The WPRA focuses its efforts on those areas of greatest concern to our members, our neighborhoods and our city. In some issues we take a leadership position, while in others we work with other interested groups.

Desiderio Development Project

WPRA Letter to Mayor and City Council protesting City Council October 27, 2014, vote making last-minute changes to Desiderio development project, sent via email:

November 1, 2014


Mayor and City Councilmembers
City of Pasadena
100 N. Garfield Ave.
Pasadena, CA  91109

Dear Mayor Bogaard and City Council:

We treasure Pasadena as a city where residents invest themselves deeply in civic life. Our neighborhoods are vibrant and there is a strong sense of connection among our diverse communities.

Therefore we are dismayed at the City Council's violation of trust with the residents of West Pasadena by imposing a structure to the Desiderio development project in direct contradiction to the staff recommendation and the clear neighborhood opposition expressed at the meeting and in the letter I sent to you on September 12, 2014.

The design developed and proposed by the staff and published in the EIR came out of a long, inclusive process that incorporated community input. This 11th hour addition of a restroom to the proposed zoning change was not part of this process and the community has not been consulted. We support the development proposal that includes affordable housing as well as the passive neighborhood park, such as the San Rafael Park which successfully serves the diverse residents of our city.

Your action communicates a troubling message that the Council has little regard for the voice of the neighbors and our longstanding tradition of community consultation, especially from those who are most immediately impacted by city policymaking.

Let me be clear. WPRA is not against having restrooms in city parks. We welcome a public dialogue on this policy shift that needs to include an open discussion about design, maintenance, hours of operation and costs related to ensuring clean, safe facilities for all residents.

However, policymaking that undermines years of planning and consultation that had earned the support of neighbors, staff and other stakeholders sets a dangerous precedent that threatens neighborhood confidence in your commitment to inclusive, transparent governance.

The West Pasadena Residents Association and its members strongly urge you to reconsider the action taken on October 27.

We invite you to come to the our board meeting at Westridge School at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5 or let us know when we can schedule another opportunity for you to meet with the neighbors for a constructive conversation about how to proceed following this vote.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Baum
President, West Pasadena Residents' Association


Distribution:
    
Pasadena Mayor and City Council
Bill Bogaard:  bbogaard@cityofpasadena.net
Jacque Robinson:  district1@cityofpasadena.net
Margaret McAustin:  mlmorales@cityofpasadena.net
John Kennedy:  ChristianCruz@cityofpasadena.net, jwest@cityofpasadena.net
Gene Masuda:  nsullivan@cityofpasadena.net
Victor Gordo:  vdelacuba@cityofpasadena.net
Steve Madison:  smadison@cityofpasadena.net, tsuzuki@cityofpasadena.net
Terry Tornek:  ttornek@cityofpasadena.net

Other City Staff
Michael Beck:  mbeck@cityofpasadena.net
Vincent Bertoni:  vbertoni@cityofpasadena.net
Mark Jomsky: mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net

Pasadena Planning Commission:
Via staff rep, Paulina Rivera:  privera@cityofpasadena.net
    
WPRA Board Members:  wpra@wpra.net