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.
Click on headlines or where the text says "HERE" for more information.
Recent WPRA Positions (Jul 2018)
Comments on new construction of public restroom facility in Desiderio Neighborhood Park sent to Mayor and City Council (July 19, 2018). “Placing a restroom building [in Desiderio park] similar in size to those that meet the needs of much larger parks seems misguided at best. The structure is patently oversized and its size difficult to reconcile with the limited area and nature of the park… A much smaller structure (example photos attached) would be far more suitable for this small area. A large public toilet building ought not be shoehorned into this tiny neighborhood park. One size does not fit all.
Comments on Art Center College of Design Master Plan and Exterior programmable digital video sign sent to Mayor and City Council (July 16, 2018). WPRA reviewed and supports the Art Center College of Design Master Plan and the certification of the EIR, with the exception of the proposed digital sign intended for placement on the 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway building. “The WPRA flatly opposes the approval of this digital video sign. We believe that this—or any other video sign anywhere within our city—should be unconditionally prohibited, not only in this instance, but going forward. We believe that the sign will adversely affect public safety, is aesthetically and practically not appropriate for our community, and would not meet the requirements for a waiver from clear prohibitions on signs of this nature in the City’s current sign ordinance.”
Response to SR-710 North Study Draft Memo of Agreement (MOA) dated June 28, 2018, submitted to Caltrans District 7 (July 15, 2018). “We are very pleased to see that the authors…have finally identified the Transportation System Management (TSM)/Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Alternative as the ‘Preferred Alternative.’ Unfortunately, we find that the absence of other language in this MOA continues to propagate an unclear project definition and does not provide environmental impact resolution for all project scenarios.” Recommendations are
- The MOA should add wording that the TSM/TDM is ‘the project’ and the only Preferred Alternative.
- The MOA should add wording that the tunnel alternative analyses are inadequate and should not be certified in the FIER/FEIS, and that the tunnel alternatives are infeasible under Section 4f of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966
- The MOA should add wording that if the tunnels are considered for implementation at a later time, a new environment impact process will need to be performed.
For reference, WPRA included three relevant documents WPRA wrote in the past.
For more background on SR-710 North Study and WPRA’s analysis of the tunnel alternative, click here.
For WPRA’s complete response to the initial Environmental Impact Report, submitted August 3, 2015, click here.
Regarding SR-710 Environmental Impact Report (July 3, 2018). WPRA submitted comments on the SR-710 North Study report titled “Focused recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (FRDEIR)/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS)” WPRA said that, “After reviewing the FRDEIR/SDEIS, we have identified significant areas where the report is deficient. First, this report repeats the results and failings of the FOAE document. Only one of our FOAE document findings ... was addressed by the FRDEIR/SDEIS; thus, the environmental analysis continues to be inadequate for historic properties.” The full letter is here.
Regarding Civic Center Task Force (June 14, 2018). WPRA summarized its list of preferred design guidelines as part of participation in the Civic Center Task Force. The letter says, “WPRA considers City Hall to be a monumental work of art and no other structures should compete with it in scale, height or importance of place; nor should any new buildings encroach City Hall or crowd it in order to maintain its current open space sightlines and visual impact.” The full letter is here.
WPRA wrote to Pasadena City Council members expressing our concern about the Pasadena properties owned by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in the 710 Corridor. Many of the homes have been vacant for years and have fallen into a dangerous state of disrepair. In addition, there appears to be a clear pattern of Caltrans attempting to depopulate the corridor of its low to moderate income tenants by systematically raising rents and pursuing eviction of tenants for what our information indicates are unfair, trivial, or resolvable reasons.
WPRA urged the City Council to (1) cite Caltrans for egregious code violations on its properties and (2) hold a public hearing to investigate code violations, unfair evictions, arbitrary rent increases, lack of repairs and other local public nuisances on the Caltrans properties.
The full letter is here. We also provided photos of some of the properties; the photos are here.
WPRA sent a letter to the LA County Board of Supervisors urging them to "vote against the LA County Flood Control District’s proposed Devil’s Gate Sediment Removal Project and to instruct the Flood Control District to adequately analyze and report to the Board on the superior alternatives proposed by the City of Pasadena." The letter goes on to say that "While we support the removal of sediment, we strongly oppose the project as now configured. Rather, we support the slower, less aggressive alternative proposed by the City of Pasadena that would both reduce flood risk and avoid harm to our communities and the Arroyo Seco." The full letter is here.
The topic of short-term rentals has become increasingly important in Pasadena as well as many other cities. As part of its consideration of regulation of short-term rentals, the WPRA conducted a survey in April and May of 2017. On May 29, the WPRA sent this letter to Pasadena City officials reporting the survey results and explaining the WPRA’s recommendations for regulating short-term rentals.
Survey results and our recommendations are different for each of the three general types of short-term rentals:
- Survey respondents strongly support allowing hosted short-term rentals (where the owner is in the home while a portion of their primary residence is rented) – but they were also evenly divided on whether hosted STR’s should have to follow the same rules as other types of STR’s. WPRA believes the City should allow hosted STR’s subject to a variety of regulatory measures, as discussed in the following.
- By a small margin, survey respondents oppose unhosted short-term rentals (where the owner is not in the home while all or a portion of their primary residence is rented). The WPRA believes that unhosted short-term rentals could be allowed, if subject to the same regulatory measures as hosted STR’s and also limits on the total number of rental days per year (we suggest 90 days rather than the 60 days that the City staff proposed); and requiring 24/7 contact capability.
- Both survey respondents and the WPRA believe that vacation rentals (where the home being rented is not the owner’s primary residence) should NOT be allowed.
Click here to see the letter.
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transporation Authority (METRO) voted unanimously to kill the SR 710 tunnel option (May 2017)
On May 26 the Metro Board voted 12-0 to select the TSM/TDM (street and mobility improvements) as the locally preferred alternative for the SR-710 North Study and to redirect current funds for the tunnel(s) to other projects. The language of the motion was not ideal and "defers a decision on any other alternative for future consideration by the Board until the community collectively agrees on the value of that investment and funds are identified to implement the project.’" While this language leaves the door open for bringing back the non-TSM/TDM alternatives at a later date, most agree that in redirecting the tunnel funds, the tunnel alternative is effectively dead.
Because Caltrans is the decision authority for the EIR, only they can officially select the preferred alternative and this is planned to occur at the time of the Final EIR release, Spring 2018. However, there is little doubt that Caltrans will select the TSM/TDM alternative.
So while there is cleanup work for some of us to ensure that the tunnel absolutely can’t come back in the future, we do have great cause to celebrate at this time. The tunnel(s) are dead for now.
Our respected colleague and dear friend, John Van de Kamp, passed away March 14 at the age of 81. John has been described variously as "a pillar of his community and state" and one of "our most revered public servants." And in spite of his many professional and personal commitments, John served the West Pasadena Residents' Association for more than 26 years, attending nearly all monthly board meetings. He will be greatly missed. A more complete biography with details about services is here.
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 http://cityofpasadena.net/Fire/PLEAS. Please direct all inquiries to PasadenaLocalAlert@cityofpasadena.net.
Check Out Updated Crime Statistics
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, tax id 95-4493840. Membership contributions and donations are fully deductible to the extent permitted by law.