This message has been sent around several newsgroups -- it's a summary by the county architect of his meeting with town councilman Allan Wasserman, regarding the changes going on in the Senior Center. We have no idea what all those initials mean up front!:
DCSS, ISD, and DPW staff met with you on November 24, 2009 to discuss the design of the new driveway and parking. You were satisfied with our explanation of the design. You requested that I summarize our discussion in an e-mail to you.
The purpose of the driveway and parking lot improvement project is to improve accessibility to the Senior Center, as well as, traffic safety. In the proposed design, we have located the parking spaces adjacent to the building so that the seniors will no longer have to cross the sloped driveway to get to the Senior Center from their parked cars. Major re-grading of the existing slope is necessary to create new level accessible parking spaces and loading areas to comply with accessibility standards. We have also widened the driveway to comply with County Code. We have redesigned the sidewalk connecting to the south parking lot improving accessibility. The removal of the Weeping Willow tree near the street also improves sightline for traffic and will eliminate the lifting of the public sidewalk by tree roots.
We have explored many design schemes before deciding on this proposed design. One of the design schemes would place a new parking lot in the front lawn of the Senior Center. The Altadena Historic Society was not in favor of this scheme. Therefore the proposed design is a nice balance between maintaining the historic architecture of the Senior Center and improving accessibility and traffic safety.
The Senior Center site currently has 89 trees and only 8 trees will be impacted by the proposed driveway improvement project. None of the trees to be removed is a protected species. It was suspected that many of the trees were diseased. The attached pictures confirm that the core of at least 6 of the 8 trees were rotten. The Weeping Willow tree at the entrance to the parking lot also posed a safety issue and a liability to LA County. Fortunately, the visual impact is mitigated by the vine-covered property wall and the remaining trees on the Library property. The trees to be removed were originally planted for the shading of the parked cars. The relocation of the parking spaces to be adjacent to the Senior Center in the proposed design will render the shading unnecessary.
For this maintenance project, we have obtained all the necessary approvals and permits. We are not required to obtain approval from the Altadena Land Use Committee.
The above summarizes our discussion with you. Thank you.
Architectural Engineering Division
LA County Department of Public Works