Staff Updates City Council on Sound Walls, Bikeway Progress

Updates on 210 Freeway sound walls, residential projects and film permits were among highlights of the La Cañada Flintridge City Council’s meeting this week, as were details about a new municipal website.
The Tuesday night meeting took place at Lanterman Auditorium because the council chambers at the new City Hall won’t be ready until March 19. Much of the discussion involved project updates presented by Public Works Director Patrick DeChellis, who noted:
• The area’s significant rainfall will delay completion of a citywide resurfacing effort until April or later; the contract for the project was awarded in January and the work had been expected to be finished this month.
• A construction contract for a new stretch of sound walls along the freeway is on track to be awarded in June, with work to begin soon afterward. The job entails building a single sound wall on the south side of the 210 from La Tour Way, at the city’s boundary with Glendale, to Alta Canyada Drive.
• Final plans for the portion of the Foothill Boulevard Link Bikeway and Pedestrian Greenbelt Project near the Crescenta Cañada YMCA will be completed in April, and Caltrans approval for grant funds will likely come in June. Construction is expected to start in October. The project, approved by the City Council last Oct. 16, includes new bikeways on the north and south side of Foothill Boulevard with a new, raised center median, landscaping and new sidewalks. The project extends from 2111 Foothill Blvd. to the 2 Freeway on- and off-ramps at Hillard Avenue. “Greenbelt” refers to a length of landscaping that runs alongside a street.
• Environmental permits for the Padres Trail basin project are expected to be complete by the end of March and a contract to be awarded in June. Construction is set to be completed before the 2019 rain season. The project, according to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research website, involves an undeveloped dry creek channel at the southern terminus of Encinas Drive. The city proposes constructing an earthen desilting basin and concrete spillway within the 29,300 square-foot project site to reduce flows and trap sediment before it can reach the trail.
• DeChellis said the city will conduct a preliminary analysis of possible solutions for drainage issues on Descanso Drive and will have more information this spring or early summer. A catch basin screen that created a blockage at a trail crossing and caused runoff has been removed. Sand bags were also placed along Descanso Drive.
During an annual report of city activities in 2018, Councilman Greg Brown said residential projects appeared to be down compared to previous years. There were 84 residential projects last year compared with 117 in 2017 and 139 the year before. There were also lower numbers of nonresidential remodels and tenant improvements, he said. Brown wondered if there was just less activity in the city or some other reason for the lower numbers.
“It certainly doesn’t feel like” there is less activity, said Susan Koleda, director of community development. Koleda said it’s possible that the transition to Connect LCF, which enables builders to seek permits and take care of other business online, may have affected the situation.
Film permits also decreased to 36 in 2018 (with revenue of $19,619) compared to 55 each of the previous two years, when there were revenues of more than $20,000.
Carl Alameda, the city’s director of administrative services, said the decrease resulted from a local film ordinance that limited filming in certain areas and was meant to provide a good balance for residents.
Councilman Leonard Pieroni asked if there had been fewer complaints from residents, and Alameda said yes.

WEBSITE CONTRACT AWARDED

A contract to Tripepi Smith for the design and implementation of a new city website was unanimously passed. Officials have said the current site, developed in 2009, has become obsolete.
Ryder Todd Smith, of the marketing, technology and public affairs firm, said the website could be completed in six months.
The council budgeted $25,685 in design and implementation costs with an additional $2,000 contingency cost and a $560 annual website hosting cost.
Bids ranged from a high of $111,238 to $171,000 from 360Civic to a low of $20,850 from Workingarts.

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