Message from Evan Davis, WPRA President, Fall 2022
Introducing your new WPRA president
The WPRA has been busy over the past few months. The current newsletter reflects some of the issues on which we’ve spent our nights and weekends.
The cover article on the return of the 710 ditch to Pasadena, along with the multiple meetings with our sister neighborhood organizations and the developer of the Affinity project on Arroyo Parkway between California Boulevard and Whole Foods, are examples of how complex planning issues can be.
As noted in my first column, our organization is about shaping and being selective about change (witness WPRA gathering and synthesizing community voices in the 2015 Connecting Pasadena Project report) instead of opposing all change. Therein lies the challenge. We don’t just consider details, such as one house’s architectural style and setbacks, but also how any project, policy, or law will affect Pasadena in the coming decades.
One example is the Affinity Project, a large development that would offer much-needed senior housing and possibly medical/research space on the edge of WPRA’s border.
The difficult question for the WPRA, other neighborhood organizations, and the Planning Commission is “How big is too big for the site and the neighborhood?”
The problem with size isn’t just how the project looks – how tall, how close to the sidewalk, how it compares to buildings nearby – but also the collateral effects on traffic, water usage, and the environment.
At its July and August meetings, the Planning Commission listened to the developer and neighborhood groups and insisted on some changes including to the height, but did they get the balance right? What, if any, additional changes should we seek?
The WPRA Board tends to attract those who are cautious about development and change. I suspect we reflect the views of most of our members.
However, we don’t actually know. Should we prioritize water usage and environmental issues, aesthetics, traffic, historic preservation, or something else? Are we getting the balance right?
Let us know your thoughts on these (and other) topics in an email to email@example.com. And if you’re getting this newsletter, but not our email messaging, Neighborhood Alerts, you can subscribe here.