October 20 Neighborhood Meeting Summary


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7 members


Susan brought Trader Joe brownies. Yummy.<something?></something?>


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:26 am

  • Avon / Home Depot tentative plan
    • Last year, Home Depot purchased the property that was owned and operated by Avon between Foothill and Walnut, just west of the freeway.
    • On October 3, the Committee put together by Council member Gene Masuda met for a second time with representatives from Home Depot.
    • They showed the Committee drawings of a proposal they are working on. Nothing had been submitted to the City for approval. They were looking for feedback.
    • Under this proposal, they would be re-using existing structures. This remodel/tenant improvement, as opposed to new construction, would allow them to proceed under the old zoning designation of Industrial rather then having to fit under the new R&D Flex Space zoning. Home Depot is classified as selling building materials, not retail. That use is allowed “by right” under Industrial zoning; it doesn’t need a special permit.
    • In keeping with the spirit of the new General Plan designation, they said they intend to lease the historic building (on Foothill, immediately adjacent to the freeway) and existing office spaces to R&D users. They said several potential R&D users are looking at it.
    • The overall square footage of buildings would be reduced 36% from what is currently there. The Home Depot would be using 113,000 square feet and the R&D area would be 120,000 square feet.
    • The Foothill frontage of buildings would stay the same, except the 50′ sheet metal walled building on the western side (that has the big AVON on it) would be reduced in height.
    • The Walnut frontage would be changed considerably.
      • The Walnut side of the currently tall building would be demolished and the new wall would be further north.
      • There would be a unique lumber portico on the east side of the Home Depot.
      • The garden center would be on the west side.
      • The eastern part of the existing parking structure would be demolished. The remaining portion would be designated as employee parking.
    • Customer parking would all be off Walnut, via two existing driveways. They expect 85-95% of people going to the store should use Walnut. They would like to get a third driveway from Walnut, but the City owns a strip of land along Walnut that would need to be crossed, so that possibility is still being studied.
    • Delivery trucks for Home Depot would use the same driveway on Foothill that Avon’s trucks have been using. That is at the Western edge of the property.
      • Avon used to do 4 to 5 times more deliveries then Home Depot will have.
      • All Home Depot deliveries are scheduled. Trucks are required to show up at a designated time, so there is no queuing, and they try to avoid rush hours.
      • The truck loading dock will be behind the historic frontage wall of the long building on Foothill. Because the finished floor of that building is actually 5 feet below the grade of Foothill, it will really be a good sound wall.
    • The current driveway on Foothill that is immediately adjacent to the freeway, on the eastern edge of the property will remain for use by R&D employees. It will be changed to only right turn in and right turn out.
    • The City’s Dept of Transportation is proposing an over $1 million plan. It would include a median on Foothill to prevent left turn access. An adaptive control system, already being put on Foothill further east, would be be extended to cover all of Foothill in East Pasadena. That system includes the ability of emergency vehicles to preempt traffic signals.
    • Next steps for Home Depot were checking code requirements. Building, fire, soil, earthquake.
    • Could possibly do engineering and submit plans to City in a few months. Estimate 6-9 months to start work if only need building permits. Could add almost a year if need to work through the Planning Commission process.
  • Pickleball Courts Design approval
    • On September 24, the City Council approved “by consent” a staff recommendation to allow design of pickleball courts south of the dog park. (Sorry you were not alerted to this agenda item. We were unaware until after the fact).
    • The Council:
      • Found that an environmental review is not needed in order to take the following recommended actions because they are preliminary and preparatory steps which do not actually change anything on the ground.
      • Adopted a revised drawing for Viña Vieja Neighborhood Park that includes the City owned land south of the dog park. By including that area into the park’s boundary, Residential Impact Fees (RIF) can be spent there. RIF are paid by anybody who builds new housing and are supposed to be used for capital improvements to parks and recreation facilities. With all the new apartments built in the area recently, there are plenty of RIF funds available.
      • Changed the existing Capital Improvement Project for pickleball courts to specify Viña Vieja Park as the location.
      • Appropriated $400,000 of RIF funds for the “Pickleball Courts – Design and Construction” project. “The estimated cost of planning, design, project-level environmental review, and entitlements is $400,000”.
    • Actual construction has not yet been approved. The City Council will still have to approve funding for that.
    • The total currently estimated cost (with no design work having been done) is $1.8 million.
    • From previous information provided, the Council will also have to approve changing the ordinance that created the park to allow lighting. Environmental study of traffic and lighting and other factors will have to be done. An agreement with Edison for access, and possibly parking area, will probably be needed.
    • To read the short staff report and/or see the minimal drawings, go to item 5 of the Council Agenda for September 24.
  • Park gate and fence
    • Recently, the pedestrian entrance gate was not being locked at night; the latch was missing.
    • The huge area of missing vinyl fence between the park and the Edison area was not replaced, in spite of being told it would happen months ago.
    • The vinyl fence along the entrance walkway continued to be vandalized, in spite of the absence of fence between the park and the Edison area.
    • Apparently a homeless person had created an encampment/stash behind the bushes along the walkway. Police were called on non-emergency number. Police person left a note on the stash and it was gone by the next day.
    • It seems that the gate on the park side of the walkway was being locked, so the fence along the walkway was vandalized to create night passage between our neighborhood and the walkway and the park/Edison area.
    • The park’s crew supervisor, Carl Jones 626-744-3808 was contacted by a neighbor.
    • He said the big fence gap would be closed up, but would/could not say when.
    • He welded a new lock and chain on the gate.
    • He said they’ve been having problems with the security company that is contracted to lock the parks. That problem is being worked on. In the meantime, he’ll lock it himself if necessary.
    • So folks, if you see a problem, call and report it. Don’t assume somebody else will. It just might get fixed.
  • Orange Grove lane reductions killed, probably
    • The “road diet” plan for Orange Grove Blvd between Sierra Madre Villa and Allen Ave has officially been deleted by the City Council from the Capital Improvement Program.
    • Two new traffic signals are still planned.
    • The road diet project described earlier in the year went West all the way to Lake Ave. But this change specifies Allen Ave. Why?
    • There never was a Capital Improvement Program project for the road diet imposed on Sierra Madre Villa. So deleting that Capital Improvement from Orange Grove is good, but really is not definitive. Just as they did on Sierra Madre Villa, the Transportation Dept could decide to re-stripe any road any way they want after repaving. For now they should be acutely aware they better not eliminate lanes on Orange Grove, but…
  • Telephone scams
    • Pasadena Police report scammers are putting the police identification on the Caller ID in phone calls where the scammer claims the recipient owes money, has a fraud case, or is the victim of identify theft. The scammer tries to get personal information such as driver’s license number, social security number, credit card number.
    • So, they are reminding everyone that caller ID can be spoofed. Don’t rely on it to identify the caller. If the caller is soliciting information and you think there might actually be an issue to follow up on, hang up and call a number that you already knew.
    • Don’t give callers any information about friends or relatives. That can be turned around and used to scam you or your friend or relative.
    • “Do not say “yes” over the phone to an unknown caller. Scammers record “yes” responses to use as evidence that you agreed to a financial transaction”.
  • 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 14, 8:53 pm, 300 block Santa Paula Av, Petty Theft
      • Tuesday Sept 18, 4:33 pm, 3100 block E Foothill, Grand Theft Auto
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

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

Adjourned about 12:40 pm