Gregory Hisel, an assistant fire chief for L.A. County, played meteorologist at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
He cautioned La Cañada Flintridge residents to prepare for a series of storms, starting with the first phase, which is forecast to drop as much as 2 inches of rain on the Foothill area by today, Jan. 19. Two other coming storms could bring as much as 5 inches more with strong gusts of wind, he said.
“This is significant,” he said. “The ground is already partially saturated and more and more rain is building up and the ground is going to start getting oversaturated.”
He said there is a diminished threat of destructive mudslides similar to those six years ago following the Station Fire because a root structure is now in place.
Nonetheless, he asked residents to get ready. Both local fire stations along Foothill Boulevard offer sandbags, he said. The city also has them available: Sand and sandbags can be found at Mayor’s Discover Park and on Highrim Road, a dead-end street off of Ocean View Boulevard, according to Edward Hitti, the city’s public works director.
Hisel also asked for a favor: If you see something, say something.
“We appreciate when people call us, especially with flooding,” he said. “When you’re seeing water going down the street, get us out to look at it. We really appreciate that phone call, that advanced notice. We’ll be more than happy to drive around and see what’s being impacted, but we can’t do that if we don’t know about it.”
For more information, visit the fire department’s “Ready, Set, Go” website at lafd.org/safety/education/ready-set-go.
Councilman Michael Davitt said the city will wait for word from the state before it makes a decision about whether to reduce the number of waste haulers serving LCF, the only city in the county that has multiple companies handling trash pickup.
A subcommittee has been researching the environmental and safety impacts of reducing the number of the three different haulers.
“Instead of jumping into something and having to make alterations or corrections later, the feeling was to stand down on proposing any changes until there was a clearer picture of what that [legislation] may be,” said Davitt, who expects to know more about the state’s plans by June.
PRIVATE VS. PUBLIC
Council members unanimously agreed to treat forthcoming decisions regarding requests to build private streets in town on a case-by-case basis.
A recently filed application for a four-lot subdivision contained the request that the included street be a public roadway, maintained and controlled by the city. There are so few subdivisions in LCF that there is no ordinance addressing the matter, said Robert Stanley, director of community development.
After Tuesday’s discussion, there still isn’t.
“I’ve seen us try to adopt general ordinances and they really don’t work,” veteran councilman Dave Spence said. “We have such a diversity of eclectic properties … it makes more sense to look at a project in La Cañada Flintridge on a case-by-case basis.”
Qualified LCF residents have access to more than $58,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding for projects such as residential rehabilitation projects and sewer connection subsidies, explained Lisa Brancheau, a senior management analyst for the city.
Residents with sufficiently low or moderate income — often those who are seniors or who have handicaps — can receive the funding, which can be obtained via applications submitted to the city.
“This community is a very affluent community,” Mayor Jonathan Curtis said. “But there are a lot of people who can use these particular funds, so I’m glad we have this program.”