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Council Committee To Parse Out 710 Stub Legislation Tuesday

Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | 5:56 am

The former 710 extension corridor is dotted with properties like this Carriage House at the rear of 711 S. Pasadena Avenue. [Image shot in 2018. Reproduced courtesy the Law Office of Christopher Sutton]
The Pasadena City Council’s Legislative Policy Committee on Tuesday will discuss the priorities and procedures of Senate Bill 959, a bill that will address the issue of surplus homes in the 710 stub property previously owned by Caltrans.

“All current Caltrans tenants should have the ability to purchase the homes they have been renting for decades and my legislative efforts in the SR 710 corridor reflects that value,” Portantino said in a statement after the bill passed. “With SB 959, Pasadena can rightfully gain back control and ownership of many properties.”

Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo said the bill is a “meaningful and crucial” piece of legislation for the City and for current tenants in the property.

“This is a critical step as we commence stitching back together this very important part of Pasadena and invest the proceeds towards our ongoing effort to create more affordable housing opportunities,” Gordo said.

In June, the California Transportation Commission voted to approve relinquishment of the 710 stub back to Pasadena, returning approximately 50 acres of property to the City and providing Pasadena a one-time payment of $5 million. The vote marked a historic moment in the City’s long-sought goal of re-envisioning and rebuilding what was once an integral and vibrant part of Pasadena.

Once SB 959 is signed into law, the City of Pasadena will have the opportunity to purchase unoccupied properties in the 710 stub at their acquisition price, and to sell them at fair market value, thereby generating funds that the City could reinvest in affordable housing. The bill will also allow current tenants of single-family dwellings the opportunity to purchase the property first.

During Tuesday’s special meeting of the Legislative Policy Committee, the Department of Housing is scheduled to present a report on the current state of the homes on the 710 stub, many of which are vacant single-family residences.

The presentation will also include options that the City is looking at in order to rehabilitate unoccupied properties and convert them to habitable yet affordable units, preserve some of the historic homes within the property, generate property taxes and otherwise generate badly needed affordable housing funds.

A preliminary report by the Housing Department showed the City could either rehabilitate the homes as affordable homeownership units, as permanent rental housing managed by the City or by a non-profit agency, or sell the homes “as is” at market value in order to generate funds for more housing programs. 

By discussing the implications of SB 959, the Legislative Policy Committee intends to come up with clear recommendations for the City Council to consider as it looks at the most viable steps that are needed to reacquire the properties in the 710 stub and maximize their value in support of the City’s affordable housing program. 

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One thought on “Council Committee To Parse Out 710 Stub Legislation Tuesday

  • Is this yet another giveaway of public taxpayer funds, in sub market sales of state property to the “yuppie” winners of the 710 Caltrans “renters” “lotto”? This is another excellent example of political pandering with a gift of public resources at it’s very worst. This property was condemned for a public purpose and now will not be used for that purpose. Should not the original owners have a right to first refusal to reclaim the property the state forcibly siezed using eminent domaim?