Letter from the Chair

Hello All,

This issue of our magazine focuses on land use and housing. Land use is key to quality of life. It is also extremely complex. Zoning laws and regulations are often beyond the comprehension of the average resident. The prospective sale of Nuccio’s Nursery on Chaney Trail road is a perfect example. You’ve probably seen yard signs reading: “No Sports Complex on Chaney Trail.” What’s behind these signs? Here’s a short explanation.

Nuccio’s Nursery (see story page 4) is a renowned family-owned nursery specializing in camelias and azaleas. It has been at its current location since 1946. After decades of running the nursery the Nuccio family wants to sell the 78-acre property. In the meantime, Polytechnic, a private K-12 school in Pasadena, had been looking to expand its sports facilities. In December, the school made an offer on the Nuccio property and opened escrow.

At a recent ACONA webinar the head of Polytechnic, John Bracker, said their plans would impact only a small portion of the land. It would include a baseball field, seven tennis courts, a multipurpose field with a running track as well as an outdoor education facility and environmental science classrooms. Bracker says Polytechnic is committed to land conservation, fire suppression, public safety and an inclusive and transparent process. He also said Polytechnic is exploring community benefits such as trail improvements, trailhead public restrooms and land conservation.

In response, a group of homeowners led by Michael Bicay expressed strong opposition to Poly’s plans. The group, called Altadena Wild, says the “sports complex” would bring traffic, noise, and hundreds of people and cars to a quiet residential area. They also point out the property is in a high fire risk zone, with sensitive wildlife and ecology. Bicay pointed out that Chaney Trail road is narrow and would be very dangerous in the case of an emergency evacuation. Altadena Wild distributed the yard signs you’ve seen and has created a website with more detailed information.

Unless Polytechnic withdraws the offer, the issue promises to play out over several years. The process requires public hearings, an environmental impact report, public agency review, planning commission hearings and final approval by the LA County Board of Supervisors.

Be assured that Altadena Heritage will hold a panel discussion on this topic with both parties represented. This will likely happen in the fall after Polytechnic’s plans are revealed in more detail.

I’d like to thank our editor and board member, Mark Goldschmidt, who spends hundreds of hours writing and editing articles for this newsletter. If you like to report and write, we would love to have you contribute. If there are any topics you would like us to cover, please let us know. After all, Altadena Heritage is about and for Altadenans.

Warm Regards,

Val Zavala