City Council Meets Monday

Published : Monday, July 17, 2017 | 5:31 AM

The Pasadena City Council is set to approve Monday a recommendation from its Economic Development and Technology Committee that will set the pace for organizing a Civic Center Task Force – a community-based group, the City reports said, that will look at options to preserving the historic character of Pasadena’s Civic Center, while allowing for improvements consistent with the community’s vision.

The idea of a citizen-based task force has been discussed in previous community forums and hearings after it became apparent that the Kimpton project to build a hotel complex in the Civic Center area, which will also be a means to preserve the historic YWCA building there, was not going to proceed as planned.

According to Monday’s agenda, the City’s Economic Development and Technology Committee is now recommending that the Council start the process of organizing the task force by directing City staff to specify the scope and purview of a task force that will focus on the future development of the Pasadena Civic Center.

In a joint memorandum to the Committee last month, City Planning and Community Development Director David Reyes and Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart recommended that the task force be comprised of a diverse cross section of community members, with consideration to their affiliation with community advisory bodies and their professional expertise.

Members may be allied with such backgrounds as urban design, planning or architecture; historic preservation, landscape architecture, transportation planning, economic development, development, construction and community advocacy.

As far as the number of members of the task force is concerned, Reyes and Duyshart recommended it be composed of 15 members, with one representative from each of these organizations: Planning, Design, Transportation Advisory, and Historic Preservation commissions; Pasadena Heritage; and the Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association.

In addition to the six members, Reyes and Duyshart recommended that each City Councilmember be allowed to appoint one member – who may or may not be affiliated with City commissions or organizations – and the mayor be afforded two appointments.

Based on earlier discussions at the City Council, the Civic Center Task Force shall be authorized to recommend such changes as new construction or development and land-use standards for the YWCA and YMCA blocks at the Civic Center, programming of public rights within the Civic Center, and new landscape or hardscape improvements in the area.

Once the task force is organized, members will be appraised of the procedures for screening proposals from developers to fulfill the vision set forth by the community, before recommending projects to the City Council.

In another Economic Development and Technology Committee recommendation, the City Council has been asked to authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement with the Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County (NHSLAC) for the operation of the Pasadena Enterprise Center at 1015 North Lake Avenue, a City-owned property that rents out commercial and office space.

Earlier, the Northwest Commission approved a recommendation from City staff to contract with NHSLAC, pending the submission of a projected pro forma budget, a multi-year rehabilitation plan, and development of an alternative plan in the event that the agreements with NHSLAC are terminated.

The property was formally acquired by the City in 2013, after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved its sale to the Pasadena Community Development Commission.

Also on the agenda: hearing of the Board of Zoning Appeals’ decision regarding the property located at 349 East California Avenue; Adoption of a zone change to designate a landmark district overlay for the Rose Villa-Oakdale Landmark District; and hearing of an update on the Arroyo Advisory Group and action to support efforts to enhance and improve the Arroyo Seco (“One Arroyo” Project).

For the full agenda, see
The Pasadena City Council will open the public session of its meeting on Monday at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., Pasadena.

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