At District 6 Town Hall Meeting, Residents Hear There’s No Funding for Controversial Public Restroom, Burglaries Jumped 20%

Pasadena Councilmember Steve Madison greets local residents during the South Orange Grove Neighborhood Town Hall Meeting.Local residence fill the Tournament of Roses House during the South Orange Grove Neighborhood Town Hall Meeting.Pasadena Councilmember Steve Madison during the South Orange Grove Neighborhood Town Hall Meeting.Rich Diluvio, Senior Planner, Department of Transportation.Residents watch a presentation during the South Orange Grove Neighborhood Town Hall Meeting.Rich Diluvio, Senior Planner, Department of Transportation, left, and Pasadena Councilmember Steve Madison.Local Orange Grove neighborhood residents ask questions during the South Orange Grove Neighborhood Town Hall Meeting.Pasadena Interim Police Chief John Perez, left, and Pasadena Councilmember Steve Madison during the South Orange Grove Neighborhood Town Hall meeting.David Reyes the Director of Planning and Community Development.Local Orange Grove neighborhood residence listen to the development plans during the South Orange Neighborhood Town Meeting.

Photography by JAMES CARBONE

5:28 am | April 27, 2018


At Thursday’s District 6 town hall meeting City Councilman Steve Madison said there is no money in the budget for a bathroom at a controversial housing project critics say would attract the homeless and crime.

Desiderio Neighborhood Park sits on the western portion of the former Desiderio Army Reserve Center site at the northeast corner of South Arroyo Boulevard and Westminster Drive. The project was approved without the restroom in the plans, local residents have complained that the restroom would attract homeless people.

There have also been concerns expressed about the proximity of the restroom to a local child care center and the Colorado Street Bridge, which has attracted suicide jumpers for nearly 100 years, and homeless people live under the bridge.

“There is no funding in the budget for a restroom,” said Councilman Steve Madison. “My fingers are crossed that there won’t be.”

Madison also talked about SB 35 a bill In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 35, a new law that demands California cities build more housing or risk temporarily losing control of some zoning and permitting ordinances.

If cities do not meet thresholds, developers would be granted “the right” to build projects despite zoning laws and CEQA standards as long as the projects meets affordable housing standards.

“They are saying the city has to grow with the region,” Madison said. “They are trying to push the city out of compliance. To me its offensive and we have to push back whenever we can.”

Madison has been busy. He also called the Air Quality Control Board on Caltrans in response to a pile of concrete boulders that have languished at the connector between the 710 and the 210 freeway, raising concerns about air pollution.

“It’s Caltrans,” Madison said. “I can’t believe they get away with that.”

Local residents expressed concerns about traffic and noise impacts and local crime.

According to Lt. Pete Hettema, burglaries are up more than 20 percent in the area. There were 124 residential burglaries in the area in 2017.