The La Cañada Unified School District staff is determining an appropriate figure of inflation to Measure LC, the parcel tax that stakeholders voted to renew in March of last year, the district’s Governing Board was told at a virtual meeting Tuesday night.
The measure’s original language called for the tax not to exceed $450 per parcel in the 2020-21 fiscal year and to be adjusted thereafter annually for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index for the Greater Los Angeles area.
Mark Evans, associate superintendent of business and administrative services, had proposed a 1.64% increase that would result in a levy of $457.38 per parcel, which would give the district an additional $39,704 in funding.
Though the increase pales in comparison to last year’s Fourth of July surge, Los Angeles County is experiencing a concerning spike in COVID-19 infections after recording more than 1,000 new cases for a sixth consecutive day on Wednesday.
The county Department of Public Health reported 1,315 such cases on Wednesday, and more than 99% of the recent cases have involved unvaccinated individuals. The county averaged 1,090 new cases per day from July 8-14, compared with only 496 from July 1-7.
Prior to Friday, July 9, the number of new cases in one day had not surpassed triple digits since March 11. The county reported 1,107 new cases on July 9 and 1,094 the following day. The 1,000-case streak continued Sunday — even with the weekend lag — with 1,113 cases, and on Monday with 1,059. Tuesday’s total was 1,103.
After nearly five hours of presentations, public comments and discussion regarding a proposed development at 600 Foothill Blvd., the La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission decided last week to put off deliberation on the matter until July 29.
The panel asked questions for its staff and the applicants, Garret Weyand and Alexandra Hack of 600 Foothill Owner LP, to follow up on next month on issues ranging from parking spaces to subleases of units.
Emily Stadnicki, LCF’s principal planner, said it is standard practice for the commission to shelve an item and continue discussion at a later date. The presentation and lengthy public comment portion extended the June 24 virtual meeting late into the night.
“I think with a project this big, it’s anticipated,” Stadnicki told the Outlook Valley Sun on Wednesday. “A lot of people wanted to speak. This is normal procedure.”
She gave a presentation informing commissioners and stakeholders of the proposed three-story, mixed-use structure that would include 47 active senior housing units, 12 non-serviced hotel units, 7,600 square feet of office uses and one level of underground parking containing 107 spaces.
Such a structure could help the city accommodate the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, a process involving the California Department of Housing and Community Development that projects how many dwellings are needed in the state. LCF is expected to show that it can provide 612 units, and the city staff recommends that the Planning Commission approve a conditional use permit for the project, a tree removal permit and a vesting tentative tract map for subdividing the 77,310-square-foot mixed-use development into 49 parcels for condominium purposes on the 1.29-acre property on Foothill. The staff also recommends that the panel adopt a mitigated negative declaration.
It further urges that the panel move forward with recommending that the City Council approve an amendment to the General Plan that incorporates a new mixed-use 3 designation into the Downtown Village Specific Plan that would set a density range of 20-30 dwelling units per acre.
“The city has determined that the project does address a substantial public need and is generally consistent with the city’s housing element and wider planning goals,” the staff said. “It is staff’s opinion that adopting an MU-3 designation with a density of 20-30 units per acre on this property is supported by facts and permissible.”
A group of residents continued to voice concerns over the proposed development, such as the fact that the mitigation declaration’s traffic study is based on traffic counts from 2015. In response, Stadnicki said the city’s traffic engineer approved the methodology through which 2015 counts were increased by 1% every year, which is standard protocol. She also added that there is no data from Los Angeles County that indicates a high number of accidents at Woodleigh Lane and Foothill, near the proposed development. Only two accidents were reported there in the past five years and neither involved injuries.
Responding to another concern, the staff said the size of the proposed project is consistent with existing development in the vicinity. Noting that buildings with at least three stories already exist in LCF, Stadnicki listed the La Cañada Medical Building on 1370 Foothill Blvd., Descanso Medical Center on 1346 Foothill Blvd., Lund Building at 4529 Angeles Crest Highway and City Hall.
As for parking, Stadnicki said the 107 spaces are more than are currently required by the city.
Not all residents are against the project. Some wrote in support of it, including President and co-owner of La Cañada Flintridge Country Club Randy Dreyfuss, who said he has “witnessed firsthand the effect the lack of senior housing has on citizens of La Cañada. Many of our club members have reluctantly left the city (and the club) as they have been unable to find housing that would allow them to remain in the city if they desired to downsize their housing needs.”
Weyand and Hack, both of whom are LCF residents, said they were pleased with the staff’s presentation and report, which was 580 pages long, and were glad to “clear the air.”
“It was comprehensive and so well done, and facts there were understandable,” Hack said. “They did an incredible job to explain a complex project with moving pieces.”
Former La Cañada High School standout Collin Morikawa impressed the golf world by making the cut in his first 22 tournaments as a pro, falling just short of tying living legend Tiger Woods, who set the record with 25.
The trend continues for Morikawa, who recently made the cut to become one of four golfers to represent the United States in the Summer Olympics this month in Tokyo. He is the first LCHS graduate to compete in the Olympics since 2014, when Kate Hansen joined the U.S. luge team in the Winter Games at Sochi, Russia.
“It’s amazing, one of the best honors I’m going to be able to have in my life,” Morikawa said recently on the Barstool Sports Fore Play podcast. “Even though we can’t do a lot of things [because] we kind of got to stay in this bubble [due to COVID-19], you can’t take it away from me. I’m an Olympian; I’m going to be an Olympian for life and that’s going to be really cool.”
The selection of players is determined by the Olympic Golf Rankings, which are similar to the Official World Golf Ranking, and each country is allowed a maximum of four athletes. Sixty players from 35 countries will compete individually in the men’s competition, which was originally to be held in summer 2020 but postponed, along with the rest of the Games, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Joining the four-time Rio Hondo League champion will be Justin Thomas (ranked No. 3 in the world), Xander Schauffele (No. 5) and Bryson DeChambeau (No. 6). Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked player in the U.S. and No. 2 in the world, declined the invitation to participate in the Olympics due to the lengthy travel and his commitment to play PGA Tour tournaments.
At 24, Morikawa, ranked No. 4 in the world, will be the youngest male golfer representing the U.S. in Tokyo. The first round of competition is scheduled to be played at Kasumigaseki Country Club on Thursday, July 29.
Golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year absence.
“We are thrilled to welcome these world-class players to Team USA and excited to watch them compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” Rick Adams, U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Committee chief of sport performance, said in a recent statement. “The return of golf to the Olympic program in [Rio de Janeiro] was a highlight of the Games, and the golf competition in Tokyo will be no different.”
Morikawa, who graduated from Cal in 2018 and LCHS in 2014, clinched a spot on the U.S. team after tying for fourth place with Brooks Koepka in the U.S. Open on June 20. The former Pac-12 Conference player of the year has won four PGA Tour competitions, including a major title last year when he edged Paul Casey and Johnson by two strokes to win the PGA Championship.
The young star has one simple goal in mind.
“Obviously, we’re there to win gold,” Morikawa said. “We’re playing individually, but I’m still playing for Team USA. You want to add another gold medal to that tally at the end of the Olympics. I’m going to feel like I’m playing for Team USA even though it still is an individual medal race.
“Man, it gives me chills thinking about it because you just joined another elite group of people. It’s another milestone that you can put on your career and just look back on and be like, ‘Man, I was there. I was playing in the Olympics.’”
Morikawa joined Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” on June 24 to announce that he would be representing the U.S. in the Olympics.
“I mean, two years ago I was an amateur,” he said in front of a live studio audience. “Look at us now. Now we’re trying to win gold.”
The La Cañada Flintridge City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to name Terry Walker the community’s mayor for the next year, and in her first order of business she declared Keith Eich the mayor pro tem.
Walker, a longtime LCF resident who has been on the council since 2015, takes the reins from Mike Davitt and will serve her second term as mayor. She thanked her fellow council members, their staff, and community leaders and members for helping LCF power through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What I’ve learned if anything this year is how grateful and appreciative I am of the good things in our lives,” Walker said. “So what I would like to do to start off as mayor is say thank you. First of all, thank you, Mayor Davitt. I just want to thank you once again for being such a wonderful leader during such a difficult time and such a pleasure to work with.
With smiles finally unmasked and Foothill Boulevard filled with palpable enthusiasm, La Cañada Flintridge families gathered along sidewalks, medians and driveways to celebrate the 2021 Hometown Parade.
This year’s parade differed from processions in previous years, taking place the day after the Fourth of July instead of during Memorial Day weekend, when the traditional Fiesta Days event is held. Beyond the date, however, the parade was even more distinctive for what it symbolized: resilience in emerging from the past year’s coronavirus-related challenges and hope for the community’s rejuvenation.
With optimism and joy in the air on the sunny Monday morning, participants included equestrian units, bands, Scouts, and law enforcement and fire department personnel, all lined up to embark down Foothill Boulevard to cheers and waves.
The city of La Cañada Flintridge is seeking applications from residents to serve on the Youth Council.
The Youth Council provides a forum for the exchange of positive ideas and information regarding youth-related issues. The Youth Council consists of nine members. Five at-large members are appointed by City Council to serve two-year terms. Four school representative members are appointed by the four high schools in the city, with one member from each school. The Youth Council members are appointed by the city council and members must be LCF residents.
“City commissioners play a vital role in advising the city council on matters that affect all of us who live, work and play in our community,” said Mayor Michael T. Davitt. “Serving as a commissioner is a rewarding way to make a difference in the city.”
The city council is tentatively scheduled to make the appointments at the Aug. 3 meeting.
La Cañada Presbyterian Church’s Parent Education program will begin the week of Sept, 14.
They will offer 15 daytime classes for parents and grandparents of children (0-18 years old) and a growing slate of Parent Express evening classes.
“Parent Ed is excited to return in-person this fall with all your favorite classes alongside a new addition,” a spokesperson said. “Each class is taught by reputable and caring staff member who has countless years of teaching experience, decades of parenting experience and a deep love for God.”
The La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission will have just two items on the agenda for its virtual meeting scheduled for tonight at 6, and it’s a loaded topic.
The panel will discuss the development proposal regarding 600 Foothill Blvd. that has been contested by many residents as well as commissioners, who balked at backing an earlier plan, the proposed 72-bed Oakmont Senior Living facility, in January 2018.
La Cañada Flintridge city officials are bringing back the popular Music in the Park Concert Series this summer, with 10 bands lined up for local residents to enjoy on Sundays at Memorial Park. Admission is free to all concerts.
The series will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 5 – national holiday because July 4 falls on a Sunday. Concerts will then move to their regular weekly time – from 6 to 8 p.m. – and continue every Sunday thereafter through Sept. 5, which is Labor Day weekend.
The wide variety of popular genres range from classic rock to reggae to soul.
The concert schedule will be:
July 5 – Captain Cardiac & the Coronaries (special start time 3:30 p.m.)
July 11 – Misplaced Priorities (classic rock)
July 18 – Steve Roth (tribute to Elvis Presley)
July 25 – The Jack Lantz Big Band
Aug. 1 – Hot August Nights (Neil Diamond songs)
Aug. 8 – FM Radio– “Every Style Along The Dial!”
Aug. 15 – The Funky Hippeez (disco/funk)
Aug. 22 – Upstream Music (reggae)
Aug. 29 – My Generation (tribute to the British Invasion)
Sept. 5 – Floyd & the Flyboys (soul rhythm and blues)
City officials that “to ensure an enjoyable experience for all, the following guidelines will be mandated at all concerts”:
Roping off areas is prohibited.
Umbrellas must be lowered during concerts.
Canopies only allowed at the back of the park.
Un-permitted solicitation is prohibited.
Dogs must be on leash.
“Bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs to enjoy the live music and summer weather,” a city statement said. “Please note that all events are subject to guidelines established by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health. The City will not be requiring advance ticketing/registration or setting capacity limits for the concerts. Those who are not or cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to continue to exercise caution and good judgement as physical distancing requirements and capacity limitation are removed.”