Advocate for Positive Change
Altadena was founded as an unincorporated community of Los Angeles County in 1887 and remains the same today. This means we have no local governing bodies or revenues to address community issues and needs; rather, our public services come through Los Angeles County. Our main elected representative is the County Supervisor for District 5, Kathryn Barger; her field representative for Altadena is Sussy Nemer.
The Supervisor’s office established the Altadena Town Council to act as an ombudsman for conveying resident needs and wishes to government bodies and to provide a town meeting forum for discussing issues of concern to the community. The ATC consists of 16 elected representatives — two from each of Altadena’s eight census tracts.
Altadena Heritage is the largest of several local nonprofit organizations that give voice to specific concerns – in our case, to our mission of preserving, protecting, and raising awareness of cultural and environmental issues. We do this by attending ATC monthly meetings as well as meetings of County departments, such as Public Works and Regional Planning. We also hold special events to inform members and the community in general about relevant issues.
Recent Public Forum regarding Altadena Heritage, Neighbors Building a Better Altadena, and the Altadena Library for a panel discussion on the proposed crosstown pipeline — moderated by Larry Wilson of the Star News. This project, initiated by the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, would transfer water from behind Devils Gate Dam across Altadena to Eaton Canyon for the purpose of infiltration into the Raymond Basin. The pipeline would travel from Pasadena to Pasadena, across Altadena, if the Woodbury Road/New York Drive route is chosen.
Altadena Heritage officers will attend the LA County Board of Supervisors’ public hearing, Wednesday, May 23rd at 9:30am, on the final draft of the Altadena Town Council’s Community Standards District (CSD).
This hearing was previously scheduled for Mar 28th. The delay is to let Altadenans comment specifically on the CSD’s “fences and hedges” provisions at the Town Council’s Land-Use Committee public meeting on April 4.
RPC Hearing: Altadena Community Standards District Update
320 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – Room 150
Remote Testimony Location: Eaton Canyon Nature Center
1750 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107
IMPORTANT: Portions of the Altadena CSD have been updated based on community feedback.
The L.A. County Department of Regional Planning has published a new page on its website that counters rumors about what the Altadena Community Standards District (CSD) revisions are proposing to do regarding Altadena CSD Amendment. There is no one-size-fits-all front yard size in Altadena. Today, the front yard size depends on the average front yard setback rule for R-1 zoned properties. This means in order to find out the size of your front yard, you have to survey all the other properties on the same side of the street within the same block, identify their setbacks, and then calculate the average. This average is your front yard requirement.
After three and a half years of hard work by the CSD committee, the draft update is now under consideration for adoption, a process which includes public hearings and feedback. This document reflects feedback from the White Paper Coalition.
The proposed revisions to the CSD are, on the whole, very strong and generally reflective of our diverse community. Since the draft was presented to the community, the Altadena CSD Committee has received comments from the public and recommended additional revisions. The County “staff memo” presented to the Regional Planning Commission rejects each of the Committee’s more recent recommendations.1
In unincorporated Los Angeles County, a “Community Standards District” (CSD) is an addendum to the zoning code. It allows deviations and changes from County codes to be tailored to the needs, desires, and special circumstances of a particular community. A CSD overrides the general code, making regulations more or less restrictive, and adding special requirements and conditions. The Altadena CSD was formulated by concerned Altadena residents, and adopted into the Los Angeles County Zoning Code in 1996. It was originally conceived to prevent “mansionization” – building homes too large for their lots – in order to insure “light, air, and privacy” in residential zones
On May 26, 2016 Altadena Heritage received notice that the County had issued a “Revocation of Approval for Site Plan” for the Charles Company construction on Lake Avenue and Calaveras Street. This means that construction on the site must stop until the developer answers the County’s questions
About 65 people gathered January 21 at the Community Center for a spirited public discussion about Altadena’s park needs. Altadena Heritage hosted the gathering for Los Angeles County as part of a major planning project that combines a survey of current park resources with citizen input to determine future priorities. Such meetings all over the county’s incorporated and unincorporated areas yielded community-created project lists that will be used to write a bond issue to fund parks and recreation infrastructure that citizens will vote on in the future.
On February 19, 2015, Altadena Heritage hosted a public forum designed to put Hahamongna Watershed Park — and Los Angeles County’s controversial sediment-removal plan for Devil’s Gate Reservoir — into a larger context: its significance within the Arroyo Seco River System. Because of Hahamongna’s location between the sediment-producing San Gabriel mountains and the lower Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles River, which flows to the Pacific, it plays a vital role in the continued well-being of our most important local river system.
At its January 2015 meeting, the Altadena Heritage (AH) board of directors approved a $999 donation to Arroyo Seco Foundation (ASF) in support of ASF’s lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court December 11, 2014. The lawsuit challenges the Board of Supervisors’ approval of the Devil’s Gate Sediment-Removal Program in Hahamongna Watershed Park.