For those who were unable to come to the 4/6/2011 city council meeting, or had to leave before the driving range extension was dealt with, the city council voted 3-2 against a motion by Councilmember Sifuentes to direct city staff to negotiate with Donovan Bros. to extend the driving range to the edge of the park. Councilmember Putnam then made a motion to direct staff to continue negotiating with Donovan Bros. to extend the driving range somewhere between the existing borders of the driving range and the Nature Park with an effort to protect the most significant trees in the undeveloped area. They are also to consider curving the fence as needed to keep significant trees on the Nature Park side of of the fence.
Questions abound regarding whether a CEQA review, or even an initial determination, is required. Even if a negative determination is made, I believe there is a required 30 day public comment period. There are also questions about whether the closed session negotiations were actually in compliance with the Brown Act since they are negotiating more than just "price and terms of payment for real estate transactions." Negotiations regarding land use, and funding for improvements may not be covered under the closed session clause. (Hope I am getting this kind of right - I'm no lawyer!)
Finally, there is great concern about whether it is possible to grade the land and still protect the significant trees. Seems to me one would need to hire an arborist to examine the property, along with detailed plans for grading the land.
So, hope to see you at the park on Sunday, and definitely at the public comment period for the City Council Closed Session on Wednesday, 4/20/2011. The driving range is item #5 and the session begins at 6:30PM. All public comments for the closed session are made at the beginning of the closed session, so be there at 6:30.
South Pasadena City Council/Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
City Hall Conference Room, Second Floor, 1414 Mission Street
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 6:30 p.m.
5. Real property negotiation Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8
Property: South Pasadena Golf Course
City Negotiator: Assistant City Manager Sergio Gonzalez
Negotiation Party: Donovan Bros. Inc.
Under Negotiation: Terms of Lease
PARK CLEAN UP: SUNDAY, April 17, 9 am - noon
Meet at the park info sign on Pasadena Ave and then head down into the park. The group will pull weeds, pick up litter, and enjoy the park. Come for the whole time, for an hour, or just stop by to say hello.
Nature Park entrance on Pasadena Ave., east of the York St. Bridge
- wear sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
- bring water
- bring gardening gloves and tools (weeders, trowels, whatever you use in your own garden)
- comfortable work clothes, including work shoes (sneakers or boots)
- binoculars for bird watching (optional)
Children must be under adult supervision at all times. There is poison oak in the park, which we will point out before we start.
Please pass this info along to anyone else you think might be interested in the park. If you know of anyone who doesn't use the internet, let me know so we can be sure they are kept in the loop.