Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Annex Plan at Last!

The Annex Plan and Initial Study were approved by the Pasadena City Council at its Feb. 2nd meeting -- with the very important addition of recommendations of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee. One of the most significant was that every effort should be made to minimize all tree removal on the Annex, native and non-native. The Committee also responded to the community's concern about a future road across the property by specifying that only a 10 feet wide bikeway be built in the northern corridor where a road had formerly been proposed. A new equestrian/hiking trail was approved at the southern edge of the Annex. The Committee and the Council agreed that the Planned Development zoning should be removed from the Annex and that the Annex and all of Hahamongna should be included under the Arroyo Seco Public Lands Ordinance. Other recommendations concerned the implementation of the long-awaited Environmental Education Center.

A diverse group of over 30 community members addressed the Council. There was a great deal of concern expressed over the possible removal of the 70 non-native trees. A large contingent of MACH 1 supporters spoke to the Council about their desire to move into the area promised on the Annex for a new therapeutic riding center. Other speakers expressed concern over the designation of the existing trail on the property in the Plan as for "bikes only" even though the trail is the only access which JPL employees have out into the park.

The Council directed that staff fine tune the motion and return in several weeks with the final version. Then work on the long-awaited Annex projects can begin!

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