City Council Revises Its Plans for 210 Sound Walls

During its meeting Thursday night, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council revised its list of proposed 210 Freeway sound walls from four segments to three after the municipal staff discovered the original number exceeded the city’s financial allocation by more than $1 million.
LCF was granted $5 million in California Senate Bill 1 funds from the California Transportation Commission for the project on May 16. SB1 funds transportation projects.
On Oct. 25, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved the advance of $3.712 million in county Measure M funds — derived from a half-cent sales tax — and an additional $3.288 million from its Call for Projects reserve fund for construction of the sound walls.
Metro staff had proposed to the CTC that four sound wall segments be included. The four locations that have preliminary Metro approval are a segment near Baptiste Way that runs between Crown Avenue and Daleridge Road; a stretch adjacent to Gould Avenue and between Richmond Road and Flintridge Oaks Drive; another near La Cañada High School; and an expanse near the city limits of Pasadena close to Oak Grove Drive.
After conversations with a consultant in November, staff updated the cost of the sound walls with the four segments. The estimated cost exceeds the $12 million available by about $1.2 million, said Division Manager Ann Wilson in an email.
LCF is seeking state and county permission to reduce the number of sound walls as well as to change the location of one of the previously approved walls. It is working with Metro through the help of state Sen. Anthony Portantino and county Supervisor Kathryn Barger. Wilson said both believed it was “not a problem” to reduce the number of segments by one and there is an opportunity to find some extra money for the project.
A council sound wall subcommittee including Councilmen Greg Brown and Leonard Pieroni discussed options and recommended keeping the proposed sound walls near Baptiste Way and Gould Avenue. They also urged scrapping the other two proposed sound walls and instead building one that extends from Alta Canyada Road to near La Cañada Boulevard.
“It’s much more beneficial and it fits within the estimated budget,” Brown said.
Wilson said the city needs to go back to the CTC for an amendment to the proposal and she will work with Public Works Director Patrick DeChellis and Metro staff to do that.
To maximize the use of the funds including design, pre-construction and construction, an additional $47,500 will be needed based, according to cost estimates, said City Manager Mark Alexander.
“So if we move forward with these segments we will come back at midyear budget and identify a source — one of our special transportation fund sources — to pick up that additional $47,500 contribution,” Alexander said.
Brown said the overall project’s real numbers could be a lot different, for better or for worse.
“We’ll learn more, certainly,” Brown said.
Brown added that Barger has been approached by a firm that would like to build the walls that the council wishes to drop from its proposal; such an effort would involve the use of cheaper, cutting-edge materials.
In an email interview before the meeting, Wilson said the city hoped for the project to be underway this summer but it is continuing to work with Metro and the CTC on the proposed modifications.

DOOR-TO-DOOR
SOLICITATION HOURS

The LCF City Council unanimously approved a first reading of an ordinance determining when door-to-door solicitors can stop in at local businesses and homes.
The council agreed unanimously to stipulate that in residential zones, soliciting should occur only from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on any day. In nonresidential zones, the solicitation hours would fall between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. The current hours are 8 a.m.-9 p.m., seven days a week, for both residential and non-residential areas.
Management analyst Christina Nguyen said some residents had contacted her about the ordinance after it was discussed at a Dec. 4 meeting.
“They found it positive,” Nguyen said.

REGULATIONS FOR RV PARKING

A first reading of an ordinance creating parking regulations for noncommercial, recreational vehicles on public streets was unanimously passed.
Under the proposal, recreational vehicles must have a permit to park on either the public right-of-way or in a front yard setback for up to 14 days, according to a city statement.
Recreational vehicles are described as motorized or non-motorized vehicles used for camping, animal transportation or recreation, according to the statement. Such vehicles include motor homes, trailers, all-terrain vehicles and boats.
The discussion came up in a November meeting about RV parking on Alminar Avenue.
Brown added only residents are able to apply for the permit to have someone park adjacent to their property.

STERES’ LAST MEETING

Mark Steres had his last council meeting as city attorney before his retirement on Dec. 31 and he was presented with plaques from Portantino and Mayor Terry Walker.
“I just appreciate your friendship,” said Portantino at the City Council meeting. “Mark has been champion of our city. He’s not just a city attorney, he’s a friend of the city and so that’s why I wanted to be here to say thank you.”
Added Walker: “You won’t let us get into trouble. Sometimes that goes unlooked for things you do ahead of the curve.”

PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS

Capt. Chris Blasnek of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station said there had been no homicides in LCF in November but an alleged rape was reported. He said the case involved two juveniles — a boyfriend and girlfriend — at an elementary school after hours. The crime was reported later and did not involve strangers, he said.
An arrest was made in a Sept. 20 home burglary in the 1100 block of Sheridan Drive in LCF, Blasnek said. The 33-year-old suspect was arrested in Culver City on Dec. 3 after he was found to be in possession of someone else’s Social Security cards, credit cards and jewelry. And he remains in custody, the captain added.
Additionally, there were 15 larceny thefts, no aggravated assaults, a robbery at Gelson’s in which a suspect was arrested, and six residential burglaries, Blasnek said. In one of the burglaries, a $5,000 bicycle was taken.
There were also four reported vandalism offenses and 51 incidents of identity theft and fraud.
Anderson Mackey, an assistant chief with the county Fire Department, said there were 128 responses from the department in October and 116 in November.
In October, there were nine reported traffic collisions and 10 in November. There were no fires in October and one vehicle fire in November.

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