First published in the Nov. 18 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The controversial proposal for a three-story, mixed-use structure at 600 Foothill Blvd. finally came before the La Cañada Flintridge City Council and the panel’s stance was in consensus with the majority of stakeholders present for Tuesday’s in-person meeting: the project doesn’t fit the municipal zoning code.
After nearly four hours of presentations, deliberation and statements from city staff and dozens of community members, the council ultimately denied the resolutions that would have amended the city’s Downtown Village Specific Plan and zoning needed for the proposed project — which included 47 senior housing units, 12 hotel units, underground parking and 7,600 square feet for office use — to move forward. Continue reading “Council Gives Thumbs Down to Foothill Project”
The La Cañada Flintridge City Council approved an application to seek federal funding for at least one of four city projects during a meeting on Tuesday.
Staff was recently contacted by the office of Congressman Adam Schiff notifying them of the opportunity to apply for federal funding and that the application was due on Friday, April 9.
With very little time to evaluate more options, LCF Division Manager Ann Wilson presented four projects — Flint Canyon Trail repairs, Community Center renovation, air conditioning for Lanterman Auditorium and the construction of soundwall segments — that possibly fit the criteria of the funding and asked the city council to rank them.
The four City Council members in attendance — councilmember Rick Gunter was not present — all agreed to place the Flint Canyon Trail repair at the top of the list. The city has attempted to secure funding for the repair and restoration of the downslope of Flint Canyon Trail for years. LCF was successful in receiving a $300,000 grant from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy but that only covers a small portion of the overall cost, which is estimated at $6 million. Continue reading “Flint Canyon Trail Repairs Top City Council’s ‘Wish List’”
The city of La Cañada Flintridge saw a slight uptick in crimes in February, most of which were larceny and theft cases.
Capt. Todd Deeds of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station delivered his monthly crime presentation to the LCF City Council on Tuesday and reported a total of 27 part 1 offenses, which include robbery, aggravated assault, residential burglary and theft. Nineteen of the crimes reported involved larceny and theft, bringing the year-to-date total to 38. In 2020, there were only 15 cases in the first two months. Continue reading “LCF Sees Uptick in Larceny, Theft in First 2 Months”
The adoption of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on unreliable internet access that has long affected La Cañada Flintridge, and the City Council is working with Spectrum to address the issue.
During the panel’s virtual meeting on Tuesday, Councilman Keith Eich told colleagues that he and other members of a subcommittee have been working with the internet service provider, which he said has taken steps to ease its system’s congestion
Residents who have reported their broadband problems to Spectrum and the council include the Rajagopalan family, which voiced its dissatisfaction with the company in a letter posted on the city’s website.
“We humbly request the city to authorize the study of issues related to Spectrum services that were contemplated during budget deliberations,” Sampath and Nandini Rajagopalan wrote. “The quality of internet service is unacceptable in these times when so many of us are distance learning or teaching hundreds of students or working from home.”
The company has seen high internet usage from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. in the last four months and has increased its capacity by as much as 40% to deal with the spike, according to Eich. Continue reading “City Pushes Internet Provider to Improve Access”
The La Cañada Flintridge City Council is taking action in assisting businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing a gift card program that would encourage the public to spend locally. Lisa Brancheau, senior management analyst, presented the idea in a virtual meeting on Tuesday, and the council unanimously approved a motion to allow City Manager Mark Alexander to run a pilot program that will cost up to $15,000. Mayor Mike Davitt and Councilwoman Terry Walker abstained from the conversation and vote because of their stakes in local businesses. The program will allow people to purchase gift cards at a discounted rate and use them at participating businesses. Staff considered options that included a collaboration with Citizens Business Bank in which it would sell gift cards that function as a debit card. The idea of selling them through City Hall was also explored. However, the discussion between Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Curtis and members Keith Eich and Richard Gunter favored a digital approach because it would present fewer challenges. Brancheau said other cities have successfully implemented similar programs through Giftbar and Yiftee, and the online platforms make it easier to conduct research and track data. The city would use the agreed-upon $15,000 to pay for any fees incurred on merchants.
Amid a notable lack of fanfare due to social distancing, Michael Davitt was chosen unanimously as mayor of La Cañada Flintridge at a virtual City Council meeting on Tuesday, which also featured the installation of new members Keith Eich, Rick Gunter and incumbent Terry Walker.
The meeting, which typically would have celebrated the council re-organization after an election, with special recognition to new members and those leaving office — which this term includes Gregory Brown and Leonard Pieroni — was held quickly and from the privacy of separate locations.
The question La Cañada Flintridge City Council candidate Keith Eich is asked the most is “Why are you running for public office?” The answer ties into his philosophy of giving back.
Eich, 40, is one of four candidates seeking three seats on the council in the general municipal election to be held on March 3. The others are incumbents Leonard Pieroni and Terry Walker and former LCF Planning Commissioner Rick Gunter.
“I’ve been volunteering civically and in different things through nonprofits for a very long time,” Eich said. “I’m passionate about that. Giving back to the community, giving back to the organizations I’m part of. So I want to give back to our city. I think we have something special and I want to help keep it special.” Continue reading “Eich Lists Traffic, Crime Among City’s Top Issues”
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will be among the headliners at the 23rd Global Leadership Summit, presented by Willow Creek Association, on Aug. 10-11. The event will feature insight from individuals who will challenge leaders to maximize their influence. The two-day event will be simulcast live by satellite in HD to 600 sites in North America, including La Cañada Presbyterian Church (626 Foothill Blvd., LCF).
Sandberg, who is widely regarded as a key to Facebook’s meteoric success, and television host Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit,” will be among this year’s featured speakers. They are among those who will offer unique perspectives, enabling participants to challenge their learning. Continue reading “Global Leadership Summit Comes to LCF Aug. 10-11”
The La Cañada Flintridge City Council soon will be whole again. Greg Brown was appointed Tuesday to a third term; he’ll serve until March 2019, filling the unscheduled vacancy that occurred with Dave Spence’s death in May.
“I’m excited, just to keep things moving and to get some things done and hopefully not miss a beat,” Brown said Tuesday evening by phone from Utah. “Obviously, this whole situation is one that we wish hadn’t arisen. You can’t help but think of Dave; he would want things to carry on well and so we’ll do our best.” Continue reading “LCF City Council Selects Brown to Fill Empty Seat”
Residents interested in applying for appointment to the City Council have until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30, to file with the city clerk’s office. As of Wednesday, seven applicants had submitted paperwork: Keith Eich, Nalini Lasiewicz, Rick Gunter, Charles Gelhaar, Peter Chung, Rod Essen and Wesley Walton.
The Council will hold interviews of applicants on July 11, 12 and 13. An appointment to fill the seat — which became vacant last month with the death of longtime councilman and six-time Mayor Dave Spence — is scheduled to take place by Thursday, July 13, according to the city website, lcf.ca.gov.
Additional application information will not be accepted after June 30, unless requested by the City Council. Continue reading “Seven Apply for Vacant LCF City Council Seat; Deadline Friday”