November 17 Neighborhood Meeting Summary


E-mail reminders


5 members


Susan brought still warm home baked pumpkin bread


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:30 am

  • EPSP Walking Tour Summary
    • The City’s Planning Department, in coordination with Council member Gene Masuda, put together a “walking tour” event for the Gold Line station and a portion of the East Pasadena Specific Plan (EPSP), particularly south of the freeway.
    • The idea was to look at the current conditions and discuss what attendees would like to see encouraged or discouraged in terms of future development.
    • The event started with a gathering between the A Noise Within theater and Bell Apartments just north of the Gold Line station. Associate Planner Martin Potter spoke. It was hard to hear because the freeway traffic is really loud. Each attendee was given a clipboard with a map and questions and comment space for each area along the tour.
    • Attendees then split into smaller groups for the walk, each led by a member of the planning staff and/or a consultant to them.
    • Walking south under the freeway bridge, attendees were asked to remark on how they felt about the pedestrian experience. A couple of people in one group said that going under the bridge was part of their regular commute, and that it is too dimly lit at night, often filthy with trash and excrement, and the necessity of being very careful at the crossings as many drivers are oblivious to pedestrians. Yes, its noisy, but that’s a lesser problem. Yes, it could be prettier, but there is no point in that without much better maintenance.
    • Groups proceeded south and then West along the North side of Colorado Blvd to Kinneloa Ave.
      • Attendees were asked about building setbacks from the sidewalk, thoughts on parking lots to rear or side vs. in front of buildings, building heights, and whether uses should be kept commercial/light industrial or should residential be allowed.
      • The Vista Paints building was seen as underutilized, with a frontage that could be much better then just a long ramp.
      • There is a building that appears to have been offices that is boarded up.
      • Smart and Final has a bit of landscaping, but the street frontage is also dominated by a wheelchair ramp to get around to the the front of building adjacent to the parking lot.
      • We were told that Target’s parking lot is underutilized now, even during the heaviest usage. Attendees were asked what else they would consider as a good use of some of that space.
      • It was noted that the parcels along the north side have the distinction of having road access from both sides. They are also isolated from nearby residences and next to the freeway, making them more advantageous for use for businesses that might disturb nearby residential uses.
    • After crossing Colorado Blvd, groups proceeded East on the South side of Colorado Blvd back to Madre Street.
      • Many attendees were unaware that some of the south side of Colorado in this stretch is within the City boundary and some is unincorporated County territory. The Red Wing Shoe store, Centinela Pet…, and the gas station are in the City. The liquor store on the corner of Madre and the building next door that includes the tax place are in the City. The portion in between, including the illegal marijuana shop, are not in the City.
      • One of the planning challenges for the stretch is the inability to control what happens on the south side of the street to be consistent with the north side of the street. Even basics such as having street trees.
    • Proceeding north past the now closed OSH, participants were asked what types of uses they would like to see for the site. Reuses for the building or completely new?  Commercial only or allow residential.
      • Of all the parcels in the EPSP south of the freeway, it is closest to the Gold Line station and therefore makes the most sense for residential. But users would have to walk under the freeway to access it, and amenities like grocery stores are further away.
      • It is now zoned to allow residential, but if all the projects currently planned in the East Pasadena Specific Plan area proceed and obtain building permits, the residential unit cap will be nearly reached. The City Council could raise the cap at the time of the five year review that will take  place in a couple more years. But if a developer wanted to make plans sooner then that they’d be putting a costly bet on that future Council’s decision.
      • Not sure whether the Lowe’s (owner of OSH) long term lease will continue or if the land owner starts over.
    • Returning to the walkway between A Noise Within theater and the Bell Apartments building, attendees were asked what they thought about it and whether similar public access ways through large blocks are desired.
    • Groups then walked to Foothill Blvd and East along the south side. What issues does the stretch have?  What would people like to see changed?
    • After crossing Halstead Street, the event ended on the Fire Station’s patio with refreshments and a couple of maps that attendees could pin cards to indicating desires for that spot. Comment sheets were turned in.
  • Space Bank site planning Design Review
    • The apartment unit complex planned for the current Space Bank site south of us on Foothill has been going through Concept Design Review by the City’s Design Commission.
    • The Design Commission is composed of community volunteers appointed by the City’s Mayor and Council members. They look at plans submitted by a developer, ask questions, and make suggestions on how they believe the design could be improved. The plans have to proceed through a process of several reviews before building permits are issued.
    • The Design Commission most recently reviewed the project on October 9 and November 15. Unfortunately, the plans they look at are not posted on the City’s website, and the report to the Commission by City Staff is only posted until it is wiped off the website by the next meeting. For a week or two, the November 15 staff report will be accessible here:
    • Audio recordings of the meetings are posted online. (The format is video, but only audio is recorded).
  • City land beautification program
    • The City is taking requests for aesthetic landscape improvements to City parks, buildings, road medians, and other landscaped areas maintained by the City’s Department of Public Works. Such improvements typically include modifications to irrigation, different plantings, and use of mulch or decomposed granite.
    • The Landscape Beautification Program formalizes the process of requests being made and processed by the City.
    • Members of the public are encouraged to submit project suggestions by completing and submitting the application form located on the Parks and Natural Resources Division webpage:
    • December 6, 2018 is the deadline to submit project proposals for the 2020 fiscal year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020).
    • If you have questions, please call Jason Vega at (626) 744-7358
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month in our neighborhood, from (note that time is typically when reported, not when it happened)
      • Sunday Oct 21, 10:55 pm, 3100 block Mataro St, Domestic Violence
      • Friday Nov 2, 1:23 am, 300 block Avocado Ln, Overdose
      • Saturday Nov 3, 10:31 am, 3100 block Estado St, Vehicle Burglary
      • Wednesday Nov 14, 9:25 pm, Santa Paula Ave / Estado St, Petty Theft
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Small, lone, daytime coyote
      • On Wednesday November 14 at about 4:30 pm, still quite light, a small lone coyote trotted down Del Vina Street from west to east. Yelling people got it going only slightly faster. It was looking left and right, but not zig zagging. As it got to Sierra Madre Villa it trotted right past a pedestrian, seemingly taking no notice, and right out through traffic. Headed north on the east side of the street.
      • A resident of Del Vina who saw it on this occasion said it had been on Santa Paula a little later in the day on Tuesday.

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

Adjourned about 12:45 pm