Wed, April 30

WPRA Annual Meeting:
Save our neighborhoods!

Reception 5:30pm
Meeting 6:30pm

San Rafael School
1090 Nithsdale Ave.


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What is the WPRA?      

The West Pasadena Residents' Association is an all-volunteer organization of the residents of southwest Pasadena dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the character of southwest Pasadena and the quality of life in Pasadena.

Your membership, contributions and volunteer support are key to the WPRA's success.   All activities of the WPRA are funded through membership dues and contributions.  The WPRA receives no public funding or other monies and has no paid employees.  The WPRA does not endorse or otherwise support or oppose candidates for public office, and no WPRA funds are spent in support of or in opposition to candidates.

Become involved!  See the links on the left for information on joining, donating, or volunteering with the WPRA.

We are pleased to display some of the work of local artist Joseph Stoddard on our web site. To learn more about the artist click here.


The Latest                                                             


Developer Plans 90 units in place of 64 garden apartments in Orange Grove Circle (Apr 2014)

Orange Grove Circle, set on a cul-de-sac along Orange Grove Boulevard, is a collection of apartment residences — 2, 3 and 4-bedroom units up to 2,774 square feet on six tree-shaded acres. 

Developer Brookfield Residential had a preliminary project review with the city and outlined plans for demolishing 64 existing units and replacing them with a new 90-unit complex of 2-3 story buildings lining two private streets.  The front portion of the site is zoned for multi family and the rear portion is zoned for single family.  The developer is requesting a zoning change to develop the entire site as multi family.

WPRA has been engaged with residents of Orange Grove Circle and others nearby about this development.  We met with the developers and told them our concerns and concerns of the residents. More meetings are expected but not yet planned.  

The main focus now is to see what the developers propose.  They have to formally inform the City Council of their plans in a council meeting.  The Council would not take any action at that time, but we can see the plans and comment on them.  

WPRA will send a special email Update when the meeting date is announced.  Those interested and affected should plan to attend the meeting with us and let your voices be heard.


Save our Neighborhoods! 
WPRA Annual Meeting April 30 at San Rafael School

The West Pasadena Residents' Association cordially invites you to its 52nd annual meeting on Wednesday, April 30 at San Rafael Elementary School, 1090 Nithsdale Ave. Parking is available in the parking lot behind the school (access is from San Miguel Road).

Pasadena dignitaries and officials will be joining us, including Pasadena dignitaries and officials will be joining us, including Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilmember Steve Madison, Assistant City Manager Steve Mermell, Director of Planning & Community Development Vince Bertoni, Director Department of Transportation Fred Dock, San Rafael Principal Rudy Ramirez, PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry.

5:30 p.m.
The evening will start with a reception and guided tours of the school.  During the reception period, attendees can enjoy light refreshments and visit with the many community organizations that will be exhibiting.

6:30 p.m.
This year's main program will be dedicated to two of the most important issues facing our neighborhoods, with plenty of time for your questions:
    •    The potential closure of San Rafael Elementary School, the last public school in west Pasadena.
    •    LA Metro's proposal to extend the SR-710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena

The meeting also will feature:

  • Blaire High School JROTC Color Guard
  • Preview of San Rafael School Musical
  • Election of WPRA Board & Officers
  • Community Service Awards
  • Your questions

We look forward to seeing you!!


West Pasadena Needs a Public School (Mar 2014)

WPRA presented a letter to the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education at their March 27 meeting opposing plans to close San Rafael School.  We started by saying that “The West Pasadena Resident's Association opposes San Rafael Elementary School being declared surplus, and the Board of Education moreover should reconsider alternatives to closing the last remaining public school in West Pasadena. Our community comprises approximately one-fifth of the City of Pasadena; it would be a grave mistake to leave us without a single public school to fulfill the promise of an accessible, free education to all.”  See the entire letter here.


710 Extension Tunnel Video (Feb 2014)

What will building a tunnel mean to the citizens of Pasadena? Click here to take a look at this 12 minute video.  This video shows that a tunnel is not burrowed quietly underground.  Watch the video and see what the process will mean to the people that live and work here.  Take a look at what the tunnel construction would do to the Rose Bowl Parade and game and other activities in Old Pasadena, and to the homes, medical facilities and schools within blocks of this project.  The traffic implications, the dirt and noise must be contemplated to determine if this undertaking is worth it.  People need to ask, what will Pasadena gain from this undertaking?


WPRA Decries County Plan to Strip Devils Gate, Praises City Stance (Jan 2014)

WPRA submitted comments to the LA County Flood Control District saying WPRA “strongly opposes the LA County Flood Control District’s crash plan to clean out Devil’s Gate Dam.  Our letter to LA County is here.  In a separate letter, WPRA wrote to the Pasadena Mayor and City Council saying it “commends you for taking a strong position opposing LA County’s [plan].”   The letter to the City is here.  In addition, an excellent slideshow prepared by the Arroyo Secco Foundation about "Developing Sustainable Sediment Management for Hahamongna" is here.


WPRA Takes Positions on City of Pasadena Review of SR-710 Plans and on Landmark District (Nov 2013)

WPRA took positions on two issues affecting Pasadena quality of life this week (November 12). 

First, we wrote to the City Council urging them to have City staff prepare a plan for a thorough review of the SR-710 Draft Environmental Impact Report.  The report is planned for release by LA Metro early in 2014 and is expected to be voluminous, technical and complex.  Many of the alternatives especially the six sub-options for highway tunnels, would have severe and permanent impacts on our city and the quality of life for its residents.  The letter we sent is here.

Second, we wrote to the Planning Commission in support of the proposal to designate the South Grand-Covington Place area a landmark district.  We noted that over 80% of the property owners in that neighborhood have signed the petition requesting landmark district designation.  The letter is here.


WPRA Supports Avenue 64 Coalition's Efforts to Improve Safety (Oct 2013)

The West Pasadena Residents’ Association unanimously approved a motion supporting the Avenue 64 Neighborhood Coalition’s proposal to improve safety along Avenue 64 in the Garvanza neighborhood.  For more information, click here to see a copy of the letter of support.


WPRA Opposes Freeway Tunnel Option in SR-710 Study in Letter to LA Metro Board (July 2013)

WPRA is very concerned about continued consideration of a deeply flawed concept for supposedly improving transportation in metropolitan Los Angeles.  In a letter to the LA Metro Board, WPRA describes three examples of issues that concern us about the proposed freeway tunnel option for extending SR-710: unclear goals, increasing local pollution at both ends of the tunnel, and inability to adequately filter exhausts.  You can see our letter here.  The letter concludes that the freeway tunnel option is by far the most expensive, challenging, risky and controversial option being considered. It must be taking an inordinate portion of the study funds to analyze and justify. It is time to cease using 20th Century solutions. WPRA urges Metro to withdraw the tunnel alternatives and to focus on modern 21st Century solutions: rail for cargo, and public transit and traffic management options for people.


WPRA Supports EIR Suit Against City(Jan2013)

The WPRA Board on December 13, 2012, unanimously approved a motion to support a lawsuit filed by The Coalition For Preservation of the Arroyo.  The coalition includes the Linda Vista~Annandale Association, the San Rafael Neighborhoods Association, and East Arroyo Neighborhood Preservation Committee.  The lawsuit challenges the City Council’s certification of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to the potential temporary lease of the Rose Bowl by an NFL team. The WPRA also unanimously authorized a $15,000 contribution to help fund the lawsuit.  Last April the Board had unanimously voted to inform City Council of its opposition to certification of the EIR, as it was presented in draft form. The Board based its decision on its conclusion that the City had failed to require that the EIR include analysis of certain aspects and conditions, which a December 2011 WPRA survey showed had to be met for our constituents to support such a project.

Despite a swelling chorus of opposition, City Council on November 19 voted to certify the EIR anyway and amend the relevant ordinances to permit an expanded number of major events in the Rose Bowl, which would likely accommodate the NFL’s needs.  The WPRA hopes the lawsuit will persuade the City to rectify the deficiencies in the Final EIR and, by doing so, address and mitigate its constituents’ concerns if it should enter into negotiations with the NFL.

To support the The Coalition For Preservation of the Arroyo's lawsuit, either click on the “EZ donate” link in the left panel of this webpage, or click here for a copy of the Coalition’s solicitation flyer. The flyer describes the lawsuit and explains two options for donating.

Background note: Two competing corporations are attempting to bring a National Football League team back to the Los Angeles area. If one should succeed, the relocating team will likely need an interim game facility such as the Rose Bowl or the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until its permanent new stadium is completed.


Community Fights for  San Rafael Elementary's Future (Jan 2013)

Step on to the grounds of San Rafael Elementary today, and you’ll encounter a thriving community of children learning in two languages, and a vibrant campus that boasts many improvements to play spaces amid the historic buildings and towering trees, which are a signature of the neighborhood. San Rafael is currently the only operating public school in West Pasadena, and the WPRA Board has actively supported it by organizing volunteer events, providing financial support for enrichment programs, and advocating on a range of issues affecting the school and its students, staff and families.

Since the May disclosure of seismic faults running beneath the nearly century old campus, San Rafael parent leaders and Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) officials have continued to discuss the options for rebuilding or relocating the school and its highly successful Spanish/English Dual Language Immersion Program. The school had been planning several upgrades to the campus (funded by the Measure TT bond program) when the faults were discovered. The State prohibits structural improvements to public school buildings within 50 feet of faults.

Many parents of San Rafael students, following months of conversations with PUSD staff and board members, have advocated for either rebuilding on a portion of the San Rafael campus outside the setback zone (50 feet from projected fault lines) or relocating the school to Linda Vista Elementary, which was closed by the District some years ago and is the only other PUSD school site west of the Arroyo.

At its December 11 meeting, the PUSD Board of Education discussed the potential closure of additional school campuses in the District due to declining enrollment at many of its school sites and projected budget shortfalls in the coming years. San Rafael was on the short list of schools considered for closure during the last round of PUSD school consolidations in the fall of 2010. The school was spared closure at the time, and in the two years since has seen its enrollment increase significantly with demand for the Dual Language program. The school now draws families from the immediate neighborhood as well as throughout Pasadena and surrounding cities.

For now, the District has agreed to keep open the option of relocating the school to the Linda Vista site, despite a hefty price tag to renovate and expand campus buildings needed to accommodate the rapidly growing program at San Rafael. District officials have largely dismissed the notion of rebuilding at San Rafael because of the even greater projected expense.  Leadership of the Linda Vista~Annandale Association (LVAA) has expressed support for reopening the Linda Vista campus and appeared at the December 11 meeting to urge the Board to reopen Linda Vista as a public school.

The Board will not make a final decision about San Rafael Elementary’s future until sometime next year, and the school will remain open at least through the 2013-14 academic calendar.  Meanwhile, the students, staff and families continue to invest in a program that is widely recognized as a rising star among education programs in the city.

The campus, despite going without its promised upgrades, sports new murals and playground equipment thanks to the efforts of parent volunteers, and buzzes with the excitement of teachers and students creating a unique learning community for the 21st century — building on a strong foundation poured nearly 100 years ago.

— By Catherine Stringer, WPRA vice president.  Catherine’s two children attend San Rafael and participate in the dual-language immersion program.


Rose Bowl Renovation Underway (Mar 2011)

The $152 million Rose Bowl renovation project approved by the City Council last year started on January 10, 2011. Construction will be complete in time for the 100th Rose Bowl Game, January 1, 2014. 

New Rose Bowl Renovation Roundup.  The Rose Bowl Operating Company publishes a newsletter to let the community know what's been going on, what's on deck, and some surprises.  View the newsletter here.

WPRA and other neighborhood organizations are working with the Rose Bowl Operating Company to minimize affects of the construction activity on our neighborhoods.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) about construction and mitigations has been developed and approved by Rose Bowl Operating Company, East Arroyo Residents Association, Linda Vista Annandale Association and West Pasadena Residents Association. The MOU focuses on areas of potential impact, and how they could be mitigated, and also outlines a communication process between neighborhood organizations adjacent to the Rose Bowl and the Rose Bowl construction management team.

For information on the renovation, please go to or you may contact Rose Bowl Event Manager, Abie Bacon at (626) 577-3101. In addition, you can contact WPRA (click on "contact us" in the left margin) or Takako Suzuki, our (District 6) City Council Field Representative.


Sign Up for Pasadena Fire Alerts through Pasadena Local Emergency Alert System (Mar 26)

The City of Pasadena Fire Department has implemented a system for sending emergency and other urgent messages to community members through text and voice messages.  The Fire Department urges community members to sign up for the system, called PLEAS (Pasadena Local Emergency Alert System). Click here   for details and sign-up.

This is in addition to the Pasadena Police community information service, Nixle, which provides routine (rather than emergency) information releases. Click here for Nixle information and sign-up.

For more information, visit direct all inquiries to 

Check Out Updated Crime Statistics (thru July 2012) and Recently Reported Incidents
Neighborhood safety was a key concern expressed in our recent  resident survey. The WPRA Neighborhood Safety Committee is continuing to work with Pasadena Police Department and other agencies on these issues.

The WPRA is a 501c3 non-profit public benefit corporation. Membership contributions and donations are fully deductible to the extent permitted by law.