Message from Dan Beal, WPRA President, Fall 2021
Time for us to face uncomfortable truths
Water, water nowhere? Just in case you skipped the front page to go directly to my column (Hey, it could happen!) please go back to read the article about the conflict between continued housing construction and our limited supply of water. The WPRA Board of Directors believes that Pasadena (and the state) must confront this existential water problem now. We simply can’t assume that we will always have\ an adequate water supply. And although the water usage reduction rules recently implemented are welcome, we fear they are not nearly enough.
The WPRA strongly urges City Council to expand the 2021-2029 Housing Element to include a fully articulated strategy for dealing with the very real threat of inadequate water supply and the demand for more housing. This isn’t a passing fad. It may be the precursor to an existential crisis or Californians and beyond. The time to act is now.
Attack of the killer SBs
You may recall our prior coverage of the state legislature’s continuing attack on the rules that permit cities to control their own land use. The tips of the spear are SB 9, which would require cities to approve duplexes and/or lot splits on single family-zoned lots, and SB 10, which would require cities to approve apartment buildings of up to 10 units on single-family lots. If this isn’t enough to find objectionable in both bills, we find it remarkable that for all the talk about the lack of affordable housing, neither bill requires those possible new units to be affordable.
Gov. Newsom signed both bills on Sept. 16, in spite of widespread opposition from city planners, local elected officials and the public. However, both a grass-roots initiative and an Assembly bill seek to amend the state
constitution to bring a halt to the centralized zoning and land-use directives coming out of Sacramento. Their intention is to place a proposition on the November 2022 ballot. For the record State Sen. Anthony Portantino voted “yes” on SB 9 and “no” on SB 10. Assemblymember Chris Holden voted “yes” on both.
Just over 85% of eligible Pasadenans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of the beginning of September, and 93.4% have received at least one shot, according to our Public Health Department. That’s far ahead of the state of California, as a whole, (56.3% and 69.4%, respectively) and, for that matter, any other state. Keep up the fight, everyone. We’re nowhere near out of this yet.