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Pasadena Residents, Officials Express Concerns Over 2 Temporary Housing Projects Near City’s Border

Published on Monday, March 29, 2021 | 4:41 pm
Pictured is the proposed site for temporary housing at 7570 N. Figueroa St. in Eagle Rock. The parking lot, nestled inside an arc-shaped freeway offramp, is less than 1/2 mile from Pasadena’s western border with the City of Los Angeles. (Image and maps courtesy Google Maps)

Following the reported approval of a motion by the Los Angeles City Council earlier this month to create two temporary housing sites made up of hundreds of small, so-called “pallet housing” units along Pasadena’s border near Eagle Rock and Highland Park, Pasadena residents and officials are expressing concerns over how the plan may affect their neighborhoods.

The motion called for city officials to begin the design process for temporary homeless housing sites at 7570 N. Figueroa St., as well as on an unused section of Arroyo Drive near Avenue 64.

A spokesman for the office of L.A. City Councilman Kevin De León told the Boulevard Sentinel that the Eagle Rock site was intended to house up to 134 people, while the Highland Park site was expected to be able to support 224 people.

Mayor Victor Gordo said he is in the process of coordinating a meeting with De León.

“We all support affordable housing,” Gordo told Pasadena Now. “We all support helping people who find themselves in a position of homelessness. Having said that there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and clarified as it relates to these efforts on the part of the city of Los Angeles.”

Gordo said the conversation would happen in the next 48 hours.

Pasadena City Councilmember John Kennedy said he recognized the need to address the homeless issue, but would have liked to see more conversation about the projects with neighboring cities, such as Pasadena.

“The prudent and wise thing to have been done in terms of comity between neighboring jurisdictions was to have a conversation with the mayor of Pasadena and the council members representing the areas that abut the areas in which he is offering for this purpose before any announcement was made. We are neighboring cities and we need to talk more before we act when there are issues that affect each city,” Kennedy said.

“I am 100%-plus in support of building housing for the extremely low-, very low- and low-income neighbors and residents to maintain the rich diversity that exists in Pasadena and quite naturally that exists in Los Angeles,” Kennedy added. “I have the utmost respect for the councilmember in Los Angeles. His heart is obviously in the right place. Just more dialogue needs to take place.”

San Rafael Neighborhoods Association President Robin Salzer said he had concerns about the plan.

“The L.A. proposal to build 200-plus permanent units of pallet housing in the parking lots below the 134 at Figueroa exit on the Pasadena-Eagle Rock border will be rife with crime and health-related problems that will easily permeate into the western residential area of Pasadena. The same quandary is likely to occur at the Pasadena-Highland Park border,” Salzer said.

“We have a growing homelessness problem in our very own Arroyo and beneath the 210 and 134 freeway overpasses,” according to Salzer. “I’m not sure what our city leadership can do about these two L.A. projects, but I am hoping that L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and our city leaders can strongly suggest to L.A. Councilmember Kevin de Leon that slapping a band-aid on the hemorrhaging homelessness problem doesn’t solve it for the long term.”

Salzer, too, said action must be taken to deal with the homelessness crisis, but he did not approve of the proposed developments.

“The public safety of every resident, family and neighborhood in District 6 and our entire city that will be impacted by these city of Los Angeles proposed projects is in jeopardy and these concerns are real,” he said.

Nearby resident Negin Nazemi also expressed concerns.

“As a homeowner in southwest Pasadena, I’m super concerned about the potentially dramatic increase in crime and drug use that this concentration of poverty will introduce,” Nazemi said. “We have already had repeated and escalating home and car burglaries in our neighborhood over the past year.”

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5 thoughts on “Pasadena Residents, Officials Express Concerns Over 2 Temporary Housing Projects Near City’s Border

  • This is nuts, the so called homeless ie. Bums obviously need to be rounded up, categorized for jail or psychiatric holds leading to institutionalization in psychiatric facilities. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation for those salvageable with savagely strict guidelines for those who fail to live up to their last chance opportunity. And those just plain down on their luck, temporary housing, education and childcare while getting back on their feet, of course with strict time limits. Sound harsh? Not really, it is about responsibility and justice.

  • We are the residents of 7600 block of N. Figueroa St. For almost a year we have been asking Councilmember K. de Leon to listen to our concerns. The increase in crime around the ER Park is astounding. This location was approved for temporary “safe parking”. Once the pandemic hit, we were told by CD-14 Field Deputy, “the unhoused can’t be moved now, it’s not safe for anyone.” All along they had plans for these pallet shelters and they kept our community in the dark. Meeting after meeting, with city staff, they had the opportunity to share this upcoming project with us, and they chose not to. So Cal Edison owns part of this parking lot and they have kept their easement free of encampments. We hope Edison Executives will listen to the community neighbors’ concerns before making a final decision.

  • EVERYONE says they don’t want something like this built next to their land, while at the same time saying SOMETHING has to be done about housing the homeless. If you want to deal with the homeless problem, realize that the majority of them ARE NOT out to wander into your neighborhood and steal your things and make your property values lower. They’re just people who caught a bad break, and are looking for a leg up. We should have some compassion instead of shoving NIMBYism in the face of the least fortunate. I would welcome a shelter being built in my neighborhood.

  • Fight this as hard as you can! We live in Venice….just come take a drive down here to see what you have to look forward to.