Proposed $850,000 Public Art Project Back for Second Round Before City Council Tonight

Published : Monday, April 16, 2018 | 5:13 AM

At Pasadena City Hall tonight, art won’t just be in the eyes of the beholders but also foremost in the minds of the City Council as that body zeroes in on a $850,000 public art decision it tabled in late March in order to review details.

Those details — including the chance to see the other, not selected artists’ works — are scheduled to be presented during the Council’s 6:30 p.m. public meeting.

Under review: artist Alice Aycock's Glenarm Power Plant art concept recommendation by the City's Municipal Services Committee and Arts and Culture Commission.

Under review: artist Alice Aycock's Glenarm Power Plant art concept recommendation by the City's Municipal Services Committee and Arts and Culture Commission.

During discussions on March 26, City Council members asked for clarification about four items related to the project, which would provide “an iconic and innovative gateway” for Pasadena, as recommended by the Municipal Services Committee and the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission. The four items concerned vehicular safety, the artwork’s location and visibility, its minimum 30-year lifespan requirement, and details about the other three finalist entries.

Some City Council members said they were “in no position” to judge art but had to be clear about possible safety and visibility concerns about the art project.

A memorandum by Planning and Community Development Director David Reyes for the City Council showed detailed explanations about the four issues, and new information – including illustrations – about all four finalist proposals, among them Alice Aycock’s proposal which is being recommended for approval.

The memorandum also outlined the process which led to the recommendation, including the formation of a stakeholder group in accordance with Capital Improvement Program guidelines, publication of a Request for Proposals in early 2017, and the assembly of a selection panel to screen the proposals.

Eighty-nine applications were received before the March 6, 2017 deadline, and four were selected as finalist entries.

All four finalists took part in a site visit and walk-through of the Glenarm Power Plant which will be the site of the public art project, and were part of an orientation meeting with the stakeholder group to discuss inputs from a community perspective.

Three of the finalists also presented their proposals at a community meeting on June 6 last year, while the fourth artist made a remote presentation.

The selection panel met on July 17, 2017 to review the conceptual design proposals, and selected two of the proposals for further consideration. On October 30, 2017, the panel chose Aycock’s design based on panel scores.

Regarding safety concerns, Pasadena’s Transportation Department has also obtained statement from the Caltrans saying the project will not require a Caltrans permit since it will not be an advertising medium, and would not be a safety hazard as far as driving is concerned.

Pasadena Tourism Business Improvement District Update Likely to be Approved

Also Monday, the City Council will conduct a final public hearing about a recommended resolution declaring the results of majority protest proceedings in previous public meetings, and establishing the Pasadena Tourism Business Improvement District (PTBID).

The PTBID is a benefit assessment district proposed to continue help fund marketing and sales promotion efforts for Pasadena lodging businesses. The Pasadena Center Operating Company (PCOC) said the approach has been used successfully in other destination areas throughout the state to improve tourism and drive additional room nights.

The existing PTBID was formed in 2003 pursuant to the Property and Business Improvement Area Law of 1989. This new effort will modernize the PTBID by allowing the 1989 PTBID to expire and re-establishing the District in accordance with the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994.

With a re-established PTBID, PCOC and local hoteliers hope to find a better way to advertise the City as a tourist, meeting, and event destination; perk up the tourism business; and bring additional revenue. In an Agenda Report for Monday, PCOC CEO Michael Ross said he projects the PTBID should generate about $3.8 million annually for travel and tourism promotion specific to Pasadena.

Michillinda Avenue to be Resurfaced — But Not Reconfigured

Finally, the City Council is expected to approve Monday an authorization for City Manager Steve Mermell to execute a Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Pasadena and the City of Sierra Madre for the resurfacing of Michillinda Avenue between Sierra Madre Boulevard and Fairview Avenue.

As the City boundary bisects Michillinda Avenue longitudinally along its center line, Sierra Madre staff earlier contacted the City of Pasadena about the possibility of including the Pasadena side in their project in order to pave the entire width of the street under one project, allowing Pasadena to have part of the street repaved with minimal design, administration and inspection costs.

The proposed Memorandum of Agreement will require Pasadena to reimburse Sierra Madre the amount of $135,000, consisting of $123,000 for the cost of the Pasadena portion of the work plus a $12,000 contingency.

Work will consist of 55,000 square feet of asphalt milling and overlay (a length of 0.5 miles), eight curb ramps upgrades, curb and gutter repairs; and appurtenant pavement striping.

Pasadena’s Department of Public Works noted that Michillinda Avenue will not be reconfigured. A recent City proposal to reconfigure a portion of Orange Grove Blvd. with a “road diet” met with public outcry. The City has scheduled further dialogue with affected residents before deciding how to pursue the Orange Grove Blvd. project.

Two Ordinances Scheduled to Finalized on Second Reading

Two ordinances on Second Reading could also possibly be passed Monday: one amending the official Zoning Map of the City to change the zoning of the parcel at 620-624 South Pasadena Avenue from Commercial Office to Public, Semi-Public, related to the Huntington Hospital Master Plan; and another one amending various provisions of the Zoning Code to revise the City’s Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulation.

The City Council meeting starts with a closed session at 5:30 p.m. and proceeds to the public meeting at 6:30 p.m. City Council meetings are held at the Council Chamber, Room S249 at City Hall, 100 North Garfield Avenue.