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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                                                            

Click on headlines or where the text says "HERE" for more information.

Recent WPRA Positions (Oct 2019)

Supported using mature trees as shade in Desiderio Park rather than steel and canvas shade canopies (Oct 2019). The letter concludes, “We understand that mid-day sun would not be blocked by anything other than a horizontal roof. But we also know that erecting steel posts and canvas that look like a tent would further degrade anything left of a natural feel. Please re-think the canopy concept, and consider using mature trees instead.”

The WPRA letter is here.

Supported approval of state measure AB 29 which would remove State Route 710 from the streets and highway code (Aug 24, 2019).  We wrote to California State Senior Portantino to thank him for his consistent support in the battle against 710 highway/tunnel extension, support his bill SB 7, which would legislate that the 710 highway/tunnel could not be built, and support AB 29. We emphasized that AB 29 is necessary because “our legal counsel and other transportation experts have advised us that removal of the freeway from this document [streets and highway code] is an essential step in permanently removing the 710 freeway tunnel threat.”

The WPRA letter is here.

Supported revision of Pasadena’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to encourage developers to choose to use the city’s inclusionary housing alternative rather than the State Density Bonus Law (Aug 16, 2019). This revision to Pasadena's housing ordinance will provide developers with viable and appealing alternatives and a faster, more efficient process, which in turn will result in more and better inclusionary housing in Pasadena.  

WPRA wrote two letters on the subject. A joint letter with three other neighborhood associations lists seven principles regarding inclusionary housing which all the organizations “strongly endorse.” Our own letter “endorses the adoption of the zoning code text amendment and the provisions recommended in the staff report” and emphasizes nine specific points which we find particularly important.

The WPRA letter is here. The letter we wrote with three other neighborhood associations is here.

Request more time to review the City’s proposed inclusionary housing requirements and affordable housing concession menu (May 4, 2019). WPRA asked that the City allow more time for public review before the Planning Commission makes its recommendations on these critical housing policies. The City replied that “Public participation is extremely important and, in light of all that is going on at the State level with housing bills, we want to provide the best recommendation to the City Council as possible…Since we have noticed this item [put it on the agenda], we will present the staff report to the Planning Commission, take public testimony from those present and any receive any direction from the Commission as they provide and CONTINUE THIS ITEM TO JUNE 26TH." WPRA appreciates the City's action.

WPRA Response to SR-710 Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/ Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (December 20, 2018).  WPRA wrote to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) supporting their selection of the Transportation System Management (TSM) / Transportation Demand Management (TDM) alternative over the proposed tunnels and other options for SR-710 project.  

However, we quote language included in the report’s Executive Summary noting that, “These words appear to be carefully chosen to applaud the purported merits of the Tunnel Alternative. They further suggest that…the tunnel alternative could still be selected in the future….We find the continued threat of a tunnel(s) to the communities along the SR-710 corridor to be unacceptable; our communities have suffered from this threat for more than 60 years.”

After detailing long-standing deficiencies with the Tunnel Alternative and “gross flaws” with the  environmental impact assessments, we recommend five specific statements be added to the final environmental process document, including saying “The Tunnel Alternative analyses are not certified.” Our letter concludes:

“We remain optimistic that the SR-710 Project can be concluded without litigation if the concluding SR-710 environmental documentation language reflects Caltrans’ stated intentions to move forward in solving the SR-710 route transportation needs in collaboration with the local communities.”

The complete letter is here.

Support for call for Council review of Desiderio Neighborhood Park (September 12, 2018). WPRA wrote to the Mayor and City Council to support a call for Council review of the Desiderio Park design, restroom and funding issues. The letter is a followup to the letter we sent in July (see below). The City Council subsequently denied the request for review.

Letter from WPRA and six other regional organizations asking Caltrans to refrain from certifying portions of SR 710 EIR/EIS relating to tunnel alternatives.
WPRA joined six other regional organizations in sending a letter to Caltrans requesting that it “strike out and refrain from certifying those portions of the [SR 710] EIR/EIS that relate to the tunnel alternative.” The letter explains that “we are gravely concerned that if Caltrans were to certify the sections of the FEIR/FEIS related to the tunnel alternative, there could be future attempts to rely on the data in these sections for approving some configuration of the tunnel alternative by Caltrans or another agency. People in the affected communities may feel obligated to protect their rights, and guard against the possibility of a tunnel alternative in the future by suing over the inadequacy of the FEIR/FEIS and Caltrans’ process in certifying it and the approved TSM/TDM project.”

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

  1. The MOA should add wording that the TSM/TDM is ‘the project’ and the only Preferred Alternative.
  2. 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
  3. 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 urges Pasadena City Council to investigate Caltrans behavior regarding its houses in 710 corridor (Nov 2017)

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 urges LA County Board of Supervisors to reject Devil's Gate Sediment Removal Project (Nov 2017)

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.

 

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 http://cityofpasadena.net/Fire/PLEASPlease 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.