City to Refine Proposal Aimed at Reining In Solicitors

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council decided Tuesday it needs further scrutiny of a possible ordinance to curtail hours for door-to-door solicitations, but gave approval to an ordinance requiring sidewalk vendors to obtain business licenses.
The council was expected to modify the hours during which solicitors can stop in at local homes and businesses. Upon advice from City Attorney Mark Steres and City Manager Mark Alexander, the council will revisit this issue on Dec. 18.
After a discussion of free-speech rights, policies in other cities and other topics, Steres asked the council to vote later this month on a proposed ordinance with “more robust findings that set forth some of these parameters of why we’re setting these hours.”
The council agreed unanimously just before taking a vote on what appeared to be restricting current hours to match a Public Safety Commission recommendation.
The commission’s recommendation, made on Nov. 26, stipulated that in residential zones, soliciting should occur only from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. In non-residential 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.
“Darkness is not the only concern,” said Councilman Michael Davitt. “Someone knocks on the door at 6 or 7 at night and it is creepy. It just is.”
Earlier this year, local residents raised concerns about the hours, said LCF management analyst Christina Nguyen. Residents had called city officials and complained at a Public Safety Commission meeting in January about the increased fear they have felt when strangers approach their homes at night and ignore “no solicitation” signs. Many cited their need for privacy.
On Tuesday night, three commission members — Wes Seastrom, Maureen Siegel-Sprowles and Marilyn Smith — also spoke in favor of their recommendation before the item was ultimately continued.

SIDEWALK VENDOR
ORDINANCE APPROVED

The council gave its final OK to rules requiring a permit and business license for sidewalk vendors.
The decision resulted from Senate Bill 946, which is set to become law on Jan. 1. That bill defines what a sidewalk vendor is and distinguishes between stationary and roaming sidewalk vendors, among other things.
The state law does not regulate food trucks and is aimed at pushcart stand displays, peddle carts, non-motorized carts or individual vendors.
“This is something we have to do because of state Legislature,” said Mayor Terry Walker. “I personally think it’s very disappointing that the state has chosen to preempt the local jurisdictions on a matter that’s really of local concern, but our hands are tied in this regard.”

LIGHTING CROSSWALK
AT TARGET STORE

A woman’s post on a closed Facebook parents group that her daughter was nearly hit by a car at a crosswalk outside the new Target on the night of Saturday, Dec. 1, prompted City Council discussion.
Mary Schneider Perkins wrote that her daughter Paige was nearly struck when a driver, apparently failing to pay attention, accelerated up the incline on Town Center Way and exited the parking lot toward Angeles Crest Highway.
Councilman Greg Brown said he and his colleagues had tried to spread the word that the issue was being addressed.
Target has an approved conditional use permit from the Planning Commission that states the crosswalk across Town Center Drive must be upgraded, said Susan Koleda, the city’s director of community development.
A flashing overhead beacon that will shine across the sidewalk has been approved by the Department of Public Works, Koleda said.
“We anticipate the installation of the signal very shortly,” Koleda said.
Public Works Director Patrick DeChellis said the beacon would be flashing “on demand” and not all the time.

EDISON DEEMS
UPGRADE A PRIORITY

Southern California Edison representatives gave an update on local infrastructure upgrades.
SCE spokeswoman Marissa Castro-Salvati said last month the Haskell electrical circuit — which is located in the eastern portion of the city and serves an area including the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club area — was assessed and determined to be a priority, resulting in a major infrastructure project. Plans for the high-fire-risk area include overhead and underground work in 2019.
The overhead portion is one of the largest projects in Edison’s service area, with 14 miles of conductor replacement, she said.
Walker said it was good to hear the Haskell circuit would be a priority.

ENTHUSIASM FOR
710 CORRIDOR LEGISLATION

Division Manager Ann Wilson said state Sen. Anthony Portantino and Assemblyman Chris Holden had recently introduced separate bills on the 710 Freeway Corridor, effectively ending an effort to extend it from Alhambra to Pasadena.
“That’s wonderful news,” Councilman Jonathan Curtis said of the legislation.
Portantino introduced Senate Bill 7 to delete the proposed extension from the California streets and highway code, Wilson said. His bill will also facilitate the sale of properties owned by Caltrans but leased to nonprofits.
Holden’s Assembly Bill 29 would remove the portion of the 710 located north of the San Bernardino Freeway from the California freeway and expressway system.
Wilson said the California Legislature will not reconvene until Jan. 7.

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