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West Pasadena Residents' Association
Neighborhood Update
Saturday, March 10 , 2018
Published weekly since 2000

Founded in 1962, the West Pasadena Residents' Association is dedicated to maintaining the character of our neighborhoods and enhancing the quality of life in southwest Pasadena. 

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Avram Gold


Neighborhood Update
This weekly WPRA eNewsletter is emailed each Saturday morning to more than 1,600 residents of Pasadena and beyond.

NOTE: The following meeting dates, times and agenda items are accurate as of Saturday morning.  Click on the appropriate blue headline to ensure the meeting hasn't been cancelled or rescheduled.

MONDAY, March 12

6:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave
On the agenda: 
  • Accessory dwelling units: Regarding the maximum unit size and residential impact fee. Specifically, approve the proposed zoning code text amendments to regulate the maximum allowable size newly constructed Accessory dwelling units. Staff Report
  • Public meeting on the establishment of the Pasadena tourism business improvement district: It is recommended that the City Council open a public meeting to allow members of the public to comment on the establishment of the proposed Pasadena Tourism Improvement District (PTBID). Staff Report
  • Conduct first reading of "An ordinance of the city of Pasadena amending the official zoning map of the City of Pasadena (Magnolia Landmark Overlay District)"  Staff Report  
  • Information Item: H omeless street outreach in Pasadena overview

4:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: Redemption of outstanding balance of the 2006 Lease Revenue Bonds related to City Hall financing, Quarterly investment report, ending 12/2/2017
Commission on the Status of Women
6:30 p.m.
Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
On the agenda: Women's history month event: "Herstory" March 15, report on age dementia and accessibility

TUESDAY, March 13
6:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave
On the agenda:  
  • Concept design review of B3448-3452 East Foothill Blvd. (District 4) - New 6 story, 232-unit residential project & exterior remodeling of existing Panda Inn restaurant and first two floors of the existing Gateway Metro Tower building
  • Final design review of 2900 E. Del Mar Blvd. (District 4) - New 1 to 3 story independent and assisted living buildings with subterranean parking
6 p.m.
Permit Center Hearing Room, 175 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: Reports from...
  • Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee
  • Open Space & Conservation Element Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee
  • Environmental Advisory Commission Responsibility and Mission Ad Hoc Committee
2 p.m.
Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
On the agenda: Senior Commission Work Plan, reports, comments and updates

4 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: Information items:
  • Bike share usage six-month update
  • Union Street two-way protected bikeway project update
  • Glenarm Capital Public Art Project update
6:30 p.m.
Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
On the agenda: Presentation of code enforcement, 2019-2023 capital improvement program recommendations, CDBG city project recommendations, review of six moth Strategic Plan

7 p.m.
Suite 101, 150 S. Los Robles Ave.
On the agenda: Not available

Planning Commission - cancelled
6 p.m.
Grand Conference Room, S038, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.
On the agenda: Reports about the Early Development Instrument (EDI), foster youth, the Pasadena Youth Council and the liaison to homeless issue

THURSDAY, March 15

6 p.m.
984 E. Locust Street
On the agenda: Not available

4:00 p.m.
Room 236, 351 So. Hudson Street
On the agenda:
Public announcement of closed session actions taken with Labor negotiators and human resources employee organizations: UTP, CSEA and the Teamsters. Approval of Resolution 2445 (school safety) and approval of 2017-18 Second Interim Report. The presentation of the Superintendent School Boundary and Consolidation Committee Report.

Click for the latest  Pasadena City Commission  |Facts| and |Vacancies|
"AB 1407 will increase voter engagement by removing the unnecessary step of pro-actively registering to vote, increasing the likelihood of a young person voting in future elections. We need more young people engaged in the political process and impacting issues like college access and affordability, climate change, healthcare and housing."

- California Assemblymember McCarty, co-sponsor of AB 1407 (See full story in Editor's Top Picks: New California law will automatically pre-register Pasadena 16 and 17 year-olds to vote )
The public is invited to attend the regular WPRA board meetings, held at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month (except August and December) in the Westridge School Community Room (unless otherwise noted), 324 Madeline Dr. Park in the State St. lot and walk north across campus to the Community Room. 

WPRA seeks email newsletter editors
Do you have writing and editing skills? If so, you can help the WPRA achieve its mission of informing the community. Send an email to update@wpra.net to volunteer to serve as one of several co-editors of WPRA's weekly Neighborhood Update email newsletter. It will only take a few hours a week (on your own schedule) in the month or two a year in which you'd serve. We'll train you.
PARTICIPATE PASADENA is a community engagement initiative  aiming to connect with residents and capture their concerns about and ideas for Pasadena's built environment and community character in general. We invite you to our next community meeting, Wednesday, March 14, 6:30 pm to 8:30 p.m. at Lake Avenue Church, 393 No. Lake Avenue, Pasadena, 91101. The meeting will focus on Mansionization in non-hillside Pasadena neighborhoods that do not have Landmark District designation. The City of Pasadena is in the process of drafting new regulations on single-family construction, and information gathered at this meeting will provide constructive input. To register, go HERE.

Please join me for the 41st Assembly District Spring Open House on March 15, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 600 No. Rosemead Blvd. Suite 117 . In celebration of Women's History Month, we will recognize "Women of Distinction," whose dedication to service has made a positive impact in our community. I also look forward to sharing with you my latest legislative proposals and discussing important community issues. Program starts at 6 p.m..
Our Pasadena will focus on implementation-updating Pasadena's Zoning Code and establishing neighborhood-specific design and land-use goals for the City's eight Specific Plans. The program will include numerous opportunities for public participation through a variety of events, activities, and platforms including workshops, open houses, social media and the Our Pasadena website. The en tire community is invited to participate March 15, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pasadena Senior Center, 85 East Holly Street .

The USC Pacific Asia Museum is open and better than ever and it is free for all visitors on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on the second Sunday of the month at 46 North Los Robles Avenue.

Pasadena Water and Power is continuing its Landscape Direct Install Program launched last year as an incentive for our low-income customers to replace turf with California-friendly plants. The program is one of the many available services featured in the Under One Roof program, providing a variety of no-cost home improvement services to help low-income residents increase the value of their homes and become more energy and water-efficient. For more information, go HERE.

The public is invited to participate in the meetings of the new Civic Center Task Force, which was established by the City Council on July 17, 2017 to provide recommendations to the City Council regarding new construction/development and land-use standards of the YWCA and YMCA blocks consistent with the Central District Specific Plan; possible programming of public rights-of-way within Centennial Plaza, Holly Street and Garfield Avenue; and potential landscape/hardscape improvements. For more information, contact Kevin Johnson at   kevinjohnson@cityofpasadena.net  or (626) 744-7806, or Julia Garzon at   jgarzon@cityofpasadena.net  or (626) 744-7310. The remaining meetings will be held:
  • Thursday, March 15, at 6 p.m.: Basement Training Room, City Hall
  • Thursday, April 5, at 6 p.m.: Basement Training Room, City Hall 

The project will enhance the main entrance to the Lower Arroyo Seco, beginning March 7 and ending April 30 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (No work on Sundays or holidays) One of the driveway entrances to the Lower Arroyo Seco will be maintained and opened at all time during construction. An Inspector from the City's Department of Public Works, wearing a safety vest and City Identification, will be present on the job site most of the time to answer questions or provide assistance if needed. If you cannot locate an Inspector, please contact the Department of Public Works at 
(626) 744-6736.
City Council approves preparing sales tax ballot measure for November election

"After City Manager Steve Mermell Monday outlined his strategy of cost reductions over the past few years to fill gaps in the City's budget, and said, "It's not good enough to just get by," the Pasadena City Council voted 7-1 to approve preparing a ballot measure for the November 2018 General Election that would ask voters to approve adding a 3/4 cent municipal sales tax to local purchases. Councilmember Steve Madison voted against the proposed measure, saying, 'Maybe we've been too good at budgeting, ... I don't see a sense of urgency from the community over this.'" 

Pasadena Now

Pasadena School Board approves resolution to begin notifications of over 100 job eliminations
"Acting on its Financial Stabilization Plan presented to the Los Angeles County Office of Education last month partly to stave off a takeover by County officials, the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education passed a resolution Thursday evening to start the process of selecting and notifying more than 100 full-time District employees their positions will be eliminated at the end of the current 2017-2018 school year. The resolution lists 53 elementary school teachers, eight middle school teachers, nine high school teachers, eight resource teachers, two STEAM coaches, and two assistant high school principals." Pasadena Now

"In the wake of the school tragedy in Parkland, Florida, and the calls for students and educators to participate in school walkouts, we would like to address the issue of campus safety and keep you informed about the way our schools are preparing for the national demonstrations planned for March 14, March 24, and April 20, 2018. Students have a powerful voice in this critically important national dialogue. Pasadena Unified Board Policy 5145.2 states that 'we respect students' rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands on issues, and support causes.' It is our duty as educators to take this time to listen and recognize students' concerns about keeping our school communities safe and to guide them on how they can be civically engaged in safe and constructive ways." Pasadena Now

Pasadena police officer illegally sold more than 100 guns

"Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian pleaded not guilty Friday to allegations that he sold more than 100 firearms without a license over a three-year period. Gourdikian was charged with dealing firearms without a license; making false statement during the purchase of firearms; and possession of an unregistered firearm, according to the indictment. If convicted on all counts, Gourdikian would face a maximum sentence of 35 years in federal prison." Pasadena Star-News

There was only one item on Monday's Public Safety Committee agenda. The Committee's Chair, Vice-Mayor John Kennedy, took exception to its delivery as an oral report and used the occasion to read wide-ranging, prepared remarks in which he criticized decisions and actions related to the Police Department and recommended the City Manager develop a plan for increased civilian oversight of the Department. Pasadena Now

Pasadena reassigns officers involved in the beating of an Altadena resident

"The two officers involved in the beating of Altadena resident Chris Ballew have been reassigned from Pasadena's gang unit, according to city officials. For months, civil rights activists have demanded the department place the men on a desk job until an internal investigation into their actions could be completed. On Wednesday, Councilman Tyron Hampton said the officers should have been removed from their patrols immediately for their own safety and for the safety of the public." Pasadena Star-News

New California law will automatically pre-register Pasadena 16 and 17 year-olds to vote
"California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a new law which automatically pre-register all voting-eligible 16- and 17-year olds to vote when they receive a California Driver's License or California State I.D. The measure, AB 1407, will automatically pre-register an estimated 200,000 16 and 17 year-olds to vote annually, marking the largest expansion of youth voter access in American history, bill co-author Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) said last week."
Pasadena Now
Former 710 freeway route Caltrans residential tenants get a month's reprieve
"Caltrans tenant groups have been battling Caltrans to resolve issues preventing them from purchasing the homes since 2016, after Caltrans first started the process of selling some of the more than 460 homes it owns along a six-mile path in El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena that was to have been the route of a surface extension of the 710 Freeway. But tenants and Pasadena attorney Christopher Sutton, who has represented tenants organizations for decades, say the method used by Caltrans to determine the proposed sales prices of the homes violates California state code and makes properties so unaffordable many tenants won't be able to buy them, and will face eviction."  Pasadena Now


Looking for other ways to entertain or educate yourself and your family? 

For current events around the area, we encourage you to visit our local news outlets. Click on the publication title to visit that publication's events section (alphabetical order).

Attend WPRA board meetings each month 

Monthly WPRA board meeting dates and locations are on the WPRA website. Click on the headline above or visit our website and look under "Meetings and Events."

The WPRA needs you ... 

... to serve your community and do it with a group of your neighbors who are equally dedicated. If you live within our service area, we'd welcome your help.

  • Got the local news bug? Just curious about your city (and would like to share news with 1,600 or so of your closest friends), consider serving as a co-editor of Neighborhood Update. It will only take a few hours a week (on your own schedule) in the month or two a year in which you'd serve. We'll train you.  
  • We have lots of opportunities to serve on one of our many committees:
    • Land use and planning
      If you care about how we use our land  
    • Education
      If you want to help save public education for West Pasadena  
    • Open space & conservation
      If you care about preserving open space and conservation of land and resources 
    • Membership
      If you'd like to help us continue to build our membership so we can do more  
If you'd like to chat about ways we could help you become more involved or, more likely, more effective (by helping us), send an email to WPRA President. Tell him about your interests.     
To learn more

Visit wpra.net and "like" our Facebook page  

To submit information for the Neighborhood Update, send it to update@wpra.net. 


Joseph Stoddard's watercolors: The WPRA is grateful to local artist Joseph Stoddard, who has generously allowed us to display his watercolors in our quarterly newsletter, The (WPRA) News; on the WPRA website; and in this publication. To explore Mr. Stoddard's work, visit josephstoddard.com.