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Highlights of the Altadena Community Visioning Draft Report

The final county workshop on the future of Altadena is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Here are some highlights from the report that will be discussed at the meeting.

The third and final Altadena Community Visioning workshop will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the  gym to review a draft report summarizing public input gathered during the process.

The visioning process purpose was to identify high-priority policy changes that the workshop participants said the county should consider and look at possible ways to update county codes governing commercial and residential land use.

The report, which can be viewed in full at right, does not recommend specific courses of action, but does conclude that there is strong community interest in the county taking the following initiatives in the near future:

  • An update of the Community Standards District,especially to address issues with parking;
  • Increasing access to parking in town/district centers through management of existing spaces and/or additional public spaces;
  • Street improvements to support people walking,biking, and horseback riding, especially to promote walking in town/district centers;
  • Changes to County processes, such as code enforcement, and development review in areas along Altadena Crest Trail;  
  • Creation of community hubs or centers, whether these are town/district centers, schools, other public facilities, or community events

Other highlights of the report include:

  • One suggestion that attracted some dissent was the idea of eliminating Altadena's 35-foot building limit in some commercial areas.  The report notes that some were in favor but says there were "differing opinions" on whether it would be a good idea.
  • A note on Altadena's "East/West" divide says some participants feel that are differing levels of services on each side of town, and also identifies a lack of big east/west connector roads as a problem.
  • The report says the community favors completion of the Altadena Crest Trail
  • The report specifically mentions "community gardening, fruit harvesting, urban homesteading, farmers market and a food coop" as community priorities.
  • The idea of contracting with the Pasadena Humane Society is mentioned but with no recommendation or analysis on whether it would be a viable option for the county to look in to.
  • Another controversial idea about discouraging store front churches in commercial areas in Altadena is mentioned as not having full community consensus.  The report notes that any laws discouraging churches from opening would not be legally defensible.
  • Parking requirements are mentioned as a big problem for people trying to open local businesses ().  The report does not have a clear suggestion on changing parking regulations to be more business-friendly.
  • Switching over to diagonal parking on Lake is mentioned in the report, but it also states that the county has safety concerns with the idea.
  • The idea of creating a median to encourage pedestrian use on Mariposa, near the intersection of Lake, is mentioned.
  • The report notes that people wanted to see signage restrictions loosened, but suggested that making those changes could result in "a disorderly appearance" and noted that sidewalk signs can interfere with pedestrian use of sidewalks.
  • Crime is listed as a major concern and the reports notes that some community members want more street lighting, while others want to preserve dark night skies.
  • The report suggests that some people want to see the ability to make code complaints limited, while others want more code enforcement.
  • Speeding traffic is listed as a problem on the following streets: Marengo Avenue between Loma Alta and Altadena; Lake Avenue; traffic coming out of La Vina; Windsor Avenue' Chaney Trail near Alzada Drive.
  • Pedestrian crossing is listed as a problem on the following intersections: Fair Oaks and Harriet; Altadena and Holliston.  The issue of trail/street intersection around the Villa Zanita Bridge on Lincoln Avenue was also mentioned.
  • The report notes that some people want to see traffic calming measures , while others do not.

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