June 16 Neighborhood Meeting Summary


E-mail reminders


6 members


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Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:30 am

    • Pickleball courts next to dog park?
      • Pickleball is a game with similarities to tennis, badminton, and ping pong.  It is a fast growing sport.
      • There is a proposal to put pickleball courts or a “racket center” at Viña Vieja park.
      • (Subsequent to our meeting, postcards were received from the City which say: )
Please join the City of Pasadena for a
VINA VIEJA PARK PICKLEBALL COURTSThe purpose of the meeting is to discuss a proposal and concept
design for permanent pickleball courts at Vina Vieja Park.
Pickleball is a sport similar to tennis played on a smaller court.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 – 6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.

Victory Park Recreation Center – Gymnasium
2575 Paloma St.
Pasadena, CA 91107

For further information, call: (626) 744-7311

    • (We had no notice of this proposal until a call from Councilmember Masuda on Thursday evening after he was alerted to it).
    • No information could be found online about exactly where the facility would be located, but it seems most likely it would be south of the dog park because that is city owned land.
    • An online search shows that a group of pickleball enthusiasts has been advocating to City staff and the Parks and Recreation Commission for some years to get public pickleball courts.
    • A tennis court at Allendale Park was converted for $14,490 last fall and opened in December.  But that is considered a temporary location.
    • Tennis players do not want to lose any tennis courts to use for pickleball.
    • There is a Capital Improvement Project #78044 to develop a permanent facility.
    • A “working group” of “pickleball stakeholders”, City staff, and a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission was formed in January to look for a permanent location.
    • According to the meeting minutes, on April 3, the Parks and Recreation Commission was given a presentation and asked to make a recommendation by a Loren Pluth, Public Works Senior Project Manager.
      • Three possible locations had been identified:  Central Park, Viña Vieja Park, and Brookside Park.
      • The process was noted as:
        • designate a preferred location
        • develop a design concept
        • community engagement
        • return to the Commission
      • Central Park was recommended as the preferred location, said to have the fewest problems.
      • Viña Vieja Park was the second choice recommendation.
      • Public commenters:
        • Complained Central Park has “no parking”.
        • Members of the Lawn Bowling and Croquet Club at Central Park complained that the proposed pickleball court location would take the spot where the park’s master plan allows the Croquet Club to be moved.
        • Another person said that residents in the Central Park area wanted a dog space and that was a likely location.
        • Negatives for Viña Vieja Park were said to be “no lights” and “no budget”.
        • Brookside Park was described as “great” except that there would be “restricted use”.
        • The owner of I Tennis, which is the contractor to the City that runs classes and scheduling for all the tennis courts and shares a portion of the fees with the City, spoke in favor of Viña Vieja park because he envisions “the potential of adding tennis courts and making a true racquet center with the potential of a multi-use, facility for Pickleball, Paddle Tennis, Ten and Under Tennis, and Tennis Courts. He noted northeast Pasadena needs more tennis courts.  There are not enough tennis courts in Pasadena.”   (Basically, he wants to grow his business).
      • The Commission decided to recommend Viña Vieja Park as the location, and added that the City Staff should try to fast track environmental and city approvals at the same time as starting to “look at the neighborhood”, and also that it be looked at as a future racquet sport complex.  (The fast track recommendation indicates they believe neighborhood input is irrelevant).
    • Found budget document indicating that looking for a permanent site had budgetary approval for this fiscal year, but there is no budget to do anything after that.
    • It is clear that advocates would like to drop another regional facility into what was supposed to be our neighborhood park.
    • They are going to want to maximize use, which means it would have lights
    • Obviously parking would have to be added for it.
    • With increased use, the park entrance would have even more potential for traffic collisions.
    • Our neighborhood and Daisy Villa would be subject to increased noise and well as the light pollution.
    • Users of such a facility would be breathing hard in the nice freeway adjacent air.
    • But, it would not have as big an impact as past proposals for the giant two ice rink building or moving the dog park south to accommodate youth soccer fields.
    • If you care about what does or does not happen with the park, you need to attend that meeting.  It is far easier to have an impact near the beginning of a process than later on.
  • Avon/Home Depot site update
    • Summary:
      • There are no plans yet.
      • The only thing for sure is that the new owner, Home Depot, wants to put a full scale Home Depot on a portion of the site.
      • Home Depot is still trying to figure out what they can do to get Pasadena’s City Council to allow them to do that.
      • Avon is still using the site.  It is expected to be completely out by the end of this year.
    • Due to the lack of any public engagement by Home Depot regarding their plans for it, Councilmember Masuda decided the community should go ahead on its own and explore what it would like to see happen there.
    • Councilmember Masuda set up a Committee composed of residents from all the nearby neighborhoods with extra representation from the nearest ones – Daisy Villa and East Eaton Wash.
    • A first meeting was set up with David Reyes, Director of Planning and Community Development.  He reached out to Home Depot to see if they would be interested in meeting with the Committee.  Somewhat surprisingly, they said yes.
    • The meeting was held on May 30.
    • Committee members are:
      • Greg Jones, Committee Chair, Lower Hastings N.A.
      • Alan Lamson, Brigden Ranch
      • Harvey Cordner, Eaton Blanche N.A.
      • John Chavez, Daisy Villa N.A. (not present at this meeting)
      • Jeff Ross, East Orange Grove N.A.
      • Ellie Podway, Daisy Villa N.A.
      • Roger Hammock, Sierra Madre Villa N.A.
      • Tim Price, Daisy Villa N.A.
      • Laura Ellersieck, East Eaton Wash N.A.
      • Perry Helm, Upper Hastings N.A.
      • Kathy Vacio, East Eaton Wash N.A.
      • Sue Mossman and/or Adam Rajper, Pasadena Heritage
    • Most of the site is zoned “R&D Flex Space”.  City staff does not believe Home Depot can put together a plan that includes a Home Depot store and meets the requirements of the current zoning.   A zoning change would require City Council approval.
    • City staff believes there is currently insufficient demand for R&D Flex Space in the Pasadena area to fill the space zoned for it.  The zoning is a long term vision.  This is a large parcel, perhaps not coming available for re-use at the right time to fully utilize its potential.
    • The original Avon building, on the northeast corner of the site, probably qualifies as a mid-century corporate historic resource.
    • Home Depot explained that they have been working since buying the property on figuring out what else to put on the site in addition to a full size Home Depot.  They have been meeting with various entities trying to understand the market demands that they might be able to accommodate.  They have not talked to potential tenants with specific proposals.
    • Home Depot was interested to learn how the community would feel about some of the Avon buildings being re-used rather then starting new on the whole site.  Building re-use is more cost effective.
    • Committee members expressed concerns about traffic impacts, tacky Home Depot design and signage, hot dog stands, day laborers hanging around, hours of operation, experience with historic structures.
    • A tour of the site was requested.  Home Depot said they could not do that until Avon moves out. Also requested are examples of Home Depot stores built to blend into their neighborhoods.
    • The Committee Chair will look into meeting with independent experts on market demand, traffic issues, historic structures, building re-use.  The committee will meet again with Home Depot when they can provide a site visit or have something to show.
  • Space Bank development update
    • The proposed Space Bank site development with 550 units might be heard by the City Council at its meeting on July 9.  That is a tentative date.
    • The developer is likely to have a local hire agreement for construction.  Unknown if they will cave-in to the construction unions.
  • Eaton Canyon Golf Course will remain
    • County Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced that the County will not transfer Eaton Canyon Golf Course to Pasadena and the current course operation contract will be allowed to continue.
    • The current operator, since last September, has been reportedly making great strides in renovating the course so it is again attractive to golfers.
    • Plans are also being made to make the clubhouse/restaurant more broadly known/appealing/used.
  • Hastings Branch Library fundraiser at Panda Express June 23
    • Panda Express Innovation Kitchen at 3857 E Foothill Blvd (south of Marshall’s next to Michillinda)
    • All day Saturday June 23 (10 am to 11 pm)
    • Will donate 20% of sales made to patrons who either show the flyer on paper or a phone, or order online with promo code 250017.
    • The donation will go to The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library’s separate fund for supporting Hastings Branch Library
    • Here is the flyer.
  • 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 was reported
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Fence removed between park and Edison
      • The plastic fence has been completely removed where it went under the eastern rank of high tension wires.  It remains in place parallel to the wires on either side.
      • One of our members guessed this happened about three weeks ago.
      • Does anyone know why it was done or by whom?
      • Although the fence has almost always been broken somewhere along it by people who wanted to trespass on Edison’s property, this now allows complete access without it being obvious that one is trespassing.
      • For those who do not remember, the weird configuration of the plastic fence was due to those high tension wires being too close to the ground in that area.  Edison put a giant new support in and raised those lines last November.  So the public can now be allowed under them, if the City’s park land lease allows for it.

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

Adjourned about 12:55 pm