of the possible negative impacts.
      • The consultant began doing an in-person “survey” of residents on Orange Grove last weekend.sAccording to reports on NextDoor of encounters, it is more of an effort to convince residents to say they want the change then to hear and record what the residents have to say.
    • In opposition, a new organization called “Keep Pasadena Moving” has a Facebook page.
    • The main proponent organization for lane reduction is called the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition.sYou can look at their general website here:
      and their Orange Grove specific campaign website is here:
  • Specific Plan Update begins – Open House March 29
    • There are eight Specific Plan areas in Pasadena that are governed by special design and land use goals.
    • All the Specific Plan areas are predominately commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential.
    • Specific Plans are important because they further refine the rules in the General Plan to specify they types of businesses that should be permitted/encouraged, setback and height limits, design guidelines for buildings and streets, …
    • Our nearest areas are
      • East Pasadena Specific Plan, which runs from Eaton Wash on the West to the city line on the East, the commercial areas along Colorado and the city line on the South, and on the North includes PCC-CEC, the businesses along Foothill south of Culver Alley, the “point” area between Sierra Madre Villa and Rosemead, and all the shopping centers south of Rosemead and Sears Way.
      • Lamanda Park Specific Plan is a new plan area split out from the former East Pasadena and East Colorado specific plan areas. It runs from Eaton Wash on the East to Roosevelt Ave on the West, and from the commercial parcels on the south side of Colorado Blvd to those on the north side of Foothill and further to pick up commercial/industrial properties as far north as the freeway.
      • You can view all the Specific Plan areas overlaid on google maps here:
    • The existing Specific Plan documents are now all fairly old and have varying degrees of conflict with the updated General Plan.sSo, they all need to be updated and a couple areas are new.sIts a big job – they each took many years to create and adopt in the first place.sThe General Plan update took something like seven years.sNow the City is going to try to update all the Specific Plans within three years.
    • The City’s Planning and Community Development (obviously in conjunction with a hired consultant) has branded this process “Our Pasadena” and put together a web page to explain and provide access to information as the process goes forward:
    • They have started a public outreach process with three identical “open house” style meetings to provide education about the plans and process, try to answer questions, and listen to concerns.
    • They will have displays set up, hand outs to take, and you can talk to planning staff one on one.sYou can come and go any time within the designated time.
    • The final open house is here in East Pasadena and anyone who can attend really should.
      • Thursday March 29,  6 – 8 pm
        Victory Park Recreation Center
        2575 Paloma Street, 91107
    • It really can make a difference if the planners and City leaders know that residents are interested and paying attention.sSo you are strongly encouraged to attend meetings.sIf you cannot attend, go to the website, see what they have to say, and answer their questionnaire (bottom left corner of main page).
  • Short-Term Rental Permit application now online
    • The City now requires a permit to rent your house or a room on a short-term (less then 30 consecutive days) basis.sMany such rentals are now arranged via websites such as AirBnb.
    • In addition to the permit, Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) has to be collected, reported, and sent to the City.s(This is the same tax hotels, motels, B&Bs have had to charge for decades).
    • There are now explicitly stated limits on who can short-term rent and when. (Previously it was actually illegal for single family residences to do short-term renting, but rarely enforced).
    • Refer to the City’s new website for details, a downloadable brochure, supplemental application forms, and the link to apply online for the permit (the only way to do it):
    • “Current hosts of short-term rentals must apply for a short-term rental permit within 45-days, no later than Friday, April 27th”
    • The bottom of the web page also has hotline information for making complaints about short-term rental properties
  • Panda Inn project design continues
    • The previously described project to remodel the original Panda Inn restaurant and build two 6-story apartment buildings with 232 units behind it and the Gateway Tower has been working its way through the Design Commission.
    • On March 13 it was presented to the Design Commission for approval of Concept Design, declaration of being “categorically exempt from CEQA” as an “in-fill development project”, and that it will not result in any significant effects on traffic, noise, air quality, water quality or cultural resources.
    • We are unaware of the outcome of that meeting.
    • The Staff Report says that the project was redesigned to reduce exposure to the freeway by putting an above ground parking structure between the freeway and the southern apartment building, which moved that building 180 feet further north .sThe Health Risk Assessment, performed by a consultant, was amended.sIt showed reduced exposure to emissions, but still above threshold of concern.sAs a result, special filters and education of residents about keeping doors and windows closed are being made a requirement.
    • Unfortunately, the online posting for the March 13 meeting does not include the referenced Appendix C, with the revised plans for the project.sAnd once a newer agenda is posted for the Commission, all the formerly posted information disappears, so if it was ever posted, it is unavailable now.
  • Edison Corridor – Contact Info for problems
    • Noreen Sullivan, Field Representative for Councilmember Masuda, sent out this number 800-655-4555 to report issues with the Edison Corridor.sShe says: “A trouble ticket will be created and it is then forwarded to the appropriate department.sIt also creates a permanent record if you want to find out what action was taken to correct the problem”.
    • The Edison lines near us are the high tension wires that run roughly north-south to the west of Avocado Ave.sThe Corridor is those wires and the land beneath them, which is owned by Edison.
    • So call this number if there is a problem with the wires or on the vacant land under them.sWrite down the ticket number.sI suggest also writing a note to Noreen including that ticket number to make sure she is aware.s[email protected]
    • The City leases the eastern portion of Viña Vieja Park from Edison.sIf there is a problem within the park unrelated to the Edison wires, contact Noreen and or the City.
  • 2018 Conference on Healthy Aging – April 28
    • “Adults age 50 and above are invited to enjoy a full slate of workshops, demonstrations, heath screenings and an exhibitor hall.”
    • Saturday April 28, 2018
      8 am – 1:30 pm
      First Church of the Nazarene
      3700 E Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena, 91107
    • Registration is required.
    • This is the 17th year of the conference, but information seems to be unusually skimpy so far.sHere is the website, including link to register:
  • Pasadena Museum of History – Free First Wednesdays
    • The Pasadena Museum of History is now offering free admission to “local visitors” on the first Wednesday of each month.
    • “Community Wednesdays” offer free admission to the Museum’s exhibition galleries to anyone who lives, works, or is a student in any of the following local communities: Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Bradbury, Duarte, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Glendale, Highland Park, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Pasadena, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena and Temple City.
    • Visitors must mention this offer and show some form of i.d. in the Museum Store to gain complimentary admission.
    • Free parking is available in the Museum lot and on Walnut Street.
    • Gallery hours are 12:00 to 5:00 pm Wednesdays through Sundays unless otherwise noted on the Museum Calendar.
    • Pasadena Museum of History is located at 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena 91103. Phone: 626.577.1660.
    • Please visit for further details.
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month in our neighborhood, from (note that time is typically when reported, not when it happened)
      • Wednesday February 21, 12:10 pm, 3100 block Hermanos St, Petty Theft
      • Saturday March 3, 8:26 am, 400 block Mercury Ln, Grand Theft
      • Monday March 12, 11:01 pm, 3100 block Alameda St, Assault/Battery
      • Thursday March 15, 5:26 pm, 3100 block Orange Grove Blvd, Petty Theft
    • Four more petty and grand theft incidents are shown in the neighborhoods immediately north of us.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

Next meeting is April 21, 2018 at 11:15 am, in Hastings Branch Library meeting room

Adjourned about 12:50 pm